I came to Washington in 1981, 1982. The board of C-SPAN, C-SPAN's a nonprofit, the board of directors, has always been CEOs of the cable companies. My boss named Jack Frazee was on the C-SPAN board, and he thought C-SPAN would benefit from a five-year plan. So he had this young MBA on staff who'd been doing all this cashflow modeling with the cable systems. And he lent me to the early staff of C-SPAN. And I met Brian and worked with the staff here on this five-year plan that showed how C-SPAN could receive revenue from the industry, how much would be needed, and how we could spend that to build out our production operation, our marketing activities, and become kind of an ongoing concern with solid funding.
Rob came in, did a great job. He was very young and very pleasant, very proficient. We all liked him here. And I remember saying, "We've got to see if we can talk him into coming to C-SPAN because he's a money manager, and I don't know the first thing about money." And offered him a job. And he said yes, which I was really surprised about, and came out of a for-profit business to nonprofit and has been here ever since.
And then in 1987, Brian called and said, "Come down and talk to Susan and me." And he said, "Well, we have this other position to be our business person." And so we picked up the family, moved from Rochester, New York to Washington. That was actually 30 years ago this year, and we've been here ever since.
I was interested in changing television so that we had choice. That was the big reason for C-SPAN in the first place, and cable provided that opportunity. And then secondly, interested in the opportunity to see what was going on in the government, how they're spending our money. Rob kind of backed into all that and brought to us something we desperately needed. And again, that is a business approach instead of just this dreamer approach. And Rob has kept me out of serious trouble for about 30 years. I've always been very happy to have a Chicago MBA star in our midst because that couldn't be farther away from my talents.
Our mission is simply to bring Washington to the American people in as unfiltered, unmediated a way as possible. If you have the time to watch a lot of these events from beginning to end or spend time watching the Senate or the House, you learn a lot about the give and take that occurs in Washington. It provides a fuller picture, and I think that's important to have out there even in a time when, with our phones and our feeds and everything like that, our attention spans are getting shorter.
Certainly, the culture here at C-SPAN started with our founder, Brian Lamb. But Rob Kennedy has slipped right into that role as well. He is a visionary for the company. He ensures that we're going to be around for the future.
The challenge for us, as our industry changes and people's consumption of news and media changes, is to be there for them so that C-SPAN continues to be this recognized brand of unfiltered information from Washington.
He stays very, very calm in every situation, even if something is going crazy that day. He is the person of the voice of reason, an analytical thinker. He kind of sits back and then he takes it all in. He processes it and then he comes up with a solution.
I was so surprised and really humbled to receive the award. Seeing the folks who received the award this year and also in prior years, just to be a part of this group. And I'm extremely appreciative, and I also think it reflects on what we've done at C-SPAN and what the team has done at C-SPAN, to make C-SPAN successful and valued as an information source. So I think most of all, I appreciate it as acknowledgement of C-SPAN and the service that we've provided.