General Manager, KZUM
Kerry Semrad became a fan girl of 89.3FM KZUM, as a theater student at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. For 4 years, she worked at a downtown bookstore that attracted all sorts of characters. One character in particular was an older gentleman named Dave. He was a jazz programmer at KZUM. Kerry and Dave bonded over jazz and became a pair of unlikely friends. Through the radio station, Kerry discovered all sorts of new music and became connected to a town that was only supposed to be a quick pit stop in the timeline of her life.
In 2002, Kerry and her college sweetheart Mike moved to Chicago in search of fame and fortune. They got married and had two beautiful kids, Jack and Annie. Kerry settled down in the mortgage industry while Mike pursued a career in music. After about 10 years and never really connecting to a community, they decided to give Lincoln another try.
Upon returning to Lincoln, a town that had grown in size and diversity since her college days, Kerry used KZUM to plug herself back into the community. Her dear friend, Dave had passed away but Kerry found KZUM to be just as welcoming and relevant to her life, as it was in her 20’s. Mike and Kerry started a band, called The Bottle Tops in 2012 and got to know KZUM through volunteering for special events and appearing on locally focused programming.
Upon entering her 11th year in the mortgage industry, the position of General Manager at KZUM became vacant. Because of Kerry’s financial experience, enthusiasm for the community of Lincoln Nebraska and deep love for KZUM she submitted her resume and landed the job.
Now, just into her second year as KZUM’s General Manager, Kerry finds great inspiration in being a part of an organization that is focused on supporting the local economy and creative community. KZUM’s next big project is honoring the radio station’s legacy with several events and archival projects to celebrate their 40th year of being on air, in 2018.
In addition to working her dream job everyday, Kerry is honored to be one of the 100 KZUM volunteer programmers and hosting a jazz show on Monday nights, called The Hot House.