SVP, Eng and Tech Ops, Comcast’s NorthCentral Division
Handling the fiber optic network in Comcast’s NorthCentral Division (6.5mln customers), Adams is responsible for services in the MSO’s largest sector.
Her Concern: "There are simply too few women in tech roles… girls begin to lose interest in math and science around the sixth grade, and as a result, there is just a small pool of women focused on degrees and careers in technology. It’s our responsibility as leaders and parents to coach and mentor young women who have an interest and aptitude for math and science…"
President/Owner, Pam Arment Consulting
A consultant for more than 10 years, Arment’s working for Time Warner Cable in CA with program management responsibilities for the commercial engineering organization cell tower backhaul project.
Top Tech Trend: "The evolution of the industry from a strictly CATV provider to a provider of ubiquitous IP services is the most predominant trend I’ve seen," she says. "The move from what was once a local presence to potentially a provider of national circuits is the direction the technology and industry are heading."
SVP/GM, Communications and Data Services, Comcast
Hugely influential, Avgiris led Comcast’s voice business from zero market-share into the nation’s third-largest phone company.
Top Tech Trend: "Converging services; we’ve been talking about it for years, but it’s really happening — from setting your TV from an iPad, to taking your broadband experience with you, to getting Caller ID information on your phone, PC and TV. It’s the evolution from products to an experience." [An interview with Avgiris appears on page 36.]
President, Bright House Networks
Bergman is the rare female president of an MSO, but she also possesses one of the great tech minds in the business. That’s why she appears here and on our Most Powerful Women in Cable list.
VP, Engineering, Bright House Networks
With more than 23 years of telecom engineering management experience, Calhoun is one of many on our list who’s captured SCTE-WICT’s Women in Technology honor.
Challenge: "The biggest… for any engineer in our industry is staying on top of the newest cable technology, and determining how best to apply that technology for continued growth and service innovation."
VP, Product Engineering, Planning and Strategy, Comcast Communications
One of cable’s leading tech thinkers, Ceasar’s cross-platform work is focused on the iPad at the moment. She’s much in demand as a speaker.
Top Tech Trend: "The ability to deliver compelling cross-platform applications across our converged video, data and voice networks. Xfinity Remote is an exciting example of this enabling search and discovery of video content from your iPad and other mobile devices."
Laurie Dean Baird
Director, Technology Partnerships, TBS
Baird is responsible for global research and partnership development in new media, covering advanced video applications, wireless, broadband, IPTV, social media, and data analytics.
Favorite Tech: "The technology that has captured my imagination… is the iPad, or more generally, tablet PCs and their potential to be a consumer-friendly, living room-attractive, universal remote control that provides a synchronous second screen portal to enhance our ability to discover, explore and interact with TV content."
VP, Engineering Product Management, Time Warner Cable
The former MCI exec is well respected for her work on networked DVRs and expertise in requirement engineering, user interface design, systems integration/test and product support. Egan championed the MSO’s new guide products, deployed in 7mln homes in Time Warner and Bright House markets.
President, Strategic Partnerships and Wholesale, Clearwire
Elder attracts and maintains wholesale partners and investors in support of Clearwire’s 4G WiMAX network.
Top Tech Trend: "The marriage of wireless broadband and cable content that paves the way for completely new consumer applications, like programming and remote DVR functionality via smartphones. I’ve spent my career in both the cable and wireless industries — launching data in Los Angeles for MediaOne and then with Vodafone, so it’s especially exciting to see both worlds come together."
VP, Business Support Systems, TW Cable
The veteran tech exec and Women in Tech honoree is known for her advocacy, particularly her support of WICT’s Tech It Out effort.
VP, Product Development and Management, Cox Communications
Known for her prowess in business services, Faulkner spearheads Cox’s commercial and optical Internet products.
Favorite Tech: "Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), the enabling intelligence that drives real-time communications capabilities such as presence, user call control, video conferencing and more. SIP is transforming the business services communication landscape and evolving how we think about the services we provide."
SVP, Infrastructure and Ops, National Engineering and Tech Ops, Comcast
A WICT-SCTE Women in Tech honoree, Field leads support of Comcast’s national infrastructure and ops for enterprise and customer-facing networks & products.
Favorite Tech: "We have so many different and exciting cable technologies that make the ability to control and receive content anywhere, anytime, with any device a reality," she says. "Our challenge is to make sure we are always on and to provide the best customer experience to the user."
VP, Digital Media, Bravo Media
Ghuneim manages content and operations for BravoTV.com and TelevisionWithoutPity.com. She expanded Bravo’s online portfolio to include lifestyle hubs such as Food by Bravo, Style by Bravo and Guides by Bravo.
EVP, CNN News Services
Named by Women in Technology as one of its Women of the Year (’06), Grant has grown CNN’s newsgathering and affiliate distribution arm from 250 local news stations to more than 800.
SVP, Enterprise Digital Ops and Performance, TBS
Hamilton provides strategic insight for business activities on emerging platforms and facilitates project management for large-scale tech initiatives.
Favorite Tech: "Receiving content anywhere, anytime, on any platform and on devices ranging from the size of your palm to a big screen in your living room. Technology is truly changing our ability to communicate and our accessibility to content and information."
VP, Nav and Subscriber Equipment, TW Cable
WICT’s Rocky Mt Chapter’s ’08 Woman of Technology honoree, Hawkins’ focus is on customer-facing elements of the MSO’s digital navigator product.
VP, Digital Media Technologies and Asset Management, TBS
Holt heads TBS’ Web technology team, overseeing 24-hr tech and ops support for all consumer-facing digital properties.
Top Tech: She’s most excited by "the proliferation of connected devices — smartphones, tablet PCs, and connected televisions that provide exciting new opportunities to deliver our content. These new platforms challenge our technology assumptions and methods about content delivery to the end-consumer."
SVP, Strategic Market Development, Arris
One of the most articulate execs in tech, Howe is that rare individual who’s designed technology and sold it.
Tech Trend: "Our industry has reached a major inflection point with the rapidly growing number of consumer-owned IP-enabled devices and the popularity of over the top competition… this creates an opportunity for operators, programmers and manufacturers to work together to deliver IP content to Gateways and Set-tops that easily connect existing TVs and consumer-owned IP devices throughout the home."
Senior VP, Digital Media, Bravo
The recipient of six news Emmys, Hsia oversees Bravo’s digital and emerging media.
Tech Trend: "I think we’re finally at the point of being able to achieve true trans-media storytelling — that is, the ability to tell a story across multiple devices and technologies, using the strengths of each individual platform to enhance the consumer’s overall experience and innovate with a whole new form of content creation."
Marsha Humphreys Gee
VP, Billing, Suddenlink
Gee maintains all aspects of Suddenlink’s billing systems for its 1.3mln residential customers. She recently co-led a billing statement redesign with an improved, full-color customer-friendly format that cut page printing by 50%.
Work-Life Balance: "The line between our professional responsibilities and home lives is often blurred. Our expectations of ourselves are at times unrealistic. The ability to prioritize our careers and personal goals, recognize we can’t do everything, and celebrate our accomplishments without guilt is a daily struggle."
SVP, Network Ops, HBO
The ’09 Women in Tech honoree, Jaffe has a business pedigree yet she’s moved to the tech side, overseeing HBO’s relationships with distributors and directing assessment of new consumer technologies.
VP, Technology Policy & Industry Affairs, Bright House Networks
The WICT board member evaluates tech policy implications and establishes and drives regulatory strategies.
SVP, Strategic Audience Solutions, TBS
Jones is responsible for leading the emerging technology and audience strategy teams in monetizing audiences and assets.
Favorite Tech: "Content convergence: Tackling the challenge of creating and delivering content in a compelling and highly engaging way while capitalizing on new technology and leveraging the unique role TV plays at the epicenter of content consumption is a challenge that will keep us all busy for years to come."
President, Sea Change International
Arguably the most articulate tech executive in cable and the owner of several patents, the peripatetic Kanouff is a WICT-SCTE Women in Tech honoree and a senior member of SCTE.
Favorite Tech: "I’m excited about seeing the reality of content sharing and advertising as one service, allowing our subscribers to pause their shows and pick them up on another device where they left off."
VP, Digital and New Media, Oxygen Media
Kavanagh’s work in creating the 2-screen experience OxygenLive TV, which allows viewers to watch a show while chatting, tweeting and Facebooking, has boosted ratings for Bad Girls Club.
Exciting Tech Trend: "Innovations in the mobile space designed to enhance the TV-viewing experience. From iPad apps for co-viewing alongside a show that provide access to talent and exclusive content, to apps offering a richer, more interactive way to discover new content and the ability to set DVRs and get reminders."
Area VP, S Carolina, Time Warner Cable
Fresh off a promotion, Keys is another example of an exec with tech oversight who also has a strong financial background. The holder of an MBA, this active mentor advocates for new products and enhancing customer experience.
President, Kinsman Design Associates LLC
Nearly 4 decades in cable, the affable Kinsman’s shelves deservedly are lined with awards, including the Women in Technology honor. She was the first woman inducted into SCTE’s Hall of Fame.
Top Tech: "As a member of SCTE’s Standards Group, I have been following… the Radio Frequency over Glass Fiber-to-the-Home Specification (RFoG), which is progressing toward passage… It’s exciting that our industry has come together to create this standard that will deploy fiber in the plant, while being compatible with the existing RF/DOCSIS/HFC network."
Data Engineer, Atlantic Region, Suddenlink
The SCTE regional board member oversees networks that support video, data, DOCSIS and commercial services in 7 states.
On Women in Tech: "The biggest challenges are those we put in our own way. We create our own limits because we hesitate or doubt ourselves. If we strive to be technically sound and productive, we can succeed. The industry has been very accepting of me and what I bring to the table even if I must prove my talent upon the first meeting."
CEO, Ruckus Wireless
Known for her innovation and ability to identify new markets, the Hong Kong-born Lo has built several successful computer networking startups.
Tech Trend: "I’m most excited by the integration of 802.11n Wi-Fi and DOCSIS 3.0 to address subs’ appetite for anytime/anywhere broadband… While Wi-Fi is not a substitute for mobile, it’s a convenience for most consumers at home and in public venues, as Wi-Fi is universally embedded in smartphones, tablet PCs, etc. Wi-Fi access is a welcomed relief for many subs as 3G mobile access becomes sluggish…MSOs are taking the high road by leveraging excess capacity… to offer free Wi-Fi."
VP, Emerging Social Web Technologies, Turner Broadcasting System
Developer of CNN’s iReport, the former NASA and Lockheed Martin exec is Turner’s contact for new social computing technologies and trends.
Tech Trends: "The real-time ‘Human Web’ represents the most profound shift since the introduction of cable. Connecting people, ideas and information in a network economy challenges existing business models and invites new ones. As people adopt Social Media… technologists must learn to participate in that broader conversation, understand media as a personal utility, recognize new currencies and embrace design thinking that recognizes and amplifies the user experience as the core of what we do."
VP/GM, Content Service and Ad Sales, TiVo
The former Comcast exec develops broadband content strategy and provides advertisers with interactive products.
Tech Challenge: "It’s getting increasingly confusing for consumers to understand what content services and devices will best serve them on price, selection and ease of use, especially when you factor in issues ranging from licensing windows to tricky technology. Developing a complete, easy-to-use solution that’s attractive to viewers while supporting the economics required for great programming is an exciting challenge."
Principal, iBox Systems
A pioneer in interactive media, Martin’s experience ranges from consumer apps to distribution. She’s engineered multiple milestones, including the first interactive app synchronized with programmer ad sales and traffic systems.
Director, Video Engineering, Cox
Owner of one of the best success stories in cable, the ’06 Women in Tech award honoree began her career as a pole climber; she now directs engineering in several states.
VP, Strategic Sales, US, TOA Technologies
The former Charter marketing and ops exec is an original TOA employee. She’s helped TOA become a leading player in customer-focused, cloud-based mobile workforce management.
Exciting Tech Trend: "Community Wi-Fi Hot Spots, like Xfinity. They allow customers to enjoy a cable’s high-speed access in the community while away from the home. In addition, Community Wi-Fi symbolizes a successful collaboration by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision."
VP, Interactive Platform Dev, Cablevision Systems
Mitchko was the driving force behind the development and architecture of Cablevision’s RS-DVR. She and her colleagues received the 1st Emmy for outstanding achievement in advanced media technology.
SVP, Digital Media Home Category, Scripps Nets
Neil plans digital strategies for Scripps’ sites, while overseeing programming, social, community and overarching growth tactics.
Exciting Tech Trend: "In short: the blurring of the lines between the Web, TV and the phone. Consumers have so much choice, when you combine the numerous programming options with the ability to watch when and where you want on your device of choice, it’s exciting. For me, there isn’t just one technology. The ever-changing nature of technology within our industry is the trend that provides ultimate excitement."
SVP, Blonder Tongue Laboratories
A former designer of Space Shuttle comm systems, Nikoo develops Blonder Tongue’s product strategy and leads its manufacturing operations.
Exciting Tech Trend: "The speed we are experiencing paradigm shifts and the seemingly infinite opportunity. The processing power is there, the consumer is ready and the applications are constrained only by our imagination. Cable will be competing with all technologies as they merge, so by learning from everything that touches the consumer, we open our minds to the innovation, vision and freedom that emerging technologies offer."
Director, Education and Certification, SCTE
A 25-year MSO veteran, the former SCTE volunteer now leads development and implementation of SCTE’s certification and training programs as a professional staff member.
Exciting Tech Trend: "It’s TV Anywhere, providing new ways to connect to the customer — and they expect it. It’s a logical extension of an individual’s social/communication network. Technology is imbedded in the fabric of the lives of the millennials, and younger. I have a lab built into my home — my teenage daughter — who keeps my outlet fresh."
SVP, Technology Program Management & Business Planning, ESPN
A Betsy Magnus alum and WICT member, Pandiscia helps ESPN business units develop tech roadmaps.
Exciting Tech Trend: "The convergence of broadcast and information technologies will allow fans to get content anywhere, any way and at any time; while the connected business systems will manage rights and clearances, schedules and advertising, enabling media, rights holders and advertisers additional reach."
Rebecca Rusk Lim
Senior Director, Internet and Interactive Development, Starz
A leading exponent of interactive TV, the Betsy Magness alum and WICT member leads product strategy for EBIF and tru2way applications.
Exciting Tech Trend: "The transition to IP video and IP-delivered services will be a game-changer for cable. Interactive television, better navigation and connected devices will become reality… As we partner the personalized experience with strong content choices, the industry and the consumer will benefit."
VP, User Experience, TiVo
The winner of a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive TV, the 10-year TiVo vet is chief designer of the company’s TV, PC, Mac, Web and mobile experiences.
Exciting Tech Trend: "The opportunity to combine over-the-top with Linear and On Demand in a way that highlights cable content, while still making broadband video accessible enough that customers don’t feel the urge to add a broadband-only video device to their A/V setup (which could hurt their long-term relationship with cable)."
VP, Digital Ad Sales Tech Planning, Scripps Networks
At home in tech and on the business side, the Betsy Magness alum established Scripps’ IT Quality Assurance Dept and its Enterprise Business Intelligence Dept.
Exciting New Tech: "It’s Social Media. Businesses, including cable, just now are realizing how important it is to listen to the ‘buzz’ on social sites, discussion groups and even on our own network sites. Word of mouth marketing has always been valuable. We have used focus groups for new ideas, shows, websites, and the like. Now we add another component by having ‘Chief Listening Officers’ monitor what the world (in any language) is saying about our brands. Social media is a company’s worst nightmare when someone with a lot of Twitter followers hears of a bad experience. But, oh, how nice when someone loves the show they saw last night on HGTV."
SVP, Network Ops, Turner Ent Group
Think you have pressure? Sheehan’s responsible for leading tech, ops and traffic systems that support the 7 Turner Broadcasting nets, including TBS and TNT.
Challenges: "Our pipeline of women leaders in technology areas is the biggest need. We must continue to build strong mentor programs within our companies and engineering schools. There is still a decline in enrollment of women in engineering programs; if that trend continues, we will lose any momentum we might be gaining."
VP, Hub Engineering, SoCal, Time Warner Cable
Formerly with Comcast and Adelphia, Terry’s experience runs the gamut of cable tech. She’s worked on and managed projects in digital video, HSD, VOD, ITV, HDTV, DVR and telephony in markets with up to 2.5mln homes passed. A WICT Woman to Watch in ’06, Terry received the WICT-SCTE Women in Technology honor in ’07.
SVP, Sales, Cable, Telco, New Media Initiatives, Ascent Media
An 18-year cable vet, the former Discovery Networks executive, CTAM chapter president and Betsy Magness alum organized a companywide holiday charitable event to raise money to support the homeless. She’s also a dedicated mentor of young women with her own foundation that has provided college scholarships.
Mary ‘Mimi’ Thigpen
SVP, Strategy, Cox Communications
Thigpen’s portfolio stretches across all of Cox’s products and services. She’s also involved in market strategies for emerging technologies, investments, wireless efforts and is Cox’s chief consultant on companywide initiatives, strategic planning and development.
Exciting Tech Trends: "One of the most exciting is the blurring of the lines between the creator and the consumer of entertainment and communications services. Our customers expect global access to digital content that spans every aspect of their business and personal lives, much of which they create or aggregate themselves. This implies that we have to keep pace with bandwidth and storage capacity, improve user interfaces for search and navigation and allow easy sharing while simultaneously protecting personal information. All of these create unique opportunities for the cable industry to make complex technology challenges simple for our customers to enjoy."
VP, Emerging Media, Bravo Media
Having honed her skills at Ensequence and Vodafone, Viles is well placed to supervise Bravo’s wireless, interactive TV, gaming and other emerging media initiatives.
Exciting Tech Trend: "Social television as enabled through the growing deployment of remote control-based experiences, use of mobile technologies and new widget platforms allow fans to interact with each other and, in some cases, talent during their favorite shows. These technologies are allowing people to connect in real time to create an instant live water cooler while they are watching the show."
VP, Technical Operations, Greater Boston Region, Comcast
Wante’s summer promotion doubled her load; she now oversees 2,300 employees who provide services to nearly 2mln residential and business customers. She oversaw completion of the huge digital upgrade.
Favorite Tech: "Having true network convergence on our IP platform and remote authentication that will allow us to deliver content and products any place, anytime, anywhere, on a multitude of devices."