NAMIC Plans Leadership Program at UCLA

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Chicago— The National Association for Minorities in Cable last week said it will launch its first executive leadership-development program in September at The Andersen Graduate School of Management of the University of California at Los Angeles.

By early this summer, NAMIC plans to select the 25 members who will participate in the four-session program, set to run from September 2001 to May 2002. Cable programmers, MSOs and suppliers will have a chance to nominate course candidates at the director level and above.

Students will get a crash course on negotiating, team leadership, performance management and career management. Tuition has not yet been finalized.

In making the announcement at its annual awards breakfast here, NAMIC president Patricia Andrews-Keenan credited MTV Networks CEO Tom Freston for his financial support of the new leadership program.

Several years ago, NAMIC launched a mentorship program for young executives. The leadership program is a further step to help companies within the cable industry retain talented people of color.

In her keynote speech last Tuesday, former U.S. Labor Secretary Alexis Herman noted the importance of persistence and mentoring in her career. Her earliest mentors, she said, were her parents.

Herman said her mother "never let others set lower expectations for me."

Starz Encore Group LLC chairman John Sie accepted the Stanley B. Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award. He told the audience that diversity should extend beyond the workplace and into the product the industry creates.

The International Channel, for example, provides television content in 24 different languages targeted to recent immigrants.

"These immigrants need the support of the cable industry," Sie said. "It's important beyond just cash flow, because we're serving the underserved."

Sie came to the U.S. from China at age 14 and taught himself English while attending high school.

In accepting a Friend of NAMIC award, AT&T Broadband of Atlanta senior vice president Steve White promised to make his local chapter the strongest in the country. He challenged other NAMIC members to try and do the same with their own chapters.

White said his mother always told him that education and commitment would bring him to the table.

"She also taught me that sitting at the table can be pretty lonely if you're sitting there alone," White said. "The food tastes much better if you're sharing it with friends and family."

Fox Family general manager Tracy Lawrence received the Tony Cox executive achievement award. She thanked her parents, who were in Chicago to watch her receive the award, for their early mentoring support.

Carlsen Research Inc. CEO Ann Carlsen, who received the L. Patrick Mellon mentorship award, said that the late Mellon helped her change her belief systems regarding racial bias.

"Discrimination is a disease of denial," Carlsen said.

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