Mountain State Spotlight is growing, with three new employees set to join the nonprofit newsroom in the coming months. The new hires include a Development Manager, as well as two new positions focusing on newsroom operations and audience.

Duncan Slade will be Mountain State Spotlight’s first Audience Manager. In this role, he will work alongside reporters to broaden the number of West Virginians who read our work, and increase the newsroom’s efforts to incorporate the experiences and perspectives of West Virginians from all parts of the state. Duncan will also oversee our membership efforts, and work to increase the organization’s financial sustainability.

Duncan Slade

Duncan is a recent graduate of West Virginia University, where he most recently served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Athenaeum. In that job, Duncan led his newsroom through a digital transformation that increased online readership by 128%. 

“We are super excited to have Duncan join us to help build the public interest newsroom that West Virginians want, need and deserve,” said Mountain State Spotlight co-founder Ken Ward Jr.

Duncan’s first day will be June 6.

Mountain State Spotlight has also hired Jane Siers Wright as the organization’s Development Manager.

Jane Wright

A native of Milton, West Virginia, Jane brings over thirty years of experience in nonprofit fundraising to the position, most recently with West Virginia Public Broadcasting. She holds BA and MA degrees from Marshall University. She lives in Charleston’s East End with her husband, Dr. Kenneth Wright, and three rescue dogs. Her first day at Mountain State Spotlight will be May 16.

Jane will join a business team that already includes Executive Director Ellen Allen and Operations Manager Trey Garlow, another recent addition to the team. Until recently, Trey, a lifelong West Virginian, was the office administrator at Garlow Insurance. In this new role at Mountain State Spotlight, he works to make the organization’s newsgathering and fundraising efforts operate effectively and efficiently.

Trey Garlow

“I am thrilled about the  addition of Jane Wright and Trey Garlow to Mountain State Spotlight’s business operations,” Allen said. “With the cumulative 75 years’ experience of this team, we are poised to support and grow the public service, accountability journalism that West Virginians need and deserve: journalism that is fundamental to the health of our communities and our democracy. It has never been more essential.”

The three new additions to Mountain State Spotlight are part of a significant build-out of the organization’s business operations, funded through a major grant from the American Journalism Project that is aimed at ensuring long-term financial sustainability for the newsroom.