Speaking to the crowd gathered for the WICT DC/Baltimore chapter’s annual PowerBrokers Breakfast Thursday, Comcast regional svp for the beltway region Mary McLaughlin said that everyone has the power to be a catalyst.
The message echoed the theme for the event, which also honors the chapter’s Touchstones of Leadership Award recipients. Those touchstones form the foundation for all of WICT’s initiatives, including that of being a catalyst in your organization and your life.
In becoming one of those catalysts, McLaughlin likes to think of it in terms of developing catalyst superpowers. Her first suggestion was to have a point of view and the courage to speak out. “If we are silent, we can’t be a catalyst for anything or anybody,” McLaughlin said, pointing to the example set by Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. “Have a point of view, speak out.” She also encouraged the audience to be lifelong learners, spend time with those that have different viewpoints, to say yes and get uncomfortable and to give back anytime you get a chance.
Among the morning’s award recipients was Cox Communication’s vp, national inbound sales, centers of excellence, Stephanie DeWald. Earning the Geraldine B. Laybourne Fearless Award, DeWald described how her career path has been all thanks to her raising her hand when opportunity knocked.
“Ask yourself why not,” DeWald said, adding that everyone is always watching what you do and how you do it. “You are teaching people to be fearless too.”
CTAM svp, advanced products, Angela Britt was the recipient of the Communicate Award. Britt said that her days as president of WICT’s Mid-Atlantic chapter was a catalyst for her to improve her leadership skills and develop more self-confidence.
Winning the Connect Award was The T. Howard Foundation’s pres/CEO Josephine Pamphile, who has used her connections throughout the years to find opportunities in the non-profit and private sectors. “Never get too busy to connect with someone,” Pamphile said. She also noted that while you may not know anything upon entering a position or new opportunity, trusting in yourself will allow you to find your footing and succeed. “When you say yes, the ideas start to come,” Pamphile said.
For TV One svp, consumer marketing and creative services, Lori Hall, the path to winning the Know Yourself Award was not an easy one. Making the decision to leave law school and enter into the world of production was the most difficult choice of her life, but that decision to honor who she is led her to her current path. “Feel the fear and do it anyway,” Hall said.
Living up to his reputation as “the nicest guy in cable,” NCTA svp, industry & association affairs, Rob Stoddard used his acceptance speech for the Inspire Award to give credit to those that have inspired him throughout his career, including his fellow honorees. “They inspire me to remember that there is strength in numbers, that you can change the world when you put your mind to it, and that Wonder Woman is not just an action hero,” Stoddard said. “She stands before us here today in many different forms.”
While Comcast regional vp, project management, Kelli Hill could not attend the event in person to accept the Catalyst Award, she had a pretty good excuse. Hill is a member of the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute’s 39th class, and was hard at work developing her skills to be a change agent at her company.
National Geographic Partners vp, national marketing operations, Melayne Cohen said her husband had quite a laugh at her being given the Listen Award. Though she is not afraid to raise her voice and share her opinions, Cohen stressed the importance of asking for advice from those that have come before you.
Wrapping up the morning’s festivities was Charter Communications vp, regulatory & government affairs, Christianna Barnhart accepting the Glenn Britt Emerging Leader Award. She closed the breakfast by encouraging her colleagues to continue being authentic, fair and doing good work every single time they step foot into the office.