DENVER – Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Rocky Mountain Chapter today announced the nine cable industry leaders it will honor at the annual Walk of Fame event on Thursday, May 26, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. The Walk of Fame is the premier regional event that recognizes industry leaders whose passion and ambition exemplify the WICT Touchstones of Leadership.
“We are thrilled with this year’s slate of outstanding leaders and look forward to honoring them at the Walk of Fame on May 26,” said Cynthia Carpenter, President of WICT Rocky Mountain and Vice President of Product Management at Charter Communications. “We had an unprecedented number of nominees this year, which is a testament to the strength and impact of leaders at all levels in the Rocky Mountain region. As always, we look forward to a sold-out event, and we are confident that those who attend will be inspired by the stories they will hear from our honorees.”
Page 2, WICT Rocky Mountain to Honor Cable Industry Leaders
The 17th annual Walk of Fame will be held at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center on May 26, 2016, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is open to all professionals in the cable telecommunications industry. Charter Communications is Platinum Sponsor of the event, with many other sponsorship opportunities available. To learn more about the event and for information on purchasing tables or individual tickets, please visit www.wictrm.org.
The honorees were nominated through a confidential and comprehensive process by colleagues, mentors, fellow WICT members and leaders throughout the industry. The WICT Rocky Mountain Chapter is proud to announce the 2016 Walk of Fame Woman of the Year and other leaders to be honored at the 2016 Walk of Fame.
WICT Rocky Mountain – 2016 Woman of the Year
Sarah Gustashaw, Vice President of Finance of the Mountain West Region, Comcast
Sarah (pictured) currently serves as the Vice President of Finance for the Mountain West Region of Comcast. In this position, she is responsible for overseeing the business operations and project management organization for Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona, including financial analysis and support, business assurance, project management, warehouse operations, and customer equipment management throughout the Mile High Region.
Before this appointment, Sarah served as the Vice President of Finance for the Indiana Region of Comcast where she was responsible for the local business operations functions. Sarah also has held various other financial management positions within Comcast in the Washington, DC Area, Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia locations.
In her more than 17 year history with Comcast, Sarah has excelled in process improvements and cost savings initiatives that have improved the customer experience, operational efficiencies, and contributed to the growth of the business. In addition to her passion to improve the business, she has worked to support and develop her employee teams to provide a strong organizational foundation to sustain the business.
Prior to joining Comcast, Sarah was a public accountant in Indianapolis, Indiana where she obtained her Certified Public Accountant License. Sarah graduated from Indiana University with a Business Degree in Accountancy. She is a member of Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT), a 2012 graduate of the Rocky Mountain Leadership Institute, and a 2014 graduate of the Betsy Magness Leadership Class of 28. Sarah is also a 2004 graduate of the Comcast Executive Leadership Forum. Additionally, Sarah actively participates in the community through her service on the Clayton Early Learning Board of Trustees which is an organization that is a leader in the field of early child care and education through research, practice and training, with a focus on closing learning gaps of disadvantaged children. Sarah resides in Parker, Colorado with her husband Bill and their four children, Samantha, Jack, Aiden and Liam.
WICT Rocky Mountain Honorees
The WICT Rocky Mountain Walk of Fame will also honor industry leaders in four other categories. The honorees are:
Woman in Technology
Judy Batenburg, Senior Vice President of IT Services, Starz
Judy Batenburg serves as the Senior Vice President of IT Services at Starz. Her teams are focused on enabling Starz employees to work anywhere, any time with anyone in the world. Key services delivered by her teams include cloud and data center computing, IT solutions engineering, client engineering and operations, desktop architecture and engineering, and technology procurement.
Prior to Starz, Judy was an IT director at IHS, overseeing global operations, help desk, infrastructure and IT program management. She started her career at AT&T Bell Laboratories as software developer working on CAD systems. She was promoted to Manager of Enterprise Architecture at Lucent Technologies, where she oversaw the development and deployment of Lucent’s global network and system management environment. Throughout her career, she has specialized in transforming IT cultures and bringing technology solutions to business problems.
Judy was honored as a ComputerWorld Premier 100 IT Leader in 2013 and was a finalist for the Trace3 Outlier Award in 2014. She frequently speaks at industry events on changing IT culture, creating business focused IT teams, taking charge of your career, managing global infrastructures and BYOD.
She is currently Co-chair of the Society for Information Management (SIM) Women advisory board, and Program Co-Chair for their annual conference. Judy previously served as Co-Chair of the Colorado
Technology Association’s Women in Technology group. Her passion is mentoring the next generation of women leaders. She has been active in mentoring programs with WICT, SIM Women and Colorado Technology Association. She has been a Girl Scout leader for the past six years, and has mentored several 8th grade students at Aspen Academy for three years. She has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Delaware. Judy lives in Cherry Hills Village with her husband Richard. They have three children, Rick, 26, Leigh, 24, and Faith, 10.
Mentor of the Year
Christopher Marsh, Vice President of Web and Commerce Engineering, Time Warner Cable Christopher Marsh is Vice President for Commerce & Care within Time Warner Cable’s Software Platform Engineering / DevOps group. Christopher leads application teams covering E-Commerce, Self-care, Direct Sales, Agent Tools, Order Management and Billing Design & Development. This summer Christopher will celebrate 20 years in the workforce—all of it in the cable industry.
Christopher graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder and joined MediaOne’s Interactive Services Group. In 1998, he was recruited into the Road Runner joint venture between Time Warner
Cable and MediaOne and relocated to Herndon, Virginia. TWC acquired Road Runner in 2001, and in the years that followed Christopher pioneered cross platform development using web applications to manage features on customers’ phones and DVRs. In 2010, Christopher moved back to Colorado to from a start-up in a big company for TWC to incubate new web and IP video technologies and modern development methodologies like Agile and DevOps.
Christopher is married, and he and his wife Jillian have a very large dog named Moose. He enjoys gardening, cooking, fermentation and canning. He is really excited about MIT’s Food Computer. Christopher continues to play with a lot of Legos and read comic books
Industry Partner of the Year
Morag Barrett, CEO, Skye Associates LLC Morag Barrett is the best-selling author of "Cultivate. The Power of Winning Relationships" and CEO of SkyeTeam, an international HR and executive development company. SkyeTeam is a proud partner of WICT Rocky Mountain, and has facilitated the award-winning WICT Rocky Mountain Mentoring Program for nearly 10 years, as well as developing the new WICT Speaks program. Prior to launching SkyeTeam in 2007, Morag was responsible for global leadership and executive development at Level 3 Communications. Originally from the UK, her 25 year career includes 15 years in commercial finance as well as nearly 17 years in Leadership & Executive Development. At last count she has supported the development of more than 3,000 leaders, in 20 countries, and on four continents. Since launching SkyeTeam, she and her team have had the opportunity to work with clients in a range of industries including: healthcare, telecommunication, mining, manufacturing, engineering, and technology.
Morag has a Master of Human Resource Management from De Montfort University and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in the UK. She's also received the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation and is a recognized business coach for the Corporate Coach University. She is a board member for City Year Denver. Morag is also a regular contributor to CIO.com, Entrepreneur.com and has been featured in inc.com, and Business Insider, among others.
Morag lives in Broomfield, Colorado, with her husband, Nick, and their three teenage sons, James, Matthew and Christopher. For fun, in addition to time with her family, you’ll find Morag ballroom dancing or playing in the Broomfield Symphony Orchestra where she is the principal bassoonist.
Women to Watch
Jenelle Champlin, Director, West Division Customer Care Strategic Initiatives, Comcast Jenelle is currently the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Comcast’s West Division Care organization, responsible for developing the roadmap for and leading the implementation of strategic initiatives to improve the customer and employee experience across the Division’s residential call centers.
Prior to joining Comcast, Jenelle spent over 10 years as an operations and strategy consultant working for Accenture, Amdocs and IBB Consulting Group. During her tenure as a consultant, she specialized in the design, development and deployment of solutions to improve customer relationship management. She has worked across numerous industries with a deep knowledge of Cable and Telecommunications working for clients such as Comcast, AT&T, Disney and HBO.
Through her involvement with WICT, Jenelle has realized her passion for mentoring and development of future leaders. She currently serves on the WICT Rocky Mountain Board as Director of Leadership Programming. She has also participated in the WICT Mentoring program for both the Rocky Mountain and Greater Texas chapters, as well as attended the WICT Rising Leaders Program and Executive Development Series. She is a member of the Rocky Mountain Cable Association, National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications, the Project Management Institute, as well as a volunteer for Susan G. Komen.
Jenelle received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and International Business from Baylor University. She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). During her spare time, she loves to enjoy outdoor activities with her husband Robert, daughter Kara (2) and their two dogs.
Natalie Makowka, Senior Director, IT Solutions, Comcast Business Natalie Makowka currently serves as Senior Director, IT Solutions at Comcast Business. Specifically, Natalie is a member of the Advanced Business Communications group whose vison is to use Comcast Business' experience, creativity and teamwork to make innovative business services a reality at Comcast. In this role, Natalie is responsible for all aspects of software development. She has also championed the very successful agile transformation of her organization, which has brought increased productivity and transparency. Natalie leads an amazing team of professionals who are passionate about delighting Comcast customers with high-quality, leading-edge solutions.
Natalie brings 20 years of business analysis, systems planning and product development to Comcast. Prior to joining her current team, Natalie held a variety of roles at Comcast in marketing operations, wholesale and retail telecommunications. Natalie began her career in international telecommunications with the consulting firm American Management Systems. She worked on large-scale customer care and billing systems for deployments in France, Great Britain, Germany, and the US. Natalie holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) from Georgetown University.
When not at work, Natalie attempts to master the art of cooking and enjoys spending time with her husband Wade and daughter Daphne in the beautiful Colorado mountains. Natalie has been inspired by many in her career but none more than her grandmother, who arrived in America and trail blazed into a career in fashion design and her mother, who broke through gender barriers to become a chemist.
Shashikala Shamarao, Director, Technology Services, Charter Communications Shashi Shamarao serves as the Director of Release Management and Environment Readiness in
Technology Services and has been with Charter Communications for over two and half years and in the industry for five years. She is responsible for coordinating the implementation of all the capabilities and features within a release, especially the roadblocks, dependencies and gaps. She is also responsible for determining environment needs, facilitating building of environments to assist program testing, and building and maintaining the Configuration Management Database. Her greatest joy comes from building and developing her team and taking on challenging responsibilities to help her team and organization grow.
Prior to this role, Shashi worked as a Principal Engineer and was responsible for managing interactive application development and deployment. Before coming to Charter Communications, Shashi was an Advisory Solutions Architect at EMC Consulting. She was responsible for architecting and implementing infrastructure and platforms as a service for a financial organization. Shashi also held architect roles in multiple firms working in a variety of fields such as GIS, banking, media and financial industries. Shashi has a Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunication Engineering from Bangalore University, India. She is passionate about taking risks and solving challenging problems.
Shashi lives with her husband Ganesh Vijalapura and their two adorable daughters, Shreya and
Eesha. She is a fervent Indian classical music lover, an active member in her local community organizations, and participates in cultural programs.
Erin Toney, Director, Wireless Products, Charter Communications
Erin Toney joined Charter three years ago as member of the Internet Products team and immediately assumed responsibility for launching Charter’s residential WiFi product offering. This past March she was promoted to Director of Wireless Products, overseeing both Charter’s residential and SMB WiFi product lines, focused on delivering the fastest and most reliable WiFi throughout customers’ homes and businesses.
Erin has an MBA from the University of Colorado, and holds a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from Canisius College, in her hometown of Buffalo, New York. After completing her Master’s degree, Erin had the amazing experience of teaching sixth grade math to at-risk kids for two years. She then transitioned into the business world, spending just over six years with Cricket Communications’ Data Services team. Erin defined the go-to-market plan for the launch of Cricket’s first smartphones, and managed the cross-functional team responsible for launch, and later had the opportunity to run Cricket’s Mobile Wallet trial.
Outside of work, Erin is extremely family oriented. She’s enjoying being a mom to her one-year-old daughter. As time permits, Erin and her husband enjoy getting out around Denver, trying new restaurants or breweries, or getting up to the mountains for a hike with the baby and their two rescue dogs.
Grace Wiggins, Senior Supply Chain Demand Planner, Charter Communications
Grace Wiggins serves as the Senior Supply Chain Demand Planner and has been with Charter Communications for three years. She works in Supply Chain Management and is responsible for demand planning of Customer Premise Equipment across the enterprise. She oversees the flow of product from various suppliers to Charter’s fourteen hub operation locations and manages over $250 million worth of new inventory annually.
Grace received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Operations Management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also received her Certification in Production and Inventory Management from APICS, as well as Lean Certification Training.
She grew up in North Carolina but now resides in Denver, Colorado and enjoys everything outdoors. She loves watching and playing soccer, hiking, playing tennis, and running.
About Women in Cable Telecommunications Rocky Mountain Chapter
The Rocky Mountain Chapter of WICT serves as the region's leading cable and telecommunications association committed to advancing women's careers and enriching their lives through personal and professional development and leadership opportunities. Seven hundred and fifty members strong, WICT Rocky Mountain offers a variety of acclaimed programs, services and opportunities to ensure that leaders at all levels have the knowledge, connections and tools to reach their personal and professional goals. For more information about WICT Rocky Mountain, to become a member, and learn more about local programs visit http://wictrm.org and follow us on Twitter @WICTRM #WalkofFame.
For more than thirty years, Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) has partnered with cable and telecommunications leaders to provide professional development programs, research and services that help advance women in cable media. With nearly 10,000 members, WICT is the oldest and largest professional association serving women in the cable and telecommunications industry. Comcast/NBCUniversal, Time Warner Cable, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. and Suddenlink Communications are WICT's Strategic Touchstone Partners. Please visit www.wict.org or follow @WICT on Twitter for more information.