Knight Foundation Names Community Advisers in Biloxi

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has appointed seven local community leaders to its Biloxi Community Advisory Committee.

“These leaders will provide counsel to Knight Foundation as we seek to make grants in Biloxi with the potential to transform the community,” said Adele Lyons, the foundation's program director for Biloxi.

Biloxi is one of 26 U.S. cities and towns served by Knight Foundation, a $2.3 billion national foundation with local roots where the Knight brothers owned newspapers in their lifetimes.

Community Advisory Committee members are an integral part of Knight Foundation’s grant-making work. Each committee is a small group of creative, connected and strategic advisers who work with Lyons and other program directors to discover opportunities that produce maximum impact and lasting change in the communities they serve.

Biloxi’s appointed advisers are: Ricky R. Mathews, president and publisher of The Sun Herald; Dave Dennis, president, Specialty Contractor & Associates; Felicia Dunn-Burkes, attorney at law; Rebecca June Montgomery, community affairs manager, Mississippi Power Company; Shari Prestemon, executive director, Back Bay Mission; Chevis C. Swetman, president & CEO, The Peoples Bank; Anthony Topazi, president, Mississippi Power Company.

“We thank these individuals for their leadership and willingness to share their knowledge and ideas as Knight Foundation explores how we can best invest in Biloxi,” said Lyons. “We look forward to our future work together.”

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of Biloxi and 25 other communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation supports ideas and projects that create transformational change. For more, visit

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit