Indie On Air-Executive Team

Jeff Popka

CEO

Jeff founded Indie On Air Records in 2008 with nothing more than a concept, a pad of paper and a pen at his kitchen table. The genesis of IOA was originally as an independent music podcast before expanding into music festivals and events.  

Those early simple beginnings have evolved into a multi-faceted organization whose network has expanded internationally including Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom and beyond. 

During this time, Jeff also personally owned and operated a music venue in Crown Point, Indiana. After 11 years in the role of superintendent, Jeff transitioned in 2008 and created an independent music podcast (Indie On Air). Once the podcast took off, people began to take notice of his program including Ariel Hyatt (Cyber PR – NYC) who described Jeff as a “Pioneer in internet radio for independent musicians.”  

Before forming IOA, Jeff owned and operated a music venue in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida. After 4 years in Florida, Jeff returned home to northwest Indiana and was appointed a Lake County, Indiana government official serving as the Lake County Fairgrounds Superintendent. While there, Jeff helped create and provide logistics for countless events including music festivals. Some of the acts Jeff hosted were: Jim Peterik & The Ides of March, The Smithereens, The Bodeans, Hank Williams Jr., and Travis Tritt just to name a few.

 

From those early beginnings and a passion for music, Jeff began to expand the IOA brand first by launching Texas Indie Fest in Austin, Texas in 2011, that coincided with the world-renowned South by Southwest music festival. Jeff also expanded even further by creating two other branded music events, The Growler Sessions and The Abolitionist Concert Series

Over the last three years alone, Jeff has screened approximately 15,000 bands for the various events he has curated during this time! His work and reputation have provided him the ability to build an extensive network of music industry organizations, individuals, and artists. Jeff is excited for the opportunities that 2021 will afford IOA in the ways of expansion to better serve IOA, our clients, sponsors and the industry at large.

Richard Bedell

Director of Operations

Rick (as he is better known) has a passion for music that has served him well throughout his life and now for Indie On Air. Rick’s musical journey started at the early age of 15 when he began to work as a DJ in Michigan where he grew up. 

In 2017, Rick joined Texas Indie Fest in Austin, as the event’s Executive Producer. His involvement with Texas Indie Fest, began a relationship that evolved into his current position with IOA and subsequently producing IOA’s music festivals nationwide. His network of vendors and artists has served him well over the years and has become an invaluable resource when it comes to the various events we host across the country.  

 

That passion only grew stronger and it became his career. Rick eventually moved to San Antonio, Texas where he created Fish Creek Radio (a fully licensed and charting independent music radio station) in 2013 which he owns and operates to this day. Fish Creek features a variety of syndicated music shows and free form music 24/7.

Rick’s ability to leverage and activate his resources along with his vast experience in event production, gives IOA a huge advantage and flexibility in developing events in a wide range of markets that we may not have a presence in. That same experience becomes indispensable in navigating and negotiating the logistical and support needs of our various events along with all of the ancillary items that comes with event planning and coordination.

Paul Surowiec

CFO/Artist Liaison

Paul Surowiec is the company's CFO and Artist Relations Liaison. He originally joined IOA in 2018 when the band he was in at that time was signed to the record label section of the company. 

Paul's years of experience managing tele-medicine firm Pulse Informatics helped him to gain the business prowess needed to successfully navigate the financial waters of the ever-changing entertainment industry. 

Paul's 10+ years as a working musician allow him to bring the artists' perspective to the table when planning live events. This helps the company maintain it's 
"artists first" philosophy.

Paul resides in Delaware with his wife and two children. He still works as a freelance keyboard player. 

 

Sean Wray

Chief Business Development Strategist