Ron Williams co-founded and served as editorial director and CEO of Alternative Media Inc. (AMI), a chain of four award-winning weekly newspapers which grew from its flagship operation Metro Times (Detroit). In 2000, he founded Dragonfly Media, a next generation independent media network of green/social justice/healthy living monthlies and web sites. He served as CEO and editorial director for the company, which operated publications in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and Vancouver, BC. More recently Ron has served as President of both happyfrog, a hyper-local social media online community and 3rdWhale, a telecommunications software firm which provided mobile solutions for clients including GreenPeace USA, Greenpeace France, Brave New Films and 350.org. He has served as Board Chair of the Independent Media Institute, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that developed and operates AlterNet.org, a leading progressive online community. Before assuming the position of Executive Director of Free Speech TV, he served as Board Chair of Public Communicators Inc., the network's nonprofit parent.
Than joined Free Speech TV in 2001, and is responsible for designing and managing the network's broadcast and Internet infrastructure. He serves as the network’s technical liaison to the engineering units at all of FSTV’s distribution platforms and at the head-end that originates our broadcast, IPTV and online feeds. He is a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers and regularly attends the National Association of Broadcasters convention. He has served as a board member of Denver Open Media. Than has worked closely with the relief organization started by his family, Friends of India, operated by The Shanthimalai Research and Development Trust. Than proudly serves as FSTV’s premiere “early adapter” of all things digital.
Antoinette came to Free Speech TV in 2009 as an intern. She interned with FSTV for 7 months before transitioning to the role of Executive Director's Assistant. Shorty after that Antoinette moved into a production role. As a member of the production team, she was the Assistant Director of our 2010 Mid Term Election Coverage, has been the Booking Producer for several of our events, including Netroots Nation (2011 & 2012), The National Conference for Media Reform (2011), The NAACP Annual Convention (2011), Take Back the American Dream Conference (2011), as well as others. She has also been our on-air talent for several of these events as well as our 2011 news program, Newswire. In July of 2012 Antoinette became a member of the Web Department, and in January of 2013 she became the Web Director.
For more than seventeen years, Jason McKain has been developing outreach tools, processes, communications and organizing actions for a variety of social justice, environmental, and independent media initiatives. He has organized more than 1,000 activist-based, community-focused projects involving tens of thousands of people from the United States and around the world. In doing so, it has been and will always be his ultimate goal to connect people with critical community work that needs to be done and to make this connection stronger. Jason has spent an equal amount of time creating and implementing fundraising strategies to fund countless projects. Along the way, Jason has developed a comprehensive and effective knowledge base around grassroots organizing, fundraising, logistics, and publicity.
General Manager & Co-Founder
Jon joined Free Speech TV's predecessor, The 90's Channel, in November 1994 as its Program Director. His initial charge was to develop the next evolution of that project, which led to the launch of Free Speech TV in 1995. As General Manager, Jon currently supports the strategic institutional development work of ED Ron Williams, oversees fiscal planning, and leads efforts to expand FSTV’s national TV distribution. His previous positions include ED of Los Angeles Filmforum and Publicist for Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. Jon was a Fellow in the Rockefeller Foundation's Next Generation Leadership Program and a founding board member of Working Films. Jon has served on nominating/funding panels for the Independent Television Service, Annenberg Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowships, the American Film Institute, and United States Artists. In 2010, Jon and Free Speech TV were awarded the National Professional Freedom & Responsibility Award; past recipients include Bill Moyers, Molly Ivins, Noam Chomsky, and Studs Terkel.
Director of National Partnerships
Benjamin joined Free Speech TV in 2014 to develop strategic partnerships for the network and expand its presence in Washington, D.C. Previously, Benjamin was a Senior Account Executive at Spitfire Strategies, where he developed and implemented communications strategies for nonprofits and foundations on issues including economic policy, education reform, environmental conservation, reproductive health and criminal justice. While at Spitfire, he helped manage a coalition of national environmental groups in a campaign that passed the RESTORE Act, the biggest conservation funding initiative in U.S. history. Benjamin began his career at the leading international conflict resolution nonprofit, Search for Common Ground, where he served as editor of the Common Ground News Service and supported efforts to improve relations between conflicting countries through civil society exchanges, back-channel talks and shuttle diplomacy. He received his BA in Liberal Arts from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.
Director of Broadcast Media
Alexander has been working behind-the-scenes as the production coordinator for Free Speech TV since 2010. Having contributed to the technical infrastructure of FSTV’s production facility, he has played an instrumental part in creating FSTV’s original programming. Alexander has also been the leading force behind FSTV’s mobile studio (E-Studio) platform, coordinating large-scale conference productions coast-to-coast. From the mid-term elections, NewsWire and Occupy the Media, to Netroots Nation, Take Back the American Dream, numerous exclusive interviews and roundtable discussions, Alexander is dedicated to bringing fresh, creative perspectives to the screen. His passion for grassroots organizing and independent media stem from Current TV, where Alexander worked on a variety of programming initiatives, including the network’s U.S. launch in 2005.
Yolanda Williams came to Free Speech TV in 2013 after working for many years in corporate finance. As the network’s first fulltime Controller, Yolanda is responsible for overseeing the business affairs of the organization, including its financial plans, policies, fiscal records and reports. She is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 20 years of experience, having graduated from Regis University with her MBA in Accounting, Finance, and International Business. Yolanda started and served as president of A.C.T.S (Asking Communities to Stand), a chapter of the Metro State University Alumni Association that works with community partners to assist young people in staying on track for college. Yolanda volunteered at Stedman Elementary School and worked as a paraprofessional working with grades K-5. She also volunteered with local organizations including The Stedman Dancers, Parkhill Blackhawks, and MLK Hawks.