Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Go Teach!

Yesterday we attended our oldest daughters "moving up ceremony". She completed middle school and is moving up to high school in the fall. Needless to say, we were very proud of her for this accomplishment.

We heard from the principal, the principal of the high school they will be attending next year, the student body president and a few others. We also heard from their social studies teacher Mr. Mueller who gave the key note speech.

I don't know to much about him. I know that he teaches social studies to thirteen year olds. He's in his early 50's I suspect and he is very lawyerly looking. No surprise, because in a past life he was an attorney.

Most importantly, I know that my daughter adores him. This is huge coming from her. She also likes social studies and has studied hard this semester to get good grades, all because of Mr. Mueller. Mr. Mueller is larger than life to these kids. He kept them engaged and communicated to them on a level that they understood. In return, his students were like sponges and soaked it all in. I realized that there was something special about Mr. Mueller when he was introduced and he stepped up to the podium. The students went crazy, "rock star" crazy with applause.

Through the years, I have had the good fortune of seeing some great speakers and motivators. I have seen Zig Ziggler, Tony Robbins, Bill Clinton, Rudy Guiliani, Colan Powell, Dick Vitale, Mike Ditka. In sales and radio I've seen Brian Tracy, Les Brown, Tom Hopkins, Jim Tazarak, Paul Weyland and many others. I drop these names, not to impress you, but only as a point of reference.

With that said, Mr. James "Jim" Mueller gave one of the most inspirational and powerful speeches I have ever heard. This speech, "Go Teach" was directed to his students but the message resonated throughout the auditorium with the parents as well.

As I was listening to Mr. Mueller speak, I had two thoughts. First, I hope the kids get it and realize what a gift it was to hear such a heartfelt and extraordinary message from someone who is passionate about them and truly cares. Second, I wish all of our associates at the radio station could be there to hear this message!

When we got home last night, I felt compelled to send Mr. Mueller a note complimenting him on his speech and also asking him If I could share his speech with our team and post it here. He was most gracious and has allowed me to share it.

Year End Graduation Speech 2008

Go Teach

May 27th, 2008


Mr. James Mueller
Social Studies Teacher
Cocopah Middle School
Scottsdale, Arizona

Good evening.

Thanks to all of you, but most particularly the class of 2008.

My theme for tonight - GO TEACH! Or is it GO Teach? Or GOOO Teach!

Well, I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that you haven’t escaped my lectures just yet – the good news is I am not going to try to RAP it for you! Well maybe I could try -

It’s time to be rappin’ so take off your cap an’
Relax in your seat and get off of yo’ feet!
Time to throw down some rhymes ‘bout all our good times.

You know, that’s just not working for me! Some things just don’t rap well.

So let’s talk about teaching. So you’re thinking you don’t want to be a teacher. I asked my classes this year if they would consider teaching as a career, and almost no one raised a hand. They looked at me like – “Yo, dude, you have got to be kidding.”

You know, it’s funny, when I was your age it was all I could imagine doing. I thought it would be so cool to be a teacher and basketball coach. -- By the way, it is.

It’s funny, every year students and parents ask me, “What made a lawyer with a perfectly good career walk away from it and decide to ‘go teach.’” Tonight, I thought I would try to give you a partial answer that question. Answer #1: I obviously, I will never make it as a rapper. Answer #2: As you know, the pay is uninspiring, so it must be something else. Well, the answer is right here in front of me. The answer is you. Terrific kids who are willing to learn (and teach) bring me back year after year. Homeroom! 4th Period! 7th period! And even the ever challenging 6th and 3rd periods. Wow. Terrific classes all. Yes, I’ll be back.

Ah – you are still thinking, “No way I’m going to become a teacher Mr. Mueller,” Well, let me have you rethink that. Tonight, my recommendation to you is still, to well, go teach!

Let me clarify that though. I am not asking you to take up teaching as a way to make a living, I’m asking instead that you to take it up as a way of living. Let me explain.

I want you to think of teaching differently. To view it something you do every day, not just for me, but also for you. Not as a profession, but as a way of life.
Most of you say you don’t want to be teachers. I understand that, but heck, I have some news for you; you already are.

We teach each other every day. You don’t have to teach for a living, but you do have to teach to have a life worth living. When you think about it, teaching really isn’t optional. Life simply gets better when we share knowledge.

So, now that you understand what I am talking about, I say, go teach.
Teach each other to believe in yourselves – it is one of the keys to success.
Teach each other the value of being good people. Remember Edmund Burke’s words, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Yes, girls, that applies to you too.

Teach each other by contributing your ideas and fostering a love for learning.
Teach one another that true friends allow you to be yourself. But don’t forget, teaching isn’t always telling friends or others what they want to hear; sometimes it’s telling them what they need to hear.

Oh, and by the way, teach each other that being over 50 is NOT old!

You know, I see exceptional talent among you so I say teach and encourage each other to use those talents wisely and well. I see brilliant students among you capable of leadership – so I say, teach each other to step forward and lead to solve the problems of the future. Teach each other to forgive. Teach each other decency. Teach each other the value of caring.

My dad was a wonderfully optimistic guy. It was his nature. One of the best lessons he taught me was, “put the best construction on everything.” I can still hear him say those words. By that, he meant assume a positive intent in the actions of those around you. He meant, be confident that people who criticize you mean well – especially parents and teachers. Yelling is a good thing! It means we still care. As I said last year, consider it a loud hug.

He meant – being negative drags you down. Being positive pulls you (and those around you), up. He meant – assume the best. So I say again; go teach. Teach each other as he taught me, to assume the best.

Teach each other to lift one another up.
Teach each other to build a positive culture in high school.
Teach each other to treat one another with respect – and tolerance – it makes you all better.

In the Locke vs. Hobbes debates in my classes this year most of you figured out that I most assuredly come down on the side of Locke. I believe in the goodness of people. Our country is founded on that principle. So, teach each other that being good is good for yourselves and one another.

As it happens, Ryker Eley taught me this year that the great basketball coach John Wooden believed that winners make the most mistakes. Mistakes come from doing, but so does success. So teach each other not to be afraid of making mistakes, and that making mistakes makes you better and stronger. And, remember of course that Ryker also taught us all about the value of courage and resiliency this year. Don’t forget his example.

Teaching may well be our door to immortality. When the people we teach carry the lessons forward that we taught them, we live on. My dad passed away seventeen years ago, but his philosophy of life lives in me and is here to be shared with you tonight. And, of course, don’t forget Vern Smith who taught many of us important lessons that live on through us tonight.

So I say, from all of us teachers, to all of you – go teach. And keep teaching, whether as a student, teacher, parent, or in any other setting or career. And keep teaching.

I want you to know that you sure taught me a lot this year. And that is absolutely one of the best things about being a teacher. I’ve learned from you. And maybe when you learn to love it as I do, you’ll consider teaching for life and for a living. And then, when you’re over 50, you can teach others that you are not old!!

You are an amazing and talented group of students.
I marvel at your promise. Congratulations.
Thank you, God bless you – teachers all.

Thank You Mr. Mueller!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Just Like Home

Fran and I had dinner tonight at Eddie Matney's new restaurant, Eddie's House with our friends Marvin and Adrienne. Eddie's opened yesterday In Scottsdale at Marshall Way and Indian School. What a great experience.

The restaurant is very comfortable, the art work and decor are fun, the service was superb, the food is outstanding and it is priced reasonably. Meets all my criteria for a good restaurant. You never would have known that this was only their second day in business.

We had fish, meatloaf and barbecue chicken (a little spicy). The portions were generous and everyone enjoyed their meals.

There is a reason that Eddie calls this Eddie's House. You feel like you are sitting in his dining room. Eddie came around a few times to check in on us to see how everything was. As we were finishing up, he pulled up a chair and talked with us for a while. Great customer service. We will definitely go back.

I am passionate about radio and food. As I've mentioned before, I feel that there are a lot of similarities between the restaurant business and the radio business. I can tell you that like the launch of a new radio station, Eddie has done a great job. The product is great, people want to come back for more and they will be telling their friends about it too. His customer base (listeners) will grow and hopefully he will have a big success on his hands.

The Arizona Republic did a nice piece on Eddie yesterday. Read it here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Get Excited!

We've had a lot of exciting changes at the radio station the past few months.

We increased the power of MEGA (KAJM) to a full class "C" FM station. We have a new transmitter site with a state of the art technical facility. And we now reach more than one-million more listeners than we did previous to our signal upgrade.

On the programming side, Beau Duran takes over as Program Director for both MEGA and ENERGY. Beau is a dedicated radio pro. His passion for radio is endless. He eats, drinks, sleeps and breaths the radio station. Beau Gets It!

Alex Santa Maria moved from afternoons to mornings and he is super-charged, playing more hits and interacting with the listeners!

Angie Gomez has moved from co-hosting duties in morning drive to holding down the fort on her own every mid-day from ten until two.

The newest addition to the on-air line-up is Raul Torres. I don't know where Raul gets his energy from, but he rocks in the afternoon. We keep it cold in the studio and Raul is sweating every time I stop in to say hello. Raul is on fire! Listen to his mix show at five, it's GREAT!

The "Night Princess" Nina Cruz continues to keep nights alive from six to eight with great music and a lot of listener interaction on the phones.

Wrapping it all up every night live from Hollywood is legendary DJ Art Laboe with his Killer Oldies, request and dedication show from eight to midnight. This is "Old School" radio at its best.

On the business side, Jeanette Scott joins us as our new Business Manager and Tarina Lovegrove joined us in sales. Ian Makar who started out as a rookie seller for us five years ago is our new sales manager. Ian has worked hard and deserves the promotion. He has a lot of great ideas and is a man on a mission.

As my friend Michael Crawford says..... "Get Excited!"

I am.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thank You!

Last night was the annual Black Tie Gala for Body Positive. Thank you to everyone that supported the event and bought raffle tickets. We appreciate your support!

Stephanie Heymann and David Smith chaired the event. They, along with the entire staff and volunteers of Body Positive should be commended for a job well done!

As Always it was a great event. I had two dates last night. Since Fran was out of town I brought two younger women, my two daughters. "Pistol" Pete Kelly from the radio station (ENERGY/KNRJ) also joined us. Pete has been a very big supporter of the organization through the years by hosting events, doing on-air interviews and and live broadcasts for "Dining Out For Life".

We had a nice time, good food, good music (Richard Marks) we and we raised some money. The girls and I bid on and won some artwork during the silent auction.

Beside supporting a good cause, it was gratifying for me because on the drive home I had a very intelligent conversation with the girls about HIV/AIDS, the causes and the prevention of the disease. They asked some good questions. I think that they were surprised that the disease impacts teens as well as adults. We also spoke about giving back to the community and getting involved in organizations to help others. This is something that Fran and I believe very strongly in and we try to impress this on the girls.

There were a couple of exciting announcements at the event including the new Friends and Family vitamin program where we can all go on-line and order the highest quality vitamins and have a portion of the proceeds support the organization. Finally, they also announced a name change for the organization. Body Positive will now be known as the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS.

Here is a copy of the press release that went out this morning. Please take a moment to read it, it is very interesting and informative.


CONTACT: Lysa Fitzhugh Jeffrey Davidson

Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS RIESTER

(602) 703-7139 (602) 819-4288


Arizona is Home to the Only HIV/AIDS Service Organization in the United States to Combine
Research, Prevention, Education and Wellness Under One Roof

PHOENIX (May 18, 2008) – In order to reflect its expanding reach and awareness, Body Positive christened its new name on Saturday, May 17, at “Night for Life,” the organization’s annual gala fundraiser. Visionaries in the field—activists, doctors and researchers—were also among the guests that gathered at the Camelback Inn to celebrate nearly two decades of being at the forefront of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Arizona as Body Positive, founded in 1990 by Kirk Baxter. The agency’s new name, Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, marks a new era of the organization’s expanded outreach and continued commitment to building awareness locally and regionally.

The vanguard HIV/AIDS organization in the desert Southwest region, Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, continues to pave the way for research, prevention, education and wellness for people affected by HIV/AIDS. In an effort to combat this devastating disease, the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS has created broad awareness and its leading-edge clinical trial program has worked to bring 26 of 28 Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs to the market to treat this devastating disease. It is the only HIV/AIDS nonprofit organization that delivers all three services in what it coins as an “individual health, individual help” model.

“The Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS provides the public with knowledge to prevent this disease while providing critical resources to help individuals live long and well with HIV,” said Carol Poore, president and CEO of the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS. “Since its inception, the organization has grown in scope to address the shift in reported cases of HIV/AIDS that have erupted among minority women, adult men as well as youth.”

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), there are 12,000 people infected with HIV/AIDS in Arizona, and another 12,000 who may be infected but unaware of their status. Among these people, Black and Hispanic women show the largest trend of new infections, with Black women being seven times more likely than women in any other ethnic group to become infected. The changing nature of the disease is evident by the following statistics:

· Hispanics form approximately 28 percent of the population in Arizona but 20 percent of the HIV/AIDS cases.

· Blacks, while constituting less than four percent of the state’s population, represent 12 percent of the HIV/AIDS cases.

· Native Americans represent five percent of those infected in Arizona.

· Men having sex with other men of all races represent 70 percent of HIV/AIDS cases.

· Intravenous drug users represent 15 percent of HIV/AIDS cases.

“Many people view HIV/AIDS as a gay man’s disease, however the face of HIV/AIDS is changing,” said Mark Howard, board chair for Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS. “This is not a disease that discriminates, it can affect anyone and we understand the changing needs of the communities we serve. Our particular concern is the careless attitude toward the disease among youth. Many believe that a simple pill can be taken to combat this disease and are unaware of the devastating side affects the medication causes. Prevention is critical as we battle to educate our most important audiences, our youth.”

According to ADHS, 490 people will be infected in the next hour. Worldwide, 14,400 people are newly infected each and every day and fighting this disease becomes a devastating reality.

“It is the goal of the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS to bring this destructive epidemic back to the forefront through education and awareness,” added Poore. “We want to be on the front lines of preventing this disease from spreading.”

The Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS proven individual health, individual help approach takes into consideration the client’s behavioral state, personal finances, wellness and health, since all these factors greatly affect which medicines each person receives. It also provides a variety of nutritional and naturopathic interventions designed to improve quality of life and overall health.

About the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS

Phoenix-based Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS is the only HIV/AIDS service organization in the United States that combines research, prevention, education and wellness services under one roof. The agency is a leading HIV/AIDS research and resource center, and serves more than 1,200 clients infected by HIV/AIDS while providing outreach to more than 25,000 at-risk men, women and youth annually. The Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS’ history of partnership with pharmaceutical companies for clinical trial research has helped bring 26 of 28 FDA approved drugs to the market to treat this destructive disease. Visit the Web site for more information or call 602-307-5330.

Funding at the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS

A 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization, several programs at the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS are funded in whole or part by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, the Ryan White Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act of 2006, Maricopa County Department of General Government, Arizona Department of Health Services and other state municipalities. Other major funding sources include (but are not limited to) Valley of the Sun United Way, Arizona Diamondbacks, private foundations and donors, and agency fundraising events.

# # #

Monday, May 12, 2008

No More Funny Pages

In today's RAIN (Radio and Internet Newsletter) Kurt Hanson writes in his Blog why he is canceling his subscription to the Chicago Tribune. He says that the newspaper seems intent on driving print subscribers away.

"So what does the Tribune do a couple of weeks ago? I assume this was a pre-Randy Michaels decision, but what they did, naturally, is that they got rid of the comics section!

To be precise, they shrank the comics down to a virtually-unreadable size and stuck them in a new tabloid-shaped section that combines the unreadable comics with TV listings and Internet recommendations.

The Internet recommendations adjacent to the unreadable comics are a nice “screw you” to any remaining fans of the print version of the newspaper. It’s like they’re reiterating, “We really don’t want you any more. Here are some websites you can go to. Now get lost!"

Interesting perspective from a fellow who has long been a champion of the internet and new technology.

He has a point!

Read Kurt's Blog Here:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Just Hanging Out Today

A while back I wrote about the great customer service that Fry's Electronics has. I was back there today and it was even better. Going to Fry's for me is like going to Scottsdale Fashion Square for Fran and the girls. I spent more than two hours there today. I walked up and down almost every aisle and saw all kinds of cool gadgets and toys.

I just can't get over how customer focussed this store is. I don't know what kind of training program they put there team through, but I sure would like to get my hands on a copy of their training manual and be a fly on the wall during one of their staff meetings. Everyone is friendly, knowledgeable and always asks if they can do more for you. I have no idea how Fry's does. This would be a good question for my friend Howard Lindzon to answer. I would have to believe that they do quite well.

Since I was out in Tempe getting my fill of testosterone at Fry's, it was only fitting that I stop by Ted's Hot Dog's for lunch. Once again, a place I can't get the girls to go with me to.

You would have thought that they were giving something away there today. The line was to the door. As I walked in I almost turned around and left, when I over heard the women next to me tell someone on the phone that it smelled so good she couldn't turn around and leave. I looked at here and said I could not help but overhear her conversation and I agreed.

I waited in line for almost fifteen minutes and ordered a foot long hot dog and bratwurst with relish, mustard, onions and tomatoes and no bun (trying to lose a little weight).

For those of you who don't know, Ted's is an institution in Buffalo, NY. It is a Family business and Spiro Ted's son moved out here many years ago to open this location. Spiro's son now runs the company from Buffalo.

Like a successful radio station Ted's is focussed. Everything is home made and made to order. Their menu is not deep, but what they have is the best. They have the best hot dogs, brats and burgers. Home made fries, onion rings and shakes are part of the menu too.

In radio terms, the Power records are the Hot dogs and burgers, the re-currents are fries, rings and shakes. The DJ's are the servers cooking over an open flame and then garnishing your sandwich. They are always friendly and are skilled at making your sandwich right in front of you. Just as in any good radio station, it always tastes good and you want to come back for more!

Even though I'm a Chicago hot dog guy, Ted's is #1 in my book!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Please Help Me......

For almost three years I have served on the board of Body Positive. Body Positive is an incredible non-profit agency in Phoenix. Our Mission is to Lead in the fight against HIV and AIDS, Reduce Infection, Improve Quality of Life and Contribute to Worldwide Research.

Through the years I have been involved in many non-profits and I have to tell you that working with Body Positive is very rewarding. The people are great and they appreciate everyone's efforts. We are very proud of what we have accomplished. I invite each and everyone of you to take a tour of our facility. I know that you will be impressed with our clinic and all of the programs that we operate. Please call or email me and I would be more than happy to arrange and accompany you on a tour.

On May 17th we are having our annual Night for Life, black tie gala. This year I have a new date for the event. I am taking our 14 year old daughter since Fran will be out of town at a conference. Jordie is excited because she is getting a new dress for the event (You can never start to soon). I'm excited, because I feel that it is important to teach your children values and help them develop a sense of what it is like to give back to the community. This is a philosophy that both Fran and I believe strongly in. And it doesn't hurt when it is a fun event surrounded by great people, great food and great music.

As a board member I have volunteered to raise additional money by selling raffle tickets. This years raffle is an $8,000 travel package. It is a great prize and Fran and I are buying tickets in hopes of winning!!

The cost of the raffle ticket is $50 or three tickets for $100. I would greatly appreciate it if you would be generous enough to support our organization and purchase raffle tickets too.

Please click on the link below, at the "how did you hear about the raffle" please click on the drop down box to select my name (Michael Mallace).

Purchase raffle tickets. Here

I, along with everyone involved with Body Positive appreciate your support!!

Thank you.


Monday, May 5, 2008

No A**holes Allowed

Through the years I've worked with a lot of talented people. I've also come across my share of jerks as well.

Leadership development coach Paul Anovick reviewed a managment book by Stanford Professor Robert I. Sutton titled The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t (Warner Business Books, 2007).

This book is dead on. It details how debilitating a jerk in the workforce can be.

According to Sutton, everyday jerk behaviors include:

1. Personal insults and innuendo's
2. Invading one’s personal space or territory
3. Uninvited physical contact
4. Threats and intimidation, verbal and nonverbal
5. Sarcastic jokes, teasing and disguised insults
6. Email flames
7. Status slaps intended to humiliate
8. Rude interruptions
9. Two-faced attacks
10. Dirty looks, grimaces, eye-rolling
11. Treating people as though they’re invisible, keeping them out of the loop

To qualify as a true jerk, one must display a persistent pattern and a history of episodes that lead others to feel humiliated and disrespected. And a boss who’s a jerk often causes anger, frustration, high turnover, absenteeism and, in extreme cases, violence.

A jerk poisons more than one victim. The damage spreads to coworkers, family members and friends who watch or hear about attacks, creating a larger pool of secondhand sufferers. The result is devastating, zapping people’s energy and causing absenteeism, loss of productivity, high turnover, depression and disengagement.

Top 10 Rules for Enforcing a “No Jerks at Work” Rule

Having all of the right business philosophies and management practices in place to support the “no jerks at work” rule is meaningless unless you treat the person right in front of you, right now, in the right way. It’s the little things that make the big differences:

1. Say the rule, write it down, and act on it. If you have a policy, make sure you act on it.
2. Jerks will hire other jerks. Don’t include them in hiring decisions.
3. Get rid of jerks fast. Organizations generally wait too long to fire jerks.
4. Treat certified jerks as incompetent employees. Even if people perform extraordinarily well and achieve great results, persistent meanness should be equated with incompetence.
5. Power breeds nastiness. Giving people even a little bit of power can turn them into big jerks.
6. Embrace the power-performance paradox. Downplay and reduce unnecessary status differences.
7. Manage moments, not just practices, policies and systems. Change the little things, and big things will follow.
8. Model and teach constructive confrontation. Make sure people know when and how to argue respectfully.
9. Adopt a one-jerk rule. If you permit one jerk to stay, use a reverse role-model approach to remind people of what not to do.
10. The bottom line: Link big policies to small decencies. When people talk to one another and work together with respect, managing jerk behaviors is natural.

This book is a best seller and is getting rave reviews. Read Paul's review. Here.

Sutton has a great Blog too. Here.

Are you a certified asshole? Take the ARSE: The Asshole Rating Self Exam. Here.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Where are the Kids on Bicycles?

I connected with Dan Kelley this weekend. Dan has programmed for Clear Channel and Citadel and currently writes the ClassicRockFM Blog. While in High school, Dan and I started out at the same radio station, WVVX AM/FM in Highland Park, Illinois a northern suburb of Chicago. Dan was at the station a couple of years before me and our paths never crossed until this weekend when I sent him a note commenting on a post he had written. It was then that we connected the dots.

When Dan wrote back to me he commented that he used to ride his bicycle an hour each way to work at the radio station. His comment struck a chord with me. On occasion, I did the same when I had the keys to my mother's car taken away from me as punishment for mouthing off to her. If my friend Alan couldn't give me a ride (he had a car) I'd have to ride my bike. Thirty-two years later, with two daughters 11 and 14, I get it. I can finally admit that I deserved the punishment.

It occurred to me that back in the day when Dan and I started working at WVVX there was a passion for working at the station. The truth be known, I would have worked there for free just to hang out. I signed the station on the air on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I started as a board-op and ran the required public affairs shows and ran the board for all of the different brokered out shows that were aired. My boss, Jim Hoffman would pay me an extra five dollars a week to vacuum the floors, dust desks and windex the windows. I could not have been more excited to take on that responsibility. I was hanging out at the radio station and getting paid for it!

A lot has changed in thirty years. The public affairs requirements have become more lax. Computers and technology have drastically reduced the need for board-ops. And sadly, I don't see the kids taking the bus or riding their bikes an hour to work and hang out at the radio station.

What's with Everyone Dying!

The radio industry lost another great personality last week. Big Ron O'brien passed away in Philadelphia at the age of 56. Big Ron was doing nights on WCFL in the 70's when I was growing up. He was the consummate DJ, great pipes, high energy, impeccable timing, funny, witty and and he new the music backwards and forwards.

Ron was a journeyman broadcaster who worked at some of the great top-40 stations around the country including, WCFL Chicago, WFIL Philadelphia, KIIS Los Angeles and more... Ron was one the people that I listened to growing up that got me excited about getting into radio. While I never met him, just like all the other greats, I felt like I new him. That's what made him so good.

Programmer, Dan Kelley of Classicrockfm did a great piece on his Blog about Ron. Read it here ==> has an aircheck of Ron from WCFL in 1976. Just as I did when I was a kid, I still get that feeling in my stomach when I listen to the top of the hour ID and hear "Seven o'clock America, welcome to the night time with Big Ron from the Voice of Labor WCFL Chicago". This is top-40 radio at its best. Click here to listen ===>

"Shotgun" Tom Kelly and Art Vuolo "Radio's Best Friend" put together this tribute On Big Ron O'brien.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

MEGA Celebrates 300th Pool Fence in Adopt-a-Pool Fence Program

I strongly believe that as a broadcaster you have a responsibility to giveback to the community and address the issues that are relevant to the communities you serve. MEGA (KAJM) is a very popular radio station within the English speaking Latino Community in Phoenix.

With that said, more than five years ago I met Rich Bauer of the United Phoenix Firefighters Association. He explained to me that there were more child drownings per capita in the Maryvale area of Phoenix than any other place in the country. He went on to say that the reason was that the homes were older and they had pools in there yards with no protective pool fences. This was due to the fact that back in the day, when the pools were installed, there were not any zoning requirements for pool fences the way there is today. He also said that many of the residents in the area simply could not afford to install a fence too.

The United Phoenix Firefighters decided that they were going to raise money and install fences for those in need through their Adopt-a-Pool Fence Program . Rich asked me if we would come on as a media sponsor to get the word out to our listeners and let them know that the fire fighters would install a pool fence for free to those in need.

This was a no brainer for us. The Maryvale area and the west side of Phoenix have historically been very strong areas for MEGA listening. Therefore, we gladly got involved and supported the program with an extensive on-air Public Service Campaign promoting the program. The first year there were fifteen pool fences installed.

Fast forward five years to the present, the firefighters are installing almost one pool fence a day. Today, they installed their 300th pool fence. I was proud to represent the radio station along with Nina Cruz our Promotion Director (whos mother is a firefighter) today and attend the press conference at the home of the 300th pool fence recipient. Others attending were Phoenix City Councilman Claude Maddox, Rich Bauer, Chief Bob Khan, Merl Waschler of the United Way and Pete Gorraiz, President of the United Phoenix Firefighters Association.

What a great feeling to visit with the young family that received the pool fence and see how appreciative they were. It was very clear that they could not have afforded to install the fence on their own.

Oh, by the way... child drownings are down dramatically since the inception of the Adopt-a-Pool Fence promotion.

This is what it is all about..... Serving the community!

Added from Family gets program's 300th pool fence