Mary Ellen is an Emmy Award winning television executive who has held senior positions across broadcast and cable industries and has been instrumental in growing such esteemed brands as Discovery Channel, TLC, HGTV, Scripps Networks International, and The Weather Channel. As vice president, original content development for The Weather Channel, Iwata was responsible for the day-to-day oversight of development and production of non-scripted series and specials. Before joining The Weather Channel, Iwata served as vice president of programming and development for Scripps Networks International, where she oversaw original program development and production, acquisitions, and program scheduling. She was a key player in launching Food Network in the UK, EMEA and Asia, and continued to oversee the networks’ content after launch. Prior to working in Scripps’ International division, Iwata was vice president of program and talent development for HGTV, a Scripps-owned network. Iwata joined HGTV from TLC, where she was an executive producer, vice president of production, and ultimately vice president of development. Prior to working at TLC, Iwata was an executive producer at Discovery Channel. A Baltimore native, Iwata began her career at Maryland Public Broadcasting and then WJZ – TV (CBS) in Baltimore as Executive Producer of Evening Magazine. She holds a degree in fine arts from Towson University.