Former President Food Network & HGTV
Ms. Girard is a long-time television executive, having worked extensively overseeing programming, production, and operations at both TV stations and Cable networks. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in communications from Ithaca College.
Her career began in 1968 as a producer/director at WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. She went on to program TV stations in Binghamton, NY, Huntington WV, Baltimore Md., Pittsburgh Pa., and Miami Florida.
In 1987, NBC brought her to NY to oversee programming and operations at their flagship station, WNBC-TV. A few years later she was named VP of Program Development for the NBC Owned and Operated stations where she helped develop such shows as Maury Povich and Jenny Jones. She moved the “Phil Donahue Show” to NY thereby giving him a national presence that would last many years.
When cable networks started to come into their own in 1993, Ms. Girard became Senior Vice President of programming and production at Lifetime. She and her team were responsible for branding the network “Lifetime for Women”, revamping the company’s programming strategy, launching “Intimate Portraits”, and developing the “Lifetime Original Movie” franchise.
Throughout these years, Ms. Girard was a part time professor at NYU and a visiting lecturer at Ithaca College.
From 1998-2000, Ms. Girard oversaw Americast, an interactive development project joint ventured by the Disney Corporation , Bell South, SBC, Ameritech, and GTE. It turned out to be an idea ahead of its time, but a cutting edge project whose technology is still used today.
Wanting a break from business, Ms. Girard took a year to travel with the Dali Lama while shooting a documentary. She also climbed Mt Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu.
With batteries recharged, she jumped at the chance to turn around the fledgling Food Network for the EW Scripps Company. Within 3 years both the network and the website became thriving businesses.
In 2005, Ms Girard assumed the Presidency of Scripps’ flagship network, HGTV.
Upon her retirement in 2008, the National Academy of Arts and Sciences bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Emmy to Ms. Girard in recognition of her impact on television programming.
Ms. Girard maintains her professional associations with the International Women’s Forum and the executive women’s group The Committee of 200
She and her husband Richie reside in Wilmington, NC. where Girard mentors at the Cameron School of Business, UNCW. They also have a therapy dog active in the Carolina Canines school reading program and are a service team at the New Hanover Hospital.