Persistence, hustle, great mentors and open mindedness were among the factors for success cited by winners, Sweet 16 inductees and Sales Hall of Fame honorees during acceptance speeches at a sold-out CableFAX awards breakfast Thursday in NYC. Hall of Fame inductee Carole Hart of Time Warner Cable noted “what’s more important than knowing the answers today, is anticipating the questions for tomorrow. We must stay relevant. If not, we will be passed by,” she said. Sales Person of the Year Scott Collins of Rainbow credited his success to “great mentors,” while Hall inductee Brad Fox of Comcast cited the luck of “working with the greatest people in the world.” Nearly all applauded their teams, with Hall inductee Linda Yaccarino of Turner summing it up: “You don’t get into the Hall of Fame alone.”

Hall of Fame inductee Mary Jeanne Cavanagh of GMC cited her 4 Ps: prepare, plan, persistence and pride. “And don’t be afraid to say no to bad business,” Cavanagh added.

Sweet 16 honoree Garth Tiedje of Horizon Media urged cable to “challenge us” with addressable advertising and interactive TV. Glow Interactive’s Mike Molnar, another S16er, stressed that understanding interactivity isn’t enough. “You must understand [the client’s] goals and who you are selling to,” he said. S16 honoree Robin D’Elia of Liquid Thread/MediaVest urged cable networks to accept ideas wherever they come from.

While Hall of Fame inductee and Ovation svp Ellen Schned urged the crowd to “embrace change,” Outdoor Channel’s Randy Brown, a Hall inductee, noted the collegiality of buyers and sellers has never been more strained than it is today. Still, friendships endure, Brown said. “I hope that never changes,” he added. HSN evp and Hall inductee Peter Ruben saluted one important change that hasn’t happened. With tongue firmly in cheek, he praised the CableFAX brand for not changing its name despite its shift from FAX to email distribution.

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