John P. Romney is the Chairman of the Board for Wick Communications, a family-owned media company. He joined the board in 2017 and was elected Chairman in 2020.
John is the Director of Originations for RF Investment Partners (“RF”). Based in the Dallas area, John is responsible for coordinating and leading the originations efforts for RF. In addition, he is involved with the evaluation of new investment opportunities; leading due diligence and negotiating and structuring new investments.
Prior to RF, John spent 16 years with Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (“LLCP”), a Los Angeles-based private equity firm focused on control and structured equity investments in middle-market companies. At LLCP, he served as a Managing Director with responsibilities for origination of new investment opportunities, as well as helping to establish new territories and offices in Chicago, New York, London and Charlotte.
Before joining LLCP, John held positions in investment banking with HFBE (now Stout) and Ernst & Young Corporate Finance; subordinated debt and equity co-investing with Signal Capital and First Texas Merchant Banking Group; and commercial lending at MBank (now JP Morgan Chase).
John has worked in the financial industry since 1981 and has 19 years of principal investment experience within the lower middle-markets. He has 40 years of experience in working with various size companies on their financing needs and capital structure requirements. John has previous experience in private equity, commercial banking, merchant banking, investment banking, and mergers and acquisition advisory services.
John’s industry experience includes manufacturing, steel, energy, petrochemical, distribution, hospitality, franchising, retail, and service companies. He has experience in servicing both private and public companies. John also has extensive experience in the investment and placement of senior and subordinated debt, commercial lending, mezzanine and equity investments, mergers and acquisition advisory services, and investment banking services.
John earned a BS in Business Management from Brigham Young University, Marriott School of Management, and an MBA, with a concentration in Finance, from Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business. When not working, he is either running; serving in the community or church; or focused on his family and grandchildren.
Director of Wick Communications since 2011
Steve Phillips was elected to the board of directors in 2011 and was non-executive chairman from 2012 to 2020, when he transitioned back to a board director role. Steve currently chairs the Compensation committee and is a member of the Finance and Audit committee.
An experienced technology strategist and operator, Steve has spent 18 years as a Chief Information Officer and executive committee member at large global technology-driven enterprises: Gateway Computers, Memec, Avnet and most recently, Alorica, where he retired as EVP and CIO in 2021.
In 2015, Mr. Phillips was inducted into the CIO Hall of Fame, a lifetime achievement that honors IT executives and visionaries whose leadership has significantly impacted the field of IT.
Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering from Essex University and a post-graduate diploma in management studies from the University of West London. He is a fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Director of Wick Communications since 2013
David Lord served as president and CEO of Pioneer Newspapers from 1991 through 2009 and remains a director of the company.
He has served as a board member and director of the Associated Press, is chairman and past president of PAGE, a media cooperative, was chairman and past president of the Inland Press Association and was a board member and director of the Newspaper Association of America.
Lord also serves as a board member and director of Craft Brew Alliance, a publicly traded craft brewery, where he is chairman of the compensation committee and a member of the audit committee.
Francis WickPresident & CEO
Francis Wick is the President and CEO of Wick Communications and Board member since 2007.
He is the youngest member of the third generation ownership of Wick Communications, a family-owned media company which has newspapers from North Carolina to Alaska and from Louisiana to North Dakota.
Prior to the Herald/Review Wick was the publisher of the Montrose Daily Press in Colorado.
Born in Sierra Vista, he is a 1999 graduate of Buena High School.
He has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in business administration from the University of Arizona.
Wick, in his early 30s, has held numerous positions at other Wick Communications newspapers learning various aspects of the trade.
He and his wife Amanda have two children, twins Sebastian and Savannah.
He currently serves as a co-chair of the Inland Family Owners committee and has been a member of the Wick board of directors since 2007. His interest includes spending time with family, golfing, cheering on the Arizona Wildcats, and serving up tasty dishes in the kitchen.
Director of Wick Communications since 2003
Arne L. HoelDirector
Director of Wick Communications since 2016
Arne L. Hoel invested the first 25-years of his career working for two large CPA firms and then a privately held media company. In 2009 he became self-employed developing a business turn-around strategy partnering in the acquisition of a variety of businesses and is now the Managing Member/Member of a number of ventures including:
Automobile dealerships operating in Nevada and California with gross sales of $150 million; Reno Dealership Group LLC dba Reno Buick GMC Cadillac, NorCal Dealership Group LLC dba Ukiah Ford and Carson Car Center LLC dba Carson Car Center. The operations of Fast Lane Ventures LLC dba Mercedes-Benz of Reno were sold in 2015 to provide additional investment capital and the entity will be closed in 2016.
Real estate investment leasing companies with commercial and residential holdings; MW Properties LLC, Carson Car Center Properties LLC, and FiftyFifty LLC. Media companies with 55 newspapers having over 1 million copies home delivered, a ¾ million distribution targeted coupon book and a digital media company serving Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona and Dallas and Houston Texas; 1013 Communications LLC and 1013 Star Communications LLC.
Various other companies involved in the financial sector, distribution and construction industries.
During his career, Arne has focused on company growth, start-up ventures, acquisitions, and turnarounds. In addition to the media and automobile businesses, he has owned companies in various industries including sheet metal fabrication, oil and gas wells, equipment leasing, off-shore warranty insurance, wine distribution, real estate leasing, real estate development and a foreign currency exchange fund. The most recent venture is a new home building company called Legacy Communities targeted to meet market demand in the Reno, Nevada area.
Arne assumed the General Manager position at Reno Buick GMC Cadillac when the business was purchased in 2010. Upon completion of the turnaround strategy, he hired a General Manager. In August of 2014, Arne again assumed the position of General Manager at the Dealership to focus on growth and is currently grooming his successor.
Arne currently serves on various boards and committees for companies which he owns, the US Bank Advisory Committee and PAGE Audit Committee and Board. He formerly served on American Consolidated Newspapers, Huckle Media Company, Swift Communications, Inland Press Foundation, Inland Press Association Cost & Revenue Committee and other Boards. He is an associate member of Vistage. Arne currently is a youth club level and high school soccer coach and has a passion for engaging kids through sports.
Arne holds a B.S. degree Accounting Concentration from California State University Sacramento (1983).
John R. “Jack” SelbyDirector
Director of Wick Communications since 2021
John R. “Jack” Selby has joined the Board of Directors for Wick Communications, the parent company of the Sierra Vista Herald/Review.
Selby is managing director at Thiel Capital in Los Angeles, and was an original employee with PayPal, where he eventually became a corporate officer/senior vice president overseeing the company’s international and corporate operations.
Selby is involved with several companies, including SpaceX, Palantir, Affirm, Blend, Bird and Openspace, as a technology investor and adviser. He also is an independent film producer.
“I will be in full-immersion listening mode as I come on board because this is a different world, but I’m also very intellectually curious about this world,” he said.
Selby said technology has been “both blessing and a curse when it comes to this industry,” and hopes to leverage his expertise to help put it on solid footing.
Selby was an editor at the student newspaper, The Spectator, at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. He said that’s where he developed an appreciation of the crucial role of the media, particularly local journalism, which he called “exceptionally important.”
Francis Wick, CEO of Wick Communications, said the company “is honored to have someone of Jack’s background and success consider a small family media organization that is committed to seeing professional journalism prevail during a very disruptive time in funding local journalism.”
He said Selby’s background of introducing cutting-edge technologies into disruptive industries aligns well with the circumstances facing the industry today.
“His background and passion with journalism coupled with a strong passion for Arizona make him a great fit to help advance Wick’s efforts into the future,” Wick said.
Selby, who is a resident of Paradise Valley, Arizona, and Teton Village, Wyoming, said he’s eager to join the board and contribute.
“It’s already a very accomplished board with amazing people,” he said of Wick Communications. “But I do think that from our founding days at PayPal 20-plus years ago to being pretty well connected and dialed in to what’s going on in Silicon Valley and general tech circles, I think I’ll be able to keep tabs on new technologies that are coming out that are going to impact this space… I think that’s something I can bring.”
Selby serves as a Charter Trustee and member of the Investment Committee for Hamilton College’s endowment; is involved with the Navy SEALS Foundation; a member of the Board of Directors at the Arizona Commerce Authority; and is co-host and founder of the Arizona Technology Innovation Summit.