WASHINGTON—America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) has awarded its 2021 David J. Brugger Lay Leadership Award to David Steward II, who is the immediate past board chair of Nine PBS in St. Louis. Steward was recognized during APTS 2021 Public Media Summit.
Steward has been an APTS Board member since 2019 and has played a role in building bipartisan support for federal funding for public media, APTS said. He is being recognized with the David J. Brugger Lay Leadership Award for his efforts to increase public media funding by a total of $30 million over the last two years—the first increase in funding in a decade.
“Dave Steward is an extraordinarily effective lay leader of public broadcasting, both at the national and local levels,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS, “and his voluntary efforts in support of our work perfectly capture the spirit of the Brugger Award. He is a relentless and eloquent champion, whether with the chairman of our Appropriations subcommittee, his network of business leaders or his neighbors in St. Louis. We are immensely grateful for his generous investment of time, energy and towering reputation on our behalf, and we are honored to present the David J. Brugger Award to David Steward II.”
Steward owns and operates multiple companies with a mission of creating, discovering and highlighting multicultural and diverse content in the entertainment industry. In 2018, he founded the Polarity holding company, which in 2019 launched the Lion Forge Animation Studio that produced the Oscar-winning animated short film “Hair Love.”
“Receiving the David J. Brugger Lay Leadership Award is a tremendous honor and something that, for me, evokes a sense of shared pride in the tireless work of so many,” said David Steward II. “I’m extremely proud of the progress made with much needed funding increases. While our work is not done, we do have movement and results to celebrate and fuel us going forward. I thank APTS for this meaningful recognition of leadership, and my home public media affiliate, Nine PBS, and it's CEO Amy Shaw. I'd also like to thank our community of fellow leaders, supporters and partners who motivate me every single day.”
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