- The Washington Times - Monday, December 23, 2002

Dennis Patrick read the adventures in National Geographic as a boy. Now, as the new head of National Geographic Ventures, he is more aware of the organization's mission.
"I started reading them from my grandfather and thought it was a neat concept, but I'm now appreciating the quality and strength of the product the organization produces," said Mr. Patrick, 51.
The 20-year veteran in the telecommunications industry will begin leading the D.C. subsidiary of the nonprofit scientific and educational organization in two weeks.
Mr. Patrick will oversee National Geographic's cartography, Web site, feature-film production and cable-channel businesses.
The leadership role is not the first for Mr. Patrick, who most recently was the president and chief executive officer of Patrick Communications Inc., a Washington telecommunications consulting firm, and Doeg Hill Ventures LLC, a D.C. venture-capital group.
He is also a former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, president of AOL Wireless, and CEO of Time Warner Telecommunications, now part of AOL Time Warner Inc.
Mr. Patrick replaces Richard Allen, who was recently appointed president and CEO of Vulcan Sports Media, and said his main goal will be increasing brand awareness for the organization's national cable channel, currently seen in 35 million homes.
"Certainly, my biggest challenge will be continuing the growth of the national television channel," which started in January 2001, Mr. Patrick said.
"I'll also be looking at maximizing our feature-film production business," which includes documentary films for MSNBC, Fox, IMAX and PBS.
Mr. Patrick comes to the organization with some experience in the organization, having served on the board for the National Geographic Society, the parent unit of the organization, since 1999.
"I've become more aware of their sense of mission devoted to themes like exploration, conservation, education and adventure, but there is a lot to learn," he said. "Luckily, I've worked with many of the staff before as a trustee, which should make for a smooth transition process."
John Fahey, president and CEO of the society, said he immediately thought of Mr. Patrick when the position became available.
"Dennis is a savvy businessman and he's familiar with the culture and goals of the National Geographic Society," Mr. Fahey said.
"Even though we came into the market pretty late in the game, Dennis will have no problem in increasing brand awareness in our cable and feature-film businesses," Mr. Fahey said.
Mr. Patrick lives in Arlington with his wife, Paula, and their two children.

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