Seeing the Need: WVPB's Jeff Higley


When you’re at a restaurant, what makes for a great waiter or waitress?

Great servers seem to know what you need even before you do, and have it ready without being asked.

Great engineers share this trait. They can anticipate needs and fix them without being told by anyone.

That’s why Jeff Higley is receiving WVPB’s Storyteller Award.

Read this story by WVPB Director of Video Production Chuck Roberts:

“We were setting up for a special television “Inside Appalachia” on the Mine Wars. We had to wait till the lottery drawing broadcast was finished to make a set and control room happen from scratch.

“I began running around like a chicken with his head cut off to get things going, when I got to the ‘streaming gear’ that we were going to use to get an HD production going, there was a calming presence as Jeff Higley was there with hands full of cables and adapters.

I had not even informed him about my need for his help. He just saw the need.

“I asked him ‘What are you doing here Jeff?’ He said, ‘Setting things up.’

“I had not even informed him about my need for his help. He just saw the need and stayed after the third show of this Legislature Today season and the lottery drawing that night.

“That was a bit of a hectic week and Jeff was by my side for all of it,” Roberts said.

Here’s ANOTHER story from Jeff’s supervisor, Director of Engineering Dave McClanahan:

“As we ramped up to do the West Virginia Channel coverage of the Legislature, Jeff assembled from scratch a mini-control room specifically for Beth Vorhees and that particular mission.

“As bugs were discovered, tweaks were made. The result is a solid platform to do the coverage we could only dream of last year at this time.

“Quietly, calmly, without fanfare or noise, Jeff does these things and more. Intuitively he appears at the place where the need arises.

“His manner has a calming effect during a crisis, and overnight a fix occurs to replace the band-aid that was placed to keep the ship afloat.

“He also rides a Harley and plays the guitar. In his spare time,” McClanahan said.

Jeff worked for us once before, then went to work for West Virginia State, and then came back…knowing full well the challenges our engineers face here every day.

In the face of budget cutbacks, our engineers and IT staff are doing more than ever with cleverness and calmness – and that’s why Jeff Higley is WVPB’s Storyteller of the Month.

Are you interested in nominating a WVPB employee as Storyteller of the Month? E-mail your suggestions, along with a short story explaining why this person should be chosen, to Jan Johnson –