Heather Cohen is Executive Vice President of The Weiss Agency, a broadcast talent agency which
represents and develops the careers of many of the industry's most successful local and syndicated
Heather joined the Weiss Agency directly from GreenStone Media, LLC, where she was Vice President,
Heather joined GreenStone from New York’s legendary WOR where she was Assistant Program Director
and responsible for the station’s local and national on-air content, programs, and production. Prior to
that, she served as Executive Producer for “The Joan Hamburg Show”.
In 2013 Talkers Magazine awarded Heather with the prestigious “Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for
Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman,” also known as “Woman of the Year”. Radio Ink
Magazine has selected Heather as one of the Most Influential Women in Radio every year since 2014.
Heather was on the cover of Radio Ink’s June 2017 Most Influential Women in Radio issue. She is a 2015
recipient of Hofstra University’s George M. Estabrook Distinguished Service Award. In 2019 Heather was
inducted into the WRHU Radio Hall of Fame.
Heather, a graduate of Hofstra University, is Vice President for Programs on the Executive Board of
Hofstra University’s Alumni Organization, and is a member of The Lawrence Herbert School of
Communication Dean’s Advisory Board. She recently completed her term on the Board of Directors of
the George M. Estabrook Alumni Association. Heather previously served as President of the Lawrence
Herbert School of Communication Alumni Association.
She has mentored New York City school children as part of NYC’s Principal for a Day program and has
been a Safe Space committee member. Heather judged the Tony Awards for eight seasons, and is
currently a juror for the Academy of Radio Arts & Sciences. Heather is Chair for the Alliance for Women
in Media and Foundation Board of Directors after having recently served as Vice Chair and Treasurer.
She has co-chaired the Gracie Awards since 2016.
Incoming Chair, AWM
Incoming Chair, AWM
Annie Howell is Chief Communications Officer, Crown Media Family Networks (Hallmark). As an executive level communications consultant, Howell has over 25 years of experience leading teams that excel in strategic communications, brand launches and awareness building, corporate and crisis communications, financial PR, public relations, talent management, publicity and social media. Her current clients include Poker Central, the world’s first 24/7 TV network devoted to poker, Half Yard Productions, Toronto-based Subscription On Demand service AeroCinema, among others. She is currently enrolled in a year-long education program where she is earning certification as a professional executive coach, expected in May 2016.
Howell was formerly interim head of communications at AMC Network’s SundanceTV in New York, where she played an integral role as a member of the brand’s senior strategy team during a leadership transition and restructure. Before that, she served as executive vice president of corporate communications & media relations for Crown Media Family Networks, home of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel. As the primary spokesperson for the networks, Howell provided strategic guidance to all Crown executives and was responsible for directing the full scope of Crown Media’s communications, public relations and social media strategies.
Prior to Crown, Howell served in a number of senior executive positions at Discovery Communications including as senior vice president of communications & public affairs at Planet Green and TreeHugger.com and for 7 years, as head of the U.S. Networks Communications group where she oversaw all aspects of communications and publicity for the company's networks (Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health, Discovery Times Channel, among others), Discovery's film unit, distributions and ad sales teams, marketing and research. She oversaw the company's talent relations team as well as the PR for company sponsored pro cycling team. Howell was honored by CableFax as one of the 2012 “Most Powerful Women in Cable”, was “PR Person of the Year” by CableFax magazine in 2009 and is a 2008 Fellow of the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute.
Annie began her career working in the Washington-DC based public affairs agencies of Ogilvy & Mather as well as Powell Tate.
Keisha Sutton- James
Immediate Past Chair, AWM
Keisha Sutton- James
Immediate Past Chair, AWM
Keisha Sutton-James is writer, speaker and producer who strives to create content and utilize media platforms to elevate and engage her community around its most pressing issues. She writes, produces live events and is currently doing research and conducting preliminary interviews for the biography and documentary of her grandfather, the late Percy Sutton. Keisha also has in development a podcast featuring herself and several others, all daughters of civil rights activists and politicians, called Daughters of the Movement.
One such live event was the National Action Network’s Annual Convention and 25th Anniversary Celebration, a gathering that attracted over 5,000 people. Keisha oversaw every element of this four-day convention: planning concurrently running panels for each day, plenary addresses from presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Williams and others, a Women’s Luncheon, a Minister’s Luncheon, two revival concerts, a screening of the new Roots and more. She was responsible for planning, logistics, including Secret Service logistics, technical integration, marketing, budgeting and everything in between. In 2019, she produced META, Convened by BET Networks, the inaugural social impact conference targeting media, entertainment and technology professionals.
Before moving into the creative side of media, Keisha focused on media management. Keisha joined her family’s media company, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation in 2007 as Corporate Vice President and immediately focused on building and managing the company's digital platform, with full responsibility for interactive strategy, technical infrastructure and staffing, product development and monetization. In 2011, a subsidiary company, Inner City Media, filed for bankruptcy. Keisha became the point person in the company, managing strategic, legal, public relations and other elements of the bankruptcy process for the companies.
Prior to coming to Inner City, Keisha spent six years as a banker in the JPMorgan Private Bank. With over $1.3 billion in assets under management, Keisha advised family offices and owners of middle market-sized businesses on all aspects of wealth management, including but not limited to asset management, estate planning, philanthropic giving, and family governance.
Keisha joined the JP Morgan Private Bank in 2001, after earning a masters in business administration in Entrepreneurial Management at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, Keisha holds a bachelors degree from Tufts University. Active in several industry and community organizations, Keisha serves as Vice Chair of the Alliance for Women in Media, and on the boards of the Harlem Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of New York’s Empire State Development Corp, and the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce.
Keisha resides in Harlem with her husband, Michael, and two amazing daughters, Nola and Shelby.
Incoming Treasurer and Director, AWM
Incoming Treasurer and Director, AWM
Brenda believes that growing a company to greatness is fueled by organizational passion for strategic and innovative solutions that drive revenue and align with overall business goals. She focuses her efforts on socializing the value of the Matrix Media Sales Ecosystem to prospects, customers, thought leaders and industry influencers! As the Chief Revenue Officer, Brenda is responsible to conceive, develop and oversee the execution and success of all revenue-related operations including purposeful sales & marketing blueprints for the media industry. Brenda’s wide-ranging professional background allows her to apply strategic sales & marketing fundamentals to any industry and provide value by offering insightful, creative solutions to grow companies, overcome hitches, or enter new market segments. Industry experience: emerging technologies, software, media, healthcare, legal, non-profit/university and financial services. Brenda holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Robert Morris University.
Katina Arnold, vice president, corporate communications, oversees communications for ESPN’s business initiatives, including affiliate sales and marketing, national advertising sales, research, international – which includes 48 television networks and multiple platforms worldwide – and ESPN’s digital media assets including ESPN.com, WatchESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile and other new media initiatives that develop across the company. She assumed this role in March of 2006.
Arnold was given oversight of internal communications and the multimedia teams in January of 2011. The company’s intranet site, In The Know (ITK), was launched in June 2008 and focuses on employee engagement through timely information concerning company developments and accomplishments. In addition, the internal communications staff provides executive council on internal messaging and identifies creative ways to facilitate the cascading of information on a more personal level. The multimedia group oversees corporate video and presentation needs for the entire company as well as photography and images for the media.
Arnold joined ESPN in January of 2002. She first served the company as director of affiliate and corporate communications for ESPN, for which she was responsible for all of ESPN’s announcements on affiliate sales, marketing initiatives, communication with the cable industry media and all other corporate communication projects; and then as vice president, affiliate and international communications.
Prior to her employment with ESPN she served as director of media relations for High Speed Access in Littleton, Colo. There, Arnold was responsible for directing and managing all of the company’s media relations for its 100 plus offices. She also acted as the media relations manager for AT&T Broadband out of Englewood, Colo., formerly Tele-Communications, Inc. Prior to that Arnold worked as a marketing specialist for Tele-Communication Inc. Her career began as a sales and marketing specialist for TCI Media Services in Madison, Wisc.
In 2009, Arnold was named one of CableFax magazine’s top 30 “Women on the Move” in the cable industry, as well as a finalist for PR executive of the year. In 2006, CableFax magazine also named Arnold an influential executive in cable. She was selected as a Betsy Magness Fellow in Women and Cable and Telecommunications’ Class XI in 2004-05. She served as Co-Chair of the FORUM, the Association of Cable Communicators’ annual conference, and is very active in that organization as well as WICT and CTAM.
Arnold, a Milwaukee, Wisc., native, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison in with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
Abby Auerbach is Executive Vice President, Chief Communications Officer at TVB, the national trade association representing local broadcast television. She joined TVB in June 2000 and was named Chief Communications Officer in February 2014. Ms. Auerbach works with TVB’s CEO and board on the strategic direction of the company and has direct responsibility for advocacy, public relations, corporate communications, events/conferences and TVB.org. She spearheaded the industry’s eBusiness initiatives for over a decade and lead the creation of automated TV platform ePort. At TVB, Ms. Auerbach directs local broadcast TV initiatives such as marketing campaign “We Get Results”, the political advocacy campaign “We Get Voters” and member communications program, “TV News Minute.” She directs TVB’s involvement in the annual, nationwide PSA Project Roadblock campaign to stop drunk driving during the holiday season. Ms. Auerbach is currently on the board of the International Radio & Television Society, a member of She Runs It and is a senior mentor in the association’s Mentoring Program. She is a mentor for University of the People and past chair of the Local Broadcast Committee of the 4A’s, as well as past chair of the 4A’s eBusiness Committee. In 2019, she was a recipient of the TVNewsCheck Women In Technology Futurist award.
Kenetta Bailey joined Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO) as Senior Vice President of Marketing in November 2019. In her role, Kenetta takes the lead on crafting and telling the CCO story. She’s responsible for product marketing, creating insight-driven sales programs, and for how the company uses its sales presentations, website, social media and digital marketing to drive leads and revenue opportunities.
Prior to joining CCO, Kenetta held senior marketing roles at companies including Sony Music, NBC Universal’s Telemundo, AMC Networks, TV One/Comcast, GroupM, and CBS Radio.
Kenetta received M.S. and B.S. degrees in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. After earning her MBA, Kenetta started a career as a classically trained brand marketer with roles at Kraft Foods and PepsiCo. And, as an entrepreneur, Kenetta is a former women’s fitness club owner and she founded her own agency to help digital start-ups and non-profits drive growth. In addition to her corporate work, Kenetta’s taught as an adjunct instructor of marketing and communications at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
She is a long-time member of Women in Cable Telecommunications, National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications, and She Runs It. Kenetta served as a national board member of Planned Parenthood Federation of America for four years and currently is a board member of Arts Horizons.
Considering herself an expert in pop culture, and a fan of food, family, and fun, Kenetta is a die-hard Chicagoan who just happens to live in and love New York.
Marsha Cooke joined VICE Media Group in 2018 and is an award-winning news and media veteran whose career spans over three decades. VICE Media Group is the world’s largest independent youth media company. Launched in 1994, VICE has offices in 35 cities across the globe with a focus on five key businesses: VICE.com, an award-winning international network of digital content; VICE STUDIOS, a feature film and television production studio; VICE TV, an Emmy-winning international television network; a Peabody award-winning NEWS division with the most Emmy-awarded nightly news broadcast; and VIRTUE, a global, full-service creative agency with 25 offices around the world. VICE Media Group’s portfolio includes Refinery29, the leading global media and entertainment company focused on women; PULSE Films, a London-based next-generation production studio with outposts in Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Berlin; i-D, a global digital and bimonthly magazine defining fashion and contemporary culture.
As SVP of Global News and Special Projects Cooke develops and produces special news and entertainment projects across VMG digital and broadcast platforms. She previously led IMPACT where she directed social good and community engagement in order to build and strengthen VICE's culture, partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives.
Cooke has played a key role in codifying VICE’s internal, forward-thinking values and integrates it with its award-winning content leaders in an effort to amplify the material’s impact, affecting long standing change on our local and global communities. Cooke was instrumental in leading VICE News’ first-ever live coverage of the 2020 Iowa Brown and Black Forum, the nation’s oldest and only non-partisan presidential Forum dedicated exclusively to addressing issues facing communities of color. She executed the production of an event that encompassed departments and teams across all lines of business while being liaison to eight presidential campaigns, ultimately bringing important messaging to a diverse audience in a landmark moment for VICE and the 2020 Presidential Election. In addition to recruiting new diverse hires,
Cooke has contributed to retaining talent such as Michael K. Williams, host of Black Market and brought Jemele Hill and Cari Champion to VICE TV to host, 'Won't Stick to Sports,' a late night talk show. She has developed cross functional programming such as one day takeovers of all programming on Juneteenth, the climate emergency, and youth voter registration. She is leading the 8:46 Project which utilizes all of the VICE Media Group platforms to chronicle the reckoning with systemic racism in our communities and institutions.
Previously she worked at CBS News for 24 years. She was the first Black Asia Bureau Chief, responsible for coverage across the continent, producing stories for various CBS News shows. She was a Senior Broadcast Producer for CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, the head of editorial content at CBSN (the network’s first OTT streaming channel), as well as running newsrooms creating content for CBS' 200+ affiliates nationwide and international partners. Over the last 25 years, Cooke spent the majority of her career covering countless natural disasters; from earthquakes in China to the tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. She covered the LA riots, the OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson and Rodney King trials and Columbine. She has reported from North Korea three times.
Cooke is a graduate of Temple University, where she is also a recipient of the Lew Klein Media Award, an inductee of the Alumni Hall of Fame and the university's Gallery of Success. She was featured in O Magazine in 2019. She is on the board of Solutions Journalism and The City, an online, nonprofit newsroom. Cooke lives in New York City where she is a voracious reader, ridiculous foodie, long-suffering NY sports fan and a proud first generation Jamaican-American.
Abby Greensfelder is Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Half Yard Productions. Greensfelder’s passion for compelling television, unforgettable storytelling and her interest in social anthropology spurred her to start independent production company Half Yard Productions in 2006 with business partner Sean Gallagher. Prior to starting Half Yard Productions, Greensfelder was senior vice president of programming and development for Discovery Channel. Abby started her career in production with Transatlantic Films, a UK-based production and distribution company. She is a sought-after speaker and panelist at industry events, a contributor to Realscreen magazine, a member of the Maryland International Film Festival’s Advisory Board, an honorary member of Jewish Women International and a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Greensfelder holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
As the Executive Director of the Walter Kaitz Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to providing opportunities for people of color, women and the LGBT+ community in the cable, media and entertainment industries, Michelle Ray is responsible for developing and implementing the Foundation’s strategic direction, initiatives and programmatic activities.
Michelle provides oversight and management of the Foundation’s distribution of targeted grants to the industry’s key diversity organizations and collaborates with these organizations to refine and advance diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives that impacts the media and telecommunications industry. Additionally, she works collaboratively with national organizations that advocate for the social and economic interests of women, ethnic minorities and the LGBT+ communities and connects them with the industry’s member companies to further diversity and inclusion goals.
Michelle successfully developed the Foundation’s decade-old Hollywood Creative Forum, the first program of its kind uniting the efforts of the television industry, the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America and the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences designed to match credentialed content creators of color with networks, studios and production companies serving the industry.
Michelle is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Canada with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science. She is also a 2015 graduate of WICT’s prestigious Betsy Magness Leadership Institute – Class 31; a 2010 graduate of NAMIC’s highly respected Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) at UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management and a 2002 graduate of CTAM’s Executive Management Program at Harvard University School of Business.
Sandra Rice is the Senior Vice President of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships at CTI. She has worked in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion for more than two decades, helping thousands of young people of color start their careers. Before joining CTI, Rice was the Senior Vice President, National Recruitment & Leadership Development for the Emma Bowen Foundation (EBF), a nonprofit that provides a pipeline of diverse talent for hire in the media and tech industries. At EBF Rice executed strategic leadership programs that successfully placed more than a thousand college students of color in paid multisummer internships, leading to full time jobs at more than 70 companies. Many of her protegees are now in leading media roles around the world.
Prior to her role at EBF she worked for the ABC Television Network in Daytime Programming, International Distribution, and Corporate Public Relations. Rice started her career at KCRA-TV, an NBC Affiliate, in Sacramento, CA. She is a board member for several organizations including Union County College Foundation in Cranford, NJ; The Center for Great Expectations in Somerset, NJ, and Batoto Yetu, in New York City. Rice is a member of the National Coalition for 100 Black Women, Inc., Jack and Jill of America, Inc., and The American Legion Auxiliary. She earned her undergraduate degree in journalism at San Jose State University in California and a master's in Media Studies from The New School in New York City.
Esther Mireya Tejeda is Senior Vice President, Head of Corporate Communications and Public Relations at Entercom. Entercom a leading audio and entertainment company, with a premier collection of 235+ broadcast radio stations, digital audio platforms, live concerts and events, and RADIO.COM.
As Entercom’s founding Head of Corporate Communications and PR, Tejeda was tapped to build the company’s first communications function in 2016 and now leads an award-winning practice overseeing the company’s comprehensive internal and external communications, including business and industry media relations; public relations in support of the company’s local radio stations and digital podcast networks; national event and talent publicity; financial communications; crisis communications and corporate reputation management; social media; and thought leadership.
In 2017, Tejeda led the full suite of communications strategies for Entercom’s acquisition of CBS Radio, a high-profile media industry event that transformed the audio landscape. Her communications strategies were widely recognized as best-in-class, earning accolades including ‘Media Relations Campaign of the Year’ by Ragan’s PR Daily, ‘Communications Campaign of the Year’ by the Stevie Awards, and honorable mention as ‘Rebranding Campaign of the Year’ by PR News.
Tejeda is an accomplished communicator with leadership experience at blue chip organizations like Univision, PepsiCo and Diageo and a knack for building world-class communications practices from the ground up. Some of her most notable work includes launching the communications strategy for Univision’s sports business, and leading Univision Deportes to national recognition as a power player in sports media during its 2014 partnership with FIFA World Cup. Tejeda was also instrumental in reimagining the communications for the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2012 and 2013, and was key in launching Pepsi’s first-ever global marketing campaign, “Live for Now”.
She is a recognized industry leader, earning accolades like ‘Woman to Watch’ by PR Week, ‘Top Woman in PR’ by PR News, ‘Media Relations Professional of the Year’ by Ragan’s PR Daily, ‘Maverick of the Year’ by the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the ‘Power Award’ for leading women in business from the Walker’s Legacy Foundation, and ‘Most Influential Women in Radio’ by Radio Ink Magazine in 2018 and 2019, among others.
Tejeda sits on the board of directors for the Hispanic Public Relations Association since 2017. She is a member of the Real Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences for which she serves as a judge for the annual Shorty Awards. She has previously served as chairperson of the Judging Committee for Public Relations in the 2019 Stevie Awards and volunteers on the executive advisory council for the East Harlem Tutorial Program in New York City.
Tejeda earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from The New School.
Katherine Wolfgang is Head of Public Relations for Canada’s national public broadcaster, CBC, where she leads public relations strategies and narratives across all CBC platforms and services including television, streaming and digital, radio, podcasts, music, news and sports. With more than 20 years of experience in the Canadian, U.S. and international media industry, Ms. Wolfgang joined CBC from leading global production company Shaftesbury, where she served as VP, Marketing and Communications. Prior to that, she was VP, International Communications for Discovery based in Maryland, where she oversaw communications for the company’s international division. Before joining Discovery, Ms. Wolfgang worked in a number of progressive roles with Astral Media’s The Movie Network and Family Channel, where she helped launch top HBO and Disney programming in Canada including Six Feet Under and Lizzie McGuire and created Bullying Awareness Week, for which she received the IABC Award of Merit. Ms. Wolfgang was a member of the Discovery team that was honoured with PR Week’s Large Corporate Communications Team of the Year Award in 2008.
Melissa leads all content departments at Twin Cities PBS (TPT), and is responsible for driving the strategy, vision and execution of all multi-platform content, including local and national broadcast and digital programming, publications, educational curriculum, websites, marketing and communications. Melissa previously served as TPT’s Senior Vice President of Legal.
Prior to joining TPT, Melissa was the Externship Director at William Mitchell College of Law, Senior Counsel at Wells Fargo Corporation, and Assistant Attorney General at the Minnesota State Attorney General’s Office. She currently is on the Board of Directors of the Schubert Club and Board of Trustees of Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Melissa received her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from St. Olaf College. She has served in a myriad of community leadership roles, including: Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Board Member; Minnesota Women Lawyers Strategic Planning Committee & Co-Editor With Equal Rights, Korean Quarterly, Writer, St. Paul Foundation – Asian Pacific Endowment for Community Development, president and board member, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association MN-Chapter, past president and board member, St. Olaf Political Science Department’s Distinguished Alumni Award .