Heather Cohen

Chair, AWM Foundation

Heather Cohen

Chair, AWM Foundation

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 personalities.

Heather joined the Weiss Agency directly from GreenStone Media, LLC, where she was Vice President, Programming.

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 Services 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 the incoming chair of the Alliance for Women in Media and Foundation Board of Directors after having recently served as Treasurer. She has co-chaired the Gracie Awards since 2016.

Annie Howell

Vice Chair, AWM Foundation

Annie Howell

Vice Chair, AWM Foundation

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 Foundation

Keisha Sutton James

Immediate Past Chair, AWM Foundation

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.

Joyce Fitch

Treasurer, AWM Foundation

Joyce Fitch

Treasurer, AWM Foundation

Svetlana Gans

Director, AWM Foundation

Svetlana Gans

Director, AWM Foundation

Ms. Gans is the Vice President and Associate General Counsel at NCTA – The Internet & Television Association.

Previously, Ms. Gans was the FTC Chief of Staff. As Chief of Staff, Ms. Gans oversaw agency operations, led several agency process, regulatory, and transparency reforms, served as the Acting Chairman’s principal inter-governmental and stakeholder liaison, and advised the Acting Chairman on both competition and consumer protection issues, including privacy and data security. Prior to being named Chief of Staff, Ms. Gans served as Commissioner Ohlhausen’s Attorney Advisor and a senior litigation and investigative attorney within the Bureaus of Competition and Consumer Protection, where she handled merger and deceptive and unfair practices investigations and litigation. Prior to joining the FTC in 2010, Ms. Gans was in private practice.

Ms. Gans has served in ABA Antitrust Section leadership for over a decade, currently serving as co-chair of the Section's Consumer Protection Committee. Ms. Gans was recently nominated to serve on Council, for a three-year term beginning in August, 2018. Ms. Gans has also been active with the Federal Communications Bar Association and the Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia.

Ms. Gans received her J.D. with distinction from the University of Denver, College of Law, and undergraduate degrees with honors, from Boston University.

Mike McVay

Director, AWM Foundation

Mike McVay

Director, AWM Foundation

Mike McVay is President of McVay Media.

McVay was most recently the Executive Vice President of Content and Programming for Cumulus Media and Westwood One. In his role he oversaw the programming for CUMULUS’ 425 owned radio stations and Westwood One, the company’s national syndication arm.

McVay is a 40-year programmer with national and local consulting, management, ownership, sales, major market programming, and major market on-air experience. Mike has owned and operated radio stations in multiple markets. He understands the business of our business. He has also developed and launched several nationally-syndicated programs.

Additionally, Mike serves as an international radio consultant programming and consulting media companies around the world. He was a founding partner in the company now known as Futuri Media. He is known as the co-creator, with Delilah Renee Ortega, of the nationally syndicated radio show “Delilah.” He was instrumental in the launch of The John Tesh Show as a daily syndicated program. During his stint with Cumulus Media/Westwood One he has developed and launched several nationally syndicated shows.

McVay has received numerous awards and acknowledgements. He is a recipient of the prestigious Rockwell Award, received the inaugural Innovation in Music & Media Award in 2017, is ranked #4 among “America’s Top Programmers” by Radio Ink magazine, is #14 on Radio Ink’s “Top-40 Most Powerful Broadcaster” list, has been named among the “Titans of Talk” by NTS magazine every year 2012-2019, and was named “Corporate Programmer of the Year” by The Worldwide Radio Summit in 2015, 2017 and most recently 2019. McVay was recognized three times as “Broadcast Executive of the Year” by the former Radio & Records magazine. He is a member of board of directors for Country Radio Broadcasters (CRB), and a member of the board for the Radio Hall of Fame & Museum, He is a past chairman of the Radio Show Steering Committee for the 2017 NAB/RAB Convention. He is also a member of the Long-term Steering Committee for the NAB/RAB Radio Show which became effective in January 2019. Mike is the Co-Chair for the Alliance for Women in Media’s 2019-21 Gracies Awards.

Cumulus Media turned around a four-year rating decline following Mike’s ascension to the head of programming for the company.

Mike speaks at numerous conferences and conventions yearly.

Deborah Parenti

Director, AWM Foundation

Deborah Parenti

Director, AWM Foundation

Deborah Parenti was named Publisher of Radio Ink, RBR and TVBR on September, 2015. Prior to that, she served as EVP of the publications. She is the first person to succeed Eric Rhoads, chairman and founder, who acquired Radio Ink in 1992, in that position. She has also led the company’s radio conference division since 2007. An experienced broadcast professional, Deborah broke the glass ceiling in Dayton radio as the first woman to manage a major station in the market when Stoner Broadcasting named her Vice President and General Manager of WWSN-FM (now WMMX) in 1990. Her radio career includes stints in the Louisville and Philadelphia markets. At Radio Ink, Deborah has focused much of her time on using the publication’s influence across the industry to spotlight and promote initiatives that provide outreach, education and advancement for women, minorities and young people who aspire to join the radio industry. In 2009, she was inducted into the Dayton Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Josie Thomas

Director, AWM Foundation

Josie Thomas

Director, AWM Foundation

Josie Thomas is the former Executive VP, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, CBS. In this role, Ms. Thomas oversees the Company’s commitment to diversity across all of its businesses. She leads multidimensional diversity and inclusion strategies working with senior executives throughout the corporation to develop talent, diverse suppliers, outreach, advocacy group engagement and national industry impact. In addition, she is the executive sponsor of CBS’s employee resource groups, while spearheading the CBS Corporation Diversity Council. She served as Chair of the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies and later Chaired the Board of Visitors of the then newly launched Global Journalism and Communications School at Morgan State University, where she also serves on the Board.

Christine Travaglini

Director, AWM Foundation

Christine Travaglini

Director, AWM Foundation

Christine Travaglini is President of Katz Radio Group. As President, Christine drives overall business development and strategy of Katz Radio Group’s 14 regional offices across the country that together serve as the national sales partner to more than 3,300 radio stations and their digital audio platforms. Christine leads the Katz team in driving maximum results for broadcasters and their advertisers through radio advocacy, innovative marketing solutions, and compelling data and insights.

Since 2008, Christine served as President of Christal Radio, a division within Katz. Prior to that she served as Senior Vice President and General Sales Manager for Christal, a post she held for five years.

In 2013, Christine was also named President of Katz Partnerships, the business development team focused on deepening relationships with agencies, and leveraging all of Katz’s partner’s broadcast and digital assets to develop innovative solutions for today’s big brands. Under her leadership, the Katz Partnerships team has developed and influenced millions of dollars for Katz broadcast clients providing first-to-market ideas and advertiser-focused audio solutions.

Christine began her career with Katz as a sales assistant in the Atlanta office, and was the first person to rise from an assistant to a division president within the organization.

Radio Ink has named Christine one of the “Most Influential Women in Radio” since 2005. She has served on the National Board of Directors and is currently the Chair for the Alliance for Women in Media. Christine is an executive board member of the Radio Advertising Bureau; a board member of the IRTS; and an active speaker and panelist at industry events.