Save the dates for the 2020 WICT Leadership Conference • October 5-6 • New York Marriott Marquis
Thanks for joining WICT in New York for Diversity Week 2019!
More than 800 participants took over the New York Marriott Marquis during the 2019 WICT Leadership Conference, and more than 1,000 people attended the Touchstones Luncheon — and we hope you enjoyed every minute!
#RockYourRed – We asked, and you listened: The Marriott was transformed into a sea of red as attendees donned their red outfits and accessories in honor of WICT’s 40th anniversary.
Below we relive the conference and luncheon experience through a pictorial review. If you weren’t able to make it this year, mark your calendar for October 5-6, 2020, when we return to the New York Marriott Marquis for the 2020 WICT Leadership Conference.
The conference opened with a heartwarming rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine, brought to life by the all-female a capella group, Mezzo. It was an inspiring kick-off for the industry’s Diversity Week activities.
The dynamic duo of WICT President & CEO, Maria E. Brennan, CAE, and Marva Johnson, WICT Global Board Chair and VP, State Government Affairs – South Region, Charter Communications, rocked their red as they welcomed participants and thanked sponsors for their support of the conference. David L. Cohen joined them on stage to deliver remarks about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the industry. Cohen serves as Comcast’s Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, and Comcast NBCUniversal is the Platinum Sponsor of the 2019 WICT Leadership Conference.
Above: Maria E. Brennan & Marva Johnson (left panel); David L. Cohen (right panel).
Cohen introduced the opening speakers, twins Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando, 2018 Olympic Hockey Gold Medalists and Gender Equity Advocates, who participated in a fireside chat with moderator Kathryn Tappen, Host & Reporter, NBC Sports Group. They discussed their team’s fight for fair and equal treatment by USA Hockey, which ultimately led to USA Hockey’s commitment to more equitable support as compared to the men’s hockey team and more funding for girl’s youth hockey programs.
Above, left to right: Kathryn Tappen, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando.
Following the opening general session, attendees spent the rest of the morning in a variety of breakout sessions, which included a dynamic array of speakers from a wide variety of business disciplines.
Above: Scenes from just a few of the breakout sessions attendees could select.
At 11:00 am, attendees moved to the Broadway Ballroom for the 2019 WICT Touchstones Luncheon.
The Broadway Ballroom was filled to capacity during the Touchstones Luncheon on Monday, September 16. The program began with an artists panel, featuring Meredith MacNeill and Jennifer Whalen, co-creators and stars of IFC’s Baroness von Sketch Show. Honorary Chair of the luncheon, Georgia Juvelis, members of the WICT Global Board of Directors and EVP & Co-Head, Corporate Communications, AMC Networks, led the conversation, during which the two comic actors discussed challenges and opportunities they faced when developing their show.
Their goal was to represent women as multi-faceted and break away from the typical depictions of women over 40 on television.
Clockwise from top left: Jennifer Whalen and Meredith MacNeill on stage with Georgia Juvelis; Woman of the Year – Programmer, Jennifer Caserta; the capacity crowd in the Broadway Ballroom; and Jocelyn Cooley, SVP, Human Resources & Global Talent Acquisition, Viacom Media Networks and Treasurer, WICT Global Board of Directors.
This year WICT was privileged to honor:
Woman of the Year – Operator
Lee Schroeder, EVP, Government & Community Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer
Woman of the Year – Programmer
Jennifer Caserta, Chief Transformation & People Officer
Woman to Watch – Operator
Susan Anable, VP, Public Affairs, Southwest Region
Woman to Watch – Programmer
Meeka Bondy, SVP, Legal Affairs
Woman to Watch – Technology
Zenita Henderson, VP, Marketing & Business Development
Meet each of the honorees here.
Zenita Henderson (left), Woman to Watch – Technology, with presenter Sherita Ceasar, SVP, Technology Environments and Strategy, Comcast.
Above, Susan Anable, Woman to Watch – Operator, with presenter, Pat Esser, President, Cox Communications.
Meeka Bondy (left), Woman to Watch – Programmer, with presenter Sloan Kennedy, VP, Domestic Network Distribution, HBO.
Above: Jennifer Caserta, Woman of the Year – Programmer, with presenter Ed Carroll, COO, AMC Networks.
Above: Lee Schroeder, Woman of the Year – Operator, with presenter Dexter Goei, CEO, Altice USA.
WICT gratefully acknowledges AMC Networks as the
Premier Sponsor of the 2019 WICT Touchstones Luncheon
Following the luncheon, conference participants returned to more breakout sessions, and then reconvened in the Westside Ballroom for the closing session of the day, the always-popular Profiles of Champions. The panel of athletes and leaders spoke about women’s empowerment and how girls and young women can use sports to build confidence and develop skills that will serve them well as future executives.
Moderator: Nicole Briscoe, Studio Host, SportsCenter Anchor, ESPN
Panelists: Victoria Arlen, Gold Medalist, Speaker, Author, Founder/Co-Chair Victoria’s Victory Foundation, Host/Reporter: ESPN, America Ninja Warrior Junior; Sarah Klein, Former Gymnast, Attorney for Victims of Sexual Abuse, Bart Dalton Law; Laurel Lawson, Performer, Choreographer, Teacher, Kinetic Light; CTO, CyCore Systems; Eglantina Zingg, Entrepreneur; Philanthropist; Founder, Proyecto Paz & Goleadoras
Above: Victoria Arlen, Nicole Briscoe (moderator), Sarah Klein, Eglantina Zingg, and Laurel Lawson (seated) participated in Profiles of Champions.
Attendees wrapped up 2019 WLC Day 1 at the Big Apple Reception, sponsored by A+E Networks. A highlight of each year’s conference, the reception allows participants to relax, reconnect with old friends and meet new ones in a congenial environment. Some chose to sign up for the Speed Networking Roundtables to connect with numerous peers and table leaders in a more structured setting.
Above: Scenes from the Big Apple Reception & Speed Networking Roundtables.
Some participants opted for an early morning yoga session just for WICT attendees. No doubt this prepared them well for Tuesday’s opening session, when a group of powerful women C-suite leaders took the stage for a lively panel discussion, Learn How to Cultivate a Career in the C-Suite.
Moderator: Ella Bell Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Business Administration, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth
Panelists: Sarah Baehr, EVP, Co-Chief Investment Officer, Horizon Media; Elisa Bannon-Jones, EVP, Chief Human Resources Officer, Frontier Communications; Sandra Howe, EVP & President, Americas, Technetix; Jeanine Liburd, Chief Social Impact & Communications Officer, BET Networks; Rosemary Mercedes, EVP & Chief Communications Officer, Univision Communications Inc.; Lee Schroeder, EVP, Government & Community Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer, Altice USA
Above: Ella Bell-Smith (moderator), Sarah Baehr, Elisa Bannon-Jones, Sandra Howe, Jeanine Liburd, Rosemary Mercedes and Lee Schroeder.
Next up was Jonah Berger, Ph.D., author of Contagious — Why Things Catch On and professor of Marketing at the Wharton School. Dr. Berger discussed his theories on word-of-mouth transmission and why some ideas go viral while others struggle to gain traction.
Above: Jonah Berger, Ph.D.
WICT proudly partnered with NAMIC to unveil the results of the 2019 WICT PAR and NAMIC AIM diversity surveys during the Diversity Town Hall, supported by the Walter Kaitz Foundation. A key finding for both organizations was the importance of retention of women and people of color. A panel of experts in diversity and inclusion discussed the findings in an informative conversation, led by Suzanne Malveaux, Award-winning Journalist and National Correspondent, CNN.
Adria Alpert Romm, Chief People & Culture Officer, Discovery, Inc.; Karen Bennett, EVP & Chief People Officer, Cox Communications; David L. Cohen, Sr. Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation; Rhonda Crichlow, SVP, Chief Diversity Officer, Charter Communications, Inc.; Johnita Due, SVP and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, WarnerMedia News & Sports; Lee Schroeder, EVP, Government & Public Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer, Altice USA
Above, left to right: Karen Bennett, David L. Cohen, Johnita Due, Suzanne Malveaux, Adria Alpert Romm, Rhonda Crichlow, and Lee Schroeder.
The 2019 WICT Leadership Conference closed with the capstone session, Pearls of Wisdom, a series of mini-keynotes that leaves the audience inspired, energized and ready to move forward to Forge the Future.
Sameer Deen, Chief Digital Officer, Univision Communications Inc.; Gloria Feldt, Co-Founder & President, Take the Lead; Shannon Lee, Producer, HBO; President, Bruce Lee Foundation; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, United Nations; Wasfia Nazreen, National Geographic Explorer & Adventurer; HRH Princess Beatrice of York, VP, Partnerships & Strategy, Afiniti
Above, left to right: Princess Beatrice of York, Sameer Deen, Wasfia Nazreen, Shannon Lee, Gloria Feldt, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. Charter Communications sponsored the Pearls of Wisdom session.
WICT Global Vice Chair, Sandy Howe, EVP & President – Americas, Technetix, closed the conference by thanking all the presenters, sponsors and attendees, and reminded everyone to save the dates for next year’s conference, which will return to the Marriott Marquis October 5-6, 2020.
Above: Sandra Howe closed the conference with a reminder to join us next year, October 5-6, 2020.
WICT gratefully acknowledges the sponsors of the
2019 Leadership Conference:
Photos by Larry Busacca and Gary Gershoff for Getty Images.