SPJ Northern California Board Members


Ben Trefny – President

Ben Trefny handles daily operations in the KALW news department, overseeing the editorial and sound engineering teams, producing the nightly news and culture show Crosscurrents, and managing the KALW Audio Academy training program. 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 numerous magazines and working for various commercial and public radio programs, Ben joined KALW in 2004. He has helped the department win numerous regional and national awards for long- and short-form journalism. He has also helped train hundreds of audio producers, many of whom work with him at KALW, today. Ben lives with his wife and twin children in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset district, where Golden Gate Park meets Ocean Beach, and spends as much time as he can outside.

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez — Vice President

Born and raised in San Francisco, Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez writes the S.F. Examiner’s political column On Guard, covering City Hall slugfests and The City at large. He is also a transportation beat reporter covering pedestrians, Muni, BART, bikes, and anything with wheels. Joe had the honor of being the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s last reporter before it shuttered in 2014. His Examiner column, On Guard, is named for the long-running Bay Guardian column.
As an SPJ member and now chapter vice president, Joe is passionate about teaching the next generation of journalists, from City College of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, the Bay Area’s high schools and beyond. He has also an active member of SPJ NorCal’s Freedom of Information Committee, an arm of SPJ tasked with championing the public’s access to government records and defending press freedoms.


Liz Enochs – Treasurer

Liz Enochs is an award-winning economic, financial, and legal journalist with many years of experience at major outlets including Bloomberg News and Red Herring magazine. Her stories have appeared in The New York Times, The International Herald-Tribune, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Los Angeles Times, The Seattle Times, and The Boston Globe, among other publications. She’s a two-term past president of SPJ Northern California.




Katherine Bourzac – Secretary

Katherine Bourzac has been on the SPJ NorCal board since 2014. She’s a freelance science journalist based in San Francisco. Her coverage of synthetic biology, computing, renewable energy, and chemistry can be found in Nature, Chemical & Engineering News, Scientific American, IEEE Spectrum, and Technology Review, where she is a contributing editor. Katherine is on the freelance committee of the National Association of Science Writers. Prior to going freelance, Katherine was the materials science editor at Technology Review. She is an alumna of the MIT graduate program in science writing.




Rebecca Bowe

Rebecca Bowe is an Advocacy Press Secretary for Earthjustice’s Lands, Oceans and Wildlife program in San Francisco. She spent 11 years as a reporter, most recently producing radio and web pieces for KQED News. She served as an editor at the San Francisco Bay Guardian in 2013 and 2014. Her award-winning coverage has touched on a variety of issues including San Francisco politics and government, police violence and racial inequality, debates surrounding California water policy, and the public safety implications of aging gas pipelines. Rebecca served as president of the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists from September 2016 until August 2017. She previously served as vice president of the NorCal chapter board and as co-chair of the board’s Freedom of Information Committee.

Jen Chien

Jen Chien is a senior radio editor at Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. She is also lead editor for 70 Million, an open-source podcast about criminal justice reform from Lantigua Williams & Co.. Previously, she was Managing Editor for Crosscurrents and KALW News. She has been a contributor to All Things Considered, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC/PRI’s The World, Making Contact, SF Public Press, East Bay Express, New America Media, and KPFA in Berkeley, where she took part in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. Her work has been recognized by the Peabody Awards, California Humanities, PRNDI, the San Francisco Press Club, and she was the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Emerging Journalist Award from SPJ NorCal. She holds a BA in American Studies from Smith College, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Performance from New College of California. Before entering the field of journalism, she had a successful career as a professional dance and theater artist, teacher, and massage therapist.

L.A. Chung

L.A. Chung is an experienced journalist who has worked at the Hartford Courant, San Francisco Chronicle, and San Jose Mercury News. She currently serves as an aide in the office of California state Senator Jerry Hill.




Michelle Devera

Michelle Devera is an editor for BC Water News based in Walnut Creek. Prior to joining Brown and Caldwell, she worked at The San Francisco Chronicle as a Web producer, managing the newspaper’s website, app, and social media channels. She began her news media career as a Chips Quinn Scholar, working as a reporter and copy editor at The Record in Stockton, California.





Carl T. Hall

Carl T. Hall is a longtime daily newspaper reporter and union organizer. He serves as Executive Officer of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, Local 39521 of TNG-CWA. Hall also has served as an instructor at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Hall worked as a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle from 1987 to 2007, covering science and medical research for most of that time. He was a staff correspondent in the Chronicle’s Washington, D.C., bureau, from 1987 to 1989, specializing in economics. Previously, Hall worked for USA Today as economics writer in Washington. He was business editor at the Stockton (Calif.) Record, covered state government and politics at the Arkansas Democrat in Little Rock, and was a reporter for the Rutland (Vt.) Herald.

Hall earned his master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley and BA in English from Castleton State College in Vermont.


Laura Hautala

Laura Hautala has been on the SPJ NorCal board since 2014. She writes about hackers, computer security and privacy at CNET News in San Francisco, touching on all the things that can happen to your personal information on the internet.

Previously, she wrote about California state and federal courts for the Daily Journal from San Francisco, where her coverage included many employment lawsuits and white collar crimes. An alumna of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Laura has also reported on local and national politics for Politico, the Los Angeles Times and the East Bay Express.

Lila LaHood

Lila LaHood is the publisher of the San Francisco Public Press. She has worked as a nonprofit consultant, and as a freelance writer and editor. She was previously a business writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where she covered retail and real estate. Lila has an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a B.A. in international relations from Stanford University.





Nancy Mullane

Nancy Mullane is a writer, reporter, and photographer and reported for This American Life, National Public Radio, Marketplace, Latino USA, and the NPR affiliates KALW News and KQED in San Francisco. In 2009, Mullane was awarded a Soros Justice Media Fellowship by the Open Society Foundations and in 2012 her first non-fiction book, Life After Murder: Five Men In Search of Redemption was published by PublicAffairs. In 2014, Penal Reform International presented Mullane with an award for her reporting on individuals serving death sentences. In 2013, Life After Murder was awarded the National Council on Crime and Delinquency’s, Media for a Just Society Book Award. In 2012 Nancy co-founded the podcast Life of the Law, and works with scholars and journalists at Life of the Law to produce and publish bi-weekly feature episodes.  Mullane is on the Board of the Northern California Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists and is a member of the Association of Independents in Radio. In 2011, Nancy was the recipient of the National Edward R. Murrow Award for her story, “Long Shot” on This American Life.


Pueng Vongs

Pueng Vongs is an experienced journalist, digital editor and former SPJ Diversity Chair. She currently works at Bay Area News Group/Digital First Media. Previously, Vongs has worked for Yahoo!,, Money magazine and Pacific News Service/ New America Media. She has also contributed work to the Asian Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Sun-Times and NPR, among other outlets.





Troy Williams

Troy Williams is founder of the San Quentin Prison Report, a video and award-winning radio production program inside San Quentin State Prison. Williams co-founded San Quentin’s satellite chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and co-founded San Quentin’s financial literacy program entitled F.E.E.L. (financial empowerment emotional literacy).

Williams has worked as a Youth Program Development Specialist, Restorative Justice Facilitator, a cinematographer, and columnist for the Oakland Post. He is currently on the San Francisco District Attorney’s Formerly Incarcerated Advisory Counsel, Oakland City’s Safety and Services Oversight Commission, and on the Board of UnCommon Law. Williams is Founder and Executive Director of Restorative Media, a multimedia production and consulting company.

Paayal Zaveri

Paayal Zaveri is a Field Producer at CNBC’s San Francisco Bureau. She is an alum of the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where she focused on multimedia reporting. She is a writer and producer with experience in online, data and broadcast storytelling. Her work has been published in CNBC, NBC Asian America, KQED Public Radio, San Francisco Public Press and Richmond Confidential.


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