Washington, DC – Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) today announced award-winning actress, playwright, and activist Danai Gurira will deliver keynote remarks at the Touchstones Luncheon, taking place on Monday, September 19 at the Marriott Marquis in New York. In addition, WICT announced that Board Member Ellen Kroner, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, AMC Networks, will serve as the luncheon’s 2016 Honorary Chair.
The WICT Touchstones Luncheon is a highlight of the WICT Leadership Conference held in conjunction with Cable’s Diversity Week. AMC Networks serves as the Premier Sponsor of the luncheon.
"All of us at WICT are delighted to welcome Danai Gurira to the big stage as we showcase WICT’s Woman of the Year and Women to Watch. Danai is an integral cast member of AMC’s The Walking Dead — among the most popular cable TV shows ever created. She is also a highly decorated actress and playwright, garnering six Tony nominations and six Ovation Awards. She brings a unique perspective to our audience through her highly acclaimed work," said WICT Board Chair Martha Soehren, SVP and Chief Talent Development Officer, Comcast. "We are also delighted to welcome my WICT Board colleague Ellen Kroner to serve as this year’s Honorary Chair. Aside from Ellen’s significant business accomplishments, she is a staunch WICT supporter and a true champion of diversity and inclusion."
2016 Touchstone Honorees
Woman of the Year – Kathleen Finch
Chief Programming, Content and Brand Officer, Scripps Networks Interactive
Woman to Watch | Programmer – Laura Gentile
Senior Vice President, espnW and Women’s Initiatives, ESPN
Woman to Watch | MSO – Mary McLaughlin
Senior Vice President, Beltway Region, Comcast Cable
About Danai Gurira
Danai Gurira is an award-winning playwright, actress and activist. As a playwright, her works include Broadway’s Eclipsed (Six Tony Award nominations; NAACP Award; Helen Hayes Award: Best New Play; Connecticut Critics Circle Award: Outstanding Production of a Play), In the Continuum (OBIE Award, Outer Critics Award, Helen Hayes Award), and The Convert (six Ovation Awards, Los Angeles Outer Critics Award). Danai’s newest play, Familiar, received its world premiere at Yale Rep in 2015 and recently premiered in New York at Playwrights Horizons. She is a recipient of the Whiting Award, a Hodder Fellow, and has been commissioned by Yale Rep, Center Theatre Group, Playwrights Horizons, and the Royal Court. She recently completed production on the Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me and is currently developing a pilot for HBO. Select acting credits include The Visitor, Mother of George, and Isabella in NYSF’s Measure for Measure (Equity Callaway Award). Gurira is an Ambassador for the ONE Campaign and founder of LOGpledge.org; an awareness building campaign focused on the plights of women and girls around the globe. She is the co-founder of Almasi Arts, which works to give access and opportunity to the African Dramatic Artist (almasiartsalliance.org). Born in the US to Zimbabwean parents, Gurira was raised in Zimbabwe and holds an MFA from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.
About Ellen Kroner
As EVP and Chief Communications Officer, Ellen Kroner spearheads all external communications for AMC Networks Inc. and its business units: popular and award-winning national cable television networks AMC, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and BBC AMERICA (operated through a joint venture with BBC Worldwide); feature film label IFC Films/Sundance Selects; and AMC Networks International, the company’s global division. Kroner oversees the communications team responsible for external communications at the corporate level, which includes strategic business communications, media relations, industry relations, reputation management, corporate marketing, and government affairs. She is on the national board of Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) and a member of the Television Academy, Association of Cable Communicators (ACC), Cable Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), and National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC). She is an alumna of WICT’s Senior Executive Summit and CTAM’s executive management program, CTAM U, at the Harvard Business School. Kroner has been named PR Executive of the Year by Cablefax and a Cablefax Most Powerful Women in Cable.
For over thirty-five years, Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) has partnered with cable and telecommunications leaders to provide professional development programs, research and services that help advance women in cable media. With 10,000 members, WICT is the oldest and largest professional association serving women in the cable industry. Comcast NBCUniversal, Charter Communications, and Turner are WICT’s Strategic Touchstone Partners. Please visit www.wict.org or follow @WICT on Twitter for more information.
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