3 Questions for 2021 Rising Star Winners & Mentor Award Winner

Congratulations to Shannon Inise Andrews and Angela Carone, our Rising Star Winners, and Tendai Mashingaidze, our Mentor Award Winner.


Name: Shannon Inise Andrews

Location: Atlanta, GA

Title: Manager, Business Information Systems, Headquarters

Company: Comcast Cable

What does getting this award mean to you?
I was invited to attend the Red Letter Awards in 2017 and told myself, “That’s going to be me one day.” All of this still feels surreal to me, and I’m so humbled to be selected for this prestigious honor. A couple of years ago, one of my mentors shared that they didn’t feel I was ready for the Rising Star for Emerging Leaders award. That was challenging to hear, and it gave me the time and space I needed to work on myself. Receiving this award means that I have grown personally and professionally.

As women, we often find it difficult to pat ourselves on the back, but I’m going to ask you to do just that. What do you think sets you apart from other nominees? 

I never let my job title or responsibilities limit what I could offer to the industry. I use data storytelling to offer insights and recommendations to senior leaders. I mentor other women and students who are trying to find their way along their career journey. In addition, I walk into a room and find someone I don’t know to build up and expand my network. I’m constantly taking advantage of training for leadership development and stay up to date on the latest trends so I can provide valuable insight to decision-makers. In mid-2020, I stepped up to be a facilitator in the Central Division’s Conversation Circles, a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative bringing diverse members together to share, listen and learn from each other’s experiences in today’s divided society. I’ve embraced Comcast’s 3 pillars of committing to lifelong learning, demonstrating compassion and acting with intention.

In the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton; “I’m just non-stop.” and “I’m not throwing away my shot!”

This year’s theme is ‘Be a Catalyst.’ Why do you think setting the wheels of change in motion is more important than ever in 2021? 

We must set the wheels of change in motion to create sustainability. We must constantly invest in future generations by taking them on the journey with us as they develop as leaders. Change in life will always occur and being prepared for change is something that determines if a business will make it through difficult times. We need to have a plan for how we can pick things up after we move on. Leaders need to have a “right hand” and a “left hand”. The “right hand” is the person that they develop to take their place. The “left hand” is the person the leader is coaching the “right hand” on developing to take the “right hand’s” place. When everyone is developing their successor, effective leadership is sustainable; everyone is not relying on one person for everything, and the leader is not burnt out feeling like everything rests on their shoulders.

Name: Angela Carone

Location: Atlanta, GA

Title: Director of Podcasts

Company: Turner Classic Movies, WarnerMedia

What does getting this award mean to you?

It’s so gratifying to receive an award that confirms I’m on the right path. As a creative, I’ve often resisted leadership roles thinking it would take me out of hands-on creative work. I’ve come to see how strong leadership actually is creative, from guiding others, to developing strategy, to solving an endless array of problems. This award inspires me to forge ahead and work to become an effective, compassionate leader who inspires growth and change both for my team and within my network and company. 

As women, we often find it difficult to pat ourselves on the back, but I’m going to ask you to do just that. What do you think sets you apart from other nominees? 

I’m not sure, but I do know I am willing to take risks. None of us knew whether a TCM podcast would work. Our core audience members are not early adopters. We worried some wouldn’t even know what a podcast was – and we were right. But we saw a space we could grow into, where we could develop new audiences while working to bring along our long-standing fans. It worked! I have years of expertise in audio journalism, so I was able to lean on that expertise to help make something special for classic movie fans. 

This year’s theme is ‘Be a Catalyst.’ Why do you think setting the wheels of change in motion is more important than ever in 2021?

It’s important because it’s not just our industry that is rapidly changing. We’re living through so much historical, social and political change. Making an impact is going to require all of us to observe and listen more, take more risks, and push for change in areas that may be uncomfortable. 

Name: Tendai Mashingaidze

Location: Atlanta, GA

Title: Vice President, Compliance, Investor relations, and Subsidiary Reporting

Company: UP Entertainment, a media group comprised of several brands such as the cable networks UPtv and AspireTv, and the streaming service, UP Faith and Family

What does getting this award mean to you?

It is incredibly humbling to have my contributions recognized by my industry peers. I have attended the WICT Southeast Red Letter Awards almost every year since I became a member. I looked forward to celebrating and being inspired by the highly accomplished women. To be recognized for the Mentor award is especially meaningful to me because it is something I love to do; it brings me pure joy to give back and empower others. I personally benefited from many generous mentors and unexpected cheerleaders at various stages in my career. It is an honor to be in the company of such fantastic award recipients this year.

As women, we often find it difficult to pat ourselves on the back, but I’m going to ask you to do just that. What do you think sets you apart from other nominees?

This is an interesting question because I can easily name many more women who have accomplished much in my own company, let alone the industry. These women inspire and challenge me to stand up and be counted. However, what anchors me the most and maybe sets me apart is the strength of the women, including my mother in rural Zimbabwe, where I grew up. Seeing their plight in a disempowering culture, I resolved to be different. Everything I did, including every school report that I brought home, had more significant consequences, including the very idea that there was value in educating a girl child. It took hard work for me to earn that right, and every day still feels like a fight to prove myself.  

As a result, my approach to work and life has always been: 

Take advantage of every opportunity to grow. I consider myself a lifetime learner, and I am committed to continuous personal and professional improvement. I think I can always do better, differently, more efficiently, so I push myself constantly.

Excellence always! I may not achieve it all the time, but I sure strive for it because anything less is not me.

Recognize and celebrate in others. I never pass up an opportunity to let someone know when they have done well. A genuine celebration of their strengths builds them up, so why not?

This year’s theme is ‘Be a Catalyst.’ Why do you think setting the wheels of change in motion is more important than ever in 2021?

If there is one thing I have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the urgency of now. We all have the capacity to effect change, whether it be in the workplace, at home, or in our community. If it matters to you, it most likely matters to others, so don’t wait.

Many years ago, my husband and I launched the Tapson Education Foundation, an educational, not-for-profit organization in memory of my late brother, whose love for education inspired me. As I look back at the countless students whose lives were transformed, I know for sure that if I had waited to get started until everything was in place, we would have missed some competent students that needed the help. We had many good reasons to wait; it was too early in my career to start something new on the side, kids were too young, Zimbabwe was a world away from where I live now (it would be a logistical nightmare!), and I certainly could not afford it. However, all of these reasons viewed in the context of the bigger picture certainly feel shallow now, but they were real to me. I am glad we went for it, and I hope we all get the courage to be a catalyst in our own spheres of influence.