Michelle Lugalia-Hollon, a former director of policy for the mayor’s office with extensive nonprofit foundation experience, and Marina Alderete Gavito, executive director of SA Digital Connects, have joined the San Antonio Report’s board of directors.
Lugalia-Hollon and Gavito join seven other local leaders, including Chairman A.J. Rodriguez, in overseeing the work of the 501(c)3 nonprofit local news organization. Both new board members are experienced in working with local nonprofit organizations and said they look forward to bringing their personal expertise to the board.
“Marina’s past and present leadership roles, including her current charge to expand broadband throughout the county, and Michelle’s local government and nonprofit experience provide additional depth to our board’s talents and diversity,” Rodriguez said. “We are so fortunate they’ve agreed to volunteer their time toward the passion we share for local, high-quality journalism and community engagement.”
Publisher and CEO Angie Mock said the two women are a welcome addition to the board overseeing the San Antonio Report’s nonprofit newsroom.
“Michelle and Marina are joining a group of committed board members who care deeply about independent, local news,” Mock said. “We are excited and honored to have them as new board members.”
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Lugalia-Hollon first moved to the U.S. with her family in 1998. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and earned her master’s degree in public health from Harvard University.
Lugalia-Hollon worked at the Polk Bros. Foundation, a private independent foundation aimed at helping Chicago families affected by poverty and inequity. After moving to San Antonio to be nearer to family members, she joined the San Antonio Area Foundation and later worked for the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation.
Lugalia-Hollon also worked as Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s director of policy before stepping down from that role last year to become the first chief strategy officer for San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside (SAGE), a job she held until recently.
“I have lived in many cities and that has given me perspective, but I still think journalism is a key pillar to democracy — and we need to invest in our voices,” Lugalia-Hollon said. “I want to be a part of making sure all voices are heard. I’m excited to represent folks who look like me.”
Like Lugalia-Hollon, Gavito has ties to Chicago. She is a San Antonio native who grew up on the city’s West Side and moved to Chicago to pursue an MBA from DePaul University.
After earning her degree, Gavito moved back to San Antonio and worked at Rackspace, Tech Bloc and USAA before becoming the executive director of SA Digital Connects in October 2021. In this role, Gavito works to help close the digital divide in San Antonio.
She has served on multiple boards, including the St. Mary’s University Alumni Association’s board of directors, the new Leaders Council, VIA Metropolitan Transit’s board of directors and as chairwoman of MOVE Texas for two years. She serves as a member of UTSA’s College of Engineering advisory council.
Gavito said she is particularly excited to be on the San Antonio Report’s board because of the nonprofit news organization’s importance to the city.
“It’s nonpartisan, it’s in-depth — it’s where you can get real insight into what’s going on in this city,” she said. “That’s critical, especially now. I love the Report’s deep, thoughtful reporting. We need more of that, and I’m looking forward to helping be a part of that.”