NAMIC Names 2016 Next Generation Leaders

The National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) Wednesday announced four cable executives as its 2016 Next Generation Leaders.

The winners of the awards, which honor emerging executives of color 45 years old and younger for their efforts to foster industry multiethnic diversity and inclusion, include Malek Robert Amirshahi, vice president, Public Relations, Time Warner Cable (Cable MSO Award); Detavio Samuels, president, One Solution & Interactive One (Creative Discipline); Sean Cohan, president, International and Digital Media, A+E Networks (Technology Company or Discipline) and Urvashi Shivdasani, senior vice president, Finance, Discovery Networks International, Discovery Communications (Cable Programmer), said NAMIC.

NAMIC will present the awards May 18 at its annual Awards Breakfast at INTX: The Internet & Television Expo.

"NAMIC applauds this distinguished group of executives who are making innovative and strategic contributions within their companies while exemplifying NAMIC's mission to educate, advocate and empower for the advancement of diversity and inclusion," said Eglon E. Simons, president and CEO, NAMIC in a statement. "We appreciate and welcome the industry's continued support as we celebrate diversity and the accomplishments of these emerging business leaders at this year's Annual Awards Breakfast." 

In addition to honoring the four Next Generation Leaders, 10 emerging executives will be honored as NAMIC Luminaries. Also recognized for their professional achievements and commitment to fostering multiethnic diversity, members of the 2016 NAMIC Luminaries class include:  Boris Gartner, senior vice president and chief strategy officer, Fusion Media Network; Fabienne Clermont, vice president, Legal Affairs, Discovery Communications; Meghan Hooper White, vice president, Program Acquisitions, Lifetime Networks; Marisol Martinez, vice president, Marketing Acquisition and CRM, Time Warner Cable; Valerie Meraz, vice president, Content Acquisitions, Turner; Oscar Ramos, general manager, ESPN Deportes Radio and senior director, ESPN Deportes Content, ESPN; Jhamal Robinson, vice president, Production Management, TLC & Discovery Life, Discovery Communications; Talia Robinson, vice president, Human Resources, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network; Theresa Vargas Wyatt, chief of staff, El Rey Network; and Alaka Williams, senior vice president, Network Human Resources, Scripps Networks Interactive.

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.