The Team

Max GraefMax Graef
RadioActive Founder / Director

Broadcast Consultant / Engineer / Trainer
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Max has spent the last 12 years installing equipment and training staff at community radio stations around the world.  He designs and installs FM radio stations and recording studios and delivers workshops in radio production, radio drama, station management and engineering.

Max specialises in working with people with no previous radio experience, to help them gain the skills and confidence to run their own radio stations and produce radio programming.  This includes talk shows, debates, interviews, drama, music, story-telling and other types of programming.

He has spent the last 18 years working with audio equipment as an audio engineer and DJ.  He was a founder member of Chicago-based Radios Populares, a group that supports community radio stations in Latin America. He has worked on radio projects in over 30 countries inclduing Gambia, Malaysia, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Mali, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Palestine, Chad, Guinea, Cameroon, Madagascar, Brazil and Nepal for UNHCR, EDC, ACTED and Internews among many others.

From 2002 to 2004, he worked at Kirkegaard Associates, one of the world's top acoustic and audio-visual design companies. Projects included the Royal Festival Hall in London, Atlanta Symphony Center and Orchestra Hall in Chicago.

He has a first class degree in Music Systems Engineering specialising in low power FM radio station design from the University of the West of England, Bristol.

Max speaks fluent English and working French, Spanish and Portuguese.

mark.jpgMark Benewith
Infomation Technology Specialist, Web Site Designer and Trainer

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Mark recently spent four years working for BBC Bristol managing a variety of systems and networks, from core systems for on-site productions and news to Virtual Private Networks in remote locations for the NHU’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch. 

Mark has much experience and a wide skillset that encases many systems and technologies. He was involved in the design, setup and development of AfroReggaeDigital – a radio training centre based in a slum on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. He constructed a network for editing and training and installed and configured the internet broadcast equipment. 

During this project he also trained young students in constructing websites, photography and studio setup and now speaks Spanish and Portuguese.

Mark studied Music Systems Engineering at the University of England, Bristol. He spent 8 years there involved in a variety of projects within the Bristol music and culture scene and still tries to find the time to DJ and write some beats wherever he finds himself.

Christi Turner
Christi Turner
Community Radio Coordinator

Christi spent four years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in northern Madagascar.  With her host community, she created the region's first community managed ecotourist site and protected area, while assisting other local residents and artisans in becoming direct stakeholders in the local ecotourism market.

Christi also spent three years coordinating and supervising the development of a community radio station for her village – the first fully solar powered, wholly independent community radio station in the country. She worked with a local NGO to help them to establish a station management committee, seek funding, successfully apply for their community radio licence, establish a programming schedule, develop engaging locally relevant programming, set up listener groups in all the communities within the coverage area and reach a point where the station had various income sources and was entirely self-sufficient.  

Christi has written proposals and provided project support for the community radio projects of Care (Madagascar) and Blue Ventures (UK/Madagascar).  She has also led CR workshops for community groups such as Foko (Madagascar) as well as for Peace Corps Madagascar.

Christi has a humanities degree in International Affairs and Foreign Languages, and has lived in Chile and the Dominican Republic as an intern with local human rights projects. She remains committed to grassroots development and conservation in Madagascar and the global community, and to the power of radio as a tool for accomplishing local sustainable development goals. 

Christi speaks English, Malagasy, French and Spanish.

Jacob Penchansky

Jacob Penchansky.
Radio Producer, Sound and Radio Engineer, Technical Trainer  

Jacob Penchansky is a radio producer, filmmaker, photographer, sound recordist, and "guerilla ethnomusicologist."  Jacob has recorded traditional musicians in more than 30 countries and is a contributing writer for the Rough Guide to World Music. He has helped preserve audio recordings for Easter Island's Museo Anthropológico, documented endangered native languages in Alaska and Polynesian navigation techniques in the Solomon Islands.

Jacob has a range of technical and production skills in radio.  He has worked for many years on both sides of the mixing desk and has trained radio journalists and folklorists throughout South and Southeast Asia.

Jacob is also the producer and director of the award-winning film "The Mountain Music Project: A Musical Odyssey from Appalachia to Himalaya" and oversees related music education projects in Nepal, Burma, Thailand, and Bhutan. 


Jihad Salem, RA Representative in the Middle East

Jihad Salem,
RadioActive Representative, Middle East

Jihad has spent the last ten years working for the Ibdaa Cultural Center, a youth cultural centre based in Dheisheh, West Bank.  At Ibdaa he played many roles, including leading youth media training campaigns at the Ibdaa Radio Training Facility, running an international cyber exchange programme with American schools and a cultural exchange programme with Italian partners, acting as International Volunteer Coordinator and lecturing on Palestine and Palestinian history.

Jihad is now based in Jordan where he represents RadioActive Consulting Ltd for the Middle East region.

Jihad speaks fluent Arabic and English. 


Lol Gellor,
Community Radio Guru and Trainer

Lol Gellor was the co-founder of Sound Radio, one of the UK’s first and most highly regarded licensed community radio stations. It operated from 2003 to 2007 and was situated on the Nightingale Estate in Hackney. One of the UK’s original 15 pilot Access radio stations’ Sound Radio was described in the Guardian as the love machine in the middle of murder mile. (the tabloid dubbed “murder mile” of Lower and Upper Clapton Roads in Hackney).

With his leadership Sound Radio created a functional model of multi cultural and multi lingual tolerance and co-operation. Broadcasting in over 25 languages, involving a variety of faith groups Sound Radio played a major role in the case for successful Community Radio legislation in the UK. (Communications Bill 2003 and Community Radio Order 2004). His work has been cited in publications by the British Council and the Housing Corporation as an example of best practise.

Regarded as one of the country’s leading experts in the field of Community Radio, Lol is currently a Community Media Association council member. He has most recently assisted in advising a number of community groups in their applications for licenses. He has also delivered a range of business and feasibility studies to a range of clients in the area of community and community media development. He continues to teach radio production techniques and maintains a studio base in East London. He is currently developing a range of online media platforms in a community context and has secured funding for a UK Online centre in a community centre. The centre is innovatively incorporating aspects of the media and environmental agenda with the help of a recycling charity. He has lectured/spoken at a range of venues including Birkbeck University, London School of Economics, Stanhope University, City University, London Metropolitan University, Westminster Media Forum etc.

The early part of his life was spent as a musician/producer and Lol has a number of national and international credits to his name. Later on he became involved in video and film production and has a variety of credits, notably as editor of two feature films. He is a keen sportsman and is a qualified FA Coach.  Lol remains committed to developing media based projects that can be used to act as catalysts for functional community development. 

He currently runs our music project recording songs with immigration detainees in Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre. 


RadioActive Consultants

In addition to our core staff, we have a team of consultants with different areas of expertise within the development and construction of radio stations, including broadcast engineers, station management specialists and radio production and journalism trainers.  If you are interested in joining our team of consultants, please contact us.

RadioActive Volunteers

In addition to our core staff and consultants, we have sent many volunteers to share their expertise at community radio stations around the world. If you are interested in volunteering with RadioActive, please contact us or fill in our volunteer form.