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From the CEO - May 2023

As a child, May was my favorite simply because I was born in May, and who doesn't love a birthday cake? Growing up in upstate New York, I always looked forward to May due to the fact that the weather significantly improves from the usually frigid, gloomy winters. Of course, I also admire May as we celebrate our mothers and many college graduates.

With that being said, I need to congratulate my daughter Jillian, who will graduate from Regis University in Denver, Colorado with a degree in physical therapy this month. When she first started college, she began studying electronic media, following in her father's footsteps. But after her first year, she realized she didn't like lugging around heavy television equipment and having 3:00 a.m. radio shifts on the other side of campus.

Jillian had injured her knee in high school. She was treated by a physical therapist and saw firsthand how they help improve everyday people's lives. So, she turned to a major and future profession where she felt she could help people daily. After graduating from Ithaca College, she moved to Denver to get a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and will begin her job in Denver this summer. Congratulations, honey. Dad is so proud of you.

The experience with her physical therapist had a significant impact on Jillian's life. And this month, WHRO hosts the Great Computer Challenge involving teams of students throughout the region. This competitive opportunity for students in Kindergarten through 12th Grade to demonstrate their knowledge of various computer applications and programming skills has been held at Old Dominion University for 38 years. I have to wonder how many of those students that had a chance to compete in software programs and jargon went on to study and work in the tech and computer field. To learn more about the Great Computer Challenge, visit whro.org/GCC. Wishing the best of luck to this year's competitors!

I'll celebrate my birthday this month at our WHRO News Pub event at Tradition Brewery in Newport News on May 25th at 6:30 p.m. The WHRO News Pub series of events are planned and hosted by the WHRO newsroom and have become an exciting way to discuss the state of local journalism in our area. Join us for a beer, have some interesting conversations, and meet some of the WHRO staff. The wellbeing of a community is influenced by the content and quality of local journalism! Local journalism is important. To learn more about this event, visit whro.org/events. I hope to see you there. And, of course, in May we celebrate Memorial Day, and the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice. We say thank you to the heroes who courageously gave their lives in fighting for our country, gone but never forgotten.

Once again, I want to thank you for your continued support. It is your faithfulness and generosity that makes our work possible. Thank you for helping keep public media strong in our community!

Bert Schmidt President & CEO