For release on January 16th, 2024
WTVP ANNOUNCES PIVOT STRATEGY WITH BOARD APPOINTMENTS
AND FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS TO STRENGTHEN WTVP.
At a meeting of the Illinois Valley Public Telecommunications Corporation (“WTVP”) on January 16, 2024, the Board of Directors approved first steps in its pivot strategy to meet the mission of WTVP.
This pivot strategy includes the recruitment of additional local leadership and strengthening WTVP’s finances with local philanthropic commitments.
To further these strategic goals, the Board of Directors elects the following individuals to its Board of Directors:
- John Wieland
- Dr. Andy Chiou
- Pastor MartinJohnson
- Daysha Warr
- Dan Pearson
- Heather Acerra
- Win Stoller
- Rick Lavender
In addition, effective, February 13, 2024 WTVP accepts the voluntary withdraw of Board Members Cannon, Day, Hendrickson, Rand, Ruckriegel, Campbell, Morris, Shipley, Herbstreith, Spain, and Synder. These withdraws from the Board are accepted, in part, to further the strategic goal of increasing opportunities for volunteer board members.
At Mr. Rand’s request, the Board of Directors has received his voluntary withdrawal from office and the Board and has elected John Wieland as Chairman, effective January 16th, 2024. Over the course of the coming weeks, WTVP intends to recruit additional board members.
Mr. Wieland is the CEO of MH Equipment. Founding in 1952, MH Equipment has grown from a small company of 50 employees into an organization composed of multiple dealerships with over 1,000 employees and 36 locations throughout Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
In addition to local leadership, WTVP announces it has secured minimum philanthropic commitments of over $1,000,000, available over a three-year period, and contingent on WTVP meeting certain benchmarks. More details will be announced at the appropriate time.
In remarks to the Board of Directors, Mr. Rand stated, “WTVP’s mission to enrich our community through the use of public media remains vital to Central Illinois. With additional local board members, increased commitment of philanthropic resources to WTVP, and the executive background and community minded service of Mr. Wieland, I am confident that WTVP will continue to be the premier source for education, scientific, entertainment, and cultural content. We are grateful to be partnering with Mr. Wieland, the additional Board Members, and thankful for their commitment to WTVP at this incredibly important time. Through this period of transition, the WTVP management and staff has been laser focused on delivering on WTVP’s mission and we thank them for their efforts to meet the moment and deliver this important community service to WTVP’s members and viewers. I also extend my gratitude to the WTVP volunteer board members who, in furtherance of this pivot strategy, dutifully focused on WTVP’s mission as their first priority and creating opportunities for increased community board engagement.”
Mr. Wieland addressed the board and shared, “A lot has happened tonight in just a few minutes. Yesterday, the short-term viability of WTVP was in serious doubt. Today, that doubt is removed thanks to Chairman Rand and the board. Unfortunately, misuse of funds can happen to any organization and WTVP was no exception. Once the misuse was identified Chairman Rand and board took the appropriate steps, but much of the damage had been done. In the best interest of our communities and WTVP Chairman Rand and the board decided there needed to be a pivot. They found and negotiated a path forward that not only puts WTVP back on solid financial footing but also provides our communities with a refreshed board. This would not have happened without the effort of this board. I want to thank Chairman Rand and the board for their professionalism and effort to restore any trust lost from our communities over the last few months.
Everyone has been working closely with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to restore grant funding which was put on pause. Based on personal conversations with PBS, Andrew and I feel very confident that with the actions taken, we will be back in good standing and receiving grant funding very soon. Going forward, the board will complete the search for a new CEO, make some minor changes to the bylaws, that our attorneys feel will be beneficial, and continue to provide outstanding local and national content.
The bio’s of the new board members will be on the WTVP website tomorrow. Great efforts were taken to get a cross section from Peoria, Bloomington/Normal, Galesburg, and entire WTVP area. We want the board to reflect all of our communities.
Now, as mentioned previously, our station will receive an influx of money from several donors to restore any shortfall experienced over the last few years. The only thing we need from our community is to continue to support the station in the manner you have done historically. We are not asking people to give more than you have previously done, just, please, return to the faithful support the station has enjoyed over the years. Understandably, the initial response to our annual renewal request in early December has not been robust. We are going to send another request in the near future, and we ask that you would be part of this new season in the life of WTVP. We look forward to our future, serving our communities with a fresh spirit, and creating and broadcasting great content that educates, informs, entertains, and inspires families across central Illinois.”