We are grateful for the leadership of Outlier Media’s Board of Directors as we continue to execute our mission in service of Detroiters.

Kim Clayson

Kimberly Clayson

Board Chair

Kimberly Ross Clayson is an attorney at Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss’s Insolvency & Reorganization practice group. She serves a diverse client portfolio in the areas of insolvency law, creditors’ rights, business law and health law. She provides counsel to operating businesses as well as to creditors of financially distressed businesses and individuals. Kim has extensive experience restructuring business debtors and representing Chapter 7 trustees in fraud investigations and bankruptcy litigation. She was appointed and presently serves as one of only five Subchapter V Trustees in the Eastern District of Michigan under the Small business Reorganization Act of 2019.

Contact Outlier’s board at board@outliermedia.org.

Sarah Alvarez

Sarah Alvarez is the founder and editor-in-chief of Outlier Media. She believes journalism should be designed as essential civic infrastructure and be responsive to the needs of all people. Before founding Outlier Media, she worked in civil rights law, social justice management and in public radio. 

Her work has also been featured in The New York Times, ProPublica, NPR and the Detroit Free Press.

She developed Outlier’s model after years of trying to figure out how journalists could do a better job filling information gaps and increasing accountability to low-income news consumers. She launched Outlier in 2016, during her year as a John S. Knight (JSK) Fellow at Stanford University. From 2021 to 2022, she was a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network where she investigated the high price of electricity and electricity shut-offs. She lives in northwest Detroit. 

katlyn alo

Katlyn Alo

Katlyn Alo is an engineer on the News Applications team at The Washington Post, where she helps build tools for investigative reporting and critical record keeping, including the database behind the Fatal Force Project. Before joining The Post, Katlyn built pages and interactives as a newsroom developer for The San Francisco Chronicle. By far, Katlyn’s most formative career experience was her time as Outlier Media’s data reporter, during which she used housing records to get Detroiters critical resources. Katlyn earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication from Stanford University.

LaSharah Bunting

LaSharah S. Bunting

LaSharah S. Bunting is CEO and executive director of the Online News Association, a nonprofit membership organization advancing digital journalism, technology and innovation. She most recently served as vice president and executive editor at Simon & Schuster, where she acquired and edited nonfiction projects. She previously served as the director of journalism at John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where she managed a portfolio of grants and initiatives focused on accelerating digital and cultural transformation in newsrooms and advancing equity and inclusion in journalism.

Prior to joining Knight, LaSharah spent nearly 14 years at The New York Times, where she led digital transformation across the newsroom and served in various editing roles. She began her career as an editor at The Dallas Morning News. LaSharah is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is also an alumna of Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at Columbia University; Diverse Future Executive Program; and the Maynard Media Academy at Harvard University. She serves on the board of directors of Outlier Media, Open Campus and Dow Jones News Fund.

Candice Fortman

Candice Fortman

Candice Fortman has worked in commercial and nonprofit media, leading marketing, engagement and growth strategy. She is a skilled manager with 15 years of experience in team leadership. Candice currently serves as the executive director of Outlier Media in Detroit.

Her work is centered on ensuring that the organization makes consistent and timely progress in achieving its mission while building a sustainable newsroom that challenges traditional models both on the editorial and business end. Before joining Outlier, Candice was the marketing and engagement manager at WDET 101.9, Detroit’s NPR station. She is a 2021 alumna of the John S. Knight (JSK) fellowship at Stanford, where she studied how the business model of journalism impacts low-wealth communities. 

Aside from her duties at Outlier, Candice is also the host of “News Guest,” a podcast produced by LION Publishers that explores newsroom sustainability. She sits on the board of Cityside, which operates Berkleyside and The Oaklandside. She is also an advisory board member for OpenNews, which connects developers, designers, journalists, and editors to collaborate on open technologies and processes within journalism. 

Candice is a lifelong Detroiter with a deep commitment to the city and its people. She has served on several local boards, including The Village of Bethany Manor, a subsidized senior living community, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Classical Roots Steering Committee.

Kirk Mayes

Kirk Mayes

Kirk Mayes is an entrepreneur and former nonprofit executive with experience and a track record of success as a community servant and business professional.

Kirk brings passion to his work in the community, and he values his chance to give back as the son of Jamaican parents who immigrated to the United States to create better lives. He attended Brother Rice High School in Birmingham, Mich., and completed his college education at Michigan State University. Upon graduation, Kirk worked in a number of “for-impact” organizations driven by a personal mission to improve the educational, social and economic outcomes of the Detroit community. In 2008, Kirk joined National Community Development Institute and The Skillman Foundation’s Good Neighborhood initiative in Brightmoor.

As a result of his service and leadership, Kirk has received a number of recognitions and awards including being selected to participate in the prestigious Marshall Memorial Fellowship in 2013 and as an outstanding Alumni of Michigan State University in 2019. In addition to his professional role he participates in multiple initiatives and projects to improve the systems that drive change in Metro Detroit.

Vincent D. McCraw

Vincent D. McCraw is a journalist with more than 40 years of experience in print and digital media. He has covered news stories on municipal government, politics, civic and community affairs in the Detroit, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. media markets. McCraw is currently the Detroit chapter president of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Richard Tofel 

Dick Tofel was the founding general manager of ProPublica from 2007 to 2012, and served as president from January 2013 to September 2021. In this role, he had responsibility for all of ProPublica’s non-journalism operations, including communications, legal, development, finance and budgeting, and human resources.

He was formerly the assistant publisher of The Wall Street Journal and, earlier, an assistant managing editor of the paper, vice president, corporate communications for Dow Jones & Co., and an assistant general counsel of Dow Jones. More recently, he served as vice president, general counsel and secretary of the Rockefeller Foundation, and earlier as president and chief operating officer of the International Freedom Center, a museum and cultural center that was planned for the World Trade Center site.