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.

Alex_A_Ackert-Simth

Alexandra Ackert-Smith (she/her)

Recorder, Board Member

Alex got her start working in public media at Capital Public Radio, a California-based NPR member station. She moved to Ithaca to pursue a Master of Public Health at Cornell University, where she is a Global Game Changer Scholarship recipient and rides on the dressage team. Alex is currently the lead producer and host for the Tompkins Food Future podcast.

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.

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

Bryan-Roberts

Bryan Roberts (he/him)

Board Member

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.

GuitierrezMedium-crop

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.
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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.

Recent Board Meeting Minutes

WRFI – Meeting Minutes – June 2022

By WRFI Board Recorder | August 9, 2022

WRFI Board Meeting  June 14, 2022: 6-8pm    Present: Felix Teitelbaum John Young Bryan Roberts Godfrey Simmons (first half) Joe Romano (joined at 6:13pm) Robin Elliott Carlos Gutierrez   Not Present: Chantal Thomas Alex Ackert Smith Joseph Haefeli   6:00pm 6:10 Introduction of Peter Bakija and Fred Balfour as new potential board members 6:10 Motion…

WRFI – Meeting Minutes – May 2022

By WRFI Board Recorder | August 9, 2022

WRFI Board Meeting  May 10, 2022: 6-8pm    Present: Felix Teitelbaum Alexandra Ackert-Smith Carlos Gutierrez John Young Chantal Thomas Bryan Roberts Joe Romano (joined at 6:13pm)   Not Present: Godfrey Simmons Robin Elliott Joseph Haefeli   6:00pm 6:07pm: Quorum achieved  6:10pm: Arrival/welcome/special welcome of Bryan as new board member 6:10-12 pm Committee report outs (governance,…

April 2022 BOD Meeting Minutes

By WRFI Board Recorder | August 9, 2022

ICR Board of Directors Meeting Minutes Apr 12, 2022 6-8:10pm Attendees: Felix Teitelbaum (staff) Joseph Haefeli John Young Robin Elliott Carlos Gutierez (joined at 6:30) Joe Romano (joined at 6:45) Corinne Shanahan (staff) Absent: Godfrey Simmons Chantal Thomas Alex Ackert-Smith Notes by: Corinne Shanahan Quorum Achieved (6:45pm)   Due-Outs: Corinne to send out black out…

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