Janeen Rundle (Director of Music Programs and Scholarships)
Janeen worked for Sony Music Entertainment for 14 years upon graduation from ASU in Business/Political Science. Her years with Sony Music involved marketing, sales, and promotion, based in Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Portland. In 2004, she entered the field of finance and is presently a Sr. Loan Officer at Eagle Home Mortgage. Always an avid arts advocate and diverse music appreciator, from a radio DJ in college, to Sony Music and onto organizing and assisting community fundraising concerts and galleries such as: Alberta Street Fair, Iron Artist-S.C.R.A.P. TBA, Tribute to America at the Roseland, ArtHop on Alberta St, as well as, S.C.R.A.P. Art Gallery: Co-curator/Proprietor/Music Coordinator / Board advisor (School and Community Reuse Action Project.) As a co-founder of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, she continues to coordinate Music Education opportunities through OMHOF workshops, assemblies and scholarships to our underserved schools/communities and college scholarship opportunities to those pursuing musical studies. Janeen also serves as International Youth Exchange Counselor-Southeast Portland Rotary.
Bill Frith (Treasurer)
Since graduating from Willamette University in 1991, his Property & Casualty insurance career with Safeco and Liberty Mutual has focused on marketing and sales throughout Oregon. In those travels came a broad sampling of Oregon’s rich musical offerings from the big stage to the tavern corner next to the restrooms. While his music industry experience involves some radio DJ work (every show ended with The Yardbirds’ “Train Kept a-Rollin’” and a free beer to the 7th caller), Bill came from a family musical legacy and enjoyed the benefits of school music programs (choir, clarinet) and private music lessons (piano) to fuel interest and appreciation across all musical genres. With three children growing up in today’s school system, he is experiencing first-hand the impact of budget cuts and a diminishing focus on the musical arts among our youth. Well, that’s just not good, which is why he involves himself with OMHOF’s mission to celebrate Oregon musical legacy and promote youth music awareness and education. He is also learning how to play the blues harp.
J. Michael Kearsey (Secretary)
J. Michael Kearsey began his professional music career in high school bands in Western Massachusetts, continued playing and expanding his genres adding Folk music and jazz to his American Rock’n’Roll interests as he obtained a History degree at Beloit College. He moved to Boston with college mates Jim and Tom Goodkind, forming Under Milkwood with pre-Cars vocalist, Ric Ocasek. Moving to Portland Oregon in 1972, he was a founding member of UPEPO, a Jazz/Latin/Rock group that performed all over the West Coast for 11 years. He produced the their sole LP, International Ties. In 1982 he formed the Rockin’ Razorbacks and produced the first of two LP’s, Rockin’ Razorbacks and More Love Less Attitude. In 1989 he joined the Brothers of the Baladi, playing bass, producing 8 of their 12 CD’s. He has also produced three CD’s for Howard Crosby (Bing’s nephew) as well as Blues and Jazz CD”s for Lee Blake, Reunion Jazz Quartet, The Millionaires and his own CD’s: Suite for the Columbia Gorge and Silverthaw. As a composer he has provided scores for five OPB programs including, Oregon Portraits I and Oregon Portraits II, OPB’s most successful fund raising programs to date. Offstage, Michael has been an active member of the Portland’s music community as the Vice President of the Portland Music Association, board member of the Portland FolkMusic Society, board member of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame and a 35-year member of NARAS. As a concert promoter he produced over 300 shows of contemporary Folk Music for his Berkshire Snow Productions that included Ani DiFranco, Greg Brown, John Gorka and Dougie MacLean. He has been a feature writer for the Oregonian, music editor of the Portland Scribe, columnist for Positively Entertainment and the Southeast Examiner and broadcaster on his KBOO weekly Jazz show, “Sound for Sore Ears,” which could be heard every Monday night for 11 years. He is currently working on a third personal CD, Between the Seasons.
Alex Steininger got his start in music in 1995, writing about both local and national bands for the America Online magazine ChipNet. Making several connections with indie and major record labels, when AOL ceased ChipNet in 1997, Alex Steininger co-founded the online magazine In Music We Trust with life long friend Ryan O’Neill.
In Music We Trust Magazine soon found an audience with like-minded music fans; In Music We Trust covered all genres, leaving no sound untouched, which resonated well with its readers, especially during the dawn of the world wide web. In Music We Trust managed to gain the attention of Billboard Magazine following it’s launch, which reviewed the website, stating that they were champions of the little guy.
While still doing In Music We Trust Magazine, in 1999 Alex was hired to work at N.A.I.L. Distribution (National Alliance of Independent Labels) heading up their marketing department, working alongside artists and indie labels to coordinate their marketing efforts at retail. That same year, Alex started In Music We Trust PR, and picked up his first two PR clients courtesy of Cavity Search Records: King Black Acid and Helio Sequence. Many other clients followed after.
In 2001, Alex started another chapter in the In Music We Trust empire, launching In Music We Trust Records with the debut solo record from former Crackerbash/Jr. High front man, Sean Croghan. That year also saw Alex move to Burnside Distribution, accepting the title of Marketing Director and Label Liaison, again working alongside artists and labels, and retail stores, to better represent the Burnside catalog at both local and national retail outlets.
In 2003, CD Baby offered Alex the job of Vice President of Business Relations, and Alex moved over to CD Baby.
While Vice President of Business Relations at CD Baby, Alex secured deals with Amazon.com, Ryko Distribution, and Super D, a one-stop distributor, for CD Baby’s catalog. The Ryko Distribution deal saw Alex heading up CD Baby’s umbrella label group, with it’s first release a live album from Reel Big Fish. The Amazon.com deal would make each CD Baby title not available on Amazon at the time available for sale. The Super D deal allowed CD Baby’s clients, who didn’t have distribution deals in place, to stock and special order their titles at retail. All three deals helped with CD Baby’s rapid growth.
After four and a half years at CD Baby, all while still doing In Music We Trust Magazine, PR, and the record label, Alex left CD Baby in 2007 to focus on In Music We Trust full-time. The following year he added another division to In Music We Trust, launching In Music We Trust Management. He hasn’t looked back since.
Deer Lodge’s Ezra Meredith obtained a degree in recording/engineering, and soon thereafter began to work at Jackpot! Studios alongside Larry Crane. He later founded Deer Lodge in 2003. As the founder of Deer Lodge, Portland, Oregon’s only recording studio, record label, live venue, and private bar (since 2003), Meredith has recorded a slew of local and national artists, including Fernando, Luther Russell, Lewi Longmire, Michael Dean Damron, Drunken Prayer, and many others. He later founded Deer Lodge Records, releasing records by Drunken Prayer, Hearts of Oak, Sarah Gwen, Countryside Ride, Meredith Brothers, and more.
Besides engineering, mixing, producing, and releasing records for artists and bands, Meredith and Deer Lodge has created community, a proud, focal point of the Deer Lodge. Whether it is Deer Lodge’s spring and summer backyard intimate house performances, which bring together artists and the local community of music fans, inviting over local and touring bands for conversation and drinks in the garage converted into a replicate of a dive bar, or spinning old school country and psychedelic records, Meredith has submerged himself in music and, more importantly, Portland’s music scene.
With over twenty years of recording experience, and a laundry list of record credits, Meredith’s Deer Lodge, which Willamette Week voted “Best of Portland” in 2015, is a throwback to the community-driven, humble origins of Portland’s music community.
Yvonne comes from, and began her music journey in the SF Bay Area, first working with Bill Graham Presents, while working at the Fillmore. Relocating to Portland in 1981, Yvonne has co-produced the Bend Winterfest, assisted in operations of the Mt Hood Jazz Festival for 12 years, followed by 5 years with PDX Jazz. She also began her own Festivals and Events publications here for Oregon and Washington States. Yvonne also traveled between here and Napa Valley where she marketed in the wine industry, as well as produced the Calistoga Jazz Festival, production assistance for the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, the Napa Valley Film Festival and BottleRock. She is currently involved in the marketing and production of the Vanport Jazz Festival, the managing director for the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, meanwhile working for the Home Builders Association of Metro Portland on the Portland Spring and Fall Home & Garden Shows as a strategic sponsorship/partnership manager. Yvonne brings her marketing & sponsorship experience in festivals and music events.
Andrea Wynn Stellar (Director of Membership & Volunteers)
If you’ve been at most any kind of music event over the last 35 years, you’ve probably seen Andrea Stellar there. A native of Portland, Andrea has been here watching it grow and helping it foster in one way or another. She worked first hand with many-many rock bands as a server/bartender at Key Largo along with working at Jazz De Opus back in the 80’s and early 90’s. Since then, she’s volunteered her time over the years at many events, especially for the Oregon Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, Snow Cap, Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, Portland Bible Church Food Pantry, and coordinated a few Cascade Blues Association fundraising events – as well as been a vested volunteer with many OMHOF events. Andrea likes to help where there is music; she immensely supported Buko TV video crew for several OMHOF Award Ceremonies and while supporting several interviews at the Blues Festival. Andrea is a stalwart supporter for Oregon music!