WBA Foundation Chair: Foundation ‘well positioned’

In the News
David Sanks

I am pleased to have the honor of serving as Chair of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation (WBAF). Foundation President and CEO, Michelle Vetterkind, provides outstanding leadership for the WBAF. I am happy to report that your Foundation is well positioned to be a strong partner with the WBA during 2019.

Communication with the WBA membership and the WBA board remain consistent and effective through Foundation reports in the WBA newsletter and WBAF reports presented at WBA Board and Executive Committee meetings. As Foundation Chair, my attendance at these meetings provides an excellent opportunity for WBA board members to provide direct feedback and guidance regarding the Foundation’s core activities of fundraising, public affairs, education, and historic preservation. The WBA and WBAF joint board meeting that is held each year prior to the start of the summer convention provides the members of both boards the opportunity to communicate directly with one another. 

Rick Jowett Fellowship

We are delighted that the first Rick Jowett Fellowship was awarded by the Foundation to Travis Judell in June this year. Travis is a photographer for WXOW in La Crosse/Eau Claire. The Fellowship supports training for photojournalists and honors the late WBA photographer and dear friend Rick Jowett.

Hall of Fame Ring

The WBA Foundation Board approved offering Hall of Fame members and new Hall of Fame inductees the opportunity to purchase a commemorative HOF ring. Rings are available in designs for men and women. A necklace pendant is also available. This offering serves as a fundraiser for the Foundation. The purchase price includes an amount that is donated to the Foundation.

The Walker Broadcast Management Institute was sold out again this year! This is the second sellout in as many years. The Institute was moved from May to April in 2016 so minimize conflict with the May Nielsen television sweeps. This change has proven highly successful for the three day event and the enrollment is open now for the April 2-4, 2019 sessions. The Institute has awarded graduate certificates to 143 broadcast managers.


Your WBA Foundation produced one gubernatorial and one U.S. Senate debate this year. Both debates were broadcast statewide. The Senate debate was held in the studios of WSAW in Wausau on Oct. 13. The gubernatorial debate was televised on Oct. 19 from the studios of WMTV NBC15 in Madison. The format for the Foundation sponsored debates continues to serve the debate planning and producing processes efficiently. The engagement of our member stations to work together and share responsibilities for the production and telecasting of the debates has proven to be an effective approach for the WBA and the Foundation.


Please continue to monitor and contribute to the WBANewsroom.com. The site is a wonderful resource for members, students and, others who are practicing or interested in journalism and its role in keeping Wisconsin citizens informed. It is a great place for stations to share stories and events that enrich the communities they serve.

Please review “Your WBA Serving You” on the WBA website or in the newsletter to read more about what your WBA Foundation supports annually.


The Foundation remains strong under the direction of Michelle Vetterkind. We are seeking opportunities to extend our support of Association initiatives that will increase the visibility of the contributions and role that broadcasters make and have in the State of Wisconsin. We need your financial support so that we can continue to help establish a lasting legacy for our Association and its members. As a part of your financial planning, please consider a contribution to the WBA Foundation and/or becoming a member of the Foundation Legacy Club. All levels of giving are needed and are beneficial to our mission. Please contact the WBA for information about how to make your contribution with a check or your credit card.


David Sanks
Wisconsin Broadcaster Association Foundation