Dr. Andrew Melin WSDP Distinguished Alumni Award – 2023 Recipients
88.1 the Park honored three deserving alums when the station presented the Dr. Andrew Melin WSDP Distinguished Alumni Award on Tuesday May 30, at 7:00 p.m. at Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center in Plymouth. The honor was presented at the station’s annual banquet.
This year’s honorees are Kara McGuire, Plymouth-Canton ’94, Chris Sample, Plymouth-Canton ’96, and Becky Lobenherz, Plymouth-Salem ’02.
The award was created in the Spring of 2017 in honor of former WSDP Station Manager, Andrew Melin. The purpose of the award is to recognize WSDP Alums that have used their experience at the station to further the mission of WSDP by achieving success in their chosen career field; investing in the lives of young people; or supporting their local community. It is the hope of the station’s management that the honorees will serve as role models for future students at 88.1.
Kara Fiegenschuh McGuire worked at WSDP throughout high school and has experience in most areas of the station’s operation including news, Community Focus and hosting a radio show. Kara was also a director at the station. She graduated from Macalester College, where she continued her radio journey as host, Program Director and General Manager. After college, she was a producer on local and national public radio programs for Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media including Marketplace Money. From there, she moved to print journalism as a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune writing about personal finance. She has also authored books on personal finance for kids and teens. She shifted gears and is now the Managing Vice President of Sales Practice for Gartner, a research and advisory firm that equips business leaders with insights, advice and tools to solve their biggest challenges. Kara lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her three kids, husband and two dogs.
Chris Sample and his wife Kelly Honecker met at WSDP and co-hosted one of the station’s most popular specialty music shows, Open Up and Say Ska. His biggest accomplishment during that time was bringing the music – literally – to the Plymouth Canton community. This was back in the mid-90’s, with the 3rd wave of Ska leading to a huge resurgence of interest in the genre. He helped bring bands to the WSDP Dance and into the studio for live performances. He joined the staff as a Junior and participated in News, did some football play-by-play, and supported fundraising and promotions. He also hosted a short talk show called What’s Up With That. Chris went to college at Michigan State – with a brief detour to study engineering at Wisconsin – and graduated with a degree in Telecommunications, Film & TV Production. He had hoped to work in film and had some opportunities in the industry, including working on some major films like Pirates of the Caribbean. He transitioned back to business full time and in 2018 he joined Jacobs Engineering as the Director of Category Management, and is now Jacobs’ Global Procurement Lead. Chris is also a member of the 88.1 the Park Alumni Advisory Board and leads the board’s Fundraising Subcommittee.
Becky Lobenherz was involved at the station for all four years of high school. For her senior show she co-hosted an all Spanish Language show. As a Senior she was WSDP’s News Director and she learned quite a bit about motivating other people. Following high school Becky went on to study political science at the University of Michigan and law at Harvard Law School. After law school, she settled in Washington, D.C., where she worked at law firms specializing in consumer financial services regulatory law. Currently, Becky is a Deputy General Counsel at Fannie Mae. When not working, Becky enjoys gardening, visiting escape rooms, and raking in money at the poker table. She still uses her past as a DJ for 88-1 as a fun story when she wants to sound cool at parties.