Spirit Catholic Radio Staff
Jim Carroll - Executive Director
Jim Carroll has been the Executive Director for Spirit Catholic Radio since July 2002. Over 20 years ago, an evangelical fundamentalist co-worker challenged Jim in his knowledge and practice of the Catholic faith. After struggling with the fact he had taken his Catholic faith for granted, he embarked on a five-year quest for personal knowledge of the Truth, which he rediscovered in the Roman Catholic Church.
His journey has led him to the study of the Bible, Cathechism, Encyclicals, Church Fathers and Apologetics. Jim has been involved with Salvation History and Bible Timeline presentations. He has served on the Parish Council, is an EMHC, RCIA sponsor, CEC attendee and Knight of Columbus. He is also a member of Serra Club of Omaha, Mission Advancement Council for the Institute for Priestly formation at Creighton University and Chapter Coordinator for Legatus of Omaha, an organization for Catholic CEOs and their spouses. Jim has also served on the board of the Catholic Radio Association, with its 160 member stations across the United States. Jim's 20-year career in the secular world included AVP with Norwest Bank, Director at Applied Communications, Inc. and VP with First Data Resources.
Jim is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (Go Mavs!) and served 11 years in the U.S. Naval Reserve Seabees. Jim and his wife, Karol, have five children and celebrated 25 years of marriage in 2009. Jim's favorite saints include St. James, St. Patrick, St. Therese the Little Flower, St. Augustine, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Thomas Aquinas. He has a special devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. His favorite prayer is the "Anima Christi":
Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. Oh good Jesus, hear me. Within your wounds hide me. Suffer me not to be separated from You. From the malignant enemy, defend me. At the hour of my death, call me and bid me come unto you, that with your saints I may praise you forever and ever. Amen.
Bruce McGregor - Program Director
Bruce McGregor has been the program director for Spirit Catholic Radio since 2004. Bruce believes that God has prepared him to serve in this important ministry by providing for him a solid 30-year career in broadcasting and a love for Christ and the church. Many in Omaha remember Bruce as the program director and afternoon drive air talent on both Z-92 and CD105 radio stations for over 14 years. He and his family would later move to Orlando, Fla., where he served as program director at WHTQ and then at WZBA in Baltimore, Md. But a fateful call from Jim Carroll touched Bruce's heart in the winter of 2003; the McGregors decided to return to Omaha, which they considered their "hometown," and to a mission they felt called to long ago.
Bruce's actual involvement in Catholic radio in Omaha began in 1992. He laid the groundwork for a non-profit Catholic radio group called "Light of Christ Broadcasting." LOC members included attorney Bill Lindsay, Mark Bonkiewicz, Fr. Gerry Gonderinger and Fr. Gene Jakubek, SJ. They received much encouragement from then Archbishop Daniel Sheehan. However, everything moves forward in God's time, and the time was just not right. So after several years of effort and prayerful discernment, Bruce turned over the foundational work to Steve and Heather Hruby in the spring of 1998. Bruce, his wife, Kris, and their kids moved to Orlando. They never stopped praying for the success of the mission in Omaha, and they were delighted when Spirit Catholic Radio, KVSS, finally made it on the air in January 1999. He realizes now that the time in Florida and Maryland helped to fully prepare him for the job ahead. When asked to come back and join in the mission in 2004, Bruce didn't hesitate to say "yes!"
Bruce and Kris have three children. He's a Knight of Columbus, EMHC and lector and has sponsored candidates in the RCIA and CEC. And it's no secret that Bruce LOVES to golf. Bruce's patron saint is Dominic, and the Blessed Virgin Mary has a very special place in his heart. His love for Our Lady is deep and profound. His favorite prayer is the "Our Father":
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespassed against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Bernie Schaefer - Development Director
Bernie Schaefer joins the Spirit Catholic Radio family as development director after serving the Church for the last 20 years through Catholic higher education at Briar Cliff University, Saint Louis University and Creighton University. Bernie's tenure at those institutions involved extensive work in major gift fundraising, marketing/PR, board management, social outreach and ministry.
Bernie feels that he has been blessed by the unique charisms of each order that have been a part of his education and career, dating back to the Benedictines in grade school and high school (Hartington Cedar Catholic), the Franciscan Sisters at Briar Cliff and the Jesuits at Saint Louis University and Creighton. Bernie attributes the most significant growth in his faith to his introduction to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius while a graduate student at Saint Louis University.
Bernie and his wife, Nikki, are members of St. Robert Bellarmine parish and have five children. Both are active with parish and church organizations, including couples ministry, prayer groups, choir and apologetics. Bernie also serves on the development committee for Essential Pregnancy Services and is a board member for Creighton University's Magis program, which places highly motivated, faith-filled teachers to serve underprivileged Catholic schools in the midwest. You'll also often hear Bernie's voice during broadcasts of some of our local high school football and basketball games as he joined T. Scott's broadcast team in September 2006.
Bernie is inspired by the works of St. Ignatius, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Francis Xavier and St. Joseph the Worker. Bernie's favorite prayer is the "Memorare" by St. Bernard:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother. To thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but, in they mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.
Mary Beth Jorgensen - Director of Business Underwriting
Mary Beth Pope Jorgensen is an Omaha native. Mary grew up on Fontenelle Boulevard and attended Holy Name Grade School, Marian High School and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is the third of four daughters of the late Robert and Anne Pope. The Holy Name neighborhood has given Mary a great foundation and is her home parish, although she and her husband, Jeff, reside outside of Omaha.
Mary began her radio career in a small market outside Nebraska and was thrilled to return to Omaha after learning the industry from the ground up. Mary's commercial radio background includes Triathlon & Journal Broadcast Groups (KXKT "The Kat" and KKCD "CD105"). Mary feels truly blessed to be given this opportunity at Spirit Catholic Radio.
"It's exciting to be able to combine my faith, spirituality and professional life at Spirit Catholic Radio. To be on the ground floor of innovative programming, which provides reliable Catholic information is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I feel privileged to be part of Spirit Catholic Radio."
A native of rural, central Nebraska, Kelly and her husband, Scott, moved to Omaha in 2010. She graduated with a B.S. in journalism and public relations and a minor in political science from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Her professional experience includes work as the public relations manager for a regional health system; marketing director for the Hastings Family YMCA in Hastings, Nebraska; and prior to joining the team at the Spirit Catholic Radio Network, Kelly worked as a public relations associate for Swanson Russell in Omaha where she worked for a variety of clients in the agriculture and healthcare industries. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and Public Relations Society of America-Nebraska chapter.
Kelly specializes in strategic public relations planning and implementation, communications writing and social media strategy. Her goal at Spirit Catholic Radio is to support the organization's mission of evangelization through the use of effective public relations and marketing tactics in order to bring Christ to people and people to Christ.
Matt Willkom - Program Manager/Producer
A native of Lincoln, Neb., Lisa attended Blessed Sacrament School and graduated from Pius X High School in 1995. She received her bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, where she also was very active at the Newman Center on campus, serving as a choir director.
She and her husband, Jason, and their 2-year-old daughter, Madelyn, live in Bennington, Neb., and are members of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Omaha. Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, going to concerts, attending book club and traveling. She also loves meeting famous people and sharing her stories of celebrity encounters.
Lisa’s favorite saint is St. Therese of Lisieux and her favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you says the Lord; plans for welfare, not for woe; plans to give you a future full of hope.”
Irene Lempke - Advancement Coordinator
Irene Lempke has been a part of the Spirit Catholic Radio team since February 2007. Born and raised in Omaha, she graduated from Skutt Catholic High School and went on to college at Creighton University for one year, then transferred to the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is leaning toward a major in business, which she says was influenced by her work at the radio station.
Lempke began her career at Spirit Catholic Radio working part time with program scheduling software. Over the past several years, her responsibilities at the network have grown and she is now the advancement coordinator.
"Spirit Catholic Radio is a wonderful, God-filled place to work, and I love every minute of it. God is in all that we do and is at the center of everything that this radio station represents. It is so wonderful to work in a place where God is at the center of all that we do."
Mark H. Voris, CBRE - Chief Engineer
I am Mark H. Voris, chief engineer for Spirit Catholic Radio. I have been in broadcasting a good part of my life starting out in television and moving on to radio. Born and raised in North Platte, Neb., I moved my family to Cozad, Neb., taking a job with the Nebraska Rural Radio Association's stations KRVN, KNEB and KTIC as engineer. After being laid off due to budget cuts, I sought work in the field of radio.
A good friend and fellow engineer working here in Omaha found out that Spirit Catholic Radio was in the process of needing help for the central Nebraska and northeast Nebraska expansion projects and was looking for an engineer. I received a call from Jim Carroll one evening, and after an interview, I was asked to come on board. I am truly blessed and fell the good Lord had plans for me to be here and help spread His word through this wonderful medium called radio. I have a lovely wife, Janet, and two wonderful sons. My favorite prayer is the "Our Father."
Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed by Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Check out Mark's Engineering page
Jim Taphorn - Office Manager (Volunteer)
Jim Taphorn has been a board member since 2000 and a "full-time" volunteer since October 2009. He and his wife, Joan, have five grown children and several grandchildren. Jim's biggest claim-to-fame is being the father of Fr. Joe Taphorn, Vicar for Clergy and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Omaha. Jim enjoys the many treats that are brought in to the station.
Karol Carroll - Development Associate (Part-time)
Karol is the wife of Executive Director Jim Carroll and the mother of their five children. She is a graduate of Holy Cross Grade School, Mercy High School and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is in the office on Tuesdays and works from home throughout the week.
Cheryl Erker - Development Associate (Part-time)
Cheryl Erker joins our Spirit Catholic Radio family, going from a Tuesday volunteer to a part-time development associate. Her job is assisting the Advancement Team Mondays through Thursdays. She is originally from Hartington, Neb., and graduated from Cedar Catholic High School. Cheryl and her husband, Dan, have three daughters, Madeline, Audrey and Tara. Their home parish is St. Robert Bellarmine, and their children attend Duchesne Academy and St. Robert Bellarmine Grade School. She was a stay-home "supermom" for 15 years and felt it was time to spread her wings and share her talents. Her interests are family, friends, camping, boating, music and the boy she prayed for...her dog Buddy.
"I am grateful to have an opportunity to work in such a spiritual and religious environment doing God's work," she said.
Our Lady has a special place in Cheryl's heart, as does one of her favorite saints, Gianna Beretta Molla.
"God's Providence is in all things; it's always present." - St. Gianna Beretta Molla
Wilma Ernesti - Development Associate (Part-time)
Wilma Ernesti is from Carter Lake, Iowa. As a development associate, she is focused on database projects and processing payments. Before joining Spirit Catholic Radio, she volunteered at Our Lady of Carter Lake church from 1990 to 2005 and then worked full-time for Queen of Apostles. Her favorite saint is St. Faustina.
Mary Lempke - Administrative Assistant
Mary Beth Lempke (MB2) is the station receptionist and administrative assistant to Mr. Carroll. She began her career at Spirit Catholic Radio as a Care-a-thon volunteer in 2003. After her 20-year, full-time mom stint, she happily became a staff member in the fall of 2007.
Mary's office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"I have been blessed beyond measure with the opportunity to be part of this incredible team and mission."