Meet Our Leadership Team, Part 2

March 30, 2021

Since November, Open Signal’s six-person leadership team has been acting as the organization’s central decision-making body. Last month on our blog, we met Elisa Barrios, Ifanyi Bell and Rebecca Burrell. This month, we hear from Jim Bruce, Jamie Plakos and Leslie Yan.

Jim Bruce, Director of Information Systems

“I am the Director of Information Services, which is integral in providing the platform for our community to create and distribute video content on our channels as well as online. I seek to help our producers learn new skills to bring their content to wider audiences as well as support our community by providing modern technology solutions.

I believe that making the tools and knowledge for creating video content should be accessible by everyone who wants to learn. Our mission to make those tools accessible and available to our local community is vital to helping teach Media Literacy where the rest of society fails to do so.

The changing media landscape has brought with it many new hurdles for how people engage with media. By offering an array of learning opportunities about Media Literacy, Media Production, and Media Distribution, we can help people navigate this new landscape as informed participants, rather than as passive observers. Moving forward into more online distribution methods and teaching producers about the ways in which to engage with those technologies, we can teach our producers how to navigate the changing landscape of media.

We will leave in the past old thinking about gatekeeping content creation. An individual's story does not have to be ‘cool’ for it to have meaning. Not just for the creator of the content, but for the audience that has yet to find the stories that are being told.”

Jamie Plakos, Director of Community Media

“I oversee Open Signal's Community Media Department, providing video production resources, media education, public events and cable/online TV programming to the community. 

I come from an operations background with extensive experience in department development and process organization. I am also certified in HR. I have worked at all types of organizations, from startups to corporate enterprises. I like to utilize my experience to think broadly about traditional systems and ways to adapt them in order to make them less toxic and more equitable. 

I was raised to believe that if you try hard you can do anything. However, the reality is that I've done everything by the book, even overachieving in many instances, but still struggled most of my life. My life experiences have really opened my eyes to the role that social status and race play and the issues within our current systems. I chose to work with Open Signal because I felt the weight of the corporate world and rather than accepting and contributing to the flawed systems, I wanted to make an impact and help get services to those who need them most. 

I want to bring to the future this team's enthusiasm to work together towards a common goal of social justice. I want to leave behind the fear to do something different, to take a stance, to be the change.”

Leslie Yan, Director of Administration

“As Director of Administration I can help you with anything regarding Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, as well as accounting and Human Resources. I have many years of experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit realms. 

In this time of organizational transition, I’m inspired by our ability to provide access to the community. I hope we will become a well-known organization for media education and equipment access. And as we move into the future, I see us embodying our equity values,  and leaving overworking in the past.”

Read more about our transition in this blog post by Board President Karim Hassanein. To contact our leadership team directly, email directors [at]

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