Name: Brenda Brkusic
Peer Group: LA Area and Television Executives (hyphenate member)
New or Returning Governor? New
Describe your day job: As Sr. Director of Program Development and Executive Producer of National Productions for PBS SoCal, my job covers the whole gamut of content creation - from development and production to post production, distribution and promotion. On any given day, I am reviewing proposals for development, greenlighting shows, overseeing budgets, developing production and post production schedules, connecting with our sales team on fundraising, executive producing shows on set, sending notes to editors, overseeing a team that handles deliverables for broadcast and streaming, working on securing distribution for completed shows, and collaborating with our marketing and PR team on p romotional strategies.
Credits of which you're most proud: I'm proud of everything I've developed and produced for public broadcasting. PBS is America's largest classroom, largest stage for the Arts, and largest window to the world, and each program is created with the mission to serve our community and to educate, entertain and enlighten our viewers. Most recently, I've had the great fortune of working on a wide variety of programs and series, including the star-studded Variety Studio: Actors on Actors - an intimate look inside the art and craft of acting, a two-hour biography on the life-changing work of Bill W.: The Creative Force Behind Alcoholics Anonymous, and Big Voice - a film on the transformative power of arts education in schools.
Why did you want to be a Television Academy governor? Less than a year after joining the Television Academy I was asked to join the LA Area Peer Group Executive Committee and I served on that committee for 4 years before becoming LA Area Governor. During my time on the PGEC I was fascinated by everything there was to learn about the TV Academy, its membership, benefits, events, awards, rules, procedures and Peer Groups. I became a very engaged PGEC member, recommending many changes and improvements to our awards structure that were approved and successfully implemented. My motivation to serve on the Board of Governors was to bring my 15 years of news and programming experience to spark new ideas, learn from others, and ultimately further the goals and impact of the LA Area Peer Group. When I was a little girl, my mother and I would watch the Emmys together and I would dream of one day winning an Emmy. Going beyond this achievement to now be on the Board of Governors is everything I've dreamed of, and more! To be a part of the Television Academy in such a huge way is a dream come true.
What do you hope to accomplish as a governor? I am continually looking for ways to strengthen our Peer Group and improve their membership experience. As our industry evolves, it is important to keep up with the changes, trends and needs of our local market. I started 2018 with a deep dive into the membership requirements for our Peer Group, which had not been updated in over a decade. I then created a new, more defined criteria for membership. Currently, my Co-Governor and I are getting ready for the LA Area Emmys Awards, and we are planning a membership mixer and a very exciting professional development event for the entire academy membership. I am excited about having the chance to help shape the future of the Academy as Governor. I will do so by fostering an environment that encourages open discussion and thoughtful reflection, with a focus on the continual improvement of our awards ceremony, procedures, meetings, membership and events. I am committed to representing my peers with professionalism and the utmost respect for their work, and I am extremely excited about the opportunity to serve my peers and the Academy in this capacity. Thank you for electing me for this incredible responsibility.
Why is the Academy important to the industry? The Academy is the cornerstone of our television industry, providing thought leadership around the issues that affect our work, creating opportunities within our membership and the industry, and setting the highest standards by which our work is recognized.