This section of Multichannel. com, "The PR Feed", contains original press releases issued by various companies and industry organizations. The releases are not reviewed or edited by the editorial staff of Multichannel News. For information and access, forward your name and email address to prfeed@multichannel.com.


MEDIACOM's ROCCO COMMISSO IS GUEST OF HONOR, DEC. 5TH

Life’s WORC/The Family Center For Autism to Hold Annual Gala 11/10/2017 6:15 PM

NEW YORK -- Based on the success of last year’s fundraiser event at NYC’s famous Gotham Hall (35th Street/Broadway/midtown Manhattan), Life’s WORC/The Family Center For Autism (lifesworc.org, thefamilycenterforautism.org) will again be holding its annual gala there on Tuesday, December 5th, 6 PM.

Tickets are already being sold as there is a groundswell of support for the “powerhouse” guest of honor: Rocco B. Commisso. Mr. Commisso, a long-time New York area resident is Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Mediacom Communications Corporation (Mediacom Park, New York), and Chairman of the New York Cosmos (North American Soccer League). Mediacom Communications, which Mr. Commisso established in 1995 is ranked as the nation’s fifth largest cable television provider with 4600 employees, serving nearly 1.4 million customers in 22 states and annual revenues of more than $1.8B.

Explains Matt Zebatto, Life’s WORC/Family Center For Autism Assistant Executive Director: “Our organization is proud and privileged to gain Mr. Commisso’s energy and focus for our December 5th dinner celebration. Rocco Commisso is one of the most accomplished, successful business owners Life’s WORC/Family Center For Autism has been able to honor.”

Life’s WORC Board Chairman Rick Del Mastro says that: “Mr. Commisso comes to us as the recipient of a multitude of past honors, recognitions, and achievements. It is so gratifying and meaningful to the board, staff, families and people served by our agency that this man believes in our mission and wants to support our work.”

Born in Calabria, Italy, Mr. Commisso immigrated to the United States at age twelve. His career included positions at Pfizer, Chase Manhattan Bank (J.P. Morgan/Chase), Royal Bank of Canada, and Cablevision Industries before he launched his own cable television company.

Life’s WORC Board Vice Chairperson Lynne Koufakis notes that: “Rocco Commisso has already been using his resources to benefit our organization. Through Mr. Commisso the Life’s WORC “family” was able to enjoy a great evening, Saturday, July 29th at MCU Park in Coney Island for the New York Cosmos game. It was wonderful that Life’s WORC was the featured, spotlighted guest that night. And people with autism were given the opportunity to perform the National Anthem at the start of the game against Miami FC.”

Life’s WORC/The Family Center For Autism headquartered in Garden City, New York was launched nearly fifty years ago by New York City/Long Island newspaper publisher/media executive Victoria Schneps of Roslyn Harbor, with help from broadcast journalist icon Geraldo Rivera (who remains active with the organization today). The non-profit agency provides a variety of residential and treatment services in western Suffolk, Nassau County, eastern Queens, and in Manhattan for some 1600 people with developmental disabilities and more than 100 people with autism. The organization is an employer of more than 600 people.

December 5th gala tickets are $425 per person with tables of ten at $4000. Journal advertising and other sponsorships are available. Patti Ann Browne, Fox News Channel Anchor, will be the Master of Ceremonies. For details, telephone 516-741-9000X15000.

About Rocco Commisso
Rocco Commisso is one of the most successful Italian immigrant entrepreneurs in our nation’s history. His illustrious career in the cable television industry spans over 38 years. He is the Chairman and CEO of Mediacom Communications Corporation, a company he founded in 1995 to acquire and reinvigorate cable systems in the nation’s underserved smaller communities. In 2000, he directed a successful initial public offering for Mediacom, paving the way for the company’s dramatic growth into the nation’s 5th largest cable television provider, with 4,600 employees serving nearly 1.4 million customers in 22 states. He took the company private in 2011, and now Mediacom, with annual revenues in excess of $1.8 billion, is wholly-owned by Commisso and his family.

Commisso began his business career at Pfizer Inc.’s manufacturing facility in Brooklyn, NY. After graduating from business school in 1975, he spent a decade in the financial community, initially at Chase Manhattan Bank (now J.P. Morgan Chase) and then at Royal Bank of Canada, where he led the bank’s U.S. lending activities to companies in the media and communications sectors.

From 1986 to 1995, he served as executive vice president, chief financial officer and director of Cablevision Industries Corporation. During his tenure there, privately-held Cablevision Industries grew from the 25th to the 8th largest cable company in the nation, serving 1.3 million customers at the time of its merger with Time Warner.

Commisso serves on the board of directors of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, C-SPAN, Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. and Cyndx LLC. During his distinguished business career, Commisso has been bestowed with numerous honors, including:
• 2000 – Received Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award
• 2006 – Received National Italian American Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award
• 2007 – Inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame
• 2009 – Received Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership, the cable industry’s highest honor
• 2009 – Mediacom named the nation’s top cable operator by CableFAX Magazine
• 2010 – Inducted into the SUNY New Paltz School of Business Hall of Fame and named Business Person of the Year
• 2011 – Inducted into the Cable Center Hall of Fame
• 2015 – Awarded Ellis Island Medal of Honor
• 2015 – Inducted into the Mount Saint Michael Academy “Legends of the Mount”
• 2016 – Mediacom named the nation’s top cable operator for the second time by CableFAX
• 2016 – Inducted into Columbia University Athletics Hall of Fame

Born in Calabria, Italy, Commisso immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 12. He graduated from Mount Saint Michael Academy in the Bronx in 1967. He attended Columbia University on a full undergraduate scholarship where he earned both a BS degree in Industrial Engineering and a MBA degree from the Graduate Business School. At the Business School, he was elected president of the student body and was the recipient of the prestigious Business School Service Award.

Commisso played soccer for the Columbia Lions in the 1967–1970 period. He was a member of a freshman squad that finished with an undefeated record and served as Co-Captain of the 1970 team that made Columbia’s first ever appearance in the NCAA Playoffs. For his exploits on the field, Rocco became a three-time All-Ivy League Honoree and was invited to try-out for the U.S. Soccer Team organized for the 1972 Olympics.

Commisso has been an active alumni contributor to Columbia soccer for over 40 years. During this period, the men’s soccer program has been the most successful in the Ivy League and among all major sports at the university. In the mid-1970’s, he cofounded Friends of Columbia Soccer and, from 1978 to 1986, he was its Chairman, during which time Columbia won 8 straight Ivy Championships and became the only Ivy League school ever to compete in the final game of the NCAA Championship. In 2004, on the 250th anniversary of Columbia’s founding, the school’s newspaper, the Daily Spectator, listed Commisso among Columbia’s 250 greatest undergraduate alumni of all time. For many years, Columbia has awarded an annual Men’s Soccer Prize in his name. In 2013, Columbia recognized his contributions to the university by naming its soccer venue at the school’s Baker Athletics Complex as the Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium. In 2015, the NYC Soccer Gala honored Commisso for his lifetime dedication to the game of soccer.

Commisso has poured significant personal and corporate resources into funding educational opportunities for young people. Through Mediacom’s World Class Scholars Program, September 11th Memorial Scholarship Fund and Entrepreneur of Tomorrow Award, he has provided college scholarships to more than 1,500 students nationwide. In 2014, he established the Rocco B. Commisso American Dream Fund at Mount Saint Michael Academy to ensure that the school can continue to recruit and educate deserving young men for generations to come.

In January 2017, Commisso purchased a majority ownership stake in the New York Cosmos and became the club’s Chairman. The Cosmos are the reigning champions of the North American Soccer League and the most recognized American soccer brand in the world. Since beginning play at Yankee Stadium in 1971, the iconic club has won a record total of 8 professional soccer championships and brought some of the biggest stars in international soccer to the USA including Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia, Carlos Alberto, and more recently, Raúl and Marcos Senna. With the move to MCU Park in Brooklyn’s historic Coney Island district for the 2017 season, the Cosmos are now based within New York City for the first time in 41 years.