Laura Aka
Senior Correspondent
Michael James
Senior Producer, Social Media
Jonathan Barenboim
Creative Director
Deidra White
Producer, Editorial
Victoria Lim
Contributing Writer
Mengfang Yang
Editor, Video Content, Development, and Production

Laura Aka

Senior Correspondent

Laura helps oversee the editorial content for WorkingNation. Laura is an experienced journalist and a member of the Producers Guild of America whose work has appeared on CBS, NBC, Fox, Lifetime, the History Channel, HGTV, and A&E. She has a deep interest in nonprofit programs that create opportunities for underserved communities. Laura has directed a children’s visual arts program that focused on bringing the arts to low-income kids. Most recently, she served as Director of Outreach for Streetlights, a training program that provides opportunities for young adults of color to find behind-the-camera work in the entertainment industry.

Follow Laura at LinkedIn and Twitter. Read her articles here.

Michael James

Senior Editorial Producer, Social Media

Michael runs WorkingNation’s social media feeds, while also contributing to the editorial content. Michael has worked in both journalism and corporate communications, handling social media duties in both contexts. His news background includes a 15-year stint as a writer and editor for ABCNews.com, where he served as a reporter and feature writer, managed the weekend and evening news shifts, ran the home page, and worked as a news editor overseeing reporters’ daily work from concept to publication. Earlier in his career, Michael produced television news segments as a liaison between The Star-Ledger and News 12 New Jersey, and he worked newspaper jobs in the New York metro area, including being a stringer reporter for The New York Times while attending Columbia Journalism School.

Follow Michael at LinkedIn and on Twitter.

Jonathan Barenboim

Creative Director

Jonathan oversees all design integration for WorkingNation. He also directs documentary shorts, including our Do Something Awesome series, which highlights solutions to workforce issues. In addition to his role here, Jonathan works as a commercial director and is a Co-founder of Don’t Panic Productions. He has collaborated with Nike, Reebok, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, amongst other prominent brands, and he has worked with studios such as HBO, Netflix, Hulu, and FOX. Fluent in Spanish, Jonathan also works on campaign spots across the Hispanic/Latin-American markets. The Miami native began his career as a cinematographer after earning an MFA in film production at the University of Southern California.

Deidra White

Producer

Deidra is a veteran broadcast journalist, producer, writer, and senior manager based in Chicago with a deep passion for telling stories that have a positive impact on the local community. Most recently, Deidra spent 20 years at WBBM-Channel 2 as the senior manager in charge of planning and special coverage. Prior to that, she was News Director at WWJ radio (the CBS-owned station) in Detroit. She started her career at WBBM-AM in Chicago, working her way up from production associate to managing editor. Currently, she writes a weekly Black history retrospective for iHeartRadio. Deidra is a graduate of the University of Illinois-Chicago

Follow Deidra on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Victoria Lim

Contributing Writer

Victoria is an award-winning journalist and early adopter of multimedia storytelling, using video, audio, broadcast, print, online, and social media platforms to maximize the impact of her reporting and writing. A long-time investigative reporter, newsroom trainer, and communications pro, she has also taught convergence journalism at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, University of South Florida, and University of Tampa.

Follow Victoria at Twitter. Read her articles here.

Stephanie Tobey

Producer, Video Content, Development, and Production

Stephanie produces video content for WorkingNation. Her latest independent producing project is the critically-acclaimed true crime documentary Abducted in Plain Sight. The film has been reviewed by Rolling Stone, Vice, and Newsweek, which called it “the craziest true crime documentary on Netflix.” Other producing credits include the feature horror/comedy Killer Party and the comedy web series Dog Park. She also works with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department as an actress for their Homicide School and Interrogation Training Program.

Follow Stephanie at LinkedIn.

Mengfang Yang

Editor, Video Content, Development, and Production

Mengfang is an award-winning film editor with over eight years of wide-ranging experience in editing more than two dozen short and feature-length narrative films, documentaries, and TV shows for theatrical release, broadcast, streaming and social media. She moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career in post-production after working behind the camera in China. Mengfang earned her Bachelors in Radio, Television and Digital Communication from Liaoning University, followed by her Master of Fine Arts in Cinematography and Film/Video production from Loyola Marymount University.

Jennie Sheffield

Production Coordinator, Video Content, Development, and Production

Jennie is a production coordinator at WorkingNation. She is a creator, writer, and producer of short films, literature, and for the internet.

After earning her BFA from NYU, she lived and worked in theater in Paris and Amsterdam as a performer and teacher. After moving back the United States, Jennie worked in production as a producer in various independent film projects and in sketch comedy. Combining her love for teaching and dance, she went on to own a Pilates studio for over a decade. She is a mother to two young children, a cat, and two dogs.

Follow Jennie at LinkedIn.