WRFI-Meeting Minutes-April 2024

WRFI Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday, April 9th, 2024 

In Attendance:

-Peter Bakija

-Corinne Shanahan

-Amie Herman

-Joe Romano

-Carlos Gutierrez

-Talaya Centeno

-Robin Elliott

-John Young

-Felix Teitelbaum

Not in attendance:

-Mike Cook


Call to Order at 6:09 pm.

Agenda Items:

Board Reflections:  

Corinne reflects on her position as the executive officer of the board; feels lucky to have been President for the last year. One year terms seem like a reasonable plan, and she feels lucky that the board has been very active. Robin asks Corinne what a highlight was for her last year; Corinne answers that the 100% Board Matching donations was a very successful and encouraging process. John asks how successful she felt in balancing out her real life and her position as Board President. Corinne feels like she has been struggling with doing all the things, and is somewhat relieved to be passing the torch along for the time being. Joseph asks if there are any specific recommendations for the board; Corinne suggests just show up and be present, and volunteering to do things and following through.

Board Elections:

Board Nominations: Peter nominates Corinne to be Vice President, seconded, Peter has been previously nominated for President. Joe nominates John for treasurer, seconded. Robin is nominated for Recorder, seconded.

Motion made to vote for Peter as president of the board, seconded, vote passes 9-0.

Motion made to vote for John as treasurer, seconded, vote passes 9-0.

Motion made to vote for Robin as recorder, seconded, vote passes 9-0.

Motion made to vote for Corinne as Vice President, seconded, vote passes 9-0.

Strategic Planning:

Felix discusses the process to create a new Mission Statement, including viewing many other mission statements, various stake holders, multi-step drafting process, and then sharing the draft statement with WRFI volunteers for feedback. Felix shares the feedback, and clarified that the WRFI Values statement was a separate document. Review of the Values statement is on the horizon, but no need to hold off on the Mission Statement revision on this front. 

The updated mission statement, based on feedback, is now:

WRFI is hands-on, homegrown radio. We empower,

inform, and connect people and communities in the

Finger Lakes and beyond, by amplifying local and

under-represented perspectives, music, and cultures.

This includes breaking the statement into two sentences, to reduce run-on, and adding “inform”.

Motion made to adopt the new mission statement, seconded. Question about the necessity of both “People” and “Communities” in the mission statement, discussion ensues. Support for both words as needed in the statement is expressed, and that both “People” and “Communities” are important and different aspects of our mission. Suggestion to replace “by” with a semi-colon, colon, or period. Support for leaving the “by” is made. 

Motion made to adopt the new mission statement, second, passes 9-0.

Discussion of how to let the public know of the new Mission Statement, including a possible Press Release. Felix suggests sharing this more widely after the upcoming fund drive. Joe volunteers to spearhead a Press Release. Joseph volunteers to help Joe in this mission.

The Station Values document is under work, including how the Values are displayed and/or organized. Feedback suggests that we generally keep the values intact. Motion made to adopt the following Values, including “transparency” and “Inclusion”. Seconded. Amie suggests revisiting the Values and clarifying what the specific words in our values actually mean to us at some point in the near future. Joseph is interested in clarifying what all these words mean in an actual sense. Joe suggests linking to a song that expresses our values as an interesting way to impart our values as a potential idea.


Motion made to adopt the current values as a living document, second, passes 9-0.

Staff Raises:

WRFI keeps the Tompkins County Living Wage as a minimum wage, a motion is made to increase all employee wages to at least match theTompkins County Living Wage ($18.45 per hour), retroactive to January 1st. Felix clarifies that this was included into a recent budget used for grant applications. Motion made to bring this to the floor, and seconded. Discussion that this follows our values. Vote passes 9-0. We will readdress staff raises in May for the year.

Committee Reports: 

Development and Outreach Committee: Last Development meeting took place at the station, recording fundraising spots for the upcoming soft fundraising drive. Gave us an opportunity to see potential space for programs and events. Discussion of working with the Community Foundation for a possible program that highlights local non-profits. Amie advocates for having a few more in person meetings for development in the future, as she found this to be very productive. Discussion of the promotional pocket guide for the fund drive, which has hit some snags in production; a letter is likely going out to lapsed donors; a different letter to current donors.

Governance Committee: No updates. 

Personnel Committee: No updates.

Finance Committee: Felix shares out a quarterly financial report for the first quarter of 2024, giving the board a brief overview of expenses, incomes, etc.

Discussion of splitting Outreach off from the Development committee, to be its own committee, lead by member Mike Cook.

ED Report: 

Felix reports there is a fund drive coming up in the next week. Many fundraising spots are recorded. Hosts are encouraged to have light pitches during their shows. Working on underwriting; a mailing went out, and there has been more traffic on the WRFI website going to the new underwriting information. Some new contacts with potential underwriters. 

Some new grant opportunities have opened up for WRFI to apply for.

FEC filings happened today, tax filings were sent in earlier.

Programming report—we lost a few hosts through attrition, Jim is working on pulling a few newly trained volunteers into regular rotation. There is a new volunteer orientation in the next few days, with numerous promising attendees. Felix reports that news director Celia has resigned, effective this week, which will require Felix to step into writing or managing the daily newscasts. A long time volunteer has made contact to help out at the station, which might help in this situation.

Motion made to have the personnel committee figure out ways to work with news programming and general funding positions like this made, seconded, vote passes 9-0. The Personnel Committee will come up with some possible solutions.

Consent Agenda: 

Motion to approve the minutes for the March meeting, motion, second, passes 8-0, 1 abstention.

Meeting adjourned at 8:05 pm.