As we honor the CableFAX 100 and our Top Women in Cable, it seems only appropriate to highlight some important but lesser known executives whose contributions, drive and passion suggest to us that they’re destined for even more greatness in the future. It’s an incomplete list, to be sure. But you gotta start somewhere, right?

Patrick Baldwin – Retirement Living TV – gm

Yeah, he’s our favorite Baldwin. And this wunderkind continues to do a stellar job inking deals and getting the word out on RLTV. Oh, and Florence Henderson loves him. That’s enough of an endorsement for us.

Bernard Bell – TV One – svp, Office of the President

There are many reasons we included Bell on this list—including his reputation, work ethic and "rising star" status—but the clincher was that title. Office of the President? How cool is that? In truth, the title fits as Bell’s important role is to forge vital business partnerships for TV One. No word on whether his office is oval-shaped.

Brad Dancer – National Geographic Channel – svp, research and digital media

Does he actually dance? We’re not sure. But Dancer certainly has been waltzing his way up at NatGeo since coming on board as one of the first NatGeo employees in 2000. His research vitally supports NatGeo’s program development, promotion and strategy. His latest feat: Redesigning NatGeoTV.com into an interactive gem.

Kathryn Falk – Cox N VA – vp, public affairs and comm

As the economy sputters and competition heats up, connecting with local subs has never been more vital. Falk has become a fixture in Northern Virginia because of her skillful on-air appearances that have continued to put Cox in a good light. No wonder Cox keeps winning those JD Power awards. We think she’s just getting started.

Leslie Furuta

TV Guide Network – vp, communications and publicity

It’s rare to find someone so productive, professional and focused—and yet so darned nice. As TV Guide Net has evolved into a bonafide entertainment net, Furuta has skillfully won respect and admiration from even the most disagreeable trade-press hacks (including us). Consider us Furuta fanatics.

Rebecca Glashow – Discovery Communications – vp, new media distribution, affiliate sales & distribution

As alternative platforms become all the rage, Glashow is literally on the bleeding edge, making a multiplatform impact with mobile content and new media deals designed to extend Discovery’s brand… perhaps to infinity. With sensei Bill Goodwyn teaching her the ropes, we have a feeling she’s going places.

Toby Graff – Lifetime – svp, public affairs and comm

Graff’s political experience (she was deputy press secretary for then-First Lady Hillary Clinton) has served her well at Lifetime. Case in point: her team helped get a bill passed and signed into law to eliminate the backlog of untested DNA evidence from crime scenes and put tens of thousands of rapists in jail. Talk about influence.

Charlie Herrin – Comcast Interactive Media – svp, product development and portal services

Herrin has been the one in charge of finding new revenue and adding innovative new features at Comcast.net. In addition, he also thinks of new ways to exploit Comcast’s broadband service. With a pre-Comcast background in wireless, we’re guessing Herrin will come in handy as the quad-play develops.

Mark Kang

The Sportsman Channel – vp, affiliate relations

Kang is more than a great networker and brand promoter. He lives and breathes this stuff. In fact, anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes with Kang knows that his New York City address doesn’t get in the way of his knowledge of the outdoors. And where better to convince big media that millions of sportsmen watch TV?

Patrick Knorr – Sunflower Broadband – gm

For the gm of a tiny cable system in Kansas, Knorr has become a major force in the cable industry through his advocacy efforts for small operators and his constant involvement in industry events and initiatives. In addition, he isn’t afraid to take risks on new technology and services despite his small-op status.

Noah Kodeck – Comcast Cable, Eastern Division – director, local on-demand programming and production

Pssst. Have you heard that Comcast is really, really into VOD? And have you heard about the renewed focus on localism? In Comcast’s hyper-competitive Eastern Division, Kodeck helps the largest MSO stay on the cutting edge. And the Comcast brass is starting to notice. That’s a good thing.

Heather McCallion – NBCU — vp, distribution

McCallion is a key component of NBCU’s exceptional distribution team, and she brings a sense of passion and professionalism to everything she does. Oh, and did we mention she helped pull off an excellent BeachTAM in Ft Lauderdale this year? She’s going places, folks.

Stephanie McMahon Levesque

WWE – evp, creative development and operations

And in this corner… Okay, so McMahon Levesque hasn’t exactly flown under the radar. But she certainly hasn’t been content to coast on her name alone, working hard to become a key member of WWE’s management. She is an obvious and well deserved heir to the WWE throne.

Jennifer Medina – Cable Positive — director, programs

With all the great work Cable Positive does every day, it’s hard to single out any one individual. But Medina’s experience and attention to detail has helped this small organization do really big things. She has become an indispensable asset.

Courteney Monroe – HBO — evp, consumer marketing

Anyone who has heard Monroe speak knows that she’s among the most articulate and thoughtful minds in the business. And can anyone deny that HBO commands one of the classiest and most effective marketing machines in cable? Monroe’s star should keep rising.

David Nathanson – TVG — president

In the crowded cable programming environment, it’s certainly not easy to market a network about horse racing. Yet Nathanson has proven himself an effective advocate. And let’s face it: with interactivity finally here, placing bets over TV might someday become a new industry revenue stream.

Pragash Pillai – Bresnan — vp, strategic engineering

Pillai first proved himself at Charter where he helped lead the Long Beach, CA, deployment of the first widescale digital simulcast in the U.S. Now at Bresnan, he’s taking that leadership and engineering intellect to new heights, proving that small ops can innovate with the best of them.

Nancy Pingitore – The Tennis Channel — vp, distribution

Pingitore has contributed so much in her cable career and has never sought the limelight. But we’ve been watching, and this energetic exec has a passion and drive unrivaled by anyone we’ve met. Tennis Channel is lucky to have her.

David Preschlack – ESPN — evp, Disney and ESPN Networks, affiliate U.S. sales and marketing

In many ways, Preschlack has already arrived. But even the most established execs sometimes don’t get the attention they deserve when they’re part of a massive organization like ESPN/Disney. Preschlack has a stellar reputation. And it keeps getting better.

Peter Stern – Time Warner Cable – evp, product mgmt

Stern’s star power is largely established. But with the runaway success of the Start Over and Look Back services for DVR users, we think Stern deserves to be an even bigger star. His only challenge now is whether he can top past performance. We’re betting he will.

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