Mary Busby


54 Executives Graduate Betsy Magness Leadership Institute

Nearly 500 Have Graduated Industry Flagship Executive Development Program



Chantilly, VA- Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) today announced the graduation of Class XVIII and Class XIX of WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Institute (BMLI), its flagship executive leadership program.  BMLI, sponsored by WE tv, provides intensive, yearlong leadership training and is lauded for its record of increasing the presence of women among the industry’s executive ranks.

The classes, comprised of 54 senior-level women executives of the cable telecommunications industry, joined the more than 430 alumnae who have graduated from the highly respected Institute over the last sixteen years. 

“With each graduating class of BMLI, WICT contributes to the strategic leadership embodied by the cable industry that is required to effectively compete in our economy,” said Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, WICT President & CEO. “For thirty years, WICT has remained unchanged in its commitment to develop women leaders who are integral to success in the cable industry”

“The rigorous experience has positioned the nearly 500 BMLI fellows to take on significant leadership responsibilities and contribute to their organizations unlike any other development opportunity,” said Laurie Root, WICT Vice President, Education & Program Development.

Graduates of Class XVIII of the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute are:

- Friday Abernethy, Vice President - Field Operations, MTV Networks
- Shannon Cassidy, Executive Director, Leadership Coach, bridge between, inc.
- Rebecca R. Cianci, Director - Regional Programming Greater Chicago Region, Comcast- North Central Division
- Diana Clark-Baty, Senior Vice President & General Manager, BET Interactive
- Bonnie Cleaver, Senior Director - Strategic Initiatives, Comcast Media Center
- Marsha J. Conaway, Regional Vice President Human Resources Midwest Region, Time Warner Cable
- Nancy Crawford, Director - Human Resources, North Puget Sound Area, Comcast Cable
- Laura Dames, Senior Vice President, TNT, TBS and TCM Marketing Operations
- Rosalyn Durant, Vice President and General Manager - ESPNU , ESPN,Inc.
- Laura Fleury, Vice President - Non-Fiction and Alternative Programming, A&E Television Networks
- Michele Golden, Vice President - Talent Management, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
- Liza M. Grier, Vice President - Administration, Insight Communications
- Kellie W. Grutko, Vice President - Marketing, Comcast Spotlight
- Susan Leigh, Vice President Ad Sales - GAC, Scripps Networks Interactive
- Sonya Lockett, Vice President - Public Affairs, BET Networks
- Deborah Lucas, Vice President Solution Initiation and Management, Comcast Cable
- Charlon McIntosh, Senior Director - Customer Care, Comcast Cable Communications, Inc.
- Catherine Mitchell, Vice President - Field Service, Cox Communications, Inc.
- Heidi Newman, Senior Vice President - National Accounts, TV Networks Distribution, NBC Universal
- Stefanie Nimick, Senior Vice President - Distribution, Rainbow Network Sales, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
- Abigail Pfeiffer, Vice President, Human Resources-Operations, Charter Communications
- Betsy Rella, Vice President - Research, Lifetime Networks
- Cinnamon Rogers, Vice President & Legislative Counsel - Government Relations, National Cable & Telecommunications Association
- Laurie Root, Vice President - Education & Program Development, Women in Cable Telecommunications
- Amy Skiff, Senior Director - BASS Marketing, ESPN
- Charlotte Strong, Director - Technical Operations, Time Warner Cable Southwest Division
- Sue Wante, Area Vice President - Metro Boston East Area, Comcast

Graduates of Class XIX of the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute are:

- Susan Adams, Senior Vice President - Engineering & Technical Operations, Comcast North Central Division
- Jennifer Bergman, Vice President - Business Operations Kansas & Arkansas, Cox Communications, Inc.
- Dianne Blackwood, Regional Vice President - Customer Care, TWC Carolina Region
- Karen Broach, Division President, Bright House Networks
- Lauren Cassidy, Creative Director - Special Projects, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
- Sherita Ceasar, Vice President Product Engineering, Comcast
- Katrina Cukaj, Vice President CNN Sales, Turner Broadcasting Sales Inc.
- Ardella Darst, Vice President - Human Resources, Comcast
- Sharon T. Desmond, Senior Vice President - Finance & Business Operations, Business Unit, Marketing & Product Development, Comcast Cable
- Nell DeVane, Associate General Counsel, ESPN, Inc.
- Dianne E. Earley, Vice President, General Manager, Cox Media--Northern Virginia
- Vickie Fiala, Vice President Operations Planning, Time Warner Cable
- Elisa Freeman, Vice President - Domestic Distribution, Discovery Communications
- Linda Hossinger, Senior Vice President - Three Rivers Region, Comcast
- Tricia Hulse, Vice President - TV Networks Distribution, NBC Universal
- Marcia Keegan, Vice President - Content Integration & Strategic Planning, ESPN
- Jennifer Kranz, Vice President - Advertising and Branding, WE tv
- Elena Laskin, Assistant General Counsel, Comcast Interactive Media, LLC
- Carla Lewis-Long, Senior Vice President - Affiliate Sales, AmericanLife TV Network
- Sheri Gates McGaughy, Senior Counsel, The Weather Channel Companies
- Mary R. Meier, Senior Vice President - Marketing, Suddenlink Communications
- Donna Northington, Vice President Strategic Planning, Turner Broadcasting Corporation
- Shari Pace, Vice President - Licensing and Merchandising, The Weather Channel
- Mimi Thigpen, Senior Vice President - Strategy, Cox Communications
- Susie Tomenchok, Senior Director - Content Services, Comcast Media Center
- Lisa Washa, Vice President & General Manager, Charter Communications
- Brucetta M. Williams, Vice President - Off-Channel Marketing & Promotions, BET Networks

Classes XVIII and XIX were facilitated by Grace Killelea, Vice President, Talent & Leadership Initiatives for Comcast. Class XVIII was chaired by Class XVII alumna Regina Hutchinson, Vice President – Comcast University, Comcast. Class XIX was chaired by Class XVI alumna Jennifer Hightower, VP - Regulatory Affairs; Law & Policy, Cox Communications.

The 2009 Betsy Magness Leadership Institute is presented by WE tv.

The Institute’s Founding
Established by WICT in 1993 with a generous grant from TCI’s Bob Magness and J.C. Sparkman, the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute is named in honor of one of the industry’s most charismatic leaders, a cable pioneer who combined business acumen with compassion. Betsy Magness was instrumental in transforming TCI, later AT&T Broadband and Internet Services, and now Comcast, into one of the nation’s most prominent and influential cable and telecommunication companies.

About WICT
For thirty years, Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) has partnered with cable and telecommunications leaders to provide leadership programs and services, and create professional advancement opportunities for women. With over 7,800 members, WICT is the oldest and largest professional association serving women in the cable and telecommunications industry.

WICT develops women leaders who transform our industry through highly regarded professional events, educational programming and networking opportunities. Comcast, Rainbow, Time Warner Cable and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. are WICT’s 2009 Strategic Partners providing the highest level of financial support for WICT programs, services and advocacy.

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