Packard held a variety of senior positions at Scripps Networks Interactive, (NYSE: SNI), the leading developer of lifestyle-oriented content for television and the Internet. The company’s media portfolio includes popular lifestyle television brands HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, country music network Great American Country (GAC) and the Travel Channel. She created and served as president of Scripps Networks New Ventures, where she oversaw the development and launch of DIY Network, Fine Living Network, and online interactive platforms. She was also president of worldwide distribution for the Scripps cable brands.
In 1980 she began her cable career at HBO then moved to NBC and was part of the start-up team for CNBC. In 1994 she joined HGTV and became Chief Operating Officer in 1995. Under Packard’s helm, HGTV became one of the fastest growing cable networks in television history. Today HGTV is available in more than 99 million U.S. homes and distributed in 175 countries and territories. She helped to build Scripps Networks to a market value of over $10 billion.
She has been recognized by industry peers, colleagues and employees as an innovator, pioneer, role model and mentor. She received the Woman of the Year award by Women in Cable & Telecommunications (WICT) and was profiled in Modern Visionaries, a book chronicling the contributions of women to the cable and telecommunications industry. Contemporary Economics, a high school textbook, profiled her as an entrepreneur in the field of media specialization. CableWorld magazine honored her among “The Most Influential Women in Cable” numerous times. In 2008 she was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame.
Packard was the first woman elected to serve on the board of directors of Churchill Downs, Inc. (NASDAC: CHDN), the owner and manager of the Kentucky Derby and other horseracing properties. She served on the board for two terms. In that capacity she served on the Audit, Strategic Planning, and CEO Succession committees.
She is active in national, local business and community affairs. She was elected to the Scripps Howard
Foundation’s Board of Trustees and served for six years. She has served on the University of Tennessee’s College of Communication’s Board of Advisors and in 2004 she was named a College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumni at Michigan State University. She is past vice chair of the board of an independent collegiate day school; is an advisor on job training programs for the homeless as board member of Lazarus Ventures LLC. In 2011 was named to Villanova Business School’s Dean’s Advisory Council, and to the
Tennessee Governor’s Commission on Film, Music and Entertainment. In recognition of her outreach work, she received the E.W. Scripps William Burleigh Award for distinguished community service. In 2010 she was admitted to The Committee of 200, a select group of senior women executives dedicated to inspiring future women leaders in business. In 2015 she joined the C200 Foundation Board, charged with granting scholarships and doing outreach to young, aspiring business women.
She is an active speaker at global business forums and at universities such as UCLA, Fordham, and the Darden Business School at University of Virginia. In February 2015, she will speak at Stanford Business School as part of SBS Executive Breakfast Briefings. She is represented by Washington Speakers Bureau.
Susan Packard lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her husband and two female felines named Dot and Judy. They have a son, Andrew. She has written a book to help women advance in the workplace called New Rules of the Game, which is being published by Penguin/Prentice Hall in February 2015.