Julio B. Aponte Jr. is the chief operations officer at Sun Broadcast Group Inc. As COO he oversees all SBGI departments and the company’s day-to-day activities and operations, as well as managing sales strategies and new accountability measurements. Prior to his promotion to COO, Aponte was the senior vice president of Hispanic initiatives. In that role his responsibilities included research, development, the launching of new programming, and establishing new exclusive partnerships with affiliates for Sun Latino Networks, Sun’s Spanish-language division. Aponte’s professional career spans television and radio station management in the United States and Argentina. He has been affiliated with influential media groups and organizations such as ABC/Citadel/Cumulus Radio Network in New York, MTV Tr3s Los Angeles, Univision TV and Radio Unica San Francisco, Emmis Communications and Boca TV in Argentina.
Jason Bailey is the founder and CEO of Sun Broadcast Group, Inc., a national radio sales and syndication company that has been at the forefront of innovation in the national radio space for more than 20 years and has championed new products designed to reshape how radio is programmed, measured, bought, and consumed. Among the most notable is Shazam for Radio, a first-of-its-kind platform allowing broadcasters to create live, interactive mobile content directly from their terrestrial radio broadcasts.
Angelica Balderas is senior vice president for Entravision Communications, overseeing all operations and sales in the Sacramento market, which includes top-rated KXSE (Jose 104.3FM) and Tricolor 99.9FM, as well as 101.9FM Wolf and Hot 103.5FM. Previously she was director of sales for Adelante Media Group, and before that she held the post of national sales manager, working with national advertisers and their agencies to execute advertising and promotional programs over Adelante’s nine markets. Balderas also served as president and principal of Aztec Media and launched KTTA (Kebuena 97.9FM), KLNA (Power 105.5FM), and KBBU (Ke Buena 93.9FM); those stations were sold to Bustos Media in 2004. Balderas’ experience includes over 20 years of local direct and agency transactional business and retail activation, as well as event marketing. National clients such as Tecate, Verizon, and Miller Coors have cited her work as examples of successful execution of events and retail programs.
Manny Centeno is a project manager at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As a DHS/FEMA program manager and IT specialist, he leads operations and maintenance of the Nationwide Emergency Alert System and National Public Warning System. Centeno designed and deployed a highly capable emergency satellite communications network; implemented and leads the IPAWS Laboratory at the Joint Interoperability Test Command , a component of the Defense Information Systems Agency; and oversees the design, modernization and enhancements of the NPWS stations. He also successfully planned, managed, and conducted the first-ever nationwide test of the EAS in 2011. Centeno began his career over 30 years ago as an on-air announcer, manager, sales executive, and engineer. He has extensive experience in operating broadcast stations during disasters and through recovery. In September of 2017, Centeno deployed to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to assist in maintaining broadcast capabilities in the two territories in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The FEMA NPWS stations were a crucial link in providing critical life-saving information to the public.
Tonya DeVane joined The Omnia Group as a client advisor in September 2008. In her current capacity, she helps senior and mid-level managers select top talent, manage more effectively, and build high-performance teams using behavioral assessment tools and concepts. DeVane provides guidance to hundreds of businesses in a wide range of industries, including insurance, financial services, automotive, staffing, and health care. She trains and develops staff, conducts onsite workshops, and regularly facilitates webinars. With a degree in human service counseling and over 15 years’ experience in identifying customer needs and implementing innovative solutions, DeVane is successful in helping businesses reach their human capital goals. DeVane is a speaker at various events and associations, such as AppliedNet, Assurex Global, and more. She speaks and consults on topics such as authentic communication, creating a sales culture, and power interviewing.
Pedro Escalera currently serves as program director and morning host at one of Emmis Communications’ two Spanish language formatted stations in Austin, Latino 102.7FM. Under Pedro’s leadership, Latino 102.7 has seen strong ratings growth, focusing on a live and local approach in the market. Escalera has also been involved with the success of sister station, KLZT-FM, since the station’s inception in 2009. Past stops for him have included KVIB-FM and KZZP-FM in Phoenix, as well as Border Media /Austin.
Dominic Fails is a 29-year industry veteran currently working at Univision as senior vice president of sales for Univision’s radio properties. He has worked in both TV and radio sales in a variety of leadership positions. Fails has spent 11 of the last 15 years in Spanish-language media. Before joining Univision, he headed sales for the Journal Broadcast Group of radio and television stations. In these roles he has been fortunate to work with a variety of teams, leagues, and tournaments by securing broadcast rights, selling marketing solutions, and building radio networks.
Arminda “Mindy” Figueroa is founder and president of award-winning engagement solutions agency L2L Marketing+Communications. She is a long-recognized leader in the traditional, multicultural, direct, and digital marketing fields, and she has built a successful career focused on generating awareness of the essential role of the multicultural market in corporate America. Before launching L2L, Figueroa was project director for Scholastic Media and oversaw the launch of the number one-ranked PBS children’s TV series Maya & Miguel. Previously, she held senior marketing positions at the Bravo Group (a Young & Rubicam agency), Univision.com, Verizon, and Anheuser-Busch. Figueroa is a frequent presenter at industry seminars and conferences. Following Hurricane Maria, Mindy served as an advisor to Gov. Rick Scott for the South Florida Relief Efforts for Puerto Rico and is the proud founder of the philanthropic grassroots organization Adopt a Puerto Rican Family Relief Effort.
Mark Fratrik serves as BIA/Kelsey SVP and chief economist and is responsible for forecasting across all local media segments. He also manages the company’s numerous proprietary databases and conducts primary research on various trends as they affect the broadcasting and related communications industries. Additionally, Fratrik is heavily involved in BIA/Kelsey’s strategic and financial consulting projects, conducting research and analysis for clients on matters related to the broadcasting, digital media, and related communications industries. Throughout his career, Fratrik has researched and spoken at numerous conferences on the impact of the economy on the broadcasting industries, revenue trends, proposed and enacted regulatory changes, and new media technologies. He is often quoted in the media and is a leading spokesperson concerning trends and forecasts for the media industry including analyzing competitiveness of media and related industries. He is the author of BIA/Kelsey’s series of studies on the state of the radio and television industry.
Eric Garcia is director of sales for Univision/New York. He was previously audio revenue chief of Spanish Broadcasting System and VP/GM of WSKQ & WPAT in New York. In his former post he managed revenue for the local, national, digital, and entertainment divisions at all SBS O&Os across six markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, and Puerto Rico. In addition, he managed the overall operations at WSKQ and WPAT. Garcia has also served in various executive positions at SBS in New York as general sales manager, national sales manager, and account manager. Before joining SBS in 2004, he worked at Interep National Radio Sales in New York as an account manager. His hands-on approach to business, open-door policy, and overall passion to continuously evolve and redefine radio as the leader inside the nontraditional revolutionary media space are the things Garcia considers to be most exciting about the industry.
Rick Hernandez serves as the manager for 1050 ESPN Deportes/New York, where he oversees all national, local, and play-by-play revenue for the flagship Disney O&O radio property. Prior to ESPN, Hernandez served as the local digital manager for CBS Radio’s six New York properties and two TV stations. Before that, he was with Univision Radio’s WADO-AM, where he held roles as both local and general sales manager. His current play-by-play responsibilities include local properties as well as the New York Mets and the New York Jets, along with local sales of ESPN Deportes Network Properties; NBA, MLS, MLB, NFL, and 300-plus hours a year of world-class soccer including Mexican League, Euro League, UEFA Champions, and FIFA Friendlies. He believes that Sports radio (especially Hispanic Sports radio) connects with listeners on a personal level, and that is the reason it remains one of the best mediums to reach active consumers no matter what the delivery method — broadcast, digital, or mobile.
Donny Hudson is VP/GM of Spanish Broadcasting System in Miami. He has been with SBS for 18 years and has also held various managerial positions including SVP of sales, local sales manager, and director of local sales. Before joining SBS, Hudson served as EVP of sales for America CV Network/America TeVe. He also worked in sales at HBC for WRTO-FM, WAMR-FM, WQBA-AM, and WAQI-AM and served as GSM of WRTO-FM/Miami. He started his radio career at WSUA-Radio Suave after graduating from the University of Miami in 1989 with a degree in broadcasting. Hudson’s vision for the radio industry has been honed and cultivated over decades of hands-on radio broadcasting experience plus a vast knowledge of effective sales and management philosophies across media platforms. He is a proud Miami native.
Adam R. Jacobson is editor-in-chief of Radio+Television Business Report. A veteran journalist and advertising industry analyst, Jacobson has also held editorial positions at former industry trade paper Radio & Records and helped launch Latina Style magazine. Jacobson served as principal analyst for Arbitron’s Hispanic Radio Today 2010 and 2011, and has worked with several radio companies as a corporate multicultural strategist and marketing consultant. He was previously senior editor at Hispanic Market Weekly and a multicultural analyst for Mintel, a global market research firm based in Chicago. He has been a frequent conference speaker and panel moderator, and his work as a journalist has appeared in the Miami Herald and other publications.
Blanche Joesten is Hispanic network audio sales manager at Skyview Networks, where she focuses on business development, leveraging broadcast, and developing innovative solutions for today’s big brands trying to reach Hispanics. She is the first to hold this position and is dedicated to helping agencies and Fortune 500 brands reach Latinos inside play-by-play sports. Joesten is an accomplished executive with a 25-year history of success in a variety of disciplines and sectors including Hispanic, national and regional network, and local radio. She is results-oriented and has a record of successfully driving business, contributing to new sales across the full spectrum of multimedia platforms, including on-site experiential media, audio, digital, mobile, and specially created content features and sponsorship elements across multiple programs. She has previously served in a variety of sales and marketing leadership roles at CBS, Radio Disney, and Westwood One, as well as on the executive team at local, national, and Hispanic New York City radio stations.
Reuben Jusino is a consultant to the wireless and broadcast industries. Shortly after graduating from the University of Puerto Rico in 1982, he took a job with the FCC. During his 32-year tenure there, Jusino rose from a journeyman agent to resident agent of the San Juan, Puerto Rico office. Capping off his career, he was honored with the Employee of the Year award in 2016. As a consultant, Jusino most recently provided advice to the Puerto Rico Broadcasters Association in serving the Hurricane Maria Task Force. Just after the storm a handful of the more than 100 stations licensed to serve Puerto Rico were left on the air; Jusino provided guidance in getting FCC and FEMA help to the affected broadcasters, relying in part on his experience gained following the Katrina disaster in New Orleans. The Hurricane Maria Task Force has also worked alongside the Hurricane Task force created by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
Rob Kass serves as vice president of product leadership at Nielsen. A Nielsen veteran with strong radio roots, Kass is responsible for the product roadmap development and go-to-market strategy for Nielsen Digital Audio, which includes the measurement of streaming radio, audio pureplays, and podcasts. In addition, he has responsibility for the product strategy of Nielsen Buyer Insights, which integrates purchase and media data into a single source to drive revenue growth and increase return on ad spend. Previously, Kass was director/commercial strategy for Nielsen’s Media Analytics business. Before joining Nielsen, he held marketing, production, promotions, and on-air roles at CBS Radio and Twin Cities Broadcasting.
Brad Kelly is the managing director for Nielsen Audio. He oversees all sales and account management activity within the United States for the company’s core radio business unit. Kelly leads a talented team of salespeople and client service representatives who sell and service the Nielsen Audio suite nationally to 4,000-plus radio stations, radio groups, networks, rep firms, and related broadcast organizations. Kelly is listed as one of Radio Ink magazine’s “40 Most Powerful People in Radio” for 2016 and 2017. A second-generation broadcaster, Kelly grew up in the radio industry. During his tenure with Nielsen Audio and the Arbitron Company prior to that, he held numerous positions within those organizations, including SVP/audio client service, and VP/corporate radio sales.
Jesus Lara is president of Univision Radio, leading the company’s radio business and overseeing the development and implementation of strategies that take UCI’s digital, content creation, programming, and entertainment efforts within radio into the future. He works closely with general managers across the country as well as leaders across Univision Local Media to drive innovation and operational leadership of the radio business. Lara joined UCI with more than 20 years of experience leading digital, programming, content, and marketing teams in the radio, music, and entertainment industry. He has worked with top media and content companies, including Viacom, EMI, and most recently Spanish Broadcasting System. During his career he has been known as a trailblazer in the execution of digital, programming, content, and talent strategies to reach Hispanic and international audiences.
Maire Mason is vice president and general manager of Spanish Broadcasting System’s WSKQ-FM and WPAT-FM in New York. In her position, she leads the NY-based sales teams across radio, digital and experiential marketing, working closely with clients in the tristate area to meet evolving marketing objectives. Prior to assuming this position, Mason served as vice president/general manager of Cumulus Radio in New York. Her career also includes stints at Merlin Media, Univision Communications, and CBS Radio. An accomplished executive with 30-plus years of media experience, Mason is credited with an exceptional work ethic combined with a relentless desire to win, both of which have fueled her ability to achieve consistent gains in revenue, profit, and market share throughout her career.
Roger Martinez is executive director of WGTK-FM (Poder 102.9)/Greenville, SC. He is an accomplished general manager, sales manager, station manager, program director, production director, and announcer. His experience includes stints in San Jose, Atlanta, Charlotte, and currently in Greenville. He is particularly adept at building stations from the ground up, increasing both ratings and revenue.
Tomás Martinez is CEO and owner of Solmart Media, responsible for all management aspects of the company’s three Southwest Florida stations: WZSP-FM, WZZS-FM, and WTMY-AM. Martinez has been involved in the radio industry for more than three decades. He earlier spent three years as GM and COO of Actualidad Media Group in Miami, managing four stations, and before that he was associated for 10 years with Prisa Radio as general manager of Radio Caracol Miami. While there he executed a power upgrade from 5,000 to 50,000 watts and secured the rights to the Miami Dolphins and the Soccer World Cup. He has also run the Miami and New York properties for the Radio Unica network.
Mike McVay is executive vice president /content & programming for Cumulus Media and Westwood One, overseeing the programming of 450 radio stations and two radio networks. McVay is a 40-year programmer with consulting, management, ownership, sales, programming, and on-air experience, and has developed and launched several nationally syndicated programs. He has programmed around the world as a consultant, with more than 300 stations to his credit; stations programmed or consulted include those in America, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Grand Cayman, and Puerto Rico. McVay is a member of the Country Radio Broadcasters board of directors and is also on the boards of the Country Music Association, and the National Radio Hall of Fame & Museum. He is a Gracie Voter for the Alliance for Women in Media, and was chairman of the Radio Show Steering Committee for the 2017 NAB/RAB Convention.
Mariela Mea is station manager/NSM for Actualidad Media Group. She has more than 27 years of sales and management experience, holding positions including senior account executive, LSM, VP of sales, operations director, general manager, NSM, and station manager. Mea was a top sales rep at SBS for many years, generating accumulated billing in excess of $ 6.9 million. Working for New Radio Venture group, based in Denver, Colorado, she developed a News/Talk format that created the platform for KNRV to become the flagship Spanish radio station for the Colorado Rockies and Denver Broncos. Moving back to Miami in 2011, she joined ESPN Deportes’ Miami affiliate. During this period she created the Copa ESPN in the market, reaching more than 450 youth teams and involving more than 100 local and national businesses, and in 2015, she made multiyear-exclusivity agreements with the Miami Dolphins and the Florida Panthers. With Actualidad Media Group, she serves as station manager for, Actualidad 1040, Exitos 107.1, and 990 ESPN Deportes, and leads national sales.
César M Melgoza is founder and CEO of Geoscape, which provides strategic guidance, technology-fueled data products, research, and analytic services; the Geoscape Intelligence System (GIS), the DirecTarget® database enrichment system, and a variety of other databases and technologies are deployed successfully by hundreds of corporations. Melgoza’s career blends experiences in information technology, marketing, research, psychology, and public policy. While completing his degree in psychology at the University of California, he supervised quality control for Information Magnetics Corp, and while earning his master’s at the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs, Melgoza served as research associate at one of the first Hispanic market research companies and at the University’s Center for Mexican American Studies. After a stint at Apple, he went on to lead marketing and international business development at venture-funded Strategic Mapping, Inc. In 1995, he relocated to Florida and created Geoscape to develop next-generation market intelligence for domestic and international markets. In 2007, his firm entered into a financial partnership with Goldman Sachs and now is co-owned by Melgoza along with Goldman Sachs spinoff NMS Capital.
Frank Montero is a co-managing partner with the law firm of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth. He focuses on telecommunications, broadcasting, media and technology. Montero’s practice includes FCC regulatory counseling, corporate finance, asset and securities acquisitions, intellectual property, and real estate and commercial transactions. Montero was an appointed member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age, and he has served as the Director of the FCC’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities. While at the FCC, Montero worked extensively with industry, trade associations, financing institutions, and governmental agencies to create business opportunities for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and other small businesses in the telecommunications and technology sectors. Before his appointment, Montero was a partner with the Washington communications law firm of Fisher Wayland Cooper Leader & Zaragoza.
Harvey Nagler served as vice president of CBS News Radio from January 1998 through January 2017. During his tenure, he was responsible for CBS News radio operations worldwide, including news gathering and programming and its relationship with its thousands of affiliated stations around the country. Under his leadership, CBS Radio News captured dozens of national and international awards including seven coveted Edward R. Murrow Overall Excellence Awards from the Radio Television News Directors Association. In addition, Nagler has been personally honored over the years by numerous professional organizations. Before joining CBS Radio News, Nagler was director, news and programming for WCBS-AM Newsradio 88. He joined the station following a stint at United Stations Radio Networks, where he was vice president, news and sports and director of news operations. Before that, Nagler worked for the ABC Radio Network; he began his career in 1966 as a reporter for WCTC-AM/New Brunswick, NJ. Today, Nagler divides his time between consulting news and broadcast operations and extensive travel.
Arnaldo Olivieri “JR” is program director for WNUE in Orlando. With more than 25 years of experience in radio, he began his career in 1993 at Radio Coamo in Puerto Rico. In 1995, he moved to the U.S., becoming an air personality at Radio Selecta in Kissimmee, FL. He’s been heard on Orlando stations WPRD-AM, English/Spanish Party 95.3, and Mega 88.7. His first PD job was at Mega 1310 AM in Philadelphia, and in 2005 he became MD and on air personality at Washington, DC’s El Zol 99.1. After on air stints at SBS’s El Zol 95.7 in Miami and KQ 103 FM, he became PD for WDCN in Washington, DC in 2013.
Tamara “Tammy” Pienknagura is the VP/GM of local digital at Univision, working closely with the leadership teams at both the Local Media and Digital divisions of the company. With 10 years of industry experience in music, radio, and digital media, she helped jump-start Univision’s Uforia brand and digital audio group starting in 2012, leading initiatives in business transformation, sales strategy, product development, and content creation. Pienknagura joined UCI as the strategy lead for Univision Radio in 2011. Prior to that role, she led the planning and implementation of strategic initiatives at Warner Music Group. Pienknagura is a graduate of Brown University, and received her MBA at the Wharton School in Philadelphia. She is originally from Quito, Ecuador.
Albert Rodriguez was appointed chief operating officer of Spanish Broadcasting System in May of 2012. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company and oversees the revenue and profit performance of the company’s consolidated operations, including the radio, television, interactive, and entertainment divisions. Previously, Rodriguez was the chief revenue officer of the television segment and general manager of the Miami television market from October 2010 to January 2011, general manager of the Miami television market from January-October 2010, and GSM for the Miami radio market from November 1999 through January 2010. Before joining the company’s television segment, Rodriguez was GSM for SBS’s radio properties in Miami: WCMQ-FM (Clásica 92), WRMA-FM (Romance), and WXDJ-FM (El Zol 95).
Paul S. Rotella, Esq., is the president and CEO of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association and an active member of numerous service and broadcast industry organizations. He has served in a host of governmental, business and association leadership positions. After earning his law degree, Rotella began a general legal practice in Hackensack, NJ, specializing in local government and municipal law, transactional real estate, land use, sports and entertainment law, general corporate and securities law. He has provided legal and business consulting services to clients such as Genworth Financial, Burger King, Topia Technologies, the Real Estate Mortgage Network, Coldwell Banker, Mercury National Construction, Cliffside Park Housing Authority, Garfield Board of Education, and the Borough of North Haledon, as well as to several regional, statewide and national service, non-profit, professional, and trade associations. He is recognized as an accomplished entrepreneur, industry advocate, and highly effective mediator. Rotella has concluded several complex, multi-million dollar negotiations in numerous private, regulatory, and governmental forums.
Jessica Rosenworcel returned as a commissioner to the FCC on August 11, 2017 after being nominated by President Trump and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate. Previously, Rosenworcel served as an FCC commissioner from May 11, 2012 to January 3, 2017 following her nomination by President Obama and unanimous confirmation. Rosenworcel brings a decade and a half of public and private sector communications law experience to her position at the FCC. This experience has shaped her belief that in the 21st century strong communications markets can foster economic growth and security, enhance digital age opportunity, and enrich our civic life. Before joining the FCC, Rosenworcel served as senior communications counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV. She previously served in the same role on the committee under the leadership of Senator Daniel K. Inouye. Before joining the staff of the committee, she served as legal adviser to former FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps. She also served at the agency as legal counsel to the chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau and as an attorney-adviser in the Wireline Competition Bureau.
Jesus Salas is the executive vice president of programming and multi-platform coordinator for Spanish Broadcasting System. In this capacity, Salas oversees the radio programming of the hugely successful Latin station WSKQ-FM *Mega 97.9) in New York, and he was behind the launch of the first “Cubaton” music-formatted station in the world, WRMA-FM Ritmo 95.7. Salas is also responsible for all of the SBS stations in major Hispanic markets throughout the United States, including Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Puerto Rico. In addition to his considerable success in the professional radio community, Jesus Salas also makes a consistent and concerted effort to strengthen the local community. He is an active member of the Educational Excellence School Advisory Committee (EESAC).
Isabella Sánchez is vice president of media integration for Zubi Advertising, overseeing all integrated media for the Ford Motor Company, Ford California Dealer Associations, JP Morgan Chase, and Lincoln Motor Company. She has over 20 years of media experience with many of the largest advertisers in the U.S. Hispanic market. Prior to Zubi, she was VP/managing director of Tapestry, a division of Starcom MediaVest Group. Before that she served as vice president, director of media services for the Bravo Group, a division of WPP. In 2003, she was honored by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies and Hispanicad.com as the Media Planning Executive of the Year. She currently is the Treasurer of AHAA and serves on the advisory board for Texas Tech University’s Institute for Hispanic and International Communications.
Norberto Sanchez is the chairman and CEO of Norsan Group, the parent company of Norsan Media, a Spanish-language communications company that owns and operates the regional HOLA NEWS publication, 21 radio stations, three TV stations, and multiple digital platforms. Apart from the communications industry, Norsan Group has a large role in the food industry with a restaurant and catering division with various concepts including Frontera Mex-Mex Grill, Pampas Argentinean Steakhouse, Luciano’s, Frankie’s Steakhouse, Prime Meats, a USDA meat processing company serving the hospitality industry in the Southeast.
Enrique Santos is the chairman and chief creative officer of iHeartLatino, leading iHeartMedia’s Latin direction and strategy. He also has two shows syndicated nationally via Premiere Networks: his daily signature morning show on iHeart Miami’s TÚ 94.9 and a new English language weekend show “On the Move with Enrique Santos” Born to Cuban parents in Chicago, Illinois, he moves freely between the Hispanic and mainstream American radio landscapes. Throughout his career he has continuously set ratings and sales records in the nation’s most diversified Hispanic radio markets, and has interviewed prominent figures such as Sen. John McCain, Sen. Marco Rubio, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Secretary Hillary Clinton. He has received numerous awards and accolades for his charity and community efforts including disaster relief in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma and the earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, Japan and Mexico. He also volunteers as a reserve police officer for the City of Miami Police department.
Jeff Schmidt is SVP of professional development for the Radio Advertising Bureau. While his mother wanted him to become a preacher or a lawyer, Schmidt became an accidental salesperson with the Midwest Family Broadcast Group in the ’80s. He has been on the air,, on the streets as a successful seller, and spent years inspiring teams as sales manager. Schmidt has navigated the complexities of working for small independently owned companies, survived the tumultuous occasions of ownership changes, and excelled in the corporate arena. He rose through the ranks as sales manager, market manager, and regional vice president and has served in various sales roles and organizations in his 32 years in radio. At the RAB, Schmidt oversees the professional development group across all RAB’s training services and works with the industry’s leadership to continue to provide a professional development practice positioned to serve an evolving industry sales force focused on digital, solution-based integrated marketing and sales efforts.
Oscar Sermeno is director of market development/LATAM for Triton Digital. He is an expert in international market development, with more than 17 years of experience in and around Latin America. Before joining Triton Digital, Sermeno served as international sales manager at Future Electronics, building strategic partnerships between supply chain and distribution companies within the automotive, industrial, and contract manufacturing organizations. As director of market development at Triton Digital, he leverages his expertise in programmatic and direct sales, digital audio measurement, and content distribution to increase audience and scale for Ibero-American publishers and advertisers, while strengthening the digital audio marketplace by educating the power of its reach, audience engagement capabilities, and revenue-generating opportunities.
Charlie Sislen is a president at Research Director, Inc. Before joining Research Director, Inc. he was VP of marketing and research for Eastman Radio, a subsidiary of Katz Communication. During his 12 years at Eastman he sat on the Arbitron Advisory Council and headed up the RAB Goals Research Committee. He also worked at Arbitron as a client services rep for the ad agency division. he started his radio career is a sales rep at WWDC-AM & FM in Washington, DC. As a member of the ARAC, Sislen was introduced to PPM at its beginning. Since then he has been working with broadcasters to understand how the transition of PPM will change day-to-day radio.
Jeffrey H. Smulyan is chairman of the board of Emmis Communications. He is the leading advocate of getting FM-enabled wireless devices in smartphones and shepherded the unification of the radio industry behind the installation of the Emmis-created NextRadio application. Emmis owns and operates 18 FM and three AM radio stations in the nation’s largest markets. A former director of the NAB and former chairman of the RAB, Smulyan served as past chair of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, a consortium of CEOs from central Indiana’s largest corporations. His leadership has been recognized by the American Women in Radio and Television’s Silver Satellite Award, the NAB’s National Radio Award, Radio Ink’s “Radio Executive of the Year,” and American Women in Radio and Television’s Star Award. He has been inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and the Indiana Business Hall of Fame, and the Broadcasters Foundation honored him with its Golden Mike Award in recognition of his charitable efforts. In 2013, Smulyan was named a Giant of Broadcasting by the Library of American Broadcasting.
Arturo Sosa is director of programming for WSKQ-FM and WPAT-FM, New York and has been with Spanish Broadcasting System since 2013. He started as programming assistant back in 2004, and now reigns as captain of the top stations in New York. For a Spanish station in the biggest market in the country to have that premier position is understandably a point of pride. He cites knowing the city as an important factor in successful programming. And it’s an ingredient that, along with strong instincts and experience, have proven to be a winning formula. Under his tenure, both SBS stations have held top rated positions in the market. He believes that in an era of digital streams, radio still plays an important factor.
Luis J. Zayas has over thirty years of experience working with adults and Latinos in higher education institutions in Chicago, Puerto Rico and Florida. Since 1995, he has been working with Sistema Universitario Ana G. Méndez (SUAGM) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1996, he was charged with the start-up and development of the School for Professional Studies (SPS), known as “Programa AHORA”, the first Spanish-language accelerated university program for adults in Puerto Rico. In August 2007, he was promoted to the position of vice president for national and international affairs, and in 2015 to vice president for national affairs, where he continues his commitment to provide access to quality higher education to the underserved Hispanic population. He has done extensive research on Ethnicity and Urban Politics, especially on the problems and needs of Hispanics in the United States and the role of language and culture in ethnic matters.