Cable TV Pioneers Picks New Class of 25 Inductees

Wonya Lucas, Gemma Toner, Char Beales and Kristin Dolan at 2021 Cable TV Pioneers. (Image by Titus Kana.)
Wonya Lucas, Gemma Toner, Char Beales and Kristin Dolan at the 2021 Cable TV Pioneers event. (Image credit: Titus Kana)

The Cable TV Pioneers named the 25 new members who will be inducted at the group's 57th annual banquet, in Denver, with the banquet date and venue still to be announced. 

The group described the new group as including men and women who reflect the changing and expanding areas of the industry. (They include former Charter Communications CEO Tom Rutledge as one standout.) Their ranks include CEOs, presidents, engineers, trade executives and others who have contributed to cable’s evolution and growth. 

Also: Meet the 2022 Class of Cable TV Pioneers

“Our industry’s growth and diversity into new platforms, content and technologies are clearly evident by the members of the Class of 2023,” Jim Gleason, Cable TV Pioneer vice-chair, said in a statement. "This class clearly demonstrates the leadership, values and entrepreneurial success that continue to make the Cable Pioneers relevant.”

The 2023 class of Cable TV Pioneers, with company designations given by the Pioneers organization, is:

  • Amy Lynch, Comcast
  • Arturo Marquez, Fuse Media
  • Balan Nair, Liberty Latin America
  • Daniel McKay, C3 Broadband Integration
  • Diane Christman, The Cable Center
  • Dick Beahrs, Court TV (retired) 
  • Eric Perbohner, Technetix (deceased)
  • Jack Burton, Broadband Success Partners
  • Jack Dyste, Mega Broadband (retired) 
  • James Manchester, Comcast
  • Jeff Smith, Comcast
  • Jennifer Smardo, Comcast
  • Kathy Payne, Cox Communications
  • Keely Buchanan, Charter Communications
  • Marc Aldrich, Amazon Web Services
  • Michael Powell, NCTA
  • Pragash Pillai, Altice USA
  • Randy Wells, RBC Daniels (retired) 
  • Shannon Saviers, GrowthLinx Advisors 
  • Sheri Langford, Charter Communications
  • Stacey Slaughter, NCTI
  • Sudhir Ispahani, Alpha Global Partners
  • Susan Burgstiner, Marketing On Demand
  • Thomas Monaghan, Charter Communications

Cable TV Pioneers also is inducting a group representative of the numerous behind-scenes individuals whose entrepreneurialism and inventiveness have enabled new, critical services to launch at scale, the group said.

Yvette Kanouff, chair of the Pioneers, said: “By acknowledging these special inductees, we celebrate a huge group, who often go unrecognized for their innovations and standardizations, ranging from technology specifications, interoperability and testing to chip functionality. These advancements have enabled services including broadband, wifi, on demand and more.”

The Special Designated Pioneers for 2023, and their company affiliations as listed by the group, are:

  • Mike Emmendorfer, Calix Inc.  
  • Jack Moran, Comcast/Futurewei Technologies (retired)  
  • Jason Schnitzer, Applied Broadband  
  • Lisa Denney, Broadcom  
  • Niki Pantelias, Broadcom  
  • Pawel Sowinski, Charter Communications  
  • Robert Howald, Comcast  
  • Steven Harris, SCTE  
  • Tom Williams, CableLabs  

The Cable TV Pioneers was founded in 1966 during the NCTA convention in Miami, Florida. The original fledgling group of 21 entrepreneurs has grown to more than 700 men and women over the past 50 years. For more information, visit

Kent Gibbons

Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News.