Employee Spotlight: Joe Krushinsky

Last Updated by Gerard Longo on

In the midst of our Winter of Discovery, we sat down with Joe Krushinsky, VP, Advancement Strategies, to discuss the importance of supporting PBS39 this time -- and any time -- of the year.

You have a long history in public media. Briefly discuss your career before coming to PBS39.
I began working for Philanthropy Management Incorporated (PMI) while I was a student in Penn State’s Office of University Development.  They designed cutting-edge fundraising programs for The Metropolitan Opera, the Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University and WGBH, among many others.  After graduation, I spent the next 12 months launching PMI programs at Drexel University, John Marshall College of Law, and Cleveland State University.  I wanted to work in Public Media, and I noticed an ad for WITF-TV/FM in Harrisburg. I began there in March of ’86. I joined WETA in Washington in 1994. More recently, I worked at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.  

When did you come to PBS39, and what drew you to the Lehigh Valley?
Pennsylvania is my home state. Though I have lived and worked out of the area for many years, I never stopped my volunteer involvement (37 years) here with the American Cancer Society, where I continue on the Volunteer Leadership Committee for the greater Lehigh Valley market. I always intended to get back. Family considerations made now the time to move.

What do you think is unique about this station? 
What is more interesting is what every PBS station has in common:  the opportunity to curate for their communities the most relevant, highest quality national television and educational content anywhere, and the opportunity to create original content that meets local needs and interests. 
Describe your day-to-day role at PBS39 and why it is important to the station.
Every day is about creating opportunities for individuals to express their values through their voluntary support of the PBS39 mission and content. A gift to PBS39 is really a gift through PBS39 to the communities we serve.  

You split your time between PBS39 and WVIA in Pittston. What are the challenges, if any, striking a balance between the two?
To me, it is all one mission and one assignment. It doesn’t matter where I am physically located at a given moment.  

What opportunities does your role present for the two stations to work together?
Many ideas, plans and strategies can be worked through simultaneously on behalf of both. Occasionally, there are opportunities to realize some cost sharing or cost savings in joint activities.  

The end of 2015 is fast approaching, and PBS39 is in the midst of its annual year-end fund drive. Explain what PBS39 is doing to engage our members at this crucial time of year.
Different people respond to different messages delivered via different channels. We are trying to use air, mail, telephone, email, web, social and face-to-face approaches to signal our public service value, invite support, and create a sense of timeliness about giving around the end of the calendar year.  

Why is it important for public media stations to begin the New Year on strong financial footing?
No margin, no mission. We need to invest in content that fulfills the public service promise of providing top quality programs in a variety of genres, created and presented without commercial influence. Then, we need to make the case that individual lives, families and communities are enhanced through the availability of this content to attract financial support. Then, we need to properly acknowledge and serve those who donate. There is no shortcut and no skipping steps in that cycle.  

What will happen if year-end fundraising goals aren’t met?
Fundraising is about building long-term relationships. The calendar provides us moments to pause and measure how we’re doing compared to the plan, and what resources we’ve gathered compared to what our opportunities for public service require, in the context of all economic realities. In that sense, fundraising never ends, because the opportunities to serve are infinite, even if the resources are not, and so we just constantly re-calibrate the plan.  

Looking to 2016, what are your Membership department goals in the New Year?
The goal is always to create conditions in which people want to support PBS39, and where people feel the experience of being a donor is satisfying.

Make your year-end gift to ensure that PBS39 starts 2016 on strong financial footing. Join us in our Winter of Discovery!

Check out our previous monthly Employee Spotlights!
November: Alyissa Gallagher, Educational Outreach
October: Brandon Long, Membership Coordinator
September: Brittany Garzillo, Reporter/Producer
August: Jim Karcher, Master Control Operator
July: Kim Vogel, Finance
May: Jessie Heimann, Marketing Director

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