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Home » Baltimore-based Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism Expands C-Suite With Executive Hires

Capitol Communicator reports on The Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism's hire of four industry veterans.

Baltimore-based Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism Expands C-Suite With Executive Hires

by | Oct 30, 2021

The Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism, a Baltimore-based nonprofit organization focused on delivering high-quality local journalism to the Baltimore metro, recently announced the appointment of four industry veterans: Chief Marketing Officer Klas Uden, Chief Product Officer Shameel Arafin, Head of Technology Earl Cokley, and Andre Jones as Head of People, Culture and Diversity.

These executives, along with Chief Executive Officer Imtiaz Patel, have extensive backgrounds in marketing, platform development, people, and subscription growth, and they play a critical role in The Institute’s mission to bring locally owned journalism to the region.

As Chief Marketing Officer, Klas Uden will lead marketing strategy and digital subscription growth at The Institute. Uden brings over 15 years of consumer marketing leadership, including eight years with Dow Jones where he oversaw digital subscription growth for wsj.com. Uden will be responsible for directing and executing strategies across all platforms, including The Baltimore Banner when it launches next year, to create connections with readers in the greater Baltimore area.

As Chief Product Officer, Shameel Arafin will lead product strategy and operations across all products and platforms. Most recently, Arafin served as Vice President of Product at Fortune Media where he oversaw editorial, conference, video, and subscription products, and launched the new verticals Fortune Connect and Fortune Education. Earlier in his career, Arafin held engineering leadership roles at Time Inc. and Meredith Corp.

As Head of Technology, Earl Cokley will lead strategy for technology platforms and manage the implementation of technology systems and processes. Cokley brings experience from Scripps Network where he led software development, business intelligence, and project management. While at TheStreet.com, Cokley led the development of a subscription-based e-commerce platform.

As Head of People, Culture and Diversity, Andre Jones will lead workplace culture strategies with a focus on talent development and inclusive culture processes. Jones brings experience from Jellyfish where he led diversity and learning initiatives, and J.J. Haines where Jones was responsible for human resources and talent development strategies.

“Klas, Shameel, Earl, and Andre bring a wealth of experience and the expertise necessary to build the kind of diverse news organization that the Baltimore community needs and wants,” says Imtiaz Patel, CEO at The Venetoulis Institute. “We are building an organization with media and tech talent from diverse backgrounds, and we are looking for people who have a passion for our mission, and who value personal growth and a sense of community.”

The Venetoulis Institute is currently hiring for several business and newsroom positions in Baltimore. To learn more about open positions, visit venetoulisinstitute.org.

Photo from The Venetoulis Institute. From left to right: Top – Shameel Arafin, Andre Jones; Bottom – Klas Uden, Earl Cokley

About the Author

Jeffrey Davis

Jeffrey A. Davis, APR has more than 25 years of news media and national public relations experience and heads J. Davis Public Relations, LLC, a PR and social media consultancy based in Baltimore. A three-time PRSA Maryland president, he serves as Baltimore regional editor for the Capitol Communicator and is co-founder of Podville Media in D.C. where he co-hosted the "Practically Social" podcast. He began his career as a reporter at daily newspapers in Ohio, New Jersey and at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis.

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