– WITF announced that seven local community members would formally offer their expertise to WITF by volunteering for the WITF Board of Directors or Community Advisory Board. Three new members were elected to the WITF Board of Directors, which is responsible for governance, setting policies and the overall direction of WITF. Four new members joined the WITF Community Advisory Board, where they will assist WITF to ensure the content and services provided are relevant and continue to meet listeners’ and viewers’ needs.

The newly elected board members are Jen Gilburg, senior director of strategy and general manager of test and measurement at TE Connectivity, James Hoehn, regional president of PNC Financial Services Group and Kristal Turner- Childs, Pennsylvania State Police major and director of forensic services. The three new members join a regional board of 28 influential community leaders who govern and guide the mission of WITF, “to strengthen our communities by connecting us to each other and to opportunities for lifelong learning.”

Jen Gilburg has an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University and a Master of Management degree from Villanova. Gilburg joined TE Connectivity in 2018, after spending 25 years in Silicon Valley, with most of her career in Cyber Security.  She has held a leadership position at Intel, VeriSign, McAfee, and Hitachi and has been co-inventor of several solutions that became industry standards for authentication. In California Gilburg spent 15 years as a Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer, helping children in foster care. Since returning to Lancaster County, she has been Co-Chair of the Lancaster Conservancy’s Dine on Harvest Moon fundraising event and a member of their Community Impact Committee. Additionally, she chairs a mentorship group for Women in Technology at Franklin and Marshall College.

James Hoehn received his undergraduate degree in Business and Economics from Cleveland State University and his MBA from Case Western Reserve University. As regional president of the Central Pennsylvania region, he is responsible for overseeing all business and management with an emphasis on asset management and corporate banking businesses. Active in the community, Hoehn is a member of the Board of Directors for Better York, Economic Development Corporation of Lancaster County, Harrisburg Regional Chamber of Commerce and Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts. He serves on the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission and committees in support of the United Way of the Capital Region and Lancaster City Alliance.

Kristal Turner-Childs, a member of the Pennsylvania State Police since 1988, is the first African American female in the history of the Pennsylvania State Police to command a troop. As the second African American female to obtain the rank of Major, she is currently the Director of the Bureau of Forensic Services. Turner-Childs earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Elizabethtown College and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Central Penn College. She is a graduate of the Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command and the FBI National Academy. Turner-Childs is the owner of Eyes Wide Open LLC., a company she developed to empower women to take charge of not only their physical health but their mental and spiritual health. Turner-Childs is the recipient of numerous awards which include: the Athena Award, NCBW Trailblazer Award, the Greater Harrisburg YWCA Woman of Excellence, Person of the Year by the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of National Organization of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE), and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Kappa Omega Chapter, Citizen of the Year Award.

The four local volunteers joining the Community Advisory Board are Ronald Boltz, electronic technician in the telecommunications industry, Thaís Carrero, state director of CASA, Ryan Cohick, search engine optimization strategist for Advance Local, and Catherine Smith, broadcast journalism retiree.

Ronald Boltz is a former vice president of the Pine Grove Area School District Board of Directors, as well as a grassroots citizen activist.  He is president and co-founder of the Pennsylvania Liberty Alliance, a non-profit political action organization made up entirely of an unpaid, voluntary workforce, dedicated to protecting individual rights, as well as the advancement of government transparency and accountability. He has testified in PA House of Representatives public hearings, and appeared in numerous media outlets, including PCN TV’s On the Issues and WITF’s Smart Talk.

Thaís Carrero is a native Puerto Rican and has lived in York, Pennsylvania since 2016. Carrero is the Pennsylvania state director for CASA, the largest membership-led non-profit organization advocating for the Latino, immigrant and working-class communities in the nation. She was appointed by Governor Tom Wolf to serve on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs. Carrero also serves on the board of directors of the Cultural Alliance of York County, and the Pennsylvania affiliate of Emerge America. She received the 2019 Junior League of York Catalyst Award, honoring her positive impact in the community.

Ryan Cohickis a search engine optimization strategist for Advance Local. Hailing from Lower Allen Township, he is an active member of the community who is committed to preserving the integrity of public media. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys fitness, travel, trains and – of course – catching the latest British drama on PBS.

Catherine Smith is a native of Lancaster. She attended St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame In., receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts and a postgraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland. Smith launched her professional career as a reporter/news anchor at WGAL Radio in Lancaster, then went on to WCAU All-News in Philadelphia and next to WNBC Radio in New York City. For 35 years, she served as news anchor or news director and was heard nationwide on the NBC, ABC and RKO radio networks. Smith and her husband retired to Lancaster in 2013. Over the past seven years, she has spent her time building a broadcasting program at her alma mater, Lancaster Catholic High School.

“As a publicly supported and locally owned nonprofit, WITF relies on leaders who are active in their community and represent the diverse region and population that we serve,” said Ron Hetrick, WITF president and chief executive officer. “We are excited to have these new voices on our board of directors and community advisory board to govern and guide the organization as we work together to serve our region.” 

About WITF

WITF is a trusted provider of public media news and programming for approximately 2.3 million citizens in 19 counties of Central Pennsylvania, encouraging children and adults to Live Inspired®.  A member station of PBS and NPR, WITF’s media services include public television (WITF TV and WITFK PBS KIDS 24/7), public radio (WITF 89.5 & 93.3), websites (including witf.org, TransformingHealth.org, PaPost.org, stateimpact.npr.org/Pennsylvania, and ExplorePAhistory.com), and a production services division (Media Solutions). WITF’s mission is to strengthen our communities by connecting us to each other and to opportunities for lifelong learning. WITF engages minds and enriches lives. For more information, visit witf.org.