A. Bronson Thayer (Hillsborough County)
Mr. Thayer, currently chairman of Bay Cities Bank, served for many years at Lykes Bros., Inc. as Vice President, CFO and Chairman of Executive Committee, First Florida Banks, and the Bank of Clearwater. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard, and a MBA in Banking and Finance from New York University. Mr. Thayer is a member of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Bankers Association, and Committee on Foreign Relations of Tampa Bay. He has served on local, statewide and national boards including the Tampa Museum of Art, the USF Foundation and Harvard Alumni Association. Currently, he is serving on the Board of Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida, and is a past Chairman.
Cathy Unruh (Pinellas County)
Ms. Unruh grew up in Georgetown, Delaware and attended college in Pennsylvania and Delaware. She pursued a career in television to fulfill her desire to be out in the “real world.” Ms. Unruh began her broadcast career as a reporter/anchor at WBOC in Salisbury, Maryland, and then moved to WHTM in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, before coming to WTVT in Tampa in 1991. Ms. Unruh had planned to move on again but fell in love with Tampa Bay; she married in 1999, retired from television and made her permanent home in the area. Ms. Unruh is active in several community organizations, including serving as Secretary on the WEDU Board of Directors, Committee, the American Heart Association, the Spring Auxiliary, Business and Professional Women, and the Mayor’s Beautification Program, among others. Ms. Unruh can be seen on WEDU regularly on the interview program Up Close with Cathy Unruh.
Don DeFosset (Hillsborough County)
Don DeFosset served as Chairman, President and CEO of publicly traded (WLT) Walter Industries from November 2000 to his retirement in November 2005. Over his career, Mr. DeFosset has held significant leadership positions in major multi-national companies including Dura Automotive Systems, Inc., Navistar International Corporation, AlliedSignal, Mack Trucks Inc. and Rockwell International. Mr. DeFosset is a graduate of Purdue University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering in 1971. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1974. He is active in civic and charitable affairs in Florida and the Tampa Bay area, serving as Chairman of the Board of the Florida Council for Economic Education and recently as Chairman of the Board of the Florida Governor’s Committee on Property Tax Reform. He also currently serves on the Board of Trustees for The Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, The University of Tampa, The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, as well as the Board of Directors of the Florida Council of 100. He was Chairman for the 2005 American Heart Association’
Booker Rice, Jr. (Manatee County)
Mr. Booker Rice, Jr. established Rice and Associates in 2001 after serving as Executive Vice President for one of the national’s top five executive search firms, DHR International. With accolades such as Million Dollar Round Table and President Club Qualifier, Mr. Rice dramatically, yet consistently escalated in his career from management to vice president positions. Mr. Rice has become an expert authority in the areas of insurance, financial services and consumer products, with his firm now serving numerous Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Rice also serves on several professional and community-related boards. He and his wife Carolyn have two sons and two daughters and reside in Lakewood Ranch.
For years, these individuals have made significant contributions to the communities throughout WEDU’s 16 county viewing area through their business and philanthropic endeavors. WEDU is honored to be a recipient of their leadership, service, and support as they dedicate themselves to serving West Central Florida’s leading PBS station.
WEDU is West Central Florida’s leading PBS station and public media company reaching 16 counties through media platforms including on-air programming and online experiences that broaden horizons, transport and transform and open gateways to new ideas and new worlds. Financially supported by the community, the organization offers a wealth of award-winning inspirational, educational and enlightening content over a variety of multi-media platforms including: television programming, station’s website, wedu.org and various social media platforms, monthly member magazine Premiere, educational outreach activities and a myriad of special events. WEDU’s focus on the local community has resulted in the station being regarded as a beacon of trust for men, women and children of every walk of life no matter their age, ethnicity or socio-economic status. WEDU is a treasured community resource; a window to the world for the homebound and a vital educational source for the youngest members of society. WEDU prides itself on its position in the Tampa Bay community as a leader, partner, informed citizen and a member of PBS, the most trusted institution in America (Harris Interactive Trust QuickQuery, February 2012).
For more information, program schedules or to support WEDU visit wedu.org; WEDU Public Media on Facebook and Twitter or call 813.254.9338.