President and Chief Executive Officer
Bert Schmidt is passionate about the dual roles public media plays: in education and in broadcasting. He began his career in public media as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of WCNY in his hometown of Syracuse, New York. He served as President and General Manager of WVPT in Harrisonburg, Virginia for five years before being tapped to join WHRO as its President and Chief Executive Officer in May of 2007.
He’s been instrumental in the development of education content, particularly in the online platform, as well as a vibrant digital distribution for educational content that is now available to every student in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Throughout his career, he’s been a strong proponent of local programming that serves the community; he developed and served as executive producer of eleven local television productions during his tenure at WVPT, and three local television programs and one local radio program at WHRO.
Under his leadership, WHRO has continued to be recognized as a leader in the field of educational telecommunications. The station has been the recipient of several national grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and is currently one of a handful of public media affiliates working under the American Graduate umbrella, an initiative focusing on the national dropout crisis.
Bert has been honored by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters; he has a Telly Award, the Public Broadcasting Management Association’s Award of Excellence and the Virginia Farm Bureau’s Journalism Award to his credit.
Bert currently serves on the board of the National Educational Telecommunications Association and is a past chair of the Public Broadcasting Management Association. He is also the past chairman of the Virginia Association of Public Television Stations.
He holds a BS in accounting and finance from Alfred University, and a law degree and MBA from Syracuse University.
He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Hampton Roads Partnership, the Greater Norfolk Council, Smart Beginnings South Hampton Roads, Future of Hampton Roads, the Cultural Alliance of Greater Hampton Roads, the Hampton Roads Center for Civic Engagement and the Virginia Arts Festival. He also serves on Norfolk Forum Board.
Bert is the father of two children: daughter Jillian, 15, and son Bertel, 12. He is married to Missy Schmidt, Director of Marketing for xTuple, an open source business management software company.
Bert welcomes comments and questions from WHRO’s listening and viewing audiences, as well as area educators, and invites them to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Weiss joined the staff of WHRO in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer. He previously served as Director of Interactive Media for Davis & Company, a Hampton Roads and Washington, DC based advertising agency, and VP of Web Development at Dominion Enterprises, a division of Landmark Communications.
Doug’s media experience extends more than 25 years as an award winning producer, and as CEO of three successful production/post production companies in New York, Pittsburgh, PA and Washington, DC. As a principal of A&R films in Miami, FL, Doug produced television commercials for national and regional accounts gathering four national CLIO awards for national automotive, retail and financial services campaigns.
At Capitol Video Communications and Groupe Andre Perry where he served as President, Doug played an instrumental role in the launch of several well known cable channels including Discovery Networks, National Geographic Television, Black Entertainment Television, and USA Today TV.
In addition, Doug served for more than a dozen years as Senior Vice President for System and Station Development with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where he was responsible for pioneering initiatives in online education, multi-media and digital broadcasting on behalf of public television stations in the US and its territories.
Brian Callahan is Chief Education Officer at WHRO-TV in Norfolk, Virginia. Originally from the “Industrial Midwest” -Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago - Brian is a former classroom teacher with more than 23 years experience utilizing technology in education from primary through post-secondary settings. He has made hundreds of presentations nationwide on educational technology issues and innovations and currently makes his home in Virginia Beach.
In his current role, Brian is responsible for a variety of state and regional educational technology products and services, most notably Virginia’s PBS TeacherLine - a statewide online teacher training program featuring more than 150 research-based courses at every grade level in most every subject; the Virtual Virginia Advanced Placement School operations center, serving more than 3,500 students annually across the Commonwealth with dozens of AP and world language courses; the Hampton Roads Virtual Learning Center, providing online core courses to 18 school divisions in southeastern Virginia; and Virginia’s Community of Anytime Knowledge, a statewide, non-commercial, online professional development service.
Brian attended Grove City College and Kent State University and holds Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Education degrees.
John J. Heimerl
VP Strategic Initiatives
John Heimerl has spent 4 decades in media, beginning with 5 years in Educational Broadcasting, Radio and Television, at York High School, Yorktown, Virginia, and the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He also worked in historical productions such as “the Lost Colony” where he served as Technical Assistant, Sound Director, and Assistant Lighting Director in the late 1960’s. He was the recipient of the Virginia Association of Broadcasters annual Scholarship award to augment his studies. He then built and programmed radio stations and cable TV systems and produced radio programming for 15 years in diverse markets such as Norfolk, Chattanooga, Richmond, Huntsville, Charleston and Pittsburgh. In 1981 he was one of the founding partners of Video Wizards, a video production company which specialized in early productions for cable including commercial and non-commercial programs and interstitials. In 1984 he launched Fine Tuning Associates, an independent technical services company which maintained and built both radio and TV technical facilities in the Eastern and Central United States.
After the sale of both companies, in 1993 John returned to educational broadcasting at WHRO, where his roles have included Chief Transmission Engineer, Chief Technical Officer, General Manager, and Chief Enterprise Officer. He was awarded the Jerry Freeman Award for Technical Excellence in 1997 by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters. His executive production credits at WHRO include the Emmy-nominated “Civil War in Hampton Roads- 1861”, “Jamestown 2007- Founding of America” to be released nationwide in October, and live local TV remote specials such as “After BRAC: What Now for Ft. Monroe?”. He serves on the Board of the Tidewater Chapter 54 of the Society of Broadcast Engineers.
Barbara Hamm Lee
Creative Services Officer
Barbara Hamm Lee has served as WHRO’s Creative Services Officer since July, 2011. She is responsible for marketing, promotion, and media relations for WHRO/WHRV Public Media. She is the executive producer and host of Another View, a program that examines issues of particular interest to the African- American community in Hampton Roads, and airs on 89.5 WHRV-FM.
Barbara joined WHRO as Chief Communications Officer in March, 2006. In that capacity, she was responsible for all aspects of station communications, and had charge of television programming and community outreach as well.
Prior to joining WHRO, Barbara served as Director of Corporate Communications for Communications Technologies, Inc., Chantilly, Virginia. She has also directed the Office of Communications of the Prince George’s County, Maryland Police Department, and was owner of Hamm & Fox Communications, Inc., a media relations firm based in Norfolk specializing in crisis media management, media training, marketing and community outreach. Throughout her career, she has been a media consultant to commercial institutions, military and non-profit organizations in and around Hampton Roads. She is a former Director of Station Relations and News Director for WTKR TV, the CBS affiliate in the Hampton Roads area. Barbara began her media career with the NBC affiliate WBAL-TV in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. She also served in management positions for television stations in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, PA.
Barbara is very active in the community, currently serving as a board member for the Hermitage Museum and Gardens, Norfolk Education Foundation, the Planning Council, and is the current board chair of the YWCA of South Hampton Roads. She was appointed by Norfolk City Council as a Commissioner for the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority in October, 2010, and assumed the role of Vice Chair of the organization in 2011. She was appointed by Governor Kaine to the Virginia Fire Services Board (2007-2009); and was formerly a board member for Youth Entertainment Studios, Samaritan House, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia, and the Governor’s School for the Arts Foundation. Barbara was named a “Woman of Distinction” by the YWCA in 2010.
Barbara proudly received her Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Bennett College in 1978 (summa cum laude). She is a member of Queen Street Baptist Church in Norfolk, is married to Maxie A. Lee, and has two daughters and a granddaughter. She enjoys reading, public speaking, and spending time with family and friends.
Heather Mazzoni came to WHRO in 1998 as an audience and member services representative, and within six months had been promoted to traffic specialist/programming assistant for the radio department, providing service to WHRO 90.3 and WHRV 89.5FM. In 2001, was promoted to Director of Radio Operations and in 2007, to Director of Programming for WHRV 89.5FM. Currently she serves as Content Officer for broadcast services.
Prior to joining WHRO, Heather worked at US Airways Express in customer service and flight operations, although her favorite job was working at McDonald Garden Center where she earned the Virginia Certified Horticulturist certification, a standard of industry excellence.
Heather holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Management from Christopher Newport University; and in addition, she attended Thomas Nelson Community College where she majored in Fine Arts. Heather is also a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Management program.
Heather lives in Norfolk with her husband Matt, son Julian, and two faithful canine companions. Her interests include cooking, pottery, organic gardening, art, music and enjoying friends.
Tom Morehouse is WHRO’s Chief Financial Officer, overseeing the day-to-day activities of the financial affairs of the organization, and playing a major role in strategic planning and the development of the annual plan of work and budget. He’s a longtime WHRO volunteer and supporter who came to the station in August 2010 after a career that included serving as Executive Director of Virginia College Access Network in Hampton; Senior Vice President of Nelnet, Associate Vice President for Financial Services for Thomas Nelson Community College and a Finance Corps officer in the U.S Army, including service in the first Gulf War. Tom holds a BA in Economics from Virginia Military Institute and a Masters in Business Administration from Syracuse University. He is a 2000 graduate of the Leadership Institute of the Virginia Peninsula.
Tom’s interests in education include serving as an adjunct faculty member at TNCC and St Leo University, and as a long term board member and past President of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Tom has also served as a volunteer instructor in emergency communications for the Hampton Newport News Community Services Board.
Virginia has been with WHRO since August 2004 and has a strong history of experience as a senior manager in non-profit organizations, including extensive fundraising experience.
Prior to joining WHRO, Virginia served as Director of Development of the Virginia Symphony. She served nearly seven years as Executive Director of the Governor’s School for the Arts Foundation; and as Senior Executive Consultant for the Kellogg Organization, where she was resident consultant on the Virginia Zoo’s capital campaign. In addition, she is a past Director of Development for both the Virginia Opera and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York.
A native of Norfolk, she has served on many area non-profit boards, including the Governor’s School for the Arts Foundation, where she currently serves as Treasurer. She is also an alumnus of the CIVIC Leadership Institute.
WHRO Boards of Directors
|Governing Board | Honorary Directors | Community Advisory Group|
Barry Pollara, Chair
Kirkland M. Kelley, Vice Chair
Nancy Branch, Secretary
Ginny Werner, Assistant Secretary
Randy Webb, Treasurer
Tom Morehouse, Assistant Treasurer
Bert Schmidt, President
William Reed Atkins, Jr.
S. Keith Sutton
Patsy C. Blackwell
Raymond B. Bottom, Jr.
Harrol A. Brauer
Jean C. Bruce
Joshua P. Darden
John A. Fahey
William M. Grace
Lois S. Hornsby
W. MacKenzie Jenkins, Jr. (deceased)
Frederick V. Martin
Dr. McKinley Price
Joyce H. Strelitz
Vincent J Thomas
Dr. G. William Whitehurst
Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander
Rabbi Michael Panitz
Dr. S. Dawn Goldstine
Betty Wade Coyle
Richard E. Hoehlein
Joanna K. Schlabaugh
Christine Royster Jones
The WHRO Board of Directors represents the broadest possible spectrum of the geographically and demographically diverse region of Hampton Roads. We welcome nominations from the public to fill vacancies on the board as they occur. Please forward nominations to Ginny Werner, Assistant to the President, at email@example.com, including a brief resume of the nominee and contact information. All nominations will be presented to the Chairman of the Governance/Nominating Committee.