At-Large Member 2019-2021
Sylvia’s professional and service pursuits exist within the intersection of leadership, media and voluntarism. At this intersection she has demonstrated an ability to cultivate a broad vision, create the strategy that will bring it to fruition and work tactically with team members and partners. Sylvia also dedicates herself to being a champion, a role model and a mentor for young professionals. All of Sylvia’s efforts are defined by a deep commitment to collaboration, excellence and ethics.
For nearly 20 years, Sylvia has held leadership positions in four Junior Leagues and at the Association. Her experience with the Junior League of St. Paul spanned her entry as a Provisional member and was bookended with her acting as an advisor to the President and the President-Elect. With the Junior League of Lancaster, she developed the League’s first website and social media presence as Communications Chair and launched new community projects as Vice President. As President of the Junior League of Baltimore, she finalized a new three-year strategic plan and membership structure, placing the League on a strong footing for the future. Having recently relocated, she is now a Sustaining member with the Junior League of Cleveland. During Sylvia’s previous tenure on the AJLI Board she participated in several workgroups including Fund Development, Association Growth Strategy and Policy Oversight. She also was a member of the Annual Conference Rules Committee where she worked with the Association’s Parliamentarian to advise voting delegates on strategy and process for Governance Dialogue and the Annual Business Meeting.
Sylvia is a strategic advisor, serving on several boards for civic service organizations. She currently is on the board for Latino Public Broadcasting, a non-profit affiliated with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; the Minnesota Humanities Center, an organization with the mission of building a thoughtful, literate, engaged society; and the James J. Hill Research Center, a non-profit business research center. Her previous board memberships include the Pennsylvania Women’s Campaign Fund and the Midwest Chapter of the National Academy for Television Arts and Sciences. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell appointed Sylvia to serve on the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
Professionally, Sylvia has extensive leadership experience in public media, including her current position as Chief Operating Officer for ideastream, which oversees public media in the Northeast Ohio area. As COO, she is leading the planning and implementation for ideastream’s digital first strategic plan to ensure that it delivers digital content and services to its users. Her previous experience includes working as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for American Public Media, President and General Manager for Pennsylvania Public Television Network and Deputy General Counsel for Twin Cities Public Television.
Sylvia earned her B.A. in Biology from St. Olaf College, her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law and her M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Carlson School of Management. Additionally, she was an adjunct professor of Art and Entertainment Law at Hamline University School of Law.