President & General Manager
Dan formed HPL Communications with his wife Debbie in November, 2003, and completed their purchase of WBTA in February, 2004. Dan has held various management positions in radio since 1971. Dan is a Buffalo native and spent the early years of his career in broadcast news winning several awards from The Associated Press, United Press International and the New York State Broadcasters Association. He is a frequent guest lecturer on radio broadcasting at SUNY Fredonia and for many years, was an adjunct faculty member at Jamestown Community College.
Dan was twice selected to serve as a consultant to the US State Department on private radio development projects in Africa and Eastern Europe. Dan is a member and past-president of the Batavia Rotary Club, and serves on the board of the Holland Land Office Museum and Salvation Army Advisory Board. Dan and wife Debbie were co-chairs of the 2010 United Way Campaign in Genesee County. In 2008, Dan and Debbie were proud to accept the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Award recognizing WBTA as “Business of the Year.”
Debrah A. Fischer
Vice-President & Business Manager
Debbie brings a wealth of broadcast experience to WBTA. During her career, Debbie has worked as Controller for a group of nine radio stations in Western New York and Pennsylvania. She is a native of Jamestown, NY, where she met her husband Dan while on the job at WKSN/WHUG. Debbie holds two Associate Degrees from Jamestown Community College and a B.S. in Business Administration from SUNY Fredonia. Debbie serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Arc of Genesee Orleans, an agency dedicated to helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is also a member of the Arc of New York Board of Governors. Debbie has served on committees for the United Way, Genesee Community College, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and the annual Encore scholarship concert at GCC. Debbie is a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church and plays in the hand bell choir. With husband Dan, Debbie was co-chair of the 2010 United Way Campaign in Genesee County. Dan and Debbie have three daughters: Cynthia, Susan and Karen, and five grandchildren, Brianna, Christian, Matthew, Zachary and Tyler.
General Sales Manager
Lorne was born and raised in Genesee County. He went to Elba Central School where he enjoyed playing sports. He attended Genesee Community College, SUNY Buffalo and received his Bachelor degree in Business Administration from SUNY Brockport. Lorne has been with WBTA since 1989. Lorne started out as a Sales Account Representative and has worked his way up to Sales Manager as well as General Manager. Lorne has a home in Elba, and is proud to call Genesee County his home.
Jim was born in Batavia, graduated from Batavia High School
And attended Genesee Community College for Business
Administration. Jim loves playing sports, hiking with his dog
and spending time with family, especially his kids.
Jim has been in Retail sales and held various Management positions since 1991,
including 18 years with the Schwan Food Company. After spending 6 years in Syracuse as General Manager for Schwan’s
Jim decided to move back to Batavia in 2010 so his kids could also Graduate from BHS.
He Joined WBTA in 2014 as an Account Executive and is glad to be back home in Batavia.
Chris loves a wide variety of music, from his Irish heritage with Celtic music to rock, pop, soft rock and jazz. A radio veteran working in Buffalo, Rochester and Denver to name some of the cities he has worked in. Rochester is home but looks to move closer to Batavia. His teenage son is what keeps him motivated to stay in shape to keep up with him.
In a 30 year career in radio he credits his Aunt as the guiding force to leading him first to radio. A former athlete his skills led him to the radio booth as a color commentator and eventually to an announcer.
Currently I find inspiration in my soon to be wife Kayla, who helps keep me “healthy” he says.
He loves James Taylor and Kansas as his favorite musical artists, and enjoys watching sports, baseball, and my favorite English Premiership Football. Manchester United all the way!
Guilty pleasures: WWE Wrestling, movies and old 70’s and 80’s TV shows.
Chris loves Italian food and a good burger anytime!
“I am really looking forward to entertaining and getting to know the audience at WBTA and hope that I will be out and about to meet all of them in the future”
John Vazquez has been with WBTA since 2004. He plays all the songs you know and love while you complete your workday from 2-6 p.m.
John is originally from Dunkirk, NY which is where he first started broadcasting in 1996. He’s an avid lover of technology, and usually has the latest phone or gadget. He’s also spends his spare time with his dogs, watching hockey, or playing board games on game nights.
Nicole “Nici” Johnson has grown up in Genesee County, graduated from Batavia High School, and attended GCC for an associates degree in Communications. She has spent a year working in Buffalo for Citadel Broadcasting stations 97rock, and The Edge. She now works at WBTA hosting the 10AM to 2Pm show featuring bits of pop culture and her mind teasing riddles. Nicole has also worked in the modeling industry for 5 years, and is currently the regional director for an agency based out of VA. When not modeling or on the radio, Nici works at the Pokadot Restaurant in Batavia where she says she meets some really great people.
Paul Chenault was born in Batavia, NY, is a graduate of LeRoy Central School and attended Houghton College, where he received his Bachelors in Business Management as well as two Associates degrees in Electronics Systems Technology and Logistics. He is also a 30 year veteran of the United States Air Force, with twenty-two of those years spent in military radio communications. Joining WBTA in 2017, Paul now works at the station as host of “WBTA After Dark” and is still considered the “newbie” of the team. When not working for the radio station, he is employed with the Department of Defense as a Logistics Planner, or can be seen at his part time job at Home Depot in Batavia. A great fanatic of all types of music in its proper form, Paul likes to stay near the action, often times attending concerts and providing DJ services when needed.
News Producer / Anchor
Tom comes to radio through doing plays and musicals in his hometown of Penn Yan. One director told him on the set of Brighton Beach Memoirs that with his voice he should go into radio. One pastor told him with his face that that would be a good idea. He went to St. John Fisher College for a Double BA in Communications/Television and English/Writing. He worked at My18 WGBT TV in Rochester with Chris Kalen and volunteered at Jazz 90.1 as a late night DJ for several years. Tom went to Gardner Webb University in North Carolina for a Masters in Divinity and and worked as youth pastor for Mtn Grove Baptist Church for 3 years. In 2013 he moved with his wife Katie to Adams, NY to Pastor Adams Village Baptist Church. In 2016 he moved to Batavia and now Pastors Emmanuel Baptist Church on Oak Street in Batavia. Tom enjoys reading, video games, and music. He plays the drums and sings.
News Producer / Anchor
I’m baaaaaaack! The last time I was on the air at WBTA was in the fall of 1980 as a student intern in the Communications program studying under Chuck Platt, at Genesee Community College.
I grew up on the west side of Batavia and graduated from BHS in 1978. My ‘real’ last name is Schnackel. It’s a tough name for radio but I turned it into a positive: I referred to myself as “The Late Night Schnack” while on the air at the former WBTF in Attica. The name ‘Thompson’ was assigned to me in ’84 during another radio station adventure and I’ve used it ever since.
In addition to WBTA, WBTF, WMJQ and WBEE, Rochester, I’ve worked at radio stations in Florida, New Hampshire and Maine. I lived in Maine for nearly 34 years. During the last 20 of my years in Maine, I was a school psychologist, and worked with great kids of all ages. Upon retirement from education I returned to Batavia in August 2021 to be closer to family and friends. The best decision I’ve ever made, by far, was to move back to Western NY. So, let’s grab a pizza and some wings, a beef on weck and then play some euchre!