New PBS Board Members Elected, Seated at First Meeting of Fiscal Year
Donald A. Baer, Don Boswell and Molly Corbett Broad Elected Board Chair, Professional Vice-Chair and General Vice-Chair
ARLINGTON, VA, October 31, 2016 – After completing the first FY 2017 meeting of the PBS Board of Directors, PBS President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Kerger announced the results of the recent Board elections. Alliant Energy Corporation Retired Chairman, President and CEO Erroll B. Davis Jr. and Madsen Sapp Mena Rodriguez & Co. Former Managing Partner & CEO Ramon Rodriguez were each elected to a second term as General Directors. Board officials were elected, as well. Burson-Marsteller Worldwide Chair & CEO Donald A. Baer and American Council on Education President Molly Corbett Broad were both re-elected as Board Chair and General Vice-Chair, respectively, and WNED/Buffalo President & CEO Don Boswell was selected as the new Professional Vice-Chair of the Board.
In addition, Detroit Public Television President & CEO Rich Homberg, Kentucky Educational Television Executive Director & CEO Shae Hopkins, MontanaPBS Director and General Manager Eric Hyyppa and KSPS/Spokane General Manager Gary Stokes were seated at their first Board meeting since being elected as Professional Directors in August. Mr. Hyyppa and Mr. Stokes are first-time directors. Mr. Homberg and Ms. Hopkins are beginning their second terms.
“This is an important chapter in PBS’ history – a moment in which our system has great momentum as well as a strong foundation on which to build, said Ms. Kerger. “Thanks to the outstanding commitment of the talented executives on the PBS Board, our enterprise has the leadership it needs to navigate these exciting and complicated times. I am tremendously grateful to the members just joining our Board and those who already work so hard on behalf of our mission and the American public.”
The 27-person PBS Board includes both Professional Directors, who are station leaders, and General Directors, who serve as lay members of the Board, as well as the PBS President. The PBS Board of Directors is responsible for governing and setting policy for PBS. General and Professional Directors of the PBS Board are elected to three-year terms and serve without pay.
PBS member stations elect the Professional Directors. The General Directors are elected by the entire Board, as are the PBS President and the Board officers.
Donald A. Baer
Don Baer is Worldwide Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the global strategic communications firm Burson-Marsteller, a WPP company. Mr. Baer has been a member of Burson-Marsteller’s senior leadership since 2008 and has led major client engagements in every sector and part of the world, especially for top technology, communications and media companies.
Mr. Baer’s career has spanned leading roles as a media and communications executive for a wide range of important business, government and non-profit organizations. He has had extensive strategic, creative and operational experience in corporate and media roles as well as in the U.S. Government.
From 1998 to 2007, Mr. Baer helped lead global media company Discovery Communications. As Senior Executive Vice President for Strategy and Development and an executive committee member, Mr. Baer was a principal deputy to CEO, leading worldwide new ventures and acquisitions; marketing, corporate communications, research and public policy, and digital media strategy and operations. He drove significant growth in Discovery’s online offerings, including acquisitions of digital businesses and the launch of its first mobile video services, and he oversaw the Discovery/New York Times Company joint venture in the Discovery Times Channel. As a producer, he supervised Discovery’s public affairs content, including the 2004 Emmy Award-winning series Decisions That Shook the World and a documentary series with Thomas Friedman of The New York Times. Mr. Baer led Discovery’s partnership with the American Film Institute to create the documentary festival Silverdocs.
From 1994-98, Mr. Baer was a senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, as Assistant to the President and White House Director of Strategic Planning and Communications and, before, as Chief Speechwriter/Director of Speechwriting and Research. Mr. Baer played key roles in the Clinton Presidency, including the historic 1996 re-election, helping drive integrated communications strategy across domestic and foreign policy, and developing major Presidential speeches and policy initiatives.
From 1985-93, Mr. Baer was a journalist. For seven years, at U.S. News & World Report, he covered politics and the White House and, as an assistant managing editor, oversaw national and international coverage. He also worked at The American Lawyer, has written for publications including The New York Times and POLITICO and was a CBS News on-air analyst. Starting in 2000, he was a writer for the annual Kennedy Center Honors TV production, winning two Writers Guild of America awards.
In the 1980s, Mr. Baer was a media lawyer at New York’s Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler. Mr. Baer is Chair of the Board of Directors of PBS, the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Meredith Corporation. He also serves on the Boards of The Urban Institute, the News Literacy Project, Project Word, the PR Council, the Reuters Editorial Advisory Board and Fora.tv and on the Advisory Council of The First Year: POTUS 2017 Project at The University of Virginia’s Miller Center for Public Affairs. Mr. Baer served as a member of the Board of Visitors at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was inducted into the North Carolina Halls of Fame in Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations.
Mr. Baer received a B.A. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Phi Beta Kappa), a Master’s in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a J.D. from The University of Virginia School of Law. He and his wife, Nancy Bard, have two sons and live in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Baer Chairs also serves on the PBS Foundation Board and PBS Foundation Endowment Fund Committee.
Mr. Boswell, President and CEO of the Western New York Public Broadcasting Association (WNED | WBFO), is a public broadcasting veteran of 49 years, having held positions with North Texas Public Broadcasting Inc. in Dallas, KCTS in Seattle, and WVIA-TV/FM in Pittston, Pennsylvania prior to joining WNED in January of 1998.
The Pittsburgh native is the recipient of numerous PBS professional awards and five national program Emmy awards. He continues his long history of community service on various board such as, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, chairman of the AAA Western and Central New York Board, member of the AAA National Board, vice chairman of the HealthNow NY, Inc. board and member of the New Era Cap Company board. In Canada, Mr. Boswell serves on the Board of the Red Sky Theatre and as chairman of the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto’s American board.
Married and the father of one daughter and grandfather to one grandson, Mr. Boswell holds bachelor and masters degrees from Pennsylvania State University and a Management Development Certificate from the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania. He is a philatelist, golfer, and photographer.
Mr. Boswell also serves on the PBS Foundation Board and Foundation Endowment Fund Committee.
Molly Corbett Broad
Molly Corbett Broad is President of the American Council on Education. A leading spokesperson for American higher education, Molly Corbett Broad became the twelfth president of ACE in 2008. She is the first woman to lead the organization since its founding in 1918.
Ms. Broad came to ACE from the University of North Carolina (UNC), where she served as president from 1997-2006, leading UNC through a period of unprecedented enrollment growth. Due in large part to the success of the Focused Growth Initiative, minority enrollment at UNC grew at more than double the rate of the overall student body during her tenure. She also spearheaded the creation of a need-based financial aid program for in-state undergraduates and the creation of the College Foundation of North Carolina.
Ms. Broad held a number of administrative and executive positions at several universities prior to her tenure at UNC. At the California State University system, she served as senior vice chancellor for administration and finance from 1992–93, and as executive vice chancellor and chief operating officer from 1993 until her election as UNC president. Earlier in her career, Ms. Broad served as the chief executive officer for Arizona's three-campus university system (1985–92) and in a succession of administrative posts at Syracuse University (1971–85).
Ms. Broad has written and spoken widely on strategic planning for higher education, K–16 partnerships, information technology, globalization and biotechnology. She currently holds a seat on the TIAA-CREF Board of Overseers and the GED Testing Service, LLC. In addition, Ms. Broad also serves on the boards of the Forum for the Future of Higher Education, Business-Higher Education Forum, United Way USA, National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, and Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council. She is past chair of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, past chair of the Internet 2 board of trustees and past president of the International Council for Distance Education. She previously served on the PBS Board of Directors from 2007-2013, and was Vice Chair from 2011-2013.
She has served on the boards and executive committees of the Parsons Corporation; RuffaloCODY; Council on Competitiveness; National Association of University System Heads; and the Centenary Committee for Fudan University in Shanghai, China.
Ms. Broad earned a General Motors Scholarship to Syracuse University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a baccalaureate degree in economics from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She holds a master's degree in the field from The Ohio State University.
Erroll B. Davis, Jr.
In 2011, Erroll B. Davis, Jr. began serving as superintendent for Atlanta Public Schools (APS). He retired from this position at the end of June 2014. Prior to joining APS, Davis was chancellor of the University System of Georgia, where he was responsible for 35 public colleges and universities, 302,000 students, 40,200 employees, and a $6.3 billion budget.
Before becoming chancellor, Davis was chairman of the board of Alliant Energy Corporation – an energy holding company with $8.3 billion in assets and operating revenues of $3 billion at the time. Davis joined Alliant as president and CEO.
Prior to Alliant’s creation, Davis was president and CEO of WPL Holdings. He rose through the ranks at Wisconsin Power and Light Company – from VP of finance to president and CEO.
Davis was a member of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents and is a former chairman and current member of the board of trustees of Carnegie Mellon University.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Davis earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Chicago. He is also on the board of directors of General Motors and Union Pacific Corp. He is on the advisory board of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) and a member of the National Academy of Sciences roundtable on community resilience. He is a former member of the U.S. Olympic Committee Board and has served on the boards of numerous community based organizations.
Davis and his wife, Elaine, established the Davis Family Foundation, which makes annual grants to students in need. Davis holds other professional/civic affiliations, and has received numerous honors and awards.
Rich Homberg is President and CEO of Detroit Public Television, a position he has held since 2008.
Despite significant challenges in the Michigan and national economies, Homberg led to a successful conclusion to a $22 million capital campaign for a state-of-the-art broadcast facility in 2009 and the organization was named “Best Managed Non-Profit” of 2010 by Crain’s Detroit Business. The station was honored with a DuPont-Columbia Award in 2012 for innovative documentary programming and recognition the same year from the Association of Public Television Stations for its Great Lakes environmental programming.
A strong advocate for the value of a “collective impact” blueprint for aligning efforts across the public media system to strengthen our service, Homberg has been an active participant in the Major Market Group’s efforts around the Community’s Agenda and the PBS Community Connection initiative. He also serves on the PBS Interactive working group.
In Detroit, DPTV’s television and radio stations have greatly improved their operating results and audience reach, while increasing local content and community engagement during Homberg’s tenure, surviving a particularly difficult economic environment. The radio station, WRCJ, operated in partnership with the Detroit Public Schools, brought classical music back to Detroit, serving over 100,000 listeners each week. In 2011, the station opened a new TV studio in the heart of Detroit, in partnership with Wayne State University.
Homberg joined Detroit Public TV after a successful career in commercial broadcasting for CBS, Viacom and Westinghouse Broadcasting.
An active member of the Metro Detroit community, Homberg is currently the Chair of the Cultural Alliance of South Michigan and serves on multiple boards for nonprofit organizations. He resides in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan with his wife and son.
Shae Hopkins is the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of KET, Kentucky Educational Television, and oversees a statewide network with three production facilities and 16 transmitters that reach more than 5.5 million people in eight states, as well as an extensive digital education service utilized by every school district in the commonwealth. KET is a national leader in local content and educational resource production, including early childhood, P-16, teacher professional development, adult education, and adult literacy.
A 27-year veteran of KET, Hopkins served in progressive management positions, including Deputy Executive Director, where she was responsible for day-to-day operations and oversaw the development of a wide range of content and production, as well as the network’s digital transition for production and distribution systems. She previously led KET’s private fundraising for more than a decade and was the founding president of the Commonwealth Fund for KET.
Hopkins has been recognized with various industry awards, including the 2011 National Advocacy Award from the Association of Public Television Stations. In addition to APTS, she is active in several public media organizations, including the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA), Organization of State Broadcast Executives Board (OSBE), Affinity Group Coalition (AGC), and the PBS LearningMedia Station Advisory Board.
Appointed by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to the inaugural board of Digital Promise (National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies), Hopkins also serves on the Governor’s Post-Secondary Education Nominating Commission, Collaborative Center for Literacy Development Advisory Committee, Kentucky Blood Center Board of Directors, Central Bank Advisory Board of Directors, and the University of Kentucky College of Communications and Information Studies National Advisory Board.
Eric Hyyppa is the Director and General Manager of KUSM Television, MontanaPBS, in Bozeman, Montana. As Director, he oversees a university licensed state network covering all of Montana. He is a PBS veteran, with over 20 years in public broadcasting and over a decade of experience in television production, including work for every major network and many independent companies.
Before becoming General Manager in 2006, Eric served MontanaPBS as Information Systems Manager. He has a background in Information Technology, including a BS in Computer Science. He is a former member of the Society of Motion Picture Television Engineers and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.
During his tenure at MontanaPBS, the organization has grown from a single station to a statewide network of six stations, more than 20 translators, and a satellite delivery service that reaches the smallest communities in the state. The organization has expanded local production, including a number of nationally distributed programs, grown local support, and been a leader in the use of technology for highly efficient station operations. As GM, Eric has overseen the launch of a major and planned giving program, expansion of local news and public affairs programming, and an expanded emphasis on education, specifically leveraging the PBS LearningMedia platform in Montana.
In addition to a number of boards in Montana, Eric currently serves as chairman of the board of trustees of America’s Public Television Stations (APTS), is past chairman of the board of directors of the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA), is past chair of public television’s Affinity Group Coalition (AGC), and is past co-chair of the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives (OSBE).
A native of Guantanamo, Cuba, Rodriguez earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting in 1971, from Florida Atlantic University. Upon graduation, Rodriguez started his accounting career with Madsen & Sapp. In 1974 he was elected to partnership in the firm and was elected the Managing Partner in 1979. He was the Managing Partner and CEO from 1979 until 2006 when the firm was sold to Crowe Horwath. During his career as a CPA, Rodriguez was also a founder and Treasurer of DME Corporation a manufacturing company involved in defense and aerospace.
Rodriguez was Chairman of the Florida Board of Accountancy and President of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Currently, Rodriguez is a member of the Board of Directors of Alico, Inc. and of Republic Services, Inc.
Among his civic activities, Rodriguez is member of the Board of Directors of WPBT Channel 2, Performing Arts Authority of Broward County, Holy Cross Hospital, and the Broward Workshop. Previously, Rodriguez served as Chairman of the Museum of Discovery and Science and United Way of Broward County.
Through the years, Rodriguez has been recognized for his strong civic and business leadership. He has been the recipient of the 2004 Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Award; 2001 Silver Medallion Award, and in 1998 he received the Sun-Sentinel’s Excalibur Award.
Mr. Rodriguez resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with his wife Cindy.
Gary Stokes is the General Manager of KSPS-TV, the PBS station serving the Inland Northwest, including Eastern Washington, Northeastern Oregon, Northern Idaho, Western Montana and the Canadian Provinces of Alberta and part of British Columbia.
Stokes was named General Manager in September 2013, after coordinating the successful transfer of the broadcast license from Spokane Public Schools (the license holder since the station signed on in 1967) to the Friends of KSPS, the organization that has raised the bulk of operating funds for KSPS since more than 40 years. Stokes was hired as Executive Director of the Friends of KSPS in 2011 from Alabama Public Television in Birmingham where he was Vice-President of Development. While at APT, he was Manager of Corporate Support, promoted to Assistant VP of Development then promoted to VP of Development, all in support of the statewide network’s nationally-recognized education mission.
He has 35 years of broadcast experience - 10 of those in public television - in roles ranging from on-air reporter, producer and executive producer to news director and General Manager. He’s had the chance to work for every broadcast network affiliate in cities from Dayton to Dallas, Baltimore to Buffalo and Norfolk to Houston.
The Philadelphia native is actively involved in the Spokane community, serving as Vice-Chair of the Empire Health Foundation Board and recently appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to a second term on the board of Humanities Washington. He is also a member of Spokane Rotary 21.
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