Cable led a successful diversity week in New York City this month, from the Walter Kaitz Foundation Dinner co-chaired by Viacom’s Philippe Dauman to the 27th Annual NAMIC (National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications) conference in Times Square. NAMIC’s theme this year was Vision 2043: Inclusion. Inspiration. Imagination. I caught up with NAMIC Board Chair, Michael Armstrong, SVP and GM of BET International & Paramount Channel VIMN, to learn more about the theme’s significance and the highlights from the two-day conference.
“We chose the theme because we always want to be forward thinking, not look backwards, but think about what do we need to be doing as an organization, what kind of information do we need to be imparting as an organization to help us get to where we are going” said Armstrong. “We are going to a country that’s going to be a majority minority in 30 short years.”
Marva Smalls, Executive Vice President, Global Inclusion Strategy, Viacom & Executive Vice President, Public Affairs and Chief of Staff, Nickelodeon Group with moderator, Dr. Addie Perkins Williamson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Perkins Williamson Associates, Inc. facilitated an inspiring class-like session on mentorship.
“We had amazing panels and master classes, including one lead by Marva Smalls and Addie on the diversity front. Really walking through all of the differences and nuances involved in mentorship and differentiating that from what sponsorship is and I think that’s incredibly important for the audience to understand that. That’s a big part of how you manage your career.” – Michael Armstrong
NAMIC planning committee co-chair Juan Herrera, VP, Office of Global Inclusion collaborated with the NAMIC leadership team to bring an impressive roster of speakers to cover an array of industry topics from content development to the marketing.
Dario Spina, EVP Integrated Marketing, Viacom Media Networks and Eddie Hill, SVP Consumer Marketing and Brand Strategy at BET Networks joined a panel of brand builders to adress how new marketing models are transforming business-as- usual. On the panel titled Audience First: How Marketers Will Lead the Next Generation of Media Spina fielded a question about what he looks for in a new hire. “We want disrupters – big idea people” Spina said. “Worlds and screens are converging so we want people that get that and have a strong work ethic.”
Additional Viacom executive highlights included:
- Melody Tan, SVP Strategy and Business Operations for Content Distribution and Marketing served as a panelist for The Changing Content Distribution Terrain session.
- Lori Aiken, SVP Human Resources provided recruitment and retention insights on the Multi-ethnic High Potentials: Addressing Competitive-Edge Leadership Competencies panel.
- LOGO’s Lisa Sherman inspired on the Mobilizing and Empowering LGBT closing panel.