Red Letter Awards: Global message from Kristin Edwards

The Red Letter Awards has been a part of the fabric of this organization for 18 remarkable years, and I can’t wait to see where the next part of this journey will take us.

I want to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of the Southeast Chapter for bringing this program to fruition and giving us that important touchstone of connection. Programs like this gives me a renewed sense of hope and appreciation for our collective community as we look ahead to brighter days. 

Allow me to give special thanks to Chapter President, Shelley Hoffmann, along with Vice President, Gimette DeLaughter, Red Letter Awards Senior Director, Crystal Scales and Director, Jay Brown.

As you know, WICT – Women in Cable Telecommunications – has been known for our leadership development programs, powerful stance on diversity, equity and inclusion, and original research through the par initiative, measuring workplace DEI. 

Since our founding more than 40 years ago, we have grown to the largest organization of our kind, and as the industry has evolved, so too has WICT. No longer are member companies simply cable operators and content creators; they are multi-faceted media, entertainment and technology entities, providing a wide range of services to businesses and consumers.  

And while WICT has constantly adapted our business model to ensure we remain relevant, WICT’s name has not kept pace with the times. As a result, “women in cable telecommunications” no longer speaks to the full breadth of who we are and where we are headed. 

So our strategic planning committee and global board of directors worked with our HQ team and together we engaged some of the top branding and naming companies to guide us through a new name and new brand. In doing so, we realized we not only needed to evolve our brand to build a stronger organization; we knew we had an added obligation to our members given how much ground women lost in the workplace during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

More than ever, if we can connect women within our industry to each other and WICT, the better for our industry, and frankly the better for the communities our members serve. 

This conclusion helped us realize that for all the benefits we provide to our members and the industry at large, there is one thing that reigns supreme – it’s all about our network. Which is why we are now: The WICT Network: empowering women in media, entertainment and technology. 

We are being intentional – with our name, logo and actions – widening the circle of our network and our influence to include the vast landscape of media, entertainment and technology. And while our new identity isn’t a revolution, it’s an evolution, recruiting and advancing women in our industry – well, there’s the revolution! 

The WICT Network will continue to provide unmatched peer-to-peer and business-to-business networks through member resources, educational events, and diversity research. We’ll just be doing so with a name that is more inclusive of our industry’s many member companies and multi facets. 

The Red Letter Awards shines a spotlight on several exceptional women and superlative leaders in our industry and we applaud their many accomplishments. Each of the honorees represents all that is right with this industry. And all that is hopeful with our future. 

All of us at the global headquarters for The WICT Network are proud of everything you do and are honored to stand beside you today, tomorrow, and beyond. 

Thank you. 

Kristin J. Edwards | VP, Member & Chapter Development
The WICT Network: Empowering Women in Media, Entertainment and Technology

Member spotlight: Tina Bernard

Meet Tina Bernard, a member of The WICT Network: Southeast for many years. She’s been involved in and volunteered at numerous events like Taste of WICT, Red Letter Awards, Speed Mentoring and Membership Socials. Tina says she’s learned so much and gained synergies from the phenomenal leadership trainings and a platform of speakers from The WICT Network.

What propelled you to join The WICT Network: Southeast?

I joined because it’s a great avenue to network with leaders who understand women and their point of view. By meeting these great leaders, I’m inspired to grow in my personal and professional life, and it gives me confidence to be bold, fearless and dare to dream.

At The WICT Network, both women & men are encouraged to be a catalyst/fearless and set the wheels of change in motion. In your experience, share your thoughts on some key benefits of being a member and why individuals should join or consider renewing their membership?

The WICT Network is a great organization to be involved in. I take every opportunity to encourage my co-workers and teammates to join or renew their membership because there are endless opportunities such as professional development, leadership training and webinars to name a few.

How has The WICT Network: Southeast played an important role in your professional/personal life?

The WICT Network has helped me build my confidence, made me a better leader, an effective communicator and expanded my professional and personal network. With the confidence I gained from being a member I took the plunge and purchased a home of my own this year, this was all possible because of this organization. 

Over the past year the world has faced major challenges. What is one piece of practical advice you have gained from The WICT Network: Southeast events that can benefit others?

Being resilient, understanding the current environment, paying attention to personal well-being and of those around us.

3 Questions for 2021 Inspiration Award, Woman of the Year Winner

Congratulations to Tina Shah our  Inspiration Award, Woman of the Year Winner.


Name: Tina Shah

Location: Atlanta, GA

Title: Executive Vice President and General Manager

Company: Turner Sports

What does getting this award mean to you?

 It’s a tremendous honor, especially given the number of amazingly talented women who are professionals I deeply admire throughout our industry. Many of those women are pioneers who have paved the way and helped to create opportunities for me and so many others. I am very grateful to them and for being the recipient of this award.

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 think what differentiates me, at least to a degree, is that I work in sports media. It’s a bit more uncommon to see women, especially in leadership positions, in our industry. Throughout my career, I’ve focused so much on displaying a strong work ethic and building relationships. And I genuinely believe that hard work will take you certain places, but you also need someone who notices and advocates on your behalf. I’m very fortunate to have received that level of support from many leaders throughout our organization.

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?

 I believe the most important thing we all can do is continue being catalysts for change. We saw that this past year, with so many societal inequities being highlighted. Within our industry, we continue to see greater representation needed in all forms. We have a responsibility to our colleagues as well as the communities we all serve to keep taking action. While there is always more to be done, I feel strongly that we must consistently seek opportunities to drive meaningful change and leverage the appropriate resources to help us become even more of a catalyst.

3 Questions for 2021 Horizon Award for Woman to Watch Winners & Catalyst Award, Women in Technology Winner

Congratulations to Kia Painter and Heather Symmes, our Horizon Award for Woman to Watch Winners, and Katie Horne, our Catalyst Award, Women in Technology Winner.


Name:  Kia Painter-Holland

Location: Atlanta, GA 

Title: SVP, HR Business Partnerships

Company:  Cox Communications  

What does getting this award mean to you? 

Receiving the Horizon Woman to Watch award is a product of living a personal commitment to help others succeed, to support the growth of my company, and to create pathways for others to journey and thrive.  I am over the moon that WICT Southeast and Cox are recognizing me.  I am truly honored.  To me, this means that I am making a difference and contributing in a way that I am poised to continue to add value for years to come.  

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 have a long, consistent track record of delivering results and performing my job to the best of my abilities while also keeping my eye out for other leaders to bring along on the journey to develop and grow.   I started with my company as a part time HR assistant fresh out of college and haven’t looked back.  I am personally compelled to mentor other future leaders looking to ignite and grow their careers.  It is my duty. 

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?  

The time is ripe with opportunity to make a positive impact in our industry and in our worlds.  There is so much we’ve done to push the limits of who we are as women the last 18 months.  Helping our companies deliver during a pandemic, taking care of our employees as they navigate social issues challenging their communities, while also trying to keep their families safe and healthy-these are unprecedented times.   And as leaders, we can continue to step up and be the catalysts in our businesses and communities.  We are programmers and distributors delivering innovative content and services into people’s homes and businesses- in a way that impacts their everyday livelihoods.   We are each uniquely positioned to catalyze, spark, and ignite positive change to improve and enhance those lives of both our current and future customers.  Be a Catalyst, let’s get it done.

Name: Katie Horne

Location: Atlanta, GA

Title:  Executive Director | Cyber M&A, Product Security, CB Sales Information Security and Third Party Risk

Company: Cox Communications

What does getting this award mean to you? 

This award means the world to me. It means that people take notice and appreciate the work that means so much to me.

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 am certain that the other nominees are fantastic so I will only speak for myself.   I take pride in the fact that I never back down from a challenge, whether it’s taking new and different responsibilities in my current job or moving careers to try something new!  Be a catalyst to change, right? 😊

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?

 The past 18 months have shown us that embracing change is the only way to thrive.  We have had to learn how to work differently, to live our personal lives differently, basically do everything differently.  Change is difficult but being able to drive change and lead through that change makes all the difference in the world.  

Name: Heather Symmes

Location: Atlanta, GA

Title: Vice President, Content Distribution & Marketing

Company: UP Entertainment, LLC

What does getting this award mean to you?  

First, I am incredibly honored to receive this amazing award. Thank you to all who contribute to the success and growth of the WICT overall, to WICT SE and the esteemed Red Letter Awards! I have attended and supported the RLA’s for many years, and the incredible caliber of winners and nominees is mind blowing. I’m truly speechless to be selected among this esteemed group of leaders whom I admire, and whose characters, successes and accomplishments, are so inspiring to me. I am deeply grateful and thrilled to be the recipient of the Horizon Award for Women to Watch. 

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 am seriously humbled to be selected among stellar and highly accomplished fellow nominees. I believe the nature of my personality, how I operate as a leader, and my role within our organization, helps set me apart. Although I have been in the industry since 1996, my career path has been an interesting journey! I enjoy embracing change and navigate this swiftly evolving industry by continually learning about media, technologies, competition and new ways to consume content. I am also an artist, so I view the world through a colorful and creative lens, but with laser focus on business goals and priorities. I am a champion for the development and flawless execution of remarkable, cost-effective marketing campaigns that distinguish UP Entertainment among our competitors, regardless of our smaller size. I’ve continued to build and foster strong business relationships over time.  I also strive relentlessly for excellence, which has paid off significantly with the major goals I have met and exceeded throughout my career.  I like to explore new platforms and opportunities for UP Entertainment’s unique brands (UPtv, AspireTV, UP Faith & Family and Cine Romántico), diving into where our content can live, be elevated and most of all, be celebrated. I have a deep knowledge of our distributor platforms and create value by consulting with our partners on mutually beneficial opportunities where our programming can be enjoyed by their customers/our audiences and leveraged for optimum awareness and subscriber growth. As a result, distributors and other stakeholders turn to me, and often think of UP Entertainment first when considering partnerships or collaborative campaign ideas. I strive to set a positive example of diversity in the workplace, among my colleagues and friends, our brands, and within the industry. I celebrate my family: my wife and 12-year-old daughter, and it has been an incredible journey to be in a place where I can bring my authentic self to the workplace and community. I feel that over time and with each relationship, I have organically created a lasting and positive impact on all who know me professionally and personally. I am incredibly proud to work within this dynamic industry, and I find it so much fun, too.

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?

For better or worse, our entire world has changed drastically and unexpectedly, and will continue to change by the moment. Everything that has gotten us to and through this year, won’t keep us here, nor will it get us to the next place we aspire to be within the industry, our communities, careers and our own personal lives. Media and technology are an increasingly powerful force in our day-to-day life and will be further entwined throughout our experiences and interactions. Technology has become personal. Speed is the norm, and we as leaders can guide the way by evolving quickly for sustained performance. We can explore and seek knowledge, be uncomfortable in our growth and surround ourselves with unique minds and perspectives that challenge us to new ways of being. However, we must be willing to listen, lead with our heads and our hearts, and motivate others thoughtfully through challenging times and situations. To me, this is the really fun part about life well lived and meaningful work. I hope to continuously discover opportunities to serve others along the way by being open to the creativity in diversity, in equity and fully inclusive of the various and wonderful talent inside and outside this dynamic industry, and within this incredible WICT organization.  Everything is new all the time, and just like anything else, our careers are a journey, not a destination. Knowledge and curiosity are the powerful foundation of our future success as women and as leaders during these tumultuous and exciting times. I know through experience that it only takes one decision, one person, one moment, one action or one interaction to create powerful changes that we want to see happen, even while change is happening to each of us. It requires us all working together and supporting each other that will determine amazing outcomes along the way.

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.

Membership Spotlight: Adriana Frias

The WICTSE Membership Spotlight features members and/or board members that wish to share their experience being a member of the WICT organization. Each month a different member will be spotlighted and showcased in the WICT SE newsletter and via the WICT SE social forums. For the month of October, during Hispanic Heritage Month, we will spotlight Adriana Frias in the Oct. 14th newsletter.

How can WICT Southeast members help celebrate Hispanic culture this month?

A way to celebrate this Hispanic Heritage Month should be to recognize the profound contribution Hispanics have made within the culture, entertainment, from the field, from the service sector; There are great Hispanic women and men that represent wonderful stories of successful paths that can be replied by others.

Also getting off the labels from the Hispanic Community that have been there for some many years and show that it doesn´t matter, we can evolve and grow, it depends on will, decision and discipline, is important to say that if Hispanics grow also the American.

What propelled you to join WICT Southeast?

First of all, to be in an association of professionals with common goals and at in the end, we are human beings struggling for better opportunities but also to be ready to give and to share experiences that can be a lesson for others. Having a mentor and being a mentee has given me the clear perspective of where I am and where I want to be.

At WICT both women & men are encouraged to be a catalyst and set the wheels of change in motion. In your experience, share your thoughts on some key benefits of being a member of WICT and why individuals should join or consider renewing their membership?

I really consider as a member of WICT for the past three years, it has been a great journey of knowledge and friendship, I had more benefits than I ever think!

The WICT webinars or workshops are founded on serious and enriching content from people with great paths of life, that are proactive, resilient and have managed to stay and get ahead beneath the circumstances. WICT had connected me with countless people that maybe would have taken me years to reach; also I have an approach and network with people in my field.

As for me, I will continue to be part of WICT because it lifts up and gives me direction.

How has WICT Southeast played an important role in your professional/personal life?

WICT has pushed me along in my career in many ways, had given me support and confidence to go on, to see the range of opportunities that are in this sector and how it has been growing.

In 2020, WICTSE Latam Global Mentoring (WICT Mexico directed by Fernanda Merodio) gave me the opportunity to participate in my first Mentoring with Lizzette Carver from Comcast as my mentor, it was an experience that I really recommend. So in that attitude to keep learning now in this 2021 I am taking my second Mentoring session which will end on November. It´s been awesome the workshops where I have learn a lot.

Over the past year the world has faced major challenges. What is one piece of practical advice you have gained from WICT Southeast events that can benefit others?

We´ve been through 18 months of changes and disruption in all sectors but let me tell you that in the area of Communications has been really crucial and at overwhelming speed.  A practical advice that I consider is that no matter what your gender or age or job position you have, there is a real commitment to others, receiving the knowledge, taking whatever it is in turn, share it or apply it.

WICT Southeast Announces 2022 Board of Directors

Women in Cable Telecommunications Southeast Chapter announces the members of its 2022 Board of Directors.

WICT Southeast is one of 24 Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) chapters across the U.S., Latin America, UK and Europe. WICT consists of over 10,500 members globally. The Southeast Chapter is the third largest local chapter with approximately 800 members.

WICT Southeast represents the diverse functions of the cable industry and brings together members located in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. Each member has their own dynamic experience, distinctive perspective and background.

Gimette DeLaughter (Cox) incumbent Vice President rises to President in 2022. Jamelia Smith (Cox) previous Sr. Director of Mentoring in 2014/2015 transitions to Vice-President. Shelley Hoffmann (Healthgrades/Red Ventures) incumbent President will move to Immediate Past President. With over 30 positions, spanning over 15 different companies, our 2022 board is sure to accomplish great things in the coming year. Please make sure to check out the entire list of our 2022 board members and congratulate your fellow WICT friends and colleagues.

PresidentGimetteDeLaughterCox Communications
Vice PresidentJameliaSmithCox Communications
Immediate Past PresidentShelleyHoffmannHealthgrades/Red Ventures
Senior TreasurerAqueelah Traylor-MorganWarnerMedia
SecretaryLesliePodraskyDiscovery, Inc
Advisory Board/Executive ChampionSheriMcGaughyMcGaughy Law
Senior Director of ProgrammingCindyHughesCox Communications
Senior Director of PartnershipsKerriHayesUPtv
Senior Director of Marketing/CommunicationsLisaConklinCox Communications
Senior Director of MembershipLizzetteTarver
Senior Director of MentoringErikaWeaverDiscovery, Inc
Senior Director of Red Letter AwardsKaseyWhiteCox Communications
TreasurerStacyHurdCox Communications
Director of CommunicationsChristinaThompsonCox Automotive
Director of DesignAnaAdlerAna Adler Creative
Director of Social Media MarketingCrystalScalesComcast
Director of TechnologyLydiaSan GeorgeAT&T
Director of Membership GA & ALLoriJacksonCox Communications
Director of Membership TNPending
Director of Outreach/PhilanthropyAngelaCannonUP Faith & Family
Director of Programming ALShannonAndrewsComcast
Director of Programming GAVincineBrownComcast
Director of Programming GAAllisonJacobsWarnerMedia
Director of Programming TN KnoxvillePending
Director of Programming TN NashvilleMelissaHarrisTelecom Training Corporation
Director of Mentoring GA & ALKimBowman-ScottCox Communications
Director of Mentoring TNKatieFarritorRFD-TV
Director of PartnershipsTamminaHartComcast
Director of Red Letter AwardsPending
Director at Large – BylawsChrisMorterCox Communications
Director at Large – PartnershipsMichaelWigginsCox Communications
Director at Large – Executive OutreachKathyHatalaBlueprint RF/ Cox
Director at Large – Chapter ExpansionJanineBowlingCommscope
Director at Large – FinanceNatashaPrewittThe Weather Group
Director at Large – Virtual TechnologyCatherineEllisComcast
Director at Large – Absentee CoverageAnneLoescherScripps Networks
Director at Large – Diversity & InclusionLynnetteSmithThe Weather Channel

Membership Spotlight: Diana Johnson

The WICTSE Membership Spotlight features members and/or board members that wish to
share their experience being a member of the WICT organization. Each month a different
member will be spotlighted and showcased in the WICT SE newsletter and via the WICT SE
social forums. For the month of September we will spotlight Diana Johnson, Comcast, Sr.
Marketing Specialist.

How can WICT Southeast members help celebrate Hispanic culture this month?

By highlighting Hispanic professionals or businesses in the industry who are making an impact and creating opportunities.

What propelled you to join WICT Southeast?

The opportunity to network with other amazing professionals, build my brand and develop my career.

At WICT, both women & men are encouraged to be a catalyst and set the wheels of change in motion. In your experience, share your thoughts on some key benefits of being a member of WICT and why individuals should join or consider renewing their membership?

As professionals, we need to continue to own our careers and utilize the resources provided by our employers – and one of those is a WICT membership. I’ve been an active member for many years, which has allowed me to participate in different events, find mentors, develop new relationships, enhance my communications and people skills and become more empowered in my career and workplace. WICT provides an incredible amount of talent, technology and expertise that can benefit you, your career and the the company your work for in so many different ways. Take action and enroll today. 

How has WICT Southeast played an important role in your professional/personal life?

It has helped me build my network, meet amazing mentors, enhance my view on different aspects of life and collaborate with other great members.

Over the past year the world has faced major challenges. What is one piece of practical advice you have gained from WICT Southeast events that can benefit others?

Keep improving yourself and be resourceful. Even though the pandemic has kept us from doing things the way we used to, I do enjoy the flexibility that virtual meetings and trainings provide. I would also recommend staying connected to a community of like-minded people – like the WICT community –  to keep you motivated, positive and focused on the things you can control.

Membership Spotlight: Kay Allen

Our Membership Spotlight features members sharing their experiences in the WICT organization. Each month, a different member will be spotlighted and showcased in our blog.

This month, we’re excited to spotlight Kay Allen, Comcast Director of University Relations/Talent Programs/DE&I.

Kay Allen, Comcast
Director of University Relations/Talent Programs/DE&I

What propelled you to join WICT Southeast?

I wanted an opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals in an environment that promoted growth and connection for its members. After having the privilege to attend the 2014 Red Letter Awards and witnessing an amazing group of women being honored and recognized for their impact in the industry, I WAS SOLD! I knew then that WICT Southeast was the place for me, and I’ve made it my mission to remain a member year after year ever since.

At WICT both women & men are encouraged to be a catalyst and set the wheels of change in motion. In your experience, share your thoughts on some key benefits of being a member of WICT and why individuals should join or consider renewing their membership?

Some key benefits of being a member of WICT Southeast revolves around the access you get when you are a member. Aside from the catalogue of webinars/events you get access to as a member, you also get exposure to powerhouse professionals that can give you firsthand knowledge to take your “LIFE” to the next level. Leveraging your membership is totally up to you, like anything else in life, the more you put into it the more you will get out of it.  

How has WICT Southeast played an important role in your professional/personal life?

WICT Southeast has played a role by giving me tips for career success and by providing real-life examples of how to be a game changer professionally and personally. In addition to career tips, I have grown substantially when it comes to networking and public speaking due to attending events with professionals of all backgrounds and experiences.

Over the past year the world has faced major challenges. What is one piece of practical advice you have gained from WICT Southeast events that can benefit others?

Be Brave, Be Kind, Be Flexible! With everything that happened last year I believe we all can agree that the human side of who we are was brought to the surface. I love the fact that though our efforts may have been delayed, WICT Southeast never stopped moving. I feel closer than ever to WICT and respect all the gems within leadership who kept up the momentum. Your passion is appreciated, and we all have you to Thank for ensuring that WICT Southeast is better than ever.

An inspirational event: What I learned from Phenomenal Woman – the Secret to My Success

From left to right: Moderator LaPorsche Thomas and panelists Beatrice York, Sujata Gosalia, Tina Simmons and Sandy Howe

By Shannon Andrews

Inspirational is the word I would use to describe Thursday’s Phenomenal Woman: The Secret of My Success panel discussion. Listening to Beatrice York (Afiniti), Sujata Gosalia (Cox Communications), Tina Simmons (Comcast), and Sandy Howe (WICT Global Board Executive) share about the things that contributed to their achievements in their lives and careers left me awestricken.  

Beatrice shared that the best way to navigate through imposter syndrome is to use it for building your brand. Grow those skills that you believe that you are lacking. We don’t have to wait to get that seal of approval from someone. We decide how we show up and what our brand is.

Finding what brings you joy is essential when thinking about your career. Sujata mentioned that she finds joy in helping people. Another great takeaway was to ask for advice from people at all levels from different walks of life. We can learn from anyone; we don’t have to wait for a senior leader to give us a pearl of wisdom.

Using the drama to change the business was a turning point in Tina’s career. She encouraged us to network with others when we don’t want anything and not expect a connection to equate to a job offer. We also need to reshape the way we think of HR; it’s not just the place that you go when someone’s in trouble. HR is a breeding ground of knowledge about the business and knows the best ways to navigate your career.

One story that stood out to me was Sandy sharing how she was initially unsure of why she was asked to attend a meeting of male leaders. As the meeting progressed, she was able to add valuable insights tapping into her technical experience that others in that meeting did not possess. Sandy understood that she was invited to meetings because others were confident in her abilities and knew her value.

To close out the event, each panelist shared one thing that they believed was their secret of success. The responses included resilience, curiosity, being fearless, having the humility to understand that others have helped you along the way, and optimism that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I leave you with this one question to ponder; what is the secret of your success?

Shannon Andrews is an Atlanta native who is in the process of publishing her first book and writing her second. She is a wife, mother of 2, daughter, sister, cousin, aspiring CEO, and the Manager of Reporting Analysis at Comcast NBCUniversal in the Business Insights IS Solutions Strategy team.