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Vice President of Membership Mary Kay Phelps Brings Constituency-Building and Fundraising Expertise To WETA

Washington, D.C. — Mary Kay Phelps will join WETA as vice president of membership on July 23, as announced today by Joseph B. Bruns, executive vice president and chief operating officer of WETA. Phelps comes to the organization with more than 20 years of experience in fundraising and constituency building. Most recently, Phelps served as senior vice president of Development Resources, inc. (DRi), where she provided marketing and fundraising counsel to nonprofits, corporations and foundations.

“Mary Kay’s successes, both as a consultant for nonprofit organizations and as a fundraising executive of national organizations, demonstrate her dynamic sense of mission and leadership,” said Bruns. “We welcome Mary Kay to the WETA family and look forward to her contributions to our management team.”

Phelps will manage annual fundraising efforts in support of WETA TV 26, Classical WETA 90.9 FM and other WETA programs and services. Member acquisition activities under her management will involve direct mail, on-air and online marketing. Through renewals and other activities, she will further strengthen connections with WETA’s membership.

Phelps’ extensive fundraising experience includes three years at Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, where she was vice president of communications, marketing and development. During her tenure, fundraising revenues grew by 40 percent, and the organization’s impressive rankings in notable business and nonprofit publications demonstrated a significant increase in public awareness and support of the foundation’s brand and mission.

Prior to that position, Phelps served as senior director of direct response fundraising and planned giving at the national headquarters of the American Red Cross. Working for the organization from 1996 to 2001 in a variety of fundraising positions, she managed activities related to direct marketing, cause marketing, planned giving and gift fulfillment. She was the lead strategist for all online fundraising; targeted marketing programs; and for 1-800-HELP-NOW, the American Red Cross services line for financial donations.

Phelps’ early career included nine years at Craver, Mathews, Smith & Company, a premier direct response consulting agency for nonprofits. While there, she rose to a senior management position, conceptualizing and executing member acquisition and donor development programs for various national accounts such as TransAfrica, National Wildlife Federation, American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Phelps earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the College of William and Mary.

WETA TV 26 and Classical WETA 90.9 FM are public broadcasting stations serving Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia with educational, cultural and public affairs programming and related services. WETA is the third-largest producing station for the public television system and the flagship public broadcaster in the nation’s capital. WETA’s latest television co-production is "THE WAR," a Ken Burns film premiering nationwide Sunday, September 23. Other productions and co-productions include "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," "Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal," the "In Performance at the White House" series, and films by Ken Burns such as "The Civil War" and "JAZZ." For more information about WETA and its services, visit Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO of WETA.


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