WSIU-TV's Renee Dillard Wins Award

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WSIU-TV Staff Member Wins National Award

September 09, 2014

WSIU Public Broadcasting, a service ofSouthern Illinois University, is pleased to announce that long-time staff member Renee Ferrell Dillard, Director of Marketing and Corporate Support, has been named the 2014 Development Professional of the Year by the Public Radio Association of Development Officers (PRADO).

Dillard, who has worked for the WSIU stations since 1992, was presented with the award at the 2014 Public Media Development and Market Conference (PMDMC) held in Denver, Colorado in July. Sponsored by Greater Public, a non-profit organization offering development and marketing expertise to public media stations, the PMDMC is public media's largest annual conference devoted to revenue generation, marketing, and management.

The PRADO Development Professional of the Year Award is presented to a station-based individual who has demonstrated excellence at his or her public media station.

Dillard assumed responsibility for WSIU's overall development and corporate support activities in 2004 and was named Director of Marketing and Corporate Support in 2010. She oversees all business and community relations partnerships for the WSIU stations. Since 2005, Dillard has increased WSIU's corporate support revenue from $165,000 to nearly $600,000 per year, setting new records at WSIU in each of the past eight years and significantly outpacing partnership levels from similar markets around the country. This has brought the stations to nearly two-thirds of the long-term goal for partnership revenue, which is critically needed in combination with gifts from individual viewers and listeners and the support received from state and federal sources.

“I am consistently surprised by Renee's goals for corporate support, which are always stretch goals,” said Greg Petrowich, Executive Director of WSIU Public Broadcasting. “After working with her now for five years, I am no longer surprised when she reaches those goals. Her success is grounded in detailed research, sound choices in prospective partners, and a customer-first focus.”

Dillard is quick to credit WSIU co-workers for these accomplishments, noting that key staff members provide crucial input and resources. “Ellen Carlson, Assistant Director of Corporate Support, has been a terrific addition,” said Dillard. “Virtually every staff member at WSIU helps with some part of this process, and it is this team that's made it possible to innovate every aspect of how we engage our business partners. I can't imagine a brighter or more dedicated group than we have at WSIU.”

Dillard also notes the generosity of WSIU's corporate sponsors, who not only recognize public media's value as a vital community resource, but also are willing to support it financially. "The ability to work directly with such a diverse group of business leaders is my favorite part of this job,” said Dillard. “Our sponsors and underwriters are an incredibly accomplished bunch, whether they be national corporations or local family businesses -- all are smart, innovative, creative people and genuinely appreciative of what public radio and television bring to this region and to them personally. I can tell you that when our underwriters use the phrase 'proud to support WSIU', they really mean it."

In addition to her position at WSIU, Dillard has been invited to regional and national conferences to share her analytical approach and strategic planning process, and she works closely with other Illinois stations on collaborations for public media.