WASHINGTON – February 27, 2017 – America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) today announced the election of its new board leaders and members.
Ronnie Agnew, Executive Director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting, has been elected Chairman; Roy Clem, Executive Director of Alabama Public Television, has been elected as the Professional Vice Chair; and Carol Kellermann, Lay Trustee, Thirteen/WNET in New York, has been elected as Lay Vice Chair.
The following trustees were re-elected to the APTS board: Deb Acklin, President and Chief Executive Officer, WQED Multimedia, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Mendy Elliott, Chair, KNPB Public Broadcasting, Reno, Nevada; Kliff Kuehl, President and Chief Executive Officer, KCPT, Kansas City, Missouri; Bert Schmidt, President and Chief Executive Officer, WHRO, Norfolk, Virginia; and Gail Sterman, Lay Trustee, WJCT, Jacksonville, Florida.
The newly-elected trustees are: Ruby Calvert, Lay Delegate, Wyoming PBS, Riverton, Wyoming; Kathy Rae, Lay Delegate, KPBS, San Diego, California; and Andrew Russell, President & CEO, PBS SoCal, Los Angeles, California.
Following is background on the newly-elected board officers:
Ronnie Agnew joined Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) in August 2011 as the agency’s executive director after a career in the newspaper industry spanning nearly three decades. At MPB, a state licensee, Agnew has oversight of radio and television programming and the agency’s legislative, education and digital initiatives. Agnew has brought a sense of mission to MPB that has led to strong legislative support and an aggressive schedule of new initiatives, including more than 20 hours of local radio programming each week, several new television productions and an expanded news department. MPB’s education department has broadened its reach as well, implementing Ready To Learn, American Graduate and Between the Lions curricula into school districts throughout Mississippi. Before joining MPB, Agnew served as executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger, the state’s largest newspaper. Under his leadership, The Clarion-Ledger won dozens of awards for investigative reporting and was among the Gannett Co. Inc.’s most decorated newspapers nationally for coverage of civil rights issues.
Roy Clem was selected to be the Executive Director for the statewide Alabama Public Television (APT) network in 2012. During his tenure, the APT team has received numerous prestigious Regional and National Awards for their commitment to education, public safety, civic leadership and public service, including two Alabama Legislature Joint Resolutions honoring APT’s service to the state, the National Broadcasters Association Educational Foundation’s 2016 Service to Children Award for Television, and the 2016 Edward R. Murrow Award for Best News Documentary in a major market, for the APT production “Jeremiah,” which chronicles Jeremiah Denton’s service in the Vietnam War, experience as a POW and journey to becoming one of Alabama’s U.S. Senators. Roy Clem started his broadcast news career in 1973 at Denver’s KDEN radio station working as a street reporter. In 1974, Clem joined the Denver Police Department (DPD) where he served as a patrol officer, academy supervisor and detective sergeant. In 1986, Clem returned to television broadcast journalism. In his 36-year career as a broadcasting executive, Clem has served as a journalist, anchor, news director and general manager.
Carol Kellermann is President of the Citizens Budget Commission. She has over 25 years of experience in leadership positions in nonprofit, philanthropic and government settings. Kellermann has served as Interim Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers and PENCIL, Inc., and as a consultant to City University of New York (CUNY), where she initiated a pilot program to improve graduation rates and job outcomes at CUNY’s six community colleges. As Executive Director and CEO of the September 11 Fund, Kellermann oversaw the $500+ million charitable fund, which provided grants and assistance for the short and long term needs of victims of the September 11th attacks. Prior to that, she was Executive Director of Learning Leaders, the oldest and largest volunteer program in the New York City public schools. Kellermann has been Chief of Staff to then Congressman Charles E. Schumer and held various executive positions in New York City government, including Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Finance.
Following is background on the newly-elected board members:
Ruby Calvert retired from Wyoming PBS in August, 2015, where she served as the General Manager of the station and the President of the Wyoming PBS Foundation (2006-2016). Prior to becoming General Manager, she was the Director of Programming for 24 years, and also supervised the departments of production, promotion, and education services, leading the production team to produce the station’s signature series Main Street, Wyoming in 1990. This series continues today – and has archived 225 programs on the history and culture of Wyoming. Calvert also served as the Executive Producer for several documentaries which were distributed nationally, and produced more than 100 local public affairs programs and election debates. She also supervised the education initiatives Teacherline and Ready To Learn, serving on their national advisory boards.
While working as the General Manager, Calvert handled all governmental affairs efforts for the station and was successful in working with Wyoming governors and the State legislature to acquire three additional staff positions (2007), a $1.5 million endowment grant for station production (2008), $1 million grant to upgrade the station production truck to high definition (2009-10), and a grant to produce online Native American education modules for Wyoming schools (2014). She received the National Advocacy Award from APTS in 2013 for her work with the Wyoming Congressional delegation.
Calvert served two terms on the national PBS Board (2008-2014), where she was also on these committees: Station Services, Interconnection, National Policy Advisory and Station Diversity. She was appointed by Governor Geringer to serve on the Wyoming State Board of Education (2000-2006), and chaired the Board for two years.
Kathy Rae currently lives in San Diego, California since retiring four years ago after 28 years in public broadcasting. Shortly after moving west, she volunteered her services to KPBS and has served as a KPBS representative on APTS’s Leadership Council for the last three years and a member of the station’s Producers Club. As a resident of the “North County,” Rae is involved with several community organizations, including Hand to Hand, a fund of the Coastal Community Foundation. Hand to Hand is a philanthropic group of women that seek to make an impact on the lives of women and girls in San Diego County by directing resources to programs that empower change and self-sufficiency. She currently serves as the Chair of Hand to Hand’s Grants making Committee.
Rae is the former Director of Government Affairs for Thirteen/WNET New York. In that capacity, she served as the liaison with elected officials at the city, State and federal government levels on a range of issues of concern to public broadcasting, including funding support, educational and cultural initiatives, and telecommunications issues. She drafted the proposal submitted to the State of New Jersey at the State’s request that enabled New Jersey’s public television services to continue under the aegis of WNET and its new subsidiary, NJTV. The contract for services negotiated at that time was recently renewed for another 5 year term. Rae is the recipient of the APTS’s Grassroots Advocacy Award in 2000 and its National Advocacy Award in 2012.
Prior to assuming responsibility for WNET’s Government Affairs in 1997, Rae served as WNET’s Director of Educational Technology. In that capacity she helped develop a number of new initiatives including WNET’s Kravis Educational Multimedia Center that was launched in 1992. From 1984 to 1991, she served as WNET’s Director of New Jersey Operations and was instrumental in the development of several major prime time programs including William J. Brennan, Justice for All, a recipient of the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award.
Andrew “Andy” Russell is President and CEO of PBS SoCal, which serves 18 million people in Southern California. Russell, a nationally recognized leader in public media, has led the transformation of KOCE into PBS SoCal to serve its new role as the home for PBS for Los Angeles and the Southern California region.
At the helm of PBS SoCal, Russell has driven rapid growth at the station, doubling its revenues, tripling the station’s membership, and opening new offices in Downtown LA and Century City. He increased PBS SoCal’s content partnerships and distribution, expanded its education and community services, and forged new partnerships with major Southern California education, arts and cultural institutions. In his role, Russell has led PBS SoCal to make particularly strong commitments to the education of children, arts and culture, diversity, and to the use of new digital platforms to deliver PBS SoCal’s programs to Southern California.
Before joining PBS SoCal in 2013, Russell held executive leadership positions at PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and led many of public media’s hallmark initiatives for nearly 25 years. Russell is credited with leading the creation of PBS’ renowned Ready To Learn service for pre‐school children, helping to re‐shape PBS’ primetime strategy and significantly growing PBS revenues as the leader of PBS Ventures.
Russell is also recognized for driving innovation in media. He led the creation of PBS Distribution for digital and home video platforms, launched PBS’ mobile business, and helped to build partnerships with tech and digital giants like Google, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix and Apple. He served in roles at Accenture and PwC, developing strategy for major companies in the media, communications, and high‐tech industries.
America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization ensuring a strong and financially sound public television system that provides essential public services in education, public safety and civic leadership to the American people. For more information, visit www.apts.org.