So I hear you’re a super-fan of Terry Gross (possibly wanting to become her?) , tell us more about your general love affair with public radio.
I’ve lived in Chicago, Denver, and Philadelphia— all homes to great public radio stations. I have memories of listening to NPR in the back seat of my mom’s car. I find that funny now because I would always joke that I was a backseat hostage to NPR. In grad school one of my housemates was even more obsessed with NPR than I was. He had a little radio that he would clip to his pants with a carabiner and he would walk around the house in the morning brushing his teeth and making breakfast while listening to NPR.
You’ve expressed a lot of love and enthusiasm for your station, WUWF. What makes it such a wonderful place to work?
I have the best colleagues in the entire world, I feel lucky to work with such a supportive team. We are also one of the top 30 public radio stations in the country in terms of market share, how can you not be proud of that? Especially when we’re the “little engine that could” station. We’ve been in the community for 30 years and I’m proud of the diverse following that we have. I really feel like we are achieving our mission. Also I can bring my dog to work, I mean…
What do you and your dog do at WUWF?
We webify our all of our radio content. Our reporters write drafts of stories and then I edit them and put them on the web. We also create original digital content and a little bit of audio content and handle all of our social media.
What advice do you have for young professionals coming into the system?
I know it sounds cliche, but get involved with things you are passionate about AND it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Meet people. People want to help you. Our independent paper does an annual list of the 100 most powerful people in Pensacola and when I graduated with my MA in 2010 and was working at a coffee shop I decided to meet with as many of the people on the list as I could. I ended up meeting with 50 of them. They were all welcoming and willing to help. The more people you meet and the more industries you’re exposed to the more likely you are to find a career doing something you really love.
What’s your favorite hobby or pastime?
I’m an incorrigible activist. I’m the chair of our local slow food chapter (Slow Food Gulf Coast), my wife runs the local humane society so I am involved with that organization. I’m helping get a local LGBT philanthropy group off the ground and I work with our young professionals organization and run a professional development book club. I also dabble in local politics but less now that I’m in journalism. I also enjoy backpacking/camping, garden and keep chickens. [Fun fact: although I work for the state of Florida via our university held license I’m also currently a plaintiff suing the state to recognize my same-sex marriage.]