Behind The Mic: Kelly Hilton and Connor Henricksen

Nov 9, 2017

“Who’s Behind the Mic?” introduces you to the voices you hear on Northwest Public Radio.

Kelly Hilton

Kelly started listening to public radio when she started working at Northwest Public Radio. She wanted to be part of the team that brings programs to listeners across the region. Now she feels personally connected to the programs, her favorite being 1A with Joshua Johnson.

She likes feeling she is part of something that is accurate, and says “it’s nice to work somewhere there’s an emphasis on accuracy and truth.”

Kelly Hilton at the mic.
Credit NWPR Staff

Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Western Washington University in Bellingham.  Last year she completed another degree, this time from Washington State University, majoring in public relations, with a minor in French.

The daughter of a proud Cougar, Kelly always wanted to study at WSU. It was not a matter of “if” - just “when.” “I just wanted to be sure when I came to WSU I could pay for it myself,” she said.

Kelly began announcing at Northwest Public Radio during her senior year at WSU and managed to do it while raising two children, now ages 13 and 20.

“I have not taken a nap since 2004,” Kelly says, laughing.

She may not nap much, but she reads a lot. She has zero social media and no TV, but is the proud owner of a big collection of books. Her family has a tradition of reading together:  she has one book club and reading series with her children, and a separate one with her parents. 

Connor Henricksen

Connor has been a public radio listener for as long as he can remember.

“Every car ride, it was the public radio station until we hit Snoqualmie Pass. When the signal broke up in the Pass, then and only then is when my parents would pop in the mixed tapes.”

When he came to WSU as a journalism student, Connor wandered into our hallway and saw the Northwest Public Radio sign. He walked into our office, full of curiosity. "I want to see where my radio comes from!” After a tour, decided to become an announcer. 

Connor Henrickson at the mic.
Credit Hannah Whisenant

Connor's held some interesting jobs. With the U.S. Geological Survey, he saw the area behind Elwha Dam, right after it was removed. And for two summers he was a wildland firefighter in north central Washington. 

He enjoys being outdoors and hiking. His favorite spot is in the North Cascades, where he likes to explore old mine shafts and caves.

Connor is a self-proclaimed news junkie. If there is one story he wishes he could cover, it would be the one on the “Apple-Chucking Hooligan” - the person last year who threw exactly 3 apples on the roofs of houses in Portland and Vancouver. Connor wants the full story on what he described as “the best thing the Associated Press ever tossed my way.”

A connoisseur of all kinds of music, Connor is especially into punk rock. “My dad’s fault,” he says, half-joking. His other love is feline: “Everyone knows my cat is my life.”