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.

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.

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.

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.

A Welcome from WICT Southeast President Shelley Hoffmann

WICT Southeast Members,

Happy New Year! 

The past year has been one of unexpected transition, in which we became forever bonded by major moments in history, in our industry and in our chapter. Looking forward, 2021 will be a year where we can cultivate change on our own terms.

To that end, the WICT Southeast Board has chosen one of the seven WICT Touchstones of Leadership as the foundation for all chapter initiatives this year: BE A CATALYST and set the wheels of change in motion. WICT is a transformational organization, and our chapter is poised to be a shining example of what it means to be a change agent. 

“We are WICT.” It’s a phrase I find myself reflecting on often. It means different things to different members at different times. For me right now, it means community. A community that didn’t waver when faced with a year of challenge and will be steadfast in their resolve to own future change. But what does WICT mean to you?

In 2021 it could be any of the following:

  • The ongoing commitment to member development through programs and content supporting female empowerment, diversity and inclusion, the LQBTQ+ community, and Black Lives Matter
  • Global Mentoring Experience, a first-of-its-kind collaboration with global WICT chapters to provide a comprehensive mentoring program led by industry thought leaders
  • WICT Leadership Conference Scholarship, offering fellowship opportunities for members to attend WICT Global’s marquee annual Leadership Conference, virtually or in New York City
  • Executive-Level Roundtable Series, exploring Results Leadership, diversity initiatives, keeping women in the workforce, and planning and strategy in uncertain times
  • Red Letter Awards, our 18th annual gala celebration recognizing the accomplishments and outstanding achievements of women in our industry

Thank you to our sponsors for your continued collaboration and commitment to the mission of developing and supporting women leaders in the cable telecommunications industry. Because of our partnerships, WICT Southeast can offer these exceptional professional development programs for no additional charge to our members. This unique benefit distinguishes the WICT Southeast chapter.

I have been involved with WICT as a member and volunteer for 10 years. For the last five, I have served on the WICT Southeast Board of Directors, most recently as Vice President. I am indebted to the Board for preparing me for the role of chapter President. It is a privilege to serve the second largest WICT chapter across the U.S., Europe, Latin America and the United Kingdom—a role I assume with respect. 

I get to work alongside 35 inspiring women on the Board who are passionate about WICT and live the mission as I do. Together, we commit to giving you the tools you need to continue your progression as impactful leaders.

I read a lot of memoirs. Elaine Welteroth’s “More Than Enough” is one that keeps calling me back. I shared this quote from her book with the Board, and I leave it with you:

“When women affirm women, it unlocks our power: It gives us permission to shine brighter.”

Let this be our intention for 2021—both for women and for men. BE A CATALYST for change and lift each other up so we can all shine brighter together. 

Shelley Hoffmann

2021 WICT Southeast President

Healthgrades Senior Director, Content

Black Lives Matter: The conversation continues

The dynamics of being a Black woman in the workplace

by Ciji Townsend

Black Lives Matter is more than a moment, it’s a movement. WICT Southeast is committed to ongoing conversations that generate awareness for Black women in our industry. Our recent panel discussion and interactive session, attended by more than 350 industry professionals, focused on the impact of the heightened race awakening on Black women in the telecommunications industry.

Ciji Townsend
Cox Communications

It’s been a few weeks since the panel discussion and member, Ciji Townsend has had time to digest the stories and information. In the post below, she shares her thoughts and perspective.

*********************

Black women in the workplace need your empathy, not sympathy.

The conversation kicked off with a powerful response from Dawn Douglass, Vice President Programming at Bounce TV, “When you see a news story, you sympathize. When I see a news story, I see people that look like my loved ones.” Dawn immediately set the tone and struck a chord with me. It was in that moment, that I thought about the countless times that I’ve watched a news segment and immediately thought to myself that the incident being covered could include my brother, cousin, husband or even me. Yet, when I arrived at work, the same new story was simply just a story discussed briefly at the water cooler. It’s in those moments that empathy is needed to break down the walls of understanding that accompany the cycle of systemic racism. 

Code-switching is real for Black women in the workplace.

After a brief explanation of code-switching, moderator Kenya Brock, Director of Digital Operations and Marketing at Katz Networks/E.W. Scripps, asked panelists to share a time they had to code-switch at work. “I’ve been doing it my whole life,” exclaimed Andrea Bibbs, Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion Strategy at WarnerMedia News & Media. And I could sense the head nods from the other black women in the audience. Our experiences of worrying more about our hairstyles, tone of voice, posture and good manners in the workplace have an uncanny resemblance. Even worse than the worry, we all know that the time and effort put into code-switching can affect our performance and productivity.

But where do we start? Who carries the responsibility for change? 

It was mentioned by the panelist that change starts with leadership. And I couldn’t agree more. But I don’t think that change starts and stops with a company’s hierarchy. Change starts with everyone the minute that they are made aware. My hope would be that each of the attendees that were not familiar with the challenges that black women face in the workplace would take the newfound information and adjust their behavior and way of thinking. 

And just to be clear, Black women aren’t asking for a handout. 

What I loved most about the conversation rooted in “invisible work,” is the reminder that Black women work hard, many Black women work longer and harder than most of their peers. So, a handout is not the answer. The ask is that where credit is due, it’s appropriately applied. So many Black women are completing stretch projects and added tasks with ease and often don’t receive credit. Sonya King, Founder and CEO of Creator’s Architect said it best, “We’re given the work because we can do it, not because we should do it.”

Much of injustice stems from access to privilege

In the second half of the event, Sonya provided data for a deeper dive on the impact of privilege. She touched on access, education, earning power, mortality and home ownership. Seeing data explaining the path of privilege was beyond eye opening. Access to education leads to higher earning power which leads to easier access to home ownership. And learning that Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police was shocking but perhaps not a surprise.

#Sayhername

Dana Dawson, Lead Project Manager at Cox Enterprises, ended the presentation highlighting the countless women who have been killed by police, many names people hadn’t heard of. It was sad, painful and continues to be our reality.

Stay tuned and stay engaged

It’s clear this discussion was insightful, meaningful and needed for our WICT Southeast members and advocates. And we’re not stopping the conversation. Stay tuned for how we’ll keep the momentum going and for how you can be part of it.

We want to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment letting us know the most impactful part of the presentation for you.

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Ciji Townsend is a Pure Barre enthusiast, book club fanatic and the host of the being BALANCED podcast. When she’s not sharing her perspective with WICT SE members, she keeps her plate full as a Senior Manager of Internal Communications at Cox Communications.

2020 Welcome from New WICT SE President

RenitaGriskel
Renita Griskel, WICT SE President

Happy New Year WICT Southeast Members! Please join me in celebrating the beginning of our chapter’s 40th Anniversary!  What an amazing time to be a member of such a historic organization. Women in Cable Telecommunications has more than 10,500 members internationally. It is the largest and oldest professional organization for women in the cable telecommunications industry.

Our chapter spans over three states with more than 1,000 members in Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama.  I am proud and honored to serve as your president, especially for this Ruby Year! Throughout 2020, look for commemorative messages, photos and inspirational stories from the trailblazing women who laid the foundation for the Southeast chapter. As we celebrate our chapter’s accomplishments and decades of hard work, we acknowledge that there is still much more to do.  Our industry, workplace, and opportunities definitely look different now compared to 40 years ago, but the mission is the same – create women leaders who transform our industry. We develop women leaders, give them the tools and access to a network of industry experts to help them be successful. It’s an ongoing effort, and one that I am happy to be a part of alongside all of you.

Our touchstone this year is CONNECT to your peers, your industry, and everything around you. The CONNECT touchstone is truly fitting as our industry continues to evolve. Amid mergers, acquisitions and career pivots, connecting with peers, networking with others in our industry and tapping into what is new and innovative is critical.

Your chapter leaders are planning programs, professional development opportunities, and outreach events for 2020. You can look forward to:

Global Mentoring Experience – First of its kind collaboration with global WICT chapters to provide a comprehensive mentoring program.

WICT Leadership Conference Scholarship – Assistance is offered to a member to attend WICT’s marquee Annual Leadership Conference.

WICT Webinar Series – Explore Results Leadership and sharpen your public speaking and presentation skills.

Red Letter Awards – Annual celebration of the accomplishments of tremendous women in the telecommunications industry.

These are just some of the programs and events that are available to WICT Southeast members for. Due to the support and generosity of our sponsors, our members can participate in our regular programs, webinars and mentoring experience for free. This is an extraordinary benefit of membership in WICT Southeast. Thank you to our 2019 sponsors. Your continued partnerships with WICT Southeast and support of our mission to develop women leaders in the cable telecommunications industry is highly appreciated.

I am excited about all that this year has to offer! I have volunteered with WICT for many years. I’ve been a mentor in several mentoring programs, Director of Programming for Knoxville for two years, Vice President and now I am your President. I have the pleasure of working with 31 amazing women on the board who are passionate about WICT, and together we will give you the tools you need to continue your path as exceptional and impactful leaders.

Thank you,

Renita Griskel
WICT Southeast President

 

WICT_40YR_LOGO_FINAL

WICT Southeast announces 2020 Board of Directors

Women in Cable Telecommunications Southeast (WICT SE) Chapter announces the members of its 2020 Board of Directors.

The WICT SE Board represents the diverse functions of the cable industry and brings together members from 15 companies located in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. Each member has their own dynamic experience, distinctive perspectives, and backgrounds.

Renita Griskel (Discovery, Inc.) incumbent Vice President rises to President in 2020. Shelley Hoffmann (Healthgrades) incumbent Senior Director of Mentoring transitions to Vice-President. LaShaun Solomon (Comcast) incumbent President will move to Immediate Past President. The complete list of all the incoming board members appears below.

Also, the board recently voted on the 2020 Touchstone, which is: CONNECT to your peers, your industry, and everything around you.

 

2020 Incoming WICT Southeast Board of Directors
Position Name Company
President Renita Griskel Discovery, Inc
Vice President Shelley Hoffmann Healthgrades
Immediate Past President LaShaun Solomon Comcast
Senior Treasurer Natasha Prewitt The Weather Group
Secretary Angela Manring Cox Communications
Advisor/Executive Champion Sheri McGaughy McGaughy Law
Senior Director of Programming Chair Mallory Summers PWC
Senior Director of Sponsorship Janine Bowling Commscope
Senior Director of Marketing/Communications Kenya Brock Katz Broadcasting/The E.W. Scripps Company
Senior Director of Membership Chair Sarah Miller Comcast
Senior Director of Mentoring Ellen English Wargo French
Senior Director of Red Letter Awards Gimette DeLaughter Cox Communications
Treasurer Cindy Hughes Cox Communications
Director of Communications Lisa Conklin Cox Communications
Director of Design Ana Adler Yeah Sure Productions, LLC
Director of Social Media Marketing Valerie Carrillo Discovery, Inc
Director of Technology Michelle Gilstrap Warner Media
Director of Membership GA & AL Devon Croom Cox Communications
Director of Membership TN Emily Jarvis Comcast
Director of Outreach Shakira Isom Comcast
Director of Programming AL TBD
Director of Programming GA Dana Dawson Cox Communications
Director of Programming GA Jay Brown Randstad US
Director of Programming TN Knoxville Treva Allen Discovery, Inc
Director of Programming TN Nashville Meg Glenn Comcast
Director of Mentoring GA & AL Margo Roberts Comcast
Director of Mentoring TN Erika Weaver Discovery, Inc
Director of Partnerships Kerri Hayes UP TV
Director of Red Letter Awards Crystal Scales Comcast
Director at Large – Bylaws Jennifer Thompson Patrick Law Group
Director at Large – Partnership Janine Johnson Comcast
Director at Large – Executive Outreach Kathy Hatala SpeakEasy, Inc
Director at Large – Chapter Expansion Kimberly Euston PWC

Message from WICT Southeast President

LaShaun
LaShaun Solomon- 2019 WICT Southeast President

As we close out the year, I’m pleased to share my remarks of gratitude for the WICT Southeast chapter. When I embarked on my WICT executive leadership journey, it was my personal goal to ensure our membership provided unique value, personal and professional growth, connection opportunities to leadership groups, and access to events that matter. Our chapter cultivated experiences and programs that epitomized the INSPIRE WICT Touchstone of Leadership to serve our members, partners, and community.

We launched the inaugural “Inspire to Innovate” Fellowship powered by Cisco, which awarded two members the opportunity to attend the CableLabs Innovation Bootcamp. Our awarded chapter fellows were inspired by their enhanced understanding of innovation to solve customer problems while also considering the larger ecosystem. We partnered with Comcast to offer the “INSPIRE” Fellowship to provide FREE WICT SE memberships for those in job transition and college students. The relationships you make within WICT are unmatched, and this first of its kind offering helped to ensure those in need could still benefit from being a part of the WICT Southeast network.

Back in January, I spoke with Fernanda Merodio, WICT Latin America President, about piloting an international mentoring program that would pair mentors and mentees from the U.S. and Mexico. While the design and functionality was uncertain, we both knew this was worth exploring. A few months after that conversation, WICT Southeast and Latin America launched WICT’s first international mentoring program for the entire WICT organization. The program consisted of monthly 1:1 mentoring sessions and four mentoring workshops that connected mentors and mentees from Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Mexico.

WICT Southeast collaborated with company employee resource groups to offer career-enhancing opportunities. In partnership with the Comcast Women’s Network, we held the first-ever joint Women’s Conference to empower, inspire, and impact more than 100 Comcast employees, WICT Southeast chapter members, and those in transition. To create awareness and understanding of LGBTQ allyship, we joined Discovery, Inc., to host a Pride event. In addition to these efforts, WICT Southeast held over 20 programs this year – all at no cost to our members.

We invested back into the community by aligning with the Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency to provide a series of career readiness workshops on digital literacy, resume writing, and interviewing. The overall benefit to the community resulted in developing career-ready persons with the skills needed to successfully navigate pathways to employment and achieve a fulfilling, financially secure, and successful career.

The work our chapter has done in 2019 would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors, volunteers, and Board of Directors. As chapter President, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside each of these talented and dedicated professionals, and I thank each one of you for going on this journey. As I transition to Immediate Past President, I look forward to WICT Southeast’s continued success.

Sincerely,

LaShaun Signature

LaShaun Solomon

2019 WICT Southeast President