2020 Board Election – Meet the Candidates

Brittany Levine Beckman, Mashable

Brittany Levine Beckman is Mashable’s managing editor and story midwife. She enjoys crafting feature ideas, learning new things, and colorized spreadsheets. In her role, she leads long-form and special series content production as well as day-to-day West Coast newsroom operations. She has convinced Mashable staffers to send her good tweets so she doesn’t have to endlessly scroll for a moment of joy. She fancies mentoring young reporters and in her free time volunteers for WriteGirl, a nonprofit that empowers teen girls. Before working at Mashable, she covered community news at the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register. That’s how she met a zonkey and the tallest man in the world.

Josh Campbell, CNN

Josh Campbell is a Los Angeles-based CNN Correspondent covering law enforcement and national security.

Campbell reports both domestically and internationally and provides on-air analysis across CNN platforms. He can often be found deployed to the scene of critical security events, helping lead the network’s breaking news coverage of issues involving public safety.

As a member of CNN’s Justice Team, he has also covered Robert Mueller’s Russia probe; the Trump impeachment inquiry; investigations into criminal and ethical misconduct involving public officials; alleged government abuse; and the collision of politics and law enforcement.

Campbell was part of the award-winning team on the ground in Istanbul reporting on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. CNN’s coverage of this critical story resulted in the receipt of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award; the Deadline Club award for National Television Spot News Reporting; and the Golden Nymph for Best TV News.

Prior to joining CNN, Campbell was a Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI, spending over a decade involved in high-profile terrorism, kidnapping, cyber, and counterintelligence investigations.

Campbell has a Master of Arts in Communication from Johns Hopkins, a Bachelor of Arts in Government from The University of Texas at Austin, and completed Arabic language immersion training at Middlebury College. He is a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of a new book on the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation. In addition, Campbell is a reserve military officer and teaches national security at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

He’d love to bring his expertise to the LA Press Club.

** Deepa Fernandes, PRI (Public Radio International/Freelance)

Deepa Fernandes, is an award-winning journalist who has reported from a dozen countries, from Peru to Cuba to East Timor. Fernandes has reported from inside rebel-controlled prisons during a Haitian coup, slum villages in Mumbai, and immigration jails across the U.S. Most recently Fernandes was the Early Childhood correspondent at Southern California Public Radio, KPCC. She won numerous awards for her reporting on children aged 0-5.

Deepa has been named L.A. Press Club’s Radio Journalist of the Year for 2017, 2018 & 2019. She has also won an Emmy for her TV reporting. In 2012 Deepa was a Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford University and she has an MA from Columbia University. She authored a book on immigration in 2007, Targeted, published by Seven Stories Press. In 2001, Deepa founded People’s Production House, aimed at diversifying the press corps and the range of voices heard in the media.

Currently, Fernandes is a fellow at Pacific Oaks College and goles regularly for KCET’s SoCal Connected, PRI’s The World, KCRW, KPCC, and KQED. Her work can also be heard on NPR, Marketplace, the BBC and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. She is married to multi-media journalist, Matt Rogers, and they are raising two spirited small children in Los Angeles.

Deepa is the founder and co-chair of the LA Press Club’s Foot-in-the-Door-program, mentoring young journalists to improve diversity in journalism.

Dawn Garcia, ATOD Magazine

Dawn Garcia was born in Santa Monica and is a writer, director, journalist, public speaker, die-hard advocate of equality, and a firm believer that the arts will save humanity. While she started in makeup and special effects (having worked for Steven Spielberg and Placido Domingo among others), it was writing that stole her heart. She has written several pieces of fiction, published over 2000 articles, written 2 books, completed three screenplays, developed two TV Series, multiple feature films, and will be directing for the first time this year.

She owns and operates ĀTÔD Magazine {A Taste of Dawn}, is the Managing Print Editor of Sensi Magazine Southern California, and is an annual Juror for the International Design Awards.

She is a single mother of one daughter, still resides in Los Angeles (because no matter where she goes in the world, LA still feels like home), and she searches for passion and truth in the everyday.

“I’d love to be on the board because as a managing editor and a screenwriter, there’s never been a more important time to make sure the content we’re promoting and supporting is inclusive, thought-provoking and accessible to as many people as possible. Being on the board allows me the opportunity to be a diverse voice with community in mind, and our industry needs that more than ever.”

Vic Gerami, The Blunt Post

Vic Gerami is a journalist, media contributor & columnist, who is also publisher and editor of The Blunt Post. He also hosts & produces his show Public Radio KPFK 90.7 FM, ‘The Blunt Post with Vic’. His internationally syndicated celebrity Q&A column, ’10 Questions with Vic’ is a two-time finalist for LA Press Club’s NAEJA.

“In addition to journalism, I have a great deal of experience in special events, have been on a few boards in the past, and I have a very large network of colleagues, industry professionals and synergistic relationships.

I would like to join the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Press Club to be of service to this great organization, serve its mission and contribute to its continued growth.

Thank you for your time and consideration.”

John Gittelsohn, Bloomberg News

John Gittelsohn is the Los Angeles investing reporter for Bloomberg News, where he’s worked since 2009. He previously reported for the Orange County Register and Sun-Sentinel in Florida, among other publications. He has degrees from Stanford and Columbia universities. He lives in Hollywood with his wife, Deborah Belgum, also a journalist.
He’d like to expand his involvement with the Los Angeles Press Club and join the board of directors.

Meredith Jordan, Palm Springs Life

Meredith Jordan is senior editor of Palm Springs Life, a statewide magazine founded in 1957, and the author of Below the Line: Anatomy of a Successful Movie. She moved to the West Coast five years ago to finish the book,  which is based on embedding within a major motion picture to use it as a vehicle to explain the movie industry. It was published in February 2019 and is being reissued this May. Prior to that, she worked for large and small news organizations on the East Coast for more than two decades, including Dow Jones & Co., Cox Communications and National Geographic. She has served on SPJ awards committees over the years and currently serves on the Culture Commission for the City of Rancho Mirage. Meredith is regularly in Los Angeles for work and enjoys events put on by LAPC. She’d like to help grow the membership of LAPC, particularly among journalists outside of the city.   

** Nic Cha Kim, Spectrum News 1

A native Angeleno, Nic Cha Kim has lived in East L.A., Westlake, and the San Gabriel Valley, but will always consider Downtown L.A. his home base.

A three-time Emmy winning reporter, Nic is the 2018 “Television Journalist of the Year” by the L.A. Press Club. Past accolades also include six Golden Mikes, a National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award, and SoCal Journalism Award. Passionate about covering artist communities, Nic once owned his own digital and video art gallery and is the founder of Gallery Row, a creative district in the heart of Downtown L.A.

Before Spectrum News 1, Nic reported for SoCal Connected on KCET and worked as a multimedia journalist for Free Speech TV.

Nic is the co-chair of the LA Press Club’s Foot-in-the-Door-program, mentoring young journalists to improve diversity in journalism.

Devra Maza, Freelance

Devra Maza is a freelance journalist whose articles on all things cultural have been featured in The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Daily News and HuffPost. With numerous Los Angeles Press Club and National Journalism Award nominations, Devra’s in-depth feature stories on film, baseball, romance and activism have garnered multiple first-place prizes for Best Entertainment Blog, Commentary, Celebrity and Sports Features.

A produced screenwriter, Devra’s credits include the highly-rated original MOW romantic mystery CHILDHOOD SWEETHEART (Warner Bros., CBS), comedy/variety series MY TALK SHOW (Imagine/MCA), and staff writer for animation house Klasky Csupo. Her short film ODE TO A KISS (Wolper Org.), a Romancefest winner, was inspired by her LA Times Calendar Weekend cover story.

Devra recently produced and moderated the LAPC’s screening/panel of THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING, a documentary about the underrepresentation of women in film. She has also created programs/panels on movies for AMPAS, LACMA, WGA and NYU where she obtained her Master of Arts in Creative Writing and Bachelor of Science in music. Her “Preston Sturges: A Screwball Centennial” for WGA’s Written By Magazine, is taught in cinema studies courses across the country.

As a WGA and SAG-AFTRA member, Devra has served on the Writer’s Image Campaign Committee (Industry Chair), Committee of Women Writers, Diversity and Awards Statuette committees.  A devoted baseball fan, Devra’s poem, THE GREAT GREG MADDUX (published as a poster in the LA Daily News), was recorded by Vin Scully and unanimously voted by the Curators Accessions Committee into the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum at Cooperstown.

Valerie Milano, TheHollywoodTimes.Today

Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and TV Critic at TheHollywoodTimes.Today, a showbiz/promotions aggregate mainly for insiders.

@HwoodTimes   TheHollywood.Times

She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International plus freelanced for others.

Valerie donates and works closely with the Human Rights Campaign (Fed Club Council Member), GLSEN, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal and the Desert Aids Project. She is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club.

Milano loves meeting people and does so in her fave getaway Palm Springs as a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and the Old Las Palmas area community member.

For years Valerie Milano was a board member and one of the chief organizers for the Television Critics Association’s press tours. The tours take place twice a year in Beverly Hills/Pasadena.

Lisa Ellen Niver, We Said Go Travel

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. Find her talking travel on KTLA TV and her YouTube videos with over one million views. Lisa has written for AARP, American Airways, Jewish Journal, Ms. Magazine, Smithsonian and Wharton Magazine. Her website, We Said Go Travel, was read in 210 countries in 2019. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and challenges. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.

Niver won a 2019 NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award for one of her KTLA TV segments in December 2019 and was a finalist for articles published in both Ms. Magazine and Wharton Magazine. Niver won a Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal and has been nominated as a finalist for five other broadcast television segments, print and digital articles over the last three years.

“The connections I made at the Los Angeles Press Club have changed my career. I would like to be on the board to help someone else make the progress I have through LAPC events and networking.”

Frank Paras Jr., Pinas the Filipino’s Global Newspaper

(a) current occupation:

1. (10 years experience): Pinas the Filipino’ s global newspaper columnist-promotions-advertising-photographer

2. (14 years experience): Sian Panorama Magazine associate editor

3. California Special Edition news magazine publisher & editor in chief

(b) education:

Angeles University Foundation

ab mass communication

Major in Broadcasting and Journalism

** Adam Rose, CBS interactive

Adam Rose is a Senior Editorial Producer with CBS Interactive and the current secretary of the Los Angeles Press Club.

The LAPC has “education for journalists” as a key part of its mission and that’s something that fits closely with my background. I spent a few years as standards editor at HuffPost, designing and leading training programs designed to elevate the work produced by our newsroom.

There are many areas where the journalism community needs better leadership — something LAPC could provide locally. For example:

– Ethics/standards training for new journalists and citizen journalists

– Digital training and career support for experienced journalists

– Media literacy for audiences

– Privacy/security/encryption training for journalists and sources

– Awareness/prevention of inappropriate conduct toward women working in media

– Proper and ethical use of camera drone technology

– Facilitating FOIA/PRA requests

No single news outlet is in a position to pursue all of these for the greater good, and even journalism schools are limited as they need to focus on their students. I’d love to see LAPC doing more on this front for the larger journalism community here in LA. I understand there’s a balancing act between ideas and resources, but I suspect that if an organization like LAPC demonstrates initiative in these spaces it could attract more support.

** Malina Saval, Variety

Malina Saval is a features editor at Variety covering the film, TV and music beats. Her piece on the representation of autism in television garnered a 2018 Los Angeles Press Club Award for best magazine commentary, and most recently, her feature-length profile on the actor Nick Nolte earned a second-place National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award.

She’s also the author of “The Secret Lives of Boys: Inside the Raw Emotional World of Male Teens,” a non-fiction account of male adolescence published by Basic Books in 2010. Additionally, she’s traveled to film fests around the world moderating panel discussions on behalf of Variety and has appeared as a guest on NPR, PBS, CBS Radio and several other news outlets. She’s currently at work on a novel repped by agent Liz Parker at Verve.

She graduated from Cornell University with B.A. in English and USC School of Cinematic Arts with an MFA in Screenwriting.

Jay Seidel, Fullerton College

Jay Seidel is a journalism professor and media adviser at Fullerton College where he teaches a variety of courses and advises that student publications (both in English and Spanish). He specializes in multimedia journalism and trains students on everything from writing and photography to audio and video (including drones and 360 video) in an effort to prepare journalists and MMJs for tomorrow’s media world.

From 2012 to 2018, he was the editor and publisher of the La Habra Journal, a community newspaper in Orange County. Prior to becoming a college instructor in 2005, he worked for 12 years as a writer and editor for various publications, including the Los Angeles Times and Popular Hot Rodding.

He served 11 years in the U.S. Army and California Army National Guard where he worked as a combat engineer and photojournalist. In 2010 he was named California Journalism Educator of the Year by the California Journalism Education Coalition. He was also named a Reynolds Fellow for business journalism and received a fellowship by the Dow Jones News Fund.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism of Cal State Long Beach and his master’s degree in communications from Cal State Fullerton, where he also teaches occasional journalism classes.

The Orange County native enjoys spending time with his family, sports, traveling, photography, flying drones and all things tech.

Guillame Serina, French journalist/author

Guillaume Serina is a French-American journalist and five-time published author.

Born and raised in Paris, France, he was a young learner of the English language. Guillaume developed a deep appreciation for United States culture and history on his first visit at age 15. He’s been living in Los Angeles, California, since 2006.

Guillaume Serina attended the Sorbonne University in Paris, where he received his Masters degree in History of International Relations with a specialization in American History and the U.S. political system.

A journalist for more than twenty years, while based in Paris, he covered French politics and society issues for outlets such as Le Monde 2, L’Express, La Croix and Le Journal du Dimanche. He was a member of the producing team for La Marche du Siecle, an award-winning TV show on the public channel France 3, and of The ou Cafe, on France 2. Guillaume worked as a producer for senior correspondent Jim Bittermann for the Paris bureau of CNN International.

After his move to the United States, Guillaume Serina created the press agency France USA Media and established himself as a U.S. correspondent and regular contributor for several French and European media outlets, such as: Le ParisienLe MondeLe Point (France), Le Soir (Belgium), Tamedia Group (Switzerland). He also collaborated with several international publications such as Il Corriere della Serra (Italy), Folha do Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Radio-Canada.

From 2006 to 2016, Guillaume Serina covered three U.S. presidential elections as well as the 2007-2008 Great Recession, CA Governor Schwarzenegger’s administration and the entertainment industry, including interviews of many celebrities, among them Leonardo Di Caprio, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Madonna and Jodie Foster.

He has published five, non-fiction books in French, including Reagan/Gorbatchev. Reykjavik 1986, le sommet de tous les espoirs now translated into English and available under the title An Impossible Dream. Reagan, Gorbachev and the World Without the Bomb, with an introduction by Mikhail Gorbachev.

Guillaume Serina’s secondary profession is bilingual education. He was the executive director of the Alliance Francaise de Los Angeles and now is in charge of the outreach for the International School of Los Angeles. He speaks English, French and Italian.

Richard Stellar, TheWrap

Richard Stellar, winner of multiple Los Angeles Press Club awards for his ‘vituperative blog on TheWrap – Vanity Fair – focuses his writing on issues that drive social change.  Since reporting on the personalities and smokescreen that threatened motion picture industry long term care, his popular Hollyblogs have revealed the hypocrisy and heroism that is often forgotten in celebrity news.

** Incumbent

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