Who We Are
The Fred Rogers Productions staff has experience and expertise in a range of disciplines, including child development, education, family dynamics, public policy, business, production in a range of media, technology, outreach, and more. Because our senior staff members worked side by side with Fred Rogers for many years, they are uniquely able to carry on his mission-- and to ensure that newer members of the staff understand the philosophy that guides the work.
Our staff is deliberately kept small. We complement in-house resources with strategic partnerships that enhance our effectiveness, broaden our reach, and deepen our ties to the constituencies we serve.
While our backgrounds and daily work differ, each of us is dedicated to Fred Rogers Productions mission of supporting the emotional and intellectual development of children and families—and each of us is proud to be part of this organization.
As President and CEO, Paul Siefken ensures that Fred Rogers Productions presents the very best in educational children’s media on broadcast and digital platforms — and beyond. Siefken most recently served as VP, Broadcast and Digital Media, steering the broadcast content and managing the digital production pipelines for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat, and Odd Squad, working with respective production partners for each. He also spearheaded initiatives that have taken all three into communities around the country, working with public television stations, museums, science centers, libraries, volunteer organizations, and early childhood groups to provide meaningful content that supports the aims and priorities of the respective institutions.
Before joining Fred Rogers Productions in 2013, Siefken spent nearly ten years at PBS, most recently as Director of Children’s Programming, where he managed the development of several PBS KIDS series, including The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, Sid the Science Kid, WordGirl, Wild Kratts, Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman, and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Prior to that, he managed sponsored promotions and media relations as well as produced interactive content for Cartoon Network. Before entering children’s media, Paul worked as a high school English teacher in both Georgia and North Carolina. He holds a BA in English from Duke University.
Kevin Morrison joined Fred Rogers Productions in 2006, bringing a lifetime of experience in television to the company. He began his career in BBC news, and was a senior programming executive before moving to the U.S. to represent the British network Central Television. He later ran an animation company, two TV movie companies, and a family entertainment company. He is a member of the film and television Academies, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and, as a Churchill Fellow in public service broadcasting in the 70s, studied the early development of PBS. Kevin is an Executive Producer of FRP’s PBS children’s series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
Lisa Moss joined Fred Rogers Productions in 2012, bringing with her many years of nonprofit accounting and management experience. She also serves as the Treasurer of the company’s Board of Directors. Lisa actively improves her neighborhood by volunteering her time and talents with community organizations and charity events. She holds a Masters of Business Administration degree and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Ellen Doherty is Executive in Charge of Production for Fred Rogers Productions, overseeing creation of television and digital content for the company’s existing PBS KIDS series—Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat and Odd Squad—as well as developing new properties. She is the creator, head writer, and executive producer of the award-winning Through the Woods, a shortform, preschool series developed for the streaming video service, Curious World. In 2018, Ellen was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like, the retrospective tribute to the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. An Emmy Award-winning producer and writer with more than 20 years’ experience in children's media, she was previously executive producer and story editor of the PBS KIDS series Cyberchase. Ellen oversaw production of television and digital content for the series for six seasons, including several shortform video series. She began her career as an associate producer on the award-winning PBS KIDS series Reading Rainbow. Ellen has a B.A. in Communications from Boston College.
Lynn Butler is the Office Manager for Fred Rogers Productions, fulfilling orders from PBS stations and consumers, managing requests from nonprofit organizations, and providing office assistance to staff. Before joining the company in 1999, she was the volunteer/referral counselor for United Way of Allegheny County. Lynn received her Associate Degree in Business Management in 2009.
Bill Casey is a professional business financial manager, holding a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Science Degree in Taxation from Robert Morris University. Prior to joining Fred Rogers Productions, he was president and COO of a private oil and gas development and investment company in Pittsburgh and also the president and general manager of a linked real estate development company. He is a part-time auto mechanic and a gardener.
Cathy Droz began her career at what is now Fred Rogers Productions in 1979 to serve as Associate Producer on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. She later became involved with a wide variety of the company’s transmedia initiatives, such as print, audio recordings, books and interactive exhibits. Cathy currently serves as the digital producer for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood overseeing development of the Daniel Tiger website and apps. She is the proud and happy mother of four children (who are no longer children!).
Alan Friedman manages Fred Rogers Productions’ relationships with national foundations, corporate sponsors, and individual donors. His successes in expanding the company’s circle of supporters include winning the company’s first-ever NSF grants and helping secure its first underwriting agreements in decades. In addition to facilitating production of the company’s programs on PBS, Alan has won support to extend them into kids’ summer camps, resources for parents, and professional development programs for early childhood educators. He has also launched and funded projects to support children with autism and families experiencing homelessness. Before joining Fred Rogers Productions, Alan spent several years at Carnegie Mellon University, first as a member of its corporate and foundation fundraising team, then as director of its Institute for Social Innovation. He holds a Masters of Public Management from Carnegie Mellon and a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley. He is an active volunteer for arts and human-service organizations and enjoys yoga, piano, writing, and spending time with his wife, Jennifer, and their two daughters.
Brittany Jovenall joined Fred Rogers Productions in February 2018. She began her career as a forensic accountant in Erie, PA after graduating from Gannon University with a B.S. in Accounting and a minor in Finance. In 2016, Brittany became a Certified Public Accountant and relocated to Pittsburgh, where she specialized in auditing non-profit organizations. Originally from Rochester, NY, Brittany marched with the Empire Statesmen Drum and Bugle Corps and is excited to combine her love for the arts with her accounting skills as a member of the FRP team.
Chris Loggins is the producer of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Through The Woods as well as production manager of Peg + Cat and Odd Squad. Before joining Fred Rogers Productions, Chris worked at WQED, the PBS station in Pittsburgh. He was also volunteer coordinator and Storymobile driver at the Beginning with Books Center for Early Literacy and a librarian assistant in the Children’s Department of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Chris is a graduate of Kenyon College with a B.A. in American Studies with a focus on African-American History.
Suzanne Masri oversees marketing, branding, and publicity efforts for Fred Rogers Productions and its children’s series. Previously she directed station relations campaigns for national programming produced by WETA, the flagship PBS station in Washington, D.C., where her diverse portfolio included films by documentarian Ken Burns, lifestyle series from Martha Stewart and Sara Moulton, and children’s series Clifford The Big Red Dog, Super Why!, and Maya and Miguel. She received a B.A. in History from Smith College. In her spare time, Suzanne performs with Belle Voci, a multi-generational women’s choir that blends community with service.
As Marketing Coordinator, Cori McCulloch creates and manages content for the company’s corporate social media platforms, assists with multimedia requests, and manages the Fred Rogers' Productions website. She previously produced digital media at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and has also worked in radio and video production. Cori is a Pittsburgh native and holds a degree in Visual Journalism from West Virginia University. In her free time, she enjoys cooking for family and friends, exploring nature and camping with her husband, John, and spending time with her cat, Jack.
Josh Morden manages the IT infrastructure at Fred Rogers Productions. Prior to joining the company, he worked at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where he was involved with various A/V and systems administration projects. Josh holds a Masters in Business Administration degree from California University of Pennsylvania. In his free time, he enjoys playing classical piano and serving in his church.
As the Production Coordinator for Fred Rogers Productions, Arielle Reed provides logistical and editorial support to projects in production and in development. Before joining the company in 2017, she was an administrative assistant at Ayco: A Goldman Sachs Company, a children’s art assistant at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and an intern at Upstart Crow Literary Agency. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Arielle majored in English Fiction Writing, minored in Studio Arts, and earned certificates in Children’s Literature and Public and Professional Writing. She is a lifelong lover of children’s media and storytelling, and has traveled to London to conduct literary research on J.R.R Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. Arielle is currently writing her first novel.
Jack Rowley is responsible for developing Fred Rogers Productions' website and has written four episodes of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. He has composed original music for a joint project with Family Resources that encourages young mothers to remember the special bond they share with their babies. Jack is a Playwriting graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned two consecutive Shubert Fellowships for writing. He is the father of four and enjoys writing children's stories, composing music and time with his wife, Alice.
Matthew Shiels provides advice on general corporate matters and is responsible for agreements covering program development, production and distribution, merchandise licensing, intellectual property, copyright and trademarks, and the administration of an extensive music library. Prior to joining Fred Rogers Productions, he handled a broad range of legal services such as patent and trademark counseling and litigation services for the Pittsburgh-based law firm Reed Smith LLP, and before that was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, LLC in Chicago. Matthew holds a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Pennsylvania State University/Eberly College of Science.
Brittany Smith began her career in media just as Fred Rogers did: working as a page at NBC in New York City, in production and public relations. She spent several years working in the field of early childhood education before joining Fred Rogers Productions. Brittany coordinates community events related to the company’s productions, helps with PBS station relations, and oversees arrangements for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Peg + Cat costume appearances. She also facilitates licensing requests for photos, footage, and music. Brittany has a B.A. in Communications from Temple University.
Micah Southwood is responsible for expanding partner relationships and growing new licensing opportunities for Fred Rogers Productions. She works closely with the company’s consumer products, business development, finance, marketing, and external licensing partners. Micah previously served as assistant marketing manager of sponsorships at Allstate as well as a promotional execution planner for Sears Holdings in Chicago. She is a graduate of Bethany College in West Virginia.
Paige Strasbaugh’s whole career has been in service of children and their education. At Fred Rogers Productions, she manages the deliverables for a National Science Foundation-funded project associated with Peg + Cat, the award-winning PBS KIDS series produced by FRP. Paige previously taught high school students in two different low-income communities and worked with a Pittsburgh organization to advocate on behalf of early childhood education. She received her master's degree in educational policy and administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Margy Whitmer is an experienced media professional. She served as producer of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for a number of years until production ended in 2001 and is currently producing live-action interstitials for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Over the years, Margy has been the company’s liaison with PBS’s Ready To Learn Initiative; co-creator, writer, and producer for video-based professional development workshop materials; and project director for two series of picture books, “First Experiences” and “Let’s Talk About It.” Her previous experience includes production and administrative positions at WQED-TV for both local and national programs, including Once Upon a Classic and the National Geographic Specials. A Chatham College graduate and holder of a teaching certificate, Margy is also an active volunteer in community organizations.
Annette Santella is a child development and story consultant for the PBS KIDS series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Before her retirement from Fred Rogers Productions in 2017, Annette managed large statewide and national professional development grants, co-authored professional development modules, and, in collaboration with PBS, authored Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Life's Little Lessons: A Learning Kit for ECE Teachers. As she has done for over 30 years, she continues her role as adjunct faculty in ECE and Applied Psychology at universities in Pittsburgh. Annette also works in both the public and private sectors as an ECE trainer and consultant. She holds degrees in health-related professions and child and family development.
Dr. Roberta Schomburg is Associate Dean and Professor in the School of Education at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she oversees Graduate Studies in Early Childhood. She completed her doctoral work in Administrative and Policy Studies with specialization in child development (currently the Applied Developmental Psychology program) at the University of Pittsburgh.
Roberta has been a child development consultant with Fred Rogers Productions since 1982 and has worked on a variety of projects, including developing the activities for the Mister Rogers’ Plan and Play Book. She has presented at numerous national and international conferences and has authored a wide variety of publications and professional development materials for teachers. She serves on many state and local boards and committees and is currently Vice President of the NAEYC Governing Board.
Hedda Sharapan has been with Fred Rogers Productions (previously Family Communications, Inc.) for 52 years, and currently serves as a child development consultant for the company’s award-winning PBS KIDS series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and other projects. She began working with Fred Rogers on the very first taping day of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in October 1966. Over the years she served as Assistant Director, Assistant Producer, Associate Producer, and Director of Early Childhood Initiatives for Rogers’ small non-profit production company. Her monthly e-newsletter, “What we can continue to learn from Fred Rogers,” is distributed through the Fred Rogers Center and reaches more than 16,000 subscribers. Hedda continues to be a highly sought-after speaker at conferences around the country, helping audiences reflect on Fred Rogers’ messages. She received an M.S. in Child Development from the University of Pittsburgh and an honorary doctorate degree from St. Vincent College, home of the Fred Rogers Center.
Aisha White was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She earned her PhD in Library and Information Science, her Master’s in Library Science, and her Bachelor’s in Media Communication, all from the University of Pittsburgh. Her previous work experiences include coordinating programs for Beginning With Books, an early literacy agency, doing outreach for our landmark series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and directing outreach for the National Black Programming Consortium, a member of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting National Minority Consortia.
She has worked as a Research Associate in the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, and has taught film and media courses at Pitt, Carlow University, and a local Charter School. She is currently the School Librarian at Urban Pathways Charter School where she teaches media literacy and entrepreneurship. She is also the Executive Director of Rights & Responsibilities, a human rights organization that uses film and other media to raise awareness of human rights issues with a focus on people of African descent.
Board of Directors
Charles ‘Chip’ Burke, Jr.
Professor Jerlean Daniel
William H. Isler
Scott M. Lammie
Joanne B. Rogers, Chair Emerita
- Paul Siefken, President
- Kevin Morrison, Secretary
- Lisa Moss, Treasurer