WAMU 88.5 : About

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Community Council Members

The WAMU 88.5 Community Council consists of up to 21 individuals living within the coverage area of the station who are contributing members and who wish to preserve, promote and strengthen the public radio service provided by WAMU 88.5. The composition of the Council reflects the diversity of the community served by the station.

How Members are Chosen

Each year at the Fall Quarterly meeting of the Community Council, the Chair appoints a Nominating Committee to consider all of the suggestions for new members which have been received from current members of the Council, station staff and station supporters. After reviewing the bios of all of the candidates, taking into consideration the need to maintain an ethnic, racial and gender balance and to represent all parts of the listening community, the Committee makes recommendations. The report of the Nominating Committee is submitted to the entire Council at the final meeting of the year in December and the full Council votes to recommend candidates to fill vacancies. Members of our listening public may also self-nominate (see below). Following the action by the Council, Station Management makes the appointments. Council Members serve three-year staggered terms. The station’s legal advisers, Peter Tannenwald and Matthew McCormick, serve as an ex-officio members of the Council.

Council Members who have completed their first three-year term on the Council may be nominated to serve an additional term. However after they have completed their second term they must take a leave of at least one year before being reappointed. The appointment to a second three-year term is not automatic and must be approved by the Council and station management.

More Information

For additional information about the WAMU Community Council and its activities, please call Benae Mosby at 202-885-1571 or send an e-mail to mosby@wamu.org. If you are a WAMU member and would like to be considered for membership on the Council, please submit your bio and a letter explaining why you would like become a Council Member to Anne before Sept. 30 and she will bring your information to the attention of the Nominating Committee.


Every year, the members of the Community Council elect a Chair and a Vice Chair. The Chair convenes and presides over all Council meetings. The Vice Chair presides in the absence of the Chair. Barbara H. Bares serves as the 2016 Chair of the Council and Eugene Sofer is the Vice Chair.

Members of the 2016 Community Council:

Barbara H. Bares — Council Chair
Barbara Bares is an attorney residing in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She is currently retired from practice. In addition to WAMU, Barbara’s principal volunteer commitment is at “Women for Women International” assisting in editing newsletters and reports and with administrative work. Prior to her retirement, Barbara was a Principal Attorney-Editor for West Group, DC responsible for legal text integrity and life cycle of multiple print products. Barbara is a longtime supporter of WAMU and a Leadership Circle member. She and her husband, Marc Efron, reside in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Eugene Sofer — Council Vice Chair
Gene Sofer is a partner in the Susquehanna Group, a consulting firm specializing in public policy based in Washington, D.C. He has had a long career in public policy in Washington serving as the majority associate staff person on the House Budget Committee and as Counsel to the House Education and Labor Committee. Gene was the first director of Congressional and Intergovernmental relations at the Corporation for National and Community Service. He also served as the Deputy Executive Director of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust assets in the United States is the author of “From Pale to Pampa: A Social History of the Jews of Buenos Aires” among other scholarly publications. Gene and his wife live in Washington, D.C.

Audrey Alvarado
Audrey Alvarado is President of Alvarado Consulting, based in the Washington, DC area. She has over 30 years of experience working in nonprofit and educational settings and special experience and interest in working with communities of color. Audrey has direct experience managing and running national, state and local based nonprofit organizations and she served as Vice President and Interim President of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington. She is a sustaining member of WAMU and a resident of the District of Columbia.

Sharvell Becton
Sharvell Becton is with the Income Impact Area team of the AARP Foundation. As a Program Manager, she is responsible for the monitoring and oversight of the Foundation’s BACK TO WORK 50+ program implementation at select community colleges and workforce investment boards across the U.S. Her experience includes more than 25 years in program design, group facilitation, and monitoring & compliance, including organizing and directing volunteer-led initiatives in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Sharvell is a long time WAMU listener and member, and she resides in the District of Columbia.

Christine D. Berg, M.D.
Chris Berg served as the Chief, Early Detection Research Group, Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute. In this position, she was the Project Officer for the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO) and the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST). She previously worked at Suburban Hospital as the Cancer Center Director and at the Georgetown University Medical School Lombardi Cancer Center as the head of Breast Cancer radiation oncology and as director of the residency training program. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology.

Rudy Burwell
Rudy Burwell is the founder and the President of the Burwell Group. A retired Army Colonel, Rudy left the military as the Director of Army Reserve Communications where he oversaw a $5 million budget. He brings the Burwell Group more than 20+ years of management and crisis communications experience spanning from war zones to Capitol Hill to corporate boardrooms. Prior to forming the Burwell Group, he was the Executive Vice President for Hellerman Baretz Communications, an award winning strategic communications firm. Rudy is a graduate of Leadership Arlington and has long served as a mentor to at-risk youth.

Lucinda Crabtree
Lucinda Crabtree is President and Founder of Crabtree + Company, a marketing communications firm proudly counting Smithsonian Institution, North American Ornithological Conference, USA Science and Engineering Festival and The World Bank among its clients. Under her direction, the 32-year-old company is carbon-neutral. She has served on the Board of Directors for Washington’s Discovery Creek Children’s Museum and is actively involved in promoting children’s health, education, and scientific literacy. Lucinda was the co-chair of the Steering Committee for the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Business Council for 9 years and currently is an International judge for the FIRST robotics competition. She serves on the Advisory committees for MomentUS and Common Sense Media.

Paul DesJardin
Paul DesJardin is the Director of the Department of Community Planning and Services (DCPS) for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG). As DCPS Director, he is responsible for directing the Department’s technical and policy work in regional planning; land use/transportation and TOD-related studies; regional economic analysis and demographic forecasting; affordable housing; and foster care/child welfare. Paul is a member of the American Planning Association, National Capital Area Chapter and the co-chair of CAFN. He was recently appointed as a member of the PNC Community Development Advisory Board; and, he is currently a member of the vestry of St. Peter’s in the Woods Episcopal Church in Fairfax.

Navroz Gandhi
Navroz Gandhi is a private investor, having previously held management positions at Constellation Energy Group in Baltimore and worked at J.P. Morgan in New York City. He is currently the president of the Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan Washington, Inc. A graduate of Brown University and Harvard Business School, Navroz is an avid traveler and photographer. His adventures have included climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, whitewater rafting the Zambezi and Brahmaputra rivers, and scuba diving in the Red Sea and Coral Sea. Navroz and his wife, Perinaaz, are WAMU listeners and supporters. They reside in Annapolis, Maryland.

Patricia Hartge
Trisha Hartge is a cancer epidemiologist, retired from the National Institutes of Health. She now serves on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Epidemiology. At NIH, she conducted major studies of a wide range of cancers and of environmental and genetic exposures and served as the Deputy Director of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program. Trisha and her husband Alan Strasser, longtime WAMU listeners and members, live in Chevy Chase.

Nakeisha Neal Jones
Nakeisha Neal Jones is the Executive Director of Public Allies, Washington, DC, an organization which advances new leadership to strengthen communities, nonprofits and civic participation. Programs include an apprenticeship for young adult leaders seeking to launch careers and contribute to lasting social change. Nakeisha re-established the Public Allies site in Washington after a six year pause. Before joining Public Allies, she served as Project Manager in the Office of the District of Columbia’s Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.

Avis Thomas Lester
Avis Thomas Lester is an award-winning journalist who serves as the president and CEO of Thomas Lester Communications LLC, a public relations and media consulting company. Her clients include executives in media, politics, education and business. Avis spent 22 years as a staff writer and on-line editor, producer and blogger for The Washington Post. After leaving the Post, she served for two years as the executive editor of The AFRO-American Newspapers in Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Prince George’s County and afro.com, the newspapers’ website. She currently serves as president of the Lake Arbor Foundation, Inc., a non-profit service organization in central Prince George’s County that runs a variety of programs for children, families, active adults and seniors. Avis and her husband, James Lester, are residents of Mitchellville, Maryland.

David A. Nemazie
David Nemazie, a marine scientist, is the Associate Vice President for External Affairs at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. He has extensive experience in research, science and policy interface, administration, partnership development, and public relations. He has developed partnerships with the public, private, and non-profit sector, locally and internationally. David is an active member of Maryland’s Eastern Shore community serving on several non-profit and governmental boards.

Margaret K. O’Bryon
Margaret O’Bryon serves as the Waldemar A. Nielsen Chair in Philanthropy and visiting professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy, Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at Georgetown University. She is also the founder of Accelerating Change Group, which works with communities and the institutions that serve them to accelerate the pace of high-impact change to address complex social challenges. Previously she served as the founding President and CEO of the Consumer Health Foundation (CHF) the principal health philanthropy in the Washington metropolitan area.. Prior to joining CHF, Margaret worked as managing director of the DC Office of Prince Charitable Trusts. A longtime member of WAMU, she resides in Bethesda, Maryland.

Manuel Ochoa
Manuel T. Ochoa is Senior Analyst and Program Director for Enterprise Community Partners where he focuses on national policy and technical assistance through the National Resources Network for the Policy and Advisory Services Team. He has almost 20 years of experience in urban planning, housing, and community development. Before joining Enterprise Community Partners, Manuel was Regional Director of Homeownership for the Latino Economic Development Center, a community-based organization the Washington metro area. Prior to LEDC, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs in HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development. Manuel and his wife and two children live in Friendship Heights, Maryland.

Anthony R. Sarmiento
Anthony (Tony) Sarmiento is the Executive Director of Senior Service America, Inc., a national nonprofit organization providing employment and community service opportunities to older adults. Retired from the national AFL-CIO staff, he currently serves on several boards, including the American Youth Policy Forum, the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, and the Silver Spring Village. He is a sustaining member of the WAMU Leadership Circle and a graduate of American University. Tony resides in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Stan Soloway
Stan Soloway is the President & CEO of Celero Strategies, LLC, a Washington, DC-based strategy and executive advisory firm. He is widely considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the federal marketplace and federal government contracting. Over the last 25 years he has developed a reputation for his incisive analyses, his deep understanding of the intersections of policy and mission, and his ability to translate his expertise into meaningful actions and strategies. From January 2001 to December, 2015, Stan served as the President & CEO of the Professional Services Council, the largest national association of government technology and professional services firms.

Shay Stevens
Shay Stevens is the inaugural MARS Urban Arts Curator for Washington Performing Arts. Prior to her role at Washington Performing Arts, Shay was an arts management consultant who managed special projects for RADish, LLC, an artist and event management company that specializes in international music programming and touring. Shay also worked as a consultant with the DeVos Institute for Arts Management for the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. A WAMU listener and member, Shay resides in Deale, Maryland.

Thomas F. Walls
Tom Walls is a principal with Dentons in the Public Policy and Regulation practice. He relies on broad experience in the public and private sectors to provide strategic government relations advice to clients on a broad array of issues, including telecommunications, trade, health care, agriculture and energy. As a member of the firm's political law compliance team, he works to ensure that clients who pursue an aggressive policy agenda comply with key legal and ethical requirements. Tom is Capitol Hill veteran. Before joining Dentons, he served on the staff of three United States Senators.

Jon West-Bey
Jon West-Bey is currently at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). Prior to joining UMUC, Jon was the Acting Executive Director and Chief Curator at the Prince George’s African American Museum in Maryland. He also served as the Founding Executive Director of the American Poetry Museum in Washington, D.C. Previously Jon served as Education Coordinator at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City and as the Associate Curator for Collections and Programs at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History in D.C.

Donna MP Wilson
Donna MP Wilson is an attorney in private practice, specializing in government contracting and management-side labor and employment. Immediately prior to starting her own firm, Ms. Wilson served as General Counsel and Director of Human Resources at Z Systems Corporation, an entity that remains a valued client. Ms. Wilson is the former Director of the Prince George’s County, Maryland, Department of Environmental Resources, having been appointed to that position by the County Executive in 2003. In that capacity, Ms. Wilson directed and coordinated operational, administrative, planning and budgetary functions for environmental protection and resource development. Prior to her appointment, she served as Vice President & General Counsel of Goodwill Industries International, Inc., representing and providing legal services to the Goodwill international membership office and 203 International member corporations.

Ex Officio Member

Peter Tannenwald
Peter Tannenwald is a Communications Attorney and a Member in the firm of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC. He has been practicing law in the District of Columbia for over 45 years. Peter has served as an invaluable advisor to WAMU 88.5 on communications issues for nearly all of these years.

Matthew McCormick
Matthew McCormick has practiced broadcast communications law for over thirty years. Previously, he worked as a broadcast journalist and has been a radio station owner. Matt is a colleague of Peter Tannenwald’s at Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC and he also advises WAMU on communications issues.


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