Michael Bush has served as chief executive officer and president of Civitas Media, LLC since its formation in 2012. Since 2005, he served as CEO of Heartland Publications, one of four companies that combined to create Civitas Media. Prior to that, Bush was vice president of operations at the Journal Register Company and MediaNews Group. Other appointments have included corporate advertising management, publisher and advertising director positions for Morris Newspapers, Inc. and Park Communications. Bush is a graduate of Hobart College. He studied journalism and business administration at graduate schools in Oregon and Arizona. He began his career at family-owned newspapers where he performed and honed a wide range of skills while working in most departments. A leader in community and industry organizations, Bush currently serves as an executive board member of the National Newspaper Association. He is a former New Mexico space commissioner and is married to Amy Bush, a nurse practitioner who holds a Master's in Oncology from the Yale School of Nursing. They have two children, Wayne and Mollie and a daughter-in-law, Jennifer, as well as a beautiful grandson named Bram. An avid reader and amateur historian, Bush also enjoys his two Siberian huskies, Klondike and Monchie.
Scott Champion, chief operating officer of Civitas Media, has been with the company since it was established in 2012. As the former CEO of Ohio Community Newspapers, Champion is a veteran of the community newspaper business and was the youngest vice president in American Publishing at the age of 28. His diversified work experiences at Liberty Group Publishing and Gatehouse Media included positions from publisher to president and chief operations officer. Champion is active in his community and was a founding member of Crime Stoppers and has served on the boards of the United Way and the Illinois Press Association where he was also president. He currently serves as a board member of the Midwest Bank of Western Illinois. Married to Janice Champion, they have three children; son Corey, who is 25 and two daughters, Mandy and Maggie who are ages 20 and 15. Champion enjoys a variety of outdoor sports including both water and snow skiing, fishing and bicycling. He also enjoys his precious but somewhat spoiled wire fox terrier named Emmie.
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. He and his wife, Lisa Sherman, have been married for 23 years. Their son is a junior at New York University and their daughter, a sophomore in high school, is a competitive dancer. Sherman enjoys watching his daughter's competitions, golfing and reading.
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. Joe and Cathy Craig have been married for 26 years. They live with Luke T. Skywalker Craig, a 55-pound Vizsla who is master of all that surrounds him. They have two sons, two lovely daughters-in-law and three dynamite grandchildren.
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. Lawrence and his wife, Ellen Lawrence, have been married for 30 years. They have three children: Kevin, Joel and Lindsay, and seven grandchildren: Reid, Elijah, Macie, Kalistah, Jacob, Katie and Ella.
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 with his son, Ryan. He and his wife, Jennifer Swanson, have been married for 12 years and enjoy a wide variety of activities together including theater, music and reading.
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. McLamb is married to Scott McLamb and they have two children, Brett and Lauren.
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. Andrew and Denise Mok have been married for 15 years. They have three children: Kaplin, Ayana & Cooper and a Dandie Dinmont named Hazel.
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. He met his wife, Kathy, at the Mesa (Ariz.) Tribune and they married in 1988. They have no children, but have two cats to smother with love. Kathy and Jim love to travel, spending their leisure time snow skiing on the Western slopes and cruising in the Caribbean.
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