First Ever NATAS Junior Board Created
The Chicago-Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) is pleased to announced the launch of its inaugural Junior Board – the first of its kind among the 19 NATAS chapters nationwide.
The Junior Board will consist of 30 students and young professionals, all under the age of 26, who either attend school or work in one of the chapter’s eight television markets: Chicago, Peoria-Bloomington, and Rockford in Illinois, South Bend-Elkhart in Indiana, and Green Bay-Appleton, Madison, Milwaukee, and Wausau-Rhinelander in Wisconsin.
They will join the NATAS Chicago/Midwest Board of Governors in the chapter’s mission to advance and promote broadcasting and excellence in visual media in the region. The Junior Board, however, is explicitly tasked with engaging younger members of our broadcast industry.
“We look at the Junior Board as another means for NATAS to provide outreach to the younger people in our community, who are of vital importance to our industry’s future,” said NATAS Chicago/Midwest Board President John Owens.
“We are beyond thrilled with the scope of knowledge these young people will bring to our organization. We really need this fresh energy for our chapter. Having a Junior Board will help us create new relationships with up-and-coming content creators and the media platforms they use,” said Rebekah Cowing, the chapter’s Executive Director and solitary staff member.
The 30-member board consists of a wide variety of communicators representing 17 colleges and universities in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, along with 5 broadcast stations in those three states. NATAS Chicago/Midwest received applications from 91 people for spots on the Junior Board, according to Nicolas DeGrazia, the co-chair of the NATAS committee responsible for creating the team.
Junior Board members will have two-year terms beginning in May, 2021, when the group will have the first of its regular meetings.
“This is such an exciting undertaking!” DeGrazia says. “Not only are we carving new territory for our Chapter, we’re leading the way for NATAS across the country to form their own Junior Boards. And the impact of these groups of young people coming together across the nation is going to be profound and very long-lasting for our industry.”
While the Junior Board will operate independently of the chapter’s 24-member Board of Governors, they will have a similar structure, with meetings held on a monthly basis. The Junior Board will have several main committees, including groups to address outreach, social media, education, workshops & seminars, and more.
“The enthusiasm for the Junior Board was wonderful to see,” said Lee Hood, co-chair of the committee. “The high number of applicants confirmed to us how much young people want to be involved in the NATAS mission.”
The Junior Board will also offer networking opportunities for its members, not just among their peers but also among some of the Midwest’s top working broadcast and production professionals, DeGrazia said.
“Our goal is to introduce the Junior Board to everyone working in Broadcast in our region, in one way or another,” DeGrazia said. “I can’t wait to get back to ‘normal times’ so we can actually go on field trips and create opportunities for our new board to shake some hands and start rolling up their sleeves out in the field.”
He added: “This is a ridiculously talented and driven group of creators. I’m so excited to see what they come up with and the work they’re going to accomplish as a team.”
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Chicago/Midwest Chapter was founded in 1958. It is one of the largest NATAS chapters in the United States, with a proud history of innovation and excellence in the field of broadcast television and beyond.