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William H. Smith Family Leadership Circle


The William H. Smith Family Leadership Circle recognizes donors to Detroit Public Television at the $10,000+ giving level.  Founded in 2013, and named to honor the $1,000,000 gift made by the William H. and Patricia M. Smith Foundation, the initial goal of the Willian H. Smith Family Leadership Circle was to raise $5,000,000 in contributions over a five year period.  As of 2019, over $6,000,000 has been raised. 

As a donor at the Smith Leadership Level of giving, you may choose to direct your gifts of $10,000 or more annually to programming in one of the five named program categories and will be provided with periodic reports on how their funds are being invested in programming.  Our five programming categories are:

Of course, you may also decide to direct DPTV to utilize your gift in a flexible manner that allows DPTV to apply it where most needed.

Benefits of Joining the William H. Smith Family Leadership Circle:

  • Invitation for two (2) to our annual Bravo donor appreciation dinner and VIP Reception
  • Invitations to celebrity meet & greet events and special ticket opportunities
  • Personal Representative at the DPTV Office
  • Invitation to join DPTV onsite at the special filming or workshop of your choice area of interest
  • Smith Family Leadership Circle members are welcome to visit and tour the Riley Broadcast Center and meet with the President and other key staff
  • Members will receive advance notice about special programming in their categories. 
  • Invitation of Smith Family Leadership Circle members to a series of annual Stakeholder Meetings for their input into ongoing programming at the station
  • Members’ names will appear in on-air announcements recognizing their program category support, if they so choose
  • Annual Report recognition in the Smith Leadership Circle

Click here to join the Smith Leadership Circle >


Smith Leadership Circle Members

Lead Gift:

  • The William H. Smith Family

Programming Categories:

  • The Richard C. Devereaux Foundation Fund for Energy and Environmental Programming
  • The Cynthia & Edsel Ford Fund for Journalism
  • The Lauren and Phillip Fisher Fund for Children’s and Education Programming
  • The A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap Foundation Fund for Arts and Culture Programming
  • Available for naming:  Health and Wellness

Leadership Circle Members:

  • Michael and Adele Acheson
  • Joel, Carol, and Aaron Appel
  • Loren and Sarah Baidas*
  • James & Marcia Bonahoom
  • Natalie Charach
  • Joanne & Chuck Ciuni*
  • Marvin & Betty Danto Family Foundation
  • DeRoy Testamentary Foundation
  • Richard C. Devereaux Foundation
  • Ken Eisenberg and Kenwal Steel
  • Phillip Wm & Lauren Fisher
  • Benson & Edith Ford Fund
  • Cynthia & Edsel Ford | Henry Ford II Fund
  • Dale & Bruce Frankel
  • Paul Glantz
  • Nancy and James Grosfeld Foundation
  • Phoebe Grylls
  • Gregory Haynes & Richard Sonenklar
  • Tracey & Rich Homberg*
  • Invie & Richard Jessup
  • Eve & Jerry Jung
  • W.J. and Lillian Kemler Foundation
  • The Donald and Mary Kosch Foundation
  • Leonard Kruszewski
  • The Estate of Dorothy & Mel Kurzen
  • Dolores & Paul Lavins Foundation
  • Paula & Henry Lederman
  • Lisa & Hannan Lis*
  • Dana Locniskar & Christine Beck*
  • Amy and Dan Loepp
  • Lyon Foundation, Inc.
  • Jeffrey Alan Miller
  • Alexander & Carole Anne Nakeff
  • Ann & Jim Nicholson*
  • Stephanie & Timothy Nicholson*
  • Polk Family Fund
  • Ralph L. & Winifred E. Polk Foundation
  • The Rosen Family Foundation
    • Rosalie and Bruce Rosen
    • Julie and Marty Wiener
  • William & Jean Clark Rhodes Foundation
  • Robert & Kathleen Rosowski
  • Sue Sarin
  • Paul and Carol C. Schaap DAF at the CFSEM
  • Mary & Tom Shafer* and TCF Bank
  • Patricia Finnegan Sharf
  • The Elizabeth, Allan, & Warren Shelden Foundation
  • Michael & Suzette Simpson
  • Dr. Peggie J. Hollingsworth (Smith)
  • Catherine Smith
  • William H. Smith
  • Strum Allesee Family Foundation
  • Drs. Barbara & David Sturtz*
  • Pam Theisen* & Nancy Schlichting
  • Carlene & Rob Van Voorhies
  • Laurie & Tim Wadhams
  • Sally & Bill Wildner
  • Matilda Wilson Fund
  • Five who wish to remain anonymous

*DPTV Board of Trustees and Emeritus

Bill Smith Receives Governor’s Award

Pictured at the Governor’s Awards ceremony:  Dan Alpert, Bill Smith, Jenna Moritz (DPTV major giving officer), and Dana Locniskar (Board Emeritus for DPTV and Board Member of CFSEM).Pictured at the Governor’s Awards ceremony: Dan Alpert, Bill Smith, Jenna Moritz (DPTV major giving officer), and Dana Locniskar (Board Eme William H. Smith, whose sustained support of Detroit Public Television has helped build DPTV’s production and broadcast facilities and create the Smith Leadership Circle, was recognized as one of the State of Michigan’s heroes of philanthropy June 29 when he received the Russell G. Mawby Award for Philanthropy from Governor Rick Snyder at the 2015 Governor’s Service Awards.  

The award, named for the founder of both the Council of Michigan Foundations and the Michigan Nonprofit Association, encourages private action for the public good through philanthropy.  That’s what Bill has sparked for many organizations, including the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM), the DIA, Mosaic Youth Theatre, Michigan Infant Mental Health, WRCJ, DPTV, and others. 

“To see him recognized properly and celebrated by his family, friends, and representatives from all around Michigan’s generous giving communities felt absolutely right,” said Dan Alpert, Sr. VP, Philanthropy for DPTV.

For information on joining the Smith Leadership Circle with a gift of $10,000 or more annually, please contact Director of Major Gifts Eddie Davis at 248-305-3806 or

Bill Smith Leads the Way for DPTV Circle of Support

SmithAlpertHomberg.jpg When Patricia M. and William H. Smith moved to Detroit in 1960 from Chicago, they brought with them their family’s long-time commitment to local education, arts and culture.

Fast forward to now, Bill recently established the William H. Smith Family Leadership Circle with a $1million challenge grant to encourage the sustained support of leadership-level donors wanting to commit $10,000 or more annually to DPTV and five very special donors to name the major categories of programming at $200,000 each for five years.

Bill Smith founded Allied Film & Video in 1960 in Detroit to serve the growing market for educational and corporate training films. He sold the company in 1995, and Bill and Patsy established their own private charitable foundation.

When Detroit Public TV needed to convert to digital broadcasting in the past decade, Bill and Patsy became lead donors, providing funding for the Smith Family Broadcast Operations Center at DPTV. Following Pasty’s death in 2006, Bill made an additional major commitment to name a new studio at the Riley Broadcast Center.

“There is an important foundation of trust, civility of discussion, and concern for the improvement of the lives of all viewers that I find unique to public broadcasting and particularly at Detroit Public TV,” said Bill.

Since it began in 2013, donors to the Smith Leadership Circle have committed more than $6 million, including gifts of $200,000 over a five-year period to name the program categories from the Richard C. Devereaux Foundation for the Energy and Environment Program Fund, Bill and Shirlee Fox to name the Leadership and Public Affairs Program Fund, Lauren & Phillip Fisher to name the Children and Public Affairs Fund, A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap to name the Arts and Culture Fund, and Cynthia and Edsel Ford to name the Fund for Journalism.

To learn more about joining the Smith Leadership Circle, contact Eddie Davis | 248-305-3806

Icon Article about the Smith Circle in Crain's Detroit Business (542.4 KB)


Edward Davis, II | 248.305.3806
Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving

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