Our Board of Directors

Meet the 2021-22 The Devil Strip Local News Co-op Board!

The Devil Strip welcomes six new directors to our co-op board after an overwhelming majority of vested and active members voted to approve the slate in accordance with our bylaws. The new additions join three directors returning from the inaugural board.

Feel free to contact our board any time at directors@thedevilstrip.com.

Michael Gintert (Board Chair)

After an overseas sojourn for Goodyear, where he’s in leadership, Michael returned to Akron with his wife, Charlotte, who shoots and writes for our Vintage Structures column. They credit The Devil Strip with keeping them plugged in with the area’s progress. A certified project manager with a PhD in Polymer Engineering from the University of Akron, Michael wasted little time getting involved, joining the boards of both the International Institute and the North Akron CDC.

Rita Kelly Madick (Vice Chair)

The Beacon Journal’s former Community Relations Director, Rita has been an Akron fixture for years with deep family roots and experience on several boards and in professional associations. She volunteered for our Founding Board of Directors because she loves local journalism and wants to support The Devil Strip’s unique approach. When the pandemic hit, she was a steadying voice, stepping up into new roles when life and other challenges required changes on our Executive Committee.

Frank Varca (Co-Treasurer)

A financial advisor who plays hard ball — baseball, that is — Frank has been an accounting controller for a couple companies, practicing a light-handed leadership style focused on the organization’s goals but respectful of everyone’s perspective. He was the Montessori board treasurer for five years and is president-elect of Canal Fulton’s Rotary Club. He’s a foodie with a taste for international cuisine who wants to increase The Devil Strip’s visibility with businesses and organizations.

Marc Lee Shannon (Co-Treasurer & Working Artist Seat)

A noted independent musician and music teacher, Marc Lee was a global sales executive at Audio Technica for 16+ years and later worked with Akron’s EarthQuaker Devices. He previously served on several boards, domestically and at an international level, and he brings a unique blend of experiences to The Devil Strip, including as the author of the “Sober Chronicles” column, a reader favorite focused on recovery, which he uses to showcase people who might otherwise be invisible to the mainstream. 

Kally Mavromatis (Secretary)

With a mission-oriented, collaborative mindset and 14 years as a stringer for the Associated Press, Kally brings her passion for journalism, civic pride and co-op ownership to The Devil Strip. A marketing professional for an employee-owned company, she and her husband also co-own the West Point Market brand, selling those beloved brownies. As a board member, Kally was an evangelist for Progress through Preservation, and she’s eager to be one for us now.

Richelle Wardell (Small Business Owner Seat)

A foundation program officer with a penchant for listening and observing, Richelle is a co-founder of Not Yo Daddy’s Hot Sauce with her wife, Cristina González Alcalá. She believes effective change happens locally, so she’s motivated to help The Devil Strip grow by applying her strengths-based leadership style and prior board service with Project Learn and the League of Women Voters (at both the state and local level) to bolster and promote our mission internally and externally.

Emily Dressler (Workers Assembly Seat)

If you’re a regular reader and recognize her name, that’s no coincidence because Emily is one-half of Urine Luck, a humorous series of reviews about local women’s restrooms. (Her friend Marissa Marangoni is the other half.) Emily is also one of The Devil Strip’s copy editors, which makes sense because, by day, she’s a professional proofreader for a company in Northeast Ohio. In the Workers Assembly seat, she represents the specific interests of our contributors and staff.

Sharetta Howze

An artist, advocate for people with brain injuries and nonprofit leader, Sharetta is the founder of Cr3ative Expressions Brain Injury Support Group and executive director of Hidden Tr3sures. Through both organizations, she directly helps people with disabilities and advocates for them by developing partnerships with companies and individuals to increase understanding and inclusivity. She came to know The Devil Strip through an interview about her experience using art to heal, and she’s since come to love our work so much she committed to another year on our board.

Katie Robbins

Raised in West Hill, Katie is a public health advocate and a political campaign organizer who returned home to Akron with her husband and kids to be near family after living in New York City. She ran large boards for Right to Health Care and Health Justice, Health Care Now and Physicians for National Health Care Program. Katie wants to help The Devil Strip’s board function at a higher level by capitalizing on each director’s expertise and equipping everyone so they’re comfortable fundraising.

When you’re ready to join a community of people who are committed to making Akron a better place to live, become a co-owner of The Devil Strip!

Founder of The Devil Strip

A native of Macon, Georgia who's made a home here in Akron, Chris Horne is the founder and president of The Devil Strip, and the co-creator, with his wife Heather, of Madeline, a real fascinating little human.