Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you about one of the greatest offerings we provide: the Walker Broadcast Management Institute! The Institute is the first of its kind to be sponsored by a state broadcasters association. It is now in its 20th year, having completed its first six, 3-year management education cycles in 2015. It is held on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in conjunction with the UW School of Business. The Institute started out in 1997 as the WBA Foundation Broadcast Management Institute.  Then, in 2006, the estate of William R. Walker graciously donated funds to endow the Institute and it has since been the Walker Broadcast Management Institute. 

This year’s event takes place April 18-20. The Institute has become so popular that we only have a couple of spots left available this year. If we’re sold out by the time you see this, give us a call to see if you can get on a waitlist for next year’s event. While you can see this year’s full agenda and registration form here, let me give you a bit of an insider’s perspective on what a terrific offering this is (as I just so happen to be a graduate of the Class of 2003). Where else can you get three days of top-notch instructors, the most timely session topics, a fabulous venue (it doesn’t get much better than the UW-Madison campus in the spring), and memorable camaraderie (it’s fun to watch how everyone seems to bond with other members of their “class” after spending three full days together each year, for a three-year period), at an all-inclusive, amazingly low price? Oh, and did I mention that’s without ever having to leave the state of Wisconsin? 

The highly-interactive sessions take place during the day (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) in the state-of-the art Grainger Hall, which houses UW-Madison’s School of Business. Tuesday night features a reception and casual dinner at one of the local restaurants within walking distance of State Street and the UW Campus.  It also seems to be a bit of a tradition that after dinner, several will wander over to nearby Memorial Union and sit out on the lakefront terrace eating Babcock Hall ice cream (or perhaps indulging in a favorite Wisconsin libation).  Wednesday night features a reception, dinner, and speaker on the top floor of the beautiful UW-Madison Fluno Center.  This year’s speaker will be Deb Houden, PhD. She’s an adjunct faculty member at the Wisconsin School of Business teaching negotiations for the Executive MBA, Center for Professional Development, and the Center for Advanced Studies in Business. She will present The Reality of Negotiation. Effective negotiations are important in the management of life. Each day we face numerous bargaining situations in our personal and professional world, but our individual realities can get in our way. Deb will discuss the influence of perceptions in managing negotiations successfully.

Another highlight in Wednesday night is the “graduation ceremony.” Attendees belt out an enthusiastic  rendition of Pomp & Circumstance, as each graduate steps up to the podium to receive the highly coveted leather briefcase, which one can only receive as a graduate of the Institute.

The program is designed in three, three-year modules for maximum effectiveness.  For the most part, topics will repeat every three years (with many of the same instructors coming back, due to popular demand).  However, if you’re worried about committing to the full three years initially, please don’t.  While it’s true that the majority, by far, do attend the full three-year cycle (trust me, you’ll want to), we’ve had a few who have been unable to and have still benefitted greatly from the year(s) they have been able to attend. 

Many of you know Joan Gillman. Joan has been and continues to be an integral part of the Institute as she’s worked with us since the program’s inception when she was the Director of the Small Business Development Center at UW-Madison. While Joan has since “retired” (she is now Director of Industry Relations, Emeritus, School of Business, UW-Madison), fortunately for us – she likes us (she really likes us) and is willing to continue to work with us on the program, securing top-notch sessions and speakers each year. 

If I still haven’t convinced you to sign up for the Walker Broadcast Management Institute, take a look at this list of our 119 esteemed graduates (and…we’re looking to add more graduates to the list after this year’s event). Wouldn’t YOU like to see your name on this list?



Tracy Balzer, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Anna Engelhart, WKOW-TV

Kyle Geissler, WISC-TV

David Hyland, WI Public Radio

Jim Murphy WRJC AM/FM

Steve Schlutt, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Mark Van Allen, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Steve Young, WNWC-FM



Lynn Bieritz, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Ryan “Elwood” Bjorn, Woodward Communications

Zack East, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Andrew Felix, WEAU-TV

John Kimmons, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Luis Montoto, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Josh Morgan, WREX-TV

Hope Quackenboss, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Joe Radske, WISC-TV

Brian Tyndall, Mid-West Family Broadcasting



Sean Dwyer, WXOW-TV

John Laughrin, WAOW-TV

Mike O’Brien, Bliss Communications

Terry Stevenson, Seehafer Broadcasting



Bruce Briney, WKOW-TV

Cedric Friesen, Family Radio

Mike Kemmeter, Woodward Communications

Ed Kral, WSJV-TV

Jill Sommers, WISC-TV

Evan Stanek, Woodward Communications



Jill Shiroma, WISC-TV

Eric Voight, Results Broadcasting

Dave Edwards, Woodward Communications

Steve Fisher, Woodward Communications

Pam Jahnke, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Rex Charger, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

JD Garfield, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Jim Leach, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Jen O’Brien, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Jean Taylor, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Howard Gloede, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

John Huff, KWWL-TV

Bridget Breen, KTIV-TV

Dave Booth, WXOW-TV

Jeff Thelen, WSAW-TV



Kevin Ruppert, WISC-TV

Paul Layendecker, Mid-West Radio – Michigan

Bob Bucholtz, Mid-West Radio – Michigan



Mike Kornemann, Madison Magazine

Colin Benedict, WISC-TV

Susie Taylor, Channel 3000

Ty Shea, WISC-TV

Sandi Schmidt, Woodward Communications

Greg Lawrence, Woodward Communications



Cindy Taerud-Forkes, WKBT-TV, La Crosse

Amy Ziebell, Mid-West Family Radio

Ritchie Baumann, Mid-West Family Radio

Jason McCutchin, Mid-West Family Radio

Len Clark, Learfield Communications

Sue Ramsett, WSAW-TV, Wausau

Scott Huber, WSVX Radio

Theresa Timm, Family Radio

Corri Moran, Family Radio

Linda Baun, WBA, Madison

Mary Anne Drewek, Woodward Communications

Don Grassman, Results Broadcasting



Joe Daguanno, Mid-West Family Radio, Stevensville, MI

Dave Doetsch, Mid-West Family Radio, Springfield, IL

Glen Gardner, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison

Jim Gifford, Mid-West Family Radio, St. Joseph, MI

Brian Michaels, Family Radio, La Crosse

Geoff Shields, WMTV-TV, Madison

Rick Trautschold, Mid-West Family Radio, Springfield, MO



Nan Blom Roach, WISC-TV, Madison

Tim Bremel, WCLO/WJVL, Janesville

Joe Calgaro, Woodward Communications, Appleton

Don Rosen, WRJN/WEZY, Racine

Ken Scott, WCLO/WJVL, Janesville

Jeff Ver Voort, WISC-TV, Madison

Tom Yunt, Woodward Communications, Dubuque, IA



Steve Brown, Woodward Communications, Appleton

Randy Hawke, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison

John Hunt, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison

Kevin Kavanaugh, Family Radio, La Crosse

Al Lancaster, WSAW-TV, Wausau

Kristy Nix, Family Radio, La Crosse

John “Sly” Sylvester, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison

John Wanie, Woodward Communications, Appleton



Scott Chorski, WKBT-TV, La Crosse

Jason Effinger, WMTV, Madison/WEAU-TV, Eau Claire

Steve Scadden, WISC-TV, Madison



Dave Black, WSUM-FM, Madison

Carmelyn Daley, WISC-TV, Madison

Tim Etes, WRJN/WEZY, Racine

Steve Lavin, WEAU-TV, Eau Claire/WBAY-TV, Green Bay

Scott Lopas, WTKM AM/FM, Hartford

Barb Renbarger, WEAU-TV, Eau Claire



Greg Bell, Woodward Communications, Appleton

Bob Dailey, WCLO/WJVL, Janesville

James Hodges, WBKV/WBWI, West Bend

Brian Howell, Madison Magazine, Madison

Dayton Kane, Woodward Communications, Appleton

Michelle Vetterkind, WBA, Madison

Jolene Neis, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison

Pat O’Neill, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison

Kelly Radandt, Woodward Communications, Appleton

Scott Robert Shaw, Family Radio, La Crosse

George Smith, WSUP-FM, Platteville

Ted Waldbillig, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison



Wilfred Tremblay, WSUW-FM, Whitewater



Ken Beno, Lake Land College, Mattoon, IL

Leonard Charles, WISC-TV, Madison 



Mary Jo Berner, WERL/WRJO, Eagle River

Tom Bier, WISC-TV, Madison

John Laabs, WBA, Madison

Bob Miller, WKOW-TV, Madison/Discover Mediaworks, Milwaukee

David Sanks, WISC-TV, Madison

Sandy Shockley, Shockley Communications, Madison

Terry Shockley, Shockley Communications, Madison

Tom Walker, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison

Jen Winiger, Madison Magazine, Madison