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KUT and KUTX membership team's dog days of summer

Top row L to R: Kayla Gabriel and her husband; Wade Lee. Bottom row L to R: Robert Ramos; Rachel Bentley and her son; David Freid and his girlfriend.

While our twice-yearly membership drives get the lion’s share of attention, our membership team is hard at work year-round planning station events, thanking members, updating records, writing newsletters, communicating with volunteers, planning membership drive thank-you gifts and more – even during the dog days of summer.

We checked in with this fun-loving team to see how they’re spending the dog days of summer at work – and at play.

Kayla Gabriel, Membership Coordinator

What do you do at the station? I write to our sustaining members about monthly news and upcoming events, and I reach out to new and returning supporters. I also work behind the scenes to ensure a great experience for donors and listeners alike.

What are you working on this summer? There is so much going on here this summer! One of the things I’m passionate about is supporting our workplace culture committee as we work toward improving KUT’s culture, from connecting staff to making hiring even more inclusive.

What are you doing for fun? On the weekends, I’m making my way over to local hiking trails like Turkey Creek before it gets too hot. Is there a shaded trail you love? Send your recs my way!

Robert Ramos, Assistant Director of Development

What do you do at the station? I oversee our Leadership Circle program, assist with the station’s fundraising initiatives and strive to build a community for our members.

What are you working on this summer? I’m spending my summer updating member records, maintaining donor engagement efforts, and developing strategies to build relationships with our Leadership Circle members.

What are you doing for fun? While I’m away from the office, I plan to wrap up some home renovation projects, drop off my kid at various summer camps (she’s really excited about the youth aerial camp at Sky Candy) and going on family vacations to South Padre Island (eating lots of Ceviche Ceviche), Chicago, and a New York City/Connecticut/Vermont road trip (Hill Farmstead Brewery and The Alchemist Brewery are on the list).

Rachel Bentley, Membership Specialist/Volunteer Coordinator

What do you do at the station? In my current role, I help maintain membership accounts and volunteer communications along with providing support for our Concert Club shows. We all wear a lot of hats around here!

What are you working on this summer? I’ll be attending a public media development conference where we’ll learn about new ideas that we can implement for our members.

What are you doing for fun? Most of my summer days are spent taking in a baseball game in all forms – at a ballpark watching my son play, visiting an MLB stadium or on my couch in the A/C with a cold beer. Let’s go Mets!

Wade Lee, Director of Development

What do you do at the station? In my role, I work to ensure that our funding strategies and messaging meets the needs of the organization so that we can best serve our varied and diverse audiences.

What are you working on this summer? During the summer at work I try to catch up on projects that might have taken a back seat to more pressing matters. This usually doesn’t work, but I at least try.

What are you doing for fun? When I’m not at work, I like to spend an inordinate amount of time at Canyon Lake. I enjoy the water with a good book or a KUTX 98.9 playlist – and a cold one.

David Freid, Marketing Specialist

What do you do at the station? I am the person who manages the email infrastructure and does graphic design for the station. You may recognize my artwork from the KUT membership T-shirts made for the ’21 pledge drives!

What are you doing for fun? This summer I plan on traveling and reading. I camped in Colorado and Utah at the end of June and plan to visit Cuba in August! I'm also beginning my journey toward becoming a blockchain developer/consultant by reading Dr. Gavin Wood’s Mastering Ethereum before I return to the LBJ school of public affairs to finish my Master’s in Public Affairs.