WRFI Board of Directors

WRFI is community owned and operated. Get to know the Ithaca Community Radio Board of Directors. 
See minutes from recent board meetings.

Haefeli

Joseph Haefeli (he/him)

President, Board Member

Joseph Haefeli was formerly the Director of Technology (including radio) for the College of Performing and Visual Arts of the University of Northern Colorado. Since his arrival as a volunteer in 2014, he has been a dynamo around the station. He has played a key role in the design and renovation of WRFI’s Studio B, the overhaul and reorganization of our signal chain, the installation of a new IP telephone system, as well as numerous other improvements.

The WRFI Volunteer Sensation John Young!

John Young (he/him)

Treasurer, Board Member

John caught the radio bug as a student, when he became a regular DJ and served as Assistant Engineer and board member at KRLX-Northfield (Minnesota), the voice of Carleton College.

As a professional musician, he has performed or been featured on national programs such as NPR’s Weekend Edition and World Café, as well as on many local stations across America. As a writer and researcher on the global environment and related issues, he has made hundreds of appearances on radio networks around the world, including NPR, Voice of America, Deutsche Welle, and the BBC. When he’s not on the radio, he’s probably listening to it.

Bryan-Roberts

Bryan Roberts (he/him)

Vice-President

Bryan M. Roberts is the associate dean in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. Trained as a media researcher, Bryan studies the impact of sexual and violent media on a wide array of age groups. Bryan is also very active with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research where he is committed to advocacy, philanthropy and clinical trial participation.

Bryan grew up in Eastern Long Island and holds his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Communication Science from the University of Connecticut. Prior to his position at Ithaca, he worked at Purchase College, SUNY for several years in both teaching and administrative capacities. His first job ever in media was as an intern for a local Long Island radio station.

In his free time, he enjoys watching the Mets and UConn Huskies, reading books on political history and hitting baseballs. Bryan resides in Ithaca with his daughter, Avery, and two terribly behaved cats.

Chantal Thomas, WRFI Board Member

Chantal Thomas (she/her)

Board Member

Chantal’s experience in radio began in Montreal, Quebec, at the Canadian station CKUT, a nonprofit, campus-community radio station affiliated with McGill University where Chantal studied political science as an undergraduate.

Upon moving to Ithaca, Chantal returned to radio broadcasting as WRFI volunteer and co-host of WRFI’s “Human Rights and Social Justice” program. In 2022 Chantal launched a new program at WRFI, "The Scene" featuring long-form interviews with scholars, authors, and experts in a variety of fields.

She has made media appearances with other local and national outlets, such as WVBR, NY1 News, C-SPAN, and PBS Newshour. Her daytime gig involves teaching at Cornell Law School, where she is Professor of Law and also directs the Clarke Initiate for Law and Development in the Middle East and North Africa. Previously, Chantal chaired the Law Department of the American University in Cairo, and has consulted internationally for USAID and the US State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Law.

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Theresa Lyons, Phd (she/her)

Board Member

Dr. Theresa Lyons has her Ph.D. in chemistry from Yale University. She loves to translate cutting-edge autism research into actionable steps that parents and organizations can easily take to improve the health and happiness of those with autism.  Her world instantly changed forever when Dr. Lyons’ daughter was diagnosed with severe autism, and she asked the question, "Ok, so now what?"

Part of the answer to that question was to create Navigating AWEtism, a company that organizes the entire world’s scientific information on autism and makes it accessible and easy to use.

Dr. Lyons grew up in NYC and loved listening to the radio!  She even had a small battery-powered karaoke-style radio that she would take everywhere with her so she could sing and dance no matter what adventure she was on in NYC.

joe-romano

Joe Romano (he/him)

Board Member

Joe Romano was the Marketing Manager at GreenStar Natural Foods Market for over a decade. Before his tenure at GreenStar, Joe played out in five bands in NYC and worked in film and television in NYC for 20 years. Before that, he taught English Literature and Creative Writing at the City University of New York. He has a wife, a daughter and two cats, (in that order), and currently resides in Ithaca, NY.

Check out The Joe Show on Facebook

Amie-Herman

Amie Herman (she/her)

Board Member

Amie Herman has spent most of her 30-year career in marketing, organizational development, and non-profit management, serving in several senior leadership roles. Most recently Amie acted as the Senior Director of Marketing, Development and Organizational Advancement for a large regional YMCA in New Jersey where she was responsible for the direction and implementation of the Y’s development strategy and for the execution of a significant multi-year capital expansion campaign.  

Amie founded an independent consulting practice in 2012 and has worked with a wide variety of corporate and non-profit organizations on key strategic efforts which have included crafting mission-forward impact messaging and branding, designing development plans, and acting as an expert facilitator to help align leadership teams to support organizational change. She received her bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies from the University of Virginia.

Amie and her husband Tom have made Ithaca their hometown after living in their self-designed and self-built campervan for 13 months. They spent an “adult gap year” exploring the US -- hiking, biking and kayaking, and seeking out great food, drink, and live music. (blog: https://amie.substack.com) Of the many places they explored, Ithaca had the perfect combination of things they loved most, including thriving independent radio.

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Carlos Gutierrez (he/him)

Board Member

Carlos was born in Chile. He received a BA in Sociology from Colorado State University and MPS from Alfred University, NY. After working for NYS – Office of Children and Family Services. He worked for the Tompkins County Workers’ Center as an Occupational Safety and Health Trainer and Immigrant Advocate. Carlos has participated in several community organizations’ boards such as Cornell Cooperative Extension, The Leadership Team at the Tompkins County Workers’ Center, The Latino Civic Association and the Mid-State Council for Occupational Safety and Health. Carlos has developed strong roots in the Ithaca community. For the last five years Carlos has hosted Alcance Latino a radio program in Spanish at WRFI.

Elliot

Robin Elliot (she/they)

Board Member

Robin arrived in Ithaca initially in 2008 to attend Ithaca College and now holds a BA in Documentary Studies and Production. Working in both restaurants and nonprofits since, Robin is passionate about all things relating to equity as a paradigm for a more sustainable future. In her current role as Associate Director at Finger Lakes ReUse, she works primarily in fundraising, communications, and community programs.
Current favorite interests include vegan food, grunge, electro, and beer.
Talaya-Centeno

Talaya Centeno (she/her)

Board Member

Talaya Centeno’s roots in radio began locally at WICB, where she was a local DJ and Programming Director while receiving her degree from Ithaca College in Photojournalism. A native of Manhattan, Ithaca has always been a second home where she spent summers as a child with family.

Talaya began her career as a Fashion Photographer in NYC, joining Conde Nast where she spent over ten years developing a rich portfolio of work.

Always having a passion for medicine, Talaya decided to pursue a medical career and returned to school to become a Physician Assistant. She joined the Mount Sinai Cardiothoracic unit and worked tirelessly, taking care of patients in a COVID ICU, at the height of the pandemic.

Talaya resides in Ithaca with her partner and three children, and is always happy to hear the local freight train rumble by her house.

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Peter Bakija (he/him)

Board Member

Peter is a high school arts and media teacher, and has volunteered at WRFI for over six years, hosting the music program Burning Airlines, overseeing the high school student radio show Youth Radio Project, and various other behind the scenes activities. He has lived in Ithaca for over thirty years, relocating here after graduating with a BFA from SUNY Purchase. Peter currently lives in downtown Ithaca with his wife and cat. He enjoys coffee, supporting local music, and is regularly involved in various Ithaca performance and entertainment events.
Peter strongly believes in the power of radio, and the mission of WRFI.
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Fred Balfour (he/him)

Board Member

Fred arrived in Ithaca around 2010 (with Sharon) purchasing a home up the road from 3 of their 5  grandchildren.  Having failed retirement twice, he is working diligently towards a third opportunity.  Starting at WRFI in 2018 he learned under Michayla Savitt’s tutoring, moderating the 30-minute daily news broadcasts, doing live political campaign interviews and producing dozens of news pieces.  In April 2021 he and an intern worked through a covid quarantine producing a reveal of Albany’s re-districting tinkering and gerrymandering which predicted the 2022 summer of “which district are we in?”
Fred was born and raised in rural Michigan, spending seven years in a racially diverse one-room, one-teacher K-8 country school, and finishing high school during the Eisenhower administration.  Attending three of the great Michigan land grant universities and completing two engineering degrees, he spent over 25  years in the computer industry followed by a stint in the nonprofit that produced the Common Core K-12 education standards.  He’s been in and around nonprofit boards for over 30 years.
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Corinne Shanahan (she/her)

Board Member

Corinne is passionate about fostering local broadcast platforms that develop and promote diverse, engaging, and collaborative programs and people. She has nearly a decade of experience in radio, including college, commercial, and community, after first becoming enamored by the airwaves in college. Prior to joining WRFI, she spent several years as a show host and member of the leadership team of Rochester's low powered WAYO 104.3 FM. Most recently, Corinne served as the Office and Operations Manager here at WRFI.
Corinne is currently attending law school, and hopes to join the movement to reimagine how we pursue justice in our communities.

Recent Board Meeting Minutes

WRFI -Meeting Minutes- December 2022

By Peter Bakija | January 14, 2023

 WRFI Board Meeting Minutes, 12/13/22   In attendance: -Peter Bakija -Fred Balfour -Bryan Roberts -Joseph Haefeli -Carlos Gutierrez -John Young  -Robin Elliot -Joe Romano -Corinne Shanahan -Felix Teitelbaum   Meeting commences at 6:05 pm.   1) Approve consent agenda (minutes of 11/22 meeting). Joseph moves. Carlos seconds. Motion carries 7-0.   2) Committee Reports:  …

WRFI -Meeting Minutes- November 2022

By Peter Bakija | December 16, 2022

WRFI Board Meeting, 11/15/22 Attendance: -Joseph Haefeli -Peter Bakija -Fred Balfour -Corinne Shanahan -John Young -Carlos Gutierrez -Joe Romano -Felix Teitelbaum Meeting commences 6:09 -President Update: Updates on potential board members visiting; a potential member for tonight had to cancel, Bryan has a slate of 4 potential members. We will plan on bringing them in…

WRFI – Meeting Minutes – October 2022

By Peter Bakija | November 18, 2022

WRFI Board Meeting, 10/11/22 In attendance: -Corinne Shanahan -Peter Bakija -Joseph Haefelii -Bryan Roberts -John Young -Joe Romano -Carlos Gutierrez -Felix Teitelbaum 1) Discussion for meeting with new board members. Potentially on Tuesday, 10/18/22, 6:00 pm. Checking with potential candidates. Working on time. 2) Consent agenda: approve minutes. Checking on spelling of potential board member’s…

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