WICT is an organization with a 35-year record of creating women leaders. We also celebrate the achievements of women by encouraging others to emulate those who have made noteworthy contributions to our industry. Please click here for more information on WICT awards.
This year’s honorees were celebrated at the 2014 WICT Touchstones Luncheon held during the WICT Leadership Conference, September 15-16, at the New York Marriott Marquis, during Diversity Week.
2014 Woman of the Year
WICT’s highest honor is the Woman of the Year Award. This honor is bestowed on a woman who has made increasingly significant contributions throughout her career to her company and the overall cable telecommunications industry. She is at the top and shows great resolve to help others along their path.
WICT named Christine Driessen winner of the 2014 Woman of the Year award. Christine Driessen, executive vice president and chief financial officer for ESPN, is responsible for overseeing all of the company’s financial operations worldwide and serving as financial advisor on strategic planning for all acquisitions, new business ventures and programming initiatives. She is based at the company’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn. Driessen’s strong business acumen has most recently played a key role in the company’s major multimedia programming rights deals including an historic 20-year agreement with the SEC through 2034 to create and operate a multiplatform network which will launch in August of 2014. Other rights deals include Major League Baseball, Monday Night Football, the new college football playoff, the Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls, the ACC, The Pac 12 and the Big 12, US Open Tennis, The Masters and British Open golf. Driessen also has played an important role in the company’s broadband internet strategy, including the mobile and WatchESPN businesses. Driessen played a key role in the financial strategy for the recently completed Time Warner, Comcast, Cox Communications, Charter and AT&T U-Verse omnibus distribution deals and the successful launch of ESPN3. Driessen has been instrumental in the launches of ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes and espnW as well as negotiating agreements for ESPN’s foreign investments.
Driessen has received many honors and awards throughout her career. Most recently, she was honored by Women in Sports and Events (WISE) with its 2014 “Women of Distinction” award and ranked #3 by Sports Illustrated in its 2013 “10 Most Influential Women in Sports." She has been consistently recognized by Cablefax Magazine as one of the “Cablefax 100” and one of the industry's “Most Powerful Women in Cable." Driessen was also named a “Wonder Woman” by Multichannel News in 2006. In addition, she was named to BusinessWeek's "Power 100" in 2008.
Driessen is a member of the ESPN Board of Directors. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Women’s Sports Foundation and served a six-year term, from 2005-2011, on the Fordham University Board of Trustees.
Driessen joined ESPN in August 1985 as controller and was named vice president, finance and planning in 1990. In 1994, she was promoted to senior vice president and chief financial officer, and in 1998 she was elevated to the position of executive vice president. Prior to joining ESPN, Driessen worked for the public accounting firm of Peat, Marwick & Mitchell in New York City.
Driessen graduated from Fordham University with a bachelor of science degree in accounting. She is married with two children.
2014 Woman to Watch - Operator
The Woman to Watch Award is bestowed upon two women in cable who show tremendous promise for transforming the industry through her professional accomplishments. These women have already demonstrated exemplary leadership skills as well as a strong dedication to the industry and their organizations.
WICT named Deborah Picciolo winner of the 2014 Woman to Watch - Operator award. Ms. Picciolo was named Senior Vice President of Technical Operations, Residential Services for Time Warner Cable (TWC) in May 2013. In this role, she is charged with creating a best-in-class field operations organization and implementing best practices across the entire Technical Operations organization of TWC. Prior, she served as Regional Vice President of Operations for the PacWest Region of the company.
Ms. Picciolo’s many accomplishments include the oversight of Time Warner Cable’s consolidation of the Southern California Market, and the launch of many new products—including high-speed data, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), WiFi, IntelligentHome, and SignatureHome. She is a true operations leader, committed to excellence in customer service, employee development and change management.
With more than 25 years of experience in the cable industry, Ms. Picciolo’s distinguished career includes leadership positions at Continental Cablevision, Media One, A&T Broadband, Comcast and Time Warner Cable. She has served in positions as Division President, Regional Senior Vice President, Vice President of Operations and Vice President/General Manager.
Ms. Picciolo has received several accolades throughout her cable career, including the WICT Southern California Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also been named among Cablefax Magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in Cable.” She participated in the WICT Senior Executive Summit at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is a graduate of CTAM University and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Ms. Picciolo currently serves as Chairman of the Board and sits on the Executive Committee of the California Cable Television Association. She is personally committed to the cause dedicated to curing spinal cord injury and is an advocate and supporter of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
2014 Woman to Watch - Programmer
WICT named Jennifer Mirgorod winner of the 2014 Woman to Watch - Programmer award. Mirgorod is Executive Vice President of Brand Distribution for Turner Network Sales (TNS), the distribution division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. In this capacity, she oversees the account management team in developing strategic content distribution and marketing initiatives for Turner’s news and entertainment networks to serve distribution partners throughout the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She is part of the team responsible for deal renewal strategy for TNS, as well as expanding linear content distribution opportunities and developing new business models between Turner and the North American multichannel video providers. Additionally, Mirgorod oversees the affiliate marketing department as well as Turner Private Networks. Mirgorod is based in Atlanta and reports to Coleman Breland, president of TNS.
A seasoned cable veteran, Mirgorod most recently served as senior vice president of brand revenue and account management for TNS. She held previous posts as senior vice president of sales and marketing for and vice president of strategic marketing for TNS where she worked in tandem with the TNS sales force, Turner networks marketing and operations and partnership marketing to help set the tactical direction for TNS marketing and advertising sales initiatives. Mirgorod joined TNS in 2003 from Turner Entertainment Networks in Hong Kong where, as senior vice president, regional entertainment advertising sales and off-channel commerce, she was responsible for advertising and licensing revenue generations for Turner Broadcasting’s Asian cable and satellite channels, including Cartoon Network, cartoonnetwork.com, HBO India and China Entertainment TV (CETV). In this capacity, she managed a 46-person sales team across Australia, India, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines.
Mirgorod received a BA degree in Foreign Affairs from The University of Virginia. She is a former board member of the Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Southeast Chapter, was a member of Class XVII of WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Institute, and participated in the inaugural class of the WICT Senior Executive Summit at Stanford Business School in 2013. She’s also a 2004 graduate of CTAM University. At Turner, Mirgorod is the Executive Sponsor of Turner Asia, a company-wide business resource group aimed at leveraging the talents of Asian Pacific American employees throughout the company.