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.
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.
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 (she/her)
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 (he/him)
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.
Bryan Roberts (he/him)
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.
Carlos Gutierrez (he/him)
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.
Robin Elliot (she/they)
Peter Bakija (he/him)
Fred Balfour (he/him)
Recent Board Meeting Minutes
WRFI Board Meeting – November 10, 2020, 6-8pm Present: Stephen Cope Carlos Gutierrez Joseph Haefeli Joe Romano Pamela Tan Chantal Thomas Felix Teitelbaum John Young Absent: Godfrey Simmons Agenda: Finalize vote on underwriting questions. Major donor and year end requests. Move antiracism training ahead. Finalize vote on underwriting questions Support selling…
WRFI Board Meeting Minutes – September 24, 2020, 6-8pm Present: Stephen Cope Carlos Gutierrez Joseph Haefeli Godfrey Simmons Pamela Tan Felix Teitelbaum Chantal Thomas John Young Absent: Joe Romano Tower rental update: No objection to structural analysis done by Tatum; need to ping them again for a response. August 11, 2020…
WRFI Board Meeting Minutes – August 11, 2020, 6-8pm Present: Joseph Haefeli Felix Teitelbaum John Young Carlos Gutierrez Chantal Thomas Pamela Tan Absent: Joe Romano Godfrey Simmons Stephen Cope Anti-Racism Training: Godfrey will follow up with facilitators Felix attending Building Resilience: Diversity & Inclusion: The Leadership Level webinar ICI issue: Felix and John…
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