New members join WGCU Public Media Advisory Board

By Dayna Harpster - November 5, 2019

Four new members joined WGCU’s Public Media Advisory Board at its meeting Oct. 16, 2019.

The new voting members are Mimi Chapin Gregory, Iqbal Mamdani and Steve O’Brien. Kevin Price is a new ex-officio member.

Gregory has been involved with WGCU for at least 15 years, serving as a volunteer, committee member, board member and board chair. She continues to represent WGCU as a board member of the nonprofit advocacy organization America’s Public Television Stations, visiting our legislators in Washington, D.C., to stress the importance of funding public television. Her service with the Alliance Francaise and Naples Council on World Affairs has had her spanning the globe on leadership and relief missions. Ms. Gregory’s prior term on the Public Media Advisory Board ended a year ago and she has recently returned to serve another term.

Mr. Mamdani serves as chairman of First Asian Investments, Inc., a privately held company focused primarily on real estate and private equity investments. The current portfolio includes Mindteck (India) Limited, a global, publicly held technology company; and an LLC investing in enterprising startups in Florida; among others. Mr. Mamdani also oversees The Iqbal and Shelby Mamdani Foundation, Inc., a philanthropic organization dedicated to fostering educational, religious and racial tolerance. Mr. Mamdani currently is a member of the boards of trustees of EDC – Education Development Center – in Waltham, Massachusetts; Interfaith Alliance in Washington, D.C.; and Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City.

Mr. Mamdani’s many accomplishments include the founding of TAIB Bank BSC, the first investment bank in Bahrain, which grew to have operating subsidiaries in the UAE, Qatar, Turkey, Kazakhstan, India, the U.S. and U.K., and was eventually sold to the Dubai Group.  He also spearheaded the establishment of a real estate investment company that invested primarily in the U.S., U.K. and India. Earlier in his career, Mr. Mamdani worked for American Express Bank, serving as its regional vice president in the Middle East.

Mr. O’Brien was a radio and television personality on several New York City stations, for which he conducted interviews featured on nationally syndicated television programs seen on CBS, NBC and ABC. He appeared on the Travel Channel Network for six years, hosting in studios, on cruise ships and other locales. As a radio host he also built a large national audience for the ABC Radio Network on Success Radio. In Southwest Florida, Mr. O’Brien co-founded Blazing Sun Media to develop local projects, one of which is voicing videos for the Naples Winter Wine Festival.  He has served on several boards and is involved with nonprofits including Special Operations Warrior Foundation, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, and the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

Mr. Price is a graduate of FGCU in marketing and communications. He lives in Fort Myers and is managing vice president – Gartner for Sales Leaders, North America. He serves as a member of the FGCU Board of Trustees and has been appointed by FGCU Board of Trustees Chair Blake Gable to WGCU PMAB as an ex-officio board member. Mr. Price will serve as a conduit between the two boards to keep communication open concerning current projects and developments.

Additional members with continuing terms on the WGCU Public Media Advisory Board are Ms. Judy M. Bricker, chair; Mr. Jim Hale, vice chair; Mr. Howard Cohen; Ms. Lydia Black; Ms. Tiffany Esposito; Ms. Maria Palacio; Ms. Mindi Simon; Ms. Charisse Thomas; and WGCU General Manager Mr. Rick Johnson (ex-officio). Ms. Muriel Olsen is board secretary.

The Public Media Advisory Board acts as a sounding board, reflecting the views of the wider community for the management and staff of WGCU-FM and WGCU-TV, Southwest Florida’s source for NPR and PBS housed on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University. It is composed of not more than 15 members who live in the WGCU broadcast area. Members serve two-year terms and may serve up to four consecutive terms. A member who has termed off is again eligible to serve after one year.

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