Hot Air-waves VI

Three New Board Members

A mixed bag at yesterday night’s meeting of the WFHB Board of Directors.

The crush of people that forced the meeting to be moved from a small room in City Hall to City Council chambers last month was missing this time. With no bête noire looming as the designated general manager as there was in November, the troops seem content in December to let the Board go about its merry way.

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On the other hand, seven people applied to fill the two open spots on the Board. Each of the last few Board appointment sessions have drawn either a single applicant or no one at all. So perhaps the wheat has been separated from the chaff over the course of a month.

And, by the end of the night, the number of open Board member spots had grown, officially, by one.

Board President Joe Estivill called me at 11:30pm, sounding chipper, I imagine, because he was getting the heck out of City Hall before Monday turned into Tuesday. He had news: the Board had selected three new members. As of this posting, the Board refuses to reveal the names of the select three until all parties have been notified personally.

I’ll bet any number of crisp $100 bills that one of the three is former GM Markus Lowe. As for the others, who knows?

Anyway, here’s the lineup of applicants, in the order they appeared before the board to state their cases:

Anson (Andy) Shupe, Bloomington, retired. Andy was an academic sociologist. He published 30 books and numerous articles for professional journals, newspapers, and magazines. His specialties were deviance/criminology, social movements, and social psychology. A graduate of Indiana University, he ran the combined sociology and anthropology department at IUPU-Ft. Wayne. He was president of his neighborhood association when he lived in Ft. Wayne. He has volunteered as a desk jockey and in the news department for WFHB. He says: “We need donors but we need volunteers more. That’s where the rubber meets the road.” He also says WFHB is not a democracy but a “representative republic.” Otherwise, he asks, why have a Board of Directors at all?

Helen Harrell, Spencer, Fiscal Officer/Budget Officer/Schedule Officer, IU African American Studies Program. Helen is the host of bloomingOUT, South Central Indiana’s only LGBTQ-oriented radio talk show. She was a Board member, filling out a term several years ago. She has served on the boards of Indiana Equality, Spencer PFLAG (as co-founder), Bloomington Pride at Work (as co-founder), and was a labor organizer with Communications Workers Local 4730. “I really love the station,” she said last night. “The station represents what Bloomington is about.” She says she offers the Board skills in communication and mediation and she calls for the Board to emphasize Spot Online and the website as resources for volunteers to connect more easily with WFHB. “Let people know as much as you can,” she says.

Louis Malone, Bloomington, Administrator, Youth Services of Monroe County. Louis has volunteered in the News Department for three years. He helped Producer Laura Grover start The Porch Swing and has been involved with EcoReport. Currently, he serves as assistant producer, engineer, and host on Interchange. He told the Board his duties at YSMC include human resources tasks, including hiring, firing, training, discipline, and so on. He says he’ll be scaling back his program activities at WFHB because his wife is expecting the couple’s second child. He says his time commitment as a Board member will be more manageable than that of producer/host.

Sheryl Mitchell, Bloomington, Founder, Scaly Tailz reptile education and rescue center. Sheryl has been involved in radio broadcasting since she was in high school, hosting music and interview programs on WQAX. She has served as the president of the Council of Involved Families for her local Head Start program. She says she was compelled to apply for the Board position during the Kevin Culbertson flap. “This whole thing has gotten crazy with the GM thing,” she told the Board. She says her experience in marketing and fundraising with Scaly Tailz would be an asset as a Board member.

Maryll Jones, Bloomington, Reporting and Data Analyst, Pearson Education. Maryll founded the Friends of WFHB Facebook community in response to the Kevin Culbertson hiring. She has a long history of working in data and information management. She has volunteered as a desk jockey and has participated in fundraising events and has been a web stream monitor. She believes she can help the Board communicate with the volunteer base. ‘There’s cross talk,” she told the Board. “People aren’t listening to each other…. If I were on the Board, I’d open myself up to meeting with people who have concerns.”

Mark R. (Markus) Lowe, Bloomington, Information Technology Coordinator, Cook Inc. Markus served as General Manager of WFHB last decade. “I want to help,” he told the Board. His term as GM came during a period of financial crisis for the station. “I was Dr. No for about eight months,” he said, meanning he kept a tight lid on expenses. “I have trust and respect among the volunteers…. I’ve been a listener, a donor, a volunteer, and being on the Board would complete the cycle.” Reflecting on his term as GM, he said, “Challenges breed opportunity.” He calls for regular volunteer meetings to be attended by selected staff and Board members as a way to demonstrate that the volunteers’ voices are being heard.

Charles R. (Rich) Reardon III, Bloomington, Local radio producer. Rich produces of In Search of a Song, with Jason Wilber. He has extensive experience producing radio programming for a wide variety of commercial outlets as well as fundraising for an equally diverse cross-section of organizations. He says he’d bring a wealth of donor and supporter contacts to the Board. He told the Board WFHB should concentrate more on talk shows. Through them, he said, “You can involve other parts of the community that don’t see WFHB as part of the lives [now].”

After the applicants made their presentations, Board member Kevin Jones asked for and received the go-ahead to quit the Board, leading to the third opening. Jones, professor of management at IUPU-Columbus, was an outgoing member, sure to quiz anybody speaking before the board. Sadly, his departure leaves the Board with no Black members, unless Louis Malone has been tabbed. I hope this dearth of color doesn’t last too terribly long.

Many thanks to Joe Estivill for keeping The Pencil up to date on Board doings. And a special thanks to Board Secretary Maria McKinley for provided me with the applicants’ curriculum vitae packages.

That’s all for today. Peace, love and soul.

One thought on “Hot Air-waves VI

  1. I’d like to happily repeat the reported assertion and question posed above by Andy Shupe:

    He also says WFHB is not a democracy but a “representative republic.” Otherwise, he asks, why have a Board of Directors at all?

    Um, right. Why, indeed? A representative republic ultimately asks you, volunteer, member, supporter, to give up agency and responsibility even for your own interests in the “republic.”

    One might even imagine that this very form of organization creates the lethargy and apathy apparent in membership. And, likely, the ways in which the “professionals” run the “business” rather than serving as a support for the members and participant members.


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