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2023-2024 AIR Board of Directors Election Results

We are thrilled to unveil the results of our recent Board elections, which witnessed an extraordinary level of engagement from our membership, making it the largest and most participative election in AIR's history.

With a record-breaking number of candidates vying for three individual directors, two organizational seats on the Board, and the highest number of votes cast by the AIR members, this election has marked a historic moment for our organization. The enthusiasm and dedication demonstrated by both candidates and voters reflect the commitment of the AIR community to shaping the future of audio storytelling.

Meet our newest board members below: 

Mia Lobel (she/her), Veteran Audio Producer
Individual Director

Mia Lobel
Mia Lobel (Photo credit: Tatiana Flowers)

Mia Lobel is a veteran audio producer, manager, and educator, and the former VP of Content and Production at Pushkin Industries where she oversaw all podcasts including Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History, Broken Record, and many more. She now works as a mentor and consultant, helping individuals and companies build great teams, set up sustainable production processes, and create impactful, entertaining, and memorable content. Mia received a master’s degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and a B.A. from Wesleyan University. She's also founder of the long-standing community group, Freelance Cafe, a networking resource for public media independents.

Will Coley (he/him), Independent Audio Producer
Individual Director

will coley
Will Coley (Photo credit: Loris Guzzetta)

I’m an independent audio producer, community organizer and communications problem-solver based in Harlem, NY and an AIR member since 2011. After college, I worked for a refugee resettlement agency in my home state of North Carolina, drawn in by the compelling stories of families from Vietnam, Somalia and Liberia. I continued working in immigration assistance for over twenty years in Zimbabwe, the U.K., New Jersey, and California. I received the Reebok Human Rights Award in 2001 for my work with people held in U.S. immigration detention. These experiences inspired me to create digital storytelling projects for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations through my consulting practice, Aquifer Media. In 2011, I became a convert to the “Gospel of Radio” after attending the Transom Story Workshop. Since then, I’ve produced a range of audio stories, some of which have aired on NPR News, 99% Invisible, BBC World Service, The World and Georgia Public Broadcasting among others. I launched two limited series podcasts, Indefensible and Shifting the Narrative. Most recently, as a producer at Condé Nast, I have worked for The New Yorker Radio Hour and several Vanity Fair podcasts. I also coordinate monthly meetings of “Graydio” for audio producers and serve as an unofficial tape sync connector (or “doula”) for AIR members.

Rob Byers (he/him), Director of Audio Engineering at Vox Audio
Individual Director - Incumbent

Rob Byers
Rob Byers

Rob is an audio engineer, production consultant, and trainer. At Vox Audio he is the Director of Audio Engineering and was formerly the technical director for Criminal Productions. Prior to working at Vox he was the Director of Broadcast and Media Production at American Public Media. He also trained audio producers around the country with NPR Training and has written educational guides for producers of all experience levels. He has recorded a variety of musicians, from Lizzo and Brandi Carlile to Yo-Yo Ma and Denyce Graves, helped engineer NPR's coverage of Hurricane Katrina from the Gulf Coast, and coordinated live international broadcasts from Cuba and Greece. He has enjoyed a long relationship with the Association of Independents in Radio and currently serves on the board of directors. In 2021, Rob was awarded the inaugural Audio Engineering Society's President's Award for his work on loudness in streaming music and podcasts. He is an avid cyclist, a not-so-avid runner, and recently took up sailing on Minneapolis's beautiful lakes.

Corey Gumbs (he/him), Founder of the Black Podcasters Association
Organizational Director

Corey Gumbs (he/him)
Corey Gumbs

Corey Gumbs is a podcast development strategist and community builder. He works with content creators, entrepreneurs, and businesses to create audience-driven ecosystems based around their podcasts and content delivery platforms. Also, Corey is the founder of the Black Podcasters Association (BPA). BPA is a community for Black podcast creatives and professionals, providing a network of support and education, for like-minded people. Furthermore, he is also the founder of BlkPodNews.com, the first podcast industry trade newsletter curated for Black podcast creatives and podcast-adjacent professionals within the podcast industry. In addition to running the Black Podcasters Association, Corey also has an extensive background in recording as an independent hip-hop producer. He currently runs Black Label Mobile Studio, a full-service podcast production and recording service that offers mobile recording and production in the NYC metropolitan area and beyond. Corey also co-hosts along with Nya B., the Instagram Live show, PodHour which airs every Tuesday at 6 PM Est. on the Black Podcasters Association’s Instagram account.

Elaine Appleton Grant (she/her), CEO of Podcast Allies
Organizational Director

Elaine Appleton Grant (she/her)
Elaine Appleton Grant (Photo credit: Keshia Eugene @chocolatekesh on Instagram)

Elaine Appleton Grant is the CEO of Podcast Allies, an audio storytelling consulting, production and training company helping public media, nonprofits, social impact and higher ed organizations make beautifully crafted shows. She is the host and executive producer of the podcast Sound Judgment, which takes listeners into the studios — and the minds — of your favorite audio storytellers. In each episode, Grant and a top audio creator deconstruct one of their episodes. It’s not just a revealing conversation about the art and craft of audio storytelling, it’s a sound-rich narrative interview: Elaine plays back clips from her guest’s podcast. Together, they explore the storyteller’s creative choices in a “living learning lab.” She also writes Sound Judgment, the newsletter, about creative choices in audio storytelling. Earworthy calls the podcast + newsletter “a master class in Podcasting.” A lifelong journalist, Elaine worked for Boston’s WBUR, NH Public Radio and Colorado Public Radio. She produced Wondery’s hit show Business Wars Daily and wrote the Tulsa Race Massacre series for American History Tellers. Her TEDxtalk about the Tulsa Race Massacre has been viewed almost 125,000 times. She has spoken for organizations including Inbound, the Public Radio Program Directors Association (PRPD), Women of Denver, University of Colorado, Podcast Movement, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, and the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications. Elaine is a transplanted New Englander living in Colorado, a huge fan of libraries, hiking, and coffee, and the mom and bonus mom of four kids, a dog and a cat.