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Celebrating a Legacy During Unusual Times

The National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications, in partnership with Multichannel News, will celebrate the recipients of the 2020 Next Generation Leader Awards and Luminary Awards at a virtual awards ceremony, titled “40 Years: A Celebration of Legacy Building” sponsored by Univision Communications and set for Oct. 7 during the 34th Annual NAMIC Conference.

“Collectively, we are building our legacy for future generations, one that will go down in the history books as a model of strength, determination  and perseverance,” NAMIC president  A. Shuanise Washington said of the event. “As we celebrate our 40th anniversary, this year’s conference is a time to reflect on our progress, embrace new challenges, and define a roadmap for the future.” 

Profiles in  this section were provided by NAMIC. For more information on NAMIC’s Annual Awards Ceremony and the virtual 2020 NAMIC Conference, part of Diversity Week, visit conference.namic.com.

More on Diversity Week: WICT, NAMIC Power Up a Virtual Diversity Week

LEADERS

Rohan Kumar
Group VP, Digital Marketing, Charter Communications

Rohan Kumar

Rohan Kumar

Rohan Kumar, who joined Charter in 2014, oversees digital marketing and sales activities across residential, mobile and small and midsized businesses. His purview includes digital media, analytics, SEM/SEO, Etail, social media, website creative, delivery, product, QA and online ordering. Rohan was previously senior VP, strategic partnerships/media for TruEffect, served as the principal for Momentum Mechanics, and was the chief marketing officer for HDVMS – Adshuffle. Rohan received a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Tech University, and attended the Cable Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Donna Northington
Executive VP, Distribution, Financial Planning and Strategy, WarnerMedia Distribution

Donna Northington

Donna Northington

Donna Northington leads a group at the domestic distribution and marketing arm of WarnerMedia that translates distribution strategic initiatives into financial and operating plans. Northington’s team works to develop rates, sales incentives, contract terms, annual budgets and long-range plans for WarnerMedia’s portfolio of domestic TV networks, premium channels and direct-to-consumer brands. She also assesses the economic impact of various business decisions and content acquisition targets and oversees the business operations department. Northington is based in Atlanta and reports to Rich Warren, president of WarnerMedia Distribution and Trey Turner, executive VP and chief financial officer, WarnerMedia Sales & International.

Philip Nutsugah
Senior VP, Product Development & Management , Cox Communications

Philip Nutsugah

Philip Nutsugah

Philip Nutsugah oversees Cox’s entire portfolio of residential and business products, including internet, video, voice, home security and automation, digital apps, wireless, devices and networking. Since joining Cox in 2006, Nutsugah has overseen the launch and rapid growth of such services as DOCSIS-based Gigabit Internet service, Panoramic WiFi, Contour Stream Player, SD-WAN, managed WiFi, MalBlock and managed security. Operationally, Nutusgah has overhauled Cox’s mobile app strategy and has improved the self-installation and self-service experience. Prior to joining Cox, he worked for Verizon and GTE in various leadership roles in Tampa, Dallas, St. Louis and Atlanta. The University of South Florida graduate served on Cox’s National Diversity & Inclusion Council for eight years and in 2019 was the executive sponsor of Cox’s Thrive Employee Resource Group. 

LUMINARIES

Michael Alexander
VP, Engineering and Construction, Altice USA

Michael Alexander

Michael Alexander

Michael Alexander is responsible for strategic planning supporting Altice’s national footprint; scoping, engineering, and deployment of enhanced design and construction projects.  He manages a staff of 200-plus contract engineers, consultants, contractors and vendors. He is also a board member of Altice’s Black Employee Affinity Network.

Alexander has keen experience in cable upgrades, operations  and public access WiFi, for which he holds   three related U.S. patents.  He is an SCTE certified member, founding member of the  SCTE Broadband GIS (geographic information system) group, and remains engaged in GIS software development. He has a background in engineering and business and graduated from Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus.

He is a life member of NAACP Lakeview in West Hempstead, N.Y.; president of the Lakeview Public Library; a board member and participant in mentoring programs such as Young Lions and Save Our Sons; a recipient of numerous community awards; and a passionate audiophile, art aficionado, and classic car enthusiast.

Julissa Bonfante
VP, Content Publicity, Univision Commmunications

Julissa Bonfante

Julissa Bonfante

Julissa Bonfante is responsible for developing, directing and managing all publicity efforts for Univision’s multiplatform content and top-ranked tentpole events. She works closely with network executives, show producers and talent relations to develop and execute comprehensive communications campaigns that help drive awareness and brand positioning in the marketplace.

Prior to this role, Bonfante served as director of corporate communications at Univision since 2016, where she played an integral role in spearheading communications efforts around the programmer’s digital portfolio.

Bonfante has more than 15 years of experience working in various roles across digital, corporate communications, media relations, executive positioning and brand management. She earned a bachelor of arts in media studies and psychology and an MBA in marketing from Fordham University.

Ashley McFarlin Buie
VP, Development, WE tv

Ashley McFarlin Buie

Ashley McFarlin Buie

Ashley McFarlin Buie oversees new and developing projects for WE tv and serves as an executive producer on the popular series Beyond the Pole

A 20-year industry veteran, she founded Bird’s Eye Entertainment and has worked on a multitude of shows with various television networks including Bravo, Discovery, OWN, Oxygen, CNN, MTV, Travel Channel and VH1, producing popular series such as Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Potomac (season one), The First Family of Hip Hop and Southern Charm New Orleans (season one). She also produced VH1’s Love and Hip-Hop spinoff series Meet the Mackies, as well as VH1’s hit Girls Cruise. She began her career as a production assistant at CNN.

Buie has served as an adjunct professor at Montclair State University, a guest lecturer at Yale and Clark Atlanta Universities; and as codirector of a nonprofit teen empowerment organization based in Harlem, The Power of You Teens. She has also published a book of daily devotionals, The Truth: Wrapped In Love

Buie received her B.A. in mass communications from Howard University, where she graduated summa cum laude.

Tushar Dave
VP, Call Center Desktop Applications, Charter Communications

Tushar Dave

Tushar Dave

Tushar Dave is responsible for leadership and technical oversight of various desktop applications used by call-center agents and shared services teams across customer operations. He leads an organization of 100-plus employees that is responsible for the development and implementation roadmaps of multiple strategic applications. Dave is an integral part of the Customer Operations Technology leadership team, driving improvements in customer experience, ingraining a world‐class sales and service culture and driving agent effectiveness as well as operating efficiencies. Dave has been on the Charter team for five years, starting as senior director, where he provided executive oversight and technical leadership for delivery of multiple CRM/non-CRM based applications and business analytics tools.

Dave joined Charter from Verizon Communications, where he managed the technical solution delivery of sales, retention and service support applications for Verizon's flagship FiOS product. 

He has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, India, as well as a master’s degree in Computer Science, and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.

Akash Gupta
VP, Digital Analytics, Discovery’s U.S. Digital Media Team

Akash Gupta

Akash Gupta

Akash Gupta is responsible for leading strategy, analytics and insights for the digital business for 17 networks including Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network and TLC. 

Prior to Discovery, Gupta worked as an investment banker at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the Technology, Media and Telecom industry group.There, he worked on several higher-profile deals including Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal from GE, the sale of Knology Holdings to WideOpenWest and AMC Networks’s spinoff from Cablevision Systems.

Akash has an MBA with high honors from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. He also has a master’s degree from the University of Maryland and a degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

Parvathy Hariharan
VP, Sales and Marketing, Comcast

Parvathy Hariharan

Parvathy Hariharan

Parvarthy Hariharan is responsible for building and executing strategies to drive subscriber growth and achieve financial objectives within Comcast’s 2.2 million-customer Heartland Region. She also is responsible for leading efforts in reducing customer churn. 

Prior to leading sales and marketing, Hariharan led the region’s efforts to transform the customer experience by combining analytical and data-driven insights with emotional intelligence to persuade and influence key stakeholders to drive change. 

Prior to Comcast, Parvathy practiced corporate strategy and advisory consulting for more than a decade. Her transformation efforts impacted more than $750 million in top-line growth and more than $500 million in bottom-line improvement at Fortune 500 clients. 

Her functional expertise includes growth and innovation, go-to-market approaches,
customer acquisition and retention strategies, mergers and acquisitions, sales effectiveness and pricing and profitability management. She developed this in a variety of business sectors, including manufacturing, automotive, distribution, chemicals, healthcare and pharmaceuticals. She is a board member at City Year Detroit and NAMIC Detroit and is an active mentor in the Customer Experience Professionals Association.

Cecilia Masola
VP, Digital Content Licensing, A+E Networks

Cecilia Masola

Cecilia Masola

Cecilia Masola develops and executes growth strategies for A+E Networks content on nonlinear platforms. Using a data-inspired approach, she works to optimize content placement, negotiate digital partnerships and project earnings.

Masola’s career began at Nielsen where she gained foundational research expertise across media platforms. Later, Masola moved onto AT&T where she was tasked with managing DirecTV Latin America’s proprietary ratings product. During her tenure at AT&T, she gained additional responsibilities leading negotiations for the licensing of non-linear content.  

Masola’s diverse background has enhanced her experience. She was born in Argentina and moved around the world, living in the U.S., Italy, Spain and Brazil. Being a “third-culture kid” allows her to enthusiastically embrace change, which led her to accept special projects and roles throughout her career that brought her to Chicago, San Francisco, London and Latin America.

Dana S. Wilson
Senior VP, Reliability Engineering, Comcast

Dana S. Wilson

Dana S. Wilson

Dana Wilson is responsible for driving and improving all standards across Comcast specific to change, incident, problem and asset management within network operations. She also leads reliability engineering product development, platform automation and national data center operations.

She joined Comcast in 2011 and has held roles of increasing leadership responsibility, most recently as VP, customer experience assurance. During her tenure, she led the delivery of Comcast’s Olympics experience for both the 2012 Summer and 2013 Winter Games. She also led the integration of the NBC Sports Live Extra Olympics app on X1, providing customers with 1,000 hours of live streaming coverage of the Sochi Winter Games.  

Wilson started her career at Comcast as senior director of product planning and delivery for Comcast Interactive Media, where she managed execution of the Xfinity product roadmap for online and mobile entertainment.

She is a graduate of Drexel University and holds a bachelor of science in chemical engineering. Wilson obtained a Six Sigma Black Belt Certification, which reflects her expertise in leading and executing complex initiatives across an organization.