Heather Birks has been the executive director of BEA, a media education association, since June 2006. She has created and developed strategic alliances with corporate and academic organizations, and worked with BEA’s Board to revitalize the association’s annual convention, marketing, and membership benefit efforts. Birks created a new format for BEA’s annual convention to include focused workshops on production, documentary, scriptwriting, assessment, and research. She developed a series of academic and industry relationships to help educators promote research and get tools, techniques, and contacts needed to teach future media professionals.
Birks came to BEA after working for over 10 years at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) – the Government Relations Department, membership and event planning for the Television Department, and finally to the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF). In the six years she worked at NABEF she helped build, manage, and produce the Service to America Awards. She also helped launch and run the Broadcast Leadership Training Program, a 10-month executive MBA-style program for broadcasters interested in learning the art of assessing, acquiring, and running successful radio and television stations.