Jeremy DeRaadt (JD Hunter)
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“How Bad Do You Want It?” is the question asked of every student in my SAIT radio class from 2012-2014. I heard that phrase easily over 100 times. It became the cornerstone to me working hard through every trial and tribulation that comes my way, and I have to thank Richard Stroobant, one of my instructors in college and a good friend for giving me a bracelet with this quote. It’s a daily reminder that in the good times and the hard times I have to press on and push forward - no matter the obstacle.
Something becomes immediately clear when you start speaking with JD: He was made for radio. He openly states that he is grateful to have always known what he wanted to do with his life, to host a radio show. When JD was six-years-old he got a toy that allowed him to broadcast his voice 30 feet, and since then he’s been mastering his craft. At the age of 11, the show moved online, and JD was involved in running a show on multiple UK based stations until making the decision to get real with his career. JD has since brought his radio talents to us in Wood Buffalo as the Program Director, Music Director, Announcer & Producer at 91.1 The Bridge.
When JD talks about radio, he expresses nothing but passion. It’s not about fame or stature, it’s about God given passion. He says it is a combination of his love for listening to and sharing music, presenting ideas, and connecting to the community that makes radio a perfect fit for him. At a basic level, it is about connecting with other people.“We are not meant to be islands,” JD explains. “We are not meant to be alone. We need to connect.”
Connecting with the people of Fort McMurray is something JD loves to do. He believes this city is filled with some of the best people, and that the community continues to grow stronger year-by-year. “I came here with a one year plan and all of the sudden one became two, two became three and here we are.” JD expected to be in the radio industry and near friends and family in Central Alberta a year after coming to Fort McMurray, and now he couldn’t picture what it would be like to leave. “There are so many people I’ve met here that I can’t imagine my life not knowing “my family away from family.”