People of IPR
Steve Firman is the Chief Executive Officer of Pharmacy Marketing Group, Inc., a national marketing and distribution company that works with state pharmacy associations and President of FPCI, an administrative management, government relations and pharmacy consulting firm.
Firman also serves as Director of Government Relations for the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and Administrator for the Cedar Valley Coalition. In these roles, he tells the stories of the Cedar Valley, especially its business interests, to the Iowa Legislature and the U.S. Congress. In the past, he was an executive and lobbyist for the Iowa Pharmacy Association.
Firman received his BS in Pharmacy from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy and earned his MBA from the University of Northern Iowa. Before joining Pharmacy Marketing Group, Inc., he served as Director of Pharmacy at Allen Memorial Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa for 16 years and then as Legislative Liaison and Vice President, Business Development and Special Projects, for the Iowa Pharmacy Association.
Firman is a past president the Iowa Pharmacists Association and the American Pharmacists Association’s (APhA) Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management. He currently serves as Chair of the APhA-PAC Board of Governors and as Chair of the Iowa Pharmacy Association’s Legislative Committee. He is a former board member and officer of the American Pharmacists Association Foundation and has served on numerous other state and national pharmacy-related boards and committees.
In addition to his professional activities, he is a very active civic volunteer at the local and state levels. He served as a member of the Board of the Friends of KHKE/KUNI in Cedar Falls for 14 years, including several terms as president. Firman is also the board chair for the Western Home Communities, a large continuing care retirement community in Cedar Falls, and its related subsidiaries. He was a candidate for the Iowa Legislature in 2002.
Douglas A. West is a confirmed but transplanted Midwesterner, born in Chicago and raised in a suburb of the city. He pursued his BS degree at Michigan State University and his MS degree at the University of Oklahoma. He completed his Certified Financial Planner designation in 1984. Hobbies include travel (thrilled to have been fortunate enough to have set foot on all seven continents, all but one several times), being a film buff and civic service. He also enjoys vacationing at the family's place on Lake Michigan in the former art colony and charming beach community of Saugatuck, Michigan.
Cursed with a Calvinist work ethic and a commitment to "give back" to the community, West is proud to have served on a number of non-profit boards as member or officer over the years: United Way Allocation Panel, Polk County Health Services, Ankeny First United Methodist Church, Women's Economic Development Group Enterprises, Des Moines Advisory Board for the Institution for Social and Economic Development, Des Moines Metro Arts Alliance, ISU/WOI Radio Development Council, Ankeny Community School District Community Education Task Force, Des Moines Rotary Club Scholarship and Program Committees, Des Moines Symphony Foundation, New Horizon Adult Day Center, Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, and now Iowa Public Radio. Doug also co-chaired three successful bond issue campaigns for the Ankeny Community School District.
His career in the financial services industry began in 1980 where he has served as either a financial consultant or branch manager for Bache Halsey Stuart Shields, A G. Edwards & Sons, Wachovia Securities, and Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC (actually all in continuous service in one employment setting with the name on the door changing every few years as firms were acquired or divested).
Doug and his wife Debbie, long time Ankeny residents, have two fantastic sons, one charming daughter-in-law, and two accomplished and engaging grandchildren, all of whom live in the Des Moines area.
Barney Sherman joined Iowa Public Radio member station KSUI in fall 2001 as Classical music host. In his role with Iowa Public Radio, Barney hosts weekday afternoon Classical programs. He has written about music in books for Oxford and Cambridge university presses and in articles for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Early Music, and many other publications.
Senior Producer Mark Simmet began working at KUNI over 20 years ago. In that time he has produced and hosted a long-running daily jazz program, as well as weekly blues and world music programs. Mark also was a fill-in/substitute folk music host. He has spent many years perfecting IPR's unique blend of musical styles as the host and producer of Studio One. Mark also reviews all new submissions to IPR’s Studio One library, deciding on CD of The Week artists and maintaining reporting of music aired to record companies, promoters and trade publications.
Mark has a Bachelor’s Degree in Art from St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN, and finds that his creative skills are very applicable to his work sculpting Studio One.
Karen Impola is the host of Iowa Public Radio's The Folk Tree and Classical Music in the Afternoon. Karen began working at KUNI in 1990. Before that, she hosted Folk and progressive music shows at WXPN in Philadelphia, and was a production assistant at NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross.”
Karen spent much of her childhood and adolescence holed up in her room with a record player. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology & Anthropology from Swarthmore College, where she also did her first radio show, at 6:00 a.m. on a ten-watt station, to an audience which numbered in the single digits. In her spare time she chauffeurs teenagers and cans tomatoes.
Curt Snook was born in Nebraska during the Truman administration, grew up in Colorado, and earned degrees in music and historical musicology in Illinois and Wyoming. He joined WOI-FM in 1986 as an announcer and producer, moving from KUWR in Laramie, where he was the Cultural Affairs Director and Program Director.
In his role with IPR he has hosted and produced daily classical music programs, the Jazz Department, and The Choral Tradition.
Jacqueline Halbloom, now in her 14th year in classical public radio, currently serves as Iowa Public Radio’s producer and host of Symphonies of Iowa, Performance Iowa and Iowa Arts Showcase. In addition to her on-air duties, Jacqueline serves on the Friends board of UNI’s Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. A true lover of music and public radio, Jacqueline is indeed a great advocate for the fine arts in Iowa.
She brings to her work a background both practical and theoretical: Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Music Education, which she used as a teacher of orchestra students. As a player, she performed in the viola section of the Eugene Symphony, the Des Moines Symphony, and Cedar Rapids Symphony (now known as Orchestra Iowa). She is adequately familiar with the numerous slanders against the viola versus the violin. (Why is a viola more useful than a violin? Being larger, it burns longer). Even after many bad jokes, Jacqueline remains positive about music and public radio’s ability to enrich the lives of all who listen.
Jacqueline's favorite shows are University Concert and Choral Tradition.