Ralph J. Martin, CEO
Ralph J. Martin joined Civitas Media as CEO on Jan. 27, 2015.
Martin previously served as president and CEO of Trib Total Media, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He started in 2003 as general manager of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. During his tenure, Trib Total Media has grown into a regional news and information operation serving southwestern Pennsylvania with daily and weekly newspapers, Pennysaver weekly shoppers, specialty magazines and numerous websites.
Martin began his newspaper career in 1976 with Thomson Newspapers where he became president and chief operation officer in 1992.
In 1995, Martin took on a leadership position in an investment group's acquisition of Park Communications, a multi-media company. As senior vice president, Martin played a key role in the company's quick revenue and profit growth. Then, in just two short years, Martin orchestrated the sale of the company, which netted the investors significant returns.
In 1997 Martin founded Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. (CNHI) becoming the company's president and chief executive officer.
Martin holds several leadership positions in the newspaper industry and in greater Pittsburgh. He is past president of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia Chapter and is chairman of the Board for Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. Martin is also a Trustee of Robert Morris University.
Martin has six children. He and his wife, Sharon, will soon be relocating to Davidson, North Carolina, home to Civitas Media headquarters.
William Weston Bray III (“Wes”), Executive Vice President, Products & Marketing
Wes Bray joined Civitas Media on June 23, 2014. He is a professional marketer, former CEO, and proven entrepreneur. Over his 35 year career, Wes has worked for marketing companies such as Kraft General Foods, Pepsico and Marketing Corporation of America. He has co-founded, built and sold two marketing services agencies, SmartDemo, Inc. and Market Growth Resources, Inc. He served as Co-CEO of one of the largest global marketing services agencies, Marketing Drive Worldwide. In 2004 he co-founded HipCricket, Inc., a mobile technology company, which he helped take public in 2007 and was acquired in 2011 by Augme Technologies. HipCricket is one of the leading mobile marketing companies in North America. Most recently, Wes served as the Lead Mentor for the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, the University organization founded to enable students and faculty to launch new business ventures. Wes has a BA from Yale University and a MBA from Harvard University.
Randall S. Brant, Senior Vice President Sales
Randall Brant joined Civitas Media in September 2014. During his 20-plus years in publishing, Brant has held leadership positions in print, digital and niche publishing with top newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News, Detroit News and Free Press, Denver Post, Salt Lake Tribune and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He has also worked extensively with community newspapers, local magazines and niche publications. He has served in sales and marketing management roles with media companies such as Hearst, Belo, MediaNews Group and Gannett. Randall holds a BA in Journalism from IUP and an MBA from Purdue University.
Jeff Sherman, Chief Financial Officer
Jeff D. Sherman, chief financial officer, joined Civitas Media in April 2013. Having served as the senior vice president and chief financial officer of Harris Teeter since 1998, Sherman brings with him a wealth of expertise. He is a detail-oriented, results-driven financial expert who takes pride in providing great customer service. Sherman is a graduate of Ohio State University and served in the United States Navy for four years. He was the senior vice president of finance for the Harris Teeter Corporation, past president of Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Ohio and a former board member of the Matthews Health Clinic in North Carolina.
Joseph Craig, Senior Sales Development Director
Joseph Craig, chief revenue officer, joined Civitas Media, LLC when it was established in 2012. Formerly vice president of Heartland Publications, Craig draws on his many years of experience in newspaper online sales, telemarketing, business-to-business sales, direct mail, commercial printing and publishing. Craig, a native of Sioux City, Iowa, attended Briar Cliff College. It was at that time that he started his newspaper career by conducting surveys for the Sioux City Journal. Prior to joining Heartland Publications in 2007, Craig worked for the Beloit Wisconsin Daily News, the Mountain Statesman in Grafton, WV, Omaha World Herald, and MediaNews, Thompson and Hagadone newspaper companies where he was responsible for revenue and market share growth and expense reduction. Craig's goal has always been to bring all parts of the newspaper team together to provide the best services for their customers.
Gary Lawrence, Director of Manufacturing
Gary Lawrence, director of manufacturing, joined Civitas Media when it was established in 2012. Formerly chief operating officer of Heartland Publications, Lawrence is a 38-year veteran of the newspaper industry. He has served as group publisher, corporate regional vice president, publisher and various advertising and circulation management positions with several newspaper companies including the Journal Register, Morris, McClatchy, and Scripps. A native of Hartselle, Alabama, Lawrence attended the University of Alabama, and graduated with a degree in Business from Roger Williams University. He completed postgraduate work with a paralegal certification from Roger Williams University and studied masters level subjects in Mass Communications at Middle Tennessee State University.
Matt Swanson, Chief Technology Officer
Matt Swanson, chief technology officer, has been with Civitas Media, LLC since its formation in 2012. Formerly online sales director for Heartland Publications, Swanson's solid background in the newspaper industry began with delivering papers and taking photos at his hometown football games. Always centered in community newspapers, Swanson has primarily focused on advertising sales, digital sales, sales management and digital strategy. With a BA in Economics and Management from Albion College where he concentrated on marketing, Matt brings a wealth of knowledge to his position at Civitas. Right at home in the out-of-doors, a trait developed over many years in scouting where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout, Swanson enjoys camping, fishing, canoeing and many other activities that take him off the beaten path.
Lynn McLamb, Director, Revenue Enhancement Services
Lynn McLamb serves as Civitas Media's director, revenue enhancement services. Her current position focuses on revenue development through traditional and non-traditional multi-media outlets including newspaper, interactive media, readership-targeted magazines and specialty directories, as well as the development and implementation of marketing strategies that serve Civitas Media and its communities. McLamb has held various positions during her career including advertising director, publisher and group publisher for several media companies including Park Communications, Media General, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. and Heartland Publications. Throughout her career McLamb has been active in community and professional organizations including the North Carolina Press Association, United Way and Rotary International.
Andrew Mok, Chief Information Officer
Andrew Mok, chief systems officer, joined Civitas Media, LLC in November 2012 (as a consultant). He was named the Chief Systems Officer in July 2013. Formerly president of Midwest Technology Consulting, Mok has over 20 years of media experience in various capacities with privately owned newspapers Shaw & Media News, as well as public companies including: Lee, Gannett & Knight Ridder. Mok, was born in Derby, England, immigrated to and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago Illinois. He attended Northern Illinois University and graduated with a BS in Business Administration from Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, NJ.
Jim Lawitz - Director of Content
Jim Lawitz joins Civitas Media as the director of content, overseeing editorial operations for the company. Lawitz has spent more than 30 years in newsrooms serving in varied roles – from reporting and editing to top news executive. Jim's most recent role was vice president and editor of the Las Cruces Sun-News, New Mexico's second largest publication. In addition to his local duties, he supervised top editors in sister markets including Silver City, Deming, Alamogordo and Ruidoso. Lawitz has spent most of his life in the West, living and working in Arizona, Alaska, California and New Mexico. He has worked for Cox, Tribune, Scripps, MediaNews and independent publishing companies. Raised in Scottsdale, Jim attended Arizona State University where he earned a bachelor's degree in broadcasting with an emphasis in journalism. Lawitz worked in radio/television before making the jump to newspapers in the mid-1980s.