Catherine Avgiris, Comcast; Amy Blair, Liberty Global; Wendy Knudsen, Suddenlink Communications; Ingrid Simunic, Time Warner Cable; and Chandni Thakrar-Ochoa, Suddenlink Communications
Washington, DC – Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) today announced the members of the 2015 WICT Board of Directors. Martha Soehren, Chief Talent Development Officer & SVP, Comcast University & Comcast Cable, has been elected to the Chair role. Mary Meduski, EVP & CFO, Suddenlink Communications, concludes her two-year term as Chair and transitions to Immediate Past Chair.
WICT also announced that three individuals will join the board for the first time in 2015 as Directors-at-Large. They include Catherine Avgiris, EVP & CFO, Comcast; Amy Blair, SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer, Liberty Global; and Wendy Knudsen, EVP & Secretary, Suddenlink Communications. In addition, two individuals will serve one-year terms as Directors-at-Large in special roles. They are Ingrid Simunic, Senior Director, Product Management, Time Warner Cable (Chapter Leader Designee) and Chandni Thakrar-Ochoa, Vice President, Technology Integration, Suddenlink Communications (Emerging Leader Designee).
The WICT Board of Directors is comprised of individuals from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences representing various disciplines of the industry. A listing of the returning board members appears below. Bios and photos of the full board are available on the WICT website.
"I am honored to serve as Chair of this diverse and exceptional group of industry leaders," said Martha Soehren, 2015 Board Chair. "Our industry undergoes constant change, and the Board members’ vision and expertise will serve as an essential guide for WICT as it endeavors to achieve its mission of building women leaders."
Martha Soehren is the Chief Talent Development Officer and Senior Vice President for Comcast University and Comcast Cable. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, and a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Active in the WICT Greater Philadelphia Chapter, Soehren joined the WICT National Board as a Director-at-Large in 2008, and moved to the Executive Committee in 2011. Beyond her role at WICT, Soehren serves on the Board of Directors for SCTE, completed her role as Chair of the Board of Directors for ATD in December, serves on the doctorate of learning advisory board for the University of Pennsylvania, and is a Learning Leader for the Masie Consortium. In addition to her other responsibilities, Soehren serves as an Executive Champion for Comcast’s Veteran’s Affinity Group. She has been named to Cablefax’s list of "Most Powerful Women in Cable" annually since 2012.
Mary Meduski is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Suddenlink Communications. She is also a member of the company’s Board of Directors, and she plays a key role in all strategic, operating and financing decisions. As CFO, she oversees the company’s accounting, tax, banking, treasury, financial reporting, risk management, programming, and information technology functions. In addition to her recently concluded two-year term as Chair, Meduski served as vice chair on the 2012 WICT Board of Directors and as treasurer in 2009 and 2010, and she is a member of the WICT Midwest and New York Chapters. She has been named to Cablefax’s list of "Most Powerful Women in Cable" in each of the last nine years, and was named a Multichannel News Wonder Woman in 2012. She also serves on the President’s Council of Cornell Women and the Dean’s Advisory Council for her alma mater, Cornell University.
Catherine Avgiris is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Comcast Cable, a $42 billion division of Comcast Corporation. Under her leadership, Comcast has become the largest Internet service provider and one of the largest phone providers in the U.S. Avgiris was also responsible for launching the Verizon Wireless partnership, managing the operations for the Company’s Internet Essentials program — which provides low-cost Internet service to low-income families — and overseeing Comcast’s WiFi initiative. In 2010, Avgiris was awarded the Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership for Cable Operations Management by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA). She has been recognized as one of Cablefax’s Most Powerful Women in Cable every year since 2006. In 2007, Multichannel News recognized her as a Wonder Woman.
Amy M. Blair is Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Liberty Global. In this capacity, she is responsible for developing and implementing policies and programs which address employment and retention, compensation and benefits, organizational structure, performance management, training and development, and compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Blair is an executive officer of Liberty Global and sits on the company’s Executive Management Committee. She has served on the Board of Directors for the WICT Rocky Mountain Chapter and was instrumental in the launch of WICT’s first international chapter, WICT United Kingdom, in 2014.
Wendy Knudsen has served as Executive Vice President and Secretary of Suddenlink since May 2005, and has ultimate oversight of the legal function at Suddenlink. Knudsen also serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of both Cequel III, a telecommunications investment firm that manages Suddenlink, and TierPoint, a nationwide provider of cloud, colocation, and IT solutions. During her tenure with Suddenlink, Cequel III, and TierPoint, Knudsen has overseen the legal work for more than $15 billion of M&A transactions and a wide variety of operational and legal matters. In addition to her role on the WICT Board of Directors, she is a member of the WICT Midwest and New York Chapters, and also participates in the WICT Midwest Mentoring Program.
Ingrid Simunic is Senior Director, Product Management for Time Warner Cable, and in this role she oversees Residential Phone Product Management, a multi-billion dollar business within the company. Under her leadership, the Home Phone product has grown from approximately 500,000 to 5 million customers and $2 billion in revenue. As part of her commitment to advancing women and diversity, Simunic co-founded and served as chair of The Women’s Collective, a TWC initiative whose mission is to retain and grow the company’s current and future leaders. In 2014 Simunic was named one of Cablefax: The Magazine’s "Top Women in Technology," and she is a board member, treasurer, and past president of the WICT New York Chapter.
Chandni Thakrar-Ochoa is Vice President, Technology Integration for Suddenlink Communications, and leads a team that oversees development, integration, implementation, and ongoing operations of new technology and system integration initiatives. Her team is responsible for implementing Suddenlink’s large technology and new process initiatives, working hand in hand with corporate and regional teams to ensure a seamless internal and external customer experience. Thakrar-Ochoa currently serves as president of the WICT Midwest Chapter. She is also a 2011 graduate of WICT’s Rising Leaders Program (RLP), and in 2014 she became an alumna of Class 28 of WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Institute (BMLI).
Chair: Martha Soehren, Chief Talent Development Officer & SVP, Comcast University and Comcast Cable
Immediate Past Chair: Mary Meduski, EVP & CFO, Suddenlink Communications
Treasurer: Gail MacKinnon, EVP & Chief Government Relations Officer, Time Warner Cable
Chapter Development Chair: Marva Johnson, Corporate VP, Government & Industry Affairs, Bright House Networks
Strategic Planning Chair: Sandy Howe, SVP, Global Marketing, ARRIS
Development Chair: Sean Bratches, EVP, Sales and Marketing, ESPN
Governance Chair: Kelly Regal, EVP, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
President & CEO: Maria E. Brennan, CAE, Women in Cable Telecommunications
Marc Aldrich, VP, US Cable Segment, Cisco Systems, Inc.
Jocelyn Cooley, SVP, Human Resources & Talent Management, BET Networks
Samantha Cooper, SVP, Content Distribution & Marketing, MTV Networks
Tamara Franklin, EVP, Digital, Scripps Networks Interactive
Joan Gillman, EVP & COO, TWC Media, Time Warner Cable
Rebecca Glashow, SVP, Digital Distribution & Partnerships, Discovery Communications
Jennifer Hightower, SVP, Law & Policy, Cox Communications
Sandra Kapell, EVP, Human Resources & Administration, Cablevision Systems
Ellen Kroner, EVP & Chief Communications Officer, AMC Networks
Susanne McAvoy, EVP, Marketing, Creative & Communications, Crown Media Family Networks
Kathleen O’Reilly, Senior Managing Director, Communications, Media & Technology, Accenture
Jane Rice, SVP, Distribution, A+E Networks
Michelle Rice, EVP, Affiliate Sales & Marketing, TV One
Hilary Smith, SVP, Communications, USA Network
Leigh Woisard, SVP, Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Cox Communications
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 nearly 10,000 members, WICT is the oldest and largest professional association serving women in the cable and telecommunications industry. Comcast NBCUniversal, Time Warner Cable, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. and Suddenlink Communications are WICT’s Strategic Touchstone Partners. Please visit www.wict.org or follow @WICT on Twitter for more information.
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