WDIY Executive Director Wagner Previato has announced that he has accepted another employment opportunity and will be stepping down from his position at the station. February 2, 2018 will be his last day with WDIY. On his final day at the station, we here at WDIY reflect on his tenure over the the last four-and-a-half years.
Wagner has served as WDIY’s Executive Director since August 2013. Wagner's tenure at WDIY has been one marked by growth and new ventures for the station. Notably, he spearheaded the largest broadcasting expansion in WDIY’s history when the station tripled its signal strength in December 2015. This expanded WDIY’s listening range by over 250 square miles while improving reception for listeners in the core areas of the Lehigh Valley.
“Wagner has worked tirelessly in moving our organization forward,” said WDIY Board President Karen El-Chaar in an email to WDIY volunteers. “Amongst other achievements, he is leaving us in an extremely sound fiscal position, for which we sincerely thank him.”
WDIY has indeed seen a dramatic increase in membership numbers and underwriting revenue during Wagner's tenure. He also applied strict fiscal control to reduce the station’s operating expenses.
Wagner was influential in making the station a vibrant partner with many of the cultural and educational institutions throughout the Lehigh Valley, and he played a critical role in improving overall program quality. Wagner created and launched two new on-air programs, The Inside Dish hosted by Michael Drabenstott and Lessons with Leaders hosted by Laurie Siebert. The programs represented WDIY's outreach to the community, showcasing the people, businesses, and organizations that make-up the unique fabric of the Lehigh Valley.
Wagner was also essential in creating and helping to launch WDIY's new annual event and fundraiser, WDIY's Homebrew Fest in 2015. The event, which will be in its third year this summer, is the only beer tasting event of its kind in the Lehigh Valley, focusing on the Valley's homebrewers, a focus that aligns closely with the mission of WDIY as a community public radio station. Last summer's second annual event showed its steady growth in popularity among our area's beer lovers.
“The last four-and-a-half years at WDIY have been a time of great challenges, excitement, growth and satisfaction. I have treasured this time,” Wagner said. “As is often the case, it’s the people who have made these experiences exceptional. Together, we focused on the work that needed to be done and the end results show better services for our listeners in and around our Lehigh Valley.”
WDIY’s Board of Directors is moving forward with an Executive Director search. WDIY's former Executive Director Bill Dautremont-Smith will assist with the transition with assistance from Board President Karen El-Chaar and Board member Michael Riess.