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Cox’s Esser, TV One’s Lucas honorary co-chairs for NAMIC Conference

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 3:08pm
Mike Robuck

Cox's Pat EsserCox Communications President Pat Esser and TV One President and CEO Wonya Lucas were named honorary co-chairs for the 26th Annual NAMIC Conference.

Presented as part of Diversity Week, the 26th Annual NAMIC Conference is slated for Sept. 11-12 at the Hilton New York in Manhattan. The theme for this year's conference is “Diversity4: Culture.Audience.Innovation.Leadership.”

The NAMIC Conference will feature the industry's business leaders sharing their perspectives on timely topics within concurrent learning track sessions focused on the four pillars of the conference theme: culture, audience, innovation and leadership.

The two-day agenda will include compelling special events such as Diversity Town Hall: 2012 Election Forum; the L. Patrick Mellon Mentorship Program Luncheon, presented in partnership with Women in Cable Telecommunications and sponsored by the Walter Kaitz Foundation; presentation of the 2012 Mickey Leland Humanitarian Achievement Award; presentation of the Excellence in Multi-cultural Marketing Awards and Local Chapter Recognition Awards; Tech Expo & Diversity Career Fair; Interactive Leadership Development Workshops; and excellent networking opportunities.

"The conference theme signifies the ever-changing landscape of the media and cable communications industry and the customer base we serve," said NAMIC President and CEO Nicol Turner-Lee. "We are honored to have two of our industry's foremost diversity champions, Pat Esser and Wonya Lucas, on board as honorary co-chairs, as we prepare to present a progressive and forward-thinking agenda driven by this year's theme."

A member of NAMIC's board of advisors, Esser has more than 30 years of experience in cable and telecommunications and was named president in 2006. Cox has earned numerous accolades during Esser's tenure as president, with many tied to his personal passion for diversity and inclusion.

In 2006, Cox debuted in DiversityInc's listing of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity; the company has placed in the top 25 for six consecutive years. Under Esser's leadership, the company has topped 21 J.D. Power and Associates' studies of consumer satisfaction since 2006.

"Diversity permeates the culture, values and business operations at Cox Communications and is foundational as we aggressively compete in the marketplace. Our comprehensive approach uses our people, programming, community engagement initiatives and vendor relationships to better address the broad needs of customers," said Esser. "To us, diversity means understanding the perspectives, needs and priorities of all people and working to include and represent them in our business."

Lucas joined TV One as the network's chief executive officer and president in 2011. Prior to taking the reigns at TV One, Lucas held senior management positions at Discovery Communications Holdings, including chief operating officer of Discovery Channel and Science Channel.

An award-winning executive, Lucas has received many honors such as being named among the "75 Most Powerful Women in Business" by Black Enterprise magazine in 2010.

"I am extraordinarily pleased to partner with Pat for this important industry initiative. Diversity Week is always such an energizing time for NAMIC, and I'm privileged to be associated with the week's events in such an integral and rewarding role," said Lucas. "I look forward to working with Pat and the entire NAMIC organization in presenting a dynamic and engaging conference."

In addition to Esser and Lucas serving as honorary co-chairs for the 26th Annual NAMIC Conference, this year's planning committee co-chairs include NAMIC board director Juan Herrera, vice president in the Office of Global Inclusion at Viacom; Crystal Washington, vice president of external relations, diversity and inclusion at Scripps Networks Interactive; and NAMIC board director Donna Rattley Washington, regional vice president for government and regulatory affairs at Comcast Cable.

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