Mary Dunaway, 88.5 KNKX’s Executive Director of Development, received the Development Professional of the Year Award from the Public Radio Association of Development Officers on July 6 at the Public Media Development and Marketing Conference in San Francisco, put on by Greater Public. PRADO is a membership organization that helps public radio development professionals grow and prosper.
The honor is in recognition of Dunaway’s leadership of KNKX’s all-encompassing, history-making fundraising campaign to raise $7 million in less than five months to buy the station from Pacific Lutheran University and become an independent, community-licensed entity. Melanie Coulson, Executive Director for Member Station Services at Greater Public, interviewed Dunaway for an online story, in which she shares her insights about the campaign.
Dunaway said transparency during the campaign was paramount and pointed to the groundswell of donor and community support that prevailed.
“I was honored to accept the award but did so on behalf of the entire KNKX staff and giving community,” says Dunaway. “The KNKX story is really one of community activism and serves as a reminder of the power of people coming together to fight for what's important and meaningful in their lives. Public media values of thoughtful dialogue, and a diversity of ideas and expression are critically important today. Our listening community acted to preserve those values and our service.”
Dunaway has worked in virtually every aspect of membership and individual giving at KNKX. She started as a student worker in 2004, became Development Assistant in 2005 and was promoted to Listener Relations Manager, planning and overseeing KNKX's on-air pledge drives. From there, Dunaway went from becoming the Major and Planned Giving Director, to Development Director, to being named the station’s Executive Director of Development in 2013. Her favorite part of her job is building relationships with listeners and supporters of KNKX.
"Mary Dunaway is the best in the business,” says KNKX’s President and General Manager Joey Cohn. “We've known this for years at KNKX, and now the rest of the country knows. I am very pleased that she is being recognized by her public radio colleagues from around the country."