Senior VP, Affiliate Marketing and Product Strategy
Home Box Office
Bernadette Aulestia oversees HBO's marketing efforts in subscriber acquisition and retention. She also handles marketing of the network's subscription video-on-demand services, HBO On Demand and Cinemax On Demand, as well as advanced products such as HDTV, ITV and broadband.
“I have been privileged to be part of a company that shares my values and that has encouraged my own personal commitment for multiethnic diversity in our workplace and our businesses,” said Aulestia, who joined HBO in 1997. She designed and oversaw the network's first national Hispanic brand campaign and the creation of HBO Latino.
Being named one of this year's Luminaries “is especially meaningful given the very foundation of what NAMIC stands for and the opportunities it provides for multiethnic professionals to be part of one the most dynamic industries today,” said Aulestia. “In fact, it was through my involvement with the New York chapter early in my career that I came to know the very person who hired me for my first job at HBO back in 1997.”
Prior to HBO, Aulestia worked at Univision, Turner Broadcasting System and Kidder, Peabody.
VP and General Manager, Southeast Ohio
Time Warner Cable
Wally Bakare oversees end-to-end operations for Time Warner Cable systems in Southeast Ohio that serve 23 counties and 200 communities. Before assuming his current post in April 2008, he was vice president and general manager of regional voice services for TWC in Los Angeles.
Prior to that, he spent several years with Comcast in Alexandria, Va., and Baltimore. Bakare immigrated to the U.S. from Nigeria in 1995. He started in the telecommunications industry with Nextel Communications's accounting department.
“My living credo has been to be deliberate in finding opportunities to make a difference wherever I am,” he said. “To be given this recognition by NAMIC is an affirmation that the people around me are witnesses to my efforts to live out this creed.
“As a benefactor of NAMIC's investment through the Executive Leadership Development Program, I can attest to the continued relevance and significance of the organization in the attraction and development of talents for the industry.”
At TWC, Bakare has served as chairman of the West Region Diversity Council and as a member of the MSO's National Diversity Council.
Chief Marketing Officer
Turner Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media
Brenda Freeman provides overall vision and leadership to all areas of marketing, on-air and trade creative services that support the TV and online businesses of Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang, as well as the digital enterprises GameTap and Super Deluxe.
Freeman was part of the team that secured Cartoon Network's collaboration with Lucasfilm and forged marketing partnerships for the hit animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Before joining Turner, she was senior vice president of integrated marketing and promotions for Nickelodeon and MTV Networks Kids and Family Group. Prior to that, she was vice president of consumer marketing for VH1 and had worked as vice president of affiliate marketing for the MTV Networks Entertainment Group.
Freeman participates in one of Turner's Business Resource Groups, “Black Professionals @ Turner,” which fosters professional development through networking and outreach opportunities. She is also spearheading a company-wide diversity initiative.
“I am honored to accept the NAMIC Luminary Award,” said Freeman. “It means a lot to me to be recognized by my peers.”
Glenn Goldsmith has been with Mediacom Communications for 11 years, starting as a college intern and then formally joining in 1998 as a staff accountant.
Since then, he's worked his way up through the programming department, from manager to director to senior director, culminating with his current position as vice president of programming. He is the company's first black VP.
While working full-time at the Middletown, N.Y.-based MSO, he received his master's in business administration. He has been instrumental in Mediacom's internship efforts, helping foster a program with his alma mater, Marist College.
Previously, he worked as developmental aide for the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.
“I would like to thank NAMIC for this prestigious award and commend the Next Generation Leaders and my fellow Luminaries for their extraordinary contributions to the cable business,” Goldsmith said. “It is an honor to be recognized for efforts that reflect Mediacom's commitment to its employees, customers and the communities we serve.”
VP, Business Management
Naz Haider has helped create new business models for ABC Family's original movies, series and acquisitions while driving new revenue streams from digital advertising and international sales.
Haider, who grew up in Calcutta, India, began his career at Deloitte Management Consulting as a business analyst, and later joined Cambridge Management Consulting. A Harvard Business School graduate, he was recruited by The Walt Disney Co. to lead operational efficiency projects within its strategic sourcing group.
Haider is co-founder of The Indus Entrepreneur's (TiE) Entertainment and Media group, a support organization for South Asians in the TV and movie business. He is also a NAMIC member and part of the organization's L. Patrick Mellon Mentorship program.
A participant in Disney's mentorship program for senior executives, he is chairing a team to develop a multicultural mentorship program for a broader employee base.
“[NAMIC's] dedication to empowering people of every ethnicity and uniting individuals is truly inspiring,” Haider said. “To be included in such an esteemed group is a privilege.”
VP, Office of Global Inclusion
Juan Herrera helps create and implement internal employee development and retention initiatives at MTV Networks. He develops strategic approaches to attract diverse talent and meet business objectives, and serves as executive champion of the company-wide Latino employee affinity group.
Herrera also advises senior management and the various diversity teams on sponsorship and partnership opportunities outside the company, and is responsible for managing relationships with partner organizations to support MTVN's external relations and diversity goals.
He has played a role in the advertising sales and digital media initiatives developed by NAMIC, as well as its launch of a Tennessee chapter. He was selected to the NAMIC-UCLA Executive Leadership Development Program and is president of NAMIC New York.
“NAMIC plays a critical role in empowering people of color in the industry,” Herrera said of the organization. “I am proud to represent MTV Networks in this tremendous organization.”
Prior to joining MTVN, he served as director of communications for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
VP, Corporate Development, Comcast Voice Services
Susan Jin Davis provides vital legal and regulatory perspective, ensuring there are no impediments to Comcast's ability to deliver competitive voice and data services. She also helps ensure that the company has a strong voice on legislative issues that concern the entire cable industry.
With over 18 years of telecommunications experience, she joined Comcast in 2005. Previously, she was vice president of investor relations and external affairs for Covad Communications, a Silicon Valley broadband company. Prior to that, she worked at MCI Communications and for the Pennsylvania attorney general's office.
At Comcast, she is a member of the Diversity Steering Committee, which provides counsel for the company's commitment to diversity. She also serves on the boards of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics and NAMIC's Philadelphia chapter.
“A commitment to diversity is among my life's missions,” she said, “and I will continue to be an advocate for issues of importance to the Asian-American community and work with NAMIC to be an example to others in the industry.”
Flavio Morales has been vice president of programming at Mun2 since February of 2005. Supervising overall programming strategy and on-air content, he has helped garner widespread recognition for the network's original programming aimed at Latino youth, including a 2007 Peabody Award.
Morales began creating programming for bicultural Latinos in high school, when he launched a local Los Angeles cult music-variety show and pioneered music from diverse artists such as Caifanes and Ozomatli.
Before joining Mun2, he was director of programming and music for LATV, of which he was a co-founder. Prior to that, he held several positions in media, from music and TV to advertising. At ad agency Wieden & Kennedy, he served as the Latino liaison for clients such as Microsoft and Coca-Cola.
He is a member of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers and has worked with NAMIC.
“It is great to be recognized by an organization like NAMIC which is so deeply committed to advocating multiethnic diversity in the industry,” Morales said.
Area VP, Connecticut and New York
Michael Parker manages technical operations, service fulfillment and financial performance for an operation with nearly 550,000 customers and 700 employees.
Parker, who joined Comcast in 2001, was selected as one of only 40 employees to participate in the Comcast Emerging Leaders Mentoring Program. He was also recently accepted into Comcast's Executive Leadership Program.
A graduate of the U.S. Marine Corps Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Va., he attained the rank of first lieutenant during his year of service. He also holds a master's in business administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, with degrees from the University of Miami School of Law and Lake Forest College.
A strong ambassador of NAMIC, he actively promotes its events and has served as a mentor.
“NAMIC's focus on education has been extremely important to my career, and thanks to ELDP [Executive Leadership Development Program] as well as the CTAM Executive Management Program Fellowship, I know I am a better leader than I was before attending,” Parker said.
Senior VP of Marketing, Creative and Brand Strategy
In his role at Food Network, Michael Smith oversees consumer marketing, advertising, media planning, creative services, on-air promotion and public relations. He has been with the network since 1998. Previously, he worked for Disney/ABC Cable Networks and the CBS Television Network.
Smith's commitment to diversity has had an impact at Food Network and parent company Scripps Networks Interactive, where he has been active on the company's formal Diversity Committee since 2004.
He was also president of NAMIC's Southern California chapter from 1994 to 1996, completed the 2002-03 NAMIC Executive Leadership Development Program and was a mentor in the L. Patrick Mellon Mentorship Program since 2002.
“They say it takes a village to raise a successful child. I think the same goes for successful careers. Too often during my long career, I've been the only person of color in the room,” Smith said. “Through the years, NAMIC has always been my 'village,' providing me with community, mentoring, information, resources, and most of all, sustaining my belief that, yes, people that look like me can make it in the cable industry.”