Our team

Madeleine Bair

Founding Director

Madeleine Bair is an award-winning journalist and media developer, and the founder of El Tímpano. Madeleine has been carrying a microphone in her backpack since she belonged to the Oakland bureau of the youth media organization, Children’s Express. As Senior Program Manager at the international nonprofit, WITNESS, she led a pioneering initiative dedicated to advancing the use of citizen video as a tool for human rights. Madeleine has taught radio production to young adults, worked on a morning show at Chicago Public Radio, and produced multimedia for Human Rights Watch. Her stories have appeared in the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Colorlines, and Orion, and broadcast on PRI’s The World and Independent Lens. She lives with her partner and son in Oakland, where she spends her free time making mixtapes, dancing cumbia, and exploring the region on bike.

Maye Primera

Editorial Director

Maye Primera has worked as a reporter and editor for more than 20 years, covering politics, immigration, borders, human rights, and violence in Latin America and the U.S. From 2015 to 2021 she worked as Content Producer with NBCUniversal Telemundo, and as Senior Editor for Latin America for Univision News Digital, before serving as manager of projects with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. Prior to that she was correspondent in the Caribbean and Venezuela for the Spanish newspaper El País, and editor-in-chief of the Venezuelan newspaper TalCual. She has published three books and a podcast about Venezuela’s recent history, and her narrative work has been featured in several non-fiction anthologies.

Deana Balinton

Sr. Manager of Civic Partnerships and Growth

Deana, a daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, grew up in the East Bay, where she has spent the majority of her career helping underserved communities. She leads El Tímpano’s Community Outreach and Engagement Team and the organization’s partnerships with civic agencies, direct service providers, and community-based organizations. Prior to joining El Tímpano Deana served as the Northern California Manager for Self-Help Federal Credit Union, where she advanced their mission of creating and protecting economic opportunity for all. Deana is on the Board of Directors for Brighter Beginnings, an East Bay community health nonprofit. She is married to her partner of 20 years and has three children. In her free time, she coaches basketball at Antioch High School. 

Etel Calles

Community Outreach Coordinator

Community-building and organizing have always been at the heart of Etel Calles’ journey to citizenship. Etel immigrated to Los Angeles from El Salvador at the age of 10 as an unaccompanied minor. She moved to the Bay Area to attend San Francisco State University, and has spent her entire adult life in the region, living in Marin County, Berkeley, and for the past 18 years, Oakland. Her focus is to empower immigrant families by providing reliable information, resources, and support—a mission that inspired her to co-found the organization, Immigrant Family Defense Fund, in 2016, and one that she continues to pursue as El Tímpano’s East Bay Community Outreach Coordinator. In her spare time, Etel dances Zumba and Baile Folklórico.

Kervy Justo Robles

Community Voices Reporter

Kervy was born and raised in Lima, Peru, and migrated to the United States in 2013. Since graduating from Rutgers University, he’s worked as a newsroom producer at Spanish-language television networks including Telemundo and Univision, earning Emmy awards in New York and California. As a bilingual reporter, he’s written from El Salvador, Mexico, and Northern California where he now lives. His work has been published in CBS News, NBC Latino, KQED, CNN, Universidad Portátil and Revista El Malpensante. As El Tímpano’s Community Voices Reporter, he works with community members to tell stories that shine light on the joys, struggles, and complexities of the immigrant experience.

Wen Calm

Mayan Community Engagement Assistant

Wen is a Guatemala-born and Oakland-raised Maya Mam migrant whose passion for media began at an early age. She expanded her experience in creative media and local journalism at UC Santa Cruz, and has continued her learning process through opportunities with several Bay Area media organizations. She works to help expand El Timpano’s reach and service to the Maya Mam community through community engagement and the development of Tpokb’al El Tímpano—a newscast designed for and with the Bay Area’s Mayan immigrants. Wen is passionate about using media as a bridge to help Maya Mam communities gain access to trustworthy news and information. She is in the process of creating a coming-of-age TV show about her Maya Mam experience in the Fruitvale area through the lens of magical realism and science fiction.

José Luis Caicedo


Born and raised in Ecuador, José Luis spent most of his adult life in New York City before moving to Oakland. Fluent in Spanish and English and passable in Portuguese and Japanese, his love of languages has introduced him to worlds of cinema, music, and literature. He is a full-time medical interpreter, and a proud translator for El Tímpano and other nonprofit organizations. 

Advisory Council

Henry Sales

Community leader & Co-founder, Radio B’alam

Ruxandra Guidi

Journalist, professor, University of Arizona

Josué Rojas

Artist & educator

Jesse Hardman

Journalist, educator, founder of Listening Post Collective

Sophie Lan Hou

Incubation Design Lead, Movement Strategy Center

Mai-Ling Garcia - Estrategia digital, Ciudad de San Francisco

Mai-Ling Garcia

Digital Director, Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation

Marcia Parker - Chief Operating Officer, CALMatters

Marcia Parker

VP, Philanthropic Partnerships, The New York Times

Mario Corea  - Voluntario y educador del este de Oakland

Mario Corea

East Oakland community educator & volunteer