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Staff, Board, and Other Key People

Lisa Rudman

Lisa Rudman, Executive Director
Lisa’s roots in community media go back to PCTV in the 1980’s where she created award-winning television documentaries on political prisoners, US military intervention, social justice and feminist issues. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s she worked as a producer and manager in public television and corporate video, while contributing programs to Deep Dish TV, and Free Speech TV. She taught media production at Laney College and Bay Area Video Coalition, while partnering with community groups on educational videos and radio programs. Lisa has been with National Radio Project in a variety of capacities including Women’s Desk Director, Co-Director of Live Wire Independent News, production trainer, fundraiser, and she became E.D. in 2003. Lisa is a member of the Coordinating Committee of The Media Consortium. She believes that “audience engagement” and new media are great old concepts being explored with fun new technology, and is enjoying us all working together to “take Making Contact to the next level.”

Andrew Steltzer

Andrew Stelzer, Producer
Andrew Stelzer’s radio work has appeared on programs including Marketplace, NPR News, BBC’s The World, Latino USA, Radio France International’s Crossroads, Free Speech Radio News, and many others. His print work has appeared in The St Petersburg Times, In These Times, E!Magazine, and elsewhere. Andrew was previously the senior reporter and anchor at WMNF radio in Tampa, FL. Before that, he reported from KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and was KBOO’s youth advocate. Andrew has received awards from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He was awarded a scholarship to the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism in Mexico, and has taught radio production classes around the world from Algeria to Mississippi.



George Lavender, Producer
George Lavender joined the National Radio Project in 2012.  He has worked as a radio reporter for several outlets, including Pacifica and Radio France International.  In addition to Making Contact, George reports and edits for Free Speech Radio News.  He is also a member of FSRN’s steering committee.  His written work has appeared in The Guardian as well as local newspapers in the UK.  He has been involved in several media production groups in London and Vancouver.  He is keen to provide radio production trainings to community groups and grassroots organizations.
Follow him on Twitter @georgelavender

NancyNancy López, Producer
Nancy López joined the National Radio Project in 2013. In addition to Making Contact, she reports and produces for Radio Ambulante, a bilingual podcast dedicated to telling the stories of people from Latin America and the U.S. She has extensive experience as an English/Spanish interpreter/translator and currently works for a local immigration law firm, interviewing Spanish-speaking clients and writing their life stories. Nancy’s a graduate of UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism. Her work has appeared on PRI’s The World, KALW, Radio Bilingue, New America Media and the East Bay Express. She believes radio storytelling is a powerful tool to showcase the struggles of everyday people.
Follow her on Twitter @nancyylo

Irene Florez, Web Editor
Irene is an editor, producer and photographer whose work involves issues surrounding agricultural trade, labor and Hispanic issues.  Her work has appeared on Radio Bilingue and KPFA, the San Francisco Chronicle’s In Oakland Blog,  Oakland Local, New America Media and the Race Poverty and Environment Journal, YES! Magazine and Making Contact. A graduate of the KPFA First Voice Media Apprenticeship program and Mills College, she is a native of Bogota, Colombia.
Follow her on Twitter @IreneFlorez

Juanita Carroll Young, Development Manager

A graduate of Mills College, Juanita Carroll Young has ten years of experience nonprofit fundraising, grants and institutional giving. She has worked with board and staff members to ensure funding for cultural programs serving at-risk youth and their families. In addition to a career in development, Juanita also organized with Residents United for a Livable Emeryville, a community action group started by the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy. More recently she’s been active in various aspects of Occupy, including foreclosure defense. Juanita’s dad was a welder and her mom was a registered nurse, so joining picket lines, not crossing them, is an ingrained family habit that Juanita shares to this day.

Interns & Volunteers

Dan Turner, Super Volunteer In 1998, a social-justice activist friend of Dan’s suggested he contact National Radio Project. After hearing Making Contact and meeting the staff, he was so impressed that he decided to volunteer his time doing administrative work – doing things that free us up to work on the issues. He’s been with us ever since! Dan enjoys interacting with staff and other volunteers, helping out in many different ways, and being informed and educated in the variety of critical issues that we explore.

Lisa Bartfai, Salima Hamirani, Eryn Mathewson Production Interns. Barbara Barnett, Alton Byrd, Bill Creighton, organizational volunteers, assisting with marketing, stations relations, research, fundraising and production assistance. And all our Other Wonderful Volunteers, who help us with… Research, database work, outreach and distribution, publicity, administrative, development/fundraising transcribing, recording events, translation, english language voice-overs, special events. and more! Get more information about being a volunteer. Over 90 freelancers who file segments for Making Contact from around the country and across the globe. See our Submission Guidelines if you are interested in joining our network of freelancers.   Find out more about Production Internships. Find out more about Organizational Internships


Peggy Law, Founding Director and Development Advisor Activist, organizer, visionary. Peggy is a journalist with broad experience in non-profit management. She is an organizational consultant and a Board Member of the Institute for Public Accuracy and IF (a social change organization). Peggy is an Executive Committee member for the MediaWorks Initiative, and has also had a career as a mental health professional. Norman Solomon Nationally syndicated author and columnist on media and politics; Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) associate; Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. A collection of Norman’s columns won the 1999 George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language. He has authored ten books, including “The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media and The Power of Babble,” “Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You” (co-authored with foreign correspondent Reese Erlich), and his latest book, “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” David Barsamian Author, lecturer, founder and director of Alternative Radio. David’s interviews and articles appear in The Progressive, The Nation, Z and other journals and magazines. David is author of numerous books with Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Eqbal Ahmad, and Edward Said. His series of books with Chomsky, America’s leading dissident, have sold in the hundreds of thousands and have been translated into many languages. David’s latest books are “Propaganda & the Public Mind: Conversations with Noam Chomsky” and “The Decline & Fall of Public Broadcasting.”


Current Board Members:

Anna Couey

Anna Couey, President
Anna Couey works at the intersection of art, communications, information and social justice, using new media tools and story-collecting methods to re-imagine and restructure power. As Assistant Director of Art Com, Anna helped build a participatory online art space that engaged artists and audience in jointly producing art. She assisted the nonprofit arts sector in adopting new media tools for cultural advocacy, information-sharing and community building as the first Network Coordinator for Arts Wire, a national initiative of the New York Foundation for the Arts. At CorpWatch, Anna produced feature stories and participated in the development of this digital journalism project to monitor the impacts of transnational corporations. She also coordinated a San Francisco Public Library project to engage high school students and city officials in online discussions to foster direct learning as part of social studies curriculum. As Information Activist at DataCenter, Anna provided strategic research support and facilitated community-led participatory research projects to strengthen community organizing efforts and build community power. Her communication sculptures have been exhibited at digital art festivals internationally.

Owen Li
Owen Li is currently the lead organizer for Books Not Bars – a campaign of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights – organizing with families impacted by the broken and destructive juvenile (in)justice system.  Previously, he spent three years in campaign strategy and organizing at UNITE HERE!, the union representing low-wage workers in hotels, food service, and other industries. As a law student, Owen worked at Great Boston Legal Services as well as for public defenders and defense clinics in Boston, San Francisco, and Harlem. Owen was also an intern at the Organization of Chinese Americans, spent a year coordinating a voting rights project in Seattle and experienced an unforgettable year as an organizing fellow at the Boston Youth Organizing Project. As a student organizer at Stanford Univesity, Owen worked with Asian American Activism Committee and Student Labor Action Coalition while studying race, class, imperialism, and patriarchy.

Brieshen McKee

Brieshen has a background in finance, administration and HR, and has worked with a number of Bay Area nonprofits in this capacity.  As a consultant, she focuses her work on helping enterprises understand the importance of social and environmental responsibility; and is interested in working with businesses to build solid organizational infrastructures in order to fortify their missions.  Brieshen has an MBA with an emphasis in sustainable business and a BA in anthropology.  She is an avid traveler aided by her interest in community, urban studies and women’s health issues.

Mickey Ellinger, Treasurer mickey Ellinger clip_image001

Mickey Ellinger is a writer committed to making complex information accessible.  As a print journalist she writes regularly for News from Native California and other California-based publications.  She also edits material in the fields of community health, public education and transportation to make the findings of experts accessible to advocates and community members.  She has served as treasurer of the Bay Area chapter of the National Writers Union and is a member of the board of the Bay Area Community Land Trust.

Past Board Members:

Linnea Ashley With previous work experience focused on marginalized populations both nationally and internationally, Linnea currently works for a public health non-profit focused on environmental and policy approaches to improved health. The National Radio Project merges her undergraduate degree of journalism with her with her previous work and travel experiences. Linnea served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa working on health and education projects, received her MPH from Tulane University in New Orleans and her BS in Journalism from Florida A&M University.

Simon Avakian Simon is a former aerospace engineer who has worked a family farm. He has been a long-term IMP board member. Simon has been a salesman and currently manages logistics at SMA America, a solar photovoltaic inverter manufacturer and is a volunteer technical consultant to several non-profit media organizations. He has worked in photographic sales and technical support and the solar energy field.

Elaine Beale Elaine is an independent fundraising consultant. Her services include funding research, program planning, proposal writing, organizational development planning, and training. She specializes in working with human services and social justice organizations and has worked in the nonprofit field since 1989. Formerly, she was Development Director at the National Housing Law Project; Director of Development, San Francisco Women Against Rape; and Director of Volunteer Programs at Community United Against Violence. In addition to her work with nonprofits, Elaine is also a writer. Elaine immigrated to the United States in 1989 and lives and works in Oakland, CA.

David Clark David is currently utilizing his background in industrial engineering and MBA in Sustainable Management to support entrepreneurial ventures in the Bay Area. He has developed strategies and operations plans for micro-enterprise businesses including a homepower company, yoga studios, and non-profit organizations in North Carolina. In Tennessee he worked in manufacturing for large corporations. He enjoys playing the saxophone, and has performed and recorded with various pop, and reggae groups, and continues to study jazz.

Marla Cornelius Marla is a Projects Director at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, a nonprofit consulting, research, and training organization providing nonprofits with management tools, strategies, and resources to lead change in their communities. She has served on several community based organizations’ boards and is a graduate student at the University of San Francisco pursuing her masters in Nonprofit Administration.

Vidya Chander Vidya is a Business Development Analyst with Cisco Systems, Inc. She also spends time volunteering for groups such as the Bayfund Website Project at Taproot Foundation, and performs in South Indian Classical Dance groups.

Christine Comella Christine has worked for nonprofit human services organizations in the Bay Area since 1995. She brings several years of fundraising, event planning and communications experience to the National Radio Project Board. She currently works as the Director of Development and Marketing for the Unity Council. Christine holds an MBA from San Francisco State University. She was formerly the Director of Development & Communications, St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County; Fund Development Manager, Community Housing Partnership; Fund Development Coordinator, Spanish Speaking Citizens’ Foundation, Oakland, CA.

Candice Francis Candice Francis is with Third World Newsreel and was the Communications and Development Director for the Family Independence Initiative (FII), an Oakland based community and economic development non-profit. Her experience spans a number of related disciplines including: radio and television production; teaching and life/skills coaching; manuscript and copy writing and editing; marketing, promotions, public relations and advertising. She recently served as a writing coach, editor, and consultant on a personal memoir project.

Craig Franklin is a Senior Producer/ Videographer at KPIX CBS 5. Craig’s programs, which have taken him to El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Israel, Hong Kong as well as throughout Northern California, have resulted in 19 Emmy awards, 3 Peabody Awards and a DuPont-Columbia award. The recipient of Columbia University’s “Diversity Leadership Award” for his stories on race relations, Craig has used his programs to train students and professional journalists on race reporting. Craig is currently Governor at National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the Awards Chair at SF/NorCal NATAS.

Gary Heider Gary is a labor activist who recently retired from Stage Hands Union and has run several successful businesses.

Adrienne Hirt Social justice advocate and philanthropist with expertise in organizational development, conflict management and public speaking; former welfare mother. Other community connections: former Board member of San Francisco CASA; Resourceful Women; Families with a Future.

Jocelyn Clare R. Hermoso Joyce is a professor at San Francisco State University. She is a social work academic and international development consultant with sixteen years of experience in research, education, policy analysis, and program development on international development issues. Joyce holds an MSW from Boston College and a PhD from the Catholic University of America. When not busy with academia, Joyce does some travel-writing.

Reid Hoffman Silicon Valley Entrepreneur and founder of a number of start-up companies including Paypal. Founder and President of LinkedIn.

Jeff Jacoby Jeff is an award winning sound, radio, and video producer, recently relocated to San Francisco. He owns & operates Living Sound Productions, serves on the faculty of San Francisco State University (audio & radio), produces and hosts The Traveling Radio Show, and is currently engaged with sound, radio, and political art. He also serves on the board of The Freedom Fries Art Collective. Jeff has operated Living Sound Productions since 1980, and was previously on the faculty of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT and the Digital Audio Project at Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT, served on the boards of The Media Arts Center and The Elm City Folk Festival in NewHaven, CT, and performed as a commissioned artist for The International Festival of Arts and Ideas. Jacoby has been awarded an Emmy, two Emmy nominations, two Ciné Golden Eagles, two Benjamin Franklin’s, and two Crystal Radio awards, among other honors. Learn more about Jeff at

Heather Masaki Heather was born and raised on the island of O’ahu. She graduated with highest honors with a BA in Women’s Studies and a minor in Religious Studies. While at university, she led an active feminist organization on campus and traveled to India and Turkey as part of a study group focused on the international women’s movement and women-led NGOs. She currently works on the Development team at the Global Fund for Women, and she has also interned at NARAL Pro-Choice California. Heather is passionate about women’s rights and social, economic and environmental justice.

Molly Mitoma
Molly Mitoma is the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Golden Gate Council of Hostelling International USA, a nonprofit that promotes intercultural exchange and understanding through independent travel. She has previously served as Membership Director of the Film Arts Foundation, and as Communications and Marketing Manager for the New Music organization Other Minds. Her freelance gigs include PR and operational support for Bay Area film festivals, as well as editorial work for arts-related nonprofits. As a passionate supporter of independent media, she is delighted to serve NRP and its mission to showcase diverse voices, highlight the human realities of politics, and present creative solutions.

S. Ravi Rajan Asst. Prof. of Environ. Studies, University of Calif. Santa Cruz. Extensive radio experience in India. Other Boards: Pesticides Action Network; Bhopal Group for Information and Action, 1986. Other Affiliations: Edit. and Board Committees for several professional and environmental journals.

Michael Rosenthal Michael Rosenthal is an Emmy Award winning television producer. Since 1993, he’s been on the staff of KRON-TV in San Francisco, working on the northern California travel show “Bay Area Backroads.” He is also one of the essayists in’s book, “50 Ways to Love Your Country.”

Simran Sethi Simran is the host/ writer of Ethical Markets, the first national program reporting on sustainable business practices and corporate social responsibility, created by futurist Hazel Henderson and airing on PBS. Simran is an award-winning journalist who produced and anchored the news for MTV Asia, co-created the MTV India news division, and developed programming for the BBC and Doordarshan through her independent production company SHE TV. She also holds an MBA in sustainable management, integrating ethical, social and environmental values with practical business knowledge.

Rita Takahashi Rita is a Professor of Social Work & Community Organizing at San Francisco State University, School of Social Work. She is on the National Advisory Committee for Wartime Incarceration and the Life Course of Nisei Families, and is an Advisory Board member (and former Board President) of the Japanese American National Library.

Laarni Von Ruden CPA and small business owner who has specialized in non-profit accounting since 1991. Other community connections: Board member of AIDS Community Research Consortium; Nonprofit Chair of Peninsula chapter of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants.