29 Public Media Leaders Graduate from Riley Institute’s National Diversity Program


Katie Quine
Marketing and Communications Manager
The Riley Institute at Furman University
864.294.3368; katie.quine@furman.edu



The Public Media Diversity Leaders Initiative explores opportunities and challenges related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the public media sector. 

GREENVILLE, S.C. — As public media leaders navigate how to best foster diversity and equity in their workplaces and boards while making content inclusive for a wide array of audiences, a program is providing them with tools and perspectives that they can apply in their efforts.

Twenty-nine public media professionals from across the country were part of the fourth class to graduate from the Public Media Diversity Leaders Initiative (PMDLI), a program of the Riley Institute at Furman University, on December 8. It is offered in partnership with South Carolina ETV and modeled after the Institute’s award-winning South Carolina Diversity Leaders Initiative.

Over the course of five months, participants took part in a highly interactive curriculum comprising scenario analyses and other experiential learning tools that supports public media leaders in their efforts to apply diversity, equity, and inclusion principles to behaviors, systems, and cultures within their organizations.

“Today’s heightened awareness of racial and other inequities in American institutions has magnified and accelerated organizational and stakeholder expectations that public media leaders establish diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values within their organizations,” said Anthony Padgett, president and CEO of South Carolina ETV. “Recognizing that, we are proud to partner with the Riley Institute to offer this unique virtual program to our peers from across the country.”

Graduates of PMDLI become Public Media Diversity Fellows and will help identify future program participants. Collectively, they reflect a vast public media ecosystem, representing both television and radio as well as a variety of geographic regions, audiences, affiliate organizations, and diversity dimensions. A fifth PMDLI class will start the program in February.

“The Riley Institute is proud to play a role in connecting a network of public media professionals who are committed to managing, leading, and meeting the needs of increasingly diverse workers, clients, and audiences,” said Dr. Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute. “We look forward to seeing the positive impact this program will have in communities across the country.”

Below are the graduates of the fourth PMDLI class. For more information about PMDLI, visit furman.edu/public-media-dli.

Jordan Basham
Director of Content
WKU Public Media
Bowling Green, KY

Marta Bechtol
Executive Director
Educational Communications Board (Wisconsin)
Madison, WI 

Katira Bertling
Human Resources Manager
KRCB/NorCal Public Media
Rohnert Park, CA

Shawn Black
Vice President of Finance & Administration
Oklahoma City, OK

Charice Carroll
Distance Education Specialist
Salt Lake City, UT

Charlie Chi
Sr. Financial Analyst
Los Angeles, CA

Thomas Crockett
Vice President, Policy and Governance
Arlington, VA

Megan Davey
Assistant General Manager, Business & Information
Grand Rapids, MI

Amanda Flores
Senior Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
East Lansing, MI

Jack Gibson
Arizona Public Media
Tucson, AZ

Chris Hays
Chief Content Officer
Milwaukee PBS
Milwaukee, WI

Matt Kovich
Chief Operating Officer
All Classical Portland
Portland, OR

Blake Lynch
SVP and Chief Impact Officer
Harrisburg, PA

Denita Malvern
Director of Engagement & Inclusion
Dallas, TX

Landon Masters
Chief Public Information Officer
Columbia, SC 

Michael McKenzie
Director of Programming & Public Information
Alabama Public Television
Birmingham, AL

Patty Mester
President and General Manager
Duluth, MN

Fritz Miller
Director of Programming & Communications
South Dakota Public Broadcasting
Vermillion, SD

Jamie Myers
Chief Operating Officer
Costa Mesa, CA

Heather Reese
Executive Director
Wisconsin Public Media
Madison, WI

Maria Rodillo
Executive Assistant & Board Liaison
Columbia, SC

ShaDonna Rolling
Director of Development
Indianapolis, IN

Bert Schmidt
President & CEO
WHRO Public Media
Norfolk, VA

Ling Ling Sun
Nebraska Public Media
Lincoln, NE

Tammy Terwelp
President & CEO
KUNC & The Colorado Sound
Greeley, CO

Daniel Tidwell
Station Manager/Sr. VP of Development & Marketing
Nashville Public Television
Nashville, TN

Vera Turner
Managing Director of Membership
Maryland Public Television
Owings Mills, MD

Beth Walsh
VP, System Strategies
Washington, DC

Kelton Wells
Producer of Public Affairs
PBS Utah
Salt Lake City, UT


About the Riley Institute at Furman University

Furman University’s Richard W. Riley Institute advances social and economic progress in South Carolina and beyond by building leadership for a diverse society, broadening student and community perspectives on critical issues, hosting expert speakers, supporting public education, and creating knowledge through community solutions-focused research. It is committed to nonpartisanship in all it does and to a rhetoric-free, facts-based approach to change. Learn more at furman.edu/riley.