PTMMG Emerging Leaders Program
The PTMMG Emerging Leaders Program will provide mentorship for five up-and-coming staff members currently working at PTMMG stations. Each PTMMG GM, or their designated alternate, has nominated one person from their station. Those who have been chosen will participate for a year at PTMMG in-person meetings (3x/year), including the member dinner, and monthly phone calls. They will also participate in an annual hosted PTMMG dinner at a national conference and have engagement with PTMMG GMs via conference call, if not in person (depending on where each person lives). Participants will work with Deanna to help plan/present a session at a PTMMG meeting for the experience of sharing their knowledge and presenting in front of a group.
Laura Brandt, DPTV, Director of Operations
Laura Brandt is process, team, and deadline driven in her approach as Director of Operations at Detroit Public Television (DPTV) where she oversees local production, technical operations, digital platforms, and DPTV’s local content bureaus (One Detroit and Great Lakes Now).
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Brandt began her career at DPTV in 2006 as an intern, advancing from a coordinator to her most recent position. At DPTV, she has worked in multiple capacities for the organization including underwriting, promotions, and production.
Brandt’s accomplishments include leading the development of the station’s web streaming production format, combining new and traditional media into a new digital platform for programming. She helped launch the successful Live from Orchestra Hallwebcast series in partnership with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra producing over 100 live concerts; DPTV’s MackinacPolicy Conference coverage for eight consecutive years; Detroit Performs Liveannual concert event; and the PBS Books initiative leading on more than 15 live events across the country reaching more than 10 million total viewers across all platforms.
In 2015, Brandt was recognized as University of Michigan-Dearborn Mentor of the Year for her contributions to the internship program. She has also received seven Michigan Association of Broadcast Awards.
Megan Grisolano, KETC, Business Development Manager
Megan Grisolano is the business development manager at the Nine Network of Public Media (KETC) in St. Louis, Missouri. She manages new business opportunities, optimizes the development team’s usage of Salesforce to increase efficiency, and collaborates with cross-departmental teams to track 63 organizational metrics and 51 qualitative checklist items. These metrics and checklist items measure progress toward achieving quarterly goals and milestones linked to each tactic in the organization’s strategic plan. Megan works with team members to share quarterly learnings for each metric and checklist item, thereby fostering organizational learning around successes and shortcomings alike.
Megan facilitated the development of Nine Network’s three-year strategic plan, coordinating the involvement of the board, staff, community members, and industry thought leaders over a nine-month period. She then wrote the plan given input from these stakeholders.
Since her college days working on Vanderbilt University Television, Megan has had an interest in media and content development. She worked as televised auction co-coordiantor at WCTE in her hometown of Cookeville, Tennessee. Later during graduate school, Megan interned at WTTW in Chicago for Geoffrey Baer’s “Ask Geoffrey” segment on Chicago Tonight.
Given Megan’s interest in content development and the Nine Network’s strategic efforts to produce more digital-first content adhering to the best practices of each digital platform, Megan began producing Pieces, an original digital series on the stories of local artists (http://www.ninenet.org/Pieces/).
Megan studied Spanish and Portuguese in college and spent two years teaching English in Madrid, Spain, with two Fulbright grants, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
Megan received her MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with a high honors distinction and concentrations in Strategic Management, Managerial and Organizational Behavior, and Economics. She graduated top of her class at Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Economics and Spanish and minoring in Managerial Studies.
Danna Luo, RMPBS, CFO
As the Chief Financial Officer of Rocky Mountain Public Media (RMPM), Danna Luo oversees all financial and accounting aspects for Rocky Mountain PBS and KUVO Jazz. She came to RMPM with 10 years of experience in not-for-profit accounting having served in several notable arts & cultural organizations in Denver and surrounding areas. Prior to RMPM, Danna was the Director of Finance for the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities where she led the Center’s financial and accounting transition from city leadership to private not-for-profit governance. Danna has her MBA and MS Accounting from the University of Colorado – Denver. As RMPM’s Chief Financial Officer, she enjoys fulfilling its mission of strengthening the civic fabric of Colorado and serving the public media audiences of Colorado.
Kerry O’Keefe, KCTS 9, Director of Philanthropy
Kerry P. O’Keefe, has spent the last 19 years in the non-profit sector in the Seattle area. Kerry is currently the Director of Philanthropy for Cascade Public Media, home to KCTS 9, Seattle’s local PBS station, serving 2.3 million viewers a week in Washington and British Columbia and Crosscut.com, a non-profit news site that focuses on in-depth, public interest journalism. There she is responsible for all of the philanthropic aspects of the organization, including Membership, Major Gifts, Grants, Planned Giving and Donor and Audience Relations. She spent a large portion of her career in the Arts, working for the nationally recognized 5thAvenue Theater, a non-profit musical theatre company in Seattle. In addition, she has spent time in the Healthcare sector working for Evergreen Healthcare Foundation and Highline Medical Center Foundation as well as in the Education sector, working for Seattle Central Community College Foundation.
Kerry is a sports buff who loves her Zags, roots for Notre Dame Football and is a die-hard Seahawks fan. In her spare time, she loves to be outdoors, walking, hiking, camping and enjoying all aspects of the Pacific Northwest.
Kate Pearson, MPT, Managing Director, Programming
Kate Pearson joined Maryland Public Television in 2016 as Managing Director of the station’s Programming Department. Kate oversees national and outside acquisitions and programming for MPT as well as for the station’s secondary channel, MPT2. Ms. Pearson has more than 20 years’ experience in programming and acquisitions in domestic and international cable television. She was most recently SVP of Programming and Acquisitions at the Emmy® Award-winning Documentary Channel, and earlier spent years at HBO Latin America where she sourced and acquired content for their six premium digiplex channels. Kate’s production background includes producing several feature-length documentaries, live sports and awards shows at Turner, and conducting interviews for “Doc Talk,” an original series focusing on documentary filmmakers. Kate has served on numerous film festival juries and panels and has participated in forums and pitch sessions at IDFA, AFI Docs and Hot Docs. She began her television career at CNN Headline News as a video journalist. Ms. Pearson is an alumna of Emory University and earned a master’s degree in Spanish from Middlebury College’s program in Spain. She is currently serving on the PTPA Executive Committee, the PBS Programming Advisory Committee, and is a member of Women in Film and Television. She is honored to be part of the inaugural class of the Public Television Major Market Group’s Emerging Leaders Program.