Don BackusAccount Manager, Radio Transmitters, Rohde & Schwarz
Don Backus is Account Manager, Radio Transmitters for Rohde & Schwarz, handling Canada and the United States. Prior to joining Rohde & Schwarz in mid-2017, Don was Eastern US Sales Manager for Broadcast Electronics for five years. Don was previously VP of Sales & Marketing at ENCO Systems for 13 years and prior to that has held a number of positions in radio as an on-air personality, production director, general manager and chief engineer. He has presented to a number of professional broadcasting organizations including the Audio Engineering Society, a number of international, state and regional conferences and several SBE chapters. Don has served two terms on the board of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and has just completed serving a second term on the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation board.
Josh BohnPresident &CEO. Bohn Broadcast Services and MaxxKonnect Wireless
Josh Bohn has worked in the broadcast industry for nearly 25 years, starting out as a part-time DJ and board op, running Penn State football, in Central Pennsylvania. After getting fired by the Chief Engineer for “screwing everything all up” then being rehired after the Chief Engineer got a new job elsewhere, Josh went to college at Point Park University in Pittsburgh for… History. He then went on to work in a variety of technical and engineering positions around the country with Delmarva Broadcasting, Cumulus, Radio One, and Clear Channel. Josh also served as Corporate Engineer for Main Line Broadcasting prior to their merge with Alpha Media. Josh also owns and operates WIEZ-AM in Decatur, Alabama.
Josh is currently President and CEO of Bohn Broadcast Services and MaxxKonnect Wireless. Bohn Broadcast is a broadcast engineering firm that provides technical and integration services to radio and TV clients around the country. MaxxKonnect Wireless, a subsidiary of Bohn Broadcast, provides priority LTE internet connections for broadcast use for transmitter sites, remotes and a variety of other purposes. Both are based in the Birmingham, Alabama area.
Ann Emmerich, BEA Co-HostAnchor, WILX-TV (Lansing)
Ann Emmerich, BEA Co-Host
Ann Emmerich anchors the 5,6, & 11 pm news for WILX-TV 10. She contributes original stories to the newscasts on a regular basis.
A proud graduate of Central Michigan University, Ann has received several awards. She won an Emmy for a 2012 Investigative Report which revealed problems with Ingham County’s 911 Consolidation. Ann’s work has also been recognized by the Associated Press and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. In 2011, Ingham County Animal Shelter recognized Ann with a Humanitarian of the Year Award.
Ann is active in the community. She’s served on the Board of Highfields, Inc., and is active with the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer,” and the Tri-County Office on Aging.
Ann is the proud mother of three adult sons Edward, Daniel and Tom. She’s been married to her husband Tom for 32 years.
Arco GroenenbergDirector of Sales Central Region, LiveU
Arco Groenenberg is a global sales leader with 20+ years of experience growing businesses and driving results across continents and industries including IT, Software and Cloud technologies. Arco demonstrates a proven track record of success spearheading strategic growth initiatives and maintaining long-term client and partner relationships. Arco is a coach, mentor, advisor to colleagues, partners, friends and clients.
Kirk HarnackSenior Systems Consultant, The Telos Alliance
Kirk Harnack brings nearly 40 years of hands-on experience in broadcast engineering and education to his position at The Telos Alliance. His expertise in putting technology to work in broadcast facilities has driven notable expansion in IP-Audio, VoIP for broadcast, and other new technology adoption by audio content creators.
Kirk maintains an active, hands-on role in broadcast engineering through his positions as a partner and VP-Engineering of South Seas Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of KKHJ-FM and WVUV-FM in American Samoa. He is also partner and Director of Engineering for Delta Radio, LLC, licensee of six radio stations in Cleveland, Indianola, and Greenville, Mississippi. Kirk is a certified Meteorologist, Private Pilot, and licensed General Class Amateur Radio operator (KD5FYD). He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, and has served as Chairman of the SBE Chapter in Memphis, Tennessee, and Program Chair and Vice-Chair of SBE Chapter 103 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Kirk founded the Internet video netcast, “This Week in Radio Tech” or “TWiRT”. This 1-hour weekly video netcast, features regular contributors and guests from the world of radio engineering.
Jerry Hodak, BEA Co-HostRetired, WXYZ-TV (Detroit)
Jerry Hodak, BEA Co-Host
Jerry Hodak began his broadcast career in 1961 as a newscaster on Detroit’s WDET-FM while studying mass communications at Wayne State University.
At the same time, he was on the announcing staff of WABX-FM, Detroit’s concert music station.
Later, Hodak moved to Florida where he started his TV career at WDBO-TV, the CBS TV station in Orlando. While there, he covered many early space launches from Cape Canaveral for his local station as well as for the CBS Radio and Television networks.
Jerry also covered several hurricanes and became a weathercaster on the station’s 11 P.M. newscast.
Hodak returned to Detroit in 1965 and began his weathercasting career at WJBK-TV. In 1974, he added science reporting to his duties and became the first science and medical reporter on Detroit television.
He covered that specialty for 27 years, first at WJBK-TV and later at WXYZ-TV. His medical reports were distributed to television stations nationwide by Lorimar Productions.
Hodak received a local EMMY for his science reporting in 1988.
Jerry Hodak was inducted into both the Michigan Association of Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in 2010.
Jerry retired from WXYZ-TV in September, 2010, after 45 years on Detroit television.
Hodak resides in East Lansing with his wife of 56 years, Peggy. The couple has three daughters and five grandsons. Jerry was adopted as an infant and two of grandsons are adoptees.
Boyd HuppertReporter, KARE-TV (Minneapolis)
During his 35-year career in television news, Boyd Huppert has become widely known for his work as a video storyteller and teacher.
In his primary role, Boyd works as a reporter at KARE TV in Minneapolis, where he produces and hosts the station’s weekly “Land of 10,000 Stories” segment.
Boyd has also presented more than 150 visual storytelling workshops across North America and in Norway, Denmark and New Zealand.
Boyd’s work as a reporter has earned some of journalism’s highest honors, including a national Emmy for feature reporting, more than 100 regional Emmys, the Scripps Howard Award, and multiple National Headliner, Sigma Delta Chi and Gabriel Awards. In 2017 Boyd was recognized with the National Edward R. Murrow Award for news writing, his 16th National Murrow. Boyd is a 2016 recipient of the Sprague Award, the highest honor bestowed by the National Press Photographers Association. Also in 2016, Boyd was inducted into the Emmy Silver Circle, recognizing career contributions to the television industry.
Prior to his arrival at KARE in 1996, Boyd worked at WITI-TV in Milwaukee, KETV in Omaha and WSAW-TV in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Boyd grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and graduated with a journalism degree from UW-River Falls, where he was named the university’s 2013 distinguished alumnus.
Laurie KahnPresident, Media Staffing Network, Inc.
Laurie Kahn is Creator and President of Media Staffing Network, Inc. ™ the first staffing company to cater exclusively to media sales and associated departments for full time placement, consulting and career coaching for the Agency, Broadcast, Cable, Internet, Digital, New Media and Print industries. Successfully placing people since 1993, now offers solutions to finding local sellers in all market sizes.
Kahn’s more than 25 years experience in media includes local and national sales positions in both large and small markets; turn around expertise with new formats; and local and national management positions.
Kahn is currently involved with various industry associations and participates at career fairs, colleges and webinars to educate individuals about career opportunities. Kahn conducts seminars targeting all aspects of talent acquisition, job search and how to grow your career. In addition, Kahn has authored articles appearing in Career Builder, Chicago Tribune, Sales and Marketing Magazine, Radio Ink, Young Money, and Inside the Minds “Staffing Leadership Strategies” to name a few. Kahn has been featured in Crain’s/Chicago and quoted in the Wall Street Journal. She has also developed courses for women re-entering the work force and has mentored numerous women in media.
Kahn has been an elected member of MIW (Most Influential Women in Media) yearly since 2008 and has received numerous awards for sales and management throughout her career.
She regularly presents workplace topics to industry associations nationwide, including Broadcast Education Association, Chicago Advertising Federation, National Association of Broadcasters, Broadcast & Financial Managers Assn. and the Radio Advertising Bureau.
Jay KruzProgram Director and Afternoon Host, Mix 94.9 WREW-FM (Cincinnati)
Named one of Radio’s Rising Stars by Radio Ink Magazine and one of broadcasting’s 30 Under 30 in America by Edison Media, Jay Kruz is the Program Director and Afternoon Host at Mix 94.9 in Cincinnati.
Kruz got his start at the age of 14 at his high school radio station, WSDP/Plymouth, MI. At age 18, he was hired as afternoon drive host at WTWR in Monroe/Toledo, Ohio. He has a diverse media background including stops at MTV Networks in New York City and radio stations in Detroit, Cincinnati and Cayman Islands. He has worked as a program director, on-air personality, imaging director, emcee, and voiceover artist. Kruz helped develop the first MTV podcasts, hosted a nationwide afternoon show on XM Satellite Radio, and has been the voice of multiple radio stations & syndicated radio specials.
Kruz volunteers as a member of the Board of Directors and is a Past President at the Music Resource Center in Cincinnati where he helped start a low power FM station for teenagers, 95.7 MRC. When he’s not on the radio, Kruz serves as emcee for the Cincinnati Cyclones professional hockey team. He enjoys collecting vintage radios, traveling around the world with his wife, and playing hockey.
Karl LahmFounder, Broadcast Transmission Services LLC
Karl Lahm formed Broadcast Transmission Services, LLC, to offer part‐time transmission system consulting services to US broadcasters, following his retirement in June 2018 from 19 years with Univision, where he was the Director, RF Systems Engineering, for the company’s local TV and radio stations. He led the Univision stations’ conversion to digital transmission, selection of final digital channels, and the build‐out of most digital transmitting facilities in service today. He is currently involved in the post‐Auction channel repacking implementation and ATSC‐3 transmission planning.
Prior to joining Univision, Mr. Lahm was a senior RF systems engineer with the US International Broadcasting Bureau, the parent of the Voice of America worldwide radio service, from 1992 to 1999, where he designed and rebuilt high‐power AM‐band transmission systems and oversaw the installation of new transmitters. He was a broadcast consulting engineer with regulatory consulting engineering firms in the Washington, DC area, from 1981 to 1992, where he performed and directed AM, FM, and TV service analyses, coverage optimizations, RF systems design, and many technical submittals to the FCC.
He is a Registered Professional Engineer, received his BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University, and has presented numerous technical papers on broadcast transmission facilities at industry conferences.
Gary LangleyChief Engineer, Interlochen Public Radio
Gary Langley is a Michigan native who grew up on a horse ranch North of Detroit. He graduated from Caseville Public school in 1992 and served honorably in the USMC as a ground radio repairman from 1992-1996.
He began working in broadcast engineering as a supervising engineer for WEYI in Clio, Michigan in January of 1997. In 2000, Gary took a position with KUSA in Denver, Colorado, where he was the Engineer in Charge for many live remote broadcasts, to include a weekly show with the Denver Bronco’s, Colorado Parade of Lights, and the Western Stock Show. He maintained and serviced 14 remote live cameras, maintained audio and video links to the professional sporting arenas in Denver, such as Coors Field, The Pepsi Center, and the famed Mile High Stadium. His favorite memory of Denver is being able to attend the last game at the old Mile High Stadium and seeing Jerry Rice’s last game as a ’49er. He also climbed towers in the thin Colorado air to repair and install new equipment.
After his father took ill in 2001, Gary moved back to Michigan and took a position with WGTU-TV in Traverse City to be closer to home. Here he was instrumental in moving the entire operations and studio of their sister station WBKP-TV, from Calumet to Marquette in a three day span while keeping them on the air and broadcasting. After the transition, he stayed in the Upper Peninsula as the chief engineer for WBKP. In 2012, Gary took a position with WPBN-TV/WGTU-TV in Traverse City.
In September 2016, Gary made the transition from WPBN 7&4 to Interlochen Public Radio after nearly twenty years in television broadcast engineering. He lives in Traverse City with his wife Tina, and together they have five children. Jesse (Brandi), Kyle, Nicholas, Jordan, Macy and one grandchild, Skylar.
L’areal LipkinsFounder, Lipkins Consulting Group
L’areal Lipkins can be described in three words: dynamic, spitfire, and a pro at what she does.
Over the last 10 years, L’areal has trained thousands of sales people, sales leaders, customer service, CEOs, Presidents, and everyone in between on how to get out of their own way! In fact, executives at Sprint, Aflac, and Lennox have leveraged L’areal’s expertise in developing high-performing sales teams that are founded on accountability, processes, and strong leadership.
L’areal graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Texas with a degree in marketing, and she received her MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Paige NienaberEvil Genius, CPR Promotions
Paige Nienaber got into promotions in Radio after failing at being on the air. And that would be “Fail” with a capital F. After working at stations in Portland, Minneapolis, Charlotte and San Francisco he began consulting stations on Marketing and Promotions and currently works with over 200 stations across the US and Canada.
Madeleine NolandPresident, Advanced Television Systems Committee Inc.
Madeleine Noland is the President of the Advanced Television Systems Committee Inc. A 15-year industry veteran who is widely respected for her consensus-building leadership style, she chaired the technology group that oversees the ATSC 3.0 next-generation broadcast standard before being named ATSC President in May 2019. Previously, she chaired various ATSC 3.0-related specialist groups, ad hoc groups and implementation teams since 2012.
Noland began her career in the television industry in 2004 with Backchannelmedia Inc., an interactive television technology developer. It was during her work there that she first became involved in ATSC projects. In 2012, she moved on to product and project management roles at Telvue Corp. before joining LG Electronics CTO’s office in 2013. Noland represented LG in a variety of industry organizations for over six years.
She received TV NewsCheck’s “2019 Futurist” Women in Technology Award and was named one of 2018’s “Powerful Women in Consumer Technology” by Dealerscope magazine. In 2016, she received the ATSC’s highest technical honor, the Bernard J. Lechner Outstanding Contributor Award recognizing her leadership related to the development of ATSC 3.0 Next Gen TV.
Credited on three U.S. patents for television technology, Noland is a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – Broadcast Technology Society. Noland graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts. She enjoys travel, and she plays keyboards in a band called “Brave Pursuit.”
David OxenfordPartner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP
David is a partner at the law firm of Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP, practicing out of its Washington, DC office. He has represented broadcasters for over 30 years on a wide array of matters from the negotiation and structuring of station purchase and sale agreements to regulatory matters. His regulatory expertise includes all areas of broadcast law including the FCC’s multiple ownership limitations, the political broadcasting rules, EEO policy, advertising issues, and other programming matters and FCC technical rules.
His clients range from family-owned broadcasters to active mid-market venture-backed companies to one of the largest noncommercial radio licensees in the country. In addition to representing station groups, David represents a number of state broadcast associations, the trade association for media brokers, program and service providers to the broadcast and digital media industry and banks and others providing financing to media companies.
David also represents webcasters and other digital media companies, including serving as counsel to a webcast trade association. He represents these companies on copyright, music licensing and other business and regulatory issues. He was counsel to the small webcasters group which negotiated the first Small Webcasters Agreement with the recording industry in 2002, represented webcasters who negotiated the Pureplay Webcasters Agreement in 2008, and represented webcasters in litigating sound recording performance royalties in both of the webcasting rate setting proceedings held by the Copyright Royalty Board.
David is a regular speaker at broadcasting and digital media conferences, conventions and trade shows across the country, and regularly conducts webinars for many trade associations. He has also served as an expert witness on broadcasting and music licensing issues.
Seth ReslerDigital Dot Connector, Jacobs Media Strategies
Seth Resler is a broadcasting veteran who, for over two decades has worked behind both the mic and the programming desk in major markets, including New York City, Boston, Seattle, St. Louis, Providence, and San Jose. He left radio in 2006 to enter the world of online marketing. But he kept returning to the broadcasting industry, teaching radio stations how to apply the online marketing techniques being used by Silicon Valley companies. He writes a weekly column on AllAccess.com, offering internet strategies for radio broadcasters. In 2015, Seth joined Jacobs Media Strategies as its Digital Dot Connector, helping radio stations combine all of their digital tools into one overarching strategy.
Kevin RobinsonFounder, Robinson | Media
Kevin Robinson is a passionate, record setting and award-winning 35 year broadcast veteran, having experienced programming success with teams in Chicago, Phoenix, St. Louis, Louisville, Buffalo and Lansing in quality companies like CBS Radio, Bonneville International, Hubbard Radio, Infinity Broadcasting, Salem Media Group and others.
With his company Robinson | Media and past partnership with the Audience Development Group, Kevin has advised companies all over America including Entercom Communications, Beasley Broadcast Group, Westwood One, Midwest Communications, Triad Broadcasting, Townsquare Media, Midwest Family Broadcasting Group, Grand Canyon Broadcasters, LaSalle County Broadcasting, EG Radio Marketing and more.
Kevin partnered with Scott Ragain’s EG Media Group as Executive Vice-President, offering recruitment, assessment, development and coaching of global syndication programming.
As former Vice-President of Hot AC for CBS Radio, Kevin counselled 15 brands coast-to-coast in the format, in addition to coaching Leeza Gibbons, Randy Jackson and Billy Bush through his partnership with Westwood One
He also assists with social and traditional branding and acts as Brand Ambassador for this brother Mark’s company, Indy’s Pro Graphix.
Kevin’s varied format expertise is deep and includes Hot AC, Oldies, Christian AC, Mainstream AC, CHR, Adult Hits, Classic Hits, Country and Talk.
Kevin’s brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader.
Known largely as a trusted talent coach, Kevin is the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position.
His efforts have been recognized by The World Wide Radio Summit, Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi Award-winning talent.
Kevin lives in Zionsville, Indiana with his wife of 33 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonmedia.fm.
Jeremy RuckPrincipal Engineer, Jeremy Ruck & Associates
Jeremy Ruck is Principal Engineer with Jeremy Ruck & Associates in Canton, Illinois. He has worked in broadcasting for nearly 36 years, with the last 29 in RF consulting. He is a graduate of Bradley University with the Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois. He holds membership in the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).
Derron SteenbergenPresident, Swagger Institute
Derron Steenbergen is the President and Founder of the Swagger Institute. The Swagger Institute specializes in sales and leadership training, motivational speaking, custom service training and business consulting. He is also the Chief Revenue Officer of Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation. Commonwealth Broadcasting owns and operates 17 stations in Kentucky. Steenbergen has nearly 25 years of broadcast sales experience, beginning as a local direct rep and advancing through the ranks of sales management to his current position of CRO. His years hiring and training salespeople led to the formation of Swagger. Steenbergen enjoys teaching simple steps that can help sellers make more magic in their sales careers. His high energy, audience involved seminars are making huge impacts in the business community across the country. Steenbergen has been called “the most relatable sales guy in the country”. He has traveled over 50,000 miles in over 20 states to help businesses and salespeople build their brand and earn real credibility. He is also a past chair of the Kentucky Broadcasters Association where he served several years on the KBA board. He is active with many civic organizations throughout South Central Kentucky. Steenbergen is a graduate of Western Kentucky University, married to Krista Steenbergen and has three daughters, Logan, Lyn Dawsyn and Landry. When he is not working, Derron enjoys relaxing with a good cigar while fishing.
John TakachChief Engineer, Radio One (Indianapolis)
John Takach started in broadcast at MyStar Communications in Indianapolis cleaning studios on the weekends. After graduating from Ball State University, John became a full time engineer at MyStar. Five years later, he transitioned to Radio One Indianapolis as Assistant Chief for two years. John then got promoted to Chief Engineer for Radio One in Cincinnati and Corporate Director of Vertical Real Estate. In 2012, he moved back to Indy as Chief Engineer for Radio One.
Al TompkinsSenior Faculty, The Poynter Institute
Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. For almost 10 years, thousands of people a day read his online journalism story idea column “Al’s Morning Meeting” on Poynter.org.
Tompkins is the author of the book “Aim For The Heart: A Guide for TV Producers and Reporters,” which was adopted by more than 75 universities as their main broadcast writing textbook.
He co-authored four editions of the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation’s “Newsroom Ethics” workbook. Tompkins joined Poynter’s faculty from his job as news director at WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tenn. For 24 years, he worked as a photojournalist, reporter, producer, anchor, assistant news director, special projects/investigations director, documentary producer and news director.
Tompkins has trained thousands of television news producers, reporters, photojournalists and managers in his One-Day Storytelling Workshops in 45 states, Canada, Denmark, Iceland and South Africa. He has taught and coached print newsrooms in the U.S. and abroad how to build interactive news websites, how to use video more effectively online and how to manage ethical issues that arise online.
Tompkins was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame and in 2008 was awarded The Governor’s Award, the highest honor given by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. During his two and a half decades as a journalist, Tompkins has won the National Emmy, the Peabody Award (group award), the Japan Prize, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel for Court Reporting, seven National Headliner Awards, two Iris Awards and the Robert F. Kennedy Award.
He is a co-producer of the hour-long documentary, “Saving Stefani,” featured as a special “Dateline NBC” and was awarded the 1999 Clarion Award. The 10-year documentary project tells the story of a young girl that Tompkins and a medical team found dying in a Guatemala hospital.
Tompkins also serves as a final juror on the duPont-Columbia Awards, the Scripps Howard National Journalism Awards and is a national screener for the Investigative Reporter and Editor awards.
Jeff WeltonCBRE, Nautel
Jeff has been with Nautel for over 29 years, the first 17 of which were spent in field service and technical support positions, as well as assisting Engineering with design review of new products and improvement of existing systems. Since moving to Sales in 2007, Jeff keeps finding ways to get his hands dirty and can frequently be found assisting in the install of a transmitter he’s sold, as well as performing several site inspections every year, along with the occasional repair. Recipient of the SBE’s James C. Wulliman Educator of the Year Award for 2018, Jeff writes several articles and performs presentations every year on the topics of lightning protection, grounding, transmitter site safety and various other subjects of interest in the broadcast engineering field, as well as being a contributor to the 11th edition, NAB Engineering Handbook, authoring the chapter on Facility Grounding Practice and Lightning Protection, among others.