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Marfa Public Radio names Yvonne Lujan as new station manager

Carlos Morales
Marfa Public Radio

Yvonne’s connection to Marfa, Texas, runs deep. She grew up here and attended Marfa High. When she was younger, by her own account, she “terrorized” the block where Zubiate’s Furniture –her dad’s store– was located. She knew everyone in town.

She stayed in West Texas, and attended University of Texas - El Paso and Sul Ross State University.

For 15 years, Yvonne was the Site Manager for a government contract, where she led a 26-person team. Yvonne was responsible for the 24/7 day-to-day operations and management objectives including budgets, assets, equipment, and human resources duties.

Her previous role was outside of town, and people thought she had moved away from Marfa. But she never left– lucky us. We’re so happy that she made her way back into town to work with us.

Yvonne still knows many of the older generation in town. She is a proud mom and grandma.

We’d like you to get to know Yvonne, so the station's Executive Director Elise Pepple sat down to interview her:

Elise: What do you love about Marfa?

Yvonne: I love the community involvement and engagement with all ages.

Elise: What is the craziest thing that happened while you were manager at your previous job?

Yvonne: Working outside in the elements and performing the duty of snow removal to protect highly sensitive and technical equipment.

Elise: What are the things that are the same from your previous job to your new role?

Yvonne: Budgets, managing employees, and making sure the operation runs smoothly 24/7.

Elise: Who has had the greatest influence on you?

Yvonne: Previously I would say my parents because of the life lessons they have taught me over the years. But now it has to be my daughter Joslyn, because she has taught me how to be aware of others and the things that they are going through, and how decisions affect everybody. Together, we’ve learned how to look at life through different eyes and make changes as we go along.

Elise: What is the quality you most appreciate in a human being?

Yvonne: Empathy and inclusion. I want everyone to feel like a part of things. I want people to feel like they belong and can come together.

Elise: Why did you become a part of Marfa Public Radio?

Yvonne: When I first started, I wanted to work at Marfa Public Radio because I wanted to have my life back. I was always working and I wanted to spend time with my family. Now I’m excited because I get to lead again and I love the team I work with. But ultimately I still have a work life balance, which I lacked for many years.

Elise: What do you love about Marfa Public Radio?

Yvonne: I love our local DJ program. One of my favorite shows is Dos Horas con Primo, because I get to take calls from all over for song requests and dedications. I’ve actually re-connected with some people from Marfa who have moved away but still listen and call in.

One of the goals of Marfa Public Radio is to build more leadership opportunities in public media. Our previous station manager, Travis Pope, left the station to take a new leadership role. We are excited for his future, and equally excited to welcome Yvonne into her new leadership role.

Elise Pepple is Executive Director at Marfa Public Radio.