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About Your Voice of Vashon
About the Board
Jean Bosch, VoV’s board president, freely admits she knows little about radio, TV or even website development. But she knows a lot about how to run a meeting, develop a project, raise money, navigate the local political scene and maintain a sense of calm in the midst of uncertainty. Little wonder, then, the VoV gang recruited her to serve on the board in 2010 and then voted her president in 2012.
Jean works as a real estate agent for John L. Scott, a position she’s held for eight years. Before that, she worked as the executive director of Vashon HouseHold, helping to develop the Charter House Apartments, Roseballen and JG Commons during her six years there. Jean has a master’s degree in cultural anthropology and a professional background in commercial real estate development, skills she put to good use during one of the highlights of her extensive career – working closely with the Nisqually Indian Tribe as it developed and built a small tribal school near the historic Frank’s Landing on the Nisqually River.
Jean’s had a high profile on the Island. She helmed the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council, served on the board of Vashon Allied Arts and for a while helped to run a small organic farm behind Vashon Cohousing. As for VoV, she calls it one of her best volunteer gigs ever: “It’s such an amazing and committed group with a lot of skill and expertise,” she said. “And they’re just having a ball with what they’re doing.”
James Culbertson, a board member since 2006, thought he was going to be a neuroscientist when he was a young man. “Obsessed with the brain and consciousness,” as he put it, he majored in perceptual neurobiology and was poised to begin graduate work when he grew concerned about the use of animals in some of the research. James took his passion for perception into a new realm, studying epistemology at Antioch University, where he was encouraged to use visual literacy to express himself – a transformative experience, he said. “I found myself loving the realm of film to express things.”
James shifted gears and began doing desktop video production. Today, he works as a freelance video producer, a fitting cap to his early years – since video is ultimately about perception. He edits video, audio and still photography and specializes in post-production work. Recent projects include “Mississippi Remixed,” a documentary about the state of race relations in Mississippi, and “Hall of Giants: The Story of Fremont and the Troll.” He also is newly hired as Vashon High School’s part-time video production teacher. James is married to Nan Hammett, who heads Vashon Island School District’s StudentLink program.
At VoV, he’s one of our volunteers skilled in the technical side of TV and radio production. But he’s particularly excited about VoV’s future, as it moves towards developing more original content and supporting Islanders in creating new programs, an arena where his insight into perception will likely prove invaluable.
If anyone holds the title of Island historian, Bruce Haulman does. A retired history professor, Bruce has taken his passion for history and his love of Vashon and put them together, becoming a fount of information about the place he calls home. Bruce was a professor at Green River Community College for 32 years, where he taught history of film, Pacific Northwest history and other courses. He retired from GRCC in 2011 but continues to work as a historian. He writes a column called “Now and Again” for The Beachcomber, manages a website called VashonHistory.com, serves on the board of the Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Association and recently signed a contract to write a narrative history of Vashon; a couple of years ago, he co-authored a Vashon history book that was largely pictorial.
Bruce has other passions as well. He has worked as a carver for 15 years, practicing the craft in the Northwest Coastal tradition under the guidance of Master Carver Israel Shotridge. He’s also an avid sailor and the founder of a popular summer sailing camp that bears his name. Each summer, up to 200 kids sign up for the camp, a going concern for more than two decades. His wife Pam Haulman taught kindergarten at Chautauqua Elementary School for many years.
Bruce joined VoV’s board in 2013 in part because he sees the organization as offering another way to take a look at Vashon’s history. Working with Rick Wallace, he’s developing a video series that will illuminate the Island’s rich and storied past.
Jeff Hoyt is a radio man and civic-minded Islander. He emcees auctions, facilitates events and provides color commentary for our beloved Strawberry Festival parade. Jeff was one of the pioneers of VoV who sat around a table in 1999, drinking coffee and dreaming about an FM radio station and TV station on Vashon Island.
When it comes to audio, Jeff wears many hats. He’s a commercial voiceover artist, hosts a podcast called Hoytus Interruptus, and has written and produced nearly 15,000 commercials.
Born the son of a broadcast journalism pioneer, Jeff decided to be a disc jockey when he grew up, only to later learn that he couldn’t do both. After a short professional career as a morning DJ, Jeff discovered that he had a knack for creating original and humorous radio campaigns that made clients smile on a number of satisfied levels. Two decades and many thousands of scripts, recording sessions, and voiceovers later, Jeff’s unique style of audio storytelling wizardry continues to build relationships with clients, listeners, and corporate audiences alike.
Michael Golen-Johnson used to dee-jay nightclubs in the late ’80s and early ’90s and still dee-jays an occasional wedding or party. An audio engineer, he got involved with VoV in 2000 during a stint of unemployment after the dotcom crash. He never looked back. Indeed, he’s been on the board since 2002.
Michael and his wife Elizabeth Golen-Johnson, a teacher, discovered Vashon in 1998, after helping a friend who was in search of his birth parents move to the region. Raised in a farm town in Illinois, Michael was drawn to Vashon’s rural lifestyle as well as its proximity to Seattle. (He and Elizabeth lived in Chicago before moving here.) He worked for Washington Mutual for five years, leaving that job, he notes, just before Washington Mutual unraveled. He now works for BECU, creating e-learning classes on a range of issues.
His talents as an audio engineer, editor and all-around IT expert have been put to full use at VoV, where he produces Bill Wood’s The Jazz Guy, helps to get the live high school sports broadcasts on air and is the lead techie for VoV’s web-based radio station. He likes being a part of the VoV gang – “I know I can be of assistance,” he said. He also really loves working with Bill Wood.
John Midgley, an attorney and currently the Board’s Treasurer, has spent nearly his entire professional life working on behalf of prisoners’ rights, representing low-income people and using the law to effect social change. He works for Columbia Legal Services in Seattle, a nonprofit legal aid law firm that advocates for people who face injustice or poverty. John served as its executive director for many years and is now the advocacy director.
But John, it turns out, also loves jazz, and even while he was practicing law, striving to achieve policy reform through innovative litigation and running a nonprofit, he also had another dream – he wanted to host a jazz radio program. That dream came true in 2003, when he took a six-week “basic broadcasting” class offered by KBCS, a non-commercial radio station at Bellevue Community College. The class ended and, coincidentally, KBCS had a slot open for a drive-time jazz show. John signed up and hosted the weekly morning show for the next six years. He loved it, he said. “I could play anything I wanted.”
John’s interest in VoV stems from his rich experience at KBCS. There are scant opportunities anymore for amateurs to host radio shows; the industry is increasingly corporate and competitive. But should VoV get its FM license, John says, many islanders could enjoy the experience of community radio and, like him, host their own show. John, meanwhile, is once again hosting a jazz show. His program, Jazz Kaleidoscope, can be heard on VoV’s web radio station.
Richard Montague grew up in the film industry. His father, an attorney, represented several Hollywood actors (among them, Lucille Ball), and Richard found himself “on the sets from a very young age,” he says. Richard studied theater in college but knew he had to make a living and went into radio and eventually television. In the course of his impressive career, Richard worked as a TV weatherman in both Spokane and Seattle, acted in a made-for-TV movie with Tom Selleck, worked with Richard Gere, Charles Haid and James Brolin and hosted a talk show on KVI Radio.
He eventually started his own full-service video and new media production company, called Meadow Lake Productions, and counts among his clients the People’s Republic of China, American Express, NFL quarterback Warren Moon and Seattle Mariner Jay Buhner. These days, when he’s not doing freelance commercial work, he teaches at Vashon High School, where he has a part-time position teaching marketing. He’s also the father of two sons, including Tanner Montague, a freshly minted VHS graduate known for his remarkable talent as a percussionist.
Richard joined the VoV crew in July 2012, recruited by VoV stalwart Jeanne Dougherty, who often spotted him out in the community with his camera. He’s impressed, he says, by both the talent and energy the other VoV volunteers bring to the organization. “It’s a great group of people,” he says.
Lee Moriwaki’s road to Voice of Vashon, to borrow the description of another reporter’s career, was circuitous at best. Lee didn’t plan on becoming a journalist but was one for close to 40 years. He began in broadcasting, worked in print, but dreamed of multimedia. He served on VoV’s board from 2009 to 2011, switched for three years to the Vashon Partners in Education board, and is now returning to VoV for a second term. That dream of operating in multimedia? More real than ever, thanks to VoV’s technological strides.
Lee originally contemplated the life of a classics professor, having graduated from the University of California, Davis, with majors in Greek and Latin. Then the ’60s and a political awareness fostered while growing up in Berkeley intruded. When it was more common to enter the business without a journalism degree, Lee got a reporting internship at KQED-TV in San Francisco, worked as a script writer and producer at KGO-TV, moved on to newspapering at The Sacramento Bee, received a fellowship to the Washington Journalism Center in D.C., but was drawn back west , first to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and then to The Seattle Times where he held a variety of reporting and editing posts for nearly 35 years. He retired as The Times’ associate editorial page editor, in charge of the daily guest opinion columns, in 2008.
How to explain such zig-zags? Curiosity’s at the core. Comfort with unpredictability also factors in. Both play out at Voice of Vashon. As media change exponentially, VoV is front and center. Lee can’t wait to see how the future unfolds.
Richard D. Reed
He is an active member of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), an avid backpacker and skier and an Eagle scout. He has studied with VoV’s Saturday Open Studio team to do a DJ show from his vast collection of R&B/Soul tunes.
Those who work with him describe Rik as a person who keeps commitments and who asks intelligent insightful questions. He is married to Molly Reed, Vashon Allied Arts Executive Director.
Rick Wallace, a board member since 2008 and currently serving as Vice President, comes to Voice of Vashon with an extensive background in radio and television news. He landed his first paid radio job when he was 17 and went on to work in broadcast news for the next 20 years. He won numerous awards for both breaking news and investigative reporting, capping his journalism career as a news assignment desk editor at a Los Angeles TV- station.
Rick then took his skills in information-gathering, writing and analysis and went to work for a division of Publicis Groupe, a multinational advertising and public relations firm headquartered in Paris. His 18-year career at Publicis, where he eventually became a vice president, took him to Cameroon, Chad and Papua New Guinea, as well as many other places. He began that work in Los Angeles, where he lived with his wife Karen Baer, a pediatrician. They moved to Vashon in 1999 and he retired in 2011.
As the couple readied for retirement, they began considering the Northwest and made several trips to the region. Somewhere along the way they discovered Vashon and fell in love with the place. “We liked the idea of moving to a community where we could dive in,” Rick says. And dive in they did. With his background in breaking news, Rick took an interest in Vashon’s emergency preparedness group and now heads VashonBePrepared. He has served as Vice President of Vashon Allied Arts. He’s also involved in the Friends of Mukai. Karen, a singer, is in both the Vashon Opera and Vashon Chorale. And as for Voice of Vashon, well, how could a former radio and TV man resist?
Bill Wood used to work as a television and TV-movie writer in LA, though if you ask him what shows he wrote for he’ll likely say none you’re old enough to have heard of. He and his wife Jeanne Dougherty retired to Vashon in 1995, and when he realized golf “just didn’t do it for me anymore,” he indulged his real passion and launched The Jazz Guy. Today, he’s VoV’s longest-running dee-jay, hosting an hour-long program that not only showcases his sardonic wit and profound appreciation of music but also his extensive jazz collection.
Bill is a pillar of VoV: He’s been on the board since 2000, longer than anyone else. Why has he hung in there all those years, when he could have been golfing? In part, he said, “because I realized that if I wanted a jazz show I was going to have to do something to keep this station on the air.”
Bill has another claim to fame on Vashon. He wrote what many consider the Island’s unofficial theme song, “Keep Vashon Weird,” a rousing piece first performed by the Church of Great Rain’s Church House Band and Holy Rollers Radio Players in September 2010. “Keep Vashon weird,” it begins, “build a yurt, ride a bike, grow a beard. Put a terrarium in your garage. Fire your doctor and get a massage.”
Looking at Melodie Woods’ career, it’s hard to imagine anyone with a range of skills better suited for her work with Voice of Vashon. She’s a well known television producer for a Los Angeles and Vancouver based media production company and she founded the first website production company in Italy. Yes, she speaks fluent Italian.
Melodie says she has spent her life pursuing volunteer opportunities. Among other things, she founded a nonprofit in Los Angeles that created high school classroom technology teaching tools to empower girls with computer programming and website construction skills so they could improve their job prospects. She spent a couple years on a team that mentored girls in LA County juvenile hall to help them gain the strength to leave the gang culture. Here on Vashon she served on the Community Council, where she headed the Land Use Committee and the Vashon Town Plan Committee. She’s also a Ham radio operator and volunteers with the Island’s emergency response programs. Oh yeah. She’s also our VoV Board Secretary.
How did Melodie discover Vashon? She was commuting between Los Angeles and Vancouver and seeking a mid-point. Like many of us on the Island, she says, “One day I heard about Vashon Island, drove over to have a look and knew I was home.”