Katherine Gessner named MCTV President as Robert Gessner Retires
MASSILLON, Ohio (April 15, 2019) – Katherine Gessner was named President of MCTV effective April 13, 2019, following the retirement of Robert (Bob) Gessner.
Katherine represents the third generation of local family leadership at MCTV, following in her father and grandfather’s footsteps. She was unanimously named president upon Bob’s April 13 retirement. Katherine joined the MCTV team in 2013 as the sales and marketing manager and has held several roles at MCTV — most recently vice president of strategic planning and policy — before being named president. Katherine grew up in the cable and TV world and plans to use this, combined with her MBA from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver and background in management, business and strategic planning to jump into her new role. Katherine plans to continue leading the company based on MCTV’s mission of ‘empowering people and strengthening communities through innovative technology and exceptional service.’
“Katherine, without a doubt, will continue to take MCTV to new heights in the industry,” states Bob. “She has already made an impact and is being recognized as an influential leader in the cable and Internet industry.”
Katherine has received industry recognition as a Multichannel News 40 Under 40 in 2015, Cablefax People to Watch in 2018, and Cablefax 100 in 2019.
Similar to her father and grandfather, Katherine is deeply rooted in, and values the importance of supporting the communities where her team lives, works and plays. She currently sits on the boards for the Massillon Public Library, Massillon WestStark Chamber of Commerce, Stark State College Foundation and Stark County Hunger Task Force. She also is a graduate of the Women in Cable Telecommunications Rising Leaders Program and a graduate of Leadership Stark County.
“I am endlessly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from my dad. He is generous with his wisdom and perspective and will continue to be an inspiration. It is humbling to step into his role and exciting to continue to build a bright future with such an incredible team,” explained Katherine. “And don’t worry, my dad will continue to be a part of the MCTV family and surrounding communities, even during retirement.”
Bob Gessner contributed more than 40 dedicated years to MCTV serving 17 of those years as the president. Bob joined the MCTV team in 1979 to manage the introduction of satellite services. His duties expanded over the years to include oversight of all operations at MCTV. In 2002, MCTV founder Richard (Dick) Gessner, handed his son Bob the reins to the company and he took over as president.
“After 40 years driving the company forward, I have decided this is the right time for me personally and for the company, to transition to the next generation of leadership,” said Bob. “I have seen enormous change in the telecommunications industry. I like to tell people that I am old, linear and analog and it is time for my highly-qualified, young, digital and distributive daughter Katherine to take the lead.”
Bob served in many leadership positions for the cable and Internet industry, including currently holding the position as Chairman of America’s Communications Association (ACA). He has been recognized by local, state and national organizations for cable industry leadership, policy advocacy, community and economic development, and technology advances.
He also is very rooted in the communities that MCTV serves. He serves as the Chairman of the Stark Economic Development Board and sits on the Wayne Economic Development Council, Massillon Development Foundation Board and is the Co-Chair — along with his wife Nancy — of the Massillon Museum’s Capital Campaign. He, as well as the entire Gessner family, has devoted countless hours to advancing the Massillon community and ensuring it thrives for years to come.
“Retiring now provides MCTV the best opportunity for our growing momentum to continue. I trust that with Katherine as the leader, MCTV and the MCTV family will continue turning my dreams, my father’s dreams and the Gessner family dreams into reality,” explains Bob. “It has been both my honor and privilege working with our team to create incredible memories and touch the lives of so many of our customers and community members.”
About MCTV: MCTV “goes the extra smile” for its customers, adding high-touch service to high-tech telecommunications. Since 1965, MCTV’s 160 local employees have been serving their neighbors with a full complement of advanced broadband products for home and business including High-Speed Internet, digital TV, Phone, television advertising, dedicated fiber optic connections and security systems. More than 50,000 homes and businesses in Stark, Wayne, Summit, Holmes, Tuscarawas, Jefferson and Columbiana counties rely on MCTV for their telecommunications.
Photographed from L to R (Robert (Bob) Gessner, the late Richard (Dick) Gessner, Katherine Gessner)