Emerging Leader Award
Justin Andersen, Canyons School District 

Justin Andersen is an experienced educator and educational technology specialist with a passion for empowering students and teachers to share their story. In his role at Canyons School District, Justin oversees the CSDtv program and works on a variety of projects, including promotional videos, event coverage, and educational content. His attention to detail and creative approach to video production have helped the district to effectively communicate its message to a wide range of audiences.

Justin’s passion for education and media started at a young age. Growing up, he was always fascinated by documentaries, news programs, and educational shows that provided valuable information and insights. He pursued his interest in media in college, where he gained invaluable knowledge and skills in storytelling, media production, and broadcasting.

In addition to his video experience, Justin has an impressive academic background, having earned three master's degrees and is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Cultural Studies of Education at Utah State University.

When he's not behind the camera, Justin enjoys reading and getting caught up on all his favorite podcasts.

The Dirk Koning – George Stoney Award for Humanistic Communication

Chad Johnston - CreaTV San Jose

Chad has been working at the intersection of media and social justice since the late 90’s. He has led nonprofit Community Media Centers since 2004 in North Carolina and Minnesota, and in late 2016 moved to San Jose to take the CEO position at CreaTV. He has a passion for managing and shifting organizational cultures, and believes in challenging traditional nonprofit models. He has a double BA from Antioch College in Theater and Media Arts and a passion for community organizing.

As a board member of the Alliance for Community Media and member of the Media Action Grassroots Network, he has advocated for policies in support of community media and media justice. An occasional 35mm photographer and lover of all things in the kitchen, he feels at home when surrounded by plants and radical left political art.

Buske Leadership Award
Donna T Couey

Donna T. Couey (formerly Keating) worked in community media for over thirty years. She was the Media Services Manager – Digital Equity Programs Co-Manager for Montgomery County, Maryland.  Her duties included developing and recommending broadband technology and digital equity strategies to the Chief Broadband Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Information Officer, Planning, Policy and Special Projects Manager, senior staff, elected officials, and other departments. 

She also provided centralized technical management and oversight of County Cable Montgomery (CCM), the award-winning government access channel, including budget development and management, day-to-day and long-term decisions concerning engineering, procurement, equipment acquisition, contract administration, programming, social media applications, marketing, community engagement, fostering partnerships, and establishing broad policy objectives. Donna also oversaw the County’s Technical Operations Center which monitored the signal quality of the County’s eleven public, education and government channels.

Donna was actively involved with the Alliance for Community Media serving on the Board of Directors for six years. Donna served as board chair during the challenging times associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.  She also served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Telecommunications of Officers and Advisors participating in the Annual Conference and Government Programming Awards committees. Donna retired in January 2022.

Donna holds a Bachelor of Arts, Mass Media Arts, from Hampton University and a Juris Doctor from George Washington University – National Law Center.

Jewell Ryan-White Award For Cultural Diversity 
Leon Taylor, Manhattan neighborhood network (MNN)

Leon Taylor began his 21 year Public Access career in December of 2002 with an interest in being a part of a media organization that purposefully impacted people in a positive way. His journey in public access started at BCAT, which then became BRIC, Brooklyn’s public access television station. He started as a Traffic Assistant and went on to serve the Brooklyn community in the roles of Program Coordinator, Senior Liaison for Community Producers, and Manager of Community Producer Services. During his 15 years at BRIC, Leon worked to ensure that community members were valued, had the support they needed, and were celebrated in their use of the community media services provided at BRIC. One of the most notable initiatives enacted by Leon was the “B Scene” screening series, which was the first public screening series featuring the work produced at BRIC by public access producers. “B Scene” highlighted LGBTQ producers, Women in Media, African American Filmmakers and other members of the diverse community that created content at BRIC.

In 2018, Leon left BRIC to join Manhattan Neighborhood Network as the Manager of Production and Facilitation. In this current position, Leon is responsible for scheduling production spaces and scheduling MNN production personnel to ensure that community media makers are supported and successful in creating media. During New York City’s COVID lockdown, Leon established “create from home” media experiences for MNN producers to keep them producing media and innovatively involved his staff in engaging with the community in productive ways during this difficult period. This included staff produced short videos focused on community media makers that highlighted their journey as MNN community producers, and interviews that documented their experiences during COVID. These initiatives kept MNN community producers engaged in production, and created content that was uniquely local, diverse, and reflective of how valuable public access is to the media landscape.

Leon has always been uniquely focused on community service. This stems from two things. The first is the respect and dedication that was shown to him by a teacher who diagnosed him with dyslexia in grade school. Leon has always “paid forward” that kindness with how he treats every community member he has ever encountered at a public access station. The second, is being from a community that is often in the media, but has traditionally had very little access to media education and media production tools. Leon works in public access to provide all communities with a media space that can make a difference, one that empowers people who don’t traditionally have a voice in media.