It’s true. This is the 25th NCTA Convention that I have managed. And yes, it’s also true, I’m still excited, motivated and having fun. In thinking it through, the answer to "why" is easy. It’s the industry and the industry leadership with whom I have been privileged to work with for 25 years. Each convention chairperson gave me a fresh perspective on the industry and challenged me to create 25 unique shows that, in their time, met the industry’s needs for message, focus and forward direction. From my first chairperson, June Travis, under whose tutelage I took a crash course in the cable industry, to my current chairpersons, Gerry Laybourne and Tom Rutledge, from whom I’m learning the exhilaration of programming, the intricacies of the cable voice business and the promise of business services, each chairperson taught me something, provided a different way of looking at the show and the industry and made each show its own roller coaster ride of exhilarating highs and stomach-churning plunges. The roll call of 25 years of convention chairpersons is a roll call of industry leadership: Matt Blank, Steve Burke, Joe Collins, Jim Cownie, John Goddard, Gus Hauser, Amos Hostetter, Jerry Kent, Jerry Lindauer, Bob Miron, Trygve Myhren, Marc Nathanson, Monty Rifkin, Jim Robbins, Dick Roberts, Brian Roberts, Bill Strange, Ted Turner (twice), Carl Vogel, Larry Wangberg, Maggie Wilderotter and Dubby Wynne. More important, that roll call ratifies this year’s convention theme: "Cable: A Great American Success Story." Each show inspired by this leadership was made real by a splendid, enormously hardworking staff, both internal and external to NCTA. I would love to name each of them but cannot because of the word limitations of this column. But three consistent partners for 25 years are Carol Sullivan, Dan Dobson and Bud Melto. Without their in-depth knowledge, professionalism and creativity the National Shows from 1982 to today would not have succeeded. And for their leadership, advice and the latitude to do what we had to do, I stand with my staff and partners to thank the presidents of NCTA to whom we reported: Tom Wheeler, Jim Mooney, Decker Anstrom, Robert Sachs and Kyle McSlarrow. So yes, it’s 25 years. And yes, the show is still fun and an intriguing challenge. And, just like our theme, the show truly is "A Great American Success Story." We hope you enjoy the show and find it a memorable and valuable experience, providing a well-earned return on your investment of time, money and energy in the cable industry of today and tomorrow. Barbara York is chief administrative officer and SVP, industry affairs, for NCTA.

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