WICT Announces 2015 Woman of the Year and Women to Watch Honorees

​Washington, DC – Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) today named Ellen East, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, Time Warner Cable, as the 2015 recipient of its highest individual accolade, Woman of the Year. WICT also announced the esteemed 2015 Woman to Watch honorees: Bernadette Aulestia, Executive Vice President of Global Distribution Operations for HBO (Programmer) and Rachel Welch, Group Vice President of Government Relations for Time Warner Cable (Operator). The awards will be presented during the WICT Touchstones Luncheon on September 28 at the New York Marriott Marquis, in conjunction with the annual WICT Leadership Conference, as part of Cable’s Diversity Week. The WICT Touchstones Luncheon is sponsored by AMC Networks. 

"WICT is proud to recognize and honor these three highly accomplished professionals," said Maria E. Brennan, CAE, President & CEO, WICT. "They each exemplify the WICT Touchstones of Leadership, and provide other women with a strong role model to emulate."

The Woman of the Year award is bestowed on a leader who has made increasingly significant contributions throughout her career to her company and the overall cable telecommunications industry. She has achieved top status and shows great resolve to help others along their path.

The Woman to Watch award is bestowed on a leader who shows tremendous promise for transforming the industry through her professional accomplishments. She has already demonstrated exemplary business acumen as well as a strong dedication to the industry and her organization.

About Ellen East
Ellen East is Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for Time Warner Cable, where she provides strategic counsel on companywide public relations, corporate communications and industry affairs. East oversees a nationwide staff responsible for media relations, issues management, product communication, financial and public policy communication, employee and leadership communication, community relations and corporate social responsibility. East joined Time Warner Cable in October 2007 from Cox Communications.

East is a member of the boards of the Families and Work Institute, the Arthur Page Society, The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and the University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences. She also serves on the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s Public Affairs committee, which she formerly chaired. Previously, she was a member of the boards of the T. Howard Foundation and the Association for Cable Communicators, where she served as chair. She served on the national board of directors for WICT for 10 years, including two years as chair. East was a member of the 2001 class of WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Institute, and subsequently served as chair of that program.

In 2013, East was inducted into the PR News Hall of Fame. She has been the recipient of numerous industry awards, including the 2002 Vanguard Award for Young Leadership and the 2013 Vanguard Award for Community and Government Relations, bestowed by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. She has been honored as a "Woman to Watch" by WICT and a "Wonder Woman" by Multichannel News, and is listed each year among the most powerful women in cable by Cablefax: The Magazine.

About Bernadette Aulestia
Bernadette Aulestia is Executive Vice President of Global Distribution Operations for HBO. She oversees all distribution operations of the company’s services and platforms worldwide. Internationally, she is responsible for the operations of HBO branded networks in 67 countries. Domestically, she leads distribution efforts for HBO and Cinemax through cable, satellite and telco companies and in the critical lodging business. Aulestia also heads digital distribution efforts. In addition, she currently oversees HBO’s affiliate marketing group, which is responsible for the acquisition and retention of subscribers across all distribution partners. Aulestia joined HBO in 1997, having previously worked at Univision and Turner Broadcasting.

Aulestia currently serves on the board of the T. Howard Foundation. She also sits on the Brown University president appointed Women’s Leadership Council who, through leadership, philanthropy and volunteerism, mentor and develop the next generation of women leaders. Aulestia was previously recognized as a "40 Under 40" by Multichannel News and as a "NAMIC Luminary" by the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications.

About Rachel Welch
Rachel Welch is a Group Vice President in Time Warner Cable’s Government Relations department. In this role, she is responsible for developing and implementing Time Warner Cable’s policy strategy before Congress and the Administration on a wide range of communications issues affecting the company. Welch began her career in the communications industry over 20 years ago. Prior to joining Time Warner Cable, she was Vice President, Global Public Policy at Time Warner Inc., where she was responsible for legislative affairs and worked closely with Time Warner’s business units, including HBO, Time Warner Cable and Turner Broadcasting. 

Welch is an active member of WICT and has been awarded the WICT Touchstones of Leadership Communicator Award by the Washington DC/Baltimore Chapter. She also serves as a board member of Global WIN (Women’s Innovation Network). Welch was a member of Class 24 of WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Institute.

About WICT
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. ​