Meet Our Advisory Council
Executive Director Mike Riksen leads the Alliance with direction and counsel from the noncomMUSIC Alliance Advisory Council. The Council consists of public radio station leaders representing all formats of noncommercial music.
Brenda Barnes is the CEO of public radio classical station KING FM in Seattle, WA. Prior to KING FM, Barnes served as president of the University of Southern California Radio Group, which owns and manages classical radio stations KUSC in Los Angeles and KDFC in San Francisco.
As GM of Music at NYPR, Shannon Connolly oversees day-to-day operations for WQXR and the music programming on WNYC, while largely focusing on building a new classical-focused media business that aspires to find a larger, more diverse audience for classical music, and redefine its role in contemporary culture. Awards and accolades include Billboard’s “40 Under 40” Music’s Young Power Players in 2014, a 2012 Webby Award for co-creating and producing the world’s first 24-hour, live music awards show. She is also the founder of The Yams, a chat-based recommendation service powered by expert, human curators and intelligent software.
Abby Goldstein is the general manager of public radio Triple A station WYEP in Pittsburgh, PA. Previously, Goldstein served as vice president for programming at New Hampshire Public Radio and as program director of the Dallas station KERA 90.1.
Val Hoeppner is the executive director of WMOT Roots Radio in Murfeesboro, TN and director of the Center for Innovation in Media at Middle Tennessee State University. Hoeppner is an instructor with the Poynter Institute, the Newseum Institute, Chips Quinn Scholars, Native American Journalism Fellowship, Innovation J-Camp, Mobile Me&You and APME News Train. She is on the board of directors of Teripix, a mobile app that accelerates how media companies and other users capture and publish photographs and video. She owns and operates Val Hoeppner Media and Consulting, LLC, a strategy and training company working with newspapers, radio and television organizations.
American Public Media
Nick Kereakos is the senior vice president, chief technology officer, and general manager of regional services at American Public Media and Minnesota Public Radio. Among his responsibilities, Kereakos oversees APM’s classical programs and MPR's classical and Triple A music programming.
Tom Mara is the executive director of public radio Triple A station KEXP in Seattle, WA. Mara is a vocal advocate for the social impact of music and community radio.
USC Radio Group
Judy McAlpine is the president of the USC Radio Group, which operates public radio classical stations KUSC and KDFC, as well as USC Radio Labs. McAlpine is a founding member of Classical Music Rising. Previously, she held several senior positions at CBC Radio and was the senior vice president of American Public Media.
Amy Niles serves as the president and chief executive officer of public radio jazz station WBGO in Newark, NJ. Niles has been with WBGO since 2006 and has nearly two decades of broadcasting experience.