I was hired by Interlochen Public Radio in August of 2000, just a month before IPR News went on the air. That was an exciting time in my life and for this station. My oldest daughter was almost a year old, and we were able to return from Maine to Michigan where all our family members still lived. Just as I arrived, IPR doubled the amount of public radio heard in northern Michigan and began offering a breadth of service unmatched in even Michigan’s largest cities.
Since then, my job here has allowed me to travel all over northern Michigan, meet many of its residents and tell stories about the natural and cultural resources of this stunning landscape. Sometimes my work has been heard across the U.S. on NPR. It has been deeply satisfying and given me a sense of being rooted here, even though I grew up near Flint. I love it.
This month, I became the Executive Director of IPR. While I will miss my work in the field as a reporter, I am excited by the potential I see for growing this station into an even more vital public service for the people of northern Michigan and our audiences around the globe. We are making plans to do so, and I hope to have a chance to share them with you personally this winter.
IPR already has lasting partnerships with important cultural organizations in the area, like the National Writers Series and Traverse City Film Festival. We are also developing a more dynamic role at Interlochen Center for the Arts so we can bring you more of the world-class arts scene that is active here year round. For example, I hope that you will tune in next month for live broadcasts of Canadian Brass (December 1) and Interlochen’s much-loved Sounds of the Season (December 15).
In times of great transition, we are reminded of the critical need we have for the kind of civil, informed discourse that public radio offers. Our classical music service also offers something else we cannot take for granted: a constant celebration of the achievements of the human spirit.
Your support for IPR would mean a great deal to me personally this week. I am asking you to invest in this station as I commit to stewarding it for you and your neighbors. Please stand up and be counted and thanks for your support.