Board of Directors
PRPD is governed by a Board of Directors that serve 3 year terms, with a limit of two consecutive terms.
2022 PRPD Board of Directors
Jeff Ramirez was Vice President for Radio at KERA from 2006 to 2022. Ramirez was responsible for directing the overall sound of both KERA 90.1 FM and KXT 91.7 FM. Ramirez is a well-traveled public broadcasting veteran, having also worked across the United States in Washington, D.C., as a Manger of Radio Projects and Programming at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB); Anchorage, Alaska, at Alaska Public Media; and at stations in San Francisco and San Diego. Ramirez has a B.A. in journalism from San Diego State University, and enjoys coaching and mentoring current and next generation public media programmers and leaders.
Ben first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool — and not necessarily by choice. He made his radio debut (and blatant early mistakes) at Northwestern University’s student radio station, WNUR. There, he spent much of his time broadcasting sports; a news internship at Chicago Public Radio gradually helped bring him over from the “dark side.” He spent the summer of 2003 broadcasting Minor League Baseball in Great Falls, Montana, before turning full-time to public radio. After several years covering the Monterey Bay Area and hosting All Things Considered for NPR member station KAZU, he joined CapRadio in August 2007.
At CapRadio, Ben has held multiple roles within the Content Department. He started as the station’s Sacramento Region reporter, and soon hosted All Things Considered and anchored afternoon newscasts while continuing to cover the local news beat. In February 2011, Ben moved to CapRadio’s Capitol Bureau, where his love of politics made him a natural fit. A year later, he was named Capitol Bureau Chief, and for the next eight years, he led CapRadio’s statewide news coverage that airs on NPR stations throughout California.
Ben now serves as CapRadio’s Director of Programming and Audience Development, a position on the Content Department leadership team that he’s held since January 2020. As the lead advocate for CapRadio’s audience, he’s responsible for the “sound of the station” across all of CapRadio’s platforms — including radio, web streams and podcasts. Ben lives in Sacramento, where his wife, three children and several pets tolerate his love for public radio, baseball, scotch and poker.
Matt Martinez became Senior Producer of On Being in 2021 after 6 years at Tacoma's KNKX as Director of Content, overseeing all editorial channels, including KNKX News, KNKX.org online content, social media platforms, and Jazz24 -- the station's 24-hour global jazz stream. Matt served as project manager for the “Save KPLU” campaign, which successfully saved the station from being sold. It was a community effort that raised more than $8 million in 4 months, securing the broadcast license and ensuring the station, now known as KNKX, remains a vibrant South Sound-based voice for the community. Before KNKX, Matt was a Senior Producer for NPR in Washington, D.C. He spent 15 years at NPR producing shows like All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. He created The Bryant Park Project, a multi-platform morning show on Sirius Satellite Radio produced at NPR New York. He was also the executive producer of Weekend All Things Considered.
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. Abby has served on local and national boards including the PRPD Board of Directors from 2008 to 2016.
Matt Abramovitz, PD, is responsible for everything that happens on the air at WQXR. On any given day, he works with the staff on the daily playlists, hosting, production pieces and specialty shows. Matt caught the broadcasting bug as a high school intern at WBGO in Newark, New Jersey. After managing his college station and taking a slight detour through a history doctoral program, he returned to radio in 2001 when he joined the new company Sirius Satellite Radio. At Sirius he oversaw multiple music formats, ranging from jazz and blues to soft rock and all-Bruce Springsteen. Matt joined WNYC in 2009 and helped launch WQXR as a newly minted public radio station after its acquisition from the New York Times that summer.
Jacqueline Cincotta has been the Program Director of WNYC FM, AM and the four stations that comprise New Jersey Public Radio since 2012. Returning to a career in radio, following rewarding careers in advertising and Macintosh consulting, Jacqueline started with WNYC’s newly relaunched Listener Services team in 2002. Communicating firsthand with listeners about all aspects of WNYC programming and membership provided her with a deep understanding of listener perspectives and impressions. That lens informs her philosophy and decisions as a programmer and listener advocate. As Program Director, Jacqueline has led the station through several aggressive schedule changes that increased overall listening. She works extensively on the strategic planning, messaging and execution of WNYC’s successful on-air fundraisers, ongoing membership efforts, and promotional initiatives and branding.
Christine Dempsey’s relationship with public radio started in 1989 when the station where she worked was sold abruptly. When a former colleague brought her to WNYC as a part-time board operator for On the Line, her fortunes changed dramatically and she moved into a permanent position in Radio Operations. In 1994, Dempsey moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania to be the first Program Director for a start-up WDIY. In the years that followed, Dempsey continued working within public radio stations in major markets - New York, Philadelphia and Atlanta. She was one of the first Chief Content Officers in the country when WHYY created the position in 2000. While at WABE in Atlanta as their first Vice President of Radio, Dempsey spearheaded the organization’s entry into the podcast realm. In 2019, Dempsey returned to the Allentown area to create a new public radio station at Lehigh Valley Public Media. This adventure recently started and Dempsey couldn’t be happier to bring her adopted home town independent, fact-based journalism from local, national and international sources. Dempsey, mostly recently from WABE-Atlanta, has more than three decades of experience in public broadcasting. Dempsey has worked for WHYY, Philadelphia; WDIY in Bethlehem; WNYC in New York City; and a variety of other public radio stations while she was an on-air fundraising consultant. Dempsey has been recognized with industry awards from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Academy of Television Arts and Science, as well as the Philadelphia Society of Professional Journalists and the Pennsylvania Associated Press. Most recently, she was awarded the prestigious Peabody and RFK Journalism awards for the podcast, Buried Truths. In addition, the podcast, Bottom of the Map, which she developed, was accepted as part of PRX’s Project Catapult.
Ele Ellis is Content Director at WUWM in Milwaukee where she is responsible for all of WUWM's content and programming across broadcast and digital platforms. She previously spent 7 years as Director of Programming at WKSU in Northeast Ohio and was instrumental in helping the station transition to a news-forward format. She previously served as Program Director for WUGA, Boise State Public Radio, and WNCW.
After getting a taste for radio working as a folk DJ in college, Ele began her public radio career as a host at WNCW in Spindale, North Carolina, where she also sold underwriting, and held positions leading Operations and Traffic. She is a native of Nashville, Tennessee.
Nikki Swarn is the General Manager & Program Director for THE DROP at KUVO in Denver, Colorado. Nikki is a 20+ year Colorado radio veteran with commercial radio stations like KS1075, KYGO, ESPN, Alice 105.9. She is a genuine and self-aware leader with a diverse background in music and music marketing ranging from artist development and content strategy to marketing research and brand development. Nikki has a BA in English and Communications, and an MBA (Honors) in Marketing. She has attended the PD Workshop and is considered a leader for the developing Urban Alternative music format.
After a decade of DJing around the United States, Jordan Lee joined WYMS 88Nine Radio Milwaukee as morning host in October of 2008. With an extensive background in music and event production, Jordan managed many facets of the programming department before becoming WYMS Program Director in 2017. In his time with the station he has spearheaded marquee programming including the annual Radio Milwaukee Music Awards, the all-local HD2 Channel 414Music.fm and several marquee podcasts and on-air specialty programs. Jordan has committed his personal and professional efforts to use music as a catalyst for social progress and change.
Todd is the Senior Managing Editor of Here & Now, the daily news magazine co-produced by WBUR and NPR. Previous to his role at WBUR, he was Managing Producer at KUOW, Chief Content Officer at Louisville Public Media and Content Director at Iowa Public Radio. Todd was also Editorial Director at NPR Digital Services and from 1998-2003, he hosted The Todd Mundt Show, produced at Michigan Radio and distributed by NPR. Todd began his career in public radio in 1985.
Since joining the station in 2012, Tamberly has expanded the lens of discovery and exploration in classical music and elevated new perspectives in the genre. In addition to maintaining WDAV’s website, app, and streams, she has collaborated to develop an activity book highlighting diverse composers and artists in classical music to distribute to local schools. She has also overseen the production of several podcasts that explore the classical genre. Tamberly seeks to raise awareness of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in public media as a committee member for Public Media for All and she served with distinction on PRPD’s Knowledge Committee as a volunteer this year.
Not only does Nick oversee programming at Hawaii Public Radio, he is also a music host. Before moving to Hawaii Public Radio, he spent 7 years as a DJ for UH Mānoa’s KTUH and also served at KTUH in various capacities, including station manager and educator. Nick continued to serve on the KTUH advisory board for years after his departure. He is a fixture in the Honolulu underground club scene, where his live sets are famous for being able to link musical and cultural boundaries. Nick has also attended the PRPD Workshop twice, most recently in 2019.
Jenell is a Cincinnati native and has a long career in media and nonprofit management and governance. She was a reporter and anchor at WCPO-TV, a reporter for The List nationally syndicated news magazine and a reporter with WLWT for 16 years before working for Cincinnati Metro, the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio and the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau. She has served on numerous governing and advisory boards, including Women in Film Cincinnati. Jenell oversees all programming on classical music WGUC-FM and non-news programming on WVXU-FM, as well as marketing, outreach, events and online/social media activities. She just started her new role on March 1 and has already made her first broadcast schedule change.
As the senior leader of a small station in a rural market, Elise oversees a station that consistently exceeds expectations. She began her career in public radio in 2008 when she brought StoryCorps to Alaska. She continued working for StoryCorps during their Alaska Initiative, relocating to the northwest Arctic. In 2011, Elise produced and hosted a radio show celebrating sense of place in Sitka, Alaska for KCAW. She went on study radio at the Salt Institute for Documentary Study in Maine. Elise was a Creative Community Fellow with National Art Strategies for her work using storytelling to build community. She co-produced Portland Brick: a project building public memory in collaboration with The City of Portland, Maine. At Marfa Public Radio, Elise aims to use both old school and new school techniques to make the station a lifeline, a beacon for the stories of West Texas, and a center for media innovation.