The Rapidian

WYCE celebrates programmers: Lee

Each day of our 2018 Fall Fund Drive, we will be publishing brief profiles of some of our programmers. Check out their stories and see What You Can Empower by making a contribution to WYCE!

WYCE is a listener supported, volunteer powered, community radio station. Our organizational mission is "Building Community through Media,” and we take that seriously.

Programmer: Janet  Zahn (“Lee”)

What are your work/volunteer/hobbies?

I am a nonprofit fundraising consultant working primarily on major project fundraising. I am process oriented and love how the arc of a major campaign helps an organization make a Great Leap Forward. It's a real privilege to walk beside so many of the fabulous local and regional Nonprofit organizations doing great work.  In addition to my love of music, walks in the woods, biking the area's many trails, and teaching fitness classes are all part of my fun zone. I kind of have a crush on Lake Michigan. I'm an adventurous cook, and love to prepare food for friends and family.

How long have you been at WYCE?

I took the programmer training in January of 2001. Hard to believe I'm sneaking up on 18 years as a volunteer at WYCE. With experience at a variety of timeslots, I started out doing overnights for a bit, then spent time on the  Friday and Wed morning shifts, followed by 10 years on Monday afternoons. Facebook just reminded me that it's been 5 years since I landed on Friday Drive Time. My description was and remains this: The most fun volunteer job you could ever have!

What brought you to WYCE?

As an avid listener, I was constantly being inspired by what I heard and was always calling in requests. A programmer told me: why not take the class and have 3 hours of your own requests? So I took the plunge and never looked back. The vast library was such a great opportunity to explore music with which I was unfamiliar, and I have loved getting to know and enjoy more music than I would ever have otherwise been exposed to.  

In your view, how does WYCE empower the local community?

WYCE empowers the local community in a variety of ways. It offers listeners a World of Music in a non-commercial, organic, and accessible manner. It gives programmers an opportunity to share a musical offering to the community and gain the skills needed to program a show.  Local musicians have a launchpad to have their music aired in ways most artists would not have access to. Through PSAs and calendars, other nonprofits have a way to share their mission and upcoming events. 

With events like the WYCE Hopcat Blue Bridge Festival or the GRAM on the Green summer concert series, we provide a space for community members to gather and enjoy the best local musicians together. By playing an eclectic blend of local, regional, emerging, and under-represented music on-air, we educate the community and expose our listeners to sounds and voices they may have never heard otherwise.

And because we are volunteer-powered, we provide a platform to elevate the voices of local citizens and empower them to make a positive impact on the West Michigan community. Each day of our 2018 Fall Fund Drive, we will be publishing brief profiles of some of our programmers. Check out their stories and see What You Can Empower by making a contribution to WYCE!

To donate, go to or call (616) 742-9923.

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