Gold & Silver Circle committee welcomes this year’s class of honorees

CLEVELAND – The NATAS Central Great Lakes chapter’s Gold & Silver Circle committee is proud to welcome seven longtime members into its illustrious Gold and Silver Circle this summer.

This year the chapter’s Gold & Silver Circle committee invited longtime executive John Butte into the chapter’s prestigious Gold Circle to honor his 50+ year career serving various roles in the broadcasting industry.

“John is one of those people in our industry whose name is synonymous with the advancement of our industry over the last 58 years, the latter half spent contributing to our NATAS chapter. John is a pioneer, an innovator, and a generous mentor,” said WKYC’s David Hrvatin, who nominated Butte.

This year the chapter is also welcoming several industry veterans into our Silver Circle to mark more than 25 years in the industry: Dr. Phil Hoffman, Tim Pollard, Kevin Rader, Mark Rosenberger, Jim Shella, Patty Spitler and Jamie Suiter.

Here’s what some of their colleagues had to say about them upon nominating them for this honor:

Dr. Phil Hoffman is Assistant Dean of Media and General Manager of Ball State’s PBS, and also serves as co-chair for the NATAS Central Great Lakes education committee. Hoffman has served the television industry for over 35 years. Starting out as a reporter with WAKC-TV ABC in Akron, he moved to leadership position in public television, including KMOS-PBS in Missouri and WUCF-PBS in Orlando. His most significant contribution is his dedication to education. As Dean of Media & General Manager of Ball State PBS he has mentored and contributed to the career of countless students over more than two decades.

Tim Pollard began his career with CNN in 1983 as an entry-level video journalist running studio camera, TelePrompTer, and floor directing. He quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a supervisor for CNN’s global field operations, and later operations manager for CNN’s Washington, D.C., Bureau. In 1998 he joined the College of Communication, Information, and Media at Ball State University where he was responsible for the development of numerous innovative, immersive, and real-world news production programs.

Kevin Rader was drawn to radio as a teenager doing a stint as weekend DJ for his hometown KAMI in Nebraska. He moved to television when he joined Nebraska Television Network early in his professional career, and in 1990 he joined WTHR-TV in Indianapolis for 30 memorable years. As trusted reporter and broadcast journalist, he earned more than thirty Regional Emmy Awards and Edward R. Murrow awards (including two national awards). Just before his retirement in 2020, Kevin was awarded Indiana’s prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash.

*Mark Rosenberger has had a distinguished career in public television serving in leadership positions for WVIZ Cleveland for more than 35 years. Committed to the ideal of helping all people better understand the world around them, he has produced, spearheaded, and managed programs about education, health, the arts, culture, and the economy. He has won countless regional and national Emmys, Obies, film festival and other awards, and currently serves as the Chief Content Officer for Ideastream Public Media.

During his 30+ year career at WISH-TV, Jim Shella covered Indiana politics longer than any other television reporter in the state.  He followed six governors, covered 14 national conventions and interviewed hundreds of politicians, and broke multiple stories.  Greatly missed by his viewers, Jim retired from WISH-TV in 2016. He was twice honored with a “Sagamore of the Wabash” by two different Indiana Governors.

With nearly 50 years of service Patty Spitler has served as an exemplar within the field of radio and TV broadcasting. Originally From Dayton, Ohio, Patty served as a news anchor and entertainment reporter for WISH-TV in Indianapolis until her retirement in 2004. Since then she has become known as an author, the host and executive producer of “Great Day TV” and “Pet Pals TV” and as a visiting co-host on the station’s weekday life-style show, and much more. Patty was one of the first female “morning drive” radio disc jockeys in the country. Known for her spirit and professionalism, Patty also is a selfless, and dedicated volunteer.

Few photographers have had a greater impact on the success of television stations in the Central Great Lakes Chapter than Jamie Suiter. His career in Indianapolis began more than 30 years ago when he became part of the team that launched Fox 59 News in Indianapolis in 1991, one of the most successful news launches in the history of the network. Over the years Jamie has won countless Emmy awards and nominations. Beyond these personal achievements, and despite a daunting workload, Jamie also takes the time to mentor the stations younger staff.

This year’s class was recognized at our Gold & Silver Celebration luncheon at 3UP in Carmel, IN just north of Indianapolis.

*Butte and Rosenberger will be inducted into the Gold & Silver Circle next year in Cleveland.