Mary Quass is Chairman and CEO of NRG Media LLC, a privately held radio broadcasting and digital media company operating 45 stations and corresponding digital delivery channels in 10 Midwest Markets (Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois) with corporate headquarters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Quass began her career as an account executive in 1977; purchasing her first radio stations in 1998.
What began as a single-market company called QBC became part of the publicly traded company Capstar Broadcasting, eventually becoming a part of Clear Channel.
In 2001 Quass formed New Radio Group, growing the company to the current platform of NRG Media. Over the years, she has held leadership roles in the industry and her community serving on many boards.
Throughout her career, Quass has been recognized for her influences in the industry. Her awards include being honored by the Country Music Association in 1990 for the Association’s Station of the Year in the Small Market Category and General Manager of the Year. In 1999, Quass was inducted to the Iowa Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame and received the 1994 Broadcaster of the Year from the Association. In 2011, she was honored by the Country Radio Broadcasters’ with the Tom Rivers Humanitarian award. In 2014, the Broadcasters Foundation of America bestowed the Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award to Quass for her contributions to the broadcasting industry and community at large.
Quass has been recognized by Radio Ink Magazine on their annual list of Most Influential Women in Radio being named the Most Influential Woman in Radio 2007-2019. In 2015, she received the MIW (The Mentoring and Inspiring Women) Radio Legend Award. Other acknowledgements from Radio Ink Magazine, include being named as one of 40 Most Powerful People in Radio. Quass received the prestigious Radio Wayne: Broadcaster of the Year in 1999. In 2017, Quass was named Americas Best Broadcaster.
During the 2017 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, she received the 2017 MIW Radio Group Frances Preston Trailblazer Award, presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the media industry, creates opportunities for other women in radio. When presented the award, Quass offered the opinion, “there’s never been a better time to be in this business than right now,” pointing to the multiple platforms available for radio content and urging the industry to “make radio great again.” She also received the 2017 America’s Best Broadcaster award during the annual Radio Wayne awards given by Radio Ink Magazine. This award is presented to an individual whose professionalism, high standards and dedication to the industry continue to provide examples of “best broadcasting” practices for others to follow.
Quass’ impact is far reaching, she was selected by the National Association of Broadcasters to testify on behalf of broadcasters before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights at a hearing on the proposed XM-Sirius Merger in 2007.
Quass’ influence and compassion does not only impact the broadcast industry but also her local community of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1996, Quass Broadcasting Company received the Entrepreneurial Excellence Award from the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. She was inducted into the Advertising Federation of Cedar Rapids Hall of Fame in 1997. Quass was honored in 1998 with the YMCA Tribute to Women of Achievement. The Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce awarded her the Howard Hall Excellence in Business Award in 2004 along with Junior Achievement naming her as a Hall of Fame Laureate. In March 2005, Quass was listed as one of the Women of Influence by the Corridor Business Journal as part of their inaugural class. She was named as a regional finalist for the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012.
In addition Mary serves on the Board of Directors of UFG, a publically traded P&C Insurance Company, Part Chair and Executive Committee Member of Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, USBank Board, Board Member for the Quarton IBA Foundation, Trustee of United Way East Central Iowa, Trustee RAB, and Past Board Member NAB.