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2020 Virtual Annual Conference - Speakers

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Speakers


Moustapha Abdul
Senior Financial Analyst, CPB
Moustapha Abdul is senior director of Station Analysis in the System Development and Media Strategy Department at CPB. He has an MBA and a B.A. in finance, both from the University of Arkansas. He was also awarded the Wall Street Journal Award for outstanding achievement in 2008. Before joining CPB, Moustapha worked as a financial analyst at Corporate Financial Outsourcing, LLC in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he effectively served as the CFO for a number of small companies and nonprofits.
 
 

Kate Arno
Vice President, Community Service Grants & Station Initiatives, CPB
Kate Arno is vice president, Community Service Grants and Station Initiatives, at CPB.
She oversees the development and implementation of policy for the CSG Program, which annually distributes more than $300 million to support public television and radio stations throughout the country. She also oversees initiatives to help stations improve their ability to provide strong public service to their communities. Previously, Kate served for seven years as CPB’s director of television CSG policy and review. Her public television experience includes 10 years at Maine Public where she was vice president of television. Kate has a master’s degree in public policy and management from the University of Southern Maine and a B.S. in journalism from the University of Maine.

 

 

Amy Burkett
General Manager, PBS Charlotte
After 29 years in broadcasting, Amy Burkett still loves the business of connecting through media. She is thrilled to lead the renaissance of WTVI PBS Charlotte, a viewer-supported service of Central Piedmont Community College, as general manager since June 2013. Before that, she spent 14 years at WLVT PBS39 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, as executive vice president. Amy began her career in commercial television working at network affiliates as an anchor/reporter for nine years.
 
Over the last 18 years, Amy has studied the art of leadership and received her John Maxwell certification as a trainer, speaker, and coach in 2012. New York Times bestselling author John Maxwell has written more leadership books than anyone.
 
Amy has led teams to four national PBS awards, 42 Emmy nominations, six Mid-Atlantic regional Emmys, two Mid-South regional Emmys, six Pennsylvania Association of Broadcaster’s Awards, five Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas awards, and one regional Edward R. Murrow Award.
 
Amy is originally from Ohio and holds a B.S. in broadcast journalism from Bowling Green State University.
 

Andrew Charnik
Director, Radio Community Service Grants Policy and Administration, CPB
Andrew Charnik is the director, Radio CSG Policy & Administration, at CPB, where he oversees policy and administration for more than 400 radio stations. He joined CPB in 2011 and has held positions in station grants administration, radio, and the Office of the COO. Prior to CPB, Andrew was an independent consultant for early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs. He also worked domestically and internationally in asset management and private banking with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and with The Walt Disney Company. Andrew earned a B.A. with distinction from the University of Delaware and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.


Kristen Crockett
Director of Learning & Development, PBS

Kristen Crockett is the Director of Learning and Development at PBS where she connects people and departments, develops leaders, and empowers teams. She is responsible for PBS’ learning and development strategy which includes succession planning, high potential employee development, executive leadership development, performance management, 360 feedback, and other talent assessments. She also leads PBS University, which offers over 40 personal and professional development sessions to employees across the organization. Kristen holds 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.

 


Rima Dael
Station Manager, WSHU Public Radio

Rima Dael has over 25 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations in the public media, arts, education, and human service sectors. She came to WSHU from New England Public Radio, where she was the executive director of development and major gifts. Rima is passionate about the essential role of public media in our communities and the transformational power of the arts.

Originally from the Philippines, Rima spent her early years in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, and in several Southeast Asian countries. She received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology and theatre arts from Mt. Holyoke College and her master’s degree in nonprofit management from the Milano School of Management & Urban Policy at the New School University, where she was a community development finance fellow.
 
 

Virginia Dambach
Executive Director, University: Station Alliance

Virginia Dambach, president of Dambach & more, worked for 19 years as a public broadcasting development director at KNPR FM as the sole development staff member, and then for the Prairie Public radio and television statewide network, where she managed a staff of 17 and helped raise $2,500,000 annually from membership, major gifts, underwriting, and foundation grants—all with an eye on NET revenue. Prior to accepting her position as executive director of the University: Station Alliance, Virginia worked with dozens of public radio and television stations nationwide and with Greater Public (formerly the Development Exchange), the Latino Public Radio Consortium, the NFCB, and Allegiance Software.

With a well-rounded development and management background, Virginia is known for her training expertise and her ability to help develop solutions to the daily challenges of working within an institutional setting while managing staff, cultivating members/donors, raising money, and keeping costs down.
 
 

Biniam Debebe
Senior Financial Review Specialist, CPB
Biniam Debebe joined CPB in May 2015 as a senior financial review specialist and is primarily responsible for conducting technical and financial reviews of almost 600 CSG recipients’ annual financial reports to CPB. Previously, he worked for more than 25 years in public practice and with not-for-profits providing audit, tax, accounting, compliance, internal audit, and consulting services as an audit supervisor. He is a Certified Public Accountant and has an MBA in finance.

 

 


Iris Drayton-Spann, MA, PHR, CDE, SHRM-CP
Vice President, HR and Organizational Development, WETA TV

A person smiling for the cameraDescription automatically generatedIris Drayton-Spann is the vice president of HR and organizational development for WETA TV in Arlington, Virginia. WETA is the leading public broadcasting company in the nation’s capital and is one of the largest-producing stations of new content for public television in the United States. She develops, builds, and maintains a strategic HR function that supports WETA’s business strategy, aligning policy and programs with the organization’s strategic plan, mission, values, and culture. As a member of the leadership team, Iris promotes positive employee relations and acts as a trusted advisor on HR issues. Iris and her team are responsible for developing and implementing HR programs for over 300+ employees. In this role, Iris reports directly to the executive vice president/chief operating officer of WETA.

Iris has over 20 years of HR experience, holds SHRM-CP, PHR, and Certified Diversity Executive certifications. She is a member of the National Association of Multi-ethnicity in Communications and the HR Leadership Forum of Northern Virginia and is a graduate of Howard University and George Washington University. She is a member of the board of trustees for New Endeavors by Women (www.nebw.org) and volunteers for Streetwise Partners. In 2019, Iris was honored as one of the 25 HR Leaders of the Year in the Washington, D.C., region by DCA Live.

 


Amanda Eichstaedt
General Manager, KWMR 

Amanda Eichstaedt is the Station Manager/Executive Director of KWMR, West Marin Community Radio in Point Reyes Station. Amanda also serves on the NFCB Board of Directors. She hosts two shows on the KWMR: Bakersfield and Beyond and Swimming Upstream. She is a lover of dogs, and in her free time she enjoys mowing her yard, hiking, swimming in the bay, trail running and riding her bike.

 


Damon Frazier
Senior Consultant, Business Intelligence Solutions Group (BI Solutions Group, LLC)

Damon Frazier is a senior consultant with BI Solutions and has over 20 years of experience in performance and cost management consulting services. Prior to joining BI Solutions, he worked in a similar capacity with PricewaterhouseCoopers Management Consulting Services and IBM Business Consulting Services. He has supported the public media industry and served as the primary point of contact for the SAS/SABS initiatives during 15 reporting cycles. Damon has a B.A. from Ohio University and is a member of the Institute for Management Accountants.

 

 

 


 
Ken Goulet
Senior Financial Review Specialist

Ken Goulet joined CPB in May 2015 as a senior financial review specialist and is primarily responsible for conducting technical and financial reviews for almost 600 CSG recipients’ annual financial reports to CPB. Previously, he worked for 22 years at Grant Thornton LLP, a large independent audit, tax, and advisory firm, as a supervising senior in the Audit Assurance Department and manager in the Global Public Sector division. He has a B.S. in accounting.

 

 


Michal Heiplik
Executive Vice President, CDP

Michal Heiplik is the executive vice president and a co-founder of the Contributor Development Partnership (CDP). As a 20-year public broadcasting veteran, Mr. Heiplik has extensive experience in database management, membership development, and 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; and door-to-door, digital, and on-air fundraising. As a result of his efforts, WGBH improved its fundraising program by raising 25% more net revenue on an annual basis. Prior to WGBH, Mr. Heiplik 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. Mr. Heiplik is a frequent speaker at national fundraising conferences. He continues to lead and participate in many strategic working groups focused on various issues around fundraising and is recognized for creating data-driven solutions that enable more effective execution of fundraising projects. He is a graduate of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the University of Houston, the #1 ranked entrepreneurship program in the United States. His entrepreneurial spirit guides his approach to problem-solving as he applies his skill to his passion—helping public media stations succeed.


Steve Holmes
Director, Public Media Company

Steve Holmes works in partnership with stations to provide insight and develop strategies that enable stations to increase their sustainability and local impact. Steve helps organizations become more successful by using rigorous data analytics to identify new opportunities and lead high-level initiatives that make a meaningful difference for stations and their communities. Prior to joining Public Media Company, Steve worked for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) for 12 years as senior director of Strategy & Insight. Steve developed in-depth knowledge of successful service models across public media, provided critical insight to public media leaders, and created knowledge management practices and tools such as the Station Management Center (now ”PBS HUB”) to better connect station managers to valuable local/national metrics and best practices. Steve also managed all aspects of the PBS strategic planning and performance management process, including board retreats; environmental analysis; staff communication; and the design, development, and implementation of strategic plans and corporate performance metrics. Prior to working in public media, Steve helped launch and grow new products, services, and businesses around the world as part of Royal Mail’s International Services team. He holds an MBA from Duke University.


Kimberly Howell
Inspector General, CPB Office of Inspector General

Kimberly Howell recently joined CPB in October 2019 as inspector general. She previously served as deputy inspector general for investigations at the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, where she oversaw the authority’s investigations into potential criminal fraud, waste, and abuse. She also served as a senior executive with several federal agencies. Ms. Howell began her federal law enforcement career in 1993.

 

 


Tracey Hunt
Vice President of Administration and CFO, SCETV

Tracey C. Hunt is responsible for the oversight of the accounting and financial reporting functions of South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV).

Prior to joining SCETV, Ms. Hunt served as the budget and grants director at the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW). She was responsible for the agency’s budgetary accounting activities, including formulating and executing the agency’s program and operating expense budgets. Additionally, she was responsible for all grants issued to the agency from the federal government and monitoring to ensure state and federal compliance of those grants.

Prior to her time at SCDEW, Ms. Hunt served as the administration director for the Santee-Wateree Community Mental Health Center, a division of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH). In this role she managed accounts payable, accounts receivable, procurement, participant eligibility, grants, contracts, information technology, and physical plant services.

Ms. Hunt also served in a variety of financial roles, with an emphasis on federal grants, auditing financial records, producing financial status reports, preparing budgets, applying for grants, crafting strategic plans, and ensuring accountability and grant compliance, as well as providing training and technical assistance on both the statewide and national levels for the following state agencies: the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), the Office of Homeland Security (OHS), the South Carolina Department of Disability and Special Needs (DDSN), the South Carolina Technical College System (SCTCS), and the South Carolina Parks Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT).

Ms. Hunt received her bachelor’s degree from Columbia College, where she pursued a double major in business administration/accounting and Christian education. She received the student of the year award at Columbia College during her senior year, and she has completed several state and federal leadership certifications. Her hobbies include spending time with her family, photography, reading, and watching the Atlanta Braves play baseball. She has been married to her husband, David, for almost 20 years and has a 7-year-old son, William.

 


Debra Jacobson
Sr. Team Leader, CPB/OIG

Debra Jacobson has been with CPB/OIG for over seven years and has been a lead auditor on several audits. Prior to joining OIG, Ms. Jacobson was a finance official in several public and private organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Dayton and a certificate in forensic accounting from Georgetown University and is a member of the AICPA and the ACFE.

 


 
Mike Jenkins
Senior Consultant, QCatalyst

Mike has spent the last 20+ years successfully working in the media space, and advising clients on all aspects of their operations including media strategy, business development, emerging technology, and user experience. Prior to QCatalyst, Mike was the managing director of revenue strategy and ventures at Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) where he led their digital initiatives including launching new audience facing products and delivering experiences that delighted audiences. Mike also successfully led teams at AOL for 10 years, ending his time there as the director of product for their eCommerce division.

 


Sally Kane
CEO, National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB)

Sally Kane is a successful nonprofit executive with 20 years of experience in the field of community radio. She is a trained facilitator, accomplished fundraiser, and impassioned public speaker. As NFCB’s CEO, Sally led the organization through a comprehensive restructure and built a team that moved the organization into a new chapter that includes impactful national advocacy, industry thought leadership, customized station services, and innovative initiatives that transform community media organizations.

 

 


Tom Karlo
General Manager, KPBS

Tom Karlo is general manager of KPBS, the public media station serving San Diego and Imperial counties. Tom began his career at KPBS in 1973 as a part-time assistant while studying television and film at San Diego State University. He has held numerous positions, including assistant cameraman; director; producer; associate general manager of operations and production; and associate general manager of business, finance, and operations. He won three local Emmys prior to his transition into management. Tom was named general manager in 2009.
 
Under his leadership, the station merged the TV, radio, and digital departments into one content-producing center focused on journalism and local content. The station created "KPBS Evening Edition" on TV, shifted KPBS’s online content to focus on news, invested in local producers for new regional programming, and expanded the radio schedule to feature news and information 24 hours a day. The results have been impressive, with staff, audience, and fundraising growth over the last nine years. KPBS is the highest rated public television station in the nation. More than 1.2 million people watch, listen, click, or stream KPBS’s content each week, with a 24% annual growth in the past year. The news room has grown from 17 people in 2009 to 45 today.
 
KPBS has won 419 awards under Tom’s leadership. Most notably, the station won the 2015 USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism for the station’s coverage of the scandal surrounding former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. This was the second time in five years the station was honored by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. 
 
Tom is very community driven in his role as general manager. He spends much of his time representing KPBS in the community and deepening relationships with new and current donors and corporate partners. In August 2016, Tom was honored by PBS as the Development Professional of the Year.
 

AJ Kenneson
Assistant Station Manager, KUNR Public Radio

AJ Kenneson has been with KUNR in Reno, Nevada, since 2010. With an undergraduate degree in accounting and an MBA from the University of Nevada–Reno, much of his time at KUNR has been focused on strategic business operations, financial reporting, and regulatory compliance. His experience prior to KUNR was as an operations manager for a regional sound and lighting event production company, where he handled a majority of the business operations as well as sound engineering.

 


 
Brad Kimmel
President and CEO, WNIN

Brad Kimmel is the president and CEO of WNIN, a PBS and NPR affiliate in Evansville, Indiana. He has over 30 years of executive experience in both commercial and public media. He is also co-chair of the Small Station Association board of directors.

 

 

 

 


Ted Krichels
Senior Vice President, System Development and Media Strategy, CPB

Ted Krichels is senior vice president, System Development and Media Strategy at CPB. In this role since November 2013, he manages CPB’s support of nearly 1,500 public media stations through Community Service Grants and other technical and system support. Ted works closely with stations and has led CPB’s work identifying and promoting successful operating and service models to support stations’ capacity to provide content and services for their communities. Ted has over 30 years of public broadcasting experience, including roles as associate vice president and general manager of Penn State Public Broadcasting and as president and CEO of KBDI in Denver, Colorado. In 2014, Ted directed the Public Media Models of the Future project for PBS, which explored sustainable public media service models and how they might be leveraged and replicated by others. He has continued to support stations’ strategic planning through CPB’s Business Strategies Leadership project. Ted also coordinates efforts to assess current and future system technology needs and inform stations about the broadcast spectrum auction and repack, ATSC 3, and other industrywide issues affecting public media. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in history and has a master’s degree in psychology from Naropa Institute.


Jane Lastinger
CPA, Director, James Moore and Company
Jane Lastinger has over nine years of experience providing accounting and auditing services to public broadcasting stations, nonprofits, universities, foundations, governmental entities, and other organizations. She specializes in serving public broadcasting entities. Jane has extensive experience addressing issues unique to these entities, including internal controls, FASB, GASB, and CPB-AFR reporting. As a director with James Moore and Company, she monitors auditing and accounting projects and client engagements and is responsible for all phases of assignments, including fieldwork supervision, risk assessment evaluation, and engagement approach development.
 
Jane earned a Master of Accounting and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Florida and is a member of the AICPA, the FICPA, and the Florida Government Finance Officers Association. Outside of the office, Jane enjoys hanging out with her two dogs—a handsome Australian Shepherd named Bo and a rambunctious Catahoula mix named Scout. Recently, Jane has discovered a love for gardening and hopes to further develop this skill in the future.
 

Lisa Lipsky
Audit Partner, Grant Thornton LLP

Lisa Anne Lipsky is an audit partner in the not-for-profit practice. She is also the national sector leader for trade and professional associations. She brings over 25 years of experience in public accounting and has been with Grant Thornton for 23 years. Lisa has extensive experience in financial statement, Uniform Guidance, and retirement plan audits of not-for-profit organizations. She conducts both national and local training for Grant Thornton and has submitted various articles for the Grant Thornton State of the Not-for-Profit Sector and other publications.

Lisa is a certified public accountant in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Maryland Society of Certified Public Accountants. Lisa serves on the audit committee for both the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, and the DC Bar Association.

Lisa received a B.S. degree from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She also completed post-graduate work in accounting at the University of Maryland.
 

Joyce MacDonald
President and CEO, Greater Public

As president and CEO, Joyce is responsible for developing Greater Public’s vision, strategic framework, and plans to maximize public media’s finances for long-term success. Joyce comes to Greater Public from the 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. Ms. MacDonald 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, she 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 master’s degree in broadcast administration from Boston University’s College of Communication.


R.C. McBride
General Manager, Illinois State University

R.C. McBride began his broadcast career at WDAN/WDNL in his hometown of Danville, Illinois, in 1990 while still a high school student. In 1997 he started at WJBC (replacing Charlie Schlenker, now WGLT's news director), where he worked as reporter/anchor, play-by-play broadcaster, and talk show host. R.C. won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for best radio newscast in 2002, the same year he moved into the WJBC program director’s office. He served as program director until 2012, with the station winning two Marconi Awards as National Radio Station of the Year during his tenure in that position. He also won the Illinois Broadcasters Association's Silver Dome Award as the state's best medium-market play-by-play announcer in 2002.

In 2012, R.C. signed on with Illinois State University (ISU) as assistant director of university marketing and communications, overseeing the university’s flagship social media platforms, video department, and trademark licensing program. He held that position with ISU while also serving as WGLT’s interim general manager during 2016 before assuming the general manager role on a permanent basis effective January 1, 2017. Since then, WGLT has balanced its budget while adding to its staff of local journalists, launched a daily news podcast, and created more hands-on internship and employment opportunities for students. In 2019, WGLT entered into an agreement with Bradley University to manage day-to-day operations of WCBU, Peoria Public Radio. 
 
An alum of ISU's School of Communications, R.C. served on the Normal Planning Commission from 2006 to 2015 and was elected to the nonpartisan Normal Town Council in 2015, serving until 2019. He can be seen occasionally doing television play-by-play for ISU and the Missouri Valley Conference men's and women's basketball, softball, and baseball seen on ESPN+, NBC Sports Chicago, and Fox Sports Midwest. R.C. lives in Normal, Illinois, with his wife Christy and their three daughters and is a lifelong Cubs fan who believes optimism is rewarded (eventually). 
 

Kim McCormick
Audit Partner, Grant Thornton LLP

Kim McCormick brings 33 years of experience serving not-for-profit and higher education sector clients. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA). Kim is a national leader in the arena of Uniform Guidance audits, chairing the executive committee of AICPA’s Governmental Audit Quality Center and leading its internal control task force. Kim speaks extensively at AICPA and National Association of College and University Business Officers conferences and is also a long-time committee member and past chair of CalCPA’s Not-For-Profit Organizations Conference. She recently completed a two-year rotation in the firm’s National Professional Standards Group, providing higher education, not-for-profit, and government technical consultations and training to Grant Thornton professionals across the country. Kim also serves on the General Accounting Office’s (GAO’s) Advisory Committee for Government Auditing Standards and had a role in developing GAO’s 2018 Yellow Book. Additionally, she serves as an audit committee member of Northern California Grantmakers and serves on the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s education committee and the accounting advisory committee for Santa Clara University. She is a contributor to Grant Thornton’s State of Higher Education publication and the firm’s webcast series. Kim earned her B.S. in accounting from California State University, Fresno.


Kathy Merritt
Senior Vice President, Journalism and Radio, CPB

As senior vice president for Journalism and Radio at CPB, Kathy Merritt leads its efforts to advance the public radio system and public media's broader collaborative journalism efforts—locally, regionally, and nationally. Previously, she was vice president for Content Strategy and Development at Public Radio International. She was CPB’s former senior director of Program Investments in Radio, where she was one of the architects of numerous ground-breaking public media projects, including seven Local Journalism Collaborations, which laid a foundation for other public media journalism collaborations. Kathy was the interim general manager at KBPS in Portland, Oregon; station manager and news director at WAMU in Washington, D.C.; and news director at WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has worked in production, editing, hosting, and reporting for public and commercial radio and filed stories for many news programs, including NPR's “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.” Kathy is a past president of the Public Radio News Directors, Inc. She attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for her B.A. in English and the University of Maryland for a Graduate Certificate in Multimedia Journalism. Kathy has presented extensively at radio and journalism conferences nationwide.


Helen Mollick
IG General Counsel, CPB Office of Inspector General
In her seven years at CPB OIG, Helen Mollick has provided legal advice on every audit, conducted investigations, and participated in inspections. She also manages OIG's hotline, analyzing the complaints and advising on their disposition. She played similar roles in other federal OIGs during her 30-year government career.

 

 


 
Carey Needham
Associate General Manager, WAMU 88.5 American University Radio

Carey Needham’s management duties at WAMU 88.5 include budget/financial oversight, human resources, payroll, facilities, studio rentals, CPB and FCC compliance, annual financial audit, and sub-carrier clients. Prior to joining WAMU 88.5 in September 2002, Mr. Needham spent five years as a senior budget officer with the American University budget office. While there, he worked closely with several academic and administrative units, including WAMU. Mr. Needham moved to Washington in 1990 to pursue a career with the Agency for International Development (USAID). He worked with USAID as a contractor for nearly seven years, managing participant training programs for developing world entrepreneurs. He facilitated training throughout the United States, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Mr. Needham holds a bachelor’s degree in foreign service and international relations from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from American University.


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

Sonja Pasquantonio is the director of human resources at Connecticut Public Broadcasting. She has over 24 years of experience in various human resources roles spanning government, contracting, nonprofit, and quasi-public agencies. Ms. Pasquantonio consults for GRC Educators, is an executive steering team member for Connect HR Leadership Summit, hosts ThinkTANK discussion topics for the Quartz Network, and offers training courses in human resources, business writing, and effective communication.

 


Anthony Padgett
President & CEO, South Carolina Public Media Network

Anthony Padgett joined South Carolina ETV (SCETV) in October 2017. He previously served as Georgia Public Broadcasting's chief operating officer. Padgett’s responsibilities there included the management and oversight of the organization's day-to-day operational needs, including technology services, content creation and distribution, digital and education innovations, and business services. He formerly served as the senior vice president of content and operations at WJCT in Jacksonville, Florida, where he led multiple departments, including Technology/Operations, Studio/Facilities, Radio/News/Digital, and Programming/Production. Padgett began his career in the United States Air Force as a broadcasting engineer and also worked in public broadcasting as chief engineer at WBCC in Florida.
 
He is an active member of the National Educational Telecommunications Association board, the Public Media Business Association board, the Public Media Venture Group, the Organization of State Broadcast Executives, the S.C. Broadcasters Association, and the S.C. Arts Alliance. Married with four children, he is active in the community.
 

Richard Perry
Founding Partner, Veritus Group

Richard Perry is driven by a passion for donor stewardship and care and has a 40-year record of delivering outstanding results for clients and nonprofit organizations. Currently, this passion is expressed through Veritus Group, founded in 2005 by Mr. Perry and business partner Jeff Schreifels. Their work in helping nonprofit organizations develop highly effective major donor programs is recognized by scores of leading nonprofits and fundraising thought leaders in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Currently, the combined annual major gift income of the agencies they serve is in excess of $500 million.

Their blog, Passionate Giving (at www.veritusgroup.com), awarded the best fundraising blog of the year in recent years, shares practical and helpful advice on starting and maintaining a successful major gift program, no matter the size of your organization.

Previously, Mr. Perry co-founded The Domain Group, a leading direct marketing agency serving major nonprofits in the United States, Canada, and Europe. From its Seattle base, it expanded to offices in Colorado, Atlanta, London, and Paris. The agency was sold in 2005.

Mr. Perry’s history also includes a notable eight years as director of development for a U.S-based relief and development organization. Here, he led a team that, in just four years, increased the donor list from 16,000 to 350,000, with annual income rising from $600,000 to $15 million.


Jeffrey J. Pole
Director of Finance, WUFT-TV and WUFT-FM, University of Florida

Jeffrey “Jeff” Pole joined the University of Florida in 2014 as the director of finance in the College of Journalism and Communications.  He is responsible for all financial aspects of the operation of WUFT TV and WUFT FM. In the past year, Mr. Pole coordinated interactions with the CPB auditors as the stations went through an audit by the Office of Inspector General. Prior to that he worked in the newspaper industry from 1986 to 2014, starting in Syracuse, New York, then Sarasota, Florida, and eventually Ocala/Gainesville, Florida. Mr. Pole earned a Bachelor of Science degree from LeMoyne College in 1984. He and his wife Terri live in Ocala, Florida, and have four children, their spouses, and four grandchildren.


Alexis Rapo
Senior Consultant, QCatalyst
Alexis Rapo is an Emmy Award-winning digital executive with more than 20 years of experience at both nonprofit and commercial media companies. Most recently, Alexis was the vice president of digital for WGBH, where she led digital strategy for America’s largest public television station. Prior to that, she was the vice president of digital media at Disney-ABC Television, where she and her team developed digital content strategies to connect audiences to new and iconic series, such as Lost and Grey’s Anatomy. She was responsible for defining and driving the overall strategy and P&L for ABC.com, Oscar.com, and other properties.
 

 
William Richardson
Deputy Inspector General, CPB/OIG
William Richardson joined CPB/OIG in the mid-2000s and has overseen its audit activities for 15 years. In that role, he is responsible for all the office's reviews of CPB's programs and operations. Prior to joining CPB, he was an auditor and program director in several federal OIGs.

 

 


 
Rachel Sadon
Editor in Chief, DCist, WAMU 88.5 American University Radio

Rachel Sadon is the editor in chief of DCist, a digital local news outlet owned by Washington’s NPR station, WAMU. She helmed the site for two years before it was shut down in late 2017. After a brief stint as a radio producer, Ms. Sadon led DCist’s relaunch at WAMU, including the launch of a successful Kickstarter campaign. She has since worked on a website redesign and developing a DCist-specific membership program in addition to regularly reporting for the site and occasionally on air for WAMU. Previously, she served as the local news editor for the Washington Post Express and as an assistant editor for the Latin America Advisor. Ms. Sadon has a degree in culture and politics from Georgetown University.


Michael Scher
Director of Financial Planning & Analysis, WAMU 88.5 American University Radio

Michael Scher is the director of financial planning and analysis at WAMU 88.5 American University Radio. He 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. Mr. Scher is an accountant and attorney, having received his J.D., cum laude, from American University in 2013 and his master’s degree in accounting in 2019. His interest in public media comes from his undergraduate studies in journalism at American University’s School of Communication.


 
Joe Schifano
Senior Director, Business Development, NPR 

Joe Schifano is the senior director, business development for NPR Distribution and the Public Radio Satellite System®. He handles account management, sales for NPR Distribution Services, contracts management, financial reporting, and marketing.
 
Joe is a board member of PMBA and has represented NPR at industry conferences such as the National Association of Broadcasters and the Public Radio Engineering Conference.
 
Joe has served NPR for more than 24 years, beginning as chief accountant in NPR’s Finance Division. In 1997, he joined Distribution, where he has served in a leadership capacity ever since. He has also served as adjunct faculty professor at Northern Virginia Community College for 26 years, teaching accounting, finance, and statistics.
 
Joe earned his BBA in accounting and his MBA in finance from William & Mary.
 

Carol Sorber
Director, Professional Development, PBS

Carol Sorber has spent most of the last two decades designing, developing, and delivering dynamic and engaging professional development opportunities that help participants improve on-the-job performance. A skilled group leader and facilitator, she uses collaborative activities to enhance the learning experience for participants. Prior to joining PBS in 2010, she managed professional development technologies for DLA Piper, a global law firm. She is a co-author of the book The Art and Science of Strategic Talent Management in Law Firms, published by Thomson Reuters (2010). She holds a master’s degree in human resource development and a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from The George Washington University. She is also MBTI® accredited.


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. Mr. Taszarek leverages 25+ years of media experience, including 20 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 Mr. Taszarek’s direction, Market Enginuity has grown to be the largest public media sponsorship sales force in the United States and currently represents local and national sponsorship for 18 public media clients, ranging from stations in media markets #2–44 to independent producers of podcasts and nationally distributed content.


Kevin Thompson
Co-Founder, BI Solutions Group, LLC

Kevin Thompson is a co-founder and partner of BI Solutions and has over 20 years of experience in performance and cost management consulting services. He has designed and implemented performance and cost management solutions for dozens of clients and has worked within a number of different industries. He has supported the public media industry, working with the SABS and SAS surveys and the Station Performance Reporting initiatives during 15 reporting cycles. Prior to forming BI Solutions, he spent six years working in a similar capacity with Price Waterhouse and PricewaterhouseCoopers Management Consulting Services, most recently as a senior manager. He has an MBA from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University and a B.S. from Rutgers University.


JoAnn Urofsky
General Manager, WUSF Public Media 

JoAnn Urofsky is general manager of WUSF Public Media and associate vice president at the University of South Florida. WUSF serves the community with two public radio stations—WUSF 89.7 and Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9—and digital media including Health News Florida and The Zest Podcast.

JoAnn has served on boards of numerous public broadcasting industry organizations, including PBS and NPR. Currently, she is on the PMBA board and the USF Advisory Council for the Contemporary Art Museum and GraphicStudio. She has chaired NETA and Florida Public Media. She is a past president of the Athena Society and serves on the Philanthropy Committee. JoAnn has also held roles on the boards of the Tampa Bay Partnership and Leadership Tampa and is also a member of Leadership Florida.
 

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. He was CPB’s deputy general counsel from 2005–2013 and served as an attorney in CPB's Office of General Counsel starting in 1997. Mr. Winteringham also served as a vice president and chair of the Legal Committee for the North American Broadcasters Association. Prior to CPB, Mr. Winteringham was senior associate at the communications law firm of McFadden, Evans & Sill. He also worked as an intern at the advertising agency Young & Rubicam. He 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.


Randy Wright
Executive Director, Division of Media Properties, WUFT-TV and WUFT-FM, University of Florida

Randy Wright is the executive director of the Division of Media Properties at the University of Florida (UF) College of Journalism and Communications. Operating public television station WUFT-TV and public radio stations WUFT-FM, WJUF-FM, WUFT Classic, and GHQ, the mission of UF’s media operation is twofold: serving the community and serving as professional immersion opportunities for the students of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. The division also launched the nationally recognized and award-winning Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN) and the South Carolina Emergency Information Network, a public safety/emergency messaging partnership with SCETV and South Carolina Public Radio. WUFT/FPREN received the CPB’s Community Lifeline Award in 2019, and Mr. Wright was honored with the PRRO Award in the same year. UF’s Division of Media Properties also operates commercial radio stations WRUF-AM/FM and WRUF-TV—a 24-hour local news, weather, and sports channel—in addition to housing Gatorvision, the multimedia production arm for UF athletics. Wright holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Missouri.