President and CEO
In his role as President and CEO, Paul Siefken ensures that Fred Rogers Productions (FRP) presents the very best in educational children’s media on broadcast and digital platforms—and beyond. Under his direction, the company has experienced tremendous growth, earning a national reputation for both innovation and storytelling. Paul has assembled a world-class, mission-driven leadership team that is committed to building on Fred Rogers’ legacy by introducing new productions and expanding the reach of their impact by collaborating with like-minded partners in both production and distribution.
He has also spearheaded major engagement initiatives for FRP’s award-winning series, which include Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat, and Odd Squad, that have taken them 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, Paul spent nearly ten years at PBS, most recently as Director of Children’s Programming, where he managed the development of numerous 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 B.A. in English from Duke University.
Chief Operating Officer
As COO, Chris Arnold oversees both internal and external operations for Fred Rogers Productions to implement the company’s strategic plan and facilitate processes and approaches to achieve it. He leads and manages the organization’s Legal & Business Affairs, Licensing & Merchandising, Finance, Technology, and Human Resources.
Prior to joining Fred Rogers Productions, Chris served as General Counsel and Vice President of Human Resources for Schell Games, a full-service education and entertainment game development firm based in Pittsburgh, where he was responsible for developing relationships with partners such as The Walt Disney Company, ILMxLAB, The LEGO Group, Yale University, Google, and Facebook. Previously, he served as Operations Counsel at Mylan, a leading generics and specialty pharmaceutical company; General Counsel and Director of Human Resources at Guru.com, a global talent marketplace; and Corporate Associate at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, one of the nation's leading law firms.
Chris is a graduate of Allegheny College and earned his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh. A volunteer and board member of 412 Food Rescue, he lives in Allison Park with his wife Stephanie and his two daughters, Carmella and Charlotte.
Chief Financial Officer
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.
Chief Creative Officer
Ellen Doherty is Chief Creative Officer for Fred Rogers Productions, overseeing the creation of television and digital content for the company’s PBS KIDS series—Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat, Odd Squad, Donkey Hodie, and Alma’s Way. She is the creator, head writer, and executive producer of the award-winning Through the Woods, a shortform series about nature. Doherty also serves as an executive producer of Donkey Hodie, a new puppet series for kids 3-5, and Alma’s Way, a new animated series, which will premiere on PBS KIDS in October 2021. 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. She oversaw production of television and digital content for the series for six seasons, including several shortform video series. Ellen began her career as an associate producer on the award-winning PBS KIDS series Reading Rainbow. She has a B.A. in Communications from Boston College.
Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Engagement
Suzanne Masri oversees marketing, branding, and publicity efforts for Fred Rogers Productions and its catalogue of children’s series. Since coming to FRP in 2015, she has spearheaded the company’s rebrand and implementation of its new creative direction, led the 50th anniversary celebration of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (2018), and delivered impactful experiential campaigns for the company’s award-winning series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat, and Odd Squad.
Previously Suzanne directed station relations marketing campaigns for national programming produced by WETA, the flagship PBS station in Washington, DC, 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 & 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 and song.
Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs
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.
Rocío Almanza Guillén
Rocío Almanza-Guillén oversees the creation of digital content for the animated series Alma’s Way. She is a bilingual specialist in design for learning with a focus on children and their families. Prior to joining Fred Rogers Productions, her vast experience included product management, production, creativity, and strategy for educational and non-profit organizations such as the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, Televisa Foundation, Discovery Kids México, and more. Rocío has served as a consultant on programs such as Girls Inc. of Metro Denver, STEMblazers (formerly Girls in STEM), the National Center for Women & IT, and TECHNOLOchicas.
She has also collaborated with the Global Education Department at Sesame Workshop, PBS KIDS, CastleWorks, Inc.’s It’s My Life, and the American Museum of Natural History. In one of her previous roles, with the support of the World Bank, Rocío created the communication strategy ¡Vas!, recognized as one of the 20 Best Practices in Public Policy for the Youth in Ibero-America by OIJ, PNUD, UNFPA, CEPAL, and UNESCO.
Rocío holds a B.A. in Communications and Journalism from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, with a specialization in Social Education from Universidad de Sevilla, and an M.A. in Digital Media Design for Learning from New York University.
Shannon Case oversees the creation of digital content, including games, apps, websites, and emerging technologies for children and families. Before joining Fred Rogers Productions, she spent eight years at PBS, where she managed the development of digital content for a number of PBS KIDS series, including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, Dinosaur Train, and Let’s Go Luna. Prior to beginning her career in children’s media, Shannon spent many years working with young children as a teacher, tutor, and camp counselor. She received an M.A. in Communication, Culture & Technology from Georgetown University, where her thesis focused on gender representation in children’s media, and a B.A. in History from Providence College.
Supervising Producer, Donkey Hodie
As Supervising Producer of Donkey Hodie, Kristin DiQuollo provides leadership and creative vision to Fred Rogers Productions’ newest preschool series, which is inspired by characters from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Prior to joining the company, she led production of broadcast and digital content for the PBS KIDS series Cyberchase as executive producer and story editor at WNET New York, helping to spearhead its expansion on digital platforms, including strategies for accessibility, as well as its evolution as a series focusing on math and environmental themes for 6-8-year-olds. A nominee for multiple Daytime Emmy® awards and honored with Parents’ Choice and Kidscreen awards, Kristin also oversaw Cyberchase’s national family and educator engagement efforts, broadening the series’ reach to new public media audiences. Experienced in using research to inform development and design of content, she has worked on several projects that investigate learning outcomes from educational media. Kristin previously worked in educational outreach and marketing for the IMAX Corporation and as an associate editor and projects coordinator for Merlyn’s Pen, a magazine and website showcasing the works of teenage writers. She received her B.A. in English from Providence College.
Erin Dodson oversees post-production for all Fred Rogers Productions’ series. Prior to returning to Pittsburgh and joining the FRP team, she worked at a number of prominent marketing agencies in Los Angeles over 15 years. Erin served as director of post-production at Bond where she was responsible for communicating technical requirements, executing deliverables, and more for clients including Netflix, HBO, Warner Brothers, and other notable media entities. She also worked as director of post-production at Trailer Park Group where she oversaw quality control and delivery for TV and digital spots, commercial campaigns, behind-the-scenes documentaries, branded content, and more in addition to managing the day-to-day operations for the finishing team. Erin enjoys spending time with her husband and their two daughters as they explore the parks in and around Pittsburgh and work on DIY projects in their new home. She holds a B.A. in Communications from Ohio University.
Kathie Duso is the Office Manager for Fred Rogers Productions. She joined the company in March 2020 as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO and the Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Fred Rogers Productions, Kathie was executive assistant to senior management at PHOENIX Rehabilitation & Health Services; and has worked for Siemens in multiple divisions, including Rail Automation & Industry.
Kathie is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the office, facilities management, inventory control, travel coordination, facilitation of meetings, office supply administration, and shipping and receiving, among other duties.
She enjoyed watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood while she was growing up and is excited to help support Fred Rogers’ timeless legacy. Kathie is active in her local Lions Club and volunteers her sewing talents to many worthwhile causes organized by her local quilt club. She enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and their two dogs along with baking, reading, quilting, sewing, and scouring garage sales/flea markets. Kathie holds an associate’s degree in Secretarial Science.
Sina Eiden is delighted to serve as Junior Accountant on the finance team at Fred Rogers Productions, where she specializes in Royalties and Payables. Prior to joining the company, she worked as an accountant with Httprint and coached Beginning Acting at the Shari Carlson Studio in San Francisco. Sina holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Accounting from Washington & Jefferson College.
Director of Development
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.
Tim Friez is the IT Manager at Fred Rogers Productions where he keeps computers, projects, and servers running smoothly. Previously, Tim served as senior vice president and director of Information Technology and Cyber Security at a Pittsburgh-based advertising agency, leading cybersecurity training for employees. As a member of InfraGard, he collaborated with the FBI on cybersecurity projects that affected national infrastructure. Tim maintained over 50 commercial websites and coordinated the maintenance, management, and administration of multiple off-site servers utilized by high-volume, high-visibility client websites. He also holds a number of certifications. Tim is a graduate of Pittsburgh Technical College.
Associate Director of Marketing
Christina Gorski is the Associate Director of Marketing, managing marketing, branding, and publicity efforts across the Fred Rogers Productions portfolio. Prior to joining the company, Christina spearheaded publicity campaigns for primetime programming at both Fox Broadcasting Company and NBC Entertainment in New York. She built and executed successful strategies for acclaimed series such as New Amsterdam, Blindspot, and Bob’s Burgers, and worked on fan-favorite, unscripted programming, including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Red Nose Day Special, and Christmas in Rockefeller Center. Christina holds a B.A. in History and Theatre from Denison University.
Michelle Janco serves as a Production Assistant at Fred Rogers Productions, providing support on the upcoming series, Alma’s Way. She has a passion for creating playfully poignant stories and images and has extensive experience working with kids as a camp counselor. An accomplished children’s illustrator, Michelle was the recipient of the 2019 Student Illustrator Scholarship from the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). The scholarship afforded her the opportunity to display her work at the SCBWI Conference in Los Angeles.
A recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Michelle worked there as a Research Fellow, where she discovered ways in which automation can be used to produce stop-motion animations. She was also honored with an award for Artistic Excellence, an undergraduate research grant, for co-creating the stop-motion animated film, Rolling Sheep. Michelle holds a B.F.A. in Art with a focus in Electronic and Time-Based Media.
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.
As Associate Producer, Erika Knox facilitates projects in development by overseeing production schedules, organizing development materials, and facilitating communication with partners and collaborators. She also acted as coordinator for the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood legacy website, which launched in 2018. Before joining Fred Rogers Productions, Erika worked for Steeltown Entertainment Project, where she managed independent film initiatives designed to foster filmmakers and stimulate creative projects in Pittsburgh. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Communications Media and a double minor in Theater and English.
Supervising Producer, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
Chris Loggins is Supervising Producer for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, overseeing all aspects of television production, working closely with partners on everything from scripting through final episode delivery and beyond, and directing live-action segments for the series. An Emmy® Award-winning producer, Chris also serves as production manager for Peg + Cat and Odd Squad, which both air on PBS KIDS. Before joining Fred Rogers Productions, he served as the development coordinator at WQED, the PBS station in Pittsburgh. Chris has previous experience working with children in his roles as host of “Baby and Me Storytime” at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and driving the Storymobile for Beginning with Books Center for Early Literacy. He holds a B.A. in American Studies with a focus on African-American History from Kenyon College.
Beth Lowery assists with licensing agreements, database management, and requests regarding the use of intellectual property. She began her career as an audiologist after obtaining a B.S. in Speech Pathology/Audiology from East Stroudsburg University and an M.A. in Audiology from Temple University. After obtaining a paralegal certificate from Duquesne University’s Paralegal Institute, she focused on telecommunication real estate contracts. In her spare time, Beth enjoys spending time outdoors rowing, horseback riding, skiing, and golfing.
Marisela Maldonado serves as the HR Manager for Fred Rogers Productions. She holds a SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certification with experience managing a broad spectrum of human resources generalist programs, services, and functions. Prior to joining Fred Rogers Productions, Marisela worked as the HR and Contracts Manager at MANILA Consulting Group, Inc..; Senior Contracts Administrator at Axiom Resource Management, Inc.; Senior Human Resource Generalist at Raffa PC, and most recently as a Senior HRA at Amazon. Throughout her years as an HR professional, she has implemented and coordinated companywide training initiatives and events and has served as a communicator of policies and procedures to employees. Marisela holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree from Marymount University.
As Marketing Manager, 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 and daughter.
Javier Navarro is Production Assistant for the preschool series Donkey Hodie, organizing development materials and facilitating communication with partners and collaborators. Prior to joining the company and entering the worlds of television production and children’s media, he served as an AmeriCorps VISTA leader at Global Game Changers, a nonprofit in Louisville, KY where he produced videos and led community service projects.
Javier holds a B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in Entrepreneurship from the University of Washington. Upon graduating, he pursued documentary filmmaking, but quickly discovered a passion for children’s media and cognitive development while teaching kindergarten and first grade at the Global Game Changers’ afterschool program. Working at Fred Rogers Productions is Javier’s first role within the realm of children’s media, and he is excited to combine his new-found passion with his lifelong loves of writing, acting, and cartoons.
Olubunmi Mia Olufemi
Supervising Producer, Alma's Way
Olubunmi Mia Olufemi is Supervising Producer of Alma’s Way, the new PBS KIDS series created by Sonia Manzano and produced by Fred Rogers Productions. Mia is responsible for overseeing all phases of production, serving as the company’s liaison with the animation studio and broadcaster. Additionally, she coordinates the creation of series assets for marketing and licensing efforts, among other duties. Mia started her career in children’s television at WGBH (now known as GBH) Educational Foundation, where she worked on acclaimed children’s properties including Arthur, Curious George, Martha Speaks, and Design Squad Global. Most recently, she was the producer of Molly of Denali, the Peabody Award-winning PBS KIDS show. Her work is devoted to building inclusive productions, on screen and behind the scenes, that authentically celebrate and highlight under-represented populations, particularly minorities and immigrant cultures. For Alma’s Way, she has worked to create spaces to uplift these new voices in children’s media. Mia received her M.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College.
As Production Assistant at Fred Rogers Productions, Kennedy Randall provides support on series including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Odd Squad. She has previously worked as a freelance video editor, production assistant, designer, and editor. Kennedy has also served as an assistant to rapper, activist, and entrepreneur Kellee Maize for whom she has completed research, website editing, social media design, and much more. With a background in digital media production and television as well as childcare, she has become interested in understanding the ways in which children consume media, and in turn, how that content can aid in their development. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry and is at work on two novels. Kennedy holds a B.A. in Communications from Slippery Rock University.
As Associate Producer for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Arielle supports the series’ creative vision and all aspects of the production: facilitating communication between teams, onboarding and managing advisors, and providing feedback on everything from scripts, designs, and music to leica and animation items. In addition to working with the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood team for several years, Arielle has worked on each of Fred Rogers Productions’ current series including Alma’s Way, Donkey Hodie, and Odd Squad. Before joining FRP, she worked as a children’s art assistant at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and as an editorial intern at Upstart Crow Literary Agency.
A lifelong lover of all things writing and art, Arielle graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2017 with a B.A. in English Fiction Writing, a minor in Studio Arts, and certificates in Children’s Literature and Public and Professional Writing. Ever-writing, Arielle aspires to one day publish a novel.
Digital Asset Manager
Jack Rowley is responsible for managing all aspects of the implementation and workflow of the new Digital Asset Management system used by Fred Rogers Productions. This powerful and extensive system helps staff to locate program content and documents quickly and easily. In addition to his work in Digital Asset Management, Jack is one of the original writers for “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” having written four episodes to date. He has also been a Story and Curriculum Consultant for all episodes since the series began. Jack has an MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie Mellon University. Jack is a father of four and enjoys writing children's stories, composing music and spending time with his wife, Alice.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Brenna Schoen supports the promotion and engagement efforts for Fred Rogers Productions’ series and community initiatives. She also assists with the management of costume character appearances and contributes to the development of new and existing engagement materials. Prior to joining the company full time, Brenna worked as an intern for FRP’s production team. A graduate of Ohio University, she holds a B.S. in Journalism, a minor in Marketing, and a specialization in Television Production. While she’s not originally from Pittsburgh, Brenna loves calling the ‘Burgh home!
Director of Community Engagement
Brittany Smith oversees outreach and engagement efforts for Fred Rogers Productions. Working closely with PBS stations and community groups, she develops resources and events that are designed to ignite curiosity in young learners. Brittany fosters partnerships with like-minded organizations to build and facilitate impactful engagement opportunities that utilize content inspired by the company’s series. Before joining FRP, she worked in early childhood education and media. Brittany holds a B.A. in Communications from Temple University.
Director of Licensing
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.
Lynn Butler served as the Office Manager for Fred Rogers Productions, managing requests from nonprofit organizations and providing administrative assistance to the staff.
Upon announcing her upcoming retirement for spring of 2022, she transitioned to the role of Volunteer Coordinator for the company.
Before joining the company in 1999, Lynn was the Volunteer and Referral Counselor for United Way of Allegheny County.
She is an active member of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World where she holds seats as Assistant Vice Daughter Ruler for her home Temple and Directress of State Presidents.
Cathy Cohen Droz
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 served as the digital producer for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhoodoverseeing development of the Daniel Tiger website and apps. She is the proud and happy mother of four children (who are no longer children!).
Kevin Morrison served as Chief Operating Officer of Fred Rogers Productions from 2006 until his 2019 retirement, 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.
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.
Roberta L. Schomburg, Ph.D.
Roberta L. Schomburg is an advisor for the award-winning Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, new puppet series, Donkey Hodie, and upcoming animated series, Alma’s Way. She also serves as a consultant on other projects for the company. She began working as a child development consultant in 1982, advising on a variety of projects, including developing the activities for the Mister Rogers’ Plan and Play book and other early childhood professional development materials.
Schomburg holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in Administrative and Policy Studies with a specialization in child development and applied developmental psychology. She has presented at numerous national and international conferences and has authored a wide variety of publications and professional development materials for teachers. In 2014, Schomburg was awarded Professor Emerita status at Carlow University where she taught for 30 years and was an associate dean. Most recently, she was the Executive Director of the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College.
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, Ph.D.
Aisha White is Director of The P.R.I.D.E. (positive racial identity development in early education) Program at the Office of Child Development, where she oversees a team working to support the development of young African American children’s positive racial identity. Her racial awareness work spans more than 10 years and supplements the goals of P.R.I.D.E. which in addition to supporting young children, aims to increase adult knowledge and skills in building and supporting positive racial identity and socialization, and increase awareness of the significance of race in the lives of Africana children. Aisha brings decades of experience in coordinating programs focused on emergent literacy, educational media, character education, and the arts to her current role.
She has held positions at Beginning with Books, National Black Programming Consortium, and Family Communications (now Fred Rogers Productions). Throughout her professional career, Aisha has been engaged in political and social activism efforts including the Pittsburgh by-district city council campaign, anti-apartheid and antiwar organizing, the Harambee II Black Arts Festival, and Africana human rights education/film efforts.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, Aisha is a mother of 2 and grandmother of 4. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Media Communications, a Master's in Library Science, and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh.
Margy Whitmer served as producer of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for a number of years until production ended in 2001. She also produced the live-action interstitials for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and is now a scripting consultant for the series. Over the years, Margy was 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.