Gracies

January, 2023

Press Release, The Gracies

Alliance for Women in Media Foundation Extends Deadline for the 2023 Gracie Award Entries

January 17, 2023 (New York City/Los Angeles) – The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) is pleased to announce that the deadline to submit entries for the 48th Annual Gracie Awards has been extended through January 26, 2023 (11:59 pm ET). The regular deadline, with no additional fee, is January 19, 2023 (11:59 pm ET). The Gracie Awards, presented by AWMF, celebrate programming and individual achievement by, for and about women in television, radio/audio and digital media.  Submissions from all facets of media are encouraged. A full list of the categories can be found here.

“As our largest fundraiser of the year, the Gracie Awards empower the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation to deliver on its promise of advancing all women in media by strengthening their connection, education and recognition in our industry,” says Becky Brooks, AWMF president.

The Gracie Awards Gala will be May 23 at the renowned Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire hotel and the Gracie Awards Luncheon will be held on June 20 at the Cipriani 42nd Street, New York. AWMF is grateful to its donors and sponsors committed to furthering the mission of the organization including Hallmark Media and NCTA – The Internet and Television Association.  

The Gracie Awards are also honored to have the leadership of Ms. Heather Cohen, Executive Vice President, The Weiss Agency; Annie Howell, Chief Communications Officer, Hallmark Media; and Mike McVay, President, McVay Media Consulting as Gracies Co-Chairs and Mr. Vicangelo Bulluck serving as Executive Producer.

The 2023 Gracie Awards entry eligibility air dates are from January 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022. Entry details, including pricing and updated categories, can be viewed at https://allwomeninmedia.org/gracies/call-for-entries/.

About the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation: In 1960, the Alliance for Women in Media became the first professional broadcasting organization to establish an educational foundation. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (formerly known as The Foundation of American Women in Radio & Television) supports and promotes educational programs, charitable activities, public service campaigns and scholarships to benefit the public, the electronic media and allied fields. The Foundation also produces nationally acclaimed recognition programs, including the Gracie Awards®, a gala that honors exemplary programming created by, for or about women. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, educational organization. For the latest news on the Gracies, follow The Gracies on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. For more information about the Gracie Awards and to submit your entries, please visit www.allwomeninmedia.org/gracies.  

CONTACT:

Jenny Ditto

Awards and Public Relations Manager

jennyditto@allwomeninmedia.org

Ph: 859.514.3008

Becky Brooks

December, 2022

Blog, Press Release, The Gracies

2022 – An AWM Year in Review

It is refreshing to write a Year in Review where we’ve had the opportunity to get together in-person for nearly every AWM-hosted event in 2022 for the first time in three years. Who would have ever dreamed it would take this long to consistently connect again? In March of 2020, many of us thought we needed to stay at home for a few weeks – three years later, we’re back-ish. 

While we still must take precautions and there’s a hint of uncertainty, there is also a willingness to gather at the risk of staying isolated any longer. 2022 was unpredictable and created inherent hesitancies after a two-year separation.

This was a year where COVID vaccines became widely available, where we learned more about “supply chain” than ever thought possible, where we paid attention to gasoline prices and felt the pain of grocery bills. All the while, there were enjoyable and even epic moments like seeing the world come together for the World Cup, unite behind causes like women’s rights in countries where they are suppressed and find reasons for hopefulness such as recent protections secured for equality in marriage. 

As we say every year, through it all, media was there, on the frontlines, to tell the stories. You were there when others couldn’t be so our communities could see and hear first-hand accounts of life in their backyards and around the world. 

Brave journalists were the feature of this acknowledgement at the Gracie Awards Gala this year, which focused on war correspondents — throughout history and this year on the frontlines in Ukraine and elsewhere. 

At the end of every year, I reflect on the bravery of the women signing AWM into existence more than 70 years ago and then creating an awards program 50 years ago to celebrate the programming and individual talent created by, for and about women. This year, we continued that tradition through gatherings at the NAB Show, our Gracie Awards, the first Gracies Leadership Awards in three years and the second AWM Connects where those newer to the industry are connected to executives. 

As we move forward, our leadership is focused squarely on a phrase that encapsulates who we are – advancing women in media. This will continue through our existing programs and scholarships as well as additional opportunities added following the recent Strategic Planning session. This is only possible through the engagement of our media community. You can make this possible through a donation (Venmo @AWM-Foundation), join AWM and enter outstanding content and programming for the Gracie Awards. 

On a personal level, it was so good to be back “in-person” across the board. I thrive being around people and get energy from events and experiences. Our kids started high school and middle school in an actual building, which was so refreshing (of course, with its own set of “special” at those ages.) And as so many who read this note can appreciate, balancing work-life with family and work is fulfilling and exhausting. I’m a better mom and steward to AWM with organized chaos. 

I’m finishing 2022 cautiously hopeful for next year. We know things can change on a dime and value the connections and work of our industry and know there is more we can do together. 

As we say at the close of our events

Good night Gracie!

Becky Brooks

(Proudly) President, AWM & Foundation

Amy Burton

November, 2022

Blog, Gracies Leadership Award

Haajrah Gilani’s Experience at the 2022 Gracies Leadership Award

On my way to the Gracies, a truck parked and filled with men honked at me as I crossed the street.

I found the blare so perplexing that I stumbled and fell in the middle of the street. In my mortified state, I picked myself up, dusted off my skirt and continued my walk.

When I arrived, I quietly shared the elevator with other attendees. I had copies of my resume and writing samples in my folder. I had remarks and questions in my mind. Still, we rode up to the eleventh floor in complete silence.

It’s so easy to feel small.

In classrooms and meetings, I try to be myself even if it’s at the expense of coming off annoying or any of the other connotations that come with being a confident woman.

But being a 21-year-old in a too-big blazer and no industry connections while standing on a Tribeca rooftop can be intimidating. I found myself nervously drinking water and wandering around, hoping my apprehension wasn’t apparent.

When I began meeting the other college students attending the event, I traded my third glass of water for a state of ease. We exchanged our ambitions and shared our anxieties of not fitting in with the accomplished lineup.

Somewhere along the way of being incredibly impressed by the attendees in my age group, I thought to myself, “there’s a reason why I’m here.”

As strange of a thought as was, I had to come to terms with the fact that I was invited to the Gracies, that I had every right to feel a sense of belonging in the vast room. The room was simply too big for me to feel conscious about how much space I took up.

Once I sat with the rest of my table, I began to think about how the event wasn’t incredibly different from a lecture. Like in any traditional academic setting, I was here to learn.

Of the seven honorees, Valerie Blackburn, Nancy Daniels, Marie Donoghue, Kim Godwin, Wendy Goldberg, Chesley Maddox-Dorsey, Debra OConnell and Dawn Porter along with the event’s keynote speaker, Soledad O’Brien, there was never a dull moment.

Nearly every honoree spoke about moments like the perturbing truck honk or hushed elevator ride, about critical points that caused them to question the value they brought to a room. And, still, all of them managed to overcome these doubts, woes and setbacks.

At one point during her acceptance speech, one of the speakers had to pause and ask for water. While we all laughed it off, I kept thinking about this moment for the rest of the event and how there was power to it.

The more I watched these high-achieving women accept awards with hearts-on-their-sleeves speeches, I realized that asking for help or tearing up on stage are acts that require admirable amounts of vulnerability.

Women are punished constantly for traits commonly associated with femininity, like openly displaying our emotions. If there was anything I took away from my time at the Gracies, it’s that strong women don’t shrink because of their weak moments.

While I fell, I also stood up. While I didn’t introduce myself in the elevator, I still made it to the event. While I don’t always feel my own value or power, that doesn’t negate from its existence.

Haajrah Gilani is a recipient of the 2022 Google News Initiative Student Fellowship. She is currently a student at Temple University, and we look forward to seeing how she continues to shape the world of media in the future.

Amy Burton

November, 2022

Blog, Gracies Leadership Award

Megan Hatlee’s Experience at the 2022 Gracies Leadership Awards

Being chosen as a 2022 Mattel Fellowship recipient at the Gracies Leadership Awards was an experience I will never forget as I continue to develop my career as a media professional. Throughout the afternoon, I was able to absorb wisdom from leading women in the media industry, including Soledad O’Brien, Nancy Daniels, Debra OConnell, and Wendy Goldberg. Every honoree had a unique and inspiring story to tell. One of the most important lessons I learned from these women and their stories is that adversity is common and can be defeated, and challenges can be overcome through the power of unity and the support of one another. I left the Gracies Leadership Awards with an overwhelming feeling that I can find success in any field of work that I may decide to pursue in the future. This is largely due to the fact that I stand on the shoulders of women before me who have helped pave the way and who have broken glass ceilings in order to open doors for those following in their footsteps.

I also had the opportunity to network with individuals from a variety of media companies on a multitude of platforms. I spoke with men and women who have spent decades in the broadcast radio industry and shared their experience of having lived through the evolution of radio and seeing first-hand the changes that have occurred through time. Some others in attendance had just started their careers in the industry, getting their feet wet in television or advertising. We shared our common goals for the future and issues currently at hand in the media industry. There was a wealth of information to be learned from every individual in attendance, be it an honoree, an AWM board member, or a fellow student being sponsored by Mattel or the Google News Initiative.

I am beyond grateful that I had the opportunity to share this experience with other women studying journalism and media from across the country. We fostered friendships, shared life stories, and discussed our passions about the future of the media industry. Being able to spend the afternoon with ambitious, like-minded women was an invaluable experience. Knowing that I am entering the media industry with so many courageous and driven women by my side is both comforting and empowering. I would like to extend my gratitude to Mattel for making this fellowship possible and to the Alliance for Women in Media for hosting the celebratory Gracies Leadership Awards ceremony where women in the media industry can be recognized for their outstanding efforts and groundbreaking contributions to society.

Megan Hatlee is a recipient of the 2022 Mattel Student Fellowship. She is currently a student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and we look forward to seeing how she continues to shape the world of media in the future.

Amy Burton

November, 2022

Gracies Leadership Award, Press Release

Alliance for Women in Media Honors Eight Female Leaders at the Gracies Leadership Awards

Photos and video from the event can be found here.

November 14, 2022 (New York, New York) – The Alliance for Women in Media (AWM) hosted the Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon, back for the first time in person after three years, Monday, November 14 at the Tribeca 360° in New York City.  Keynote speaker Soledad O’Brien inspired the audience and referenced the honorees in the room as representing “Stories not just of grit, vision, and opportunity, but of women helping women and celebrating women and the story of how those women didn’t forget that they got into media to elevate people and issues and struggles that were not in the spotlight.” She continued, “When I look around this room, I know we are in great hands. So, let’s reach out to each other and make change happen, let’s have each other’s backs.

Seven female leaders in media were honored at the event, along with the AWM Legacy Leadership recipient, Valerie Blackburn.  Highlights from the speeches include:

  • Valerie Blackburn, AWM Legacy Leadership Award recipient, began her remarks by referencing the pivotal role her family made in her life and career and continued, “Most of you know I have been gifted with a larger extended family, many in this room, and largely in part to AWM. It’s difficult to articulate what AWM has meant to me professionally and personally- even though I am merely a blip in these 70 years, being involved has been one of the greatest journeys of my life.”  
  • Nancy Daniels, Chief of Content, NTets, Discovery, Animal Planet &Science Channel, discussed leadership and what it means to her, “The best leaders that I encountered in my career always led by example, they always showed up, they expect a lot, but they also give a lot in return-mentorship, experience, and they give opportunity.” 
  • In accepting the honor, Marie Donoghue, Vice President, Global Sports Video, Amazon, said, “Being a woman in sports can be an amazing career- but it can also be lonely and challenging. I’ve always relied on my own mini alliance, we came up together and supported each other in so many ways, we lift each other up, amplify each other, celebrate each other. Most importantly, we’ve got each other.
  • Kim Godwin, President, ABC News began her acceptance speech referring to the late Gracie Allen and the meaning of grace.  She continued in referencing the many “she-ros” in her life, “For every person who didn’t see me, there was one who did, for every person who denied me an opportunity, there was someone who gave me one, and because someone gave me a chance, I have decided I will give others a chance, and because someone invested in me, I will invest in others.”
  • Wendy Goldberg, Chief Communications Officer, iHeartMedia,Inc. focused on the importance of mentorship and the women around her, saying, “Instead of seeing it through my own leaders or mentors, I saw it from the people I had around me. So, for me, this award is really about them- their generosity, their talent and their example… I’m inspired by them, I respect them, I’m often in awe of them.”
  • Chesley Maddox-Dorsey, CEO, A wonder Media Company (AWMC, LLC) said, “For me business is personal, disruptive, and a force for transformative change.” She spoke directly to all the women and students beginning their media careers, “My advice is, be curious, learn, improve- we need you, we need your creativity, we need your unique perspectives, we need you to take up the gauntlet.”
  • Debra OConnell, President, Networks, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, said during her acceptance, “Yesterday I received a gift, it was a t-shirt that said- ‘As Strong As The Woman Next To Me’- I feel very strong with all of the women next to me today.” OConnell continued, “We have the opportunity to share stories of strong exceptional women, and we take this responsibility so seriously to message to our communities, the importance of women representation and inclusivity.”
  • Dawn Porter, Founder, Trilogy Films, said upon receiving her honor, “We are a small but mighty group of strong women (and a very few men). I trace my earliest professional inspiration to women like Kerry Smith from ABC News who showed me that integrity is central to everything. The women I work with now are smart, capable and fun. I know that I could never do everything I do without their wisdom and grace.”

 “It is an exciting day to celebrate women who have reached the top. They are inspiring and showing how women continue to make an impact in executive suites and boardrooms,” said Becky Brooks, President, AWM/F.

 “This is a pivotal event for us because it covers all three of our pillars- it’s recognition, it’s education, and it’s connection,” added Heather Cohen, Chair, Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. “We shine a light on exceptional women in media- those who have shattered glass ceilings and proven their leadership and notable today, what an honor to have Soledad O’Brien, one of the greatest storytellers of our time as our keynote.”

Sponsors of the event include Google News Initiative, ABC News, AURN-American Urban Radio Networks, Clear Channel Outdoor, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, Hallmark Media, iHeartMedia, KatzMedia Group, Mattel, NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Sony Pictures Television.

###

About the Alliance for Women in Media (AWM): The Alliance for Women in Media connects, recognizes and inspires women across the media industry. AWM is a diverse community – whether type of media, job or global location – that facilitates industry-wide collaboration, education, and innovation. Established in 1951 as American Women in Radio & Television (AWRT), AWM is the longest-established professional association dedicated to advancing women in media and entertainment. AWM harnesses the promise, passion and power of women in all forms of media to empower career development, engage in thought leadership, and drive positive change for our industry and societal progress.

CONTACT:

Jenny Ditto

Awards & Public Relations Manager

jennyditto@allwomeninmedia.org

Ph: 513.407.3637

Amy Burton

October, 2022

Blog, Membership

Member Spotlight: Zena Burns, Futuri

In the October 2022 issue of “A Minute with Membership,” AWM’s members-only newsletter, we heard from member Zena Burns, SVP, Content and Special Projects for Futuri.

Why are organizations like the Alliance for Women in Media important today?

Real talk: I wish organizations like the Alliance for Women in Media weren’t necessary. I wish women at all levels of media organizations stood on equal footing with men. But while we’ve made incredible strides over the years, we’re not there yet, so organizations like the Alliance for Women in Media are crucial for helping to level the playing field. As you say, the Alliance for Women in Media connects, recognizes, and inspires women across the media industry, and I love that AWM has so many different ways for women to learn, grow, and support one another. Because if we don’t support one another, we’re never going to get to that place of equal footing. 

What inspired you to become a member?

As I was progressing in my career in media and getting to a place where I had some juice, I felt that I had a responsibility to other talented women to help them move forward as well. I’d benefitted from that support from other women as I was moving up the ladder, and I wanted to pay it forward.

Also, I’d been unbelievably lucky to develop a strong network of personal and professional friends in the industry where we could have candid conversations about our experiences and help each other strategize on how to overcome gender-related obstacles in the workplace. This is not something that everyone has. When I learned more about the Alliance for Women in Media, I saw that it was a way for me to grow and learn from a broader community, and also give back by sharing my own experiences and helping others avoid some of the many, many mistakes I’ve made over the years!

What is your greatest advice, to women or men, no matter where they are in their career?

This is something I learned from Martha Nelson, the former Editor-in-Chief of Time Inc, when I was Music Editor at Teen People Magazine back in the day: “Long life, long career.” There are so many different ways to use that advice. On one hand, it’s a way to put setbacks in perspective. I use it primarily to remind myself that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do something. Professionally, if you have an opportunity to advance by stabbing someone in the back, or by being less than truthful when trying to get a deal done, it’s going to come back to you in a negative fashion one way or another. Like Warren Buffett says, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to destroy it.” So with me, what you see is what you get, like it or not, and I sleep well at night. Have I missed a few opportunities to advance because of that? Sure. But beyond the fact that it’s just not who I am, the stress and pressure associated with acting like that just isn’t worth it. It goes back to a cheeky but useful phrase my dad started using with me as early as I can remember: “You don’t have a good enough memory to be a liar.” I don’t want to have to remember what story I told what person!

On the advice front, I just launched a new podcast on this topic — My 23-Year-Old Self: True Stories From the Come-Up. It features conversations with successful women in media, entertainment, and technology (and some good male allies) about the advice they’d give their younger selves as they were growing their careers. It’s designed for young women in those industries, and really anyone who’s interested in hearing great stories and advice from accomplished and amazing women. You can follow or subscribe on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. I’d love to hear feedback on the teaser and ideas for women you think should be featured on the show!

Zena’s Bio

Zena Burns has spent more than two decades at the forefront of developing iconic brands in the media, entertainment, and technology spaces. As SVP, Content & Special Projects at Futuri, Burns runs content creation efforts tied to its innovation initiatives; known for its groundbreaking software solutions rooted in AI, Futuri helps its thousands of broadcast and digital publishing partners worldwide grow audience and revenue through wise use of technology.

Before Futuri, Burns was SVP, Programming Partnerships, in iHeartMedia’s NPG team, having started at then-Clear Channel NYC in 2006 as the radio industry’s first Digital Program Director. She’s also a proud alumnus of TEEN PEOPLE Magazine, where, as Entertainment Director and Music Editor, she played a key role in driving pop culture and giving early looks to countless numbers of today’s superstars. 

Knowledge Areas

Radio, audio, television, video, digital, content creation, programming, journalism, strategy, communications, writing, marketing.


For more information about “A Minute with Membership,” AWM membership, or with suggestions for future member spotlights, please contact amy.burton@allwomeninmedia.org.

Amy Burton

October, 2022

Press Release, The Gracies

Call for Entries Open for 48th Annual Gracie Awards

October 13 (New York City/Los Angeles) – The Gracie Awards, presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF), is proud to open the call for entries for the 48th Annual Gracie Awards.

“The Gracie Awards celebrate and honor truly exceptional content by, for and about women. We are more committed than ever to honor the remarkable work by so many in our creative community”, says Becky Brooks AWMF president. “As our most important fundraiser of the year, the Gracies enables the Foundation to deliver on its promise to further the connection, education and recognition of women in media,.”

For nearly 50 years, the Gracies has honored individual talent and exemplary programming created by women, for women and about women in television, radio and digital media in news and entertainment. 

Serving again as co-chairs for the 2023 Gracie Awards are Heather Cohen, executive vice president, The Weiss Agency, Annie Howell, chief communications officer Hallmark Media and Mike McVay, president, McVay Media Consulting. Vicangelo Bulluck, an Emmy Award-winning, seasoned veteran in awards production, has produced the Gracie Awards since 2016 and will return to produce the Gracie Awards in 2023.

Entry eligibility air dates are from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022. Early Bird rates for entries end on December 15, 2022, at 11:59 PM Eastern. The deadline for all entries is January 12, 2023, at 11:59 PM Eastern. Entry details including pricing, updated categories can be viewed at https://allwomeninmedia.org/gracies/call-for-entries/

Alliance for Women in Media to Honor Seven Female Leaders at Gracies Leadership Awards

October 4, 2022 (New York) – The Alliance for Women in Media (AWM) is pleased to announce the seven honorees for the Gracies Leadership Awards on Monday, November 14, 2022, at Tribeca 360 in New York, New York. Google News Initiative is a presenting sponsor of the awards.

The annual event provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the significant impact women have made in the media industry, while also spurring to action and emboldening female leaders in attendance. 

The list of this year’s honorees include the following:

  • Nancy Daniels, Chief of Content, TNets, Discovery, Animal Planet, & Science Channel
  • Marie Donoghue, Vice President, Global Sports Video, Amazon
  • Kim Godwin, President, ABC News
  • Wendy Goldberg, Chief Communications Officer, iHeartMedia, Inc.
  • Chesley Maddox-Dorsey, Chief Executive Officer, American Urban Radio Networks
  • Debra OConnell, President, Networks, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution
  • Dawn Porter, Founder, Trilogy Films

AWM previously announced Soledad O’Brien award-winning journalist, CEO of Soledad O’Brien Productions, philanthropist, and author, as the keynote presenter. The organization also announced investing in the next generation of women in media through partnerships with Google News Initiative and Mattel creating two unique fellowship programs for students pursuing a career in either journalism or media.

“It is an exceptional honor to recognize and celebrate this strong lineup and powerhouse of women leaders in our industry,” said Becky Brooks, President, Alliance for Women in Media. “Soledad O’Brien as our keynote speaker will undoubtedly create an unforgettable event for everyone in attendance,” added Brooks.

Special thanks to sponsors of the Gracies Leadership Awards including Google News Initiative as a presenting sponsor, ABC News, American Urban Radio Network, Clear Channel Outdoor, Disney Media & Entertainment, Hallmark Media, Katz Media Group, Mattel, and NCTA – The Internet & Television Association. For sponsorship or advertising information about the Gracies Leadership Awards, or any other AWM/F opportunity, please contact Becky Brooks.


About the Alliance for Women in Media (AWM): The Alliance for Women in Media connects, recognizes, and inspires women across the media industry. AWM is a diverse community – whether type of media, job, or global location – that facilitates industry-wide collaboration, education, and innovation. Established in 1951 as American Women in Radio & Television (AWRT), AWM is the longest-established professional association dedicated to advancing women in media and entertainment. AWM harnesses the promise, passion and power of women in all forms of media to empower career development, engage in thought leadership, and drive positive change for our industry and societal progress.

Media Contact:
Becky Brooks
Becky.Brooks@allwomeninmedia.org
859.226.4240

Gracies

October, 2022

Blog, The Gracies, Video Blog

Gracie Awards Call for Entries Opening Soon

The 48th Annual Gracie Awards call for entries will be opening soon and everyone is looking forward to seeing the extraordinary content that will be submitted! The Gracie Awards recognizes exceptional content at the national, local, public, and student levels throughout radio, television, and digital media. It is a prestigious award that celebrates the work done by, for and about women.

Deborah Horne, the 2022 recipient of the On-Air Talent [TV – Local] Gracie Award, had this to say about what winning a Gracie meant to her, “For me, because it is coming at this time in my career, it has meant that all of these years of doing this job that I love, that I was born to do, I’ve made a difference in a way that I did not anticipate.”

Ms. Horne went on to say, “To be in a position where women are being recognized for the work we have been doing, that alone makes this a very special day and an incredibly special award.”


The Call for Entries for the 48th Annual Gracie Awards will be opening on Thursday, October 13, 2022.  Entry eligibility air dates are January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022. If you have any questions about entering, please contact gracies@allwomeninmedia.org.

Amy Burton

September, 2022

Blog, Membership

Member Spotlight: AWM Connects Alum Alex Razo and Lindsay Guentzel

In the September 2022 issue of “A Minute with Membership,” AWM’s members-only newsletter, we hear from two of the 2021 AWM Connects mentees about their experience with the inaugural mentorship program, what they are doing now, and the advice they would give to future AWM connects participants.

AWM Connects is a virtual mentoring program that will connect young/new professionals with senior level executives throughout television, radio, and digital media. The inaugural event was held in December 2021 and we are excited to announce that it will be back on December 14, 2022! If you would like to receive an alert when the 2022 AWM Connects information goes live, please email amy.burton@allwomeninmedia.org

How did the 2021 AWM Connects program have an impact on your career and/or your outlook on your career path?

ALEX RAZO: While it was a wonderful experience getting to meet and learn from the mentors, what made the program extra special was also connecting to the fellow mentees. Meeting women who are currently going through similar experiences was cathartic and helped reignite my love of broadcasting at a time when I really needed the boost.

LINDSAY GUENTZEL: Prior to applying for the 2021 AWM Connects program, I felt kind of lost. The pandemic combined with a new ADHD diagnosis — add in an intense couple of years in Minnesota where I live and work in news – I wasn’t sure what I even wanted anymore. Even just applying felt like a shot in the dark. So, when I found out I was accepted into the program, I was elated. It felt like someone had looked at all the work I’ve done, most of which I had either forgotten about or had been too hesitant to promote, and thought I was good enough. 

And then to meet my mentor and have her ask questions about my career and to have her be genuinely engaged. It was so energizing. It was such an awesome reminder of the power we have to inspire people by simply being present. And it was the reminder I needed to keep pushing myself, to keep going after my own goals and aspirations. As cliche as it might sound, it made me feel like I belong, that my talents and my skills belong. 

What new endeavors have you undertaken since the AWM Connects program in December 2021?

RAZO: While I’ve continued to maintain the high standards and ratings for both of my shows, I will also be given the opportunity to join one of our reporters as he begins production on the latest installment in his documentary series for the station and iHeartMedia.

GUENTZEL: In May of 2022, I launched Refocused with Lindsay Guentzel, a podcast collaboration with ADHD Online, a telemedicine healthcare company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan that provides ADHD assessments, medication management and teletherapy. My own ADHD diagnosis was truly life-changing, the answer to a question I had been looking for my entire life but didn’t even know. So, to be able to combine my love of storytelling in a way that’s helping people, it’s overwhelming in the best way. I do still have career goals that aren’t tied to my ADHD, but it feels like every role I’ve had over the last 15 years was meant to prepare me for this. That this is what I’m meant to do. 

Why are organizations like the Alliance for Women in Media important today?

RAZO: I think organizations like the Alliance for Women in Media are important because it’s wonderful to have a sense of community. Every person I’ve met and interacted with in and through the organization has been kind, forthcoming and very willing to help.

GUENTZEL: We’re finally seeing results after years and years of talking about the importance of representation. Organizations like Alliance for Women in Media, along with this mentorship program, help speed up those timelines for change. They also work to increase accountability and transparency and they instill a sense of community and support for people working in jobs that have been under fire for the last six or seven years. 

What advice would you give someone who is interested in participating in the next AWM Connects mentorship program?

RAZO: Don’t be afraid to ask questions…it may feel intimidating to speak with the mentors, but they WANT to talk to you! Also, connect to your fellow mentees…it’s just as rewarding connecting with them as it is with the mentors.

GUENTZEL: Know what you are looking for before you head in. And by that, I mean, be able to give your mentor a list of actual things you need help with. Need your demo looked at? Have the file in a Dropbox folder so you can forward it immediately. Have a specific organization you want to work for but don’t have a foot in the door? Tell them. Don’t hold anything back. Outside of asking for $1 million dollars and expecting to get it, go in thinking the sky’s the limit. Because for your mentor, that truly might be the case. And you do not get enough time in the mentorship – or in life – to be demure. Get after it. 

Bios

RAZO: Alex has over 5 years of radio and broadcasting experience. After graduating from Cal State Northridge in 2017, she began working for KFI AM 640 in Los Angeles as a producer. KFI is one of the most listened to news-talk radio stations in the country and serves all of Southern California. Alex started her career there as an intern for the morning show while as a student, and after being hired part-time was promoted to being the full-time producer of both morning shows (Wake Up Call and the Bill Handel Show) only a few months later.

GUENTZEL: My name is Lindsay Guentzel and I’m the host and producer of Refocused with Lindsay Guentzel, a podcast collaboration with ADHD Online that explores the often-misunderstood world of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. I really like to work and I’m incredibly ambitious so a lot of time, there’s no distinct line showing where work ends and my life begins. But when I do take a break, I enjoy running, eating delicious food (preferably cooked for me, although I do love having the time to try new recipes at home), attending sporting events outdoors in nice weather, and anything crafty and creative. 

Knowledge Areas

RAZO: Radio, television, communications, video and audio editing, news writing and editing, research, media relations, programming, field producing, digital and social media management.

GUENTZEL: Radio, television, content creation, audio, producing, journalism, on-air talent, writing, and media relations.


For more information about “A Minute with Membership,” AWM membership, or with suggestions for future member spotlights, please contact amy.burton@allwomeninmedia.org.