Listening to a live performance from the sexy, soulful R&B singer Brian McNight before 8 in the morning is surely a way to rev up an audience, as was the case at the NAMIC awards breakfast yesterday. Thousands of cable execs—and supporters, such as the Rev Jesse Jackson —gathered to honor multi-ethnic executives deemed the next generation leaders and luminaries. Hosted by Carl Quintanilla, co-anchor of CNBC‘s "Squawk Box," the awards shined a light on execs such as Comcast‘s Marge Jackson (recipient of Next Generation Leader award), who said "there’s something about cable that gets in your blood, and you’re in it for life." Keys to success, she said, are having the right foundation at home, choosing to work for the right company and having a mentor. Joining Jackson as this year’s Next Generation Leaders (execs of color, age 45 or under) were: Nicktoons’ Keith Dawkins and Cox’s Veenod Kurup. NAMIC’s Luminary Awards winners, saluted for their commitment to promoting multi-ethnic diversity, were: Christine Bragan ( Rainbow Media); Darlene Chapman-Holmes ( AmericanLife TV); Sean Cohan ( A&E TV); Johnita Due ( CNN Worldwide); Sonya Lockett ( BET); Ariela Nerubay ( TuTV); Chris Powell ( Scripps); and Michelle Rice ( TV One).