For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253


Rochester, New York (August 30, 2010) – WXXI has hired Rachel Ward and Juan Vazquez to operate Innovation Trail, a major journalism initiative that will provide in-depth news reports on innovation and its role in rebuilding upstate New York’s economy. Zack Seward has been named multi-media reporter.

Leading the Innovation Trail is Rachel Ward, who serves as editor. She has been with WXXI since 2007, serving as the local host of All Things Considered and as a reporter. In her new position she is responsible for training and mentoring reporters at stations across the Innovation Trail collaboration, overseeing content across the multimedia platforms, finding connections between communities to facilitate conversation and reporting, and reaching out to diverse and underserved audiences. A native of Columbia, MD, Ward earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and anthropology from Case Western Reserve University, and her Master of Arts degree in telecommunications from Ohio University. Prior to joining WXXI, Ward worked for the Association of Public Television Stations in Washington, D.C. Ward resides in West Irondequoit.

Juan Vazquez has been hired as managing facilitator of the Innovation Trail. Vazquez is responsible for coordination of marketing, promotions, community engagement, station relations, development, and project sustainability. Prior to joining to WXXI, Vazquez was the Director of Marketing and Public Affairs for World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, a non-profit whose mission is to help businesses in Western New York and Southern Ontario expand their presence internationally. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in communications from SUNY Fredonia, and received his Master of Business Administration degree from SUNY Empire State College. Vazquez resides in Rochester.

Multi-media reporter Zack Seward is responsible for filing regular radio, TV, and online reports that examine the innovation economy in upstate New York. Born and raised in San Francisco, CA, Seward previously worked as a production assistant for PBS NewsHour in Arlington, VA. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in anthropology from the University of Chicago, and his Masters of Science degree in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He resides in Rochester.

Seward will team up with four additional multi-media reporters that have been hired at the Innovation Trail partnering stations. They are: Daniel Robison of WNED, Ryan Morden of WRVO, Emma Jacobs of WSKG, and Dan Bazile of WMHT.

In March 2010 WXXI was selected to lead this major initiative. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) the project supports the operation of a local journalism center, called Innovation Trail. The center will enable WXXI and its partnering stations, WNED (Buffalo), WRVO (Oswego/Syracuse), WSKG (Binghamton) and WMHT (Albany), to pool their resources to provide more extensive multi-media news to their communities.


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