The MetroFocus Team


Matthew Chao – Associate Producer

Matthew Chao’s experience in broadcast television can be easily traced through numerous shows and productions for WNET and its affiliates including “NJ Today,” Teaching Channel and the nationally-distributed documentary program “American Masters.”   Prior to his work at WNET, Matthew attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, achieving his B.F.A in film and television production in 2009.  Since then he has produced and edited a variety of short films and news segments.  Currently he resides in Essex County, New Jersey.


Sally Garner – Executive Producer

An Emmy-award winning television producer, Sally Garner’s experience includes producing, writing and reporting for major news outlets including CBS and CNN and public television in New York and Los Angeles. She was a producer and writer for WNET New York’s nationally-distributed news program WorldFocus and senior producer at NJTV’s nightly news program where she also produced live special events coverage. Garner produced and wrote WNET’s Treasures of New York: Lincoln Center, an hour-long documentary on the history and renovation of New York’s cultural arts center, hosted by Patti LuPone. She was Executive Producer for the live two-hour Superstorm Sandy: A Live Town Hall broadcast in May 2013, and co-Executive Producer of the live three-hour program What Next After Newtown in December, 2012. Garner received her B.A. from UCLA.


Kirsti Itameri – Multimedia Producer

A Brooklyn-based photographer, graphic designer and multimedia journalist, Kirsti Itameri creates and produces multimedia content for MetroFocus. She was previously the contributing editor at the Council on Foreign Relations’ Campaign 2012 blog and is the recipient of a 2012 RFK Europe Journalism Award for I Marched Along, an interactive multimedia project focused on the future of women in post-Revolution Egypt. Itameri graduated from Parsons School of Design with a BFA in photography in 2006 and completed an MA at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in 2011.


Rafael Pi Roman – Producer and Host

A native of Cuba, Rafael Pi Roman has anchored, hosted and produced public affairs and political news programs at Thirteen and WNET since 1992.  Pi Roman served as executive producer, writer and host of the three-part special, “The City,” which covered the 1997 New York City mayoral race and won an Emmy in 1999. In 2001 Pi Roman became the host and senior editor of Thirteen’s primetime Emmy award-winning program, “New York Voices.” Pi Roman has been a contributing producer/correspondent for NYC-ARTS since 2009 and in 2010 he became co-host and co-executive producer of Thirteen’s weekly current affairs program, “New Jersey Capitol Report.”  His television work has been honored by the Hispanic Academy of Media Arts and Sciences as well as by the Latino Coalition for a Fair Media. In 2005 Mr. Pi Roman was named one of the 25 most distinguished Hispanic men in New York City by the city’s premier Hispanic newspaper El Diario/La Prensa.  In 2014, Pi Roman won a New York Emmy Award for On Camera Talent for his work as the Program Host of MetroFocus.


Andrea Vasquez – Producer

Andrea Vasquez reports and produces for the MetroFocus broadcast, in addition to reporting for SciTech Now. Prior to joining the MetroFocus team, Vasquez worked as an associate producer for WLIW local programming and as editorial producer for NJTV News, where she booked daily studio interviews and produced stories for the live nightly broadcast. During her time at WNET she also worked on live specials including coverage of Hurricane Sandy, Superstorm Sandy: A Live Town Hall, What Next After Newtown, NJ Decides 2013 and 2014 Election Nights and NJ Decides 2013: U.S. Senate Democratic Primary Debate. Vasquez graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011.


Marisa Wong – Associate Producer

Marisa Wong produces, curates and edits multimedia content for the MetroFocus broadcast and website. Prior to working with MetroFocus, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, West Africa, and worked as a freelance multimedia storyteller. Marisa graduated from New York’s New School for Public Engagement with an M.A. in International Affairs and a concentration in Media and Culture, and received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.



For the WNET Interactive Engagement Group:

General Manager
Daniel B. Greenberg

Director of Digital Strategy
David Hirmes

Direct,  Local Digital Initiatives
Joe Harrell

Director of Technology
Brian Patrick Lee

Creative Director
Nick Miller

Ricardo Galvez

Production Manager
Christiane Wartell

Brian Santalone

Eric Knappe

Michelle Michalos
Bijan Rezvani


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Mutual of America


MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Charlotte and David Ackert, Jody and John Arnhold, Rosalind P. Walter and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of America, your retirement company.
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