2018 ACM Speakers and Facilitators Bios


Angela Angel, Chief Production Officer – 'Olelo Community Media, Honolulu, Hawaii

Angela is an award-winning videographer and has worn many hats in the television industry from producer to editor, costume and set designer to writer. She has taught television production and drama at various college campuses on O‘ahu, and joined 'Olelo in 1997. As Chief Production Officer, she oversees 'Olelo's production services, communications and community relations.  Angela is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.


Jay April, President and CEO of Akakū Maui Community Media is a TV producer, director, video journalist and filmmaker whose work has been featured on many national networks and won awards from film festivals worldwide. Credits include: special correspondent to CNN’s Environmental Unit; PBS series, The 90s; the successful startup of E! Entertainment Television; the first camcorder channel, CamNet and Best Super Bowl commercial according to USA today.


Rebecca Burrell is the Director of Strategy & Development at Open Signal, where she is helping to transform a 35-year-old cable access station into Portland, Oregon's first full-scale media arts center. Prior to her work at Open Signal, she spent nearly seven years at the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), leading communications and community outreach for the arts education catalyst ‘The Right Brain Initiative’. Rebecca has also worked as the External Relations Specialist for the Museum of Contemporary Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art. And before settling back in Portland—her hometown—she spent six years living in New York, New Mexico, California, Pennsylvania and Ohio working for an installation art museum, a design firm, a public radio station, a dance company and a rural middle school. Rebecca is a very proud founder of the Portland Emerging Arts Leaders, and its off-shoot Arts Workers for Equity. She is a Leadership Council member for The Oregon Community Foundation and served as co-chair of the Americans for the Arts' Emerging Leader Council from 2014-16. She is recipient of a 2013 Rising Star award from Portland Monthly magazine and a 2015 Skidmore Prize, delivered by the Willamette Week for excellence in the nonprofit sector. She holds a BA in Communications/Print Media from Antioch College. 


Sue Miller Buske

President, The Buske Group

For the past 40 years, Sue Buske has represented local governments, Community Media Centers (PEG access), educational institutions, and community organizations in their interactions with cable companies.

Ms. Buske is widely recognized as one of the leading experts in the United States on cable policy and local cable programming issues. She is a highly experienced negotiator who has had success in translating community needs and interests into contract language that delivers new and improved cable communication services in both small and large communities across the United States.

Ms. Buske has helped to establish hundreds of PEG Access/Community Media Centers during her career and provides ongoing organizational management and strategic planning advice. She has received numerous national awards, including the George Stoney Award for Humanistic Communications. An award bearing her name, The Buske Leadership Award, is presented annually by the Alliance for Community Media to persons providing outstanding leadership in the field of local cable programming. Ms. Buske’s alma mater, the University of Wisconsin at Platteville, selected her to receive a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2000.


Justin Cowgill, Chief Technology Officer, justin@creatvsj.org

Justin loves working in Television and enjoys sharing his passion of TV with others. Prior to his tenure at Petaluma Community Access as Production Director, he served as Newscast Director / Chief Photographer at TV50. Justin started his life in media while in high school as a sound technician at his hometown church. He decided to get a degree in radio and audio recording; but that all changed when he took a video production class. At the beginning of the next semester, he dropped all his audio classes and dove into video. He loves technology and equipment and loves to talk to people about it.


Heather DeSmidt is the Senior Digital Literacy Program Manager at Community Technology Network (CTN), a non-profit that provides digital skills training in a range of programs that serve low-income residents, including: older adults, veterans, long-term unemployed, transitional age youth, immigrants and families. For the past 10 years, CTN has worked to unite organizations and volunteers to transform lives through digital literacy. As the curriculum director and lead trainer at CTN, Heather has developed, taught, and adapted basic digital literacy courses to fit the need of the population served, including, residents of low-income housing, home bound elders, mono-lingual Spanish, Cantonese/Mandarin, Russian and Farsi speakers, and adults transitioning out of homelessness.


Michael Eisenmenger is an illegal immigrant living and working in California under an assumed identity. He holds degrees of questionable value in Art from University of Kentucky and Rutgers University where he also claims to have once been a professor.  Other doubtful credentials include radical NYC video collectives, a lefty tech support worker’s collective and a fake news program. Given such dubious credentials he has had to turn down numerous offers of high-level positions within the Trump administration. Instead, he chooses to work happily in the nation of California where he is the executive director of the Community Media Center of Marin. 


Jon Funfar, Communications Program Manager for the City of Pasco, Washington, is the immediate past Chair for the National Board of the ACM and is the ACM Northwest Region Vice-Chair and Region Representative.  Jon is a native of Enumclaw, Washington and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pacific Lutheran University.  With Pasco since 2011, he operates Pasco City Television, the City of Pasco website and social media channels, and also authors City print publications and press releases.  

An active member of the ACM since 2001, Jon also has been part of leadership of WATOA (Washington State chapter of NATOA).  Jon is also member of NATOA, 3CMA, and ELGL.


Bryan Harley is the Director of Operations at CMAC, the PEG community media center serving Fresno and Clovis in California's Central Valley. Bryan is a graduate of Fresno State, where he studied Mass Communication & Journalism and History. He also worked as a videographer and web developer for Catalyst Marketing Company in Fresno and as a production coordinator for FOX Sports in Los Angeles. Bryan joined the ACM Western Region Board of Directors in July 2017. 


Justen Harn, Executive Director, Open Signal, Portland, OR

Justen works with Open Signal board, staff and stakeholders to establish and advance the organization's strategic priorities. He is responsible for ensuring that all Open Signal programs and services are responsive, well-utilized, and of the highest possible quality.

For 12 years, Justen has worked as a nonprofit administrator, educator, arts programmer and cultural engineer. As the Hollywood Theatre’s Director of Programs and Community Engagement from 2007 to 2016, he helped transform a historic cinema on the brink of closing into one of the largest and most celebrated film organizations in the Country. 


Roniecia Harris Director of Production and Training at Access Sacramento. In that work during the last five years, she has overseen the digital equipment upgrade from Standard Definition to High Definition for the Television Studio and Production Truck.

She has trained and recertified numerous staff and community members on new HD production equipment. She is also Access Sacramento’s Game of the Week director having called more than300 different live TV broadcast programs from talking heads to sporting events. Roniecia fell in love with helping community members when she starting working at Access Sacramento in 2008.


Jon Hauser is an IT consultant, digital media archivist and Special Projects Wizard from Eureka, CA associated with Access Humboldt. He received the 2015 Buske Leadership Award for his work promoting video archiving at the local, regional and national levels of the Alliance of Community Media.

He founded the Community Media Archive in 2009, in partnership with the Internet Archive and Access Humboldt, where public access TV stations and Community Media Centers can archive their videos and have them automatically transcoded into MPEG2, MPEG4 and OGV formats. The CMA has grown to 540,000 videos from 615 access centers and government entities around the country.

As part of his automated YouTube -> Archive project, he has added more than 480,000 videos and associated metadata from access center's YouTube & Vimeo channels to the Community Media Archive, preserving the outreach to and engagement of community members through communication methods beyond the traditional PEG (Public, Education, Government) cable TV channels.

His original research maintains metadata and statistics for the 900,000 videos in 3,300 YouTube and Vimeo channels representing the use of video by access centers, governmental entities, schools and libraries across the United States and Canada.

He has spoken at eight national ACM and numerous ACM Regional conferences about the Community Media Archive and assisted many access centers in understanding how to work effectively with the Internet Archive.

He also plays with small single board computers such as Raspberry Pi and Odroid and likes to build HiDefinition audio players based on them...


Jim Horwood is a partner in the Washington, DC law firm Spiegel & McDiarmid LLP.  He has over four decades of practice specializing in matters covering a wide range of communications and energy law.  Jim advises local governments and nonprofit organizations on all aspects of telecommunications, including cable franchise renewal and enforcement, PEG access issues, and municipal ownership and operation of infrastructure.  He has served since 1990 on the national Board of Directors of the Alliance for Community Media as special appointee for legal affairs.

Jim has a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 


Jo Ellen Green Kaiser is the Executive Director of The Media Consortium, a network of more than 80 independent national news outlets including Mother Jones, Democracy Now! and Free Speech TV.

She is proud to serve as a member of the board of the Foundation for the Alliance for Community Media (FACM). Jo Ellen is based out of San Francisco.



Gail A. Karish is a partner at Best Best & Krieger LLP who focuses on telecommunications, assisting clients in California and across the country with a wide range of regulatory and transactional matters involving broadband and fiber networks, cable and telecom franchising, wireless communications and public-private partnerships.

Gail’s clients are mainly public agencies, such as local governments, water districts and municipal utilities. Public agencies can serve a variety of roles in relation to telecommunications infrastructure – regulator, owner, service provider, customer, partner – and Gail’s clients come to her for advice and guidance on issues that arise in all these contexts. She also represents some cooperatives, nonprofits and small competitive providers.

Gail speaks frequently to organizations on telecommunications topics, including the International Municipal Lawyers Association, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, and its regional chapters such as SCAN-NATOA, WATOA, SEATOA, the League of California Cities and the Alliance for Community Media. She is admitted to practice law in the State of California. She was licensed but is now inactive in the Province of Ontario, Canada.


Donna T. Keating - Donna has worked in access television for over twenty-five years. Currently she is the Media Services

Manager/Executive Producer for County Cable Montgomery (CCM), Montgomery County, Maryland’s government access channel.

Donna’s responsibilities include managing resources for the award winning CCM; the websites of the Office of Cable and Broadband Services; social media; community engagement; negotiating contracts for public access and production related services and equipment including closed captioning, video on demand and meeting management solutions; oversight of the County’s Technical Operations Center which monitors the signal quality of the County’s HD and SD PEG channels; and developing and recommending uses of broadband technology to the Cable & Broadband Communications Administrator, Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, senior staff, and other county departments and agencies staff.

Donna is currently the Chair-Elect for the ACM national Board of Directors and has been actively involved with NATOA for many years.

Donna holds a B.A. in Mass Media Arts from Hampton Institute and a J.D. from George Washington University – National Law Center. Donna believes in the mission of ACM and works to further ACM’s goals and objectives.


Shaggy Jenkins was born in Gastonia North Carolina, and later moved with his family into the suburb of Bessemer City. Pursuing radio as a career from the age of 18, he has spent more than 20 years in various positions across the Southeast including various positions across the Southeast including Promotions Director, Engineer, Air Talent, and Production Director. 

In 2003, Shaggy relocated to Hawaii and began a long run as a morning show host, Operations Director, and technical consultant before leaving commercial radio behind in 2014. Co-founding KAKU-FM in the summer of 2015 with Larry John, Shaggy has built up a diverse cast of local broadcasters at the low-power FM station KAKU-FM 88.5.  

Today, Shaggy is the General Manager of Akaku Maui Community Media and helps oversee community involvement growth in both radio and TV as well as hosting “The Shaggy Jenkins Show”. 


Mike Johnson, Executive Director - Northwest Suburbs Cable Communications & Northwest Community TV/CCX Media Brooklyn Park, MN

Mike Johnson has been the General Manager of Northwest Community Television (NWCT) since it began operations in the 1980’s and later went on to become the Executive Director. NWCT rebranded its programming content under the name CCX Media.  In addition, Mike also serves as the Executive Director of the Northwest Suburbs Cable Communications Commission (NWSCCC). Both entities serve nine municipalities in the northwest suburbs of Minneapolis serving a population base of 337,000. Mike attended his very first Community Media Conference in Denver, Colorado in the summer of 1984.

Mike has a staff of 33 full time employees and approximately 35 Freelance or PT employees. The professional staff produces live daily news, public affairs, municipal productions, high school sports and community events coverage. There is a separate professional staff managing the community access operations, which is open 7 days a week.

In addition to his Executive Director and General Manager experience, Mike is a board member of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) and has served as a board member for the Minnesota Association of Community Telecommunications Administrators (MACTA) over 2 separate terms. Mike has served as a commission member of the Quad Cities Cable Commission as well as the Lake Minnetonka Cable Commission.

Mike Johnson has previously served elective office as a city councilmember and school board member and is a volunteer for the Honor Flight Organization and a Haitian Relief Organization. Visit ccxmedia.org on the web or download the mobile app under the same name to learn more.


Chad Johnston has been working at the intersection of media, creation and social justice since the late 90’s. He has lead nonprofit Community Media Centers since 2004 in North Carolina and Minnesota, and in 2017 moved to San Jose to take the CEO position at CreaTV. He has a passion for managing and shifting organizational cultures and believes in challenging traditional nonprofit models. He has a double BA from Antioch College and a passion for community organizing. An occasional 35mm photographer and lover of all things in the kitchen, he feels at home when surrounded by radical left political art and houseplants.


Daniell Krawczyk has been working with Community Media since 2001 when he was an AmeriCorp VISTA in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He helped connect stations with a digital distribution platform while in Lowell, Massachusetts, and for 12 years has helped stations with their playback, transmission, and streaming workflows. His current focus is helping local channels navigate the quickly changing world of Closed Captioning, primarily by helping centers evaluate three or more systems for captioning live council meetings. He believes that accessibility concerns should never give local government a reason to decrease access to the airwaves or stop streaming live meetings.


Tina LeGarde started her career at the Lake Minnetonka Communications Commission (LMCC) in 2004 and has been immersed in the world of public access television ever since. She has been a part of every area of access from covering local football games, community parades or helping in the studio to create eye catching, fun and interesting programs.  Now, Tina is the Community Television Operations Specialist at Burnsville Community Television where she utilizes all her career skills to the fullest by creating a lasting public access facility and programming for the community.


Lisa Levine is an artist and educator. Her work has been on exhibit in galleries and museums nationally. Ms. Levine’s work resides in various permanent collections, including those of the Alameda County Art Commission, Berkeley Civic Arts Center, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Brower Center, and the Kala Institute. Her work is represented by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artists Gallery, Slate Gallery, Danielle Wohl Fine Art, and the Kala Institute Art Gallery.

Ms. Levine was a lecturer in photography at California State University (East Bay) for more than 10 years and an adjunct professor in the photography departments at both Ohlone and Solano community colleges. She currently teaches graduate courses in Fine Art Photography with an emphasis on theory and history of photography at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She is the co-chair for the California chapter of Media Literacy Now and is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York (BFA) and the City University of New York, Brooklyn College (MFA).

Lisa Levine’s work can be viewed at:

www.lisalevinephoto.com and www.counterpointphoto.com


Gary Martin is the Executive Director for Access Sacramento, the non-profit public access cable station in Sacramento, CA. Access Sacramento is best known for providing low-cost training and equipment resources from its radio and TV studios and digital media lab for more than 30 years. Martin is the festival director for Access Sacramento’s 19th annual “A Place Called Sacramento” film festival celebrating local film and digital cinema production.

Access Sacramento also produces more than 50 Hometown TV and Game of the Week community broadcasts annually. Access Sacramento launched a low-power FM radio station, KUBU-LP 96.5 FM in 2014. Martin serves on the national board for the Alliance for Community as the Western Region representative. Previously, he served eight years on the Board of Directors for Access Sacramento before being named Executive Director in 2013. Martin was a college professor in Radio, TV and Film for two decades at Sacramento’s Cosumnes River College where he also served on the national board for the Broadcast Education Association for four years. Martin is an Emmy® award winning TV news producer whose original broadcasting roots began in radio.


Mina Para Matlon is an arts administrator, artist, researcher, writer, and attorney whose work focuses on supporting organizations and individuals operating in the creative industries and on developing strategies to protect and leverage the cultural assets of local communities. She currently serves as the managing director for Imagining America, a national consortium that advances public scholarship, community building, and civically engaged learning through the power of the arts, humanities, and design. Prior to joining Imagining America in October 2017, Matlon served as the director of research for Dance/USA and was co-founder of the advocacy collective Plural. Her work has spanned both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors and includes positions within corporate law, major educational institutions, domestic and international legal aid and policy organizations, and small to large arts, media, and cultural organizations.


Sean Taketa McLaughlin is a media ecologist known for his tendency to live in proximity with spectacular natural environments, an affinity for diverse multi-cultural engagement, fearless innovation and a dry eclectic sense of humor.  He is currently serving as executive director of Access Humboldt (http://accesshumboldt.net) - a community based organization providing local access to media channels, broadband network connections, digital production resources, training and support for diverse communities, including local governments, tribes, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and residents of Humboldt County, California USA.

McLaughlin is a policy wonk - supporting universal access to open media. Currently serving as chair of the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee of the Public Utilities Commission.  He was a Knight Media Policy Fellow with New America Foundation, ZFellow with ZeroDivide, and a board member of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisers and the Schools Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition.  He has published articles, provided expert testimony before legislative and regulatory agencies, and participated in international conferences around the world. 

Back in the 1980’s, he taught "Politics of Media" at the University of Hawai'i - Manoa, served on the UH-Manoa Broadcast Communications Authority as vice chair, was a member of the Hawaii Cable Advisory Committee, the first director of telecommunications for the Honolulu City Council, and the first chief executive officer for Akaku: Maui Community Television.


Ana M. Montes has served as the Organizing Director for The Utility Reform Network (TURN) since 2008. At TURN, Ana is responsible for resolving utility complaints from California consumers and managing TURN’s statewide consumer education, leadership development and advocacy projects. She also developed and manages a statewide project called PolicyVoice that works with community based organizations and leaders from low income communities to generate a unified voice on key Telecom and Energy policy issues impacting diverse, low–income communities in California.

A published poet, Montes has also worked as a teacher of La Raza Studies at San Francisco State University and as an editor and columnist with EL TECOLOTE, a bilingual newspaper in San Francisco. She has testified on the Digital Divide in Sacramento and Washington D.C. and has given presentations at numerous technology conferences and forums.

Ana serves on the board of directors of several community based organizations. She was also appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission ULTS Trust Administrative Committee where she served for more than 12 years reviewing the California Teleconnect Fund. Ms. Montes is also a graduate of the California-based Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), an institute that trains Latina women to run for political office.


Kim L. Nalder, PhD is a professor of Political Science at California State University, Sacramento. She teaches Media and Politics, Political Psychology, Public Opinion, Gender and Politics and Political Behavior. Professor Nalder serves as Executive Director of CalSPEAKS Opinion Research, a non-partisan polling firm at Sacramento State's Institute for Social Research. She also directs a non-partisan voter information organization, the Project for an Informed Electorate (PIE). Recently, she published a digital textbook guide to fake news, "Fake News: A Guide to the Post-Fact Era" with Globalyceum.com. She has collaborated with Sacramento’s KCRA News and Capital Public Radio to fact check campaign advertisements. Her recent research focuses on the efficacy of fact checking and support for political protest. She is a frequent political commentator and has been interviewed by CNN, the Atlantic, and the New York Times. Prof. Nalder's research has been featured on Vox.com, the Economist, Le Monde, Wired, and the London School of Economics US Politics Blog.


Rory O'Farrell

General Manager Truckee Tahoe Community Television. Board Member, Western Region of ACM.

He began volunteering at TTCTV in 2009, while he was teaching Video Production at Truckee High School. 

O’Farrell is a thirty-year broadcast veteran, including 10 years with the NBA Sacramento Kings.


Autumn Labbé-Renault is the Executive Director of Davis Media Access (DMA), a community media & technology center located in Davis, CA. She began her career as a newspaper reporter and editor; worked in development and public affairs for Planned Parenthood; and has spent the past 20 years using media tools to build capacity and community in Davis. She’s worn many hats within DMA and has served as its ED since 2007, leading the charge to transform a single public access channel into a community anchor institution supporting local content creation, archiving and distribution via television, radio and the Internet.

Autumn was one of the principals who developed and launched KDRT-LP, the low-power FM station run by Davis Media Access, and she led the successful community engagement campaign that helped save the station from commercial encroachment in 2008. DMA (then called Davis Community Television) was the first public access center in the nation to launch an LPFM.

Autumn serves on the City of Davis Broadband Advisory Task Force. She writes a long-running monthly column on media and telecommunications policy in The Davis Enterprise and has been published in a wide range of media journals, online media, and other periodicals. A mixed-media artist and jewelry designer, she is also the owner and artist at Autumn Light Designs on Etsy, and recently had her first art opening in downtown Davis.


Tracy Rosenberg has worked as Media Alliance’s Executive Director since 2007. She has organized and advocated for a free, accountable and accessible media system, focusing on the protection and sustainability of alternative media outlets. She has monitored the mainstream media for accuracy and fair representation and facilitated the training of numerous nonprofit organizations and citizens’ groups in effective communications. She blogs on media policy and is published frequently in newspapers and blogs around the country. Tracy currently is a board member of the Alliance for Community Media Western Region, serves on the anchor committee of the Media Action Grassroots Network and co-coordinates the Oakland Privacy Collective. 


Jesikah Maria Ross is a media artist who is changing how we collect, share and tell the stories of our communities. She mobilizes people–stakeholders, scholars, youth and those on the sidelines–around a shared interest, creating spaces and processes that lead to transformation. Her productions braid together citizen storytelling, documentary media making and community conversations to produce on-air broadcasts, interactive websites and dynamic public storytelling events. Her publications explore how documentary storytelling can open-up spaces for public dialogue and community action. Jesikah is currently a Senior Community Engagement Strategist at Capital Public Radio, NPR’s Sacramento affiliate, and a Fellow at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.


J Robertson

After 25 years in commercial radio broadcasting on Kauai, J Robertson joined Ho’ike Kauai Community Television. For the past 17 years he has served as the Managing Director of the small community media system on the Garden Island. In that time, Ho’ike has expanded community outreach and provided essential communication services for many of Kauai’s non-profit organizations. Ho’ike also developed additional Government production opportunities for programs and services through the Mayor’s office.

The community media center also focuses on partnerships with the local schools both public and private including training sessions with Ke Kula o Niihau in Kekaha– where the instructors translated the training curriculum into Hawaiian for the students. A comprehensive program was developed for Kanui Ka Pono Charter School in Anahola providing services for native Hawaiian keiki as part of their overall studies.

J currently serves on the Alliance for Community Media (ACM) Western Region Board of Directors and has been the Chair of the Board for the previous 12 years. He also serves on ACM national committees related to the future development and success of the organization in addition to sitting on the Council of Regional Chairs. He has helped to create a new Hawaii Chapter Affiliate group for the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors and is the Chair of the Hawaii group.

Ho’ike Kauai Community Television serves the county of Kauai and has two locations. The primary media center is located in Lihue and there is a satellite media center located in Kilauea at the Common Grounds center.


Matt Schuster is the Executive Director for Public Media Network, a Creative Media Center serving six municipalities in the Greater Kalamazoo, Michigan area.  Matt has more than 20 years of experience in the field of community media.  Most recently, Matt served as the Executive Director of TV Santa Barbara, a nonprofit media arts center serving the south coast of Santa Barbara County.  Previously, Matt was the Multimedia Services Supervisor for Louisville Metro Government where he led MetroTV to repeated recognition for Overall Excellence in Government Programming.  Matt has also worked as the Cable Television Coordinator for Lake County, Illinois, and Meridian Township, Michigan and was responsible for their government media operations and cable communications policy.   Both operations were also recognized for Overall Excellence in Government Programming during his tenure.

 Matt is a speaker at national and regional conferences on independent media.  Matt served on the National Board of Directors of the Alliance for Community Media (ACM) for 6 years, and was the Board Chair for two of those years.  Matt has served on various regional boards for the Alliance for Community Media and currently serves on the national Board of Directors of The Foundation of the Alliance for Community Media.   The Alliance for Community Media recognized Matt with the National Buske Leadership Award in 2013. Matt has taught media production at Antioch University Santa Barbara and Bellarmine University in Louisville.  Matt has a Master’s Degree in Media Arts from Michigan State University, and a Bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University.


Jeff Shaw, Production Manager, Davis Media Access, Station Director, KDRT-LP

Jeff Shaw is Production Manager for nonprofit community media center Davis Media Access, and Station Director for KDRT-LP radio, a LPFM he helped to start in 2005.  Jeff has 19 years experience in the field of public, educational, and government (PEG) access media, and understands first-hand the value of a community media center.

Jeff also co-founded Common Frequency, a nonprofit dedicated to innovative new community radio that encourages public participation in broadcasting.  He got his start in radio by volunteering at KVMR in high school.


Mike Shur is a seasoned financial analyst with expertise in financial operations management. Currently, Mike is the Director of Finance at MetroEast Community Media where he serves as a member of its Leadership Team. Mike joined MetroEast in January 2017 to lead the organization's accounting and finance functions with an emphasis on business office automation, revenue diversification and growth support. Most recently, Mike served as an independent financial consultant for startups and growth ventures functioning as Interim CFO from 2012 to 2017. Previously, Mike worked in corporate finance with a focus on financial planning & analysis and investment banking with a focus on technology & healthcare in the middle market from 2006 to 2012. Mike's work experience includes raising capital for businesses and helping them to plan & execute strategic initiatives, as well as making venture capital and private equity investments. Mike's specializations include finance, accounting, banking, consulting, strategic planning, growth, operations, investments and entrepreneurship. Mike is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology.


Darick J. Simpson is the Executive Director of Long Beach Community Action Partnership (LBCAP). He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Alabama and a Master of Arts in Organizational Management from The University of Phoenix. Mr. Simpson is a graduate of Leadership Long Beach, California and was the first Alumnus of the year in 1994.

He is also a graduate of Leadership Mobile, Alabama. Throughout his career, Mr. Simpson has established an excellent reputation as a community leader with diverse experiences that include business development, community development, youth programs and entertainment. In 2008, Mr. Simpson, was presented the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce Dewey Smith Community Service Award. In 2012, he received the prestigious Partners in Mission Award from The Salvation Army USA Western Territory. The Long Beach Post named him one of the Ten Most Powerful People of Long Beach in 2012. Mr. Simpson was recognized and awarded by the National Council of Negro Women; he received the 2013 Community Activist Award. In addition, Centro C.H.A. awarded him the 2013 Neighborhood Change Leadership Award. He was appointed in 2013 as a Public Social Service Commissioner for the County of Los Angeles and actively serves on Community Action State Boards. In addition to corporate and community accomplishments, Mr. Simpson is a creative writer with two published books and one CD that can be found on iTunes. He was a member of the Recording Academy and a voting member of the Grammy Awards from 2008 - 2014. One of his biggest accomplishments has been the ability to flourish and grow individuals and organizations through advocacy and powerful organized actions. Under his leadership, Long Beach CAP has grown from 24 staff and a $1.3 million budget to 80 staff and $8 million. Due to his outstanding success, Mr. Simpson was recognized as one of PBS first American Graduate Champions in a feature video aired in 2015 on PBS in the Los Angeles market and on the PBS National web site. In 2016, Mr. Simpson will be honored by The California Conference for Equality and Justice Organization for the 53rd Humanitarian award. Through his leadership and core values, Mr. Simpson will continue his commitment to help the community build a better tomorrow.


Keri Stokstad, Executive Director, Keri@midpenmedia.org

Ms. Stokstad is a nationally recognized executive leader in community media television with more than 15 years of experience managing and building award-winning public and government cable access production centers across the country.

Throughout her distinguished career, Ms. Stokstad has been the executive in charge to build and operate numerous award-winning community cable access television studios serving the needs of the public and local governments in cities across the country, including Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts and California.

Ms. Stokstad has been a tireless advocate on the national and local levels for free speech, community media, open government and community access cable television programming.

Stokstad is a native of Iowa and has a bachelor’s degree in Visual Communications from the University of Iowa. She served as Board Chair from 2014-2016 for the Alliance for Community Media, a premier national organization that represents the interests of cable access organizations. In 2014, Business Life Magazine named her as one of the San Gabriel Valley’s top Women Achievers.


Kim Tucker From foster care to public radio, Kim has helped nonprofits develop programs, attract funding, and expand the delivery of their mission. Today, Kim is leading Impact Foundry in partnership with an engaged Board and stellar staff team.

In 2006, Kim joined 3fold Communications to launch the nonprofit division, focused on capacity building for faith and community-based organizations, and serving the interests of corporate community benefit programs. Local, statewide and national foundations engaged 3fold to help strengthen grantee organizations; and Kim and her team developed grant making programs and training modules to help nonprofit organizations improve upon and demonstrate their impact. In 2015, 3fold sponsored Kim to assume the helm at Nonprofit Resource Center, and to lead its expansion and transformation to Impact Foundry.

Today, Kim is having the time of her life creating new pathways of impact within the nonprofit sector in her role as executive director, and as a continuing member of 3fold’s team.  Kim believes our future depends on well-equipped, engaged youth and for that reason serves on three nonprofit Boards that address local, statewide, and national needs:

  • Friends of SMAC http://www.friendsofsmac.org/addresses the need for arts education in our local public schools.
  • California YMCA Youth & Government http://calymca.org/engages over 4,000 youth throughout the State in programs emphasizing leadership and civic involvement.
  • Brightways Learning https://www.brightwayslearning.org/is a K-12 educational nonprofit working in several states an internationally with teacher tools and programs that build webs of support for youth to thrive.
  • Kim is privileged to serve on Wells Fargo’s Community Advisory Board in support of programs and services that provide opportunity to our region’s businesses, families, and children.

Kim is from Alaska, where she grew up playing with bears and catching salmon with her bare hands. Most of the time, she tells the truth.


Todd Thayer is a broadcast engineer at Coastal Media Group.

He previously served as the Executive Director of CAPS Media Center in Ventura, California.



Keith Thibault has served as Director of FRCMedia since July of 2000. Keith has worked in community media since 1994, first as director of New Bedford’s (MA) public access television station. Born and raised in Fall River, MA,  

Keith earned a bachelor’s degree in communications/media from Fitchburg State University (MA). Keith is the chairman of the Alliance for Community Media (ACM)'s national board of directors and also serves on the board of the ACM Northeast Region.  Keith also served as chair and board member of Mass Access.


Kat Tracy, Akakū Maui Community Media, Director of Education, Producer Moku Maui Live: Northshore, Producer Maui Youth Now 

Kat has been at Akakū since 2011, first developing a youth mobile journalism curriculum from a 3 year Federal BTOP grant administered through Zero Divide out of San Francisco. Kat designed Akakū Youth Media Exchange, AYME, for those alumni in 2013 to offer youth work development. 

She trains youth on ʻLive2TVʻ technology using the Live U Smart mobile application, allowing live on-location content to Akakū cable channels using ʻbondingʻ on cell phones. Kat also created the show series, Maui Youth Now, as a professional studio training work opportunity. The youth crew produce 13 half-hour episodes for a stipend each semester.

 Kat produces a ʻLive to TVʻ community show Moku Maui Live. The half-hour neighborhood show allows the community to share its stories, meet local personalities, businesses and non-profits. This show uses the cellular bonding Live U backpack and single camera streaming back to Akakūʻs studio to simulcast to cable channels and Facebook.

 Kat has a degree in Electronic Technology Engineering and minor in Communications. Kat ran a freelance video production company, Kat Tracks Hawaii, has worn a variety of hats as a supporting crew member on numerous movie and TV productions, both Nationally and Internationally, she produced two local award-winning documentaries and was Media Director for the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association. Kat taught media production skills to youth at the Paia Youth and Cultural Center before Akakū.


Richard Turner currently serves as the Executive Director of the Community Media Center of Carroll County. He is responsible for day-­‐to-­‐day operations of the nonprofit providing educational, production, technical and distribution services.

Turner also provides consulting and services in his own small business focusing on marketing, communications and information technologies, and is an adjunct faculty member at Carroll Community College.

Previously Turner served as Regional Sales Director for Tightrope Media Systems. Tightrope is a high-­‐tech manufacturer of video servers, automation and digital signage solutions. Turner also served as Cable and Broadband Video Engineer and Information Specialist for Montgomery County. Turner served in a Chief Executive capacity for Montgomery Community Television (MCT) in Rockville MD and `Olelo: The Corporation for Community Television in Honolulu, HI. Turner has also worked in various capacities in television production and broadcast station operations; and various free-­‐lance assignments. He continues to produce, direct and edit various projects including documentaries, music videos and live event coverage.

Turner has more than thirty years of experience in business management, business development, strategic communications, marketing, community media, community engagement and mobilization. He was recognized for his leadership locally and nationally including the Jewell Ryan White Award and Distinguished Community Leader Award. He has served on a number of national, regional and local nonprofit boards. He is married with three children and currently lives in Rockville, MD.


Chris Verdugo has been involved with Community Media since 1982 when he started working for a cable system-operated Public Access channel. While there, he worked his way up to Program Director. Broadcast Television was a logical next step, so he worked for year at KOFY TV-20, including a stint as Producer of the Fifties Dance Party. That party ended, and in 1992, he become the first employee of Contra Costa Television, a government-access operation, producing two hours of programming per week. Twenty-six years later, CCTV now operates five channels and Chris is the Director of Operations.


Randy VanDalsen – Randy VanDalsen’s career in cable access management, production, and research began in 1972. With nearly 20 years of hands-on management experience and another 25 years as a consultant, VanDalsen brings a unique perspective to the issues faced by access management organizations and local governments.

VanDalsen is a partner at The Buske Group, a cable communications consulting firm that is widely acclaimed by government officials and public interest advocates. Prior to joining The Buske Group, he was Access Sacramento’s first Executive Director from 1985-1991. During that time, Access Sacramento received 45 nominations and 23 First Place awards in national and regional competitions, including the "Overall Excellence in Public Access" award from the Hometown Video Festival in 1989 and 1991. During the 1970s, VanDalsen managed Public Access in East Lansing, Michigan, site of the 3rd annual conference of the National Federation of Local Cable Programmers (now the Alliance for Community Media [ACM]) in 1980.

In early 2005, VanDalsen co-founded “We The Media,” a group of video producers in Sacramento that creates “Media Edge," an award-winning series presented on several cable access channels throughout the United States, and available on-demand at archive.org. “Media Edge" offers two hours of progressive viewpoints every week, including locally produced and nationally distributed videos and documentaries.

In 2005, VanDalsen received the Brian Wilson Memorial Award for Outstanding PEG Mentorship from the Western Region of the ACM.

In 2009, VanDalsen was honored as the recipient of the Dirk Koning-George Stoney Award for Humanistic Communication from the ACM.


Mike Wassenaar is President & CEO of the Alliance for Community Media, the organization which supports, promotes and defends Public, Educational and Government Access television in the United States. Mike regularly leads seminars and lectures on community-based media organizations throughout the United States, and has made presentations before Congress, the FCC and other national and regional media organizations.

Mike served thirteen years as Executive Director of Saint Paul Neighborhood Network, a community media center in Saint Paul, MN. During that time, he worked as lead partner in the Community Technology Empowerment Project, an AmeriCorps program promoting digital literacy in the Twin Cities.

Mike has worked in community television and community public radio for more than 30 years in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He got his start in radio working in a youth media program as a high school student in Minneapolis. He produced news and public affairs and entertainment programs with community volunteers at KFAI Minneapolis and WORT Madison, and was a reporter and radio host with Wisconsin Public Radio.