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Producer to speak at first San Cap Business Women’s Association meeting

By BUSINESS WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION - | Oct 14, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Margie Peters

TV producer Margie Peters will present “Making a Difference — TV, Classroom and Community” at the launch meeting of the new Sanibel Captiva Business Women’s Association on Oct. 20 at noon.

Peters was an executive producer for the ’80s show “The Facts of Life” and wrote episodes for prime time shows, including “The Love Boat,” “One Day at a Time,” “Valerie” and “A Different World.”

“Today my passion is community involvement,” she said. “Not working for a living has not dulled my enthusiasm or inquisitiveness.”

The association is an organization dedicated to the advancement of women’s career development on Sanibel and Captiva. With its first meeting, the group is starting a monthly Women in Leadership Speaker Series that showcases insights and learning from women making a difference on the islands. Programming will also include local continuing education scholarships, mentoring, networking opportunities and acknowledgment.

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

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 mother, 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, Peters turned to journalism and short story writing.

A friend read one of her stories and sent it to a TV producer who found it “funny and charming.” Before Peters could catch her breath, her family found themselves in Los Angeles, where she wrote scripts for prime time shows like “The Love Boat” and “One Day at A Time.” Her husband, 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,” titled “No Means No,” won an NAACP Image Award and was shown in high school and college classrooms nationwide.

Peters moved back to Massachusetts after 15 years in the TV 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 vacationers, the family 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, BIG ARTS Film Society and the Center 4 Life Book Group on the islands.

“Being active in the community has become my way of giving back and showing gratitude for all that life’s given us,” she said. “Just because we’re retired, we’re not done making a difference.”

“You don’t have to produce a top 20 TV show to matter,” Peters added.

The Sanibel Captiva Business Women’s Association meets monthly from noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom. To register for a free ticket to participate, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanibel-captiva-business-womens-association-presents-margie-peters-tickets-124150685041.

For more information, contact Garrett at Gloria.Garrett.Marketing@gmail.com.