Kaitz to Honor HBO, Girls Who Code at Annual Fundraising Dinner

The Walter Kaitz Foundation will honor HBO and nonprofit organization Girls Who Code during its 34th annual Fundraising Dinner on Sept. 27, the company announced Monday.

HBO will be honored as a 2017 Diversity Champion, an award given to organizations that act as catalysts for diversity throughout the cable industry, while its Diversity Advocate award will go to Girls Who Code, a group dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology by providing girls with the computing skills needed to pursue 21st century opportunities, according to Kaitz. 

“Since its founding, HBO has cultivated an environment that values divergent voices, encourages innovative thinking and expression, and rewards both individual and collective accomplishments,” said David Porter, executive director of the Kaitz Foundation in a statement. “Girls Who Code is a 21st century organization that is harnessing technology and making it real and usable for girls. The young women trained here will be instrumental in helping us to continue to revolutionize our industry.”   

Pat Esser, president, Cox Communications, and Ken Lowe, chairman, president & CEO, Scripps Networks Interactive, will serve as dinner co-chairs for the dinner, which will be held in New York City . Other executives sitting on the dinner committee include Rocco Commisso, chairman and CEO, Mediacom Communications Corp.; Nancy Dubuc, president & CEO, A&E Networks; John Evans, chairman & CEO, Evans Telecommunications Company; Peter Rice, chairman & CEO, Fox Networks Group; Richard Sjoberg, president & CEO, Sjoberg’s, Inc.; Robert Stanzione, executive chairman, ARRIS; and David Zaslav, president & CEO, Discovery Communications. 

Funds raised during the dinner will help support the programs and initiatives for three key industry organizations, including the Emma L. Bowen Foundation, the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT).

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.