A lot has changed throughout Colorado Public Radio's 47-year history. The woman behind many of the organization's most significant advances is Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration, Jenny Gentry, award winning executive who's been with CPR since 1984.
"It's been an honor to be recognized," Gentry said. "It gives us an opportunity to thank our listeners and members who voluntarily support our organization. They're one of our greatest assets, and the reason I take stewardship of our funds so seriously."
Along with thoughtful leadership over Colorado Public Radio's finances, Gentry has also been behind some of the most important advances in the organization's history. She was hired in 1984 and took on the task of securing an independent license for CPR in order to distinguish the organization from the University of Denver. That tremendous challenge was the first of many for Gentry.
“My career here so far has been an amazing journey, and it’s fun to look back on 30 years of projects,” Gentry said. “We used to have only 17 employees and one station. Now we have a staff of 122, a growing newsroom with 30 reporters, and three formats that broadcast 72 hours of programming per day across an expanding statewide network. It’s incredible.”
Overseeing legal, financial, technological and human resource functions, Gentry’s expertise has expanded over the years as CPR has grown. This includes many successful mergers and acquisitions: growing the number of broadcast signals from one to 34, the launch of CPR’s OpenAir in 2011, developing the organization’s first mobile-friendly website and app, and supporting continuous financial growth, with over $18 million in revenue in 2017.
“I have been able to work with some amazing teams over the year, and I hope to bring value to what they do,” Gentry said. “There have been many proud moments.”
One of the most complicated projects she’s worked on is the recent relocation of two radio antennas to a permanent location atop Lookout Mountain--a process which took nearly 20 years to come to fruition due to intricate zoning regulations. Despite the challenge, Gentry and the engineering team’s success has resulted in increased accessibility and reliability of CPR’s broadcast transmissions, including a stronger KVOD signal to provide classical music to northern Colorado.
“Acquisitions are my favorite projects: Identifying a signal that can serve a new area, working through a negotiation, modifying the signal,” Gentry explained. “It’s always satisfying to dramatically increase service to our listeners.”
As for the future, Gentry will be spearheading many other big projects, including long-term space planning for the upsizing organization.
“Colorado Public Radio is continuing to grow and transform, both in staff and in capabilities as we look to expand the organization’s expertise beyond radio. As we step forward, I’m always asking the same questions: ‘What else can we be? How can we get there?’” Gentry said. “I’m looking forward to what the future brings. I’m sure I will not be bored.”