Sanibel Captiva BWA Launches, TV Producer First Guest Speaker

provided to Santiva Chronicle

TV Producer Margie Peters will present “Making a Difference – TV, Classroom and Community” at the launch meeting of the Sanibel Captiva Business Women’s Association on October 20.

Peters is known as executive producer for the 80’s TV hit show The Facts of Life and for writing many episodes on prime time shows including The Love Boat, One Day at a Time, Valerie and A Different World. “Today my passion is community involvement,” said Peters, now retired from TV writing. “Not working for a living has not dulled my enthusiasm or inquisitiveness,” she smiled.

“Margie is the perfect speaker to launch the first season of the Sanibel Captiva Business Women’s Association,” said Gloria Garrett, group president. “She believes everyone can make a difference in their own way, no matter what stage of career and life they are facing.”

Sanibel Captiva Business Women’s Association is a new organization dedicated to the advancement of women’s career development on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. On October 20th, the group launches a monthly Women in Leadership Speaker Series showcasing insights and learning from women making a difference on the islands. Programming will also include local continuing education scholarships, mentoring, networking opportunities and acknowledgment.

Peters grew up with the new medium of television and would watch shows and wonder out loud “What if this happened to Spin and Marty” …or The Lone Ranger…or later, Mary Tyler Moore.

As a Massachusetts native and a new stay at home mom, she watched afternoon soaps, wrote story ideas for characters, and sent them off to the show’s producers. Her submissions were returned unread. But undeterred, and she turned to journalism and short story writing.

A friend read one of her stories and sent it to a television producer who found it “funny and charming.” Before she could catch her breath, the Peters family found themselves in L.A., where she wrote scripts for prime time shows including The Love Boat and One Day at A Time. Husband Gil Peters, a well-known New England sports writer, stepped into the role of house husband, facilitating her career.

For five years Peters worked her way up from a staff writer and earned the position of executive producer on the top 20 sitcom The Facts of Life. She teamed with former actress Linda Marsh to become one of the first female producer/writer teams, writing shows focusing on female leads.

Peters is known for dealing with difficult issues from racism to suicide in an accessible and relatable manner. Her script addressing date rape for A Different World, “No Means No,” won an NAACP Image Award and was shown in highschool and college classrooms nationwide.

Peters moved back to her Massachusetts home town after 15 years in the television industry. She became a Junior High and Community College teacher and obtained a master’s degree. That led to becoming an activist on her town’s diversity committee, starting a small business, and enjoying yearly winter vacations on Sanibel.

Like many Sanibel vacationers, the Peters eventually purchased a condo followed by a year-round home. True to her life goal of “being useful on the planet”, Peters has become involved in The Pink Out, The July 4th Celebration , the Big Arts Film Society, and the Center for Life Book Group. “Being active in the community has become my way of giving back and showing gratitude for all that life’s given us,” asserted Peters. “Just because we’re retired, we’re not done making a difference,” she added. “You don’t have to produce a top 20 TV show to matter.”

The Sanibel Captiva Business Women’s Association welcomes the community to their monthly Noon Zoom meetings and to join in the discussion with the presenters showcased in the Women in Leadership Speaker Series. On October 20th, join in from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Register for a free ticket on Eventbrite or contact Gloria Garrett for more information about calling in or attending in person at Updates on Facebook.

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