Ben Olivo is editor and co-founder of the San Antonio Heron. In 1996, he began working in the San Antonio Express-News’ sports department, compiling high school football scores on Friday nights. Over the next 19 years, he moved about the newsroom — from business news to metro, from features to mySA.com. From 2008 to 2015, he wrote The Downtown Blog, an online page from which the Heron is largely based. He left the Express-News in 2016 to give politics a try, but politics chewed him up and spit him out after six months. At the beginning of 2017, he joined Folo Media, a journalism nonprofit backed by the H.E. Butt Family Foundation. Soon after joining Folo Media, he served as managing editor, overseeing a small newsroom of reporters. He left Folo Media in February 2018.
Olivo also serves as president of the board of directors.
Gaige Davila is a Heron reporter. In 2013, during his senior year of high school in Port Isabel, he freelanced for the Port Isabel Press, beginning his interest in journalism. At the University of Texas at San Antonio, he wrote for The Paisano, the independent student newspaper serving the UTSA community. He was a staff writer, assistant managing editor, assistant news editor, consecutively. Then, during his senior year at UTSA, he served as co-news editor of The Paisano, reporting on university policy, campus expansion, student life, and was also a staff writer at Study Breaks Magazine. After spending his last semester in Washington, D.C., where he interned as a copy editor and researcher for the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, Gaige returned to San Antonio in 2018 with bachelor’s degrees in English and political science.
V. Finster, the Heron’s lead photographer, has lived in the San Antonio area since her toddler days. She lived in Cibolo in her early years, and various parts of the Hill Country in her later teens. At 13, her grandfather gifted his 35mm Minolta to her and she has been taking photos ever since. At 15, she had the opportunity to visit Johannesburg, witnessing extreme poverty, lingering apartheid and the impact of AIDS in the community changed her worldview. She knew then that she would spend her life documenting the human experience. V has served as the visuals editor for The Ranger at San Antonio College and walked the stage in May 2018 with an Associates of Arts with a concentration in journalism.
Board of directors
Irene Abrego is a journalism instructor, and advisor of the student newspaper The Ranger, at San Antonio College. Abrego worked at the San Antonio Light and The New York Times from the late 1980s to 1995. Since then, she has taught at San Antonio where she has shaped the early careers of hundreds of regional and national journalists.
Cary Clack, a San Antonio native, was a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News from 1995 to 2011, and his best pieces were spun into a book called “Clowns and Rats Scare Me” (Trinity University Press, 2009). After leaving the Express-News, he served as Communications Director for Joaquin Castro’s Congressional campaign, as District Director for Congressman Castro, and as Communications Director for Mayor Ivy Taylor. In 2017, Clack was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters. He currently works at Merced Housing Texas as a writer and community engagement liaison.