In a surprise move, National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) president Kathy Johnson resigned her position Thursday, less than two weeks before the start of the association's annual Diversity Week conference.
The NAMIC Board of Directors Thursday announced Johnson's departure "to pursue other interests" after 13 years at the helm of the diversity-tinged organization. The board has begun a broad and immediate search for her replacement, but no further details were available.
In the interim, Daphne Leroy, vice president of marketing and communications, will oversee the day-to-day administration of NAMIC's office reporting to the executive committee until a replacement for Johnson is named.
"Kathy has had a tremendous impact on both NAMIC and the industry as the leader of this organization over the past 13 years and, on behalf of NAMIC's 2400 members and 16 chapters, we are truly appreciative of her stewardship," said Raymond Gutierrez, NAMIC board chair and executive vice president of human resources, CBS Television Networks in a statement. "She has also helped to grow our signature Annual Conference and Awards Breakfast, while guiding our mandate for greater diversity in board/chapter leadership and program participation."
Johnson departure is effective Oct. 7, two days after the end of the 25th annual NAMIC Conference.
Johnson will preside over the two-day conference, which kicks off Oct. 4.
"The opportunity to lead an association that has been at the forefront of advocacy for greater multi-ethnic diversity and inclusion in the media industry has been very rewarding," said Johnson in a statement. "I'm extremely proud of NAMIC's growth and influence, as well as the impact we have made on so many careers, and wish all of the organization's stakeholders continued success."
Johnson became NAMIC's first-ever executive director in September 1998 when she joined the staff of Reid Dugger Consulting Group, NAMIC's former managing partner. Johnson was named executive vice president in January 2003, and president in April of 2006. During her tenure with NAMIC, Johnson transitioned NAMIC to an independently managed entity and relocated the national headquarters from Southern California to New York City.
She also executed the launches of NAMIC's Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) and Leadership Seminar for middle managers, as well as the organization's groundbreaking research on the status of multi-ethnic employment in the cable telecommunications industry-now known as the NAMIC AIM (Advancement Investment Measurement).
Johnson began her career in cable in 1987 as a Walter Kaitz Fellow with Times Mirror Cable Television (now Cox Communications).