Athens, Ga. — The Red & Black Publishing Company, Inc. is pleased to announce that Mark Bixler, Ali Gant, R. Lee Guarnella and Kristi Ramsay have joined the board of directors of the nonprofit company, which publishes the award-winning Red & Black newspaper and trains hundreds of students for future careers in the news industry. 

The volunteer board sets the annual budget and overall strategy for the organization. Members represent a variety of media organizations, corporations and nonprofits. In addition to industry veterans, the board includes two student leaders of The Red & Black, representing the student-first mission of the organization.

“We are thrilled to have these talented people join our board and offer their expertise as The Red & Black adjusts to an ever-changing media landscape,” said Jaime Sarrio McMurtrie, board chair for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. “From deep experience in the news industry to knowledge of law and finance, they will bring valuable insight to our planning and direction.”

About the new board members:

Mark Bixler

Bixler oversees content strategy for Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, which makes medicines for pets, horses and livestock. He spent 10 years at CNN, as an editor focused on digital news, and 10 years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as an editor and reporter. Bixler earned an MBA from UGA in 2018. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from UGA and is the author of "The Lost Boys of Sudan," published by UGA Press. He reported and edited for The Red & Black. Bixler has three children.

Ali Gant

Gant is the Chief Development Officer for Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga. Her career spans 20 years in nonprofit fundraising, alumni relations, programming and volunteer management. Gant holds a Bachelor of Arts in English (2001) and Master of Public Administration (2011) from UGA. Gant and her husband, Chris, met as Orientation Leaders at UGA in 1999 and have three sons.

R. Lee Guarnella

Guarnella is a Senior Vice President in Business Development for Capital One Business Banking in New York. Before joining Capital One, he spent 12 years at JP Morgan Chase in Business Banking as a Senior Relationship Manager. He graduated with an M.A. from Columbia University in 2007 with a focus on financial markets of the Arabian Gulf and Arabic and from UGA in 2000 with a B.A. in journalism. He has two daughters.

Kristi Ramsay

Ramsay is an associate with Alston & Bird's Litigation and Trial Practice Group, where she represents clients in complex commercial litigation. Her practice includes class actions, TCPA litigation, media, and higher education. Ramsay previously spent more than a decade at CNN, where she focused on digital news. Ramsay also serves as the chair of Dress for Success Atlanta.  Ramsay majored in journalism and Spanish at the University of North Carolina and obtained her law degree from Georgia State University. 

More about The Red & Black

Founded in 1893, The Red & Black is a student news organization that covers the University of Georgia and Athens. We are a 501c3 nonprofit with the dual mission of training students for careers in the news media and supplying our audience with an exceptional news source. Independent of the university, we receive no funding from UGA and support ourselves through advertising sales and donations. We publish news daily at and publish a weekly newspaper when regular UGA classes are in session on campus. We also publish special-interest guides including UGA 101 and Eat & Drink Athens, GA.  The Red & Black was named the 2020 national Mark of Excellence winner as the nation’s best non-daily student newspaper.

For more information:

Email: Rebecca Burns, Executive Director

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