Sandy Close, Executive Director
Sandy has served as Executive Director of Pacific News Service since 1974. One of the first regular commentators for Morning Edition in the mid 1980s, in 1990 she founded YO! Youth Outlook, a monthly magazine of youth writing and art in 1991, and co-founded in The Beat Within, a weekly writing journal by incarcerated youth in 1996. That same year, she founded New California Media to bring greater visibility to the content of ethnic news organizations. Today, New America Media is the largest editorial and marketing collaboration of ethnic media in the U.S. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Sandy started her journalism career in Hong Kong in the mid 1960s as China editor of The Far Eastern Economic Review. Returning to the US, she founded an inner-city newspaper in Oakland, CA called The Flatlands and spent five years writing about prison and criminal justice issues before joining PNS. Among many awards, Sandy received a MacArthur Foundation "Genius Award” and the 2011 Polk Award for Career Achievement. In 1996, a film she co-produced, Breathing Lessons, won the Academy Award for best short documentary.
Anthony Advincula, Network Dev/ Program Manager (NYC)
Oni writes about education, health, immigration, urban affairs, politics and government. He was the communications director and managing editor for the Independent Press Association of New York. He has won several journalism awards for his investigative and in-depth reporting on housing, labor and immigration issues for The Jersey Journal, and when he was editor-in-chief of The Filipino Express.
Anna Challet, Reporter/ Program Manager
Anna Challet is a general assignment reporter with a focus on health care, public health, and issues local to San Francisco. She has also written about child welfare and juvenile justice; housing and homelessness; and criminal justice, education, and immigration reform. Her stories have been published in more than 50 ethnic and community news publications and she is a contributor to Boom: A Journal of California. She also conducts storytelling and reporting workshops with underserved youth. She is currently a reporting fellow with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. A native of San Francisco, she is a former high school English teacher and completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard.
Alhelí Cuenca has had the opportunity to revisit, relearn, and re-love the community that raised her, Fresno, CA. During her time at Mills College, where she completed a B.A in Political, Legal, & Economic Analysis with a minor in Sociology, she focused on, “Why is my community and communities like mine-the way they are today?” Alhelí’s interdisciplinary coursework lead her to The Greenlining Institute as a Health Equity Fellow at The California Endowment. Alhelí enhanced her understanding of the social, environmental, and political factors that contribute to California’s current health status and most importantly she learned the benefit of youth power when at the core of health justice advocacy. She left the fellowship knowing it would be culture and art that will change the hearts and minds of decision makers and the voting public. Alhelí decided to continue her growth in the field of youth engagement and storytelling as New America Media’s YouthWire Statewide Coordinator. The resiliency of California’s young leaders of color are an ongoing source of inspiration to her as she fearlessly seeks to identify her own regalos “gifts” to help further the health justice movement.
Tim Haydock, YouthWire Program Director
Based in Fresno, Tim oversees day-to-day operations of NAM's network of five youth media hubs, collectively known as YouthWire. Prior to this position, Tim worked as the Program Manager and Editor for The kNOw Youth Media. Tim joined NAM in 2014. He previously taught communications and media at California State University, Fresno and Fresno Pacific University, where he also served as faculty advisor to the student newspaper.
Odette Keeley, Senior Program Manager
Odette Alcazaren-Keeley directs NAM's National Media Network Building efforts, connecting government agencies/officials, non-profit organizations, corporations, the academe, subject matter experts, stakeholders and advocates directly to NAM's national ethnic media network. She also hosted and produced NAM’s TV show, “New America Now” airing on COMCAST’s Hometown Network - CHN 104 and COMCAST ON DEMAND. Keeley was also a former freelance producer and regular guest for 88.5 KQED-FM’s “Pacific Time” program, which aired nationwide. Prior to NAM, Odette was the News Executive Producer and Head Writer of “Balitang America,” ABS-CBN International’s premiere English daily newscast of Filipinos across North America.
Paul Kleyman, Senior Editor/Program Manager
Paul is the national coordinator of the Journalists Network on Generations and editor of its Generations Beat Online (GBOnews.org), a group of 1,000 journalists who cover issues in aging. For 20 years he was the editor of Aging Today, newspaper of the American Society on Aging.
Andrew Lam, Senior Editor
Andrew is a syndicated writer and an editor with New America Media, a short story writer, and a frequent radio commentator. His essays have appeared in dozens of newspapers across the country, including the New York Times, The LA Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Andrew has won multiple literary and journalism awards and is author of “Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora.”
Honora Montano, Program Manager
Honora manages projects for NAM with a focus on environmental and youth issues. Since joining New America Media in 2015 she has provided editorial and program support to YouthWire, NAM’s youth media network, managed a fellowship program on early childhood education and organized a national series of ethnic media events on climate change, among other projects. Honora also assists with public awareness marketing and grants management functions at NAM. Before joining NAM, Honora worked to educate the public and youth in citizen science, conservation and the arts through programs in the Bay Area and on the East Coast with institutions such as the City of Oakland, the National Park Service and Kids for the Bay. She hails from Massachusetts and earned a degree in Environmental and Urban Studies from Bard College.
Mario Navarro, Office Manager
Mario manages office inventory and janitorial supplies for New America Media. He also handles tech support and equipment maintenance. Mario has been with New America Media since 2001. Previously, he spent 17 years as an Office Clerk, Receptionist and Administrative Receptionist for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Peter Schurmann, Senior Editor/Program Manager
Peter Schurmann is a program manager and general news editor for New America Media. He previously directed NAM's Education desk, overseeing projects including a one-year reporting fellowship for ethnic media on Common Core in Silicon Valley, as well as several projects focused on state funding for public schools in California. Prior to joining NAM in 2010, Peter worked as an editor for South Korea's state-run news service, Yonhap. A San Francisco native, Peter completed his degree in Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
Elena Shore, Senior Editor/Program Manager
Elena Shore is a senior editor and project manager at New America Media, where she leads national communications campaigns on issues related to immigrant rights, naturalization, DACA and immigration reform. Her articles have appeared in news outlets including Alternet, Huffington Post, La Opinión and Nieman Reports. She has also written media content analyses on the way Latino media have covered various issues, from health and LGBT issues to immigration reform. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Oberlin College with a BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies.
Viji Sundaram, Senior Editor/Reporter/Program Manager
Viji covers health and healthcare for New America Media. Before joining NAM, Viji worked variously at India-West, a national weekly newspaper for the South Asian community in the U.S., the Cape Cod Times, the Providence Journal and the New Bedford Standard Times. Her reporting has ranged from health to immigration to crime to social issues, especially those relating to women. Viji is the recipient of eight journalism awards, including one for a national expose on McDonald’s use of beef in its so-called vegetarian french fries. Viji is a co-founder of Narika, a Berkeley-based help line for South Asian women and is also an animal rights activist. Her professional affiliations include the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Society for Professional Journalists and the South Asian Journalists Association.
Tamisha Wallace, Executive Assistant
Tamisha Wallace is the Executive Assistant to NAM ED Sandy Close. She is responsible for scheduling, including heavy calendar management, extensive travel arrangements, expense reports, proposals, and/or anything else that is needed to make the ED's life easier so she can focus on the company and it's growth. Tamisha previously worked as an EA at Ernst and Young in San Francisco and currently attends San Jose Community College where she is studying computer programming. She enjoys weekend trips with her family, music festivals and computer gaming.