PMN welcomes Al Forist, our new Government Meetings Specialist. As the Government Meeting Specialist, Al oversees and directs the live recordings at many of the local government meetings covered by PMN.
Al has lived most of his life in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids and went to school at Grand Valley State University. There, he majored in Graphic Arts. However, pretty soon into his professional career he was exposed to the inner workings of a Grand Rapids TV station. He realized, “these guys were having a lot more fun than I was,” so he decided he wanted to work in television. Al got a job at a student run station in Grand Rapids and began growing his skills while learning about live TV. He went on to work at many local TV stations in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, including WZZM 13, WWMT Channel 3, PBS and more. He has been part of just about every aspect of studio production, but the most enjoyable for him was directing, particularly during his time at WZZM. Directing live television is Al’s passion, and he has directed newscasts, talk shows and all kinds of live programs. He loves the exciting, on-the-spot atmosphere that live TV provides.
After 40-plus years of working in live TV, Al retired. Briefly. Then he saw a Twitter post for a job opening at PMN. He realized it was a perfect opportunity for him to use his skill set, and continue to do what he loves – create live television. Al had never worked directly with local governments but has always had a lot of respect for the job that local governments do. It is apparent to him during his first hand exposure filming the meetings, that the board members and officials care deeply about their communities. They all have one thing in mind – their municipality’s best interest. While the meetings occasionally run a bit long, he says, it is because everyone there wants to make sure they come up with the solution that will be the absolute best for their citizens. Even if the topic is a simple one, like changing the number of parkings spaces, everyone is looking out for the best interest of the community, and Al is very appreciative of that.
Al has been working for PMN for about a month now, and we are very happy to have Al on the team. His wealth of experience and knowledge will be an excellent addition, and we look forward to working with him for a long time to come.