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PMBA 2021 Virtual Conference - Speakers

Schedule |  Speakers 





Frank Auer, Director Digital Marketing Fundraising and Strategy, CDP

Frank Auer’s path to supporting public media wound through film production, product development, naming and positioning for major consumer brands, and working with franchisees to sell more pizza and sandwiches. He has driven the Ghostbusters’ Ectomobile, put out pyrotechnic fires, and named products you likely use every day. Using his experience in narrative, product development, and scaled messaging, he has worked to expand public media’s impact by increasing donor conversion, frequency, and average gift. Frank also brings his understanding of consumer psychological behavior from the “for-profit” world and applies it on behalf of clients, driving true change to donor communication methods. Frank has an undergraduate degree in motion pictures from the University of Miami, an MBA from Boston College, and certification in CPS facilitation from the Creative Problem Solving Institute.
James Coates, Assistant Director, Online Strategy, WAMU
James Coates has worked in the membership department at WAMU for seven years and leads digital fundraising for the station.
Kristen Crockett is the director of learning and development for PBS, where she connects people and departments, develops leaders, and empowers teams. Kristen helps individuals and teams become more self-aware, inclusive, and connected, and to grow their interpersonal skills and lead with empathy. She is passionate about helping people understand the power and impact of emotions on interpersonal relationships, life, and the workplace. 
Kristen has a B.A. in communications from Loyola University in New Orleans, an M.A. in film and video from American University, and a J.D. from George Washington University.
Max Duke is vice president of station strategy and development at PBS, where he is responsible for creating and executing strategies for building station capacity, supporting leadership development, and enhancing critical skills for station staff members. Max began his 20-year public media career at South Florida PBS, where he developed and implemented the station’s digital media presence. He later went on to serve as the station’s vice president of content and community partnerships. At PBS, Max has served as senior director of PBS’s Station Products & Innovation team, playing a central role in helping local stations navigate the new digital age through various initiatives, such as the COVE video ecosystem and the Digital Immersion Project. Max’s experience with digital products, content strategy, and multiplatform distribution is at the disposal of PBS stations.
Kimberly Howell joined CPB as inspector general in October 2019. Previously, she served as a senior executive with several federal agencies, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Office of Personnel Management OIG.





Michal Heiplik is the president and co-founder of the Contributor Development Partnership (CDP). As a 20-year public broadcasting veteran, Michal has extensive experience in database management and membership development and in identifying fundraising practices that drive positive results. His previous role as executive director for local development at WGBH amplified his expertise in all aspects of membership. In this role, he oversaw all levels of membership at the Boston station—the largest membership fundraising program in New England. His department focused on individual giving, direct mail solicitation, online giving, door-to-door, digital, and on-air fundraising. As a result of his efforts, WGBH improved its fundraising program by raising 25 percent more net revenue on an annual basis. Prior to WGBH, Michal worked in many different roles at Houston Public Media. He constructed the station’s fundraising database and later moved the entire organization onto a state-of-the-art fundraising platform. This platform enabled dramatic improvement in fundraising results. He later left his position as membership director to lead the national data collaboration that led to the creation of CDP. Michal is a frequent speaker at national fundraising conferences. He is recognized for creating data-driven solutions that enable more effective execution of fundraising projects. Michal is a graduate from the #1 ranked entrepreneurship program in the United States—the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the University of Houston. His entrepreneurial spirit guides his approach to problem solving as he applies his skill to his passion—getting Public Media stations to succeed.




Danielle "Dani" Iannelli, Senior Manager, Immersive Learning Programs, PBS

Danielle “Dani” Iannelli is the senior manager for Immersive Learning Programs. Dani first joined PBS in 2018 as the coordinator for the Digital Immersion Project. In her current position, Dani manages the development, coordination, and planning of PBS’s station-focused immersive education and engagement initiatives. Dani combines her past experiences as an educator and passion for individual development to shape multifaceted professional development experiences for PBS station representatives to continually learn and grow within their roles and beyond. Dani holds a B.S. in communication studies from Appalachian State University and a college student affairs administration from the University of Georgia.

Debra Jacobson, Senior Team Leader, CPB

Debra Jacobson joined CPB in January 2013 and has led several station, production, and interconnection system grant audits. She has presented at prior PMBA conferences on indirect administrative support and improving CPB reporting compliance. Prior to joining OIG, Debra was a finance official in a number of public and private organizations. She holds a B.S. in accounting from the University of Dayton and a certificate in forensic accounting from Georgetown University, and she completed American University Key Executive Leadership programs. She is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner.




Jane Lastinger, CPA, Director, James Moore & Co.

Jane Lastinger is a Certified Public Accountant with several years of experience providing accounting and auditing services. As a director with James Moore & Co., she monitors auditing and accounting projects and client engagements and is responsible for all phases of projects, including fieldwork supervision, risk assessment evaluation, and engagement approach development. Jane has performed auditing services for a variety of clients, including private companies, governments, nonprofits (e.g., public broadcasting stations, direct support organizations, private foundations), and university-affiliated organizations. She leads the firm’s Public Broadcasting Services Team and is skilled in developing audit techniques and reporting best practices under CPB Financial Reporting Guidelines. Jane also has experience auditing alternative investments and has worked on several Lean Six Sigma and operational excellence engagements.




Joyce MacDonald, CEO and President, Greater Public

Joyce MacDonald is president and CEO of Greater Public, where she is responsible for developing its vision, strategic framework, and plans for maximizing public media’s finances for long-term success. Joyce comes to Greater Public from CPB, where she served as vice president of journalism and senior advisor for content operations. In that role she worked across radio, digital, and television to plan, initiate, and administer grant initiatives to support local, regional, and national public media journalism. In consultation with stakeholders across the system, she developed a strategic framework for designing and funding journalism collaboration and innovation and was directly responsible for $16 million in grants in 2016. Joyce previously served as a key advisor to and ambassador for NPR’s president/CEO as chief of staff, led national sponsorship organization National Public Media as interim president and CEO, and spent six years as vice president of member partnership at NPR. Prior to joining NPR in 1999, Joyce was vice president for affiliate marketing with Sony Corporation’s SW Networks, joining Sony after serving as a regional director of affiliate marketing with ABC Radio Networks. She launched her radio career as an account executive with WFNX Radio, Boston and earned her M.S. in broadcast administration from Boston University’s College of Communication.




Deanna Mackey, President/Executive Director, Public Television Major Market Group (PTMMG); Founder, Public Media Women in Leadership

Deanna Martin Mackey is president of the Public Television Major Market Group (PTMMG), a consortium of the 40 largest PBS member stations in the United States. She leads the organization in best practice modeling in all areas of station management, with a focus on system culture, audience expansion, revenue generation, and the future of public media. 
Prior to joining the PTMMG, Deanna worked for 25 years at KPBS, the public media station in San Diego, serving as station manager/COO in her final six years at the station. She is credited with spearheading as a third content platform; creating and implementing KPBS’ converged newsroom, a model for the system; developing the industry’s first One Book program run by a public media station; and establishing the station’s strategic planning process.
In 2015, Deanna co-founded Public Media Women in Leadership, which provides mentorship and leadership training for women as well as addressing issues of gender inequality in the executive ranks of public television and radio. She serves as a Girl Scout troop leader for 17 high school girls and spent 10 years in governance for Girl Scouts San Diego as a board member and committee chair. She is a former board member of the San Diego Autism Society, where she served on the online technology and grant writing committees.
Deanna has earned several awards for leadership, including being named a Hera Heroine in 2018 and receiving a YWCA Tribute to Women & Industry (TWIN) for her mentorship at KPBS and via the Girl Scouts in 2014. She was named Outstanding Alumnus from SDSU’s Daily Aztec newspaper in 2014 and in 2010 was named one of five “Women Who Move the City” by San Diego Magazine. She earned her B.A. from San Diego State University with a double major in journalism and political science.

Kate Midgett, Senior Director of Organizational Excellence, Nine Network of Public Media

Kate Midgett is the senior director of organizational excellence at the Nine Network, where she leads organizational development and change management efforts to build an engaged, inclusive, high-performance culture. Kate’s work also focuses on the continuous quality improvement of Nine Network programs and activities through the development, implementation, and analysis of survey data, action items, and program-specific improvements. Kate oversees Nine Network’s Data Team, a cross-departmental team that utilizes data insights to inform and drive more effective and efficient operations. Kate came to the Nine Network from the Gateway Region YMCA where she served as the association ddirector of quality and impact for over five years. Prior to that, Kate worked with over 100 nonprofits as a consultant for 12 years, including serving as the vice president of a consulting firm for six years. She has a master’s degree in organizational development from Webster University and also holds a master’s degree in sociology with an emphasis in qualitative research, race and ethnic relations, and inequality from Southern Illinois University. Kate has served on several local nonprofit boards and has three research publications in leading journals.




Nick Miller, Managing Editor–News & Information, Capital Public Radio

Nick Miller is an award-winning editor with more than 15 years of newsroom experience. Most recently, he served as a lecturer at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Nick previously worked in the world of print journalism. In 2016, as editor-in-chief of the East Bay Express in Oakland, his staff earned several honors, including the prestigious national George Polk Award for “Local Reporting,” which recognized the paper’s investigation of the Oakland Police Department’s sex-crime scandal.
He also worked as an editor for 12 years at the Sacramento News & Review. Nick oversaw that paper’s First Amendment legal battle with former mayor and NBA all-star Kevin Johnson, work that the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists recognized with a James Madison Freedom of Information Award in 2016. That same year, his paper also won the California News Publishers Association’s “General Excellence” prize for best publication in the state. 
Nick has earned numerous awards for both editing and writing, including several CNPA first-place wins. The national Association of Alternative Newsmedia twice honored his reporting on freedom-of-the-press issues, and once for his coverage of homelessness in Sacramento.

Sarah Mizes-Tan, Race & Equity Reporter, CapRadio

Sarah Mizes-Tan is race and equity reporter for CapRadio. Sacramento has long been a hub for immigrants, and the city is one of the state’s most diverse. In many ways, immigrants and people of color have shaped Sacramento into what it is today. But at the same time, these communities also tend to be areas of disinvestment and ones that are often on the frontlines of gentrification. They’re often overlooked by not just government, but also media. Sarah focuses on reporting on racial inequity in Sacramento and the way in which policy unequally impacts historically underserved communities. As a child of immigrants herself, she is particularly passionate about giving voice to these issues. 

Helen Mollick, IG General Counsel, CPB Office of Inspector General

Helen Mollick, inspector general counsel and assistant inspector general for investigations, joined the CPB OIG in 2012 and has provided legal advice on audits, conducted investigations, and participated in inspections. She also manages the OIG's hotline, analyzing the complaints and advising on their disposition. Helen has held similar positions in other federal OIGs during her 32-year government career.




Sonja Pasquantonio, Human Resources Director, Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc

Sonja Pasquantonio is the director of human resources at Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc. She has over 27 years of experience in various human resources roles spanning government, contract, nonprofit, and quasi-public agencies. Sonja consults for GRC Educators, is an executive steering team member for the Connect HR Leadership Summit, hosts ThinkTANK discussion topics for the Quartz Network, and offers training courses in human resources, business writing, and effective communication. She's also a co-chair for the PMBA HR and Marketing Peer Groups.




Wynde Priddy, Assistant Director Membership, Fundraising, WAMU

Wynde Priddy has worked in the membership department at WAMU for three years and leads the on-air fundraising campaigns. She has worked in public media fundraising for over 15 years.




Jun Reina, EVP/GM, Capital Public Radio

Jun Reina is responsible for all station operations and strategically guiding CapRadio’s growth into the future. He assumed the organization’s top leadership role on July 1, 2020, after more than 13 years at CapRadio, where he served as CFO from 2007–2012 before being promoted to COO/CFO. During his tenure, Jun was instrumental in growing a 45-person, $5 million organization to the 107-person, $17 million organization that it is today, which now includes seven broadcast stations serving Northern California and western Nevada. Additionally, Jun has spearheaded CapRadio’s planned expansion to a new downtown headquarters and a partnership with North State Public Radio that serves the Chico and Redding areas.
Born and raised in the Philippines, Jun attended the Ateneo de Manila University and graduated with a degree in the university's Honors Program in Management. He is also an Executive Scholar at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management–Center for Non-Profit Management. Jun was named CFO of the Year Honoree in 2014 by the Sacramento Business Journal. He is active on boards of nonprofit and arts organizations and is a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum–MVC.


William Richardson, Deputy Inspector General, CPB Office of Inspector General

William Richardson joined CPB/OIG in 2004 and has overseen its audit activities for 16 years. In that role, he is responsible for all the office's reviews of CPB's programs and operations. Prior to joining CPB, he had a 29-year career in the federal inspector general community at the U.S. Department of Labor, the Resolution Trust Corporation, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.




Michael Scher, Director, Financial Planning and Analysis, WAMU 88.5

Michael Scher is the director of financial planning and analysis at WAMU 88.5 American University Radio. Michael was formerly the assistant director of business operations at American University’s Law School, where he was responsible for procurement activities, campus auxiliaries, internal financial reporting, and grants management. Michael is an accountant and attorney, having received his J.D., cum laude, from American University in 2013 and a master’s degree in accounting in 2019. Michael’s interest in public media comes from his undergraduate studies in journalism at American University’s School of Communication.




Jim Taszarek, President, Market Enginuity

Jim Taszarek is president and co-founder of Market Enginuity, a company representing sponsorship sales for public media stations across the United States, and the PRX podcast network. Jim leverages 22 years in public media for analyzing corporate sponsorship performance, developing strategic plans, and managing teams to maximize sponsorship revenue for stations and independent producers. Under Jim’s direction, Market Enginuity has grown to be the largest public media sponsorship sales force in the United States, currently representing local and national sponsorship for 14 public media clients ranging from stations in media markets #2–44 to independent producers of podcasts and nationally distributed content.

Robert Winteringham, Special Counsel, Fletcher Heald & Hildreth

Robert Winteringham is special counsel at the law firm of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth in Washington, D.C., and a founder of the Public Media Consulting Group. Robert was CPB’s deputy general counsel from 2005–2013 and served as an attorney in CPB's Office of General Counsel starting in 1997. He also served as a vice president and chair of the Legal Committee for the North American Broadcasters Association. Prior to CPB, Robert was senior associate at the communications law firm of McFadden, Evans & Sill. He also worked as an intern at the advertising agency Young & Rubicam. Robert is a cum laude graduate of the Indiana University School of Law–Bloomington, where he served on the editorial board of the Federal Communications Law Journal. He received his undergraduate degree with high honors from the University of Michigan.