Following a national search, the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) announced July 6 that it has chosen WGVU (Grand Rapids) Public Media’s Tim Eernisse to be its first education vice president. Eernisse will be at the forefront of actualizing NETA’s strategic plan to amplify public media’s education role, overseeing the association’s education services and professional development activities, including the annual NETA conference this coming January in Salt Lake City. He begins work at NETA’s headquarters in early August.
Eernisse spent the last 12 years as director of development and marketing at WGVU, a service of Grand Valley State University. He developed many successful collaborations for the university licensee, both locally and nationally, including WGVU Engage, a group of more than 600 volunteers to support the station’s community engagement initiatives in inclusion, health, arts, veterans and education. The U.S. Air Force veteran and self-described “first generation PBS Kid” is already known to many in the public media system as a valued colleague on numerous working groups and advisory councils dealing with community engagement, early childhood education development, revenue innovation and communications.
Eernisse said, “I believe education is the foundational cornerstone of the services that PBS, NPR and public television stations provide to our communities. I am honored and humbled to join the NETA team and look forward to working together to make a difference in support of that educational mission.”
NETA president Eric Hyyppa said, “Tim brings a passion for the mission of public media, a service based leadership philosophy, a demonstrated creative and entrepreneurial streak and a station-centric perspective.” He added, “I am excited to have him as a partner. I am confident in his ability to lead NETA, our member stations, and our public media system forward.”
The National Educational Telecommunications Association is a public media pioneer, originally incorporated in 1967. The member organization is based in Columbia, S.C. It serves public television licensees and educational entities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands by providing quality program content from diverse sources, educational resources, professional development, management support and national representation.