Walt Gillette, ACFRE
Community First Immediate Past Chairman
ACD Direct, Inc.
Walt currently serves as the Business Development Manager for ACD Direct, Inc., where he develops relationships with public media, veterans’ service organizations and other non-profits.
Prior to several years working for organizations providing support to vets with PTSD and TBI, he served as the Director of Development for WAMU 88.5, the community-supported NPR news station from American University from October 2002 to May 2015. The station’s diversified development program accounted for more than 50% of the station’s $21 million operating budget from more than 56,000 annual donors, and 16,500 monthly sustaining donors. During March of 2015, he managed and partnered with on-air hosts asking for your donations in his 66th on-air membership campaign.
Walt enjoyed a 30-year career in philanthropic fundraising, serving as a philanthropic fundraising advisor for Greater Public. Since 2000, he has provided fundraising guidance and assistance to many of the 720 NPR network stations. His previous employment in the public media system includes the Florida Public Broadcasting Service, the Friends of WLRN in South Florida, and WUWF in Pensacola/Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.
His fundraising career also includes work for the American Red Cross, the American Lung Association of Florida, and in Okinawa, Japan, the Department of Defense Overseas Shows program. Other employment includes operating a Zamboni Ice Resurfacer, teaching SCUBA as a PADI Open Water Instructor, and serving a tour as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was awarded a Navy Commendation Medal for his military service.
He originally received his Certified Fund Raising Executive designation more than 20 years ago. In 2008, he achieved permanent certification as an Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive (ACFRE). Following the completion of the AFP Faculty Training Academy, he received the designation of AFP Master Teacher.
Walt received the Public Radio Association of Development Officer’s Award as the Outstanding Public Radio Development Professional, and was named the AFP West Florida Chapter's Outstanding Fund Raising Professional.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Maryland (principle instrument, trumpet) and a Master of Arts in Communication Arts from the University of West Florida.