Paragon is a consulting and research firm specializing in innovative content for broadcast and digital media.   Paragon expertise includes media start-ups, new  business models, market share, strategic planning, content creation, marketing, branding, and creating healthy company culture.


Team Paragon

Mike Henry

Mike Henry – Founder, CEO

With over 40 years’ experience, Paragon founder and CEO Mike Henry is a renowned strategist and advisor for broadcasters, media companies, and content creators.

Henry works with clients to develop and execute comprehensive media strategies that incorporate traditional and digital platforms. His expertise includes audience development, content creation, branding, distribution, and monetization.

He has developed many enduring brands, media outlets, and new content offerings including NPR News, Jack FM, CMT, SiriusXM, and numerous radio stations across all formats in all market sizes. Henry’s ability to work from the highest strategic levels to narrow tactical tasks allows him to support media companies from the board room to the control room.

Over the years, Henry has worked with a wide range of clients, from independent radio stations to major media conglomerates. Henry’s well-documented creative efforts have expanded commercial and public media to new, younger, and diverse audiences.

As a visionary thought leader, he has been a keynote speaker and panelist at industry conferences and events, sharing his insights on the future of media and the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. Henry has been featured in Time, Rolling Stone, Wall Street Journal, Billboard, USA Today, and many other national publications. He received a 2012 Peabody Award as executive producer of the public radio series, “Inside the National Recording Registry.”

Henry enjoys family life with his wife Susan, their four children and five grandchildren, and spending time outdoors hiking, climbing, and skiing.

Michelle Conrad

Michelle Conrad – Digital Consultant, Marketing Director

With over a decade of experience in Digital Marketing, Michelle has worked with some of the largest media companies in the world including Disney, ABC, Nickelodeon, Outside Magazine, GoPro, and more. Working directly with many Paragon entertainment and media clients, Michelle has provided invaluable information to propel their digital efforts and results. Michelle began her career in social media analytics in Boulder which took her to San Francisco where she shifted into digital media marketing. Michelle has worked with radio stations since 2014, and is Marketing Director for VuHaus Group, public radio Music Discovery network. Now based in Los Angeles, Michelle possesses experience, passion, creativity and a natural ability to understand a brand’s needs and goals through industry market research and communication coupled with a natural understanding of the digital space. Michelle now resides in LA with her husband, son, daughter and chocolate lab where she enjoys all things Southern California while chasing around her kids.

Bob Waugh – Music Content Consultant

Waugh started his career at WLIR on Long Island in 1978 and was a key player and air personality in developing the station that “Dared To Be Different.” In 1985, he moved to K-Rock New York and hosted a weekend/overnight swing shift, preceding the Howard Stern Show. 1991 brought Waugh to Washington D.C.’s legendary and critically acclaimed alternative radio station, WHFS, where he became Music Director/APD and morning show host. His innate ability to welcome and so effortlessly interview artists from A-Z became widely recognized across the industry. He then moved to a less demanding daypart to focus on the development and execution of the renowned HFStival – one of the largest alternative music festivals in the country. He joined WRNR in Annapolis as OM/PD in 2004 before his temporary retirement in 2022.

“I felt like I’d accomplished a lot over 40+ years, and the time came to hang up the headphones, but I knew I still had much to offer, so I was just waiting for an opportunity that would truly excite me. I have a ton of respect for Mike Henry and the tremendous impact Paragon has had in the industry, Triple A radio in particular. I am absolutely thrilled to join his team, and could not have hoped for a more exciting kick-start than the chance to help KPNW Seattle establish itself in a market that has been the epicenter of music innovation”

Izzi Smith

Izzi Smith – News Content Consultant

Israel (Izzi) Smith works with public radio news stations to grow audiences and impact.  Based in Chicago, and working with stations across the country, Izzi provides insights and analysis fueled by close listening, audience data, and a bias toward action.  His work across departments centers the audience (who’s actually listening) in strategic conversations, and he helps leaders create and socialize narratives around programming focus, scheduling changes, and promotion strategy.  Izzi began his career at WBUR/Boston, was NPR’s Director of Programming, and lead local programming at WBEZ/Chicago, before partnering with Paragon in 2022.  For Paragon, Izzi helps news stations earn, keep and engage audiences.

John Stevens – COO/Radio, Music Scheduling and Air Talent Consultant

John joined Paragon in 2003 after serving as VP/Operations for Caribou Communications. He is a marketing research and finance graduate from the University of Denver. He loves working with numbers, whether they pertain to research statistics or financial spreadsheets. John has programmed and served as an air personality in various US markets including Houston, Phoenix, Tucson, and Tampa. He also supervised all aspects of programming and research on Caribou’s 10 owned and operated stations, consulted on dozens of stations and conducted well over 100 research projects across the globe. His extensive management and leadership background also includes station ownership.

Civic-minded, John also served as a city councilman and mayor pro-tem for the city of Lakewood,  Colo.  before being term limited in 2007. He is an avid pro football and basketball fan with season tickets in both sports. To relax, John loves the Colorado mountains and especially fishing at high altitude.  John and his wife of 35 years, Judy, have two grown children.

Jordan Lee

Jordan Lee – Music Content Consultant

With over a decade of experience in the industry, Jordan has developed a deep understanding of the nuances of public radio programming, talent development, and content strategy, as well as a keen sense of the trends and strategies that are shaping the industry. Throughout his career, Jordan has worked with a diverse range of clients, from small local stations to large national networks, providing strategic guidance and practical solutions to help them achieve their goals.

Jordan has been with Paragon since 2017 in both part-time and full-time consulting roles. Jordan is Senior Director of Programming at Radio Milwaukee’s 88Nine and HYFIN. Prior to joining Paragon, Jordan held several senior roles in the radio industry, including Program Director at WYMS-FM, where he oversaw programming and content departments for the influential non-commercial Milwaukee station. He also served as Station Director for Radio Milwaukee, where he developed and executed successful programming expansion and distribution of nationally syndicated programming.

Jordan is a sought-after speaker and thought leader in the public radio industry. He has spoken at numerous industry events and conferences, sharing his insights and expertise on topics such as audience engagement, creative revenue generation, and the future of radio in the digital age.

Jordan is a member of several industry organizations, including a seat on the Board of Directors for the Public Radio Program Directors Association (PRPD). He is passionate about the power of radio to connect people and communities and is committed to helping his clients harness that power to achieve their goals and build successful businesses.

Zach Gilltrap

Zach Gilltrap – Audio Imaging Producer, Production Consultant

After lucking out at the age of 19 and landing a production internship at legendary KNAC in L.A., Zach’s new-found love of radio was set in stone or for a more formatically correct adjective, “rock.”  Stations Zach has been a part of include WNXP Nashville, WNKU Cincinnati,  91X San Diego and 92X Denver, KTCL Denver (Channel 933), XTRA Sports 690 San Diego, The Bridge in Kansas City, KBPI in Denver and their most successful morning show “The Locker Room,” WWDB-FM Hot Talk in Philly, NV89 in Reno, KXT in Dallas, Colorado Sound in Ft. Collins, America’s first JACK FM station, The Atlanta Falcons Radio Network, KFOG in San Francisco and too many more for a quick bio.  Zach is currently the in-house Producer at Colorado Public Radio in Denver for Music Discovery-formatted Indie 102.3, NPR News/Talk KCFR-FM and Classical KVOD-FM.

Since 2007 Zach has also helped create and implement sound effects, voice-over and music for clients and award winning studios such as Mass FX Media, Microsoft Azure, Cisco/Avnet, Six Flags, Maverick Records, Excedrin Migraine, Think TV (PBS), Taco Bell and hiring and coaching voice-overs worldwide for Rosetta Stone.

Recently on the national stage Zach was a fortunate enough to assist in imaging “Slingshot,” an emerging artist spotlight collaboration between VuHaus and NPR Music.  When Zach is not listening, playing with or creating audio, he’s busy chasing after his two American Bull Dogs or attempting culinary feats for his amazing wife in their home in beautiful Colorado.

Michele Tharp

Michele Tharp – Marketing Consultant

Empowering individuals and companies with the guidance, blueprints, and tools to bring their ideas and visions to life, is a huge joy for Michele. She prides herself on her ability to understand the goals of her clients and effectively develop and execute impactful and cohesive strategies to achieve (and exceed) these goals…and of course, have fun in the process!

Michele began her career as a Promotion Director in local radio in Canton, Ohio and has held marketing positions with several media entertainment companies including Capitol-EMI Records, Jones Radio Network, and Showtime Networks.

Spending 18+ years with Paragon, Michele’s primary focus has been helping clients refine and expand their brand, engage and build audiences, as well as forge new digital distribution channels and promotional opportunities. Media and Entertainment clients have included CBS Radio News, BMP Audio Productions, The House of Blues Radio Hour (with Dan Aykroyd), Clip Interactive, Undercurrents, Media Mechanics, Live From Cain’s and The Public Radio Association.

In 2015, as one of four start-up employees, Michele helped launch VuHaus Group, a nonprofit national radio network, currently consisting of 20+ local music public media companies. VuHaus Group is dedicated to increasing the impact and reach of their work on the national stage by orchestrating meaningful and collaborative branding, editorial and new content distribution opportunities, as well as bringing new revenue opportunities through grants and sponsorship to our station affiliates. As part of this mission, Michele was integral in implementing a multi-year distribution and promotion agreement for the re-branded video platform, Live Sessions (formally Vuhaus.com), a mix of music videos curated by public radio music stations, housed within the NPR Music website. Live Sessions video microsite currently features over 10,000 HD performances and hosts multiple live streaming events yearly.

Michele currently lives in the Bay Area with her husband and daughter and holds the position of Interim Director of Marketing at non-profit organization, the California Film Institute (CAFILM), which celebrates and promotes film as art and education through year-round programming at the independent Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, yearly presentations of the acclaimed Mill Valley Film Festival and DocLands Documentary Film Festival, and cultivation of next generation filmmakers and film lovers through CAFILM Education programs.

Sara Schueller

Sara Schueller – Vice President/Research, Research Consultant

Sara specializes in quantitative research development and analysis and digital media consulting. Before Paragon, Sara worked at Strategic Media Research as a project director, where she managed a variety of quantitative and qualitative radio perceptual and music research projects for local market radio stations and national cable television clients. Sara also worked in Nielsen Media Research’s national advertiser research services group and as a research insights manager at Carat North America, a leading media planning and buying agency. She joined Paragon in 2002. In her spare time, Sara enjoys hiking, yoga and watching sports.

Simone Lowin

Simone Lowin – Research Services Director

Since joining Paragon in 2001, Simone has created hundreds of PowerPoint, Keynote and Prezi presentations for perceptual studies, focus groups, music tests, consulting projects and license applications for various radio clients in the United States, Canada and Europe. She also develops dynamic presentations for radio industry conventions and functions across the country. With over 2 decades in the radio research industry, she has a deep understanding of what information is most important and how to best display that information.

Simone lives in Hotlanta with her husband and 2 border collies where she spends her free time kayaking the rivers and lakes to “get away” from the heat.

Dave Xaviers

Dave Xaviers – Field Director

With more than 25 years in the marketing research industry, Dave has a deep understanding of market research processes and best practices. He has managed more than 2,000 successful projects, spanning virtually every type of methodology across a variety of industries. Dave is a longstanding member of the Marketing Research Association and American Marketing Association, and he is actively involved in keeping abreast of current and emerging technologies as they relate to marketing research.

Outside of work, Dave plays guitar and knows’ things..

Rachel Askelson – Music Director

As Paragon’s Music Director, Rachel assists consultants Mike Henry, Jordan Lee, and Bob Waugh with their music station clients. Rachel receives, organizes, and catalogues all incoming music submissions, then reports weekly new music recommendations to client stations and manages Paragon’s Earworms Attacks! Spotify playlist. Rachel has a degree in Contemplative Psychology, which she uses regularly on the rest of Paragon’s wacky staff! She loves being a mom to son River and traveling with her husband.

Sandy Chlumsky

Sandy Chlumsky –  CFO

Sandy has been CFO of Paragon since the ownership buyout of Paragon Research in 2001. She started as Paragon Research business manager in 1996. She has over 40 years experience in accounting and enjoys working with people even more than the numbers. She enjoys golf and traveling with her husband, children and grandchildren when “Mom” need not be present for the Paragon family.



Cooper has been with Paragon since birth in 2012. Born in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, raised in the Colorado mountains near Red Rocks, and now retiring on the beaches of LA, Cooper has seen Paragon evolve from a small family business to a…small family business. From his early days as CEO Mike Henry’s best four-legged friend, he now serves as Mike’s Director of Co-Dependency. In his spare time Cooper enjoys hiking, swimming, and spending time with his brother Ziggy and sister Rylan.