(The following executives are listed in alphabetical order.)

Lisa Akhionare, VP, Business Operations, Comcast, Colorado

 
With 20 years of accounting and finance experience, Akhionare has built an impressive career. She provides strategic leadership, financial and operational analysis and even back-office support for the entire Colorado system, which boasts $562 million in operating cash flow, $137 million in capital spending and $5 million in inventory.
Mark Allen, VP, Area Operations, Comcast, Washington D.C.
 
Allen came to D.C. with several accomplishments under his belt. He was an AVP for Comcast in Chicago, serving 350,000 subscribers and overseeing 800 employees. Playing a large part in the integration of AT&T Broadband, Allen is also helping to renegotiate multimillion-dollar third-party call center contracts. NAMIC named him a Next Generation Leader.
Steve Apodaca, President, Charter, West Operating Group
 
Apodaca presides over 6K employees and operations serving 2.5mln customers, thereby driving half of Charter’s unit, revenue and operational cash flow. Known as a savvy negotiator with a persuasive style and fair approach, he’s a deal-maker who insists on identifying stakeholders and holding them accountable. Apodaca uses the relationships he has forged over 18 years with four large cable companies to ultimately benefit Charter, using his trademark traits of commitment, dedication and loyalty.
Wally Bakare, VP/GM, Operations, Time Warner Cable, Mid-Ohio Region
 
Bakare led the digital phone launch team in the L.A. region, resulting in 300% subscriber growth throughout the TWC/Comcast/Adelphia integration. Now in Mid-Ohio, he is responsible for running operations for several systems in the division. He serves as a mentor through NAMIC’s program and was a recipient of the NAMIC Luminary Award. Until recently he was an active board member in Big Brothers/Big Sisters-L.A., where he developed activities for youth. He also worked with the L.A. Urban League to develop an Executive Roundtable featuring executives of color.
Cesar Beltran, Regional VP, Information Technology, Time Warner Cable, New York City Region
 
Beltran has been instrumental in introducing technologies to the New York market and recently conceptualized and implemented a virtual customer service expert system that helps customers resolve technical problems via speech. He is associated with the American Institute of Cancer Research as well as the Christian Children’s Fund, where he helps needy children around the world.
Paul Biava, VP, Operations, Comcast, Central New Jersey
 
Since entering Comcast’s fledgling VP-in-training program, Baiva has risen to manage the most sought-after area in the Garden State, a key battleground with Verizon FiOS. Yet the system touts some of the highest per-customer revenues in the industry. Biava’s gift for inspiring teamwork and fluency in Spanish create a diverse workforce that often meets objectives and elevates the customer experience. Biava is also a frequent speaker at Widener University and Congreso, a non – profit Latino organization in Philadelphia that emphasizes education to tomorrow’s leaders.
Todd F. Brown, Division VP, Comcast Networks, Western Div
 
In the highly competitive Western region, Brown has emerged as a major influencer as he pitches Comcast networks to distributors. Brown’s exceptional analytical skills have helped Comcast Networks’ brass determine how to pitch particular channels most effectively.

Clarence Caldwell, President, Network Operations/Engineering, Time Warner Cable, West Region
 
Caldwell is responsible for all aspects of network operations for the West Region, including the broadband, fiber and switching infrastructure, which supports the products that TWC offers to more than 2mln residential and commercial customers. His earlier work in telecommunications and cable network upgrades has helped him when making the tough decisions on all technical aspects of the infrastructure. Clarence is an involved member of NAMIC, WICT and SCTE, where he shares his technical knowledge.
Mitchell Christopher, VP, Technical Operations, Time Warner Cable, Los Angeles
 
Christopher sees customer-facing employees as key to the industry’s success. In his region he has developed a 250-member technical workforce and is a committed advocate for his customers, taking time to help them with service issues at all times of the day. He also volunteers as a member of the Advisory Council for the South Los Angeles Salvation Army Youth and Community Center, and is an active member of NAMIC, CTAM and SCTE.
Marsha Conaway, Regional VP, Human Resources, Time Warner Cable, Midwest Region
 
Conaway is not only responsible for directing the overall HR function for the Midwest Region, but has also established herself as a leader and a mentor. She is a part of the region’s mentoring program and is also on the company’s Diversity Communications Committee. Conaway has been a member of the board of directors for NAMIC since 2004 and is currently serving a three-year term on the executive board as treasurer.
Dianne Earley, VP/GM, Cox Media, Northern VA
 
Earley guides her charges by ensuring open communication and ownership at every level, a commitment that helped her segment beat the Washington broadcast market ad rev performance by 30+ points earlier this year. She recently brokered a partnership with Comcast that realigned territories in two Northern VA ad sales zones, allowing for county-wide executions of promotional campaigns that helped both MSO’s realize operational efficiencies. Earley mentors local students and is a member of the Board of Visitors at Howard University’s School of Communications.
Kimberly Edmunds, SVP/GM, Cox, KS and AR
 
Edmunds rose through the ranks to her current post in ’03, and now oversees operations serving more than 470K customers in cities including Wichita, Topeka and Arkansas City. She’s a WICT member and a fellow of the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute, serves on the boards of numerous organizations including the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas and the Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce. She volunteers as a big sister to a teenage girl as part of the Big Brothers & Big Sisters program.
Hank Fore, Area VP, Comcast, East Bay, SF Bay Area
 
Under Fore’s leadership of more than 1,100 employees in the Bay Area, Comcast has gotten noticed. It was named one of the 2007 Best Places to Work in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times, East Bay Business Times and the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. Fore negotiates franchises and labor agreements, and serves as a close advisor to Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and on Oakland’s Economic Development committee.
Ricky Frazier, VP, Customer Care, Comcast, Indianapolis Region
 
In just six years at Comcast, Frazier has risen from a call center supervisor to VP, Customer Care in the Indianapolis Region. Known as a motivator who lives and breathes customer service, Frazier also supports the community, participating in Comcast Cares Day and cancer efforts.
Jacqueline Gadsden, VP, Customer Care, Comcast, Greater Boston Region
 
Gadsen has built an organization of more than 1,300 employees under a newly created operating group with 1.8mln customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. And as if that wasn’t enough, she has also developed tools and protocols to improve the customer experience. A civic-minded leader, she previously served as a Big Sister.
Leslie Grayson, VP, Group Operations, Time Warner Cable, National Division
 
Grayson is responsible for providing leadership to seven operating units across seven states, serving more than 200K customers. She is responsible for direct P&L, marketing, government affairs, communications, human resources and technical operations. She is an integral member of TWC’s Diversity & Inclusion and Women’s Leadership Councils. She is a WICT Betsy Magness Leadership Institute Fellow and a Girl Scouts volunteer.
Jason Gumbs, Area VP, Comcast, Chicago West Area
 
Leading a business unit with more than 500,000 customers and nearly 1,000 employees, Gumbs continues to impress with his deft management. Under his leadership, Comcast has already introduced multiple services and technologies, including wideband Internet, universal caller ID to the TV and PC, tru2way and reclamation of the analog B2 tier. Gumbs championed home dispatching and dynamic dispatching of technicians to improve on-time arrival rates and overall service delivery.

Berto Guzman, VP, Affiliate Sales, Si TV
 
When you talk about cable dealmakers, you have to mention Guzman. The veteran salesman has worked his magic here and abroad for companies like Starz and International Channel Networks. At Si TV, Guzman’s achieved distribution and VOD deals throughout the Western Region and nationally. A graduate of the inaugural NAMIC ELDP class, he remains active on NAMIC’s ’09 planning committee. He’s also built homes in Denver with Habitat for Humanity and volunteered with cable colleagues to rebuild Katrina-damaged schools in New Orleans.
Bernadine Han, VP, News, NY1 & NY1 Noticias, Time Warner Cable
 
Han is responsible for talent negotiations and the editorial direction of NY1. Under her guidance, NY1 is No. 1 in the morning, beating network programming in homes where people get Time Warner Cable. She also reinforces the station’s multicultural reach by sponsoring New York City events.
Chuck Harris, VP, Engineering, Time Warner Cable, Mid-Ohio Region
 
Harris’ major responsibilities include deployments within the AOL-Time Warner Road Runner platform compatibility process, VOD and switched digital. He participates in the MSO’s Time to Read program, and has been involved with a golf tournament for cancer survivors and their families. As a former co-chair, he’s seen it grow from 16 to 240+ golfers.
Darrel Hegar, VP/GM, Time Warner Cable, Carolina Region
 
Hegar recently assumed leadership for cable operations in the Carolina Region, where he will be responsible for driving the overall growth and service strategies. He began as VP of sales & marketing and has a proven track record in generating strong customer, revenue and cash flow growth results in large cable systems. Hegar mentors minorities through NAMIC’s program and was the recipient of NAMIC’s 2007 Next Generation Leaders Award.
Marge Jackson, VP, Marketing Strategy, Comcast, Eastern Div
 
Jackson oversees advertising, marketing and related metrics. Her teams consistently rank at the top of sales/marketing metrics, with dozens of her initiatives becoming company best practices. A recipient of NAMIC’s Next Generation Leaders award, Jackson is active in CTAM and a graduate of the WICT Betsy Magness Leadership institute.
Rich Jennings, VP, Fulfillment, Comcast, Freedom Region
 
With authority over field-based customer fulfillment in the Freedom Region (Comcast’s largest system), Jennings oversees one of the most competitive markets in the country, with DirecTV, DISH and Verizon in full force in the majority of his footprint. As lead contact and negotiator for fulfillment activities, he guides business decisions of seven area VPs presidents. He’s an active board member, panelist and lecturer for colleges and community organizations.
Charlene Keys, VP/GM, Time Warner Cable, Columbia/Hilton Head
 
Keys laid the foundation for the achievements of cable products in her area in the wide adoption of the triple play. She was instrumental in securing the regulatory approvals needed for digital telephony and led the introduction and market growth of the product in South Carolina. Keys demonstrates her leadership and commitment through her work with the Midlands Technical College Foundation, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of the Midlands and the board of the Columbia Urban League.
Filemon Lopez, Senior Regional VP, Comcast
 
Lopez has led Comcast’s South Florida operations since 2002 and is regarded as one of the most talented execs in cable. With 950,000 customers and 2,500 employees, Lopez is involved in economic, operations and marketing decisions, and seems to anticipate financial challenges before they occur. In 2008, Lopez was named Outstanding Hispanic Leader by Diamantes of South Florida.
Manny Martinez, VP/GM, Charter Comm, Reno KMA
 
Aided by 29 years of experience, Martinez’s is Charter’s only unit to achieve for two consecutive years a "double-double" (YOY double-digit pro forma revenue and pro forma adjusted EDITDA growth). He’s been a strong advocate for launching particular nets such as The Africa Channel, and last year brokered a deal to save the Northern Nevada Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Ralph Martinez, Area VP, Comcast, South Bay, SF Bay Area
 
Martinez offers cable and Internet services to perhaps the most discerning customers in the country: those pirates of Silicon Valley. He does so with great skill. A 25-year veteran, Martinez is responsible for more than 600 employees. He has served on the Board for the San Francisco State University College of Business and the Mesilla Valley Hospital Foundation in Las Cruces, NM.

Gary McCollum, SVP/GM, Cox, Hampton Roads/Roanoke, VA
 
One of the classiest gentlemen in the business, McCollum added Roanoke to his service area in ’09. That add has him overseeing nearly 700K homes in 15 communities stretching into NC — this after beginning with Cox as a technical trainee in CT. Gary’s commitment to people has him serving on myriad boards, including the VA Cable Telecom Assoc, Norfolk State U Board of Visitors, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance and the Boys and Girls’ Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula.

Charlon McIntosh, VP, Customer Care, Comcast, Greater Denver Region
 
McIntosh — one of the two highest-ranking African-American women in Comcast’s West Division — oversees customer service management for nearly 850,000 customers, two call centers and more than 900 employees. McIntosh handles seven-figure deals with technology and outsource vendors to support customer service ops.

Juan Munoz, Regional VP, Human Resources, Time Warner Cable, Texas Region
 
Munoz has had a proven track record, starting out as an HR director in the corporate office nearly 18 years ago and moving up to his current position overseeing HR for the Texas Region. He has been on the Cable and Telecommunications Human Resource Association’s executive officer committee since 2001, and is serving in the immediate past president role with CTHRA.
Michael Parker, VP, Ops, Comcast, Greater Chicago Region
 
Parker’s work in Connecticut operations won him a promotion to VP and oversight of Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region, where he leads 4,800 employees and serves more than 2 million customers. Known for implementing efficiencies with external vendors and employees, Parker recently received a Luminary Award from NAMIC.
Steve Paulus, Regional VP/GM, Time Warner Cable, Local News Division, NY
 
Paulus is responsible for the operations of New York State’s 24-hour cable news channels, including NY1 News and NY1 Noticias, Albany’s Capital News 9, Syracuse’s News 10 Now, Rochester’s R News, Buffalo’s YNN Buffalo and Texas’ News 8 Austin. In addition to maintaining the stations’ journalistic quality, he has created and evaluated programming, marketing and branding. He brokers deals and decides which news programs will be distributed nationally across Time Warner Cable systems.
Gregory Regis, VP, Ad Sales, Food Network/Fine Living Network, Eastern Region
 
Handling more than 70% of ad sales revenue the Scripps networks generate, Regis has been a nimble liaison between platforms, creating cross-media deals. Nowhere was Regis’ creativity more apparent than when Scripps entries took prizes in our Sales Executive of the Year Awards for brand integration. The campaign featured the winner of Food’s Ultimate Recipe Showdown having his/her favorite recipe served in TGI Friday’s restaurants throughout the country.
Tony Speller, Regional SVP, Comcast, Houston Region
 
Speller began his career with TCI in 1989 as a service tech and worked his way up. Now with more than 18 years under his belt, Speller oversees the key Houston, TX, area and uses his hard-won expertise to inspire employees. Several organizations have recognized Speller’s leadership. He’s received the Urban League of Greater Hartford’s Community Service Award, NAMIC’s Luminary award and many others.
Tony Stubbs, VP, Field Information Technology, Cox, Hampton Roads, VA
 
Toni heads the IT portion of Cox’s newly-combined Hampton Roads and Roanoke, VA, operations, serving nearly 700K customers. Her purview covers 50 team members responsible for consulting, guidance and project management of the MSO’s local technology activities. She’s a member of WICT and the Information Technology Senior Management Forum, an organization for African-American leaders across all disciplines.

Steve Thomas, VP, Tech Ops, Comcast, Michigan Region
 
More than 20 years experience in engineering and operations have prepared Thomas for his current challenge overseeing Comcast service techs across Michigan, serving more than 1.2mln customers. Two examples of his leadership: his integration of Symbol Mobile Devices, which improved appointment consistency and diagnostics; and the rapid-response teams launch, enabling same-day and next-day installations in advance of the DTV transition deadline.
Jacqui Vines, SVP/GM, Cox, LA
 
After beginning in cable as a secretary, Vines now oversees Cox’s third-largest operation. In Baton Rouge, where some head-ends carried just 24 channels, she upped customer access to more than 270 channels, digital phone and HSD service with max speeds of 50Mbps. Vines sits on five boards including the LSU College Advisory Board.
Danielle Wade, VP, Marketing, Bright House Networks, Bakersfield Div
 
Wade is known for her warm personality and her passion for diversity. Her excellent industry reputation is paired with deep family connections in the business through her retired mother and brother.

Donna Rattley Washington, VP, Govt Affairs, Comcast, Greater Washington
 
Washington’s full plate includes Comcast’s government and regulatory affairs as well as its community investment strategy. She also oversees strategic relationships with local and state government agencies. Her special interest work had her spearheading the inaugural Comcast Digital Connectors, a youth-led, broadband technology initiative aimed at economically disadvantaged communities.
Steven A. White, Regional SVP, Comcast, California Region
 
The 26-year vet oversees 7,500 employees serving 2.45 million customers. He recently led the launch of DOCSIS 3.0 extreme 50 Mbps high-speed Internet in CA. White served as chairman of the CCTA Board and sits on CTAM’s Strategic Planning Committee.

Vin Zachariah, RVP, Ops, Time Warner Cable, SW Ohio
 
Much of Zachariah’s success is due to personal initiative. His decision to operate a smaller system so he could learn the business was a key to his success. He now operates an operation serving 650,000+ customers and has 2,000 employees. A civic leader, he and his wife hosted the ’09 Cincinnati Urban League Gala.

2009 Most Influential Minorities in Cable: The Top 50

2009 Most Influential Minorities in Cable: The Second 50

Back to table of contents for CableFAX: The Magazine‘s 2009 Most Influential Minorities in Cable issue.

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