2017 Conference Agenda

Sunday, September 24.PNG

2:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Manhattan, 8th Floor
WICT Chapter Leadership Roundtable

By invitation only

Join fellow WICT chapter leaders at the annual roundtable discussions the day prior to the official start of the Leadership Conference, with networking and registration beginning Sunday, September 24 from 2:30 – 3:30 pm. The discussions will start promptly at 3:30 pm and end before dinner time at 7:00 pm. This must-attend program is designed to provide chapter leaders with ample time to network with each other and collectively address issues relevant to running a successful chapter as our industry continues to evolve. Chapter leaders will gain best practices and new ideas that will energize and inspire!


Monday, September 25.PNG

8:00 am – 8:30 am

5th Floor Foyer
Continental Breakfast

Sponsor: Turner

8:30 am – 9:30 am

Westside Ballroom,
5th Floor


Welcome and Opening Keynote

Get ready to
FOCUS FORWARD as we kick-off the 2017 WICT Leadership Conference. The Leadership Conference opening session sets the stage for two days of education, inspiration and networking, providing solutions to help you
LEVEL UP in your career.  

  • Maria E. Brennan, CAE, President & CEO, WICT

  • David L. Cohen, Sr. Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation

  • Katie Couric, Award Winning Journalist and Bestselling Author

  • Joanne Lipman, Editor in Chief, USA Today & USA Today Network; Chief Content Officer, Gannett

  • Martha Soehren, Chief Talent Development Officer & SVP, Comcast


Sponsor: Comcast NBCUniversal

9:30 am – 9:45 am

5th Floor Foyer
Networking Break


Sponsor: Neustar

9:45 am – 11:00 am


The Big Stage

Westside Ballroom, 5th Floor

Thriving in a Multigenerational Workplace

With a workforce ranging from early 20s to mid-80s, today’s professionals are dealing with the unique challenges of managing teams of colleagues from five distinct cultural generations. A multigenerational workforce brings a wide array of knowledge and talent, but it can also present issues such as stereotyping and unconscious bias. Discover ways to leverage the distinct skills and varying work styles of each cohort to harness individual talent and create team harmony.

  • Jennifer Deal (moderator), Senior Research Scientist, Center for Creative Leadership

  • Meeka Bondy, SVP, Business Affairs & Legal, HBO, Inc.

  • Danette Johnson, Director, Organizational Development, Diversity & Inclusion, Turner
  • Donna Murphy, SVP, Consumer Insights & Culture Lab, Discovery Communications

  • Samira Panah Bakhtiar, Director, Media Operations, Cisco Systems

Sponsor: TV One

Master Classes

Julliard Complex, 5th Floor

Principles of Mindful Leadership

A mindful leader is one who is introspective and able to provide constructive feedback that is balanced with a healthy dose of appreciation. This session will explore the science of mindfulness and how companies can take advantage of this practice to create a positive work environment while increasing the bottom line. Research shows that practicing mindfulness reduces stress, increases productivity, and positively affects decision making. Led by a former monk, this unique presentation will delve into the qualities of mindful leadership and reveal techniques that can be used at work and at home. 

  • Pandit Dasa, Mindful Leadership Expert; Founder & CEO, Conscious Living, LLC

mpact Series

Lyceum Complex, 5th Floor

Harnessing Chaos and Creating Opportunity

This engaging and interactive session explores ways to approach adversity as a creative opportunity and reap the benefits of the growth, learning and innovation that follows. You will be introduced to the ideas and practices of The Becoming Principle, ® an unusual blending of play, theater and improvisation with the new science of performative psychology. Learn how to tap into creativity — yours and others’ — to find inspiration in the mundane, the ambiguous, and the downright awful; to break from your habitual “scripts,” and to discover new creative possibilities and opportunities in work and life.

  • Cathy Salit, CEO, Performance of a Lifetime


Majestic Complex, 6th Floor

Level Up: Career Advancement Roundtables

Moving up in your career is something that only you as an individual can manage. These roundtables will cover a variety of topics such as first impressions, managing difficult conversations, and networking to give you specific tools to build the skills that will get you to the next level. Each table presenter is a leading industry executive, and they have charted their own course to get where they are today. They will share their stories on climbing the corporate ladder and help you gain insight into what qualities leaders look for in their talent pool. Use these revealing conversations to develop strategies for successfully advancing your own career.

  • Shannon Cassidy (facilitator), Founder & CEO, bridge between, inc.

  • Vicki Brewster, SVP, Human Resources, ARRIS

  • Fabienne Clermont, VP, Legal Affairs, Discovery

  • Pamela Hermann, VP, Business Performance Management, Altice USA

  • Annie Howell, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, The Punch Point Group

  • Christine Lubrano, SVP, Original Programming, IFC

  • Beth Main, SVP, Domestic Network Distribution, HBO

  • Sally West, Director, Reporting & Analytics, Charter Communications

  • Alaka Williams, SVP, U.S. Networks Human Resources, Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc.

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Broadway Ballroom, 6th Floor


WICT Touchstones Luncheon recognizes the stand-out achievements of cable’s most influential women. Among the honors to be presented will be the 2017
Women of the Year and
Women to Watch awards, WICT’s highest individual accolades. 


Woman of the Year — Programmer,
Sarah Barnett,
President & General Manager, BBC America

Woman of the Year — Operator, D’Arcy Rudnay,
EVP & Chief Communications Officer, Comcast


Woman to Watch — Technology, Samira Panah Bakhtiar,
Director, Media Operations, Cisco Systems

Woman to Watch — Operator,
Charlene Keys,
AVP, Field Operations — Western North Carolina, Charter Communications

Woman to Watch — Programmer,
Tina Thornton,
SVP, Production & Multimedia Sponsorship Integration and Management Operations, ESPN



  • Maria E. Brennan, CAE, President & CEO, WICT

  • Marva Johnson, VP, State Government Affairs – South Region, Charter Communications
  • Lisa Schwartz, Co-President, IFC Films and Sundance Selects; Honorary Chair, Touchstones Luncheon
  • Martha Soehren, Chief Talent Development Officer & SVP,

    Comcast University 
  • Trudie Styler, Actress, Producer, and Director, IFC Films’ Freak Show; Touchstones Luncheon Keynote Speaker

1:15 pm – 2:30 pm


The Big Stage

Westside Ballroom, 5th Floor

Changing Lanes: Creating a Roadmap for Success


Featuring savvy, top industry executives, this session addresses the ever-evolving business environment and ways to shift gears to stay atop the evolution. Each panelist will share personal stories of their unique career journeys and how they leveraged new and exciting opportunities to move up (or over) the corporate ladder. Join this power panel of leaders as they provide invaluable insights to those who are seeking to switch business units, move laterally, or navigate a new culture post-merger.  

  • Kathleen O’Reilly (moderator), Senior Managing Director, Accenture

  • Daisy Auger-Dominguez, SVP, Talent Acquisition, Viacom

  • Rhonda Crichlow, SVP, Chief Diversity Officer, Charter Communications

  • Ellen Kroner, Advisor, Marketing Communications Management & Strategy

  • Dalila Wilson-Scott, President, Comcast & NBCUniversal Foundations & SVP, Community Investment, Comcast NBCUniversal

Sponsor: Turner

Master Classes

Julliard Complex, 5th Floor

The Power of Personal Brand

Branding a company helps the company achieve recognition and align its long-term goals. A clearly defined and well-executed brand can grow a business. A strong personal brand is equally important to grow a professional’s career. Establishing a respected reputation can keep you top-of-mind for promotions, key assignments and other prime opportunities that can further heighten your profile. However, many of us are unsure about where to begin or how to actively build and cultivate our brand. Join us for an engaging session on how to take stock of your assets and implement the necessary steps to build your brand and your career. 

  • Lisa Skeete Tatum, Co-Founder & CEO, Landit

Impact Series

Lyceum Complex, 5th Floor

The Art and Science of Negotiation: Creating Value for a Win-Win Outcome

Successful negotiation is often considered an art form, and yet it is also an expertise that can be developed with practice. Join Columbia Business School professor, Malia Mason, at this extended workshop to learn how to steer clear of the pitfalls that plague most bargainers. This session will allow you to sharpen your skills by taking a deep dive into a multi-issue simulation. Learn strategies to increase the pie and techniques to negotiate value-creating deals, providing a framework that you can utilize in any situation.


  • Malia Mason, PhD, Associate Professor of Management, Columbia Business School

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm



The Big Stage

Westside Ballroom, 5th Floor

Industry Globalization: Where Do You Fit In?

As the cable industry continues to expand globally, WICT is growing its footprint to provide critical tools and access for women around the world. This panel of international media executives explores the challenges and opportunities they have faced in the global market. Attendees will learn how to navigate and capitalize on the global media ecosystem by examining economic trends and forecasts beyond U.S. borders to better prepare themselves and their company for the future.  

  • Amy Blair (moderator), SVP, Chief People Officer, Liberty Global

  • Sara Eisen, Co-Anchor, Squawk on the Street & Co-Anchor, Worldwide Exchange, CNBC
  • Emma Lyon, VP, People, Commercial & Central HR Services, Liberty Global

  • Fernanda Merodio, Sr. Director, Distribution, Hemisphere Media Group

  • Julie Neimat, SVP, Global Talent & HRM, Discovery Communications

Master Classes

Julliard Complex, 5th Floor

Rut Resistant: Move from Intuition to Action

We are all familiar with a “woman’s intuition,” yet we often ignore the inner voice designed to guide us in life. Have you ever known the right path to take, and then become filled with doubt, only to lose the opportunity at hand?  When we distrust our instincts, fear and obsessive thinking may set in to create roadblocks that stop us from seizing seminal moments. During this illuminating session, Robin Fisher Roffer will demonstrate how to rely on instinct to ready our brains and embrace change to make fearless and thoughtful career decisions. 

  • Robin Fisher Roffer, CEO, Big Fish Marketing and Author of Your No Fear Career and
    Make a Name For Yourself

Impact Series

Lyceum Complex, 5th Floor

The Art and Science of Negotiation: Creating Value for a Win-Win Outcome (continued)


Majestic Complex, 6th Floor

Focus Forward: Industry Trends Roundtables

You can’t predict the future, but you can study trends to prepare for possible outcomes. Connect with industry leaders and colleagues and join the conversation surrounding the dynamic media industry. Table presenters will share their experiences and perspectives while leading discussions on several topics including revenue diversification, increasing globalization and the tech advancements. These lively conversations with top executives will help you brainstorm ways to keep pace with our ever-evolving industry.

  • Shannon Cassidy (facilitator), Founder & CEO, bridge between, inc.

  • Deirdre Bianchi, SVP, Program Strategy & Acquisitions, CNBC

  • Elizabeth Biley Andrion, SVP, Regulatory Affairs, Charter Communications
  • Yves Boudreau, VP, Partnerships & Ecosystem Strategy – UDN, Ericsson

  • Rhona Bradshaw, VP, Customer Experience Transformation, Liberty Global

  • Jen Neal, EVP, Marketing; Executive Producer, Live Events, E! Entertainment

  • Lois Nemcovsky, SVP, International Media Operations, A+E Networks

  • Rori Peters, SVP, Content Distribution & Sales Strategy, TV One

  • Suzanne Underwald, SVP, Business & Legal Affairs, Content Distribution & Marketing, Scripps Networks Interactive

4:00 pm – 4:20 pm

5th Floor Foyer

Networking Break

Sponsor: Neustar

4:20 pm – 5:30 pm

Westside Ballroom, 5th Floor


Profiles of Champions: Becoming a Corporate Athlete

Champions are individuals who surpass all others. True champions, in both sports and business, are distinguished by how well they excel in the face of obstacles and fierce competition. Following a set-back, top athletes and high-performing executives use determination and grit to get back up and push themselves to set the bar even higher. This “never satisfied” attitude and internal drive motivates them to go one step further than their competition. In this popular and compelling session, we will explore new connections and common denominators between sports champions and successful executive champions. Hear their personal stories and take away your own ideas on how to train as a “corporate athlete.”

  • Lisa Kerney (moderator), Anchor,
    SportsCenter, ESPN

  • Carli Lloyd, World Cup Soccer Champion; Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist; NWSL Player, broadcast on Lifetime

  • Chiney Ogwumike, WNBA player, Analyst, ESPN

  • Kathrine Switzer, First Registered Female Boston Marathon Runner, Emmy-Winning TV Commentator

Sponsor: Accenture

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Broadway Lounge, 8th Floor

Big Apple Reception

Enjoy the best view in New York City as WICT treats you to a networking reception. Take in the sights of Times Square and the Theater District while meeting with colleagues and grabbing a bite to eat. The comfortable and sophisticated Broadway Lounge is an ideal place to relax and unwind. 


Sponsor: A+E Networks

5:45 pm – 6:30 pm

Broadway Lounge, 8th Floor


Speed Mentoring

Advance sign-up required

Take a seat at the table and connect with senior leaders, subject matter experts, and peers from across the industry. This is your chance to engage in high-level, yet intimate discussions on topics relevant to you. The small group format offers a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and glean wisdom from those who have blazed a trail. Held during the Big Apple Reception, each roundtable will feature a media executive or subject matter expert as a table moderator. The moderators will spend 12 minutes with each group. By the end of the 45-minute session, you will have connected with numerous peers and at least three table leaders. Space is limited and expected to fill quickly, so register early. You will not want to miss this one-of-a-kind experience.

  • Mariela Azcuy, VP, B2B Marketing, Distribution, Univision Communications, Inc.

  • Sherita Ceasar, SVP, Technology, Environments & Strategy, Comcast

  • Patricia Corkum, VP, Learning & Development, Comcast

  • Pandit Dasa, Mindful Leadership Expert; Founder & CEO, Conscious Living, LLC

  • Sandy K. Howe, SVP & GM, Consumer Products Group, ARRIS Group, Inc.

  • Dylan Jones, EVP, Chief Communications Officer, Scripps Networks Interactive

  • Claire Kostbar, SVP, Human Resources, iN DEMAND

  • Stephanie Plasse, SVP & Associate General Counsel, A+E Networks

  • Beth Trentacoste, SVP, Creative Director, Viacom

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Liberty Room, 8th Floor

Senior Executive Summit (SES) Alumnae Reception

By Invitation Only

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Gilbert, 4th Floor

TechConnect Graduation

By Invitation Only

The TechConnect Initiative is designed in partnership with Women in Technology awardees, WICT and SCTE.  Join us as we celebrate the culmination of the mentoring relationships between senior and high-potential women in technology. 


 Tuesday, September 26.JPG


7:30 am – 8:00 am
5th Floor Foyer

Continental Breakfast

Sponsor: Turner

7:30 am – 8:00 am

Julliard Complex, 5th Floor

Betsy Magness Leadership Institute (BMLI) Graduate Breakfast

By Invitation Only

For the first time this year, graduates of WICT’s esteemed BMLI program will enjoy a private breakfast where they can recharge and reconnect with their fellow classmates and alumnae. 

8:00 am – 8:40 am

Westside Ballroom, 5th Floor


Be Fierce

Acclaimed television journalist and author Gretchen Carlson, named among TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017, stands strong in her determination to promote a safe work environment for all women. Carlson’s new book,
Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back, gives a voice to women around the world who have been silenced, inspiring them to reclaim their power against injustice, and has reignited dialog about workplace respect and equality. She will share her hard-earned wisdom and how she has leveraged her experiences to empower other women and girls. Be sure to join this inspirational session – the first 500 attendees will receive a voucher for a complimentary copy of Gretchen’s book when it is released in October! 

  • Gretchen Carlson, TV Journalist & Women’s Empowerment Advocate

8:50 am – 10:00 am

Westside Ballroom, 5th Floor


Activating Allies: Uniting Against Unconscious Bias

Unconscious gender bias can have serious and long-lasting effects in the work environment. Though many companies have made a commitment to gender equality, systemic bias can inadvertently lead to management teams that have diminished diversity. This session will uncover tactics to help shift mindsets so that a conscious effort is made to break the unconscious cycle. Panelists will identify ways to recognize allies across multiple spectrums and leverage them to address the unconscious bias at all levels of management. 

  • Jennifer Brown (moderator), Founder & CEO, Jennifer Brown Consulting

  • Deepali Bagati, Executive Director, United States, Catalyst, Inc.

  • LeVoyd Carter, Executive Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Cox Communications, Inc.

  • Angela Santone, EVP & Global Chief Human Resources Officer, Turner

  • Tina Simmons, SVP, Human Resources – Central Division, Comcast Cable Communications, Inc.


Sponsor: REVOLT

9:00 am – 11:00 am

Lyceum & Julliard, 5th Floor


One-on-One Coaching

Advance sign-up required

A favorite among our attendees, WICT’s one-on-one coaching sessions offer you customized training on the topic of your choice with a professional executive coach. Each session gives 25 minutes of dedicated time to discuss any leadership or management issue relevant to your career. The number of appointments is limited and we expect the sessions to fill extremely quickly. Don’t miss your chance to sign up for this exclusive opportunity!

10:00 am – 10:15 am

5th Floor Foyer

Networking Break

Sponsor: Neustar

10:15 am – 11:30 am

Broadway Ballroom, 6th Floor


Joint Town Hall on Diversity

Presented in Partnership with NAMIC

The results of the joint 2017 NAMIC
PAR employment survey are in! Be among the first to learn how the industry fared in terms of its diversity numbers and best practices. Join WICT and NAMIC as a panel of industry leaders discuss key findings with an executive summary presented by our survey administrators at Mercer. Learn where there are strengths and opportunities in the industry’s workforce and discuss new tactics to achieve greater diversity and inclusion. Contribute to this important conversation by participating in the Q&A. 


Opening Remarks:

  • Michael K. Powell

    , President & CEO, NCTA 

  • Gail Greenfield, Sr. Workforce Strategy & Analytics Consultant, Mercer


  • John Yang (moderator), Correspondent, PBS NewsHour, NewsHour Productions

  • Adria Alpert Romm, Chief HR & Global Diversity Officer, Discovery Communications

  • Karen Bennett, EVP & Chief Human Resources Officer, Cox Communications

  • David L. Cohen, Sr. EVP & Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation

  • Rhonda Crichlow, SVP, Chief Diversity Officer, Charter Communications

  • Monica Diaz, VP, Diversity, Inclusion & Wellness, ESPN
11:40 am – 12:45 pm

Westside Ballroom, 5th Floor


Pearls of Wisdom
Featuring fresh perspectives each year, Pearls of Wisdom has become the Leadership Conference’s signature closing keynote session. Thought leaders will share their transformational moments and impart wisdom they have acquired throughout their influential journeys. Inspired by a
TED-talk format, each speaker will deliver a captivating and thought-provoking mini-keynote, leaving you ready to rethink challenges and pursue your passions.

  • Kimberly Brooks, Host/Correspondent, Fusion Network
  • Juju Chang, Co-anchor, ABC News’ Nightline

  • Reshma Saujani, Founder & CEO, Girls Who Code

  • Dana Strong, President & COO, Virgin Media

  • Alison Wright, Photographer, Alison Wright Photography



Sponsor: Scripps Networks Interactive

1:00 pm – 2:15 pm

Broadway Ballroom, 6th Floor

L. Patrick Mellon Mentorship Program Luncheon

Presented in Partnership with NAMIC


Supported by: The Walter Kaitz Foundation


Registration and Information Desk

Location: 45th Street Registration – 5th Floor

Sunday, September 24

2:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Monday, September 25

7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Tuesday, September 26

7:00 am – 12:30 pm