2018 WLC Recap

Let’s take a look back at some of the highlights of the 2018 WICT Leadership Conference, which opened with an energetic tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, as the dance troupe Pretty Big Movement took the stage.

Dance troupe Pretty Big Movement lights up the stage at the start of the 2018 WICT Leadership Conference.

Next up, Marva Johnson, Charter’s VP, State Government Affairs – South Region, and Chair, WICT Global Board of Directors, joined Maria Brennan, WICT President & CEO, on stage to talk about WICT’s successes and what attendees could expect over the next day and a half. Among the notable highlights were that the organization is currently serving over 10,300 members, a new record high.

Marva Johnson with Maria Brennan during the opening of the 2018 WICT Leadership Conference.

Brennan and Johnson welcomed David L. Cohen, Sr. Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast, to the stage. An ardent advocate for diversity and inclusion, Cohen spoke about recent developments at Comcast that underscore the fact that diversity yields a better bottom line.

David L. Cohen, Comcast, speaks onstage during the WICT Leadership Conference.

Cohen introduced the morning’s guest speakers, Bonnie Hammer, Chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group, and Stephanie Ruhle, MSNBC Live anchor. Hammer shared her advice for those coming up the ladder with a focus on the need to pay your dues and work your way up the ladder.  For example, jumping from job to job is not the same as progressing upward – you need to learn how to manage others, gain wisdom from adversity and absorb knowledge from those around you. If you don’t, you’ll never be satisfied.

Bonnie Hammer with Stephanie Ruhle during the opening general session of the 2018 WICT Leadership Conference.

Pictured above, l-r: David L. Cohen, Comcast Corporation; Maria E. Brennan, WICT President & CEO; Marva Johnson, Chair, WICT Global Board of DIrectors; Bonnie Hammer; Stephanie Ruhle; Sandy Howe, Chapter Development Chair, WICT Global Board of Directors; Michele Parks, WICT Global Board of Directors; Martha Soehren, Immediate Past Chair, WICT Global Board of Directors; Mary McLaughlin, WICT Global Board of Directors.

Following a morning agenda of informative breakout sessions, attendees moved to the Broadway Ballroom for the 2018 WICT Touchstones Luncheon (see highlights from the luncheon here).

Marva Johnson (left), Chair, WICT Global Board of Directors, with Chapter Leaders during the 2018 WICT Touchstones Luncheon.

The afternoon continued with more concurrent sessions following the luncheon. The WICT Emerging Leaders Board developed a breakout session called Gain a Competitive Edge: Build & Maintain an Awesome Personal Brand. A panel of experienced leaders from all stages of their careers shared tips on how they built and leveraged their brands to achieve success.

Pictured above, l-r: Gain a Competitive Edge panelists Cynthia Carpenter, Charter Communication; Mirna Eusebio Lithgow, Altice USA; Carrie Kerpen, Likeable Media; Marge Jackson, Comcast; and moderator, Jennifer Dorian, Turner.

The first day of the conference closed out with the always-popular Profiles of Champions, which brought together true champions, distinguished by how they overcame adversity to reach their goals, adopting skills of resilience, perseverance and teamwork along the way.

Pictured above, l-r, Profiles of Champions moderator Molly Qerim Rose, ESPN, with panelists Scout Bassett, U.S. Paralympic Team; Sarah Kustok, YES Network/FOX Sports; Lisa Wang, Hall of Fame gymnast & Founder SheWorx; and Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theatre.

LIsa Wang & Misty Copeland pose for a selfie.

After a full day of networking, learning and reflection, attendees gathered in the Marriott’s 8th floor Broadway Lounge for conversation and relaxation. Thanks to sponsor A+E Networks for their support of the Big Apple Reception.

The Big Apple Reception underway in the Broadway Lounge. The lights of Times Square illuminate the space, giving the illusion of daylight.

Day two of the conference began with a keynote by author Joanne Lipman, with insights and research drawn from her book, That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together. Joanne shared how men can join the conversation to close the gender gap, including steps they can take right now, alongside women, to move toward a solution. The lesson at the core of this coordinated effort is ultimately about success, and motivating women and men alike to achieve that goal together.

Joanne Lipman during her Day 2 opening keynote, “That’s What She Said.”

WICT President & CEO Maria Brennan moderated a panel discussion called Beyond the Hashtags – Creating a New Normal, which explored ideas, insights and strategies to shift the dialog from what was to what can be. Panelists drew upon their experiences to help move companies and their people from hardships and hurdles to education and resolutions as we look beyond the hashtags and step into a new normal.

Pictured above, l-r: Maria Brennan, WICT, with Beyond the Hashtags panelists Michelle Rice, TV One; Alyssa Milano, Activist & Producer; Susan Chira, The New York Times; and Fernanda Merodio, Hemisphere Media Group.

The conference concluded with the always memorable Pearls of Wisdom. Each sought-after storyteller shared personal journeys and defining moments, leaving the audience with both inspiration and aspiration as they move forward to forge their own unique stories.

Pictured above, l-r: Rhonda Crichlow, Charter Communications; Marva Johnson, Chair, WICT Global Board of Directors; Michelle Gadsden-Williams; Matt Abrahams, Stanford Graduate School of Business; Masih Alinejad-Ghomi, Journalist & Author; Roma Khanna REVOLT Media; Maria Brennan, WICT.

All photos by Getty Images/Larry Busacca for WICT. View more photos on Facebook.