2013 Community Ascertainment

Focuses On Local Nonprofit Organizations

The 2013 Community Ascertainment, sponsored by the Greater Wilmington Radio Association (GWRA), was held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 1 at the Goodstay Center, left, on the Wilmington campus of the University of Delaware.  This was the fifth such Ascertainment sponsored by GWRA since 2004; the previous ones were held in September 2006, October 2008 and February 2011.
The purpose of the event was to provide broadcasters an opportunity to ascertain from civic leaders important information that would assist them in developing programming and other initiatives that respond to community needs.  This valuable input will become the basis for public affairs programming and public service announcements, special news coverage, editorials or other content, and for station-sponsored community events.
The invitation list was comprised of 71 representatives from state and local government, as well as nonprofits based in the Greater Wilmington area.  In the end, 16 individuals participated.  Each spoke informally, or from prepared notes, for approximately 5 to 10 minutes; then took questions from the representatives of the radio stations in attendance.
At right is Pam Cornforth, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware.  She told broadcasters that the Ronald McDonald House, provides a “home away from home” for families of seriously or chronically ill or injured children receiving treatment at area hospitals by offering nurturing and supportive environments where families can stay together and find comfort.  She also said that the House has a list of supplies it needs.  (Download a copy by clicking here.)
Other speakers included Sgt. Paul G. Shavack, left, director of public information, Delaware State Police; Kathryn McKenzie, CEO and president, Cancer Support Community Delaware; Laurie E. Bick, director of public relations, Wilmington University; Newark Mayor Vance A. Funk III; Chuck Tarver, interim executive director, and Alison Keeling, marketing and communications director, National Alliance on Mental Illness – Delaware; Jill MacKenzie, director, External Affairs and Development, Hagley Museum and Library; Sarah Willoughby, CTP, CTIS, executive director, Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau; Pamela Sapko, executive director, Delaware Center For Horticulture; Verna N. Hensley, vice president of public affairs, Easter Seals Delaware and Maryland's Eastern Shore; Richelle A. Vible, executive director, Catholic Charities; Jennifer Acord, communications and advocacy manager, Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Council; Christopher Grundner, president and chief executive officer, Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement; Mark B. Thompson, external affairs director, Medical Society of Delaware; and Wendy Lapham, public information officer, Christina School District.  Scott W. Loehr, chief executive officer, Delaware Historical Society, and Seth J. Katzen, chief executive officer, Jewish Federation of Delaware, were unable to attend, but submitted written statements.
Phil Feliceangeli, Dave Mackenzie and Gina Poletti, left, were among those representing area radio stations at the Ascertainment.  Feliceangeli is news director for WDSD-FM, WILM-AM, WWTX-AM, WRDX-FM and WDOV-AM; Mackenzie is chief engineer at the University of Delaware's WVUD-FM; and Poletti is a copywriter and public affairs director at WDEL-AM/WSTW-FM.

Other participants included Bob Bloom, general manager, WXCY-FM; Chris Carl, director of news & programming, WDEL-AM; Amy Cherry, assistant news director, WDEL-AM; Bruce Elliott, program director, WDSD-FM, WILM-AM, WWTX-AM, WRDX-FM and WDOV-AM; Eric Fendt, digital content & promotions director, WDSD-FM, WILM-AM, WWTX-AM, WRDX-FM and WDOV-AM; Robert Johnson, news director, KISS-FM; Peter MacArthur, morning news anchor, WDEL-AM; Charlie Maxx, program director, WJBR-FM; Warren Orey, sales manager, WXCY-FM; and Dan Sultzbach, vice president/general manager, WJBR-FM.

Jill MacKenzie, Hagley Museum and Library, explains that Hagley collects, preserves, and interprets the history of American enterprise.  Located on 235 acres along the banks of the Brandywine in Wilmington, Hagley is the site of the gunpowder works founded by E. I. du Pont in 1802.
Chris Carl asks a question of one of the participants.  Amy Cherry is seated at Carl's right.
Chuck Tarver and Alison Keeling spoke about NAMI Delaware, a statewide organization of families, mental health consumers, friends, and professionals dedicated to improving the quality of life for those affected by brain diseases such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression.  The shoe represents NAMI's annual fundraiser, Stomp Out Stigma.
Bruce Elliott, Dave Mackenzie, Charlie Maxx and Bob Bloom listen as speakers discuss the goals of their organizations and how radio can help promote them.
Photos by Nick Lemesh