Board of Directors

This group of community leaders brings lived experience and expertise to oversight of our nonpartisan nonprofit.

The directors are ambassadors for our mission and our work. They support inewsource with time, treasure and talent and ensure its financial health.

Executive Leadership

Sandra Timmons

Board Chair

Video Producer (retired) and Community Volunteer

More about Sandra

Sandra Timmons has worked as a producer/writer and video consultant for corporate and educational clients. As a member of the KPBS-TV staff, she produced public affairs programs and was a location director for the “Nightly Business Report.”

As owner of Video Applications for Education and Training, Timmons produced videoconferences, documentaries and instructional videos, and developed interactive educational computer games and internet products. With the California State University Office of the Chancellor, she created programs for the National Science Foundation aimed at increasing participation of minorities and women in math and science, and increasing graduation rates of minority and economically challenged students. Timmons also produced videoconference programs for continuing education credit for the American Chemical Society, IEEE and the California Bar Association.

As a community volunteer, Timmons has served on nonprofit boards of directors, including Encinitas Educational Foundation, SDA Foundation, UC San Diego Foundation, San Diego Children’s Choir, San Diego Social Venture Partners and Bach Collegium San Diego.

Mark Dillon

Board Vice Chair

Executive Producer and Manager of Software Programming and Creative Services Teams

More about Mark

Since retiring from Verizon in 2009, Mark Dillon has been active in San Diego’s civic life. As board chair for the San Diego Museum of Us, Dillon led the Trustee Working Group de-colonizing the cultural resources in the museums’ possession.

As board chair of the San Diego Human Relations Commission, Dillon advised the mayor and City Council on policies to assure that all city residents have equal access to economic, political and educational opportunities.

During his two years as board chair of the San Diego Anti-Defamation League, Dillon worked to confront racism, anti-semitism and bullying — and the roll-out of the “No Place for Hate” school site educational program in the San Diego Unified School District and many other school districts in San Diego County.

As a lead partner with San Diego’s Social Venture Partners, Dillon directed a three-year capacity building program for Words Alive, a youth literacy program, to better manage its human resources, acquire new computers for financial and operational tasks, develop its board and focus strategic planning.

Previously, Dillon was a documentary film producer-director in San Francisco for the local ABC News affiliate.

Heather Whitley-Quinn

Board Secretary

HR Professional

More about Heather

Heather Whitley-Quinn began her career with Manpower in August 1990 and has been managing its human resource functions since 1997. Whitley-Quinn’s sphere of influence incorporates employee relations, recruitment, benefits design and administration, and training program development and implementation. Since 2005, she has led Manpower’s workforce development initiatives, partnering with various public, private and community-based organizations to advise on issues relating to work readiness. Whitley-Quinn’s collaboration with these organizations to develop and implement training programs has resulted in returning hundreds of San Diego County’s adult and dislocated residents to meaningful employment.

Atul Patel

Board Treasurer

Corporate Treasurer

More about Atul

Atul Patel has more than 30 years of international treasury management experience. He has managed surplus cash investment portfolios, foreign exchange and interest rate risk, risk management and global banking relationships. He has negotiated and executed long-term financing in multiple countries to support growth in emerging markets. He also negotiated and established co-branding programs across Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to joining PriceSmart, Patel served as assistant treasurer for a private investment management firm in Bahrain and Geneva. Before that he spent seven years with Imperial Chemical Industries in London focusing on managing foreign exchange and interest rate risk and day-to-day treasury operations and investment of surplus cash. 

Patel is a graduate of the University of Wales in the UK, where he earned his BS in economics and materials science. He has served as trustee and treasurer at the International Community Foundation and Alliance Healthcare Foundation.


Sarah Bakhiet

Teacher, Coach

More about Sarah

Sarah Bakhiet was born in Khartoum, Sudan, and grew up in Libya. She attended the Oil Companies School in Tripoli, Libya, before immigrating to the United States in 1980. 

She attended Berkshire School and Mount Holyoke College, both in Massachusetts. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Iowa College of Law. Choosing not to practice law, she became a teacher and coach. 

She taught history, government and constitutional law at Berkshire School then at La Jolla Country Day School. She also served as assistant head of school at La Jolla Country Day School for eight years. She then served as a head of school at Seabury Hall, the premier college prep school on Maui, Hawaii. 

After retiring in 2019, she began serving on the Jewish Family Service Board of Directors. She stays busy reading, learning American Sign Language and enjoying Japanese drumming (taiko), gardening and learning to play the cello.

Heather Bergman

Vice President, Portfolio Manager, Asset Management Industry

More about Heather

Heather Bergman believes that investigative journalism is essential to transparency in government. She works as an investment professional and has a background in public policy and teaching.

Bergman holds a doctorate in political economy from UCLA. She earned her master’s degree at Columbia University and her bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University.

Stephanie Bergsma

Associate General Manager, KPBS (retired)

More about Stephanie

Stephanie Bergsma is a former associate general manager at KPBS, where she was instrumental in developing the public radio and TV station’s partnership with inewsource. Her goal was to foster in-depth investigative journalism in San Diego.

During her 30 years at KPBS, Bergsma was responsible for creating the Producers Club and major gifts and underwriting programs. She was responsible for the capital campaign for the KPBS Copley Telecommunications Center. Her relationship with Joan Kroc led to a $230 million gift to NPR and a $5 million gift to KPBS.

Bergsma served on the inewsource Board of Directors 2014-2022 and also has been on the boards of  several other San Diego nonprofit institutions, including the Museum of Photographic Arts, Francis Parker School and Voices for Children.

Michele Chin-Purcell

Engineer, Scientist, Artist

More about Michele

Michele Chin-Purcell is the founder of Chin-Purcell Consulting. Formerly Vice President of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs at Nalu Medical, Inc., Chin-Purcell has spent a busy career in the medical device industry in roles of increasing complexity and challenges in quality assurance, regulatory affairs, corporate compliance, and research and development, in both large corporations and small start-up companies. She also serves on the advisory board of Aural Analytics.

An active member of her community, Chin-Purcell has also served on the non-profit boards of the Melpomene Institute, the Ethnic Dance Theater and San Diego Taiko. Currently, her activities include hiking, yoga, volunteering at the tide pools with Cabrillo National Monument and performing with San Diego Taiko. She is a voracious reader and is a passionate consumer of fact-based news.

Chin-Purcell holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and an MS and PhD in ME from the University of Minnesota.

David Hoyt Fuhriman

Chief Financial Officer, The Campanile Foundation

More about David

David Hoyt Fuhriman is the chief financial officer of The Campanile Foundation. All gifts to San Diego State University are accepted and administered by the foundation. Since 2015, Fuhriman has been involved with inewsource, serving on the Finance and Audit committees, and joined the board in 2019.

Previously, Fuhriman was CFO of Educational Enrichment Systems, a nonprofit provider of early education programs dedicated to closing the achievement gap for low-income families, and CFO of Mission Edge San Diego, a nonprofit provider of operational services and fiscal sponsorship. He also worked for a telecom manufacturer and founded three start-ups in healthcare analytics, internet access and commercial cleaning.

In 2017, he published “Without Luck: a book about innovation,” in which he created a framework to navigate the uncertainties of innovation.

Fuhriman holds a certified public accountant license from the California Board of Accountancy. He has an MBA from Northwest Nazarene University and a bachelor’s degree from Boise State University, where he majored in Spanish and minored in economics.

Matthew Halgren

Attorney, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP

More about Matthew

Matthew Halgren is an attorney at the law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, where he specializes in appellate litigation and news media law.

Halgren works on all aspects of the appellate process across many fields of law for clients in a host of industries, including technology, finance and insurance sectors. He has briefed and orally argued a variety of matters in state and federal appellate courts.

A First Amendment specialist, Halgren advises news media clients on matters related to the reporting process. He enjoys collaborating with journalists to obtain government records and to avoid the legal pitfalls that can accompany the work of a free press. Before representing news media organizations as a practicing lawyer, Halgren worked on their behalf as a student in the Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic. In college, he served on the editorial board of the Daily Princetonian, and he was the editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, the Grossmont Foothill Echoes.

Halgren previously served as a law clerk for two federal judges, Richard R. Clifton of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Marilyn L. Huff of the U.S. District Court in San Diego Before law school, he served in the office of then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Elaine Harwell

Privacy and Cybersecurity Lawyer, Procopio

More about Elaine

Elaine Harwell focuses on representing clients in privacy and data security matters, including litigating claims involving privacy issues, helping clients manage emerging risks and conduct privacy risk assessments, and advising on regulatory and compliance issues. She has been involved in numerous trials, as well as arbitration proceedings related to contract and general business disputes, trade secret matters, complex unfair competition and business practice claims, and professional liability. Harwell has earned the ANSI-accredited Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US) and the Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) credentials through the International Association of Privacy Professionals. She is also the co-leader of Procopio’s privacy and cybersecurity practice and the firm’s privacy officer.

Karen Liu

Medical Device Leader, World Traveler, Passionate Supporter of Journalism, Animal Welfare and Conservation

More about Karen

Karen Liu is the vice president of quality assurance and regulatory affairs at Carlsmed, Inc. Her deep industry experience includes leadership roles at NuVasive, Medtronic and several San Diego start-ups. Her career path has been driven by improving patient outcomes with safe and innovative medical devices. 

Liu has a B.S. in Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and holds certifications from American Society for Quality and Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.

Liu is a news junkie who is passionate about data-driven reporting. She has been a Spotlight Club member since 2016. She is also a long-time Producer’s Club Member of KPBS, a President’s Club member of the San Diego Zoo and a Humane Leaders Circle member of the San Diego Humane Society. Her other passions are world travel and mentoring the next generation of engineering leaders.

Kitty Wolcott

Community Advocate

More about Kitty

A proud member of the inewsource board of directors, Kitty Wolcott believes strongly in civic involvement for the enhancement of the community.

Wolcott is the former president of the KPBS Producers Club and created the club’s first committee to implement fundraising goals. She is politically active by helping to develop a volunteer group of 200 people. She also has volunteered at Rady Children’s Hospital in the NICU since 2002.

She is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a major in marketing.


Martha Dennis

Principal, Gordian Knot

More about Martha

Martha Dennis is principal at Gordian Knot, an advisory firm to emerging technology businesses in San Diego. She previously was a venture partner with Windward Ventures, which invested in early-stage Southern California technology companies.

Dennis also was co-founder, president and CEO of WaveWare Communications Inc., which sold software for wireless handheld connectivity. Before that, Dennis co-founded Pacific Communications Sciences Inc., a San Diego wireless communications equipment company later acquired by Cirrus Logic. Dennis also led software development at Linkabit Corp. as assistant vice president. She currently serves as board chairman of Netsapiens Inc., lead director of Space Micro Inc. and director of Mundoval Fund.

Dennis is past chair of the city of San Diego Science & Technology Commission and past president of San Diego’s telecom industry association. She has led several nonprofit boards, including the La Jolla Music Society, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, Bishop’s School, and Athena. She has been a trustee of the San Diego Museum of Art, Harvey Mudd College, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Foundation, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, San Diego Museum of Art and YMCA of San Diego County.

Dennis holds a doctorate from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Smith College.

Joyce Gattas

Special Assistant to the President, San Diego State University

More about Joyce

Joyce M. Gattas is former special assistant to the president of San Diego State University. Previously, she was dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, where she led 11 departments and schools with several centers and research institutes, ranging from the visual and performing arts, communication, hospitality management and ROTC.

Well known in the San Diego civic and philanthropic community, Gattas is dedicated to connecting the college to the community through her direct involvement. She currently serves on the boards of the Balboa Park Conservancy, San Diego Museum of Art and San Diego Public Library Foundation.

Her honors include “50 People to Watch,” “10 Cool Women,” Who’s Who in San Diego, Women Who Mean Business, the “Ginger Award” for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts, and Women of Dedication Honoree.

Gattas has a doctorate from the University of California Berkeley and is a graduate of the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. Before she was an SDSU dean, she served as the associate vice president for faculty affairs at the university. She also taught at the California State Universities in Long Beach and Hayward.

Brant Houston

Professor and Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting and Enterprise Reporting, University of Illinois

More about Brant

Brant Houston is a professor and Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois. He also is a member of the faculty of the Graduate School of Library Information and Sciences. At Illinois, he also oversees an award-winning online news site,

From 1997 to 2007, Houston was executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors, a 5,000-member association, and taught at the Missouri School of Journalism. Before that, Houston was an award-winning investigative reporter for 17 years. He was a member of the newsroom staff at The Kansas City Star that won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of a hotel building collapse and a member of the investigative team that won a Headliners Award for exposing shoddy building inspection practices in the Kansas City area.

Houston is co-author of “The Investigative Reporter’s Handbook” (Fourth Fifth and Sixth Editions and author of five editions of “Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide.” Houston also is a co-founder and chair of the board of directors of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, a consortium of more than 180 nonprofit newsrooms around the world. He was a co-founder of the Institute for Nonprofit News, a consortium of more than 250 nonprofit newsrooms in North America, of which inewsource is a member.

Bernie Kulchin

Corporate VP, Human Resources (retired), Cubic Corp. and General Dynamics Corp.

More about Bernie

Bernie Kulchin has had a distinguished career in human resources management in industry and as a consultant. He is currently serving the nonprofit community on a number of boards.

For more than a decade, he was responsible for all human resources functions for Cubic Corp. and its 7,000 employees. Before Cubic, Kulchin was with General Dynamics Corp. for more than 30 years. There, he was division vice president of human resources.

He has been an instructor and leader in human resources management and leadership development topics. Kulchin has taught human resources management at UCSD and National University. He also has been an expert witness in employment law cases.

In the nonprofit sector, Kulchin served on the San Diego Library Foundation board of trustees and as a member of the boards of San Diego Habitat for Humanity and San Diego Youth Symphony. He also served as chair for Nonprofit Management Solutions and as a member of the advisory board for Elder Help and the Jenna Druck Foundation.

Charles Lewis

Founding Executive Director, Investigative Reporting Workshop, and Professor, American University

More about Charles

The Encyclopedia of Journalism cited Charles Lewis as “one of the 30 most notable investigative reporters in the U.S. since World War I.” Lewis is the founding executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop and a professor of journalism at the American University School of Communication in Washington, D.C.

A national investigative journalist for over 40 years, Lewis is a bestselling author who founded the Center for Public Integrity and its International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in Washington. He left a successful career as an investigative producer for ABC News and the CBS News program “60 Minutes” to begin the Center for Public Integrity from his home, growing it to a full-time staff of 40 people. Under his leadership, the center published roughly 300 investigative reports, including 14 books, from 1989 through 2004, and was honored more than 30 times by national journalism organizations.

Lewis was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1998. And in 2004, PEN USA, the respected literary organization, gave its First Amendment award to Lewis, “for expanding the reach of investigative journalism … and for boldly exercising his freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”

Nita van der Werff

Artist and Environmentalist

More about Nita

Nita van der Werff is a practicing artist and conservationist. She has been a studio ceramic artist, landscape designer and photographer. As a Master Gardener, she believes in the importance of organic farming/gardening and sustainability. She grows food for others and mentors young people in the life of the land.

A recent trustee of The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico, van der Werff now works with the conservation group, Amigos Bravos, to protect and restore the waters of New Mexico. She is also an honorary trustee of the San Diego Natural History Museum and is active in several arts organizations in Taos.

She grew up in San Diego and received a bachelor’s degree in political science and art history from San Diego State University. Her home has been the Galapagos, Holland, Australia, Washington, D.C., and St. Louis. She now lives in Taos, New Mexico.

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