SOU President Names Paul Westhelle as Interim JPR Director

Associate Director Westhelle appointed to lead JPR through transition

June 26, 2012: (Ashland, Ore) — Southern Oregon University (SOU) president Mary Cullinan has appointed Jefferson Public Radio (JPR) associate director Paul Westhelle as JPR’s interim director. Westhelle, 51, who has been at JPR since 1990, replaces current executive director Ronald Kramer, whose employment contract expires at the end of June. Westhelle’s appointment begins immediately.

“I am delighted that Paul has agreed to this interim position,” said Cullinan. “He has the respect of SOU, JPR staff, and the JPR Foundation Board. Paul will provide thoughtful and knowledgeable leadership as we build consensus, address upcoming transition issues, and move forward.” JPR, established in 1969, is owned and operated by SOU.

Westhelle has worked in non-profit management for over 30 years, the last 22 at JPR and 12 of those as associate director. He has been instrumental in the development of JPR’s service to the region – overseeing fundraising activities, coordinating outreach efforts and building community partnerships. Westhelle has led numerous capital campaigns that have enabled JPR to significantly expand its radio network throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California communities. He also led the capital campaign and managed construction and restoration work of Redding’s historic Cascade Theatre and has managed the theatre’s operations since it reopened in 2004.

In accepting the position, Westhelle said, “This is a challenging time for JPR but I am confident that a group of passionate, thoughtful and informed people who truly care about the importance of JPR’s service to the region will make decisions that enable our organization to flourish. I am also grateful for the more than two decades I have had the privilege of working with Ron Kramer – he has been a friend and mentor.”

Before joining JPR Westhelle held the position of associate director for public health education for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s national office in New York City. Westhelle, who has lived in Ashland since 1989, is active in the Ashland community. This year he was the Ashland High School varsity baseball coach, and led the Grizzlies to within one pitch of going to the state 5A semifinals.

Westhelle has a B.A. in Public Relations from San Jose State University.

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