WJCT Public Media Announces New Additions to Board of Trustees

Media Contact:
Neily Braren
Promotion & Marketing Associate, WJCT

WJCT Public Media Announces New Additions to Board of Trustees

Frank Denton, Lawsikia J. Hodges and Asghar Syed elected at annual meeting; Farley Kern elected as Chairperson

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – October 3, 2022 – WJCT Public Media today announced three new additions to its Board of Trustees. The community-owned and operated public media organization officially confirmed approval for Frank Denton, Lawsikia J. Hodges and Asghar Syed to begin three-year terms at its September 22 annual meeting.

Frank Denton brings more than 50 years of journalism experience to his new role on the WJCT Public Media Board of Trustees. He retired as editor of The Florida Times-Union and vice president for journalism of Morris Communications in 2017. Before that, he had been editor of the Tampa Tribune and Wisconsin State Journal. Earlier in his career, he worked as a reporter for newspapers in Texas, Alabama and Ohio and then in various editor positions at the Detroit Free Press. Throughout his career, Denton actively worked on projects focusing on the future and practice of journalism. He now serves on several boards, including the First Amendment Foundation, the World Affairs Council, OneJax and the Jacksonville Safety and Crime Reduction Commission. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in government from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science in journalism from Columbia University and an MBA and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Lawsikia J. Hodges is the Office of General Counsel, Government Operations Deputy for the City of Jacksonville, a role that provides transactional legal counsel to the Jacksonville City Council, mayor’s office, executive branch department directors and chiefs, constitutional officers, independent authorities, and various City boards and commissions. Ms. Hodges is a Florida Bar board certified City, County, and Local Government Law attorney, an AV Preeminent® Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rated ™ attorney, and was recognized in the July 2022 edition of Florida Trend’s Legal Elite as a top government attorney.  She was appointed by the current Florida Bar President to serve on the City, County, and Local Government Certification Committee.  Ms. Hodges is a Leadership Jacksonville graduate (class of 2022) and an active member of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church where she chairs the Justice and Peace Ministry. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, Inc. (MOCA). She graduated with honors from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, and attained her undergraduate degree with honors from the University of North Florida.  Prior to joining the City of Jacksonville in 2007, she was a business law associate at Foley & Lardner LLP.

Asghar Syed is a litigator and trusted advisor to a broad range of businesses, including those in the healthcare, education and insurance sectors. His practice focuses on complex business and employment litigation, with vast experience in both prosecution and defense for disputes ranging from high-stakes fraud and contract, to business tort and corporate governance. He also represents employers and public accommodations in the context of restrictive covenant, compensation, discrimination, disability and retaliation related matters. Syed helped launch TEDxJacksonville, and currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Jacksonville Bar Association as well as the Board of Directors of the Baptist Health System. He holds a dual JD/MBA from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and Warrington College of Business.

WJCT’s Board of Trustees formally approved Martha Baker and Abel Harding to full membership. Baker and Harding both served the board as interim trustees in 2022.

Farley Kern, Chief Communications Officer for GuideWell, was installed as the Chair. She succeeds Matt Rapp, who will remain on the board through the completion of the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

“Our newest trustees’ contributions to journalism, public service and community engagement have improved our community in immeasurable ways,” said David McGowan, President and CEO of WJCT Public Media. “Together, Matt and Farley have cultivated a dynamic and energetic board that is fully committed to WJCT’s mission: to use our unique assets as a resource for citizens to come together to celebrate human diversity, experience lifelong learning and actively engage in matters of civic importance, all to improve the quality of our lives and our community.” 


About WJCT Public Media

WJCT is the community-owned and operated public media organization serving Jacksonville and the First Coast since 1958, using television, radio, digital media, and live events to help community members learn, share, and grow. For more information on WJCT’s in-depth programming content, log on to WJCT Online at wjct.org. Like WJCT on Facebook (facebook.com/wjctjax) and follow WJCT on Twitter (@WJCTJax) and Instagram (@WJCTJax).