UPDATED: 7/26/2023


BALTIMORE, MD (November 10, 2022) – The Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism, a Baltimore based nonprofit organization and founder of The Baltimore Banner today announced its Board of Directors to guide the organization’s efforts to expand local news coverage in the greater Baltimore region and Maryland. The ten-member board is comprised of diverse business, civic, and non-profit leaders from the Baltimore region and includes nationally recognized journalists and editors, media, advertising, and marketing professionals. The Board will steer The Institute towards a sustainable future by adopting sound governance and financial management policies.

“I’m pleased to announce the inaugural Board of Directors for The Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism,” said Stewart Bainum, Jr., Chair and Co-Founder of The Venetoulis Institute. “Each is a respected leader in their field and brings a unique perspective to the Board, along with a deep commitment to the greater Baltimore region and our mission. The Board will play an indispensable role helping to fulfill Co-Founder Ted Venetoulis’ vision to establish a more sustainable model for locally owned, nonprofit news. We took our time to build out a Board that brings a diverse set of skills and perspectives that will help The Banner succeed. I am delighted that we were able to bring such a capable, well-regarded group of individuals together to serve on our Board.”

The Board of Directors include:

“In just over one year, The Institute launched The Baltimore Banner with a world-class newsroom and entered meaningful partnerships with news organizations throughout the region, including WYPR and WJZ,” said Imtiaz Patel, CEO, The Venetoulis Institute. “I’m thrilled that we have been able to bring this group of accomplished individuals together to help us create a sustainable news organization that serves our communities. I look forward to working with the Board to guide The Institute and The Baltimore Banner well into the future.”

The Venetoulis Institute Board Members

Stewart Bainum Jr., Chair, Board of Directors Choice Hotels International

Stewart is a life-long Maryland resident and co-founder of The Venetoulis Institute. Stewart has built and led several successful businesses over the course of his career, including Manor Care, Artis Senior Living and Sunburst Hospitality. He is currently the chairman of Choice Hotels International, a role he has held since 1997. Stewart is a civic leader and served in the Maryland General Assembly between 1979 and 1987. He is currently a member of the Board of Advisors of UCLA’s Anderson School of Business and was previously on the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland Medical System, St. Mary’s College, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Bowdoin College. Stewart has had a 36-year romance with Sandy Yarish Bainum during which they raised two sons now 28 and 31.

Sandy Bainum, Actor, Singer, Dancer, Producer

Sandy Bainum is a professional actor, singer, dancer, and producer. A 34-year resident of Maryland, she holds an MBA from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, and a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from West Virginia University. Sandy has appeared in leading roles on Broadway in David Merrick’s 42ND STREET, and at regional theaters in Washington and Los Angeles, as well as tv and film.
Sandy has served on the boards of Horizons of DC, the Olney Theater, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Her favorite production ever: being a mom to her two boys.

Janet Currie, President, Greater Maryland – Bank of America

Janet Currie is president of Bank of America, Greater Maryland Market, and the market executive for the Local Markets Organization. In this role, she is responsible for connecting clients, teammates, and communities to the full power of the franchise, driving integration across our eight lines of business. She also leads the effort to deploy Bank of America’s resources to help advance economic mobility and build strong communities

As the Market Executive, she leads Bank of America’s environmental social governance work in the region, leveraging the capabilities of the company to help partners, people, and communities more effectively address a wide range of issues.
Janet holds a Master of Science degree from New York University, Stern School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt and a graduate of both Leadership Howard County and the Greater Baltimore Committee’s LEADERship programs. Janet has served on numerous local boards and currently serves on the board of the Maryland Bankers Association, the Greater Baltimore Committee, Cherry Hill Strong and the Baltimore Convention and Tourism board. She Co-Chairs the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Baltimore Women’s Advisory Board.

Within Bank of America, Janet serves as the Co-Executive Sponsor for LEAD for Women, an employee network dedicated to connecting, developing, and elevating women to enable them to make meaningful contributions within Bank of America and the communities we serve. She acts as a mentor to many women within the organization.
Janet has been recognized as a Daily Record Influential Marylander, a Daily Record Power 30 Banking & Finance professional, a Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award winner, Baltimore Sun 25 Women to Watch honoree and Baltimore Business Journal – 2022 Enterprising Women of Excellence honoree.

Jedd Gould, President and Owner Mediabids

Jedd Gould is President and Owner of Mediabids, the world’s largest print advertising marketplace, specializing in response-based solutions in newspaper and magazine advertising. More than 10,000 publications and 17,000 advertisers use Mediabids to buy, sell, plan, purchase, and measure print advertising.

William (Bill) L. Jews, Professional Director, Former President & CEO of CareFirst, Inc.

William L. Jews is the former President and CEO of CareFirst Inc., the seventh largest Blue Cross Blue Shield plan with more than $5 billion in annual revenue. Jews led the combined not-for-profit and for-profit entity from 1993 until 2006, serving nearly three million customers, including the nation’s largest federal health program. Previous leadership roles with other major healthcare organizations include serving as President and CEO of both Dimensions Health Corp., from 1990 to 1993, and Liberty Medical Center Inc./Lutheran Health Care Corp., from 1979 to 1990. Jews began his career in the healthcare industry at the University of Maryland Medical System in 1975, ascending to planning director by 1979.
Jews currently serves on the board of directors of several major public corporations, including Choice Hotels International; CACI International Inc.; CalAtlantic Group; and KCI Technologies Inc. His prior directorships include SecureNet; Camden Partners; Ecolab Inc.; MBNA; MuniMae Inc.; Maryland National Bank/Nations Bank; Crown Central Petroleum; and Fortress International Group Inc. Jews also served as a Governor with the Federal Reserve Bank.

Jews is an investment advisor for Sterling Venture Partners I, LP, a director of the Signal 13 Police Foundation for Baltimore City and a board member of Caves Valley. He has participated in leadership roles with other business, governmental and educational organizations, including the Baltimore County Revenue Authority, the Camden Yards Sports and Entertainment Commission, and the President’s Advisory Board of the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Brian McGrory, Chair, Boston University Journalism Program

Brian McGrory is the chair of the Department of Journalism at Boston University and a contributing columnist to the Boston Globe.

During his career with Globe, McGrory achieved success, at various times as a metro columnist, the Globe’s Metro editor, White House reporter, national reporter, general assignment reporter, and suburban reporter. He won the Scripps-Howard award for commentary and the Sigma Delta Chi award for general column writing in 2011. The Globe newsroom has won three Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure as editor and has been a finalist another dozen times. McGrory, a Boston native, has authored four published novels and a memoir about his family’s pet rooster.

Imtiaz Patel, Chief Consumer Officer, Gannett

Imtiaz Patel is the former CEO The Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism. He is also a former executive with Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal where he led circulation strategy and served as GM of key business verticals. Previously, Imtiaz was a consultant with Kurt Salmon Associates and Deloitte focused on growth strategy and business turnarounds. Most recently, Imtiaz advised several news organizations, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, Gannett, and USA Today, and also led the efforts to acquire The Baltimore Sun and Tribune Publishing. Imtiaz holds a B.Sc. in Economics, Accounting & Finance from The London School of Economics, as well as an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Shanaysha Sauls, CEO Baltimore Community Foundation

Shanaysha Sauls serves as President and CEO of the Baltimore Community Foundation. Over the years, she has served in several civic roles. Shanaysha co-founded one of Baltimore’s first wholly new charter schools and served as the founding treasurer of a nonprofit focused on advocating for family-friendly community development in downtown Baltimore neighborhoods. Her prior professional experience ranges from consulting on strategic direction and marketing for colleges and universities across the country to leading and teaching at the secondary and collegiate levels.  In 2010, she was appointed by the Governor and Mayor to the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners and later served as board chair. Shanaysha was appointed chair of the Accountability and Ethics Workgroup for newly elected Comptroller Bill Henry, helping to shape the first transition of the Baltimore city comptroller in 25 years. Shanaysha has been recognized by the Maryland Daily Record as one of Maryland’s Most Admired CEOs. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Maryland, College Park and earned a Ph.D. from Duke University.

Josh Tyrangiel, Executive Producer / COO Eden Productions / Kunhardt Films

A Baltimore native, Josh Tyrangiel is Executive Producer at Eden Productions and COO/Executive Producer at Kunhardt Films. He oversees all non-fiction content for both companies in their exclusive deal with Apple TV+.

Tyrangiel began his career at Rolling Stone magazine before moving to MTV News, where he was a writer and producer of the network’s groundbreaking ‘Choose or Lose’ political coverage. After receiving a master’s degree from Yale’s graduate program for American Studies, Tyrangiel began a decade-long run at TIME Magazine, where he served as a staff writer, critic, foreign correspondent, and national editor, before being named deputy managing editor and editor of all of TIME’s digital content.

In 2009, Tyrangiel was hired by Bloomberg to edit and reinvent the recently acquired Businessweek magazine. Renamed Bloomberg Businessweek, the publication saw an immediate spike in subscribers and ad pages and was awarded the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. In 2012, Tyrangiel was named Advertising Age’s Editor of the Year and promoted to Chief Content Officer of Bloomberg Media, overseeing a global newsroom of more than 2,000 reporters working across TV, radio, digital, and print.

In 2015, Tyrangiel was named Executive Vice President for News at Vice, and asked to create the first new nightly newscast in more than four decades. Vice News Tonight premiered on HBO in late 2015 and was hailed for its innovative ‘non-anchor’ presentation and cast of young, diverse reporters. The show went on to be nominated for more than 40 Emmy Awards—winning more than all the other network newscasts combined. VNT was honored with a Peabody Award for its documentary on the white supremacist rally and terrorist attack in Charoltesville, VA. Tyrangiel also produced multiple feature length documentaries for HBO, including the Emmy-winning Panic: The Untold Story of the 2008 Financial Crisis.

Suzi Watford, Chief Growth Officer, SiriusXM, Media Advisor, Former EVP, Consumer Revenue, Dow Jones & The Wall Street Journal

Suzi Watford has over twenty years of experience in the media industry. Originally from Liverpool, Suzi joined The Times of London as a graduate trainee in 2000 after answering a job advert in the back of the newspaper. She rose to run Sales & Marketing for The Times, leading the transition from print to a digital subscription and membership proposition.

In 2014 she was asked to move to New York and joined Dow Jones to oversee The Wall Street Journal’s digital & customer transformation as CMO. In 2018 having repositioned the WSJ brand for growth and building the largest membership in its history she was promoted to EVP and tasked with overseeing all aspects of WSJs business and P&L. She grew record audiences as well as student membership, professional membership propositions and the live journalism business through franchises such as The Future of Everything Festival and Journal House. She went on to oversee all Consumer Revenue across Dow Jones creating a new subscriptions ecosystem across its titles. Today, Suzi is the Chief Growth Officer for SiriusXM.

Suzi has served on the board of INMA and having left Dow Jones earlier this year is still based in NYC. She is an advisor and consultant to news and subscriptions businesses and an active member of The Marketing Academy – a not for profit focused on building and coaching talent in the industry.

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