Our
Team

Sandy Close

Sandy Close

Founder

Sandy started her career covering China and Vietnam in the mid-1960s as an editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review in the mid-1960s. Returning to the US, she founded an inner-city newspaper called Flatlands in Oakland and worked on prison reform issues for 5 years. She became editor of Pacific News Service in 1974 and was a pioneer in developing youth media. In 1996 she founded New America Media which became the first and largest collaborations of ethnic news organizations. Her work has received several awards, including 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.When NAM closed she started Ethnic Media Services to sustain key projects with ethnic media.

Jaya Padmanabhan

Jaya Padmanabhan

Director of Programs

Jaya writes an immigration column for the SF Examiner and contributes to Bay Area publications on race, politics, immigration and mental health. She was the editor of India Currents, an Indian American monthly magazine started in 1987, from 2012 to 2016. Under her stewardship, India Currents consistently won overall excellence awards from SF Press Club. Jaya has won several journalism awards for her editorials and and in-depth reporting. She is the author of a collection of short stories titled “Transactions of Belonging” published in 2014. Jaya has a master’s in computer science from San Jose State University.

 Honora Montano

Honora Montano

Project Manager Census 2020 and Climate Change

Honora manages projects for EMS with an emphasis on environmental and civic engagement issues. She is also currently pursuing a Masters of City Planning from UC Berkeley, focusing on urban sustainability, public health and climate change. She previously worked with New America Media, providing program support to NAM’s youth media network and managing education and environmental programs. Honora has also 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 holds a BA in Environmental and Urban Studies from Bard College.

 Peter Schurmann

Peter Schurmann

Project Manager — Watersheds

Peter Schurmann was a program manager and general news editor for New America Media. He 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

Brian Chan

Brian Chan

Media Coordinator

Brian Chan works for Ethnic Media Services on media partnerships, outreach, and event coordination. Brian, a Bay Area native, graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. From 2014-2015, they worked as an intern and office assistant for San Jose City Councilmember and later California State Assemblymember Kansen Chu. They have also worked for the City of Fremont’s Human Services Department, and as an intern at KTSF Channel 26.

Dana Levine

Dana Levine

Media Consultant

Dana Levine manages Social Marketing Campaigns for EMS and was the former Marketing & Communications Coordinator for New America Media. She handles all activities and communications with print media, including media planning and ad placement. She is also the marketing event planner. She coordinates media outreach, media tracking and monitoring, as well as the production of post-event reports.Since November 2007, she has contributed her organizational talents on several major marketing campaigns for clients including Flex Your Power, California Teacher’s Association, Leadership Conference of Civil Rights, Bureau of Automotive Repair, Haas Jr. Fund and Census 2010.

Khalil Abdullah

Khalil Abdullah

Editorial Associate

Khalil Abdullah provides consulting, writing, and editing services on a range of policy issues. As New America Media’s first director in the Washington, D.C., office, he coordinated outreach, media training, policy briefings and workshops for ethnic media in various cities. He also served as the lead facilitator and editor of The Beat Within, Washington, D.C,. edition, and as managing editor of the Washington Afro-American Newspaper. Khalil was the senior writer/researcher for the Summit Health Institute for Research and Education, Inc. and executive director of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, where he staffed key policy committees on international affairs, energy, environment, transportation, business and finance. 

Michelle White Mendoza

Michelle White Mendoza

Editorial Associate

Michelle White-Mendoza is a Spanish radio host & producer, and photographer. She was born and raised in Mexico City. She earned a BA in Communication from Tecnológico de Monterrey—ITESM-CEM. Michelle eventually moved to San Francisco, where she volunteered at the General Consulate of Mexico in San Francisco, the Commonwealth of California, Women’s Initiative and other organizations. She started in radio in 2009 with HECHO EN CALIFORNIA 1010 AM, and since 2010 she is co-host and co-producer of HECHO EN CALIFORNIA. Michelle started the radio show INFORMACIÓN ES PODER—The Power of Information—in 2011 to serve the community. She has been twice awarded a CERTIFICATE OF HONOR from the Board of Supervisors of San Francisco ”for her great contribution and enthusiasm in her news and radio coverage of events in the Hispanic community”, and “in recognition of your outstanding leadership in bringing together the Latino community in San Francisco”.

Anthony Advincula

Anthony Advincula

Journalist

Anthony Advincula is a New York City-based journalist and communications consultant. Formerly the national media director, writer and editor for New America Media, he managed and organized ethnic media projects in 45 states. He was a correspondent for The Jersey Journal and the communications director and managing editor of the Independent Press Association-New York, where he co-edited Voices That Must Be Heard (now known as CUNY’s Voices of NY). His awards include a New York Times Foreign Press Fellowship and a National Health Journalism Fellowship. Anthony studied advanced narrative nonfiction at Harvard University and received dual master’s degrees in public administration and journalism from Columbia University where he was awarded a Charles H. Revson Fellowship.

Sister Charlene Muhammad

Sister Charlene Muhammad

Journalist

Sister Charlene Muhammad is an award-winning multimedia journalist with 19 years experience in print media and 13 years combined experience in radio, magazine and Internet media/marketing. Charlene is founder, host and executive producer of radio shows “Liberated Sisters,” “Uprising: The Freedom Now Edition” and “The Justice Report.” She has served as news anchor and field reporter for the KPFK, is a founding member, producer and host of “Some of Us Are Brave,” contributed to “Free Speech Radio News” and is a regular contributing writer for the Los Angeles Sentinel and the New L.A. Watts Times. She’s served as communications director for U.S. Doctors for Africa’s African First Ladies’ Health Summit. Charlene studied journalism at Southern University A&M College and California State University Dominguez Hills. 

Mark Hedin

Mark Hedin

Reporter

Mark Hedin’s lifetime of newspaper work began as a teenager at Manhattan’s neighborhood rag Our Town and continued as editor of San Francisco State University’s Golden Gater when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit in 1989. Springing from 16 subsequent years at the corner of San Francisco’s 5th and Mission streets where the Examiner and Chronicle were produced, came a spell with the Tenderloin District’s Central City Extra, whose name he suggested, through to its final edition 15 years later. Prior to joining Ethnic Media Services, he was the sole reporter on the Oakland Tribune section of the East Bay Times when its staff won a Pulitzer for breaking news work covering the Oakland Ghost Ship tragedy in late 2016.

Aruna Lee

Aruna Lee

Translator

Aruna Lee has written columns for the Korean press and for EMS, and also works as a translator along with running her own small business, Volcano Kimchi.

Eunice Kim

Eunice Kim

Translator

Eunice Kim worked as a health care interpreter for many years before returning to Seoul, where she is a translator for EMS.

Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

Translator

Patricia Ramos is an experienced Spanish<>English translator, working with the Ethnic Media Services team since the mid-90’s, back when it was New California Media. She also specializes in literary works and scripts for film, TV, video, Internet and radio; social science topics such as education, immigration, international development, history, political science, human resources, and workman’s safety; technical documents for GPS systems, mining, telephony, construction, including windows and paint; as well as business communication on travel and tourism, marketing, and advertising. She now divides her time between Mexico, Spain and the U.S. Patricia enjoys participating in the Spanish cultural life by singing in a choir and acting in plays, in addition to many other Spanish social and cultural activities.

CONTACT: INFO@ETHNICMEDIASERVICES.ORG
(415) 533-0765; (415) 626-1650; (650) 248-9522 1663 Mission Street, Suite 310, San Francisco, CA 94103