STAR 88.3 is owned by STAR Educational Media Network, a not-for-profit 501©3 entity that was formed in the Spring of 2009. Prior to the sale of the station in October of 2009, Star 88-3 was owned by the Indiana District-Lutheran Church Missouri Synod for 23 years. They knew the potential for the station’s growth, but also recognized the opportunity to increase support for its missions programs and decided to sell the station. After much prayer and searching, the STAR 88.3 Management Team led by General Manager Melissa Montana seized the opportunity, formed the new company and began the work on buying the station. In June of 2009, an offer was accepted to purchase the station. After FCC approval and other legal matters, the transfer of ownership took place on Friday October 30, 2009.
Meet the STAR Leadership Team
Melissa Montana is a well-known radio personality, motivational speaker and high-performing businesswoman. She received the 2009 national Rob Gregory Award for outstanding community advocacy. Serving as General Manager of STAR 88.3, she accepted the Gospel Music Association/Christian Music Broadcasters 2009 Station of the Year national award, which was televised, worldwide live on The Dove Awards.
Melissa has been featured in "Today's Christian Woman" for her adoption story and as founder and host of the annual Adoption Celebration. She is a popular host for functions which have included the annual Chamber of Commerce Regional Meeting, the Athena Awards, The Pure Fashion Show, the Women's Safety Summit, the YMCA's Youth Awards, and the Franciscan Center's Fundraising Banquet. She has also been honored with 21 Alive's "Women in Leadership Award."
Melissa's greatest joy in life is being a mom to her daughter LaShay born in Guatemala. Recently, in an alliance with Huntington University, Melissa, as CEO and president, formed STAR Educational Media Network, Inc., and won the bid to purchase STAR 88.3.
As Executive Vice President of Development, Richard Cummins oversees STAR Educational Media Network's advancement and business strategy.
Richard has published regional magazines including the Fort Wayne Business Journal, Fort Wayne Woman Magazine and Sandbar. He also created and hosted community awards programs including the Future 40, Top Docs, the CARE Awards and the Best Places to Work in Northeast Indiana. Richard serves and has served on area non-profit boards including Invent Tomorrow, The Northeast Indiana Corporate Council , Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana, Blue Jacket and Associated Churches.
Richard, who joined STAR with a desire to spread the message of hope, enjoys spending time with his family and being an active member of his church.
Don Buettner serves as Executive Vice President of Operations oversees and updates everything that goes out over the airwaves, all of the songs, and every aspect of production. In addition, for ten years, he hosted a weekly national program called, 'The Heart of Worship'. That show ended a 10-year run in June of 2009 when Don was asked to bring his talents to a new show as Associate Producer. It would become the most successful launch of a syndicated show ever in Christian radio. And now, the show is called, “Keep the Faith”.
At STAR, Don has been nominated for Program Director of the Year in 2004, 2009 and 2010. The station was recognized at the 2009 Dove Awards for Radio Station of the Year., while the station has also been voted “Favorite Station” two years in a row by readers of their local newspaper.
Don and his wife Renee married in February of 2004. “I always like to mention that we got married on my parent’s 50th anniversary.” They have two daughters, Haley and Zoe along with two cats, Tigger and Linny. “Life is very busy for us it seems so the times we get to be together as a family are what we enjoy most.”
Along with the purchase of STAR 88.3, an alliance was formed with Huntington University. Their staff have been greatly influenced by the station, its value and its mission. When the opportunity came to partner with the station, Huntington University came to the table with people to serve on the board of directors and with financial support to help purchase the station. STAR 88.3 will promote their name for years to come.