Tribune Operations

The Salt Lake Tribune is a nonprofit that exists to benefit the people of Utah. It has no shareholders or members. The Tribune is governed by a Board of Directors whose members donate their time and talents.

The Board collectively has fiduciary responsibilities over the management and operations of The Tribune. The organization’s mission includes disseminating robust news coverage and commentary on which democracies and informed citizenry thrive. To that end, the Board is responsible for maintaining sustainable revenues with which The Tribune can produce essential news, thoughtful commentary, operational efficiency and sustained growth.

While the Board retains ultimate governing authority over The Tribune and its operations, the Board believes that it is sound policy to delegate the day-to-day oversight and management of news, advertising and circulation matters to The Tribune’s officers and senior staff members. Similarly, the Board has delegated management of Opinion journalism to the Tribune Editorial Board. The foregoing, however, is not intended to prohibit informal conversation of a non-directive nature between individual directors and Tribune personnel.

The Salt Lake Tribune is led by a volunteer Board of Directors.

Tessa Arneson is the founder of the Maven District, a neighborhood of 75-plus businesses in Salt Lake City. The district encompasses locally-owned shops, food, wellness, creative services and startups that are 75% female-founded.

Tessa is an entrepreneur, a girl mom, an angel investor and a real estate developer who builds community driven and attainable spaces for underserved founders. She is a daughter of a Utah pioneer and is aware of her white privilege and yet always trying to learn. She is a wellness and self-growth junkie who has been in the healing world for a decade in her work at her fitness studio Maven Strong. Traveling the world inspires her design and expands her thoughts. Teaching and connecting with people feeds her soul. Parenting her two girls with a partner that’s always trying to be better lights her up. She is a self-proclaimed empath who feels all the feels and is recovering from a traumatic brain injury that’s taught her a lot.

She’s fortunate to be working in her purpose, which is to help women lead brave and intentional lives.

Tessa Arneson

Rebecca Chavez-Houck served as a member of the Utah State House of Representatives and represented House District 24 (Downtown, Capitol Hill, Guadalupe and the Avenues) from 2008 to 2018. During her time in the legislature, she rose to the position of house minority whip (from 2014-16). Legislation she sponsored and that became law include a requirment that the state’s Homeless Coordinating Committee conducts a needs assessment on all homeless services data-gathering processes and a law that made Election Day Voter Registration permanent. She has worked in the public service realm for more than 30 years, serving as an elected official and on multiple boards, including Envision Utah, the ACLU and the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah. Rebecca earned a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication and a Master of Public Administration (MPA), both from the University of Utah. She joined The Tribune board in 2024.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Rebecca Chavez-Houck

Randy Dryer​ started his career as a working journalist in both print and TV and then went to law school with the thought of becoming a network correspondent reporting on the Supreme Court. He began his second career as a practicing lawyer at Utah’s largest law firm, Parsons Behle & Latimer, where he was able to combine his love of law and journalism in a national media law litigation practice.

Randy has represented virtually every major news organization in the State of Utah, including The Tribune, and many national news organizations. In 2012 he was named by Best Lawyers as “First Amendment Lawyer of the Year” in Salt Lake City, Utah. After 30 years as a practicing lawyer, Randy was named as the Presidential Honors Professor at the University of Utah with a joint appointment at the S.J. Quinney College of Law and the Honors College where he teaches courses in media law, pretrial practice, judicial process and digital privacy, and is actively involved in university governance at both colleges and the university as a whole. He was recently appointed as the Associate Dean for Non-JD programs at the College of Law.

Randy has a long history of community engagement and volunteerism, including serving as a member of the board of trustees of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games Organizing Committee, the Utah Athletic Foundation, president of the Utah State Bar, a member of the board of trustees of the University of Utah and numerous other nonprofit organizations focused on arts museums, access to justice and campaign finance reform.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Randy Dryer

Fred Esplin, Secretary, recently retired from the University of Utah, where he was manager of KUED (PBS Utah) for many years before becoming Vice President for Institutional Advancement. He began his public broadcasting career with PBS in Washington DC, then WITF-TV-FM in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania before returning to Utah. Fred has served on the boards of PBS, the Trust for Public Lands, the Utah Humanities Council, the Utah Arts Council, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Zion Canyon Mesa. He was executive producer of several public television programs and has published in the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Journalism Review, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Public Telecommunications Review, and the New York Times. Fred is a native of southern Utah and president of his family’s cattle company, whose ranch above Zion National Park has been placed in a conservation easement.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Fred Esplin

Jorge Fierro Jorge Fierro is CEO of The Fierro Group Inc., a business on the west side of Salt Lake City composed of Rico Brand, with a distribution of 45 different products in 5 different states, Frida Bistro and Rico Catering. A native of Chihuahua Mexico, he studied Law at the University of Chihuahua before immigrating to the U.S. He started his business with a $10,000 loan from Utah Microenterprises Loan Fund in 1998. Fierro also serves on the Lowel Bennion Community Service Center at the University of Utah, the United Way of Salt Lake, Envision Utah, West Side Business Alliance and at the Race Swami. He is one of the founders of Burrito Project SLC, which feed homeless and those in need in our city.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Jorge Fierro at the new location for his business Rico Brands, on Folsum Ave. on Wednesday, December 22, 2021.

Sarah George, Vice Chair, is Executive Director Emerita at the Natural History Museum of Utah, where she served as 27 years as Executive Director. She also worked 3½ years as the University of Utah’s chief philanthropic officer.

While at NHMU, she oversaw the building of the museum’s 163,000-square-foot building, the Rio Tinto Center, which opened in 2011 on the University of Utah campus. She left NHMU in 2019 for the philanthropy position at the U.

Sarah moved to Utah from Los Angeles in 1992 to take the executive director position at NHMU, and she received her doctorate from The University of New Mexico.

Sarah also serves on the board of HawkWatch International, the Utah-based nonprofit committed to conservation through education and scientific research on raptors as indicators of ecosystem health.

(courtesy Sarah George) Sarah George, who served as executive director of the Natural History Museum of Utah for 27 years, joined the board of directors of The Salt Lake Tribune in October 2023.

Christopher Gibson is co-founder and CEO of Recursion, a clinical stage company dedicated to decoding biology and industrializing drug discovery. Recursion is headquartered in Salt Lake City.

Chris developed the technology and approach that seeded Recursion as part of his MD/PhD while at the University of Utah. After completing his Ph.D., Chris left medical school to build Recursion. Chris is also an undergraduate of Rice University with degrees in bioengineering and management.

Chris serves on the Board of BioHive, the public-private partnership driving expansion of Utah’s life-science ecosystem. He is also active as an advisor and mentor, both formally and informally, of many young biotech founders. Chris joined The Tribune board in 2024.

Thomas M. Love, Board Chair, is the Founding Partner of Love Communications, a marketing firm based in Salt Lake City founded in 1999. Love Communications has been honored by the business community, as Salt Lake Chamber “Small Business of the Year” in 2003; United Way of Salt Lake “Outstanding Partner for Community Change” in 2006; and as one of Utah Business’ “Best Companies to Work For” four different times, from 2006-2010.

Tom is the immediate past Board Chair for Utah Symphony/Utah Opera. He is also the former President of the Utah Advertising Federation and served as the University of Utah’s College of Fine Arts liaison to University of Utah’s “Imagine New Heights” fundraising campaign. Tom also served on the United Way Board of Directors for 18 years, three of those as Board Chair. Thomas has also served on the boards of the Pioneer Theater Company, the Alta Club, and the University of Utah College of Fine Arts. Tom is married to Jamie Love, a talented artist and painter. They are the very proud parents of two children, Alex and Emily.

Thomas M. Love, board member

Ashish Patel, Treasurer,​ is Managing Partner & Co-founder at Cerro Capital. Previously he was the chief insights officer at Group Nine Media, the No. 1 publisher on mobile in the U.S. and home to category-leading media brands Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo, Seeker and POPSUGAR. Ashish concurrently holds the title of Executive-in-Residence at early-stage VC fund Lerer Hippeau. Prior to Group Nine’s formation, Ashish was senior vice president of social media at NowThis Media as well as advisor at The Dodo and Thrillist, and head of global social media at VICE. Ashish was born and raised in Salt Lake City and attended The Waterford School. Ashish graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and has worked and resided in Brooklyn, New York, since.

Dave Patel is Managing Director, Strategic Economic Partnerships at the University of Utah, a position he took in 2024. Prior to that, Dave served Associate Dean for Student and External Affairs for the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University and executive director of the Huntsman Scholar Program. He also worked as Director of Development at USU. Dave served in the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs as Director for National Operations and was deployed to Iraq in 2003 to evaluate home-front impact of Reserve mobilization. In his role, he worked to enhance the partnership between Guard and Reserve members, their employers, and the Department of Defense. He is a USU graduate.

James E. Shelledy, ​ retired as director of Louisiana State University’s Office of Student Media and Greer Chair in Media Business and Ethics in the Manship School in 2017. He directed the student-staffed Manship School News Service program and the Civil Rights Era Cold Case Murders Project, the Wrongful Conviction Project and the Manship Statehouse Bureau, which covers the Louisiana Legislature for 13 daily newspapers. Shelledy was editor of The Salt Lake Tribune for 12 years and has more than 30 years of daily newspaper and wire service experience.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Jay Shelledy


Lauren Gustus became Executive Editor of the nonprofit Salt Lake Tribune in 2020. In June 2024, she was promoted to CEO and Executive Editor. In 2021, the nonprofit Tribune returned to sustainable ground thanks in part to her leadership.

She previously worked for McClatchy as West Region Editor, overseeing 10 news organizations in Idaho, Washington and California, including the flagship Sacramento Bee. During her time with McClatchy, she launched reporting labs focused on education, land and water issues and equity.

Lauren has also served as an editor in Colorado, where her work on transparency contributed to a new law that facilitated greater access to public records, and in Reno, where her team was honored for its reporting on the historic housing crisis that deeply impacted Nevada.

Utah is a homecoming for Lauren, who met her husband in Salt Lake City while working at The Tribune in the early 2000s. Today, the couple and their two sons enjoy camping, skiing and mountain biking.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Executive Editor Lauren Gustus.

Ciel Hunter is Chief of Development at The Salt Lake Tribune, overseeing the organization’s philanthropic and advertising teams.

Hunter stepped down from the board of The Salt Lake Tribune to join the nonprofit as a staff member in 2023.

Hunter has worked in media in many forms: record labels, live events, TV, digital and print. In her 14 years at Vice Media, she helped build an in-house agency, managed major commercial partnerships, worked with talent, and oversaw editorial, video and social media as Vice’s Global Head of Content. She has also worked as a consultant for brands and nonprofits, specializing in brand and content strategy, and content funding.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Ciel Hunter

Danyelle White is Chief of Content at The Salt Lake Tribune. She leads the organization’s product, marketing and audience teams, as well as its community listening, news planning and data analytics initiatives. She is passionate about the role nonprofit news can play in serving local communities and elevating diverse and underserved voices.

White began her career at The Tribune in 2007 and worked as a communities reporter, copy editor and assistant sports editor in her five years there before spending nearly a decade leading content marketing teams in the tech industry. She returned to journalism and The Tribune in April 2021. Danyelle also serves as a coach in Poynter’s Media Transformation Challenge program.

She is a University of Utah graduate, an avid reader and a sports fan. She lives in Salt Lake City with her husband.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Danyelle White