Media Factory Board of Directors
Monday, January 16, 2023 - 6 PM
Monday, February 20, 2023 - 6PM
208 Flynn Avenue, Burlington
Eric AgneroBroadcast Journalist & Film Producer
In 2012, Eric moved from an international broadcasting career at the Voice of America in Washington DC and CNN in West Africa to Vermont with the strong desire to grow sustainable roots. In less than two years later in Burlington, he was already taking a significant part in the local political, social, and economic conversations. But rapidly, he couldn’t climb any further on the social ladder. Though Vermont was enthusiastically starting the race conversation at that time, the Green Mountain state was not ready for equity yet. Disillusioned, he took a job in Africa, where he assisted various organizations in nurturing fruitful dialogues between their stakeholders.
After a decade-long professional and philosophical voyage throughout Africa, Eric Agnero is back in Vermont to find that VT has made significant progress in inclusion and diversity. He is now looking forward to sharing his international experience and confidently contributing to the local leadership. He is currently working for various community media projects with the Association of Africans Living in Vermont, CCTV, VICII, and was recently coopted to serve on the board of Toward Freedom.
Art BellDreamlike Pictures
Art Bell founded Dreamlike Pictures in 2008, a video-based marketing agency which produces television commercials, music videos, digital signage, and branded content.
Prior, he was CTO of Oxygen Media Television, New York, co-founded with Geraldine Laybourne, Oprah Winfrey, and The Walt Disney Company.
Before Oxygen, Bell was co-founder of Alias Research, Toronto, heading the development of Alias and Maya 3D, the world leader for 3D animation and special effects for motion pictures, television, and gaming.
He was most recently on the Boards of CCTV and the Vermont CURE.
Katherine Bielawa StamperPresent Time
As a first generation American, a singular thread in Katherine's career has been advocacy. She attributes this to her working-class roots and gratitude to those who helped her find her way educationally and professionally. With a BA in History and an MPA, she's worked as a civil rights investigator, legislative liaison, consumer advocate, prison educator, college instructor, newspaper columnist and Development Director at Laraway Youth & Family Services. She hosts a radio show—Present Time—on WBTV LP, 99.3 FM in which she strives to bring the voices of those less represented in our culture to the airwaves.
Shelagh Connor ShapiroWrite the Book
Shelagh Connor Shapiro hosts a show called Write the Book on our affiliate community radio station, WBTV-LP. Write the Book features interviews about books for writers and curious readers. Her novel, Shape of the Sky, published in 2014, was nominated for the Vermont Book Award. Her stories have appeared in North Dakota Quarterly, The Baltimore Review, Short Story, Gulf Stream and others. Her story “somewhere never gladly” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Shelagh lives in South Burlington, Vermont with her husband, Jerry. They have three sons: Bennett, Connor, and Aaron. Shelagh's involvement in community radio has allowed her to learn many new skills: interviewing, audio editing, and broadcasting among them. She loves being a part of community radio, which offers people with or without broadcast experience a voice on their local airwaves, participating in conversations about music and the arts, news and politics. Community radio encourages participation and story sharing. It brings people together.
Chris DissingerFleming Museum
Chris Dissinger joined the RETN board in 2014. He is currently the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Fleming Museum of Art at the University of Vermont where he handles all aspects of marketing, publicity, graphic design, photography, as well as social and electronic media. Prior to moving to Vermont, Chris was publisher and editor of two daily newspaper in New Mexico for 15 years. A graduate of Towson University, Chris holds degrees in both History and Journalism. Chris believes that technology is a core component of growth for public institutions and, through its use, can reach and be relevant to wider and more diverse audiences. Chris lives in Underhill with his wife and daughter and enjoys skiing, ice and rock climbing, cycling and water sports in his spare time.
Deb EllisTeacher & Documentary Filmmaker
Deb Ellis is on the faculty of the Film and Television Studies Program and co-chair the Reporting and Documentary Storytelling Minor at the University of Vermont. She teaches production, documentary, and film festival studies. One of her greatest teaching satisfactions is exposing students to a range of media beyond their typical surfing diet. She also loves mentoring students as they transition from their undergraduate experience to their post-grad lives.
In addition to teaching, Deb Ellis is a documentary filmmaker with a focus on social justice issues. Her film Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train opened on over 100 screens across the country and was short listed for an Academy Award in 2005. You can see an overview of her creative work at debellisprojects.com.
Janine FleriCommunity Health Centers of Burlington
Janine Fleri is a writer, conceptual artist and wannabe cartoonist who worked in independent film and corporate television for a decade before moving to the nonprofit sector. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in Media Studies from the New School. After almost ten years in NYC, she returned to Vermont in 2012 and became a VCAM member as a music video producer and b-movie event host before joining the Board of Directors in 2017. She is currently the Development and Communications Senior Advisor for the Community Health Centers of Burlington. Her full credentials are available at j9fleri.com. She neither owns nor knows how to operate a motorcycle.
Melo GrantChoice Strategies / WRUV / WBTV
Melo arrived in Vermont in the '80s to attend the University of Vermont, fell in love with the area, and has been here ever since. She owns a home in the Old North End of Burlington. As a student, she became involved with WRUV, the university's public radio station, and has been a programmer there for a number of years. Melo came to VCAM by the way of the new community radio station WBTV where she is a programmer, has assisted in training other programmers, and serves on the Outreach Committee.
Keith OppenheimChamplain College
Keith Oppenheim has been an instructor at Champlain since 2014. His courses in Broadcast Media Production include Video Storytelling, News Writing and Production and Video Field Production. In addition, seniors in the broadcast major work with Keith on their capstone project, a series of documentaries that air on local cable television. Before coming to Champlain, Keith was a broadcast journalist. He worked in local markets for 12 years, followed by 11 years at CNN where he was a correspondent based in Chicago. Keith taught at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan for 5 years, then made the move to Vermont. Keith is currently a regular contributor to Vermont Public Radio's commentary series.
Dean PierceWater Resource Planner
I am a resident of Shelburne and a member of Media Factory. I currently work as a water resource planner for a regional public agency. In that role I assist communities, non profit organizations, and other partners throughout northwestern Vermont. Our common goal is to implement projects that will reduce the amount of phosphorus entering Lake Champlain. Previously, I was employed by a municipal government whose meetings are recorded and broadcast by Media Factory. Some of my other experiences include print journalism and college radio.
I've been a fan and supporter of Media Factory – and before that VCAM – for many years. I believe the services it provides are hugely important, and their value was only magnified during the COVID crisis. Media Factory is also responsible for helping me get in touch with my creative side. My partner and I participated in Crowdsourced Cinema in 2020 and again in 2022. I've benefited from the work performed by the organization and members of its talented staff since 2002.
Jason RaymondBurlington Technical Center
Jason Raymond is the instructor of the Digital Media Lab at the Burlington Technical Center (BTC). Prior to working at BTC, Jason worked for several years as a community media educator at Tualatin Valley Community Access (TVCA/TVTV) in Beaverton, OR teaching field and studio production workshops and coordinating media productions with community volunteers. He has also taught middle school Broadcasting in Little Rock, AR, developing collaborative projects with the Little Rock Film Festival, AETN (Arkansas Educational Television Network-PBS), the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, and the PBS Student Reporting Lab. He holds Master’s degrees in Education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, with a specialization in copywriting from the Texas Creative program. Jason was also an undergraduate of Bennington College, with a focus in creative writing and media studies. Jason is interested in engaging youth in a collaborative exploration of the creative possibilities of filmmaking, electronic music, and emerging technologies.