KALW Public Media's Board Members
BEN TREFNY was hired as Interim Executive Director of KALW in November, 2021.He earned a Master's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in 2000 and got his start in public radio at NPR member station KLCC in Eugene. After freelancing for many magazines and producing for regional and national commercial and public radio programs, he joined KALW in 2004. As Executive News Editor and then News Director, Trefny helped the news department win numerous regional and national awards for long- and short-form journalism. He also helped teach hundreds of audio producers, many of whom work with him at KALW today. Trefny currently serves as the President of the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He also serves on the Journalism and Media Ethics Council at Santa Clara University's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Trefny lives with his wife near San Francisco's Ocean Beach, and spends as much time as he can outside.You can reach him at email@example.com.
HARLEY K. DUBOIS (Vice Chair) is a founding Board Member and serves as the Chief Culture Officer for Burning Man Project. Harley’s expertise in project management, art facilitation, organizational culture, and city planning has made her an essential resource for the growth of Burning Man into a worldwide cultural and artistic movement. Harley is also a founding Board member of the Black Rock Arts Foundation, where she created the Grants to Artists program, now known as the Global Arts program. For eight years Harley served as City Manager of Black Rock City, overseeing many practical aspects of the building and disappearance of the city, including Community Services, Life Safety, City Zoning, Sustainability, and Volunteerism. She has also been deeply involved in the leadership of the fiduciary, legal, and staff development aspects of the entire organization, and has contributed substantially to the evolution of Burning Man from an event production company into a global arts and culture nonprofit inspiring positive social change. In 2016, Harley was named a founding Board Member of the Nation of Makers, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide more Americans access to the spaces, communities, and tools to make more and consume less.
HONG MEI PANG is serving as the Interim Head of Communications and External Affairs at San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), where she leads the District's communications and government affairs. Prior to joining SFUSD, she was the Director of Advocacy at Chinese for Affirmative Action, where she led the organization's local advocacy agenda on civil and immigrant rights issues. She was commended by the San Francisco Board of Supervisor during Women's History Month in 2020 for her community leadership. Pang’s background is in community organizing. She spearheaded undocumented Asian Pacific Islander youth organizing projects at nationally renowned Asian American civil rights organizations in the SF Bay Area and New York City. She lives in Oakland and enjoys long runs and hikes on the weekend with her partner and pup.
JOSEPH CREITZ (Treasurer) grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, the child of a librarian and a music professor, with a love for radio dating to his earliest memories. After moving to San Francisco in the late ‘80s, he quickly became a fan and supporter of KALW and its mission. Joe is an award-winning attorney who has been practicing in the Bay Area for 30 years. His firm, Creitz & Serebin, LLP focusses on the representation of disabled people, retirees, and workers against ERISA-regulated employee benefit plans and insurance companies. For that work, Joe has twice been honored as California Attorney of the Year (once by California Lawyer Magazine, once by the Wall Street Journal’s “Best Lawyers” publication).
From 2016 to 2018, Joe and comedian Sid Singh produced and co-hosted a weekly law podcast called “The Law Is My Ass.” Joe has also been an adjunct professor at U.C. Hastings continuously since 1994. In his “free” time, Joe is a founding member of the Cole Valley Haight Allies of Our Unhoused Neighbors (“CVHA”), a crew leader with the Sutro Stewards, and has served on multiple non-profit boards. He lives in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood with his wife and their much-adored dachshund, Choo Choo. When he’s not working or volunteering, you can find Joe hiking on Twin Peaks, running in Golden Gate park, or working to improve his abysmal basketball jump-shot.
KEN IKEDA is co-founder of Studiotobe, a media strategy and production company based in Oakland, CA, where he has lived for nearly 25 years. As former CEO of AIR, Executive Director of BAVC, head of Public Media Company, founder of Youth Sounds and architect of what is now NPR Live Sessions, his network is broad and multigenerational. Past Bay Area board service includes the Center for Asian American Media, Youth Speaks, Not In Our Town, Youth Together and New Art Trust. While life and work are intertwined, his world revolves around his partner, three boys and dog. When not with them, you might find him riding, breaking, and fixing motorcycles.
KYUNG JIN LEE is a veteran community and cultural movement builder, journalist, and communications professional. To the board of KALW Public Media she brings deep experience in both journalism and activism: how we depict marginalized communities and how we support their transformation. As a communications director at the Oakland-based, Black-owned Change Consulting, Lee makes the case for uplifting organizers and changemakers who demonstrate what it takes to dismantle the status quo and create a new world where everyone thrives. Lee received a master’s degree in journalism at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She returned to the Bay Area and produced stories for NPR, The World, Marketplace and KQED News, and reported on the criminal justice beat for KALW News. Before specializing in news and communications, Lee spent more than a decade as an organizer, advocate and service provider for Korean and Asian American immigrant communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, working with Asian Law Caucus, Korean Community Center of the East Bay, and Korean Youth Cultural Center. Lee was also involved in the movement for peace and reunification of the Korean peninsula. She lives in Oakland with her son.
LAURA SAPONARA (Board Chair) has 20 years of experience in strategic communications for ambitious, effective nonprofits and philanthropies, including the Ford Foundation, Public Health Institute, Kaiser Permanente and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, where she oversaw a team of strategists who use storytelling and media of all kinds to call out abuses of power and defend fundamental rights. Saponara holds a master’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Texas, Austin. Her passion for independent media is extreme; she prizes KALW as a glorious beacon. She is a former board member of Media Alliance and Groundspark, and an advisor to The Op-Ed Project. In a radical mid-life career move, Saponara is currently studying psychology at The Wright Institute in Berkeley and enjoying every minute of it. She lives in the Richmond Annex with her daughter and two spritely cats.
MARTINA CASTRO is a podcast producer, host, and entrepreneur, with nearly 20 years of experience telling stories in audio. She started her career at NPR and then KALW, where she reported and edited for Crosscurrents, and then as managing editor helped grow the newsroom and create KALW’s Audio Academy. In 2011, she co-founded the first Spanish language narrative journalism podcast, NPR’s Radio Ambulante, and in 2017 went on to create Adonde Media, a multilingual audio storytelling company that she founded at a startup incubator for female founders in Santiago, Chile. Since then, she has led international teams making podcasts with clients such as Duolingo, TED, and Spotify. Named PodWoman of the Year in 2022, Martina is also a leading voice in the Spanish language and international podcast industry, and has given numerous talks and workshops on the art of audio storytelling. Martina’s family is originally from Uruguay and she now lives in Oxnard, California.
SHEREEN MARISOL MERAJI is a veteran audio producer and journalist who has been telling stories with sound for more than two decades. Shereen helped create NPR’s groundbreaking and critically acclaimed podcast covering race and identity, Code Switch. During her time as co-host and senior producer, Code Switch won numerous awards and Apple Podcasts named Code Switch its first-ever "show of the year." She was awarded Harvard's prestigious Nieman fellowship in 2022 before becoming an assistant professor of race in journalism and head of audio at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. When she’s not teaching or reporting, Shereen is listening to hip-hop, dancing to salsa, or cooking up something delicious.
SUBRAMANIAM (SUBBU) VINCENT is Director of Journalism and Media Ethics at Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. He is passionate about the power of media – journalistic and social – to foster pro-democracy discourse. At Santa Clara University, he leads the design and development of a Source Diversity Dashboard Audit system for news articles with four different on-ramps for U.S. newsroom usage. He is also the convener of the News Distribution Ethics Roundtable, which has released recommendations on platform transparency over news. He is the recipient of the John S. Knight journalism fellowship award at Stanford University and received the Distinguished Service to Journalism award from the Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California in 2022. He is the author of several book chapters and journal articles on journalistic practice, product management for news, digital disinformation and misinformation, and community media.