Russell Peotter entered public television running cameras at WCBB in Lewiston, Maine during college. After graduation he held progressive positions in Production and Promotion until the creation of Maine Public Broadcasting in 1992. At MPB, he took on fundraising duties as Vice-President for Marketing and Development. In Maine, he won an Emmy as creator and Executive Producer for Made In Maine and an Elmo Award from CTW for developing and executing the Maine Early Childhood Project. In 1999, Rus also had a primary role in winning a statewide referendum for digital funding.
Rus joined WGBY as General Manager in 2001. He has helped the station dramatically increase its local programming, with a particular emphasis on developing partnerships with other mission-driven cultural and community organizations. Rus also acts as a liaison to the Massachusetts Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education & Early Education and Care as well as the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Rus currently serves on the Board of American Public Television and the PBS Development Advisory Committee. He has also been a member of the PBS Communication Advisory Committee and the Advisory Groups for the Major Giving Initiative, The PBS Foundation and Funding The Vision 2. Rus was named PBS Communications Professional of the Year in 1999 and PBS Development Professional of the Year in 2003.
Rus is also active in the civic life of the WGBY service area. He serves in volunteer leadership roles for a number of state and regional organizations. He is currently the Chair of the state’s arts advocacy organization MassCreative and the Hampshire County Economic Initiative. He is also on the Boards of The American Red Cross, Community Involved In Sustaining Agriculture, The Pioneer Valley Plan for Progress and Trustees of Reservations.
Rus graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He currently resides in Chesterfield, Massachusetts with his wife Jennifer, his son Alden, one headstrong Weimaraner, two horses, 40 chickens, 12 goats and a 75 year old tractor. In the rest of his spare time, he is a registered Maine Guide.