SMPTE has announced the appointment of Michele Wright as director of business development and outreach, where she is leading the society’s marketing and sales teams and partnering with staff and volunteers to guide multiplatform marketing and outreach to new members and partners.
“With advanced degrees in both engineering and public policy, and a record of transformational leadership in diverse roles and environments, Michele comes to this SMPTE role ready to partner with colleagues in realizing meaningful change and growth for the Society,” says SMPTE executive director David Grindle. “She has a unique ability to share and communicate a vision for change, and then to foster and guide a practical approach to implementation and administration — all aimed at improving operations and contributing to organizational growth and scaling. I am so pleased to welcome her to SMPTE.”
Wright brings experience in pharmaceutical/biotechnology sales, healthcare administration, and business development for Fortune 100 companies and an international non-profit organization to the new role. A native of Tuskegee, AL, she’s the 2022 USA TODAY Woman of the Year for Arkansas and a 2022-2023 AARP Purpose Prize Fellow. She and her husband, Terry Wright, made history in 2022 as the first people of color to be honored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) with the organization’s top honor, the Breath of Life Award, and to be named CF Ambassadors. She is the recipient of the Nations of Women Change Makers 2021 Global Leadership Award and a nominee of the EveryLife Foundation of Rare Diseases’ RareVoice 2021 Award for Diversity Empowerment.
“I am beyond ecstatic to step into my new and adventurous role as SMPTE’s director of business development and outreach,” Wright says. “It is an ideal fit in merging my extensive background in STEM, administration, sales, marketing, and community outreach to help develop and expand SMPTE’s membership growth, business opportunities, and global profile to diverse new dimensions. As such, I am fully committed and excited to build positive and sustainable relationships with members, partners, and the industry as a whole.”
“I was drawn to this role because it affords me an invaluable opportunity to work for the global gold standard society of media professionals, technologists, and engineers,” she continues. “I am also thrilled to report to a forward-thinking change agent like SMPTE’s new executive director, David Grindle, and to work synergistically with my technically brilliant team. I also look forward to collaborating with SMPTE’s staff, officers, and board of governors, alongside its first newly elected African American president, Renard T. Jenkins, to build from SMPTE’s past and to plan and enhance our future.”