By Joyce Mitchell
Sacramento Region Vice President
Presiding with strength, understanding, and a strong vision, the four-year term of NATAS SF/NorCal President Steve Shlisky is winding to a close June 2020. As he steps away from the helm of the Board of Governors, his tenure is filled with accomplishments and support for the chapter and its members during some very challenging times.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced cancellation of the annual 49th Emmy® Gala this year. Still, Shlisky diligently has insured that excellence in television will be recognized and honored with a presentation of Emmy® Awards via an un-traditional webcast.
He has actively overseen development of a virtual Emmy® online program to salute the hard work done by television in the chapter. This year’s competition recipients will be announced June 6, 2020 beginning at 7PM and hosted by Shlisky and Awards Chair Wayne Freedman.
While converting the Emmy® Awards into a webcast is a big endeavor, it’s among many innovative and creative projects Shlisky has undertaken. While also holding the job of president, he simultaneously represented the region as one of four elected national trustees for several years.
In 2019, Shlisky smoothly transitioned the look of the NATAS chapter brand to an updated and fresher one created by the National Emmy® office. His term as a trustee is also coming to an end but he will be involved with mentoring incoming trustees.
Alison Gibson currently serves as a national trustee and is also chapter Treasurer. “Working with Steve these past four years has been thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring,” said Gibson. “Honesty, smarts, fairness and a ‘can-do’ attitude are but a few of his leadership qualities that have served our chapter so well, both locally and nationally.”
When Shlisky graciously accepted the post of chapter president, he already had a packed schedule. He was and continues teaching at Laney College while also working at KTVU in the Bay Area as a program services editor, producer and writer. He recently retired from KTVU after garnering fourteen regional Emmy(e) Awards on sixty nominations and six RTNDA Awards.
Throughout the years, Shlisky has tirelessly and generously devoted time and passion to the chapter, coupling leadership with kindness and authoritative direction. And he is very forward-thinking. Yet, Shlisky is adamant about keeping the chapter in check with guidelines set forth by national in New York. “He’s always had a clear vision of helping people reach goals while encouraging them to greatness,” said Freedman who also serves as a national trustee. “He takes pride in the accomplishments of others and expresses courage, decisiveness, clarity, passion, and humility in his leadership approach.”
Providing that decisive guidance, under his watch, Shlisky has managed to firm up the online Off Camera newsletter, giving members hard deliverable deadlines they can count on. He has introduced Spanish translations for some of the monthly stories. Regional Emmy® Mixers also have been held under Shlisky’s leadership. The goal is to be more inclusive of all markets in the chapter. Not long ago, Shlisky travelled to Hawaii for a mixer there right before the pandemic took hold.
“Steve had certain goals and they paralleled mine,” said Membership Chair Patty Zubov. “We collaborated on successful network gatherings like Hamilton and the Member Mixers in three regions, Sacramento, Fresno and Hawaii. He boosted the Mentorship Program by taking on a mentee himself! I’m grateful.”
Following in his footsteps will be Sacramento KCRA 3 Newscast Director Randy Forsman who was elected to the position of president at the May meeting of the Board of Governors. “I am beyond honored and humbled to have been elected as the next president of our chapter,”
said Forsman. “My sincere thanks goes out to President Steve Shlisky for the nomination and to our Board of Governors for having the confidence to elect me to the position. I have some great ideas of how to grow as a chapter going forward and I welcome involvement from all of our members.” Forsman also is a national trustee.
Shlisky will continue working with the Board of Governors as Immediate Past President, providing a calm and centering voice of reason to issues that may arise. While he will be missed in his leadership role, governors are confident that Forsman will do an equally solid job.
Thank you – Steve Shlisky for your commitment to the television industry and members served by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences SF/NorCal Chapter. Your voice and leadership served the TV Academy well. Greatness is rare but always appreciated. For that reason, we salute you.