Kelly Pero Headshot

WOUB Employee Spotlight: Director of Business Operations Kelly Pero

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Pero started working at WOUB in October 2020

ATHENS, OH – With a background in criminal justice, management information systems and student conduct, some may wonder how Kelly Pero ended up the director of business operations at WOUB. But, when you look at her entire story, it makes perfect sense.

Pero grew up in Brunswick, Ohio and went to college at Ashland University where she studied criminal justice and management information systems. After graduating from Ashland, Pero went to the University of Akron and got a master’s degree in higher education administration.

“While I was in grad school, I lived in a fraternity house as a ‘house mom’ with 30 men. My dad didn’t like that very much,” said Pero with a chuckle. “But it was a blast and something that I will always remember. I still keep in touch with a lot of the men that lived there those two years with me.”

After graduating from Akron, Pero got a job at Ohio University.

“I started out my career in student conduct. I really didn’t like Athens when I first moved here. I thought for sure I’d only stay for two to three years and then move on,” said Pero. “I’m not sure what happened, but before I knew it, I loved Athens and my job.”

But after nine years of educating college students about the code of conduct and their responsibility for their own actions on and off campus, Pero was ready to try something new.

“I moved over to the academic side of things in the department of mathematics where I did class scheduling, coordinated job searches and started learning about budgeting and grant funding. After about five years there, an opportunity for more responsibility in a larger department became available, and I moved over to the psychology department as the department administrator,” said Pero. “It was in that job I realized I really liked working with budgets and funding opportunities, and that is where I really learned a lot about college budgeting/accounting and the different systems that Ohio University uses. If not for all of that experience I wouldn’t have been able to take on this opportunity at WOUB.”

Pero started working at WOUB in October 2020 during the pandemic.

“This has been the strangest first year of a job that I have ever had! I’m not going to lie, it was really hard working and feeling a little isolated the first few months. It was difficult not having people in the office to ask questions to and it’s hard to ask questions virtually or over email,” said Pero. “I really looked forward to the days Yvonne (Morman, WOUB accounting specialist) would come in the office so I could chat with her and ask her all the questions I had. She’s taught me so much, and I wouldn’t have made it this far without her; she’s a wonderful person and her knowledge about WOUB is amazing!  I’m really happy that more people have been around the building lately, and that I’m getting to meet more people in person. It was a weird start to a new job, but it’s certainly something I’ll always remember!”

Pero is looking forward to a time when more events and activities can happen, because she has a longstanding tradition that has been put on hold.

“I’ve seen Jimmy Buffett live in concert at least once a year since 1993, except for 2020 when everything was cancelled. My dad turned me on to his music while I was growing up, and in 2019, I was able to take my dad to Key West and surprise him with a stay at the Margaritaville resort,” said Pero. “He ate his weight in key lime pie, learned how to take an Uber and became addicted to conch fritters. We had a great trip.”

During her short time at WOUB, Pero says she’s learned a lot about many things related to media and broadcasting that she didn’t even know existed.

“I think what makes me proud to work at WOUB is that for as long as I’ve lived in Athens, which is almost 20 years, I’ve always listened to WOUB and heard about all the great things WOUB does for the community, and now I get to be part of that,” said Pero. “It sort of feels like I now belong to a special club. I’m also really proud of the people that work here and the dedication they have to WOUB, the University and the community.”