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Who's Who: Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission member profiles

Debra A. Bright, Ed.D.
Dr. Bright, a 2020 appointee to the commission, is associate dean of student affairs and past chair of the President's Advisory Committee on Equity and Inclusion at Montgomery College. She previously served as director of admissions and student services at The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Dr. Bright is currently an advisory board member for the university’s National Council for Education and Human Development.

As a member of the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (NAGAP), Dr. Bright served on the NAGAP Executive Governing Board. She recently completed a six-year term on the steering committee for the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, as well as a six-year term on the Montgomery County Commission for Women, including two years as commission president.

Dr. Bright earned a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, a master’s in education from Harvard University, and a doctoral degree in higher education administration from The George Washington University.

Richard “Dick” Bodorff
Mr. Bodorff was appointed to the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission in May 2020.  His 40+ year career as a communications attorney began in the general counsel’s office at the Federal Communications Commission following a clerkship with then-Commissioner Dick Wiley. At Wiley Rein LLP thereafter, Mr. Bodorff represented public and commercial media clients including Commonwealth Public Broadcasting, Minnesota Public Radio, Rhode Island PBS, New York Public Radio, Nexstar Media Group, iHeart Media and Urban One.

Mr. Bodorff is the past Chairman of the Board of Commonwealth and Vice Chair of the Board of America's Public Television Stations.  He currently serves on the Board of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  

Mr. Bodorff is Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and past chairman of the Boards of the YMCA of the Chesapeake and the Academy Art Museum in Talbot County.

Commissioner Bodorff holds a bachelor’s degree from Denison University and earned his law degree at Vanderbilt University School of Law.  He resides in Easton with his wife, Ellen. 

Shelly L. Gardeniers
Ms. Gardeniers was appointed to the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission in October 2016 and reappointed in 2020. She is an independent consultant and owner of Artis Strategic Consulting, LLC, specializing in strategic planning, oversight, and governance. Ms. Gardeniers has previously served on the board of directors of several regional and national organizations and is a member of the Leadership Maryland Class of 2014.  A resident of Anne Arundel County, she earned an undergraduate degree in foreign service, international relations, and law and organizations from Georgetown University and a master’s in international affairs, international finance, and business from Columbia University.  She is a certified governance trainer. Ms. Gardeniers is also a member of the Maryland Board of Airport Zoning Appeals. She has previously served on the board of directors of several regional and national organizations and is a member of the Leadership Maryland Class of 2014.  She resides in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

Rebecca J. Hanson, Esq.
Named to the commission in September 2020, Ms. Hanson is a spectrum and broadcasting media executive.  She previously served as executive vice president and general counsel for HC2 Broadcasting Holdings, Inc. and served as senior vice president for FCC regulatory policy at Sinclair Broadcast Group.  Ms. Hanson previously served as senior advisor for the broadcast spectrum auction at the Federal Communications Commission.  She currently serves on the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Leadership Foundation board of directors. She serves on the board of MPT Foundation, Inc. as well.

Ms. Hanson earned a bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center. She is a resident of Bethesda, Maryland.  

Edward H. Kaplan
Mr. Kaplan was appointed to the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission in 1996.  Today he chairs the commission and is an ex officio director of the affiliated MPT Foundation, Inc.  Mr. Kaplan is a Washington, D.C.-based real estate developer and investor.  He is a member of the boards of directors of several companies, including that of the United Bank of Virginia. He has served as president and general campaign chairman of the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Washington. 

His public broadcasting industry work includes service as a member of the board of the Washington, DC-based American’s Public Television Stations. A graduate of the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Kaplan lives in Potomac, Maryland with his wife, Irene.

Irwin R. Kramer
Mr. Kramer was named to the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission in late 2016. He is managing partner in the law firm Kramer & Connolly in Reisterstown (MD).  Mr. Kramer is a former law professor and continues to publish and lecture nationally on trial advocacy and legal ethics.

Commissioner Kramer founded the Legal Television Network, where he produced features designed to enhance public access to legal information. He has hosted legal programs on C-SPAN, has served as a legal analyst for The Baltimore Sun, and appeared regularly as a legal analyst for Sinclair Broadcast Group and its Baltimore flagship stations.  Mr. Kramer is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association, the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, and bars of several federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. He earned his undergraduate degree from Towson University, and Juris Doctor degree from University of Maryland School of Law. Kramer also earned a Master of Laws degree from Columbia University School of Law and served as vice president of Columbia Law School Alumni Association of Washington, D.C. 

Elizabeth E. Suarez
Appointed to the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission in 2020, Beth Suarez is director of development for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. Prior to accepting this position, she served as executive director of the Booz Allen Foundation. 

Earlier, she worked in development roles at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) over the course of 14 years, serving as the vice president of development for seven of those years.  She has also worked as senior director of development for Catholic Charities USA and as director of philanthropic relations for GuideStar. Among her civic activities, she serves on the board of directors of the MPT Foundation, Inc.

Ms. Suarez is a graduate of Saint Lawrence University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in government. She resides in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Bruce A. Wahl
Appointed to the commission in June 2018, Mr. Wahl is former senior solutions architect for the Distribution Division at National Public Radio (NPR) in Washington, D.C., which is responsible for distribution of programming to nearly 1,000 public radio stations across the country.  During his consulting phase, he designed and developed systems for numerous high profile radio broadcasting companies, including ABC Radio Networks, Mutual Broadcasting System, Sirius Satellite Radio, NPR, and others. He collaborated with PBS on their next generation program distribution system known as sIX.  He had been with NPR for 48 years prior to his 2019 retirement. 

Mr. Wahl also had an extensive background as a public servant in a volunteer capacity. He first served on the Chesapeake Beach (MD) Planning and Zoning Commission prior to becoming a member of the Chesapeake Beach Town Council from 1989 to 2008.  He was then elected and served for two terms as town mayor until 2016.  Mr. Wahl served as president of the Maryland Municipal League (MML) in 2014-2015 and subsequently was awarded the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. At the conclusion of his local government service in late 2016, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan commissioned him as an “Admiral of the Chesapeake Bay” for his significant efforts to protect the bay.

Mr. Wahl is a graduate of the Leadership Maryland Class of 2003 and a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam. He was officer in charge of the American Forces Vietnam Network Detachment in Pleiku in the Central Highlands.  Mr. Wahl and his wife reside in Chesapeake Beach.

Eleanor K. Wang
Ellie Wang is a Baltimore County physical therapist and freelance actor. She was appointed to the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission in August 2003 and serves on the board of directors of the MPT Foundation, Inc. and the Appellate Courts Judicial Nomination Commission.  Ms. Wang received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Purdue, a postgraduate certificate in physical therapy from University of Pennsylvania, and a master of liberal arts degree from Johns Hopkins and is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association.  She has been a biology instructor at the Community College of Baltimore and a member of the Board of Nursing Home Administrators Examiners, the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee, and the Governor’s Task Force on Aging.  She is a current member and director of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and serves on its Equal Employment Opportunities Committee. She also belongs to the Screen Actors Guild.

She serves on the board of directors of the Maryland Film Industry Coalition.  Ms. Wang enjoys community service and supports the Kiwanis Club of Maryland and the Rotary Club of Indiana.  She serves on the Santa Claus Anonymous board of directors, and the St. David’s Church Outreach committee.  She belongs to the Woman’s Club of Roland Park and the Kappa Alpha Theta Alumni Chapter.

Ms. Wang is married to David R. Blumberg, and the couple resides in the Roland Park section of Baltimore.  She enjoys cooking, underwater activities, and colonial and biblical archaeology.