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 senior vice president of music at NYPR, and general manager of WQXR, 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 president and executive director of PRPD, the membership organization that advocates for high-quality programming and provides resources for public media program directors. With more than three decades of experience in the industry and a diverse background that includes major and small market stations in a variety of formats, Abby is uniquely positioned to understand the complexities of today’s public media environment. She began her career as a late-night jazz host at KVLU in Beaumont, Texas where her mother ran the membership program. She spent 17 years in Dallas working at KERA and several commercial stations as well as doing event production, booking and music promotion before moving to New Hampshire Public Radio as VP for Programming. Abby helped to transform NHPR into an award winning, essential source for news and regional content. In 2012, she became GM of WYEP in Pittsburgh, leading the station to unprecedented audience and revenue growth.
Val Hoeppner is the executive director of WMOT Roots Radio in Murfreesboro, 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.
Bill Johnson is the general manager of WRTI, which serves communities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Johnson has worked in the non-profit sector for 29 years, including development and leadership positions in higher education, the arts, and public media. A trumpet player for more than 40 years, he brings deep experience and commitment to music performance and education. Johnson currently serves on the board of Eastern Region Public Media, “Play On, Philly!”, Jazz Philadelphia, and has previously served on the board of organizations such as the International Society for Improvised Music and the African American Jazz Caucus.
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 with services throughout Southern and Northern California. McAlpine is a founding member of Classical Music Rising. Previously, she was a senior vice president of American Public Media and held several senior positions at CBC Radio.
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.