WASHINGTON — February 25, 2013 — The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) today presented the David J. Brugger Grassroots Advocacy Award to Jo Ellen Chatham for her outstanding work as a lay leader and advocate in the public broadcasting system, as well as serving as co-chair of the PBS SoCal board of trustees.
The APTS board of trustees created the David J. Brugger Grassroots Advocacy Award in honor of its former president and CEO, David Brugger, who worked tirelessly to recognize the tremendous contribution of grassroots advocates to the system.
“We are delighted to present Jo Ellen Chatham with this year’s Brugger Award,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “Jo Ellen was an extraordinarily effective advocate during last year’s election season. We are very grateful for her tireless work meeting with members of Congress, as a member of the APTS Leadership Council and as a national lay leader for the public broadcasting system.”
Chatham is the co-chair of the PBS SoCal (KOCE) board of trustees, which owns and operates PBS SoCal, the second most-viewed of 347 PBS stations in the United States. She is also the strategic planning manager for local public affairs for the Southern California Edison Company. Chatham is a member of the board of directors of the Pacific Symphony and a member of the Leadership Council for the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California at Irvine.
In recent years, Chatham has served as an officer of numerous community organizations, including the Orange County Business Council, California State Bar Association, CleanTech OC, the Orange County Forum, the Orange County Taxpayers Association, the World Affairs Council and the Orange County Red Cross. She has been a member of the Board of Visitors for the Chapman University School of Law and the Commission on the Status of Women.
For 15 years, Chatham served as the first vice chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County and is first vice chairman emeritus. She has chaired the Education Committee, Speakers’ Bureau and the Political Education Committee for the California Republican Party (CRP) and continues to be a delegate to the CRP.
“Supporting the unique educational, cultural and public affairs mission of public broadcasting has become a major part of my life,” said Chatham. “This extraordinary private-public partnership continues to narrow the education gap between under-served young people and their peers; provide front-row seats to the great orchestras and stage performances to 99 percent of Americans, many of whom would not otherwise have any access at all; preserve our nation’s cultural heritage - in all of its diversity; and address important public policy issues through thoughtful and rational investigation and dialogue. It is not accidental that PBS continues to be one of the most trusted public institutions in the nation. I am deeply moved to receive this unexpected recognition.”
Butler concluded: “Public broadcasting is extremely honored to have Jo Ellen’s passionate voice speaking up in its favor. Jo Ellen’s brilliant op-ed “Republicans for ‘Big Bird’” was published on October 16, 2012 in the LA Times. The op-ed was so well written and received that it was selected as one of The Atlantic Wire’s Five Best Columns of the Day. We are proud to recognize Jo Ellen with this most deserving 2013 Brugger Award.”
The David J. Brugger Grassroots Advocacy Award was presented to Jo Ellen Chatham during The APTS Public Media Summit on Monday, February 25.
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. The mission of APTS is to conduct – in concert with member stations – advocacy, planning, research and communications activities in order to achieve strong and financially sound noncommercial television and advanced digital services for the American people. APTS provides consistent leadership and information that helps our members better accomplish their own missions and goals. Through its affiliate APTS Action, APTS promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy, and grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner congressional support. For more information, visit www.apts.org.