NEW YORK, July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Patrick Esser, president of Cox Communications and Wonya Lucas, chief executive officer and president of TV One, LLC, have been named honorary co-chairs for the 26th Annual NAMIC Conference. Presented as part of Diversity Week, the 26th Annual NAMIC Conference is scheduled for September 11-12, 2012 at the Hilton New York in Manhattan. The theme for this year's conference is Diversity4: Culture.Audience.Innovation.Leadership.
Regarded as a signature event of Diversity Week, the 26th Annual NAMIC Conference will feature the industry's business leaders sharing their perspectives on timely topics within concurrent learning track sessions focused on the four pillars of the conference theme: culture, audience, innovation and leadership. The two-day agenda will include compelling special events such as Diversity Town Hall: 2012 Election Forum; the L. Patrick Mellon Mentorship Program Luncheon presented in partnership with Women in Cable Telecommunications and sponsored by the Walter Kaitz Foundation; presentation of the 2012 Mickey Leland Humanitarian Achievement Award; presentation of the Excellence in Multi-cultural Marketing Awards and Local Chapter Recognition Awards; Tech Expo & Diversity Career Fair; Interactive Leadership Development Workshops; and excellent networking opportunities. Additionally, NAMIC will once again co-present the Breakfast Honoring the CableFAX Most Influential Minorities in Cable at this year's conference.
"The conference theme signifies the ever-changing landscape of the media and cable communications industry and the customer base we serve," said NAMIC president and chief executive officer, Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee. "We are honored to have two of our industry's foremost diversity champions, Pat Esser and Wonya Lucas, on board as honorary co-chairs, as we prepare to present a progressive and forward-thinking agenda driven by this year's theme."
A member of NAMIC's Board of Advisors, Esser brings more than 30 years of experience in cable and telecommunications to bear on his role as Cox's top executive, a position he's held since 2006. Cox has earned numerous accolades during Esser's tenure as president; many tied to his personal passion for diversity and inclusion.
In 2006, Cox debuted in DiversityInc's listing of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity; the company has placed in the top 25 for six consecutive years. In 2007, Esser was personally distinguished with recognition as Multichannel News' first "Executive of the Year." Customer service excellence is a Cox hallmark under Esser's leadership and the company has topped 21 J.D. Power and Associates' studies of consumer satisfaction since 2006.
"Diversity permeates the culture, values and business operations at Cox Communications and is foundational as we aggressively compete in the marketplace. Our comprehensive approach uses our people, programming, community engagement initiatives and vendor relationships to better address the broad needs of customers," said Esser. "To us, diversity means understanding the perspectives, needs and priorities of all people and working to include and represent them in our business."
Lucas joined TV One, LLC as the network's chief executive officer and president in 2011. Prior to taking the reigns at TV One, Lucas held senior management positions at Discovery Communications Holdings, LLC including chief operating officer of Discovery Channel and Science Channel. An award-winning executive, Lucas has received many honors such as being named among the "75 Most Powerful Women in Business" by Black Enterprise magazine in 2010; recognized as one of CableFAX Daily's Most Influential Minorities over several years; earning a Brand Builders Award at the 2006 Promax & BDA Conference; and being recognized among the "Women to Watch" at the 2005 Wonder Women of Cable TV Awards.
"I am extraordinarily pleased to partner with Pat for this important industry initiative. Diversity Week is always such an energizing time for NAMIC and I'm privileged to be associated with the week's events in such an integral and rewarding role," said Lucas. "I look forward to working with Pat and the entire NAMIC organization in presenting a dynamic and engaging conference."
In addition to Esser and Lucas serving as honorary co-chairs for the 26th Annual NAMIC Conference, this year's planning committee co-chairs include NAMIC Board Director Juan Herrera, vice president, Office of Global Inclusion, Viacom; Crystal Washington, vice president, External Relations, Diversity & Inclusion, Scripps Networks Interactive; and NAMIC Board Director Donna Rattley Washington, regional vice president, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Comcast Cable.
For more information on the 26th Annual NAMIC Conference including available sponsorship opportunities, contact Sandra Girado, director of Meetings and Events, NAMIC at 212-594-5985. Online registration for the 26th Annual NAMIC Conference is now open and can be accessed by visiting http://www.namic.com. Group registration is available for companies wishing to send multiple employees.
NAMIC (National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications) is the premier organization focusing on multi-ethnic diversity in the communications industry. Founded in 1980 as a non-profit trade association, today NAMIC comprises over 2,700 professionals belonging to a network of 16 chapters nationwide. Through initiatives that focus on education, advocacy and empowerment, NAMIC champions equity and inclusion in the workforce, with special attention given to ensuring that the leadership cadres of our nation's communications industry giants reflect the multi-ethnic richness of the populations they serve. For more information, please visit www.namic.com and stay connected to NAMIC on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and DiversityLive: The Business > Social NAMIC Network.