Sybil Topel serves as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. She led the marketing department for a boutique architecture firm in Nashville prior to earning her Master’s degree in Fine Arts in Atlanta in 2014. As a media consultant her clients included insurance companies, healthcare systems and FedEx. She has worked in communications for AT&T and SunTrust Banks. Sybil started her career as a journalist.
Lily Sanchez, a first-generation Dominican-American, is the Communications Coordinator for La Paz Chattanooga. She graduated with a degree in Communication and English Writing from the U. of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she founded the Spanish Language version of the campus newspaper.
Dr. Elwood Watson: Professor of History and African American Studies at East Tennessee State University. His areas of specialty are in 20th Century Post World War II U.S. History, African American History, African American Studies, Gender Studies, Popular Culture, and ethnographic studies. He is one of the editors of Mentoring Faculty of Color: Essays on Professional Development and Advancement in Colleges and Universities. He is the recipient of the Faculty Teaching Award and Faculty Distinguished Research Award from the College of Arts & Science.
Ms. Gerber is Editor and Director of Content at Chattanooga’s daily newspaper, The Times Free Press. She manages a newsroom of 75 people who produce a daily newspaper, three magazines, and five weekly community newspapers. Alison serves on the boards of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government and the Associated Press Media Editors.
The newspaper recently launched an initiative proposed by the Mayor’s Council for Women in partnership with Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute (CWLI) where prominent women in the community contribute articles to the business section. The Times Free Press has been recognized with awards including the Tennessee Press Association’s top honor for the past three years. The paper was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in three of the last five years.