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Civitas Media


Ralph J. Martin, CEO
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.


Jeff Sherman, CFO
Jeff Sherman, CFO

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. 


Randall S. Brant, Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing
Randall S. Brant, Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing

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.


April Y. Cunningham, PHR, Vice President of Human Resources
April Y. Cunningham, PHR, Vice President of Human Resources

April Y. Cunningham, PHR, vice president of human resources, joined Civitas Media, LLC in March 2013. Cunningham has spent more than 17 years in human resources serving in varied roles in the Legal, Mortgage, Banking and Telecommunications industries. Her areas of expertise include recruitment/staffing, benefits, classification and compensation, learning and development, employee relations, payroll, leadership development and risk mitigation. April attended Slippery Rock University where she earned a bachelor's degree in Safety Engineering/Industrial Hygiene. She also is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the Society of Human Resources Management.


Jim Lawitz - Vice President of Editorial
Jim Lawitz - Vice President of Editorial

Jim Lawitz joins Civitas Media as the vice president of editorial, 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.


Gary Lawrence, Vice President Manufacturing
Gary Lawrence, Vice President 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.


Andrew Mok, CIO
Andrew Mok, CIO

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. 


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