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Rhode Island PBS Puts a New Face on Fund RaisingMolly Garrison

September 2013 - WSBE President David W. Piccerelli announced the recent hiring of Molly H. Garrison as the director of development and external affairs for the station. In her role at Rhode Island PBS, Ms. Garrison will steward a comprehensive strategic fund raising plan, with an emphasis on major and planned gifts.

 “We’re delighted to welcome Molly to our team of development professionals,” Piccerelli said. “Her enthusiasm coupled with her impressive credentials are just what the station needs during this critical transition from state ownership to becoming a community licensee. Molly brings a fresh perspective, and fills a missing piece on our fund raising team.”

Most recently in community relations and the chief of staff in the office of the president at Rhode Island School of Design, Ms. Garrison served at RISD since 2009 in gift planning and trustee relations. Before RISD, Ms. Garrison was director of leadership gifts at The Wheeler School, and director of annual giving at Worcester Academy.

A graduate of New York’s Union College, the Pawtucket resident is a member of Leadership Rhode Island Zeta II class of 2010, and a member of The Square Pegs and the Women’s Fund.

In a recent interview, Ms. Garrison said she is so pleased to be part of Rhode Island PBS, recognizing it is “a trusted community resource that is locally governed, locally programmed, and locally staffed.”

 Ms. Garrison finds the rapidly changing media environment is making public broadcasting more and more vital as a wellspring of children’s and educational programming, public affairs, music, and arts and culture.

“With so many choices out there for media consumers, it takes special discernment to cut through the clutter to find quality information,” Ms. Garrison said. “PBS as a national brand and Rhode Island PBS in particular are trusted to provide relevant content designed to enhance the quality of life of our local community,” she noted.

Ms. Garrison said she plans to expand the station’s base of support by exploring additional ways for Rhode Island PBS to be meaningfully engaged in the community.”I look forward to getting to know our many financial supporters to thank them for providing a place to watch the unique stories of our region,” she added.


Rhode Island PBS Selects David W. Piccerelli President and CEORhode Island PBS President and CEO, David W. Piccerelli

November 2010 - David W. Piccerelli of Barrington, RI, has been named president and chief executive officer of WSBE Rhode Island PBS, the state's only public television station. Michael B. Isaacs, chairperson of the Rhode Island Public Telecommunications Authority (RIPTA), made the announcement after the board voted to approve Piccerelli's selection at its meeting on November 18. The Authority is the governing body that owns and operates WSBE and holds the broadcast license for its two channels: Rhode Island PBS (digital 36.1) and Learn (36.2).

"The board's unanimous decision demonstrates our confidence in David's leadership," Isaacs said. "David has the right combination of management skill and business acumen, as well as a clear appreciation and enthusiasm for the station's mission. It's that balance of qualities that impressed the board, and will serve the station's best interests now and into the future."

Mr. Piccerelli joined WSBE in 1998, and was promoted to vice-president and chief financial officer in 2003. He has been serving as acting president since March, when the station's former president, Robert Fish, left the position on extended medical leave. Mr. Fish passed away in July.

"I am honored to have been chosen," said Piccerelli. "My two predecessors were local broadcasting legends, who left indelible marks on the station," he said, referring to Susan L. Farmer, WSBE's president for 17 years, and Bob Fish, who was a commercial radio and television executive before joining the station in 2005.

"The broadcast media landscape continues to change rapidly," observes Piccerelli, who shepherded the station's complex multi-year $3.8 million conversion from analog to full digital broadcasting in 2009. "WSBE has been Rhode Island's source for educational media for 43 years. But it's not just about great television anymore. It's about expanding the traditional definition of education and moving existing programs and services in new directions - on-air, online, and in the community."

Piccerelli said the station's greatest limitation has only ever been financial, not a lack of innovative ideas and talent among the staff. "We've faced many obstacles and challenges over the years, and have always emerged stronger and better than before. I see enormous opportunity for expanding educational media on various platforms. I'm excited to lead WSBE into this developing frontier, while preserving our distinctly local identity," Piccerelli said.

A Rhode Island native and Barrington resident, David W. Piccerelli holds a BS in Accounting from Bryant University. Mr. Piccerelli serves on a number of professional public broadcasting committees and associations. Prior to joining WSBE, Mr. Piccerelli was vice president and manager of the mergers and acquisitions division at Centerbank in Waterbury, Connecticut. His previous position was vice president and corporate secretary at Capital Strategies Group, Inc., in Providence.

Mr. Piccerelli is also an avid golfer, and serves as treasurer on the board of the Brad Faxon Junior Golf Foundation, and president of Rhode Island Country Club.

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