Member Spotlight – Jill Kauffman

What led you to a career in the radio industry?

Carmen Brown of the Joy FM. We have been friends for years and served together in Young Life, Bible studies and at church in Tampa, FL back (2003? Good gravy…memory lapse). I had a lot of spare time on my hands at the time so I volunteered as her driver for her one-hour commute to the studios. I’d drive her to work 2-3 times a week and pick her up at some unearthly hour of the morning with an Americana from Starbucks in hand. That way she could work while I drove her to the station.

While I was at the Joy FM I assisted her in promotions as a volunteer. It was about the time when the Joy FM had a contest where someone would win an entire wedding and, as promotions directors know, that’s a lot of work. Once Carmen got it off the ground she needed someone to facilitate it the rest of the way, so she asked me. That experience took me on a path to becoming a certified wedding planner. Thanks Carmen?!

Then, in 2007 I moved to Fort Wayne, Ind., and made a phone call to the local radio station, 90.3 WBCL, about volunteer opportunities. They didn’t have a position that day but overnight they created one for me, and that was just the beginning. I became their promotions director and served there for seven years and have now been at 88.3 WAFJ in North Augusta, S.C., for almost six years.

What advice would you give people new to the business?

Mercy! Have fun, stay flexible and remember that no idea is too small. Don’t forget about the ministry part of what we do. It’s not just behind the scenes but getting in front and being part of the lives that listen to you. Community – it’s about connection with the listeners.  Remember this: (Psalm 90:14) Walk into work every day with the satisfaction of His unfailing love so that you can sing for joy and be glad all your days! …and some of them get long in this career path :o)  Stay near to Him and he WILL stay near to you.  That, my friend, is a promise!

Give a shoutout to someone who is making a difference in radio and what are they doing to make an impact?

I can’t just stop at one. There have been many. Chuck Finney and what he advises stations across the country is worth giving a shout. Even though I did not receive any long-term coaching from him he encouraged me to take the Career Direct assessment from Crown Ministries to discover what I was made for and if I was in the right career path.  His heart to push folks is evident. I took the assessment about 5 years ago, hired one of Crown’s consultants to navigate the results and was confirmed that I am in the right career path and strive to go strengthen that which I was made for.

Ross McCampbell, Executive Director 90.3 WBCL, had a profound impact on my professional and personal life in radio. If it weren’t for him and his encouragement, his push for my best, I wouldn’t be in this career path.  He’ll likely never realize what a long term affect he had on my life and heart.  He and all the station managers across the country pour into their teams every day and that is something worth noting.  Thank you all!

Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

That’s a toss-up. Helping to pull off The Joy FM (Sarasota) Wedding was a fun one.  FUN fact about that:  the winners were JOY and Robbie, we had JOY Williams come sing and the wedding happened on a floating chapel in Clearwater!  So. Much. Fun!  Look at the picture…cutest thing ever!!!

I helped launch a listener-built Habitat for Humanity home in Fort Wayne with 90.3 WBCL. I left the station before the completion, but they sent me a picture of the family that received the house. Great way to be community…live it with them.

Here at 88.3 WAFJ the signature event is Love and Laughter, an elegant date-night dinner with an artist and a Christian comedian. That’s been happening for 5 years! It’s become something that people look forward to every year, sells out early and helps strengthen marriages. We’re adamant about providing opportunities to encourage marriages.

Tell us about a story of a Christian song that made a difference in your life or the life of a listener.

Riley Clemmons “Fighting for Me.” Not only do I like this song personally, it’s resonated with so many people I’ve talked to. A woman I prayed with at a sticker stop holds on to that song as she fights cancer. She knows that He will never stop fighting for her even if it doesn’t end up the way she wants.  She told me that when she is down and questions her faith, she still knows He is always there.  That’s powerful and one we all should remind ourselves.  In the ups AND downs of life.  My life hasn’t always had a white picket fence around it without it falling down a few times. But when my faith was weak, He never stopped fighting for me. I knew that in my heart. Always.  Also the song “Scars” by I Am They. It kind of goes along with Riley’s song because the scars I have caused me to know God’s heart in a much deeper way than I would have if I’d not had them.  The wounds that I experienced are and will be the stories He uses for His glory. I love that about Him.

Jill Kauffman
WAFJ, Promotions Director
CMB Silver Member in 2013

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