Award Winners 2019
The People's Choice Award: Here We Are- Brattleboro's Community Talk Show: with guest The Jerusalem Peacebuilders 7/25/18. Producer: Wendy O'Connell. The episode features Shai Lenman and Mohamed Yassin, two teens from Jerusalem Peacebuilders, which holds an intensive youth leadership program each summer in West Brattleboro. This is the second year that Wendy’s show is the winner of the People’s Choice. The award and cash prize were presented by this year’s sponsor, Luke Stafford of Mondo Mediaworks.
The People's Choice Award is a popular vote between the five volunteer-produced videos that had the most views over the previous fiscal year. The nominees were:
- How to Identify Japanese Knotweed. Producer: Jennifer Latham with the Brattleboro Conservation Commission.
- WRAP - Wellness Action Recovery Plan. Episode 1: Beginning Your WRAP. Producer: Andrika Donovan with Mary Ellen Copeland.
- 4G/5G Health Concerns. Producer: Derrik Jordan with EMF Safety for Vermont.
- Here We Are- Brattleboro's Community Talk Show: with guest Jerusalem Peacebuilders 7/25/18. Producer: Wendy O'Connell.
- Gematria Today: Episode 1. Producer: Dan Long.
Series of the Year: Meg Mott's 'Debating Our Rights' & 'Good Clash: The Art of Productive Disagreement'
The Series of the Year Award is given to the producer of an outstanding series on BCTV. The award this year goes to two discussion series presented by Marlboro College Professor of Politics Meg Mott, which were produced by Janis Chaillou and Em Richards of For The Record Video.
In 'Debating Our Rights' and 'Good Clash: The Art of Productive Disagreement', Meg leads discussions with active participation by audience members to identify shared values and encourage healthy debate on contentious topics such as:
- The First Amendment - How Free is our Speech?
- The Eighth Amendment - Cruel & Unusual Punishment
- Capital Punishment, Guns, and the Abortion Debate
Janis Chaillou and Em Richards worked with Meg to record her presentations at packed houses of engaged audience members. In light of the increasingly polarized political climate, this kind of content reflects the community grappling with the issues of the day, and is emblematic of BCTV’s mission to promote civic engagement.
Producer of the Year: Alex Evans
The Producer of the Year Award is given to a community producer for outstanding production work and commitment to BCTV. This year, the award goes to Alex Evans, a Landmark College student who spent three semesters interning with us.
We had a high number of interns this year from middle school, high school and college students - but Alex’s energy, attitude and skill really made him stand out.
Alex selected BCTV in Spring 2017 as his placement for his Civic Engagement class. He was the station manager for Landmark's student radio station, and had a lot of technical knowledge. For his project, he chose to create a mini documentary about BCTV, some of which you’ll see in the clip. He returned in the Fall of 2018 for a more formal internship of 90 hours. He helped direct studio shows such as ‘Here We Are’ while he hosted, produced, and edited 20 episodes of his radio show, 'Talking Nerdy,' recorded in Putney at WLMC. Talking Nerdy was a huge hit with BCTV viewers and gave them a glimpse into Landmark’s gaming culture.
Alex has since graduated and now lives in Maine, but not before he made his mark on BCTV!
Sponsor of the Year: Karen Ameden, D&K’s Jamaica Grocery
We don’t always give a Sponsor award, but this year was different.
As you’ve heard, this was the first year that BCTV approached our towns to ask for support for our meeting videos.
Karen Ameden of D&K's Jamaica Grocery has been a sponsor of our Town Meeting Day coverage for years, one of a handful of small businesses to support BCTV. When we made the request to Jamaica, the Selectboard required 35 signatures in order for residents to be able to vote on the issue. Karen volunteered to make the petition available at her general store so that local residents could sign when they stopped in to shop. Our achievement of 100% participation by eight towns could not have happened without her.
It may be a long way to send a producer up Route 30 to Jamaica, but this kind of local support is our reward - thank you Karen!
Community Partner Award: WTSA Radio
The Community Partner Award goes to an organization that uses BCTV’s tools and services to benefit the community and the organization.
Last winter, BCTV learned that the WKVT morning show that served as our local news show, Green Mountain Mornings, was suddenly discontinued. We recorded it twice weekly for almost two years for playout on BCTV as ‘Green Mountain Mornings Tonight.’ We wondered what could possibly take its place.
Fortunately, within a month from that cancellation, WTSA staff stepped up and made their weekday ‘Morning News with Ian Kelley’ available on video. Shortly after Ian uploads it to YouTube, we rebroadcast it on channel 8 at Noon and 6 PM. The 5-minute local news brief is hosted by Ian Kelley with guest appearances by by fellow news anchor Tim Johnson. This partnership is an example of a local media collaboration that benefits both organizations and especially the local community.
Accepting for WTSA is owner Kelli Corbeil, station manager Bob Gammon, and host Ian Kelley!
Municipal Partner of the Year: Kathy Hege & Rick Hege, Town of Townshend
The Municipal Partner Award goes to a board or committee that uses BCTV to promote governmental transparency and public engagement.
This year’s award goes to Kathy Hege and Rick Hege of Townshend, who, each in their own way, have been proponents of the transparency provided by BCTV’s video coverage of public meetings.
When Vermont’s Open Meeting Law was revised in 2014, many small towns, including Townshend, opted to take down their websites rather than meet the new requirements for keeping them updated. In response, Rick created the website unofficialtownshendvt.net to make public documents available to residents, along with links to meeting videos. He also maintains a listserve and distributes our videos as soon as he gets them to anyone who joins. This is the reason that Townshend meeting videos always receive between 50-100 views, which is a lot for a small town. Rick is known for asking BCTV to cover certain meetings when he thinks some “sunshine” would elevate the discussion. He’s also known to our field staff as someone who can help with technical problems, which is always a plus.
Kathy has been the Selectboard chair since 2015 and not only makes sure that our videographers are ready before starting the meeting, but she also clarifies with everyone present that if they want to speak, they will be on the video. This kind of clarity from a Selectboard chair can be rare, but is extremely helpful!
Nonprofit Member of the Year: Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition, Greater Falls Connections, Turning Point of Windham County, West River Valley Thrives
This award typically recognizes the work of a single nonprofit member, but this year we salute a cluster of nonprofits working together to bring attention to the issue of Substance Use, often collaborating on events and projects. Those are:
- Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition
- Greater Falls Connections
- Turning Point of Windham County
- West River Valley Thrives
Volunteers and staff for these organizations used BCTV to achieve their missions by producing videos or recording events that reflect the community’s interest in learning about addiction prevention and response. The videos produced were frequently the result of collaborations between multiple organizations.
We often say that what’s on BCTV in a given year is a reflection of the critical issues being debated. Certainly one of the most-discussed topics of the year was Substance Use and the many ways that it impacts individuals and our community. We celebrate the particular efforts of the following producers who used BCTV to educate and empower community members to find solutions to this issue:
- Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition & Greater Falls Connections: Reggie Martell, Rolf Parker, Scott Sharland, Molly Nash, Chad Simmons
- Turning Point of Windham County - Don Cuerdon, Cecil McLaury
- West River Valley Thrives - Nick Plante, Steve Tavella, Reggie Martell, Helena Bundy
Volunteer of the Year: Austin Rice
The Volunteer of the Year Award is given to a volunteer who’s gone above and beyond in helping BCTV serve the community.
This year the award goes to Austin Rice, who this year became a staff field producer, but who started submitting his own productions back in 2010, was Producer of the Year in 2011, and joined as a volunteer crew member in 2013.
Austin spent the last year as volunteer learning how to direct the Brattleboro Selectboard so that he could fill in as an alternate, and spent two days at Harris Hill cheerfully operating a camera in the snow at the Ski Jump. When Gerry del Monico left the area, Austin took over as producer of the weekly Guilford Community Church services.
On staff now, he is one of our go-tos for multi-cam concert coverage and some of our more complex projects. For all those years of persistent producing and volunteering that brought him to where he is now, this award goes to Austin!
New Producer of the Year: Dan Long
The New Producer award goes to someone who recently became active at BCTV and either has shown great improvement, or has quickly become a competent and perhaps even prolific producer. This year, the award goes to Dan Long.
Dan started this year as a producer and immediately set out to master the techniques of screen-capturing and multi-camera editing for his show, ‘Gematria Today.’
As producer and host, Dan explains the ancient Caballistic practice of Gematria, which is coding numbers into letters to find hidden meaning in words.
He’s already produced six 30-minute episodes for BCTV and is on his way to many more!