The Board of Directors of WDIY announced that its Executive Director, Dr. Bill Dautremont-Smith will retire by the end of the summer. The Board plans to engage in a national search to fill the position. Dautremont-Smith, who will assist with the transition, spent five years at WDIY as Executive Director. Prior to that, he served on the board of directors for four years, and has been a volunteer on-air host for the past ten years.
“Bill brought a new spirit to WDIY,” said Board President Michael Kraynak. “His dedication to the station runs deep, and his efforts working to provide quality community public radio to the Lehigh Valley have been significant. By carefully enhancing nearly every aspect of the operation, Bill has positioned us for sustained growth and meaningful evolution." Dautremont-Smith remarks, “This decision has brought with it mixed emotions. The past five years at WDIY have been incredibly stimulating, challenging, enjoyable and rewarding. It is difficult to leave such an outstanding organization, especially one that is providing an important community service like WDIY.”
Bill’s involvement in WDIY began in February 2003, after taking an early retirement from a long career in technology development at AT&T/Lucent/Agere, where he was CTO responsible for strategy development of one of Agere's fiber optic communications divisions. He started out as a volunteer programmer, becoming one of the hosts of World Rhythms. In 2004 he became a member-elected member of the Board, and then served as President of the Board during a critical time of rebuilding in 2005 and 2006. He continued to be a very active board member and committee leader, prior to leaving the board to become the Interim Executive Director in 2008. In 2009 he was named Executive Director.
During his time as Executive Director, the station has seen a forty-percent increase in membership. He applied strict fiscal control to reduce the station’s operating expenses to a bare minimum. He was influential in making the station a vibrant partner with many of the cultural and educational institutions throughout the Lehigh Valley, and he played a critical role in improving overall program quality, in particular the station’s public and cultural affairs programs. Bill placed special emphasis on developing relationships and growing WDIY’s visibility in the community, representing WDIY at numerous events around the Lehigh Valley.
He and his wife Charleyne plan to split their time between the Lehigh Valley and France, where their daughter and family live. Bill intends to still be involved in WDIY on a volunteer basis, continuing as an on-air host for World Rhythms and as an “ambassador-at-large” for the station in the community.