The 2020 board of AAJA Sacramento has 11 members from all types of media. Board members serve a one-year term, with the exception of the national board representative, who serves a two-year term. Elections are held each fall among all full and student members of the chapter. Contact the board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sandy Louey, President
Manager for Media and Public Communications Office, California Energy Commission
Sandy Louey is the manager for the California Energy Commission’s Media and Public Communications Office. Her past communications positions include serving as director of strategic communications for the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, an editor with the California Lighting Technology Center and a media specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau. She was a newspaper reporter for 17 years, with stints at The Patriot-Ledger, The Hartford Courant, The Dallas Morning News, and The Sacramento Bee.
Sandy was selected as co-AAJA Chapter President of the Year in 2013. Active in AAJA since 1988, she is a former national and Bay Area scholarship winner. She has held a number of leadership positions within the organization, including co-president and secretary for the Sacramento chapter, vice-president of the Texas chapter and national board member for the New England and Texas chapters. The Sacramento chapter was named AAJA Chapter of the Year in 2006, 2010 and 2019. Sandy was named AAJA Member of the Year in 2002.
Chris Nguyen, Vice President
Chris Nguyen is a proud member of the ABC7 news team in the San Francisco Bay Area. He joined KGO-TV in the fall of 2014, and is honored to be sharing the stories that matter most to the community.
Whether it’s interviewing Super Bowl MVPs or everyday superstars, Chris is passionate about connecting with people from all walks of life. He got his first on-air break as a weekday morning anchor at WAND-TV (NBC) in Central Illinois. From there, he spent time in the Inland Northwest as a weekend evening anchor for KREM-TV (CBS). Prior to moving to the Bay, Chris served as a weekend morning anchor at KXTV (ABC) in Sacramento.
Outside of the newsroom, Chris enjoys hitting the gym, running half-marathons, checking out new restaurants in the city and spending time with friends and family. He is a graduate of the University of Washington.
Bobby Caina Calvan, National Board Representative
Freelancer; Project consultant for The Fund for Investigative Journalism
Bobby Caina Calvan is a freelance journalist and project consultant for The Fund for Investigative Journalism, a Washington-based nonprofit that awards grants to independent investigative journalists.
Bobby has worked in some of the country’s best newsrooms, including The Associated Press, The Boston Globe, The Sacramento Bee and the Detroit Free Press. He’s covered the war in Iraq for McClatchy Newspapers, wrote about the national debate over health care for The Sacramento Bee and hopscotched the country for The Boston Globe during the 2012 presidential campaign. As an AP reporter, Bobby chronicled the election-eve body-slamming of a reporter by a Montana congressional candidate who nevertheless won his bid for office.
While Bobby has worked in some of the country’s biggest news outlets, his roots are firmly in local news. He has also worked for the Gilroy Dispatch and the Redding Record Searchlight.
His career transcends platforms: He has produced stories for print, digital, radio and television. He spent a year on a journalism diversity initiative in Nebraska called The Heartland Project, where he spearheaded collaborations with newsrooms across the state to enhance coverage of communities of color and LGBT issues. He also lectured as journalist-in-residence at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Diversity and inclusive journalism is in his DNA, and so is his strong advocacy for mentoring the next generation of journalists.
He served as chair of AAJA’s national MediaWatch program for seven years, serving as AAJA’s chief watchdog for fair and accurate news coverage of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans.
Bobby grew up on a dairy farm at the foot of the Ko’olau Mountains in Waimanalo, Hawai’i — then bolted for the big city as soon as he could. He spent his first year of college in culture shock at New York University before taking his flip flops and pidgin accent back west, where he earned a legal studies degree at the University of California, Berkeley.
Vannessa Maravilla, Treasurer
Content Editor, California Chamber of Commerce
Vannessa Maravilla is a Content Editor at the California Chamber of Commerce. She studied at the University of California at Davis and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English in June 2005.
She continued her studies at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where she received her Master of Arts degree in Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism in June 2008.
After graduating from Syracuse University, she did an internship at the Office of Public Information at the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
Vannessa joined AAJA Sacramento as a student member in 2005 and was one of the chapter scholarship recipients in 2007.
Tillie Fong, Secretary
Tillie Fong is a Sacramento native, whose most recent journalism stint was as a part-time reporter for The Sacramento Bee in 2014. Previously, she had spent more than 20 years as a reporter for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado. She started her journalism career as an undercover reporter with The Sacramento Bee, where she also did a summer internship. She later worked as an intern reporter for the capital bureau of the Los Angeles Times. and completed the Summer Program for Minority Journalists at the University of California, Berkeley before moving to Colorado.
While at the Rocky Mountain News, she has covered a number of major news events , ranging from the Columbine High School shooting to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. After the paper folded in 2009, Tillie joined many of her former colleagues in starting INDenverTimes.com, an online newspaper in Colorado, and the RockyMountainIndependent.com, an online Denver news magazine.
Tillie graduated from Pitzer College with a bachelor’s degree in political studies and women’s studies and attended the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. While at Berkeley, she interned with the Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco, and was awarded a Journalism in Asia Fellowship, which she used to interview women leaders in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
A long-time at-large member of AAJA, Tillie participated in the Executive Leadership Program in 2002. She was one of the founding members of the AAJA Denver chapter, and served as both secretary and national board representative for the Denver chapter from 2010-2011. She joined the Sacramento chapter in 2012, and has served on the board since 2013.
Soreath Hok, Board Member
Partner and Founder, DISRUPT Marketing
Soreath Hok is the partner and founder of DISRUPT Marketing, a multicultural creative network based out of Sacramento and Brooklyn, NY, that specializes in marketing, business and content strategy to develop brands and connect influencers from coast-to-coast.
Soreath has an extensive multimedia production background in radio, television and digital media. She worked as a TV news producer for more than 10 years and earned two Emmy nominations at KCRA 3 in Sacramento. She then moved into the marketing and adverstising industry with a focus on digital media, producing content campaigns for national brands like CLIF Bar and Gallo Wines. Soreath is now using her production and storytelling experience to explore filmmaking. She completed her first short film in 2016, as part of an advertising campaign for Sacramento’s last-standing video store, Awesome Video.
Cody Kitaura, Board Member
Content Provider and Strategist, UC Davis
Cody Kitaura is a multimedia journalist and communications professional with experience covering local and regional news, and even stories with international exposure. He has worked at a number of Sacramento-area news outlets and most recently as a public information officer for the California State Board of Equalization. He has been a member of the Sacramento chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association since 2008, and has served as secretary and vice president.
Erin Komatsubara, Board Member
Associate Producer, KOVR-TV
Erin G. Komatsubara happily works in television for the local CBS network affiliate, KOVR-TV in News as an Associate Producer. Erin lives happily-ever-after with her husband of 29 years, and 3-pound, white, fuzzball, Mochiko-the-Maltese Wonder Dog.
Stephanie Lin, Board Member
Stephanie Lin is an award-winning anchor-reporter with KHSL-TV. Her work has taken her everywhere from the front lines of California’s deadliest wildfire to the heart of political protests abroad in Asia.
Stephanie returns to the newsroom after several years of managing global marketing campaigns for top Silicon Valley startups. Her news career began as a production assistant at ABC 20/20 in New York, where she cut her teeth researching for Diane Sawyer, John Quiñones and ABC News national correspondents. Stephanie then graduated from the competitive NBC Page Program, where she worked at the TODAY Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live.
Stephanie is a Bay Area native and a graduate of UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) with degrees in mass communication and Chinese. She is recognized as one of Girls in Tech’s Top 40 Under 40 and is an SPJ Diversity Fellow. Fun fact: She was also Miss Asian America in 2015!
Stephanie enjoys spending time with her sheltie, Merlin, horseback riding, video gaming, trying new restaurants and exploring the great outdoors — when not chasing breaking news, of course! She is active on social media and invites you to connect with her at @StephanieLinTV.
Lonnie Wong, Board Member
Reporter, Fox40 KTXL-TV
A Sacramento native and an active volunteer for numerous community organizations, Lonnie Wong brings a vast local perspective and nearly 30 years of reporting experience to Fox 40 News at 10.
Since 1980, Lonnie has worked in many capacities at KTXL-TV, currently as a general assignment reporter.
His numerous community activities include founding board member and former president of the Sacramento Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association, founding board member of the Chinese American Council of Sacramento, and current planning board member for the Pacific Rim Street Festival.
A graduate of UC Davis, he worked for campus station KDVS and moved on to work for various radio and television stations and networks as a technician, reporter, and field producer before going to KTXL-TV. He is also a member of the Asian Pacific Rim Foundation, established to give scholarships to students and grants to fund non-profit organizations in the Asian-Pacific Islander community.
Lonnie received the AAJA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
Pamela Wu, Board Member
Director of Communications and Media Relations, UC Davis Health
Pamela Wu is the Director of Communications and Media Relations for UC Davis Health.
Pamela joined UC Davis in 2009, after more than a decade as a television news anchor and reporter. She was nominated for an Emmy award for her work as host of the cultural affairs program “KCRA 3 Common Ground” and received the Unity Award in Media for political reporting. These days, she continues to work in broadcast journalism as a substitute host on “Insight,” the daily public affairs program on Capital Public Radio, Sacramento’s NPR station. She hosted a health care documentary on Capital Public Radio that won the 2012 Edward R. Murrow Award.
Pam is the founding co-director of the AAJA Media Institute, leading a team of award-winning journalists to train thought leaders to become valuable sources to the media. She was named AAJA Member of the Year in 2015.