Heartland Chapter Inductees


Dominic Dezzutti

Dominic Dezzutti began his television career at Colorado Public Television PBS 12 in 1996 as a production intern and was quickly hired as the production assistant for their public affairs show, "Colorado Inside Out." In his 26-year career, he advanced to Director of Production and finally to Station Manager, living by the motto that to truly lead, one must serve others.

He initiated multiple Colorado content partnerships with AARP, Colorado OEDIT, and JVA, as well as negotiating exclusive international broadcast partnerships with NHK World Japan and Deutsche Welle. Key programs developed under his leadership include "Colorado Inside Out" as both host and executive producer, an election debate series partnership with CBS4 - "Colorado Decides" - as both host and executive producer, and "High School Debate Series," building debate skills in community youth, especially underserved communities.

His work has garnered six regional Emmy® Awards, eight Colorado Broadcasters Association Awards of Excellence, and was the recipient of the Board of Governors Award from the Heartland Emmy® Chapter. His work extends to supporting the Colorado community. He is on the Executive Committee and is the External Committee Chair for Brent’s Place, sustaining families in long-term medical crises, as well as supporting the Metro Caring Food Bank and the Anti-Hunger Center. Past service includes serving as President and National Trustee of the Heartland Emmy Chapter from 1998-2015.

Editor of Westword and frequent "Colorado Inside Out" panelist Patricia Calhoun believes Dominic plays "a key role in this state, expanding community involvement by keeping important discussions entertaining, intelligent, and, above all, civil."

Holly Gauntt

Denver 7 News Director Holly Gaunt leads their newsroom and production of news on all platforms, including television, streaming, and digital. She oversees 100 journalists who comprise the teams producing newscasts, providing editorial decisions required to give viewers news coverage in the Denver metro market. Her career began in the early 1980s at two Denver television stations, working as a production assistant, writer, and producer before taking a producer role in New Orleans. Other opportunities beckoned at KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City, as Managing Editor; WBAL-TV in Baltimore as Executive Producer; Assistant News Director at WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C.; Vice President/News Director at WTXF-TV in Philadelphia; News Director at Seattle's KOMO-TV, KUNS-TV, KOMONEWS.Com; and back to Denver as Vice President of News and Digital Content/News Director at KDVR-TV, KWGN-TV.

Through her leadership roles in the newsroom, she covered the Oklahoma City bombings, the 9/11 attacks, the D.C. area snipers, school shootings, and historic wildfires. She has won eight Edward R. Murrow Awards, 10 Regional Emmy® Awards, and one national Emmy® Award for Investigative Journalism. She believes stations have the unique ability and resources to help people in need and created two consumer investigative series called "Problem Solvers" at KOMO-TV and KDVR-TV. She has now implemented "Denver7 Gives," the charitable fund designed to help people who have been victimized by criminals or impacted by disasters. As Denver 7 Vice President and General Manager Dean Littleton notes, "Holly's true north is her heart for people."

Dave Tamez

Silver Circle Honoree Dave Tamez creates programs that move hearts and minds through his photography, the programs he produces, and the documentaries he directs. Winner of numerous regional Emmy® Awards, he combines his love of photography, lighting, and editing in his work. He's also a brilliant teacher, helping to make OETA in Oklahoma City a learning center for young photographers through his high standards for program and segment content development, photography, and editing. In his 20 years at OETA, he has developed and launched award-winning series that include "Stateline," "Gallery America," and "Back in Time," as well as numerous OETA special programs.

He has performed illustrious work at other stations as well. He served as Chief News Photographer and Special Project Producer at KWTV-9 in Oklahoma City from 1987-2000. The station staff received both a RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award and George Foster Peabody Award in 1996 for their program, "Murrah Bombing."

The words of his peers say it best. Bill Perry, who was VP of Content at OETA, said, "I knew instantly he could turn any vision into a reality. With a handshake, the creative standards of video at OETA were on the road to becoming standard." Video producer Christi McGahan noted, "His storytelling ability is unmatched. There are few media professionals that can do it all from shooting, writing, editing, and producing, but Dave can. He takes documentary storytelling to a new art and performs his art with magic."