During her 18 years at WTVH, Liz Ayers has helped the station win two Emmys. And during that time, she too has won a number of professional and personal awards.
One of the coveted Emmys went to the station for its coverage of the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, which took the lives of more than 270 passengers including 40 with Syracuse connections. The other was for the station?s coverage of the disappearance of area teenager Sarah Ann Wood.
Her personal awards include the Syracuse Press Club?s Career Achievement Award; the 2003 Communicator of the Year Award from the Association of Women in Communications; the Rosewood Heights Health Center?s Lifetime Achievement Award; the Role Model Award from Girls Incorporated, and the Women of Courage Award presented by the Women?s Commission and the City of Syracuse.
Liz now anchors the noon news at WTVH and is also consumer reporter. She joined the Syracuse station in 1986 after working as a newscaster in Milwaukee, Tampa and Oklahoma City.
She and husband Robert Woodland have two children who are excelling despite disabilities. Their son Tanner suffered severe brain and other injuries in a 1994 automobile accident when he was 17. After the accident, he was hospitalized for months and in recovery for years. He recently graduated from Onondaga Community College.
Daughter Eva lost her hearing as a result of a bout with spinal meningitis when she was two years old. She is now principal of the high school at the Pennsylvania School for he Deaf. She is also working on her doctorate at Columbia University.
Because Liz understands disabilities, she has been involved with many organizations which assist local residents cope and help make Central New York a better place to live. She is on he board of Aurora, Closed Captioning, Home Aids of Central New York, and Oasis She also serves on the advisory board of Junior League, and is an SPC member. She helps raise funds for Rosewood Heights Health Center, Multiple Sclerosis Resources of Central New York, Community Options, the Juvenile Diabetes Association, the Syracuse Symphony, and Enable.
Regarding her community service, Liz says that working with WTVH 5, "we were instrumental in delivering closed captioned newscasts long before any other station in the market. I have volunteered my time to numerous non profit videos disseminating important information, what it is like to live with someone who has a brain injury, what are your rights when it comes to selecting home care, and special services provided by a vast number of agencies in central New York."
"Being involved in my community has made me a better reporter. I've never had to look for a story; the stories come to me. Thanks to the many wonderful Central New Yorkers I have met over the years."
Liz joined WCNY-TV recently, where she serves as Vice President of Programming for the PBS affiliate.
--Joseph A. Porcello