Media Factory Leadership
Media Factory partners RETN and VCAM have adopted a shared strategic plan that is guided by our joint commitment to community engagement, diversity of voices, free speech, and lifelong learning. The leadership of our organizations crafted this plan because we believe we are stronger together and that further aligning our organizations will ensure the Media Factory remains an essential community resource into the future. Our collective work is overseen by the Media Factory Steering Committee comprised of board members from each organizations’ board of directors.
The Media Factory Steering Committee
- Gary Lambert
- Jason Raymond
- Chris Dissinger
- Shelagh Shapiro
- Art Bell
- Dan Cahill
- Seth Mobley, VCAM Executive Director
- Jess Wilson, RETN Executive Director
Wednesday, March 31st - 4:00 PM | RETN/VCAM Joint Board Meeting
RETN Board of Directors
The RETN Board of Directors is composed of educators appointed by school districts in our service territory and by community members appointed by the RETN Board. The board typically meets monthly on the third Thursday of the month at 4pm in the Media Factory classroom. Please note due to the COVID-19 crisis, meetings have been moved online until further notice. Please email email@example.com if you would like the meeting link to join via telephone or computer. Meetings are open to the public and written public comments may also be emailed to that address for inclusion in the public comment section of the meeting. The RETN Executive Committee typically meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 3:30pm.
Bonnie BirdsallChamplain Valley School District
Bonnie Birdsall is the Director of Digital Learning and Communication for the Champlain Valley School District. Prior to taking on that role, Bonnie worked in the Williston Schools both as a primary classroom teacher and as the digital learning leader. She has taught courses and workshops to Vermont educators about integrating Google Apps into the classroom, Building Personal Learning Networks, and Assessment and Technology. Bonnie holds a Master's degree in Technology in Education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, worked in a technology-driven national school reform project, and taught in Boston. Bonnie believes that as educators we are all learners and we should use today's technologies to connect, grow, create, and learn. In her spare time, Bonnie enjoys traveling, spending time with her husband and sons, reading, and cooking.
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.
Gary Lambert has been a cinephile all his life. He has taught production at Champlain College, Burlington College, and UVM, where he also worked as a producer and director at the Video Studio. He was the instructor for the Electronics Recording Arts program at Burlington Technical Center, and is currently the Media Integrationist and Media Education teacher at Champlain Valley Union High School. A 7th generation Vermonter, Gary currently lives in Essex Junction with his wife Jane and their three cats.
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.
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.
Jessica WilsonWilliston School District
Jessica Wilson joined the RETN board in 2009. She is currently the Digital Learning Leader for the Williston schools. Jessica graduated with an Elementary Education degree and teacher's license from Hofstra University in New York. She also holds a Masters of Technology Education from St. Michael's College. Jessica is passionate about helping teachers transform their classroom through communication, collaboration and problem solving, in order to help students become 21st century learners and active contributors to our global society. Outside of school you will find Jessica traveling around the world, cooking international foods, and participating in variety of outdoor activities.
VCAM Board of Directors
The VCAM Board of Directors is made up of local volunteers elected by the public. The board meets monthly, typically on the third Monday at 6:00 PM in the Media Factory classroom. Please note due to the Covid-19 crisis meetings have been moved online until further notice. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like the meeting link to join via telephone or computer. Meetings are open to the public and written public comments may also be emailed to that address for inclusion in the public comment section of the meeting.
The VCAM Executive Committee typically meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 12 PM.
Committees of the board—including Programming, Outreach and Fundraising, and the Executive Committee—oversee policies, practices, and visioning each year. Committees are open to the public. To request committee meeting dates, contact Seth Mobley, VCAM Executive Director.
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.
Dan CahillBurlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront
Dan Cahill has been deeply integrated into the Burlington community through various professional and volunteer service positions since 2001. Currently he works for the City of Burlington as the Land Steward with the Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront department. Previous to this work, Dan was a Recreation Coordinator for the City. Dan has also served on the board of directors of Dismas House and has done two years of service as an AmeriCorp VISTA member.
Janine FleriCommunity Health Centers of Burlington
Janine Fleri is a communications professional, conceptual artist, wannabe cartoonist, and all-around nerd that 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 Communications Coordinator 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
Board Vice Chair
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.
Rik PalieriThe Songwriter's Notebook
Rik Palieri (pronounced Pal-air-re) is a singer, songwriter, video producer and storyteller, who lives the musical life to the fullest. Rik is the host and producer of TV program The Songwriter’s Notebook that has been on VCAM since 1999. In 2009, over 300 of his interviews and videos were archived in the American Folk Life Center, creating the “Rik Palieri Collection” in The Library of Congress in Washington D.C. In that same year, he received the VCAM Director Award. When Rik is not on the road, he lives in Hinesburg with his wife Marianna Holzer and Polish sheepdog Dolina and helps out in the Marianna’s family book bindery.
A more detailed bio about Rik Palieri can be found at his web site www.banjo.net.
Annika RundbergBurlington Generator
Annika is Generator's Communications Coordinator—managing the social media, marketing, and website—and a professional jeweler at Global Pathways Jewelry with her own line. She graduated with her BFA in metalsmithing and jewelry at New Mexico State University and studied at Arrowmont and Penland School of Crafts. She made jewelry as a studio member at Artisan's Asylum in Somerville and taught metalsmithing at Stonybrook Fine Arts in Jamaica Plain, MA. Her makerspace experience started as a retail manager, educator, and laser technician at Cambridge-Massachusetts–based Danger!Awesome; a laser-cutting and 3D-printing design studio.
Check out her work at annikarundbergjewelry.com.