Celebrating Our Change Makers: The Viacommunity Award Winners and Finalists


Carson Smith, Human Resources manager at the Nickelodeon animation studio and recipient of one of the two 2014 Viacommunity Awards, started mentoring and community outreach programs for children throughout Burbank. Tessa Jordan, director of content and brand management at Nickelodeon International, received the other award for her work with Achilles International, supporting people with disabilities in athletics. Each received $10,000 toward their causes.

Our company is filled with people whose spirit of citizenship and teamwork is striking, both in their commitment to local communities and to their community of peers at Viacom. It’s only fitting that at our Viacom Town Hall, a discussion on all things related to our company community, we recognize employees who have demonstrated an extraordinary spirit of Viacommunity.

At the Town Hall yesterday, two of our most giving employees received $10,000 each towards the organizations of their choice. CEO Philippe Dauman presented the first award to Carson Smith, Human Resources manager at the Nickelodeon animation studio. Carson has started mentoring and community outreach programs for children throughout Burbank, and has enlisted many of his colleagues in his efforts. COO Tom Dooley presented the second award to Tessa Jordan, Director of Content and Brand Management at Nickelodeon International.  Through an organization called Achilles International, Tessa supports and inspires people with disabilities in athletics.


Tessa Jordan

These were just two of over 150 nominations that wowed us with the dedication and altruism of our colleagues. Below is more on our wonderful seven finalists, who will receive $500 towards the causes they support.

Dixie Laite






Dixie Laite, Sr. Editorial Director, Nickelodeon, for championing the voiceless, whether supporting underserved communities or advocating on behalf of animal protection organizations.

Gerald Yarborough






Gerald Yarborough, Sr. Designer, Nickelodeon, for mentoring and empowering youth through his work with the Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation (SASF).

Chryssi Mikus






Chryssi Mikus, Manager, Research Viacom, for tirelessly working to raise money and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.Samantha Cucolo





Samantha Cucolo, Counsel, BALA for always volunteering her time and enlisting others to create community while helping the community and the Happy Heart Fund.

Robi Reed photo






Robi Reed, VP talent, Original Programming, BET for leveraging her long term relationships with taste makers, celebrities and others with like minds and hearts to bring awareness to the causes that the Reed For Hope Foundation organization supports, such as ending the spread of HIV/AIDS within vulnerable communities.

Michelle Hawkins






Michelle Hawkins, Program Operations Supervisor, BET, for helping young people strive to meet their long term potential and realize their potential through her work with College Bound.

Aulston Taylor, Account Executive, BET (not pictured), for his efforts to ensure that his former high school, St. Augustine in New Orleans, thrives, and for providing the energy and resources to support its students and community.

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