91.9 Inc. is a 501(c)3 group that serves as an advocacy and support organization for WUOT. Its mission is to assist WUOT in reaching its maximum public service potential.
91.9 Inc. was formed in 2003 as a result of listeners’ concern over the long-term stability and viability of WUOT due to threatened state budget cuts. 91.9 Inc. is actively involved in WUOT events, fundraising and outreach activities.
91.9 Inc. meetings are held at Regas Building (except the December meeting), located at 318 N. Gay St. in Knoxville. 2018 meeting dates are: February 21, May 16, August 15 and December 5 (this meeting location TBD). 91.9 Inc. employs an open meeting policy whereby interested members of the public are welcome to attend. All meetings are from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and are open to the public. Seating is limited, so persons wishing to attend a meeting are advised to request seating by calling (865) 974-1547.
Kristen Hector McBee is the group’s president. For more information about 91.9 Inc., including questions or concerns about WUOT, contact her at:
209 Communications Bldg.
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-0322
91.9 Inc. Board Members
Chelsea Bibb was born and raised in Knoxville, TN and has been a WUOT listener for as long as she can remember. Chelsea received her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Finance degrees from Georgetown University and currently is the Director of Finance for Kelsan. When she does not have her head in the numbers, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Jared, a Knox County School teacher, cooking, and taking walks through West Hills with their dog Locksley. She also travels as much as she can to continue to broaden her knowledge of the world’s different cultures. Despite never attending the University of Tennessee, Chelsea is still a Volunteer Fan, unless it’s against Georgetown Basketball. Chelsea tries to stay involved in the local community through professional organizations such as FEI and YPK. Chelsea is an avid believer in the necessity of public radio because the foundation of democracy is in the education of its people and almost daily says “I heard on NPR today…”
Dianne (Deedee) Blaine is a retired Foreign Service Officer with the Agency for International
Development. With extensive experience in working with emerging democracies and a specialization in project design, she spent most of her overseas career in francophone Africa. She served as the USAID Mission Director to Albania from 1992 to 1998. In April 1998, she was awarded the Order of the Grand Master of Labor by the Government of Albania. Then in September 2015, she was awarded the Order of Skanderbeg Knight by the Government of Albania. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College. Ms. Blane retired after 32 years in the Foreign Service and moved to Knoxville TN in May 1998. She is a trustee of the Albanian-American Development Foundation and a director of the Albanian-American Enterprise Fund. In Knoxville Ms. Blane volunteers at the Knoxville Museum of Art and the UT Botanical Gardens and has been a Knox County Master Gardener since 1998. She enjoys all outdoor activities, including birding, kayaking and gardening.
Daniel was born and raised in Cajun country and is a 2005 graduate of LSU with a B.A. in landscape architecture. A lifelong public radio listener, Daniel discovered WUOT when his career and passion for mountains led him to Knoxville in 2006. He is an artist of many mediums and submitted the winning mug design for WUOT’s 2012 Spring Fund Drive. Daniel loves designing, building and playing disc golf, and thrives on hiking, kayaking and camping. He says one of the most common phrases in his vocabulary is “did you hear the piece on NPR about...?”
Ellen Cole is a Knoxville native and UT graduate. She discovered WUOT in college and has been an avid listener ever since. Ellen enjoys volunteering at WUOT fund drives. The news coverage on NPR is very important to Ellen, but she also enjoys the weekend programming and has recently been listening more and more to WUOT-2. Ellen is the Associate Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Affairs for the UT College of Law. She loves to cook, read and spend time with her husband and two dogs.
Channing Dawson was a part of the founding executive team of HGTV and has led Scripps Networks interactive efforts in web development, broadband production, digital video distribution and interactive television. He is currently working on multiscreen, TV Everywhere and iTV initiatives. In 2005, he shared an Emmy for Living.com, a weekly video magazine, and has won other awards for his work in Interactive Television. Channing discovered NPR in the late 1970s, and when he moved to Knoxville in 1994, WUOT was the only radio station he listened to. He says he listens to WUOT and WUOT-2 "no less than 40 hours a week" and is a "true and happy" addict of the station! He even listened to WUOT while working on his tractor, but says "the distraction led to several harrowing, gravity-defying moments," so he had to stop listening while driving his tractor!
Director/general manager of WUOT Public Radio, Regina manages all aspects of the NPR charter-member station licensed to the University of Tennessee. She has 35 years’ professional experience in public radio and managed the NPR stations in Little Rock, Arkansas prior to coming to WUOT in 1995. She served on the NPR Board of Directors in the ‘90s and remains active in the public radio system at the regional and national levels.
Lucille is retired from a forty-year career with the Girl Scouts. She was raised in Jacksonville, Florida and moved to Knoxville to assume the CEO position for the former Girl Scouts of Tanasi Council, which served 18 counties in East Tennessee. She is now enjoying the opportunities to serve her community through various volunteer activities, which include WUOT, the Hope Center Summer Night event and the Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus. She is a dedicated NPR fan and her favorite programs include On Being, Wait, Wait...Don’t Tell Me!, 1A and other talk shows which run on both WUOT channels. Reading, gardening and spending time with her dog, her family and friends are her favorite pastimes.
Emily Jernigan was a member of the WUOT board from 2010 to 2014, helping to start endowment during her tenure. She has been an avid Public Radio listener and supporter since 1970, when WPLN in Nashville began broadcasting as one of the 73 charter members of NPR. She is a strong supporter of WUOT and of Public Radio, perhaps now more than ever. She earned BA and MEd degrees from Vanderbilt University and has lived in Oak Ridge since 1981. She and her husband, Charlie, are active in many community organizations there, including Rotary, the League of Women Voters, and the UT Arboretum Society. Emily is a graduate of Leadership Oak Ridge. She writes and edits newsletters for the UT Arboretum Society, the Oak Ridge League of Women Voters, the internations Journal of the Holly Society of America. She also writes for other organizations and, sometimes, for herself. A member of the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club since 2005, she has served as President of the 90-member club from 2016 to 2017 and is currently President of the club's Foundation. She also chairs the 3-Rotary club Flatwater Festival and the newly-formed Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival, held in Oak Ridge the first weekend in June. She enjoys gardening, cooking, gathering with friends, and visiting her 5 beloved grandchildren in Nashville and St. Louis.
Vandy Kemp retired last year as Vice President and Dean of Students at Maryville College, capping a 39 year career in secondary and higher education. Born and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia,Vandy holds a BS in Sociology and Music Education from Radford University and an MS in Educational Psychology from UTK. She has been a high school music teacher, guidance counselor, assistant principal, and principal as well a college administrator. Since her retirement, she works part time as a high school graduation coach and runs her own consulting business working with colleges and schools on strategic planning, diversity education, grant writing, and staff development. She volunteers with the League of Women Voters of Blount County, AAUW of Maryville, New Providence Presbyterian Church, and WUOT.
Phillip King recently retired from a 30-year career as a senior psychological examiner at the Tennessee Department of Correction at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. He also held adjunct faculty positions with the University of Kentucky and Somerset Community College, and was granted the honorary rank of Kentucky colonel by the State of Kentucky. Phillip has been a WUOT listener since the mid 1970s, and he particularly enjoys All Things Considered, the jazz shows and the Saturday morning lineup, and he’s also become a fan of WUOT-2 programming!
Ben Lee is associate professor of English at the University of Tennessee. He grew up in Knoxville listening to WUOT. After leaving home to attend Amherst College (B.A., 1992) and the University of Virginia (Ph.D., 2003), he returned to Knoxville to join his wife, Lisi Schoenbach, at UTK, where he teaches courses in modern and contemporary poetry, literary theory and American literature. When he's not writing or teaching, Ben spends time with Lisi and their three children, and listens to WUOT. Favorite programs include All Things Considered, Improvisations and On the Media.
Kristen Hector McBee, President
Kristen, a Georgia Tech engineer and transplant from Atlanta, is a business analyst at Pilot Flying J. To offset the technical nature of her workweek, Kristen spends her free time reading, taking in the theatre, and, of course, attending UT sporting events (because when in Rome). During fund drives, Kristen and her family always pledge on Pet Pledge day to score two for the dogs: a boxer named Gracie and a pitbull named Dasher.
Jeff Mellor, Ph.D.
Jeff, a UT German professor for 46 years, now retired, has been a longtime supporter of WUOT and currently is a Broadcaster Society member. For the past several fund drives, he and his wife, Doris Gove, have offered a new member challenge in which they give money for every new member who joins during a particular show. He has been a loyal donor for about the past 20 years and gives monthly via WUOT's Evergreen Member Club program. Jeff loves WUOT's weekend morning lineup, the award-winning news programming, the musical programming of Todd Steed, Melony Dodson, Jim Blalock, John Habel, and Garrett McQueen (to name just a few), and the constant striving for excellence in broadcasting.
Kevin Pack was a member of the 91.9 Inc. Board 2010-2011 and has been a WUOT Underwriter and public radio supporter for many years. Kevin grew up near Charleston, WV, is a graduate of West Virginia University (1981 BS Civil Engineering) and a graduate of UT-Knoxville (1993 MS Environmental Engineering). He moved to Knoxville in 1984, married Samantha Richter Pack (1986), and has three sons. Kevin and Samantha started Runners Market, an independent specialty running shop, in 1995. He has owned and operated Runners Market since its inception. Kevin enjoys running, hiking, motorcycling, and home brewing.
Stephanie Smith, M.D.
Stephanie is a long time supporter of WUOT and has listened to the station since her undergraduate education at UTK. She returned to Knoxville after finishing residency in Anesthesiology at Northwestern McGraw Hospital in Chicago. Currently she practices Anesthesiology at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge. She is an active volunteer in the community, and has been involved with CASA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Random Acts of Flowers. Her favorite shows on WUOT are Morning Edition, Fresh Air and All Things Considered.
Born in New York City, Dr. Solomon received a BS degree from Bucknell University and then, BSM and MD degrees from Duke University School of Medicine. Subsequently, his clinical training was in the fields of internal medicine, hematology, and oncology, and research training at the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute and the Rockefeller University. In 1966, he moved to Knoxville and began his career as a physician and medical scientist as a faculty member at the UT Graduate School of Medicine where he eventually achieved the rank of Professor of Medicine, Director of the Human Immunology and Cancer Program, and became one of the seven national American Cancer Society’s Clinical Research Professors. Dr. Solomon is a member of the Board of Advisors for UT’s College of Nursing and the Department of Religious Studies, and had served in a similar capacity for the Clarence Brown Theatre. Other community endeavors include membership on the Knoxville Museum of Art’s Board of Trustees and chair of the committee to build the new structure; founding board member of the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum and chair of the Master Plan committee. Other interests include being a stone mason and landscaper at his home called GATOP (God’s Answer To Our Prayer). Dr. Solomon is a member of Heska Amuna Synagogue, the husband of the noted yoga instructor Andrea Cartwright, father of two sons and two stepsons, grandfather of eight, and one great-grandson.
Melanie is a UT graduate with a degree in broadcast communications who gained radio experience at WUOT while she attended college. She has more than 35 years of experience in media and public affairs. Melanie spent many years in the Washington, D.C., area working in the White House as deputy assistant press secretary; the Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. as director of legislative and political issues; as press secretary to an Illinois Member of Congress. She returned to Knoxville several years ago and has served as director of communications for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and director of communications for the Amputee Coalition of America. She is publicity chair for the UT Arboretum and serves on Society’s board. Melanie is a writer and performer with the Front Page Follies, presented every June in Knoxville. Owner of Friday Beacon Communications, a public relations firm, she manages several national and local accounts including Tarbell.org, a reader-funded independent journalism organization. She and her husband serve as staff members for their gaggle of four cats.
One of the many reasons Kris Torrance loves public radio is that it is even more eclectic that she is. Kris earned her BSHE at the University of Tennessee/Knoxville with a major in Food Science and Nutrition. While at UTK, she interned with the Agricultural Extension Service as a Junior Assistant Extension Agent for Home Economics. She continued her academic diversity with a BS from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in Computer Science with a minor in Math. She has worked as a computer programmer for the insurance industry as well as an independent programming consultant writing applications for databases, artificial intelligence inference engines, and scientific applications. Kris recently celebrated her 10th year of WUOT Fund Drive volunteering and is the proud mother of a young adult WUOT volunteer. She and her husband live in Norris where she is a board member of the Norris Woman's Club, a local civic service club. She enjoys shopping at local Farmers' Markets, cooking what she finds there, and composing and arranging music for her church choir in which she also sings. In her youth, Kris was a National Winner in the 4-H Health Project. Kris values public radio because it facilitates building a strong community which is a fundamental part of having a thriving, democratic society.
Caroline has been a member of WUOT since 2006 and is a dedicated volunteer of the station. She loves everything on WUOT, but Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, Live from Here (formerly A Prairie Home Companion) and Morning Edition are particular favorites.
David Weston received BS and MS degrees at Cornell University and a PhD from Clemson University. He is currently a Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory where he studies bioenergy, and is a proud husband and father of three children. He volunteers as a youth lacrosse coach, is a former member of the city of Oak Ridge Environmental Quality and Advisory Board and the Biosafety Advisory Board for Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His interest in public radio stems from a strong belief that a knowledgeable and well-informed public is essential for our local and national communities.