Violeta Alano is the President and Owner of La Vista Advertising, a full-service marketing and advertising agency whose primary goal is to connect businesses to diverse, multi-cultural markets. She was the first employee hired by Fisher Communications to launch Univision in 2013, a local, Spanish-language station. She sold broadcast media for Sandusky Radio and KING Broadcasting aw well as managed sales teams for Salem Communications and Fischer Communications. She was Broadcast Director at Cole & Weber, the top Seattle media agency in the 1980s.
Ali Ali is Somalian, lives in the Othello neighborhood and is part of the Somali Media Group. He organized a Somalian youth soccer group and is passionately devoted to working with youth. He is well connected to his community and the larger East African community and sees radio as a vehicle for celebrating his community, communicating basic news and cultural events to all sectors and also as a means for building bridges between East African and the general community.
Assaye Abunie is the founder and executive director of the Multi Media Resources and Training Institute that prepares underserved youth and immigrant populations to use media technology. He produced and directed Ethio Youth Media on Comcast Channel 77 and trains diverse youth in media skills. He serves all East African populations and believes in the importance of intracultural communication.He represents the Ethiopian & Eritrean communities.
Tony Benton is a twenty year radio veteran and former Director of Community Affairs at Clear Channel Communications. Through MUSICA Entertainment, his production company, Tony has sponsored voter registration drives, annual black history celebrations, several music festivals featuring hip-hop artists, and a children’s health, nutrition and early learning fair. A passionate advocate for children and youth, Tony has been directing and implementing the Creative Arts Digital Arts Academy (CADMA), a digital training program for underserved youth, in partnership with SEED since 2015. In November 2015, Tony took on the role of Rainier Valley Radio Interim Station Manager.
In March 2015 — after serving successfully for nine years as Manager of SEEDArts’ Columbia City Gallery — Kathy was promoted to SEEDArts Director. She has had over 25 years working in the arts field. Kathy spent four years in Southern Africa consulting with the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and numerous artist cooperatives to improve the economic vitality of the arts. At that time, she was awarded a Fulbright grant to document her work. Kathy holds a Masters of Business Administration (Seattle University) and a Bachelors of International Studies with a focus on Economic Development (School for International Training).
Jonathan Kertzer is currently a lecturer in the School of Music at the University of Washington, and was associate professor of music and director of FolkwaysAlive! at the University of Alberta from 2011-2014. He has worked in every aspect of the music business, at major and independent record labels, concert and festival production, and artist management. Kertzer worked with music and technology for twelve years at Microsoft, where he was audio manager with the multimedia publishing division, and editor and producer with the music download service. He has a long history in radio, working as music director at radio stations in Seattle, and currently hosts an African program on KBCS in Bellevue/Seattle.
Working as RVR consultant, Jerri will be directing RVR operations and working closely with all community partners to ensure successful implementation of the RVR capital campaign project — and beyond. For over thirty years, Jerri led all SEEDArts programming, and was in large part responsible for the founding of the RVCC, Columbia City Gallery, SEEDArts’ public art program, and other notable achievements. Jerri led two capital campaigns at SEED, coordinated the purchase and renovation of two cultural arts facilities, designed and instituted a variety of youth programs and has a lengthy history of coordinating and implementing projects in a timely manner.
Virginia Wright has a Bachelor’s degree in music, with professional experience in online and print design, IT/systems administration, and arts/nonprofit management and administration. She is the Executive Director of the Rainier Valley Historical Society, Managing Director for Chamber Music Madness, and Operations Manager and Librarian for Philharmonia Northwest. Virginia has a passion for worldwide tea cultures, and has written extensively about tea science and cultural practices. She has contributed articles and essays for publication, both online an in print on a number of topics, including arts, culture, and heritage.