2015 Executive Speed Mentoring

By: Angel Arocho & Richard Belizaire

On Tuesday September 1st NAMIC Philadelphia held its popular Executive Speed Mentoring Event for the 5th consecutive year. Event participants were greeted by NAMIC volunteers and settled in for an initial networking reception. After the reception’s conclusion the event kicked into high gear with greetings from Angel Arocho, NAMIC Philadelphia’s Chapter President. Angel’s opening remarks included introductions of the Chapter board members, background about NAMIC’s role in the industry and a sincere thank you to all NAMIC committee members and volunteers that worked hard to make the event a reality.

The acknowledgements included a presentation of the “YOU ROCK” award to Shea Marshall for the outstanding work of bringing together the Communications Committee as well as the extensive event logistics and outreach needed to coordinate with the nearly 20-plus Executives participating in the event. The roster of participating executives included a variety of MSO, Broadcast, Consulting industry leaders.

After a quick group photo opportunity with the Mentors and Panelists two of the chapters 2015 sponsors (PWC and CMG Partners) addressed the mentors and mentees. Joe Atkinson of PWC (a long time participant and supporter of the NAMIC Philadelphia Executive Speed Mentoring event) and Mark Chinn of CMG Partners (a new NAMIC Philadelphia sponsor) shared the importance of diversity of thought and perspective in their firms as well as the industry. Both reinforced how critical NAMIC’s mission is to the Communications industry as we continue to empower, educate and advocate for diversity and our Chapter is very thankful for their support.

NAMIC volunteer Mia Beasley-Bonds proceeded to provide the 30-plus mentees in attendance additional instructions for the event. Mentees would meet with different mentors for a focused ~7min speed mentoring sessions through four rounds. When not meeting with a mentor the mentees would participate in an additional Executive Panel hosted by Dionne Vernon (Director BPE at Comcast) a 5 year veteran of the Executive Speed Mentoring event.

This year’s panelists included:

Renee Stern
Director Business Development, Stern and Company

Joe Atkinson
US Advisory Entertainment, Media & Communications Leader, PwC

Matthew Barnhill
EVP, Corporate Market Research, BET

Kevin Johnson
President & CEO, Philadelphia OIC

April Carty-Sipp
VP, Director of Programming, 6abc, WPVI-TV

Some of the questions posed to the panelists included:

–What are some tools and tricks they use to manage, maintain and grow their personal networks?

–Have they ever taken a demotion or lateral career change in order to be better aligned with their long term career goals and what were the results of these career shifts in their specific experiences?

As the mentees cycled through the discussion panel room a variety of career related questions were proposed and addressed by the panelists and host. Joe Atkinson shared his personal journey of 20+ years to his current position as a partner at PwC.  Mathew Barnhill of BET shared his process for self-evaluation which led to his career and industry change which ultimately led him to his current position at BET. All the panelists shared their very diverse decision making processes and paths which ultimately led them to their current roles. The mentees and event audience consisted of newly graduated students and tenured professionals established in their careers, proposing questions from all perspectives. The dialogue between the panelist and audience was so engaging that this portion of the program went over the scheduled allotted time.

After closing comments and thank you remarks the NAMIC Philadelphia Chapter raffled off some items to the attendees as a sign of appreciations which included an Apple Watch as a Grand Prize. Congratulations to our raffle winners:

–Wavey Hull

–Genean Jones

–Danielle Phillips

–Sudhanshu Sharma – Grand Prize

Once again NAMIC Philadelphia would like to thank all of the Executives that took part in our Executive Speed Mentoring event.  The involvement of these dedicated industry leaders helps shape critical thinkers, empower individuals and advance careers by leveraging and unleashing the power of diversity in the communications industry.