Who We Are

STAFF

Andrew Pantazi

Andrew Pantazi is the founding editor of The Tributary. He previously worked as a reporter at The Florida Times-Union where he helped organize the newsroom’s union with the NewsGuild-CWA. He and his wife, Lauren, are both Jacksonville natives raising their two sons in the city. You can contact him at Andrew.Pantazi@JaxTrib.org. More by Andrew Pantazi


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Deirdre Conner
Chair

Deirdre Conner, the Tributary’s board chair, is the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida’s enior director of strategic initiatives and evaluation.. She previously served as advocacy & communications director for the Jacksonville Public Education Fund.

Prior to her career in nonprofits, she spent nearly a decade as a journalist. At The Florida Times-Union, she covered nonprofits, urban and suburban affairs, education, demographics and race relations. Before moving to Jacksonville in 2007, Deirdre was a reporter for the Naples Daily News. Deirdre is a native of Miami and earned a bachelors degree in sociology and anthropology from  Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. She lives in Jacksonville with her husband, Larry Hannan, and their son, Rowan.

Stephanie Garry Garfunkel
Vice Chair

Stephanie Garry Garfunkel is the director of knowledge management and communications for Impact Florida, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working with school districts to advance great teaching.

Stephanie attended public schools in Citrus County, Fla., and graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and English. At UF, she worked as editor-in-chief at the Independent Florida Alligator. Stephanie then worked as a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times before joining the U.S. Peace Corps, supporting teachers and students in the Dominican Republic. She then worked in nonprofit communications in Boston. She relocated to Jacksonville in 2018 as director of marketing & communications at the Jacksonville Public Education Fund.

Stephanie holds a masters degree in communication from Johns Hopkins University. She serves on the board of The Cathedral School in downtown Jacksonville. Stephanie lives in Jacksonville’s Murray Hill neighborhood with her husband, David, and daughters, Lucia and Eliza.

Al Letson

Al Letson is a playwright, performer, screenwriter and a Peabody Award-winning journalist. Since 2013, he has served as the host of the radio show and podcast Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. Before that, he created and hosted the show State of the Re:Union, distributed by National Public Radio and PRX.

He splits his time between Jacksonville and California.

Bryant Rollins

Bryant Rollins is a former editor and writer with The New York Times, and was a reporter and political columnist with The Boston Globe.

Working with his wife and partner, Shirley, Bryant has more than 40 years of experience as a consultant on race relations, diversity, equity, social justice and inclusion.

He has served on a number of boards, including Jax Chamber, the Jacksonville Civic Council and JCCI.

He was active in the Civil Rights Movement, involved in direct action campaigns in Boston, New York and in Mound Bayou, Mississippi in the 1960s. 

Bryant worked with the Ford Foundation, administering a program for minority journalists at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He edited two Black newspapers, The New York Amsterdam News and The Bay State Banner in Boston, which he also founded.He recently launched a widely-read blog: Racial Reconciliation, Social Justice & Personal Responsibility.

Carla Jones

Carla Jones is the CEO of Carla Mechele Media, LLC, an agency specializing in storytelling with strategy.

A trained broadcast journalist, Jones uses her knowledge of the news industry to gain publicity for clients, as well as tell their stories through reporting, producing and social media. 

Jones has a bachelors degree in telecommunications from the University of Florida along with 12 years’ experience working with First Coast News, NPR, ESPN, Inside Edition and ABC News.

Jones developed strategy and branded content for clients such as AARP, Corner Bakery Cafe and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).

In 2015, Jones was selected as one of the Top 20 Under 40 professionals in Jacksonville by First Coast Black Pages. The City of Jacksonville Film and Television honored her with the 2016 Rising Star Award.

Ronnie King

Ronnie King is a certified software engineer and owner of Scratchwerk, LLC, which provides Java development and staffing services, and personalized training for entry-level programmers. Ronnie is an active community volunteer.

As cofounder of the MyVillage Project and the MyVillage Project Community Fund, King helps bring awareness to funding inequality for nonprofits, while coordinating resources to support Black nonprofit organizations in Northeast Florida.

His service on the boards of Mentoring Families and Kids, 100 Black Men of Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, Jacksonville’s Board of Library Trustees and the National Society of Black Engineers has improved opportunities for students. He is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and served as president of the Jacksonville graduate chapter. King earned an associate degree from the University of Florida where he played basketball for the Gators, and a bachelors degree in computer science from the University of North Florida. He is a husband and father to two beautiful girls, Jada and Bostyn.

Jennifer A. Mansfield

Jennifer Mansfield is a partner at Holland & Knight in Jacksonville, Fla. She practices in the area of commercial litigation, with extensive experience in media law.

Mansfield’s practice includes representing newspapers and television stations in defense of defamation claims, courtroom access, Florida’s Sunshine Law, and for access to public records under the Freedom of Information Act and Florida’s public records laws.

Rhema Bland

Rhema Bland is the director of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. The society seeks to increase the ranks, retention and profile of reporters and editors of color in the field of investigative reporting. They host trainings year-round for journalists of all skill levels, led by media professionals from around the country, and focusing on everything from reporting about racial inequality and schools to COVID-19.

Bland graduated from the University of Connecticut and earned a master’s degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She worked for CBS News, New York Daily News, Pensacola News Journal, WJCT Radio and The Florida Times-Union before becoming a professor in the journalism program at the University of North Florida and joining the staff of Florida Gulf Coast University, where she was the adviser for its student media program. There, she started a student radio program and the first student media production studio on campus, as well as the Media Career Prep Workshop, an annual professional development and networking event connecting students with media professionals.