Debora Wilson3/24/2006 7:00 PM Eastern
As its president, Debora Wilson is responsible for advancing the growth and development of The Weather Channel Cos., a leader in the cable industry and the country’s premier source of weather information for consumers. This includes The Weather Channel Networks, which delivers weather programming to cable, satellite, radio and newspaper media and The Weather Channel Interactive, which operates the company’s Internet and mobile services, including weather.com, one of the top ten Internet properties in the world.
Hired in 1994, Wilson was responsible for developing new products and services to extend The Weather Channel brand across all media. She is credited for positioning The Weather Channel as a strong multiplatform media company effectively reaching consumers.
From its inception, The Weather Channel has stressed the importance of education as a tool to help people better prepare for the worst assaults of the weather. The network has been a partner of Cable In The Classroom since the program began, providing instructional materials that help schoolchildren develop a stronger comprehension of weather and atmospheric sciences, along with the materials that help teachers present this important information more effectively. The company has also launched an educational Web site, weatherclassroom.com, which provides activities and information to students, teachers, and parents, allowing them to work together in building a strong scientific foundation for the child.
The Weather Channel provides broader-based initiatives for the general public, including its SafeSide and SunReady public service programs. With the valuable support of affiliates and corporate partners, SafeSide goes into the community in areas vulnerable to severe weather with messages and materials designed to help families prepare for dangerous weather conditions. In response to the growing number of people that have been affected by skin cancer, The Weather Channel launched a sun safety program, SunReady, to spread awareness of the dangers of overexposure to the sun along with methods for reducing exposure.
Following the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, the network made significant donations to the American Red Cross, bolstering its corporate giving by matching donations from its employees and raising additional funds through an online auction of autographed company merchandise.
Wilson launched the company’s Storm Helpers program that will, in cooperation with the Red Cross, be dispatching a team of employees trained in emergency management to the site of weather-related disasters to assist in recovery efforts.
Other volunteer efforts for The Weather Channel are no less important. Through paid time off for community service, each associate has the opportunity to serve the organization of his or her choice. As part of a sponsorship Wilson arranged with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the company hosts volunteer days at local clubs and conducts educational opportunities for its members.
Wilson’s commitment to corporate public service employee volunteerism mirrors her personal commitment. A regular at company-sponsored volunteer outings, she supports several causes of importance to individual employees, including the Parkinson’s Unity Walk and the Lymphomathon 5k, where she serves as corporate chair. Away from the office, she is a volunteer with a group known as Dentists Without Borders, providing dental treatment to children in remote villages of Central America. Her corporate citizenship encompasses professional organizations, including service on the Boards of Directors for CablePac and CTAM’s Educational Foundation, and membership on the Board of Advisors for Cable Positive. Additionally, Wilson is a member of the Advisory Board, School of Communications at Elon University, and Chairman of the Online Publishers Association.