July Meeting Summary: Pete and Susan Booker
For the July Meeting of SMYPP, we had the pleasure of hearing the stories of Pete and Susan Booker. Pete is the president and CEO of Delmarva Broadcasting Company, which owns and operates 12 radio stations throughout the Delmarva Peninsula. Unlike his wife Susan, a long-time Catholic, Pete was raised Presbyterian. Although he and Susan raised their children in the Catholic faith, Pete said that for a while, he never felt inclined to participate fully in the church. However, in the mid 90s’, after moving back to Hockessin from Virginia, Pete recalled that he “saw a visible, tangible sign of the Lord’s work” that lead to his decision to become a full Catholic.
For Pete, the idea of faith and professionalism go closely together. “Listen to what the Lord says and relate it to what you do,” he explained. “In our company, we have a saying: Not everyone can paint a picture. We’re all blessed with different talents. Understand what that talent is and exploit it as an instrument of change.” In Pete’s case, this has meant using his position to positively influence his community. For the stations themselves, Pete tries to maintain programming and advertising that coincides with the family values of the company’s owners. Also, he and Susan have made a point of contributing both time and donations to a number of charitable organizations. “We are here to help elevate the lives of others, both on the air and off the air,” he said.
However, in the competitive world of radio broadcasting, Pete has encountered people who have been “cut throat” in their approach to the business. Pete’s best advice for dealing with competitors is to focus on your own work: “Stop worrying about running others into the ground. If we do what we do, as well as we can, we’ll be fine.” His wife, Susan, echoed this thought: “Don’t let what other people do get under your skin. Just do what you do well.”