Recognizing Diversity’s Trailblazers

WASHINGTON — The National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications will recognize four executives as Next Generation Leaders here next week.

Presented in partnership with Multichannel News, the Next Generation Leaders Awards honors executives of color age 45 and under in four categories: Cable MSO, Cable Programmer, Technology Company or Discipline and Creative Discipline. Also to be honored are 11 Luminaries, emerging executives tapped by NAMIC for their business achievements and commitment to embracing the group’s mission to educate, advocate and empower for diversity and inclusion in the communications industry.

Both the Leaders and the Luminaries will be recognized at NAMIC’s Annual Awards Breakfast, set for next Wednesday (June 12) from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the Grand Hyatt in Washington and held in conjunction with The Cable Show.

Showtime Networks chairman and CEO Matt Blank is honorary chairman of the 2013 awards breakfast, which will also honor Comcast/NBCUniversal and U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) for their ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion in media.

For more information about NAMIC’s Annual Awards Breakfast, visit


Christine Bragan
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
AMC Networks

As vice president of corporate marketing and communications for AMC Networks, including AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv and IFC Films, Christine Bragan is responsible for the development and oversight of corporate and industry marketing and public-affairs initiatives; trade and promotional activities; CEO and executive presentations; and management of special cross-divisional projects.

Most recently, Bragan managed AMC Networks’ participation in 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief, which benefitted victims of Hurricane Sandy. She also led a strategic refresh of the company’s corporate brand identity.

Bragan is a graduate of the CTAM Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School; a Women in Cable Telecommunications Betsy Magness Leadership Institute fellow; and a graduate of the Association of Cable Communicators’ Public Affairs Institute. She was named one of CableFAX’s Most Influential Minorities in Cable.

“As a member of NAMIC, I have personally witnessed how the organization successfully nurtures the voice of diversity both in front of and behind the camera,” Bragan said. “That inspiring, challenging and important work motivates me and is the reason I am proud to be recognized as a NAMIC Next Generation Leader.”

Dhanusha Sivajee
Vice President, Marketing
Bloomberg Mobile

Dhanusha Sivajee is the vice president of marketing for Bloomberg Mobile, responsible for global brand positioning and marketing for the firm’s suite of mobile products.

In her role, she oversees all public relations, social media and consumer and acquisition marketing efforts driving both advertising and subscription revenues for the business.

Prior to joining Bloomberg, Sivajee was director of affiliate and product marketing at Home Box Office, where she managed the marketing strategy for HBO’s advanced products and services, including HBO On Demand and HBO GO.

Sivajee earned an MBA from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Manchester in England. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with her husband and two little boys who keep her on her toes.

“I am humbled and honored to be recognized as a Next Generation Leader. Teamwork is at the heart of any great achievement and this is undoubtedly true in my case,” Sivajee said. “I accept this award on behalf of so many wonderful mentors and colleagues who reached back to help me. I have a duty to pay their support and generosity forward.”

Rich Jennings
Regional Senior Vice President, Mile High Region
Comcast Cable

Rich Jennings serves as senior vice president for Comcast’s Mile High Region. He oversees all of Comcast’s operations in Colorado and New Mexico, serving more than 1 million customers and supervising 3,500 employees.

With a strong belief in community, Jennings serves on the board of directors for the Young Americans Bank and Center for Financial Education, the Colorado Cable and Telecommunications Association, the Colorado Concern, and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Multichannel News named Jennings as one of its “40 Under 40” executives of note in the cable industry in 2006. He was recognized as an influential leader by Cable World magazine and is a NAMIC Luminary Award recipient. Rich is a Chicago native and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

“It is a very humbling experience to be honored by an organization that represents the true essence of the industry,” Jennings said. “I am very honored and feel such a great sense of pride in being recognized as a Next Generation Leader by NAMIC, especially given its stellar reputation in the industry for advancing diversity of talent as well as thought amongst industry leaders.”

Michelle Hord-White
Vice President, Talent Development & Pipeline Programs

Michelle Hord-White is vice president, talent development and pipeline programs at NBCUniversal. Previously, Michelle was a talent executive at ABC News.

Michelle’s career began in editorial content. For more than a decade, she was an award-winning producer for such programs as ABC’s Good Morning America and the syndicated The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Michelle is the chairman of the advisory board to Hampton University’s Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications. She is a past NAMIC mentor and former participant in the NAMIC Leadership Seminar.

She volunteers with many diversity focused organizations including PENCIL, which creates partnerships between businesses and public schools in New York.

She also supports The Hord Foundation, an organization founded by her parents that has awarded more than $3.5 million in college scholarships to diverse students.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to be recognized as a 2013 NAMIC Next Generation Leader,” Hord-White said. “I have a longstanding relationship with NAMIC both as a mentee and a mentor. I have benefited greatly from my personal and professional affiliation with this diversity leader in the media landscape.”


Ivan Bargueiras
Senior VP, Ad Sales & GM, Discovery
Networks Latin America/ U.S. Hispanic

Ivan Bargueiras oversees TV and online advertising-sales activities for for the 17 networks that comprise Discovery Networks Latin America/U.S. Hispanic (DLA/USH) throughout the region and in international markets. He also leads Discovery’s New York-based international sales group, which targets U.S. clients interested in global campaigns.

In January of 2011, he was also named general manager for Discovery U.S. Hispanic, responsible for leading business expansion within its U.S. Spanishlanguage networks, including Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia.

“I am delighted to receive this recognition from NAMIC, which supports multiethnic diversity in the communications industry,” he said. “Discovery truly is a great representation of this: With presence in 218 countries and territories around the world, we foster diversity across all our business units.”

Maureen Carter
VP, Digital Brand Creative

Maureen Carter is an award-winning design practitioner with more than 14 years of industry experience working in print, interactive media design, user experience and brand strategy.

Currently, she leads the digital design vision for the Nickelodeon brand via its online destinations:,,,, and, and develops entertaining mobile and tablet apps. Her role is to provide Nick’s young audience with an engaging, user-centric and well-designed experience that ties the on-air brands to the digital space, as well to lead the creative strategy for all of Nickelodeon’s online integrated advertising and digital marketing.

“NAMIC has been my inspiration and support to be successful in many aspects of my career and networking,” Carter said. “It is a reason why so many of us are able to achieve what we do.”

Rafael Gomez
VP, Business affairs

Rafael Gomez- Cabrera handles a variety of talent and TV production negotiations for Syfy, USA Network and Universal Cable Productions.

Gomez joined NBCUniversal in 2005 in the production legal group, where he worked on such shows as The Office and House. He later moved into the program and talent contracts legal group. Gomez joined the cable-business affairs group in 2008.

Gomez graduated from Harvard Law School and a received bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

“Companies that embrace people of different cultures and experiences are more likely to discover the paradigmshifting ideas required to survive in this fast-changing world,” Gomez said. “NAMIC has been an indomitable champion of diversity over the decades, and I am honored to be named a Luminary by such an incredible organization.”

Lisa Griffin
VP, Finance
Turner Entertainment Networks

Lisa Griffin oversees budgeting and long-range planning, forecasting and financial reporting for TBS, TNT, truTV and TCM. She also provides strategic support for network executives to assist them in achieving business goals .

She joined Turner in August 1998 as an accounting manager. Throughout her tenure, she has partnered closely with operations, led several strategic quantitative business reviews and helped create an accounting sharedservices department. Griffin serves on the board of Turner Women Today and as co-chair of the mentoring committee, teaching financial planning classes and coaching professionals in their careers.

“Thank you for acknowledging the work I and the other Luminaries do in our areas of influence,” Griffin said. “It is because of organizations like NAMIC that we reach more individuals and impact more lives.”

Kimberly Hulsey
VP, Legal & Government affairs
Scripps Networks Interactive

Kimberly Hulsey leads SNI’s governmentaffairs efforts and provides legal support to its human resources functions.

Before joining Scripps, Kimberly worked in several roles at TV One, including VP, legal affairs; senior VP, legal affairs and HR strategy; and senior VP of distribution and strategy. Prior to joining TV One, she served as associate general counsel for BET.

Hulsey is a member of the NAMIC Executive Leadership Development Program is active in NAMIC Mid- Atlantic and WICT Washington-Baltimore. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and American University, she lives with her husband and daughter in Bowie, Md.

“I’m proud and grateful to be recognized but, more importantly, I am excited to use the several tools my NAMIC experiences have given me to foster ‘the shine’ in others,” Hulsey said.

Charlon McIntosh
Regional VP, Business Class Customer Service
Time Warner Cable

Charlon McIntosh is responsible for all aspects of customer-care operations for the Time Warner Cable’s Business Class organization’s commercial customers.

A customer-service authority, she has been recognized multiple times as one of the Most Influential Minorities in Cable by CableFAX Magazine. In 2011, the Denver Business Journal named her one of the top “40 under 40” leaders in the Denver area. She is a graduate of the NAMIC Executive Leadership Development Program and a WICT Betsy Magness Leadership Institute Fellow.

Charlon earned an MBA from New York University and graduated with high honors from the University of California, Berkeley.

“I am honored to receive this award from NAMIC, an organization that plays such a vital role in promoting and supporting diversity and inclusion in our industry,” McIntosh said.

Khadijah Sharif- Drinkard
VP, Business & Legal affairs
BET Networks

Khadijah Sharif- Drinkard oversees business and legal affairs for the New York office of Viacom’s BET Networks. She has daily responsibility for business and legal-affairs matters for original programming, music programming and specials, as well overall strategy for deal negotiations.

Prior to joining BET, Sharif- Drinkard served as VP and senior counsel for Nickelodeon. While at Nick, she contributed to a book titled Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak (Beacon Press). She graduated from Columbia University and Fordham University School of Law.

“I vividly recall my first NAMIC event as a newly minted attorney and kept thinking how impressed I was with the mission and work of the organization,” Sharif-Drinkard said. “I humbly accept this award for not only doing what I love to do, but for doing what must be done.”

Marc Siry
SVP, Business Solutions Team

Marc Siry works to solve the biggest challenges facing NBCUniversal and parent Comcast by bringing to bear the best people, tools and technology the company has to offer. He is also diversity lead for operations and technical services, the parent group to the Business Solutions Team, and is an executive co-sponsor for the Unidos employee-resource group.

Prior to joining NBCU, Marc worked at a slew of media and consumer products companies, including AOL, Fox, Time Warner, Mattel and Marvel Comics. He attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he encountered his first Apple Macintosh computer back in 1985 and began his love affair with technology as a creative enabler.

“I’m honored to be recognized by an organization with such a long and distinguished history of advocating for multiethnic diversity in our industry,” Siry said.

Puja Vohra
Senior Vice President, Marketing
Oxygen Media

Puja Vohra manages Oxygen’s consumer marketing and ad-sales marketing groups, and oversees marketing efforts to all constituents, driving audience growth across all platforms.

Vohra’s focus on diversity is exemplified through her well-rounded worldly team, and by ensuring diversity is reflected throughout Oxygen’s content.

She is a member of the NBCU Diversity Council, a mentor for PromaxBDA International, aligned with the South Asian Women’s Leadership Forum, and was honored as one of CableFAX Magazine’s Most Influential Minorities in Cable for 2011.

Vohra joined Oxygen Media as VP, ad sales marketing, in 2010. She holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Delhi University and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.

“As an executive raised and educated internationally, working for a U.S. brand with a diverse audience, I’m honored to be among an impressive list of NAMIC honorees who each share a commitment to diversity and inclusion in the industry,” Vohra said.

Lisa Williams-Fauntroy
Senior Vice President,
Business and Legal affairs Discovery Communications

Lisa A. Williams-Fauntroy manages and handles business and legalaffairs matters for Discovery Communications’ two largest networks, Discovery Channel and TLC.

She began her Discovery career in March of 1997 in the legal department, focusing on transactional work for network productions and talent and pre-broadcast review of legal issues for the company’s programming. She has worked for almost all of the company’s networks and has had the opportunity to contribute her legal and business skills to many content and corporate deals for its joint ventures and new businesses.

“I don’t take the Luminary designation lightly,” Williams-Fauntroy said. “My goals are very much aligned with NAMIC’s goals and that makes receiving this award incredibly special. We must maintain our collective work to encourage our companies, industry and communities to focus on the importance of diversity and inclusion. I look forward to continuing that work alongside NAMIC and am so appreciative that NAMIC choose to recognize me as a Luminary this year.”

Ritchie Yu
Vice President, Ad Sales Research
Discovery Communications

Ritchie Yu serves as vice president, advertising sales research for Discovery Communications. Under Yu’s leadership, his team specifically focuses on TLC, ID, Discovery Fit & Health and The Hub. Yu and his team work on cultivating research for the ad sales groups to best expand the business.

Prior to Discovery, Yu was vice president, research Fuse Networks and served as the director, sales research and marketing at Fox Broadcasting. He has been in media for more than 20 years, working in several areas including international media and ad sales.

Based in New York, Yu received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Eve.

“I am extremely honored to be named as a Luminary by NAMIC,” Yu said. “I appreciate the recognition and am thankful for the opportunities that Discovery Communications has given me. My career in cable television has provided me with wonderful resources, guidance and training to grow within the multiethnic community and I am truly grateful for all it has offered me.”