Diversity Sourcer, Talent Acquisition Darian Adriano is a proud first generation Mexican American. After attending a Warner Bros. Studio Tour, he dreamed of one day working for Warner Bros. This came true a year later when he joined the company as a DC Comics Event Intern. During his internship, he worked with the Direct-to-Consumer Marketing team to organize DC Comic’s presence at San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con. After graduating from Arizona State University, he worked at a SAG-AFTRA Franchised Acting and Modeling Agency where he fell in love with recruiting and diversity. In March, he returned to WarnerMedia as one of the company’s first diversity sourcers. Now, Darian partners with business aligned sourcers and recruiters globally in advocating for diverse candidates. He is happy to connect with any event attendee to discuss their career experience and their professional goals.
Jackie Shaheed (Moderator)
Manager, Early Careers - Talent Acquisition Strategic Talent Acquisition professional credited with helping build best-in-class campus and professional recruiting strategies that have been consistently successful in attracting top talent and achieving aggressive hiring goals. Specialize in building internal and external partnerships with organizations to develop and execute diversity recruiting initiatives. Prior to joining WarnerMedia, Jackie spent 15 years recruiting and sourcing in the Financial Services industry specializing in building recruiting strategies for positions including, Actuaries, Risk Management, Marketing, Operations, and several Corporate strategic roles at Prudential Financial, Aon and Guardian. At Guardian, Jackie moved into a role where she managed an intern program and built post graduate early career program tracks. Since working in the early career space, she realized her passion lied in creating connections with students and college graduates with opportunities to develop their careers. Jackie Shaheed stepped into a newly created role at WarnerMedia as the Early Careers Program Manager and is building the strategy to pipeline intern talent into entry level roles and building out an early career program strategy. Jackie received her bachelors degree in Marketing at Saint Peter’s College.
SVP, Head of Equity & Inclusion - International Asif is the Senior Vice President at WarnerMedia for Equity and Inclusion, International. Previously, he was the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Adidas and has a long and rich career in the diversity and inclusion space with senior executive roles at The Telegraph Media Group, EY Financial Services and the City of London Police. He is a board member for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and a member of the board of advisors for Hedley May. Over his 20-year career he has worked in Europe, North America, South America, Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Asif has been credited with impactful global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion activities and programs across organizations, that have created a strong sense of belonging for all and resulted in truly diverse workplaces. He has been key in building synergies between internal and external D&I efforts within organizations, ensuring diversity and inclusion is embedded in all elements of a business, resulting in innovative, creative and inclusive products and services.
He is a Multi-Award Winning Diversity and Inclusion expert with a proven track record in D&I, Sustainability and Social Impact, being listed as one of the most influential Global D&I Leaders by Hive Learning, the CIPD’s Top 20 Power list and a LinkedIn Influencer. He is winner of numerous awards including the highly commended Head of Diversity Award at the European Diversity Awards and was honoured with an MBE in 2017 by the Queen and granted the freedom of the City of London in 2016.
SVP, Digital - Turner Sports Hania Poole is Senior Vice President of Digital for Turner Sports, where she oversees the digital strategy and operations across its portfolio inclusive of Bleacher Report and the Bleacher Report app. Poole’s responsibilities also include oversight of the day-to-day relationship with league partners at the NBA and NCAA. With her diverse industry experience and digital expertise, Poole has overseen the delivery of best-in-class sports content across multiple screens, leading Turner Sports’ streaming strategy.
As SVP of Digital, Poole and her leadership team are responsible for content, operations and product development for the businesses across Bleacher Report, NBA Digital, and NCAA Digital. Under her leadership, the Bleacher Report app received the 2021 Best Mobile Experience award from Hashtag Sports, NBA Digital was honored with a 2021 Sports Emmy for Outstanding Interactive Experience, Event Coverage for the NBA App, and MML areceived the 2018 Sports Emmy for Outstanding Trans-Media Coverage of the 2017 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Poole previously held several leadership positions throughout her Turner career including General Manager of B/R Live where she was responsible for product development, business strategy and operations, content acquisition and marketing efforts for Turner’s new OTT sports platform. Prior to that, she served as VP of Business Operations and GM of NCAA Digital, Director of Business Operations for Turner Sports, focusing on emerging media partnerships for the company’s broad portfolio of leading sports properties – the NBA, NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, Major League Baseball and professional golf. She has also been Director of Business Operations for PGA.com, the official site for the PGA of America.
Before joining the Turner Sports division, Poole was a Senior Product Manager in Turner’s New Product Development group, in which she helped launch PlayON! Sports, a low-cost, live streaming platform for high school and college sports. She also launched TVinContext, a premium advertising offering.
Among her many notable accomplishments, Poole was recognized by AdAge as a distinguished member of its 2018 Women to Watch list, which celebrates executives in marketing, media and advertising who are business visionaries with notable accomplishments from the previous year. She was also listed among Adweek’s 2018 Most Powerful Women in Sports for her influential work across Turner Sports NCAA Digital portfolio and the launch of B/R Live. Poole also ranks among Sports Business Journal’s 2018 list of Game Changers, recognizing women in sports who have made transformative strides in the industry. In both 2018 and 2019, Poole was recognized as by CableFax on their Most Powerful Women in Cable list.
Poole received her bachelor’s degree in public policy and French from Duke University and earned her master’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is based in Atlanta with her husband and two children.
Karla Diaz Sayles
Director, Public Affairs - Corporate Communications & Public Affairs Karla joined Warner Bros. in 2016 and serves as Director of Public Affairs. In this role, she provides government and legislative support to the Studios and Networks Group at the local, state and international level and resolves regulatory, production and community-related issues. She also managed the company’s political contributions.
She previously worked at the County of Los Angeles as a Policy Deputy where she managed health policy and programmatic initiatives for seven years. Most notably, she helped open a new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital and Public Health Center in South Los Angeles, launched thirteen school-based health centers in partnership with National Federally Qualified Health Centers, and lead the County Supervisor’s public health portfolio.
Prior to joining the County, Karla managed public affairs and community outreach campaigns for land-use, transportation, and political campaign clients with Consensus, Inc. Her outreach campaign for Limoneira’s 2007 ballot initiative in the City of Santa Paula was awarded a PRSA Award in Community Relations, Government.
Karla is a Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board and a Board of Trustees member for Zocalo Public Square. She Chairs the Board of WarnerMedia’s Latinx Business Group, Vamos Burbank. She is a member of the Junior League of Los Angeles, serving as President from 2018-2019. Karla holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, International Studies and Spanish Literature from Northwestern University.
Manager, Operations Planning - InternationalLaiz supports demand planning for Physical Games and assets delivery for Digital Video. She enjoys the dynamic nature of her role due to some factors that can influence the demand such as economic shifts, changes in the labor force, global crisis, etc. Laiz’ role includes effectively supporting organizational goals, product positioning and inventory needs for delivering physical or digital content to consumers. Her favorite part of working at WarnerMedia is the wide perspective the organization and Operations team provides.
VP, Distribution Tech Strategy & Integration Quincy Johnson is vice president, Distribution Partner Operations for WarnerMedia. In this role, Johnson provides guidance and strategic direction related to technology issues that impact WarnerMedia’s content distribution business. He is responsible for assisting content deal teams with deal preparation and negotiation, working with account teams and WarnerMedia affiliates to align technology goals and roadmaps and partnering with business development and technology to develop and enhance technology related content strategies across the company. He is based in Atlanta and reports to Joe Bahr, senior vice president Business Development of Partner Operations for WarnerMedia.
Johnson began his career at WarnerMedia over twenty-three years ago as a satellites and transmissions intern and has since been an integral part of the team dedicated to the engineering and development of both broadcast and digital delivery systems for WarnerMedia. Most recently, Johnson was vice president of strategic products for the global technology organization (GTO) where he provided strategic leadership for platform solutions that supported network and digital brand initiatives. Prior to that, he was vice president, digital ad systems and managed the advertising platforms development, integration, testing, and execution for WarnerMedia’s digital properties. Johnson also worked in various leadership and technical positions within technology and operations where his responsibilities included the design, installation, and integration of broadcast systems and technology. He was the engineering lead for the broadcast facility in Buenos Aires, Argentina for WarnerMedia Latin America.
Johnson serves on the board of directors of the Technology Association of Georgia’s Education Collaborative (TAG-Ed) and the board of directors of Victory World Christian School as board treasurer. He has served as the co-Chair of the Black Professionals @ WarnerMedia business resource group and was a past president of the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications’ (NAMIC) Atlanta Chapter. Johnson was named the Society of Cable and Telecommunications Engineer’s (SCTE) Young Engineer of the Year in 2006. He was named a 2015 Georgia Game Changer in Digital Media and Entertainment by the Technology Association of Georgia, and he was a recipient of NAMIC’s 2015 Next Generation Leader Award. Johnson has been listed among “The Most Influential Minorities in Cable” by CableFAX magazine from 2012-2016. Additionally, he received the 2012 Multicultural Leadership Award from the National Diversity Council.
Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering (BSEE) degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Georgia State University. He is also a graduate of the NAMIC Executive Leadership Development Program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Meet The WarnerMedia Managers
Lauren O'Byrne (Moderator)
Sr. Recruiter, University Relations - Talent Acquisition Lauren has been at WarnerMedia for 7 years and moved into recruiting after spending 4+ years in the world of learning and development at Turner. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Health Science from Kennesaw State University and is proof that you don’t have to stick to the career path that your degree dictates. She loves helping shape student’s futures and showing them a career that they may have never thought of in the past. Lauren believes WarnerMedia is the best place to work (slightly biased) and is passionate about recruiting the next generation of talent to THINK BIG and drive the evolution of the entertainment industry!
Manager, Technical Program Management - Digital Products Planning & Operations Elizabeth has been at WarnerMedia for almost 5 years starting as a Program Manager for Operational Processes and working up to be the Manager of global incident response team, supporting HBO Max. Previously, Elizabeth worked at Nordstrom for 8 years, where she started in Seasonal Stock and worked her way up to being a program manager supporting internal tools. Elizabeth has lived in Washington all her life, graduating from Washington State University and currently lives in West Seattle. When she is not working supporting her team and the platform, she loves to spend time outdoors on an adventure.
Project Manager, Special Projects - CNN Sports Jenny DeSantis is the Manager of Special Projects for CNN Sports. In her 14 years working in the sports broadcast industry she has launched new shows, produced coverage of major sporting events, led technology innovations, and coordinated revenue generating sponsorships. She currently works for CNN Sports which produces content across a variety of platforms including CNN, CNN International, CNN Digital and HLN. In addition to managing the departments intern program, she enjoys her work providing production support of major sporting events like the Super Bowl, Final Four and NBA All-Star Weekend. Prior to CNN, she was a video producer and editor for the Detroit Pistons and remains a life-long NBA fan.
Associate Manager, Film Programming - HBO LJ Simpson (he/him) is an Associate Manager of Content Acquisition. A native and resident of Atlanta, GA, LJ started at WarnerMedia as a postgraduate intern in Content Acquisition for the T-Nets. He has since worked in Programming Strategy & Scheduling for the T-Nets and Film Programming for HBO / HBO Max.
Manager, Media Relations Operations - HBORon Radvinsky is a Manager of Operations within Media Relations for almost 2 years. He has been with HBO side of the WarnerMedia family for over 20 years where he was working alongside the EVP of Media Relations and helped support red carpet functions at major media events including Golden Globes, Emmys, SAG Awards, HBO premieres and FYC events. Currently serving as the Media and Talent Relations move coordinator for HBO's relocation to Culver City.
Manager, Communications Affairs & Impact Tai-Chen Bassin is a Manager on WarnerMedia’s Corporate Social Responsibility team, where he manages partnerships with corporate stakeholders, non-profit organizations, creative agencies, production teams, athletes, and industry talent to positively impact communities and connect audiences with content from HBO Max, HBO, CNN, Warner Bros. Bleacher Report, Cartoon Network, and other brands across WarnerMedia’s vast portfolio of networks. His team is actively supporting those within the creative industry affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tai is also the Co-Chair of ARC, WarnerMedia’s Business Resource Group dedicated to fostering Asian diversity and the next generation of talent in media. He previously worked in HBO’s Program Strategy department, where he developed digital marketing campaigns for original series, films, and documentaries.
Tai graduated from Davidson College in 2015 with a degree in English and a concentration in Film & Media Studies.
Interviewing in a Virtual World
Nick Levan (Moderator)
Manager, University Recruiting - Talent Acquisition While relatively new to the management side of University Relations, Nick is company veteran and no stranger to college recruitment. With over 16 years of experience with the company, mostly on the CNN side, Nick has served as a tour manager, executive-level government affairs liaison, and primary university recruiter for CNN Worldwide. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Theater from the University of Georgia and lives south of Atlanta with his wife and three children. Nick’s team is responsible for the recruitment of students in the Content, Creative, News, and Sports verticals of WarnerMedia.
Recruiter, University Relations - Talent Acquisition Kameren has been a Recruiter on the University Relations team at WarnerMedia since February 2020. Previous to WarnerMedia, Kameren worked in the healthcare industry as a Talent Acquisition Specialist. Through her change of industries, she found her passion for guiding those early in their entertainment & media careers. She is a 2015 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor’s in Communication. Kameren is a Floridian at heart, but has lived in Atlanta, New Orleans, and now Los Angeles with her fiancé, Mark, and her dog, Huey.
Recruiter, University Relations - Talent Acquisition Taylor graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in Psychology and Neuroscience in 2017. She got her first taste of life in a media and entertainment company through her time in the Disney College Program, then stumbled into recruiting shortly thereafter. Although her initial intention was to become a mental health counselor, she loved the fact that she can combine her passion for helping others with her newfound interest in finding the right talent. Taylor joined the University Relations team as a recruiter in September 2021 and is excited to bring in talent that will help shape the future of WarnerMedia. She loves helping students develop the professional skills they need to succeed and guiding them as they kick start their careers.
Recruiter, University Relations - Talent Acquisition Tyler is an experienced campus recruiter with a demonstrated history of work in media, advertising, career services, DEI, and early careers. Before WarnerMedia, Tyler spent his first 3 years out of college working at a media agency managing internal/external strategic partnerships to build diverse pipeline funnels at the intern and entry-level and creating innovative and engaging agency-wide programming. Tyler enjoys working with students and helping them to further discover their passion, interests, and full potential.
Day 2: Technology
A Global Approach to Delivering Unmatched Customer Experiences
Kijuan Poland (Moderator)
Lead, Diversity Outreach - Talent Acquisition Kijuan is a Lead on the Diversity Outreach team where he manages the Global Technology function as well as partners for the University Relations/Early Career team. He holds a bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and has worked in manufacturing, quality assurance, logistics, and new product development. He decided to follow his passion for D&I in STEM so he went back to school for an MBA with an HR focus. Kijuan started his HR career in the Aerospace & Defense industry where he led engagement and inclusion efforts for a 50k employee organization, diversity conferences for University Relations, and informed the diversity strategy for experienced talent.
Noreli Garcia-Valentin (Moderator)
Director, Strategic Initiatives - Digital Products Planning & Operations Noreli Garcia Valentin is a business leader with more than a decade in the telecommunications, media and technology sectors. She serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives for @warnermedia Global Direct to Consumer - Technology Growth & Tech Operations. Previously served as the Director and Executive Director of corporate communications for AT&T Latin America’s digital entertainment services unit (Vrio Corp) and AT&T's prepaid wireless business domestic (CricketWireless/AioWireless). A seasoned public affairs professional with tenure in Washington, DC @ DCI Group, Ibarra & Associates and Amplify Public Affairs.
Manager, Quality Assurance - Digital Products Client & Platform Engineering Dawn is the QA Manager for the WarnerMedia Ottawa office. She has been extremely lucky to be part of the software development industry for the past 25 years. Her experience with people leadership was not one that she had planned and she has been fortunate to work in various leadership roles for 6 years. Dawn’s background is in Graphics and Print Publishing. In high school she made up her mind, she was going to live a very creative life. Over the years opportunities opened up for her, which she opened each new door in her career path with energy and enthusiasm. The transition from graphics to software development was unique chance that she was very excited about. A natural curiosity and a keen eye for detail were a perfect blend of skills to become a software tester. Taking a break from people leadership, Dawn was a manual software tester for 16 years. She thrived in a testing role constantly looking for that 4-leaf clover. The chance to lead a team of software testers brought her to where she is today.
In her current role with WarnerMedia, she manages an amazing team of testing professionals. Her experience over the past 5 years has allowed her to work with a diverse group of individuals and she leads her team with a caring supportive approach.
Dawn grew up in the small town of Perth, Ontario Canada. I currently live in Carleton Place Ontario with my husband and two boys just a stones throw from Ottawa, the capital of Canada! For fun, Dawn continues to foster her artistic side by creating fun planters that she sells on Etsy. Her family is her world and together they all train at a Karate club practicing martial arts and mastering the skill of self defense. She is always learning something new about myself and life, and her goal is to never stop.
Executive Director, Workplace Technology Support - Corporate IT Prab Greenwood is Executive Director for Workplace Technology EMEA & APAC. In her role, she leads end user support in over 40 countries and partners with the business through changes and expansions in the two regions. Prab and her team work to transform and globalize technology services to meet new business cultures including on demand Tech Bars, agile spaces and hybrid working.
Advisor, EMEA Tech - Talent AcquisitionDanyel begun in a recruiting agency supporting multi-national clients and supported start-ups building their first teams to large organization like MS. After close to 2 years he decided he wanted to move in-house and found myself working for a DAZN, a large OTT provider for sports globally scaling their Amsterdam offices from scratch and supporting our UK offices for 2.5 years. He then joined WarnerMedia on the HBO Max team supporting TA in EMEA.
Sr. Technical Recruiter, HBO Max - Talent Acquisition James began his recruitment career as an in-house recruiter in the energy sector. After 4 years he moved to a recruiting agency supporting multiple government departments in the National Capital Region of Ottawa. His next step was in the cannabis industry with Canopy Growth, where he partnered with and built out IT, Finance and Engineering teams in a new and growing industry for 3.5 years. He then joined WarnerMedia as a Senior Technical Recruiter supporting HBO Max and CNN+ in Ottawa.
Technical Recruiter, HBO Max - Talent Acquisition Khaheem is a talent and tech enthusiast, passionate about the power of people! He currently supports and partners closely with Engineering and Product teams across HBO Max, CNN+, NCAA MML (March Madness live) Bleacher Report, DC Fandome and other WarnerMedia services as we prepare for several launches across Europe.
Diversity is the New Tech
Scarlette Whyte (Moderator)
Sr. Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategy Scarlette recently joined WarnerMedia as senior director of diversity, equity and inclusion strategy. In her role, she works with the Chief Diversity Officer to carry out DEI strategy across Warner Media brands. Scarlette leads DEI efforts for CNN and Turner Sports. She is thrilled to return to the Warner Media/CNN family.
Prior to rejoining Warner Media, Scarlette oversaw the professional development for producers and on-air talent at the legendary CBS News Washington DC Bureau. She developed and implemented diversity and inclusion strategies for the news division. Scarlette partnered with Talent Acquisitions and Human Resources on recruitment, interviewing and hiring new employees.
Before pivoting to DEI strategy work full-time, Scarlette spent many years as a TV news producer/journalist. She started out at Fox News Channel while pursuing her Masters degree. From there, Scarlette was a producer and talent booker for the political talk show, Hardball with Chris Matthews. In 2016, she joined CNN as a senior producer for the award-winning show, "The Lead w/ Jake Tapper". During her tenure at CNN, she oversaw guest bookings for daily programming as well as primetime specials.
Scarlette is frequently sought after for her expertise in television news. She has guest lectured at the following institutions: University of Southern California, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Temple University, and Morgan State University.
VP, Strategic Initiatives & Chief of Staff - CNN Digital Erin Malone is Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff for CNN Digital. In her role, she leads the transformation of the CNN Digital business, bridging strategy and execution to maximize potential and performance. She and her team are responsible for driving the tight alignment of Digital's work, people, culture and structure. Malone and her team guide leaders and teams in setting business priorities and measuring business outcomes through Objectives and Key Results, drive the adoption of new operating models, strengthen organizational operations and lead the culture strategy and cultural evolution required to navigate this period of growth and change.
Prior to this, Malone was responsible for internal communications and employee engagement for CNN Worldwide for more than six years. In this role, she oversaw a comprehensive internal communications plan that included written communications, web and email platforms, data tracking, and consultation and creation of communications strategy for departments and leaders. She also lead key executive initiatives including leadership meetings, town halls, and executive talks. Malone was responsible for engagement activities that built brand pride, celebrated success and invested employees in business goals and priorities.
SVP, Digital League Business - Turner Sports Yang Adija is SVP, Digital League Business Operations, Growth & Innovation for Turner Sports. In his role he is responsible for managing the overall business operations and daily execution of strategic and tactical initiatives for digital league partnerships with the NBA and NCAA. In addition, Yang leads Turner Sports’ innovation efforts, leading to the development and launch of Blocklete Games, an original IP franchise built on the blockchain, and the organization’s industry-leading NFT efforts.
In his previous role, Yang was VP, Business Operations and Strategy for Turner NBA Digital, in which he managed NBATV, NBA.com, the NBA App and NBA League Pass and worked closely with the League on communication and execution of new business development deals, strategic partnerships, and product initiatives.
Yang has also held the position of Senior Director of strategy and research for Turner Content Distribution (TCD), the domestic distribution and marketing arm of Turner. In this role, he was responsible for developing business strategy for multi-platform content distribution and monetization opportunities in new evolving markets across Turner’s portfolio of networks and brands. Yang was also instrumental in launching FilmStruck, Boomerang and the Turner Podcast Network, new direct to consumer products for Turner.
Prior to joining Turner, Yang was a director in KPMG's advisory practice in Atlanta. As a finance lead, he was responsible for creating and engaging partnership strategies and managed key growth initiative metrics for some of KPMG’s largest international clients. Yang also served in several capacities with the Walt Disney Company including manager of planning, providing financial support during the digital transformation of Disney’s feature animation film business, as well as playing a key role in analyzing Disney’s cable network business.
Yang obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MBA from Fordham University.
Sr. Technical Recruiter, News & Sports - Talent Acquisition Auraum is a Sr. Technical Recruiter that brings over 7 years of Tech Industry experience. He comes to WarnerMedia after helping Verizon Media rebuild and scale its Yahoo Forward rebrand with a focus on engineering talent acquisition. Auraum is a former college athlete from the University at Buffalo and passionate about DEI in corporate hiring with an emphasis on gaining results.
Technology Recruiter, CNN - Talent Acquisition William is a Technology Recruiter based in NYC supporting the News, Sports & Entertainment team. His primary focus for the past 6 months has been on technical roles for CNN Digital and our new streaming app CNN+. William has 4 years of technical recruiting experience and worked at an agency partnering with growth stage tech companies prior to working at WarnerMedia.
@WarnerMediaLife Instagram Live with Muslim Women in Tech
Kijuan Poland (Moderator)
Lead, Diversity Outreach - Talent Acquisition Kijuan is a Lead on the Diversity Outreach team where he manages the Global Technology function as well as partners for the University Relations/Early Career team. He holds a bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and has worked in manufacturing, quality assurance, logistics, and new product development. He decided to follow his passion for D&I in STEM so he went back to school for an MBA with an HR focus. Kijuan started his HR career in the Aerospace & Defense industry where he led engagement and inclusion efforts for a 50k employee organization, diversity conferences for University Relations, and informed the diversity strategy for experienced talent.
Warisha Soomro (Moderator)
Product Designer, Muslim Women in Tech Warisha is a product designer crafting simple solutions to complex problems for galvanizing impact across the world. With experiences across the technology industry ranging from nonprofit, startup, and Fortune 500 spaces, she currently serves as Director of Community Engagement for Muslim Women in Tech - a global community of women leveling up together - while pursuing her Master’s of Science in design and engineering.
Director, Data Engineering - HBO Max Benoit was born and raised in Paris. After receiving his degree and landed his first job in France, he decided to try his luck in the US. Benoit has been in the states on and off for over 10 years working for different media/tech companies along the way. Most recently, he relocated to sunny Los Angeles from New England and very excited to be a part of HBO Max. He currently is in charge of a growing team of talented software/data Engineers.
Director, Product Design & Growth Product - News & Sports Heather Buchma is an NYC-based digital design leader with over a decade of experience building lovable digital products and highly-converting consumer experiences. She currently leads Product Design for the Product Growth team, focusing on CNN+ subscriber growth and retention.
Manager, Early Careers - Talent AcquisitionStrategic Talent Acquisition professional credited with helping build best-in-class campus and professional recruiting strategies that have been consistently successful in attracting top talent and achieving aggressive hiring goals. Specialize in building internal and external partnerships with organizations to develop and execute diversity recruiting initiatives. Prior to joining WarnerMedia, Jackie spent 15 years recruiting and sourcing in the Financial Services industry specializing in building recruiting strategies for positions including, Actuaries, Risk Management, Marketing, Operations, and several Corporate strategic roles at Prudential Financial, Aon and Guardian. At Guardian, Jackie moved into a role where she managed an intern program and built post graduate early career program tracks. Since working in the early career space, she realized her passion lied in creating connections with students and college graduates with opportunities to develop their careers. Jackie Shaheed stepped into a newly created role at WarnerMedia as the Early Careers Program Manager and is building the strategy to pipeline intern talent into entry level roles and building out an early career program strategy. Jackie received her bachelors degree in Marketing at Saint Peter’s College.
Sr. Technical Sourcer, Talent AcquisitionWith more than 15 years’ experience providing full life-cycle recruiting, sourcing, training and talent development for major corporations, agencies and government, Jenni Sciacca is currently working as the Sr. Technical Recruiting Sourcer for the product, analytics and Marketing Technology teams.
Sr. Technical Sourcer, Talent Acquisition Mandy joined WarnerMedia this past June, bringing 10 years of recruiting experience, seven of which were in the tech space (Amazon + Forsythe Technology). A graduate of Indiana University, Mandy started her career in an agency setting, eventually pivoting to corporate recruiting where she found her passion.
Mandy quickly makes candidates feel like more than a list of professional experiences. Her candidates know that she has their best interest at heart and advocates for them during the interview process.
When she’s not at the office, Mandy spends time with her wife, traveling the world and exploring the newest restaurants and events that Chicago has to offer.
Day 3: Creative & Content, News & Sports
CNN Original Series & CNN Films Present: Documentary 101
Sr. Director, Content Development - CNN Films Alex Hannibal is Senior Director of content development for CNN Films. Hannibal joined CNN in 2016 and is responsible for the development and acquisitions of CNN Films titles. Most recently, she served as executive producer for a short film anthology produced by Scheme Engine and as supervising producer for DREAMLAND: The Burning of Black Wallstreet, directed by Salima Karoma. Hannibal’s other recent credits include JOHN LEWIS: Good Trouble, directed by Dawn Porter, SCANDALOUS: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer, directed by Mark Landsman, LINDA RONSTADT: The Sound of My Voice, directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, APOLLO 11, directed by Todd Douglas Miller, HALSTON, directed by Frédéric Tcheng, THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS, directed by Tim Wardle; and the Oscar-nominated RBG, directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen.
VP, Program Development - CNN Original Series Jon Adler is Vice President of Program Development for CNN Original Series, based in New York City. Adler leads the development team tasked with developing award-winning programming for the CNN Original Series banner. He is responsible for identifying innovative projects and for cultivating relationships within the creative community among production companies, filmmakers, and content creators. Adler joined CNN in 2012 when the original programming group was conceptualized and helped launch its initial slate of programming. CNN Original Series now produces approximately ten series each year. To date, Adler has worked on more than 30 Original Series, including the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, Emmy Award-winning United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell and Emmy Award-winning Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy.
Director, Development - CNN Original Series Katie Isaacson is the Director of Development for CNN Original Series based in New York City. She is responsible for cultivating relationships within the creative community and developing original programming across a variety of CNN platforms. She works closely with the wider CNN Original Series team to develop and produce series such as The History of the Sitcom and Emmy Award winning Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy.
SVP, Program Development - CNN Original Series As the SVP of CNN Original Series, Gamm has overseen multiple series including United Shades of America with Kamau Bell, First Ladies, The History of the Sitcom, This is Life with Lisa Ling and recently won an Emmy for his work on Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy. Previously the VP of Programming for Pivot TV/Participant Media, he was executive producer on projects such as Secret Lives of Americans, Truth and Power, Angry Planet, Welcome to Fairfax and HitRecord on TV. He has also worked closely with director-producer R.J. Cutler on several projects including The September Issue and Fish, and the series The Residents, American Candidate, 30 Days, and Dear… . Gamm also produced episodes of director Brett Morgan’s Peabody Award winning series Nimrod Nation, and director Alex Gibney’s The Human Behavior Experiments.
Supervising Producer, CNN Original Series Rishika Advani is a Supervising Producer at CNN Original Series, based in in Los Angeles. She is part of the creative team that oversees non-fiction series in production. The documentaries she has recently supervised include Lincoln: Divided We Stand, Jerusalem: City of Faith and Fury, and the upcoming series, LBJ: Triumph and Tragedy. Prior to CNN, Advani spent many years as a freelance producer/writer/director in the unscripted space. Advani’s credits include, Dear … for Apple+, Lost in Transition for TLC, 30 Days for FX, American Candidate for Showtime, Switched! for ABC Family, The 750 Pound Man for TLC and the critically acclaimed documentary feature, Meet the Patels.
Sr. Manager, Development - CNN Films Ryan Robinson is Senior Manager of Development for CNN Films. Robinson joined CNN in 2016 and works across both series and films content. Most recently she’s worked on the 80-episode crime franchise VENGEANCE, Three Identical Strangers, Apollo 11 and Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice. She is based in Los Angeles.
Editorial Briefing: The Production Cycle At WarnerMedia News & Sports
Cathy Straight (Moderator)
VP, Features & Opinion - CNN Digital Cathy Straight is Vice President of Features and Opinion for CNN Digital, overseeing all beats and views that expand beyond hard news coverage.
Straight works to align and amplify CNN Digital's content diversity, including key beats like entertainment, culture, wellness, travel, style, space, relationships, identity, and a diverse range of contributors and voices.
In life before CNN, Straight was Senior Assignment Editor for the national news team at USA Today, Managing Editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Assistant Managing Editor at The Tennessean. In 2005 she was part of a Knight Ridder team of journalists dispatched to the Mississippi Gulf Coast for local and national coverage of Hurricane Katrina for the Sun Herald newspaper, whose coverage won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
At CNN Digital Straight previously held the role of executive editor of national news, overseeing digital coverage of the top U.S. national news stories of the day for nearly seven years. She led the formation of CNN's Race and Equality team and took leadership on CNN's award-winning 5 Things Newsletter.
Straight, a native of Mississippi, holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi, where she was inducted into the School of Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame in 2007.
Producer, Turner Sports Keith Robinson is a Producer for Turner Sports. In this role, he handles studio productions for some of the largest tent-pole events and programming including Inside the NBA, MLB on TBS, The Arena, The Match and NBATVs GameTime. A four-time Sports Emmy award-winner, Keith also has lead productions for Bleacher Report including the launch of their Open Court competition while playing an important role in the launch of ELEAGUE and Area 21 with Kevin Garnett.
Prior to joining Turner Sports in 2012, Keith spent 6 years at KSDK-TV, the local NBC-affiliate in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.
Keith works diligently within sports industry community. He serves as a member of the sports task force of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.
Keith earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Southeast Missouri State University.
Executive Producer, Planning & Programming - HLN's Morning Express with Robin Meade Melody Taylor is the executive producer of Morning Express with Robin Meade, the signature daily news show on HLN (CNN Headline News), overseeing its 20 hours of weekly news programming.
In her nine years at CNN based in Atlanta, Taylor rose through the ranks of the company at HLN and CNN International, starting first as producer before serving as a senior producer, then executive producer of Weekend Express. In September 2018, she took the helm of Morning Express.
Taylor has served as lead producer/executive producer for several of the network's biggest breaking news stories and specials over the years. She has led network coverage on several big events including rolling coverage of COVID-19, the inauguration of President Trump, the death of Aretha Franklin, Harry and Meghan's Royal Wedding, as well as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Before joining CNN in July 2012, Taylor was a news producer at the CBS affiliate KHOU-TV in Houston. From 2003-2009, she served as a producer at the Charlotte, NC affiliate station WCNC-TV. She began her news career at WRGB-TV (CBS) in Albany, NY.
Taylor studied broadcast journalism at the University of Texas at Austin She is a former president of the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists and a member of NABJ. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two sons.
Manager, News & Sports - Talent AcquisitionLeslie Rivera is currently a Talent Acquisition Manager for WarnerMedia News & Sports in Atlanta where she manages recruitment for Digital, Audio, Video, Interactives and Social.
She worked as a TV News Producer in local markets including Chicago and Atlanta before joining Turner Broadcasting as a Producer for CNN Airport Network. Her CNN Career continued as a Producer, Network Planner and Sr. Producer at HLN where she helped oversee editorial content for live, daily programming before making her transition to Talent Acquisition. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in Communications.
Lead Recruiter, News & Sports - Talent Acquisition Nathan Small helps lead talent acquisition for News and Sports focusing on programming for CNN Domestic, CNN International, and HLN. He has lived in California as well as in NY and has recruited top talent for many organizations and sectors in the world of media, entertainment, public relations, and analytics.
Manager, News & Sports - Talent Acquisition Victoria Visgilio is a Manager, Talent Acquisition at WarnerMedia where she leads recruitment for a range of groups across News & Sports and Studios. Victoria has had a long career working with talent in the media industry in New York City and currently in Washington, D.C..
Create & Inspire: Storytelling Through Creative Services
Carron Brown (Moderator)
VP, Brand Experience Creative Carron Brown is a leader in marketing, advertising, and branding for top-tier companies with over 20 years of experience. She creates relevant, brand-authentic, and award-winning strategies and campaigns that reach, influence, and expand audiences across platforms, global regions, cultures, and demographics. Most importantly, she is an unwavering champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion; and raises the bar for organizational, brand, and people performance.
Carron has led successful initiatives for brands that include WarnerMedia, Universal Pictures, HBO Max, AT&T, NBC, the Estate of Tupac Shakur, Wells Fargo, the California Lottery, and Honda Financial Services. Her extensive experience and deep insights are enhanced by her business, financial, and operations savvy, which she applies resourcefully to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and boost ROI. Currently as VP, Brand Experience for WarnerMedia, Carron crafts and manages the company’s corporate brand narrative and image; both internally and externally.
Formerly a 7-time collegiate All-American, and NCAA National Champion in track and field, Carron leads with high energy, a competitive spirit, an affinity for speedy yet measured action, and a drive to help others shine. She builds high-performing teams by identifying the unique strengths of individuals, and strategically positions them to excel while helping the business win.
Carron earned an MBA from Fordham University, and a BS degree, with a major in Marketing, from Georgetown University. She resides with her husband and two children in Los Angeles, CA.
Cathy Davenport Lee
VP, Interactive Design - HBO & HBO Max Marketing I have over 20 years of experience in digital media & marketing and have been blessed with over 70 major industry awards for projects I’ve led and worked on. The group that I run focuses on creating digital marketing materials of all kinds for several different platforms. The creatives on my team have diverse specialties and backgrounds: We span the gamut of visual design, UX & UX design, motion graphics, branding, illustration, and more. We work on marketing materials for many of the titles on the HBO Max streaming product, regardless of whether they are big or small, new or already part of the catalog. If I had to boil it down to one specific passion for me - I’d say interactive storytelling. From innovative social media content to gesture-based control to drones to AI assistants, to AR, VR, XR, & more, I am excited about how interactivity can enhance the storytelling experience for fans and create passionate brand advocates.
SVP, Content Strategy & Operations - CNN+ Courtney Coupe is the Senior Vice President of Content Strategy and Operations for CNN+. Coupe oversees strategy, programming, and production of content on CNN+, CNN's direct-to-consumer streaming platform, in addition to running content for CNN Audio.
Previously, Coupe was VP of Content Strategy & Operations for Great Big Story, an award-winning media company that developed and produced non-fiction micro-documentaries, series, and films. While at Great Big Story, Coupe received two Emmy wins, two additional Emmy nominations, an Edward R. Murrow award, and a Cannes Silver Lion.
Before joining Great Big Story, Coupe served as the Executive Producer of Digital Video Development and Production for Bloomberg, overseeing daily digital video development, production and strategy across web, mobile and social. Prior to that, Coupe spent seven years at ABC News, as a producer for ABC News Digital and Good Morning America, covering news events such as the Royal Wedding, the 2008 election and inauguration, Hurricane Katrina, and the death of Pope John Paul II. While at ABC News, Coupe received an Emmy award for Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Coupe is a graduate of Boston College.
VP, Creative Director - Turner Sports & Turner Sports Design Jordan Shorthouse is a multi-Emmy award-winning V.P. Creative Director for Turner Sports, where he leads the print marketing department and on-air broadcast graphics departments. He is currently in his 23rd year with Turner Sports.
Over the past 13 years, Shorthouse has led the creative charge for Turner Sports’ most visible broadcasts, producing award-winning print and on-air campaigns for Turner’s tent-pole events, including NBA on TNT, NHL on TNT, MLB Postseason on TBS, NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Jordan’s creative direction extends to other sports programming such as The Match and The Arena, making him a content creator who understands how to communicate with an array of audiences.
Jordan has used his tenured experience at Turner to groom in-house talent and identify outside opportunities to collaborate with industry allies.
In 2019, Shorthouse was named one of CableFax’s “Most Influential Minorities in Cable”. Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, he studied graphic design at Georgia State University. An artist with a passion for collaborating with people and creating meaningful design solutions. Jordan enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, doing a litany of outdoor activities, and speaking to students about design.
VP, Creative Services - Warner Bros. Television Marketing Monica Koyama is an award-winning 360-degree marketing leader with over 20 years of experience creating groundbreaking content, branding campaigns, and live events across the globe. She has extensive production and brand management expertise across film, television, and streaming having spearheaded campaigns for Warner Bros, Netflix, Disney, FOX, FX, CBS, NBC Universal, ESPN and the World Surf League. Her passion is connecting with audiences through authentic storytelling.
Monica is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Annenberg School at USC, her alma mater. While at USC, she was NCAA All-American in swimming.
Sourcer, Creative & Content - Talent Acquisition Liz is a senior recruiting and sourcing professional, with 10+ years of experience based in Northern Virginia. Most notably having a strong background in government consulting within the Federal, Cleared, and Commercial spaces. Recently she's dove into the entertainment arena, drawing from her experience to support sourcing needs and grow pipelines dedicated to aide in the expansion of growth marketing teams across WarnerMedia's, Direct to Consumer Group. Liz prides herself on being a people connector, helping others find their next home, while providing the best talent to her lines of business.
Manager, Creative & Content - Talent Acquisition Melissa Talamini is a Manager, Talent Acquisition with 14 years of recruiting experience in the finance and media industries recruiting for a variety of functional areas. Currently, Melissa provides full-cycle recruiting for marketing, production, creative and content roles within the News, Sports, Kids, Unscripted and Scripted divisions throughout the U.S. partnering with hiring managers to find the best and diverse talent.
Prior to joining WarnerMedia, Melissa was a recruiter at Citi for eight years. Earlier in her career, Melissa worked in production where she was an Audience Coordinator for four years working on a variety of different television shows.
Melissa earned a B.S. in Communication from St. John’s University. She loves Zumba!
Sr. Recruiter, Creative & Content - Talent Acquisition Nicki Sompolski has been a Senior Recruiter with WarnerMedia for over 2 years, supporting Networks & Studios within the Content & Creative space (across HBO/HBO Max, Turner and Warner Bros). She has been in recruiting for over 12 years, across a wide range of industries – Financial services, publishing, big tech, ad tech and now, media/entertainment, working for companies like The New York Times and Facebook. Nicki is a Jersey girl, who likes to be outside – Hiking in the Spring/Fall, and skiing in the Winter!
Reaching Consumers with Growth Marketing
Naivasha Dean (Moderator)
VP, Editorial - HBO Max Naivasha Dean is the Vice President of Editorial at HBO Max. She manages the overall editorial vision for the HBO and HBO Max domestic services and oversees a team of strategists, writers and campaign producers to execute an experience for subscribers in-app that delights viewers through engagement and discovery. Her department is responsible for creating targeted and curated content experiences across consumer touchpoints, and for developing merchandising plans for licensed, acquired, and original content in-app and across owned channels, with the goals of increasing engagement and extending lifetimes via an agile, data science-validated approach.
Prior to joining WarnerMedia, Naivasha worked at Redbox as Director of Editorial Strategy, where she led all aspects of curation and merchandising for the digital content storefront. At Fullscreen Media, she managed the Editorial, Content Operations, and Program Planning functions for the SVOD service. At Hulu, she worked on the Editorial and Ad Operations teams and was part of the effort to launch Hulu Plus. Naivasha also did one year as an AmeriCorps/Jesuit Volunteer working inside and outside of prisons advocating for criminal justice reform.
SVP, Direct-to-Consumer Marketing - HBO Max Cornell S. McGee III serves as Senior Vice President, DTC Marketing at WarnerMedia. He currently leads a team focused on utilizing data-driven marketing strategies to increase growth, engagement, and retention of HBO Max consumers. As part of the Direct-to-Consumer division of WarnerMedia, Cornell and his team work closely with partners throughout the organization to create a personalized user experience through the combination of data and human curation within the platform.
Prior to joining WarnerMedia this past August, Cornell served as Senior Vice President of Marketing at LendingTree. At LendingTree, Cornell drove product features including the landing page while maximizing all channels including organic, brand, SEO and CRM. Before his time at LendingTree, Cornell was the Senior Vice President and GM of Blockbuster, where he handled strategic initiatives across all entities, coordinated internal and external partnerships, and drove metric-based growth for the organization. Cornell also has experience at a variety of organizations including Travelocity, Shoes.com, and CSM III Solutions. Throughout his experience at his various roles, Cornell has proven to be an innovative digital marketing executive.
Cornell received his MBA in Strategic Management from Texas A&M University and his BBA in marketing from the University of North Texas. In his spare time, he enjoys another role not mentioned above, being his son’s personal assistant.
Director, Growth Marketing Strategy - HBO Max Eli Rivkin is the founder and leader of the Consumer Strategy & Media Insights group at HBO Max. He leads the team in their mission to leverage consumer behavioral insights in order to acquire the most qualified subscribers for HBO Max. To do this, the team measures each touchpoint along a consumer’s journey, develops audience-based, channel-level insights based on winning tactics, and works directly with the operational teams to execute against said insights at scale. His leadership and team output have contributed to the exponential growth HBO Max has seen since its launch in May 2020.
Rivkin draws on years of entrepreneurial experience growing companies from inception to maturity, rooting his growth strategies in consumer data and insights. His expertise ranges from leading new business ventures at early stage technology startups in New York City to launching two successful entertainment direct-to-consumer streaming services at WarnerMedia in Los Angeles (DC Universe and HBO Max). As founding members of both DC Universe and HBO Max, Rivkin used a sophisticated method of determining pre-demand interest in tentpole titles to build audience-based media campaigns aimed at increasing high life-time-value subscribers. His strategic insights and recommendations helped optimize marketing’s eight-figure budget to bring in new subscribers efficiently. His goal is to find ways of turning marketing into a revenue center, rather than a cost center.
VP, Acquisition & Growth Marketing - HBO Max Laura Lee is the Vice President, Acquisition & Growth Marketing at HBO Max. In this role she is responsible for leading US subscriber acquisition across all performance marketing channels including paid and organic media through the full user journey. Her team drives audience growth and demand generation with efficiency through incrementality and innovation with many first-to-market approaches as a leader among streamers.
Her background as a seasoned data-driven marketer spans across the entertainment and gaming industries, with previous roles at Live Nation Entertainment - US Concerts, AEG Live, and accounts such as Universal Pictures Theatrical, Warner Home Entertainment, New Line Cinema, Universal Music Group and Wizards of the Coast.
Laura currently resides in Los Angeles and enjoys traveling, attending live music events, baking and content discovery.
Sr. Manager, Editorial Strategy & Communities - HBO Max Whitney McGowan has been working in entertainment marketing over the last 10 years, and has loved every minute of it. From medium to large networks, Whitney has been innovating how people watch and engage with a broad range of TV shows, whether it’s on social media, out of home or a streaming platform.
Currently, Whitney leads editorial strategy for diverse and LGBTQ+ audiences at HBO Max. This includes in-app curations with a focus on diverse creators, seasonal campaigns such as Black History Month and evergreen strategies like suggested search and collections (Black Voices etc). She also leads the strategy for theatrical films on platform, including merchandising and retention strategies.
Before moving to HBO Max, Whitney worked at Netflix on the Global Creative Marketing team, producing creative and social media campaigns for some of your favorite Unscripted Originals. She also launched and led strategy for the brand and editorial channel: Netflix Food. Prior to that, she was the Head of Social Media at WNET: New York Public Meda. Here, she led social media strategy and content production for all local and national programming. She built the social media team from the ground up and educated the company on innovations happening in the social media space and how to strategize around them. Some of Whitney’s other experience includes SundanceTV and independent consulting.
Whitney holds a B.A. in Journalism with a concentration in African American Studies from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, where she also minored in Art History. In her free time, Whitney works on her green thumb, cooks, hangs with her dog Carlitos, hikes in beautiful LA and watches way too much TV.
Manager, DTC Growth Marketing - Talent Acquisition Annie Scagel is Talent Acquisition Manager at WM. Her and her team support the Growth Marketing teams for HBO Max & CNN+ and design roles across WarnerMedia. Annie is passionate about working for companies where creativity is the pulse of the organization. Her previous experience includes recruitment for Under Armour and Blue State Digital.
Sourcer, Creative & Content - Talent Acquisition Brian is a Sourcer in the Talent Acquisition department at WarnerMedia, supporting Growth Marketing for HBO Max. He has previously developed his sourcing skills at ViacomCBS, Red Bull, and Dollar Shave Club. He is based out Los Angeles and is an alumnus of Concordia University, Irvine.
Sr. Recruiter, Creative & Content - Talent Acquisition Nichole Cabalza is part of the WarnerMedia Talent Acquisition team, specializing in finding talent for the direct to consumer/creative and content verticals to grow out HBO Max and CNN+. Former Sr. Recruiter at Lionsgate and Starz. I am passionate about helping people find jobs and finding the right talent that will help leaders reach/exceed their company’s goals.
Day 4: Corporate & Sales
The Numbers Behind The Screen: A Discussion with WarnerMedia Finance
Joselyn Matamoros (Moderator)
Financial Analyst, JP Morgan Chase & President, NY Prospanica Chapter Joselyn Matamoros is a Latina, Honduran immigrant and first-generation college graduate. Currently, Joselyn is a second-year financial analyst on the Investment and Client Solutions team in JP Morgan Wealth Management. She graduated from St. John's University and obtained an M.S and B.S in Accounting with Magna Cum Laude Honors. She received various scholarships including the Women’s Bond Club Scholarship, Hispanic Heritage Foundation Business Award, NYSSSCPA Excellence in Accounting among others.
Joselyn is passionate about women empowerment and diversity, equity, & inclusion and financial literacy. She has been a member of various boards and committees to help elevate women and the Hispanic and Latinx community. Joselyn is the President of the Prospanica NY chapter and has served on the board for three years. She sits on the JP Morgan Adelante Tri-state membership committee and the Women’s Bond Club Career Committee. Joselyn strives to lift others as she climbs through mentorship and community involvement.
She resides in Staten Island. New York, enjoys listening to podcasts, traveling, and spending time with family.
VP, Data & Deal Management Donna Glassford is the VP of Data and Deal Management where she oversees the Month End Close, Master Data and Research, Stakeholder Management, Statement Setups in the Participations reporting system, Cash Management, Payment and Statement Processing and Data Analytics. During her 17+ years at WB, she has been in charge of a Participations Reporting team that calculated if a product made profit in order to pay the talent, the Participations Support team that handled buy-out analysis, interest calculations, setups and cash management, the Library Statement Conversion team that handled the conversion of the Excel based statements into the automated Participations system called Sylvester and the Deal Management team that created abstracts of the legal agreements.
SVP, Financial Contract Reporting & Administration Jeff is the Senior Vice President for the Warner Bros. Financial Contract Reporting & Administration division (FCRA). FCRA administers 3rd party contract reporting (also known as Participations and Residuals) across U.S. feature film, television and game titles for Warner and Turner produced product. Jeff has been working in the Participations & Residuals area for over ten years and with Warner Bros. for over 19 years.
Jeff originally joined Warner Bros. in 2002 in the Management Information Services organization where he led a variety of Application Services groups & projects across TV Production, Theatrical & Television Distribution, Consumer Products and Corporate areas such as HR/Payroll, Participations and Residuals. He later worked on Warner Bros.’ Alternative Sourcing Program (ASP) in leadership roles in both the IT and Finance areas and was a key leader on the Global Finance Shared Services & Reorganization Strategy Project that has now been implemented at Warner Bros.
Jeff began his career in public accounting working at KPMG and later worked in Corporate Accounting with BellSouth Corporation (now AT&T) in Atlanta. But, the bulk of his pre-Warner career was spent in management consulting with Ernst & Young, LLP and Sapient Corporation namely focused on large scale finance & accounting projects including experience with SAP and Oracle Financials. His consulting clients included The Coca-Cola Company, BellSouth Corporation, Southwestern Bell, Georgia-Pacific and Healtheon/WebMD.Jeff also spent time with internationally based clients in both Europe and Latin America.
Jeff graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.He also holds his CPA certification. Jeff completed the Executive Program in Management from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
VP, FinanceLashana N. Williams, MBA is VP of Finance at Warner Media (FKA Turner Broadcasting). In this capacity she oversees the Financial Reporting and Analysis for Turner Networks (TNT, TBS and TruTV). She manages several professionals who are responsible for providing strategic support to Operations and Finance Executives as well as preparing the monthly forecast and annual budget related reporting and analyses.
Lashana joined Warner Media in 2002 as a temporary employee. Within months of her assignment she earned a permanent position as a Senior Accountant and since then has consistently progressed through the ranks to her current role as VP. Prior to joining Warner Media, Lashana worked in various finance and accounting positions in the hospitality, banking and publishing industries.
Lashana graduated from SUNY Binghamton with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and earned an MBA with a concentration in computer information systems from Baruch College. She is a member of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) and Women of Warner (WOW) in which she serves as a formal and informal mentor. Lashana is also a member of Black Empowerment (BE) where she co-created ELEVATE, the organization’s signature mentoring program.
Lashana is a certified career coach, MBTI® administrator and Strength Strategies coach. These various professional certifications enable her to gain deeper insight into both individual characteristics and team dynamics to foster an ethos of inclusion, providing tailored recommendations for performance improvement and leadership development. She is able to help her clients create a clear roadmap forward -- one that leverages their individual strengths, helps them overcome perceived challenges, and positions them for optimal professional and personal growth.
In her spare time, Lashana enjoys traveling and writing. She is a published author of The Stranger Within: One Woman’s Journey to Self-Love and her recent book, The Paycheck to Purpose Workbook: Your Guide to Make Money Doing What You Love, focuses on helping high performing professionals reconcile their personal passions with workplace performance and profits.
SVP & CFO - Warner Bros. Television & Studio Operations Lisa Ray Griffin serves as SVP, CFO for Warner Bros. Television and Studio Operations. Lisa is responsible for financial planning and reporting for television production (WBTV, Telepictures, Shed Media, and Warner Horizon Alternative), Marketing and Studio Operations with locations in Burbank, Leavesden UK, NY and Japan. She provides strategic support for operational executives to assist them in achieving business objectives along with her team of finance professionals. She reports to Jessica Holscott, EVP, CFOfor Studios and Networks which includesWarner Brothers, HBO/MaxContent and Entertainment Networks (TNT, tbs, truTV, TCM, Cartoon).
Griffin joined WarnerMedia’s finance and accounting team in August 1998 as an accounting manager. Throughout her tenure at the company, she has worked closely with her operational partners and led several strategic business reviews that yielded increased revenues and maximization of resources, assisted on corporate-wide initiatives, including the standardization of various policies and procedures. She has assisted the networks in reimagining television through the development of long-range strategic plans, assisting with the execution of those plans and bringing to life some of the newest consumer and video centric businesses at Warner Media. Lisa earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting, with honors, from St. Mary’s University.
Prior to joining WarnerMedia, Lisa held various roles at Electronic Data Systems (EDS),Grant Thornton LLP and JP Morgan f/k/a Banc One. Lisa is a state of Georgia Certified Public Accountant. She is also active in her community through volunteering at food banks and teaching financial planning boot camps. She is a current member of NABA, WICT and NAMIC. She currently serves as a Board Member for the National Black Arts Festival as its Treasurer, and NABA’s Corporate Advisory Board. And most recently a Board member of Funny or Die. She is a graduate of the WICT Betsy Magness Leadership Institute and currently serves as the executive sponsor of WarnerMedia’s NABA Committee and past board member of WarnerMedia Women’s BRG. Lisa has frequently been recognized for her exemplary work in the industry. In 2019 & 2016, she was named one of the Most Influential Multi-Ethnic Executives on Cable fax’s Diversity List.In 2015, she was namedKey Contributor Award from the Atlanta NABA Chapter. In 2013, she was named one of the industry’s Emerging Business Leaders by NAMIC. In 2012, she was the recipient of the Mae Douglas Leadership Award from the Atlanta NAMIC Chapter.
Manager, Finance & Accounting & Global Real Estate - Talent Acquisition Cherrelle Mathis manages the Finance & Accounting and Global Real Estate recruiting functions across WarnerMedia. Located in Atlanta, GA – she has been with the company over 4 years starting as a contractor for CNN Español and migrating to different parts of the business. Prior to WarnerMedia, Cherrelle’s recruiting experience spans across ad sales, insurance, medical device technology, and B2B sales professionals. Needless to say she knows her stuff and loves helping candidates reach their goals.
Sr. Recruiter, Finance & Accounting - Talent Acquisition Lisa is a Sr. Recruiter who has been with the company for about 4 months; supporting the Finance function across business lines. She has 12+ years of Finance Recruiting experience with companies such as Harley-Davidson Motor Company, zulily, Danaher and Amazon. Lisa was born and raised in Texas but has made the move to the Pacific Northwest and is based out of Seattle. Her passion lies in helping business to succeed by delivering top tier talent.
Sr. Recruiter, Finance & Accounting - Talent Acquisition Satara is a Sr. Recruiter who supports the recruitment efforts of Finance, Accounting and Global Real Estate within Studio Operations and Business Support. Prior to Warner, Satara started her recruiting career in the CPG space at Printpack and The Clorox Company. She is a home-grown GA Peach who attended GA State University and received her Bachelors in Business Administration with a Concentration in Sales and Marketing. She is passionate about promoting a culture of inclusion and diversity.
The Ad Landscape: Changing Trends in Marketing & Technology
MaryBeth Strobel (Moderator)
SVP, Sales Manager - Turner Sports As senior vice president of Turner Sports at WarnerMedia, Marybeth Strobel is a vital part of the company’s vision to lead innovative advertising and automation solutions in partnership with agencies and clients. Strobel leads a team that works closely with various company stakeholders to innovate, build and drive adoption of advanced advertising to meaningfully enhance WarnerMedia’s existing, emerging and futuristic products.
In her 20 years with WarnerMedia, Strobel has led various sales teams with an analytical eye and a natural curiosity for innovation to empower clients with a simpler way of advertising. She has managed across platforms, grew WarnerMedia’s emerging digital businesses and led advertising sales across the WarnerMedia portfolio. Prior to WarnerMedia, she held roles at several advertising agencies including Televest, Wells BDDP and Barry Blau. She remains active in numerous industry associations. She is a co-chair of the Nominating Committee for She Runs It (formerly Advertising Women of New York), where she also previously served as board member and special events advisor. She is a graduate of WICT’s Betsy Magness program, is currently the executive sponsor for WarnerMedia’s Next Gen Business Resource Group and actively participates in various mentoring programs. Strobel earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Villanova University and resides in Jersey City, New Jersey with her husband and two sons.
VP, Ad Sales Marketing & Studio Operations Andrea Bibbs currently serves as the vice president of marketing and studio operations within WarnerMedia’s ad sales division. In her role, she creates new operational strategies to maximize process and efficiencies alongside WarnerMedia Ad Sales’ marketing and brand studio teams. Bibbs is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
A marketing and communications leader with more than 20 years of expertise, Bibbs previously served as the senior director of diversity, equity & inclusion strategy for WarnerMedia News and Sports (WMNS), which includes CNN Worldwide, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report and WarnerMedia Studios. There, she was responsible for driving the division’s DE&I strategy, core vision, and internal and external programs and opportunities that drove awareness of the team’s efforts. In addition, she formed strategic partnerships with external stakeholders, including industry and community organizations.
VP, Digital Advertising Operations David Plesha is the vice president of digital operations at WarnerMedia. In his role, Plesha leads his teams responsible for the implementation and management of WarnerMedia’s ad operations divisions, including campaign management and technical server implementations across the WarnerMedia portfolio.
In partnership with WarnerMedia’s sales and technology teams, Plesha helps define processes, workflow, and product definition that will scale revenue growth.
Plesha brings 18 years of experience in digital operations and workflow efficiency from leaders in the media and technology space, including Amazon, Allrecipes, and FatTail. Most recently, Plesha led the operations team at Bleacher Report prior to the acquisition by Turner and successfully led its integration into Turner Sports digital.
VP, Account Services & Audience Solutions - Linear Sales Ebony Moore is Vice President of Planning, Account Services, and Audience Solutions for the Linear Sales team at WarnerMedia. Ebony received her BA in Communications from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Ebony launched her career at Turner in 1995. She started as a secretary, an entry level position into a global media company that was known for launching the first 24-hour news network. She transitioned into a Sales Assistant role managing commercial accounts on TBS and TNT. A brief stint in Strategic Planning as an Analyst, Ebony was responsible for reporting Sales’ actuals and projections. After a year, Ebony moved into a Supervisor role in Account Service where her career fully took hold. Clearly managing large teams of people, commercial account management, and business operations in general was a job tailor made for Ebony’s skillset.
Twenty-six years later, Ebony is responsible for 100+ employees who plan and maintain the commercial accounts across WarnerMedia’s 8 Linear channels, including the international channels CNNI and CNNE. Her teams are responsible for maintaining more than $2B in revenue for Turner.
Ebony is a member of NAMIC, the Membership and Onboarding Chair for Women at WarnerMedia (WOW), a chairperson for WarnerMedia’s Equity & Inclusion Advisory Board, and co-chair for WarnerMedia’s Culture Council.
In her personal time, Ebony travels in search of the best beaches in the world with her daughter Mikhayla.
Manager, Corporate Functions - Talent Acquisition Erin is a career Matchmaker at heart and has been recruiting since 2008. The majority of her time as a recruiter has been spent within entertainment & media, but she has also worked within Finance, Technology, and Payments. Erin has recruited for everything from HR professionals to Data Scientists but a bulk of her career has been spent recruiting for Sales & Distribution and ultimately managing a team of recruiters who support S&D. She is thrilled to participate in Career Conversations Week and offer insight into the recruitment process, our Ad Sales partners, and any other “tricks of the trade”!
Katie Jo Sheek
Lead, Ad Sales, Distribution & Revenue - Talent Acquisition Katie Jo currently manages a team of recruiters as well as acting as a full cycle senior recruiter for mid-level to senior level roles within Sales & Distribution across all WarnerMedia brands.
Based in LA (but a former New Yorker), Katie Jo joined WarnerMedia from Amazon where she was a full cycle recruiter supporting Amazon Digital Entertainment. During her time at Amazon, Katie Jo built teams within the non-tech and creative sides of the business and helped with the expansion of IMDb TV with originals, Amazon Music launching Podcasts and the addition of the Amazon Influencer Network within Amazon Live. Prior to Amazon, Katie Jo worked in both tech and entertainment at Google and Walt Disney Studios/Marvel Studios in a variety of HR roles, including Tech and Creative Recruitment, HR Management, and Diversity Staffing. She started her career in Marketing/PR within Entertainment (TV and Film). In her free time, Katie Jo enjoys cooking (she is 50% Sicilian!), going to the movies (lots of drive-ins during Covid), live concerts and loves an old-fashioned and red wine.
Recruiter, Ad Sales & Distribution - Talent Acquisition Rehaab Zohny was born and raised on the Upper East Side. She graduated from City College of New York with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is currently in graduate school for Human Resource at Baruch College. After college, she worked at a private preschool for 13 years, where she obtained the majority of her recruiting experience. Rehaab joined WarnerMedia in 2019 as an Executive Assistant and transitioned into her current role as a recruiter in June 2021. She has three kids ages 10, 7 and 5 years old. She loves to travel to tropical islands but her favorite and farthest vacation was Egypt.
Recruiting for Recruiters: Building an Exceptional Talent Acquisition Team
Gayane Varvaryan (Moderator)
Director, Corporate Functions, Business Support & Studio Operations - Talent Acquisition Gayane is a Talent Acquisition Leader who oversees the recruitment efforts across Corporate, Studio Operations and Business Support verticals across WarnerMedia. Prior to Warner, Gayane started her recruiting career at Nickelodeon Animation Studio where she worked on a CG animated production and recruited for technical and creative talent. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources from Woodbury University. She is passionate about recruiting and retaining diverse talent and creating robust pipelines to help candidates find their next big opportunity!
Director, Diversity Outreach - Talent Acquisition In Andrea’s current role, she is responsible for leading Diversity Outreach efforts for enterprise-wide recruiting at WarnerMedia.
Andrea’s time at WarnerMedia, and specifically, Warner Bros., has afforded her the opportunity to explore a variety of roles across the business which have contributed to her multifaceted skillset and professional experience. She got her start in Finance supporting a contract attorney which would eventually lead her to a Project Management Office (PMO) role where she worked on a high-profile cost saving finance project. She then moved to Technology where she continued to develop her project management skills on a few Technology projects.
Rounding out her experience in Finance and Technology, and before leaving Warner Bros. to explore external opportunities, Andrea accepted a position to flex her project management skills and crossover to Human Resources where she joined the Employee Communications and Engagement team. In this role, she was responsible for managing employee engagement projects and programs at Warner Bros.
Prior to returning to the WarnerMedia family, Andrea’s former role was Director at Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp (now Disney). Her oversight included leading cross-functional efforts with internal Fox divisions (e.g. TV, Theatrical, Home Entertainment, Sports, Social Impact and Diversity and Inclusion) to develop a robust employee engagement strategy for Internal Communications, Events and Employer Branding.
Andrea is excited to be back “home” at WarnerMedia and continues to look for ways to reach, engage, and attract diverse talent to WarnerMedia. In her spare time, she loves to travel abroad (though she has been grounded for the past two years), enjoys working in her garden, and spending time with her amazing nephews.
Personal Tagline: I am a diversity professional serving a healthy dose of disruption to bring about the necessary change and equitable advancements in Entertainment and Tech industries.
Sr. Recruiter, Corporate Functions & Business Support - Talent Acquisition Erin graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Speech and Communication. After graduating, she participated in the Disney College Program, working at both Walt Disney World as a character attendant in the Magic Kingdom and Merchandise at World of Disney in the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland. She then got her big break joining the Campus Recruiting team at Creative Artists Agency as a Recruiting Coordinator helping to hire and run their global internship program. After CAA, she joined Bird Rides recruiting for Operations, Legal and Sales before joining Warner Music Group where she recruited for all roles across the organization at all levels. She is now managing the recruiting function for HR across all of WarnerMedia.
Manager, Corporate Functions & Business Support - Talent AcquisitionJasmine Yen is a Manager, Talent Acquisition with a team of recruiters focused on recruitment for Studio Operations, Corporate Communications, Equity and Inclusion and Global Security. After graduating from UCLA, She started her career as a Recruitment Coordinator with Warner Bros. supporting the TV Production department. Since then, she's had the pleasure of supporting various departments across the organization across all levels.
Associate Recruiter, Corporate Functions & Business Support - Talent Acquisition Miranda graduated from Pepperdine University with a B.S. in Business Administration and started with WarnerMedia shortly after in her first full-time role as a Talent Acquisition Coordinator. She started out helping with interview scheduling, onboarding, and monitoring overall candidate experience. Within the last few months, she transitioned to an Associate Recruiter role where she now supports Corporate HR with recruiting for entry-level roles. She is eager and excited to develop her career in recruiting and to help candidates find their dream job with WarnerMedia!
Entertainment Law Career Pathways: A Conversation with our Corporate Attorneys
Ana de Castro (Moderator)
SVP, Deputy General Counsel - Studios & Networks Groups Ana de Castro is Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group. In her role, de Castro oversees all legal matters for Warner Bros. Worldwide Studio Operations, DC Comics, Global Brands and Experiences, and Consumer Products. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia University School of Law.
Christy Jahnke (Moderator)
Manager, Corporate Functions & Business Support - Talent Acquisition Christy Jahnke recently joined WarnerMedia from Lockheed Martin Space where she was the Talent Acquisition Manager overseeing hiring for Corporate and Operations Functions. Prior to Lockheed Martin, she has 15 years of experience recruiting and managing recruiters across several industries; Animation, Biotech, and in an agency environment. She has supported a variety of functions including Corporate, Sales, Technology, and Operations. She is passionate about the candidate experience, business partnership, and diversity & inclusion. Additionally, she has experience in process improvement work and pipelining initiatives. Christy grew up in Tampa, FL and studied Business and Music at Stetson University in Deland FL. She's an avid skier, animal lover, and spends most of her free time enjoying the outdoors.
Manager, Sourcing - Talent Acquisition James leads a team of non-tech Talent Acquisition Sourcers at WarnerMedia. His team focuses on roles in Corporate, Finance and Accounting, HR, Legal, Ad Sales, Global Ops, and Research. He is new to the company, but offers 20+ years versatile recruiting experience that spans agency and in-house roles within varying industries related to technology and media. James’s Talent acquisition and HR leadership experience includes leading a global recruiting team at the Wikimedia Foundation, the tech, online media non-profit that operates Wikipedia. James enjoys building, coaching, and mentoring talent acquisition teams, and he is very excited to continue his career journey at WarnerMedia!
SVP, Business & Legal Affairs Rick McMurtry is Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, with WarnerMedia. During his over 20 years with the company, Rick has been responsible for advertising compliance, trademark, patent, domain name, anti-piracy, licensing, and IP enforcement legal matters. Rick currently oversees business and legal affairs for much of WarnerMedia's music portfolio, commercial clearance for all of WarnerMedia's ad-supported properties, as well as WarnerMedia's domain name portfolio.
At WarnerMedia, Rick is the Executive Sponsor of PRISM, WarnerMedia's LGBTQ+ Business Resource Group. Prior to joining Turner (now WarnerMedia) in 2000, Rick worked with the law firm of Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy in Atlanta and Howrey Simon in Washington, DC. Rick was honored to serve as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Robert Echols with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee after his graduation from Vanderbilt University School of Law. Rick and his husband, Randall, live in Atlanta with their two boys, two dogs, six chickens, two fish and a bunny.
Sr. Recruiter, Corporate Functions & Business Support - Talent Acquisition Satara is a Sr. Recruiter who supports the recruitment efforts of Finance, Accounting and GRE within Studio Operations and Business Support. Prior to Warner, Satara started her recruiting career in the CPG space at Printpack and The Clorox Company. She is a home grown GA Peach who attended GA State University and received her Bachelors in Business Administration with a Concentration in Sales and Marketing. She is passionate about promoting a culture of inclusion and diversity.
VP, Legal Operations - Studios & Networks Groups Stelio Tellis is Vice President, Legal Operations, Studios & Networks, where he helped to design and implement—and now oversee—a large portion of WarnerMedia’s product and rights landscape. During his 10+ years with the company, Stelio has partnered with stakeholders in Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros. Technology, HBO MAX, and Turner as well as Worldwide Television Distribution, Warner Home Entertainment, Production, and Finance to curate high-quality product and rights data for distribution across WarnerMedia.
Prior to joining Warner Bros., Stelio worked as a litigation attorney in Washington DC. Stelio received his undergraduate degree from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and his law degree from Georgetown Law School. Stelio is an avid tennis player.
Chief Counsel, WB Pictures Group Wayne Smith, a 22-year studio veteran, is currently Chief Counsel for the Warner Bros. Film Group at WarnerMedia Studios & Networks, with legal oversight over all aspects of feature film development and production by Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema. Wayne works closely with the creative, business affairs and physical production groups, leading teams that negotiate above-the-line talent deals (writers, actors, directors, producers), financing transactions and music licenses. He also oversees the feature film clearance and rights analysis functions for the studio.
Prior to his current role, Wayne led the content protection, bankruptcy and patent functions for WarnerMedia. He also served for many years in the litigation department of Warner Bros. Corporate Legal, with a particular focus on protecting rights in the company’s DC Comics characters.
Prior to Warner Bros., Wayne was a partner in an international law firm engaged in intellectual property litigation. He holds both law and engineering degrees from the University of Michigan and is a registered patent attorney.
Day 5: Culture & Belonging
Staying Connected Globally: An Inside Look at WarnerMedia's BRGs
Amie Tsang (Moderator)
Director, Communications - Global Business Intelligence Amie Tsang, Director, Communications, Global Business Intelligence, joined the WarnerMedia International corporate communications team early in the pandemic. She focuses on news analysis and keeping executives informed of industry developments. She sits on the committee of Being in the UK. Before joining WarnerMedia she was a business journalist at The New York Times and The Financial Times. She covered topics as varied as Brexit, the Chinese economy and fatbergs from London and Hong Kong. She enjoys traveling, mainly to eat, and became a fervent knitter while watching many hours of television during the pandemic.
Social Media Communications Manager - WB Games Dan Seto is the Social Media Communications Manager in the EMEA Warner Bros. Games team, based in London. In this role he creates EMEA social media and influencer relations strategies for all Warner Bros. Games titles and assists regional teams to execute the strategies as well as liaise and gain alignment with global teams.
Dan is also a founding member and current Co-Chair of the UK chapter of Being, the WarnerMedia multicultural business resource group. Here he assists in activity planning, programming and guiding the committee with overarching strategies to enhance WarnerMedia's diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
Prior to WarnerMedia, Dan started his career at a renowned PR agency, Premier PR where he worked with numerous high profile video game publishers to execute UK PR campaigns. He then worked for the celebrated Japanese video game publisher, Square Enix where he was a community manager for four years. He helped launch numerous, globally recognised titles and executed community and influencer engagement programs, a first for the publisher.
Dan has a BSc Hons in Molecular Biology from UCL (University College London). He is originally from Newport, South Wales and is of Chinese descent. His pronouns are he/him.
Manager, Sales Support Management - TV & Digital Licensing Judit has her BA in International Marketing and Total Quality Management, Specialising in Consumer Market and MSc in Marketing – Budapest Business School (University of Applied Sciences), Hungary.
Starting out as intern at Pirelli, Judit moved to the media industry, first as a Sales Marketing Manager at Metro newspaper for 2 years and then to Television at Viasat (aka MTG Groups) as Production and Traffic Coordinator. To fulfill her long-time dream to work and live abroad, she moved to London to take on an Acquisition Admin role in Viasat Headquarters in 2012. She joined Warner Bros in 2014 taking a role in the International Television Distribution department as Sales Administrator working on Russia, CIS and Ukraine. After 4 months she was promoted to Sales Contract Administrator, adding Poland to the territories. In 2018 she was promoted to Manager, Sales Administration overseeing Baltics as well with reports in London and Moscow offices. In 2019 she became the head of the 4-member Sales Admin team for CEE, Russia, CIS and Ukraine. Earlier this year she is Manager, Sales Support Management for both TV and Digital for the territories.
Judit is a founding board member and Social Manager of Women of Warner UK. In 2021 she took on the role of leading Women of WarnerMedia BRG - EMEA UK as Co-Chair. Her focus is to encourage collaboration at all levels within the company and to empower and inspire young girls in the UK.
Director, Sales My name is Sam Oyekoya, I am a first-generation Nigerian hailing from a suburb of Washington D.C. I graduated from Bucknell University with degrees in Economics and Political Science. I was also a member of the football team where I was recently named to the All-Decade team for my on-field performance during my time. I currently serve as a Director within WarnerMedia’s Ad Sales organization focused on our Advanced television product Addressable. I am responsible for overseeing one of our largest accounts and developing strategy across a variety of verticals. I am also a member of our Equity and Inclusion council where I focus on increasing the representation of BIPOC and women within our Sales & distribution organization. I started my career at AT&T in a technical sales role upon graduating college and have served in a variety of roles focusing on our most strategic initiatives over the years. Both outside the walls of WarnerMedia and inside the walls I am extremely passionate about finding innovative and sustainable ways to serve my community and create opportunities for underserved and historically excluded peoples. One of the ways I currently do this is through a program I launched that focuses on helping student athletes in their transition out of sports and into their next phase of life.
WarnerMedia Equity & Inclusion: Dive Deep Into DE&I
Antonio Hairston (Moderator)
Executive Director, Diversity Outreach & University Relations - Talent Acquisition Antonio Hairston is Executive Director, Diversity Outreach Early Careers and University Relations – Talent Acquisition at WarnerMedia. He currently oversees strategic university partnerships as well as developing sustainable relationships with diverse, local/regional/national organizations and community outreach programs. Antonio has been instrumental in curating event activations that build proactive talent pipelines reflective of a workforce that includes diverse audiences from underrepresented communities.
Hairston is a graduate of Michigan State University and began his career as a University Relations Lead for early talent college recruitment. In 2006, Hairston ventured to Los Angeles to pursue opportunities within the entertainment industry. He worked as Production Associate on live event productions including: BET Awards, Daytime/Primetime Emmy Awards, HBO Comedy Festivals, Screen Actors Guild Awards, The Grammys and The Oscars. Prior to joining Warner Bros., in 2015, Antonio worked as a Talent Manager- Diversity and Inclusion for Eaton Aerospace Corporation. He is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, advisory board member of EICOP! HBCU in LA Program, the Emma Bowen Foundation, and The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences- Gold Program. Antonio also serves as board member of DreamChasers, Inc. In his personal time, he enjoys traveling and curating musical showcases.
SVP, Equity & Inclusion Programs Karen Horne is Senior Vice President, Equity and Inclusion, Programs, WarnerMedia. As a senior executive with over 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry, she has been recognized as a Diversity and Inclusion pioneer and pipeline builder.
Since coming to WarnerMedia in March of 2020, Horne has been involved in creating and implementing multiple pipeline programs that aim to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities. These programs give talented individuals, who would otherwise not have the opportunity, access to the entertainment industry to showcase their talent. She has brought expertise gained from her career to create cohesive programs, ranging from entry-level to mid-career, that service the entire enterprise. These programs support expansion in areas that have not traditionally been serviced (i.e., virtual production, games, news and sports, animation, comedy, etc.).
Before WarnerMedia, Horne was at NBC Entertainment and Universal Television Studios as Senior Vice President, Programming Talent Development and Inclusion where she was responsible for overseeing in-front-of and behind-the-camera primetime diversity efforts for NBC and Universal Television. While there, she started the Late-Night Writers Workshop in 2013 which changed the landscape of the writers’ rooms by increasing the number of women and ethnically diverse men, both of which were lacking. Another extraordinary program she developed was Female Forward, which guaranteed shadowing directors an opportunity to direct an entire episode in addition to the traditional shadowing access.
The programs and initiatives she created and/or developed became the industry’s gold standard and a blueprint for many other companies. Her background in finding and developing new talent allows her great ease in working with the creative world, while her corporate upbringing and work with C-Suite executives allows her equal comfort in any board room.
Horne’s lengthy resume includes a variety of disciplines and experience, including her tenure as Director of Creative Affairs at IDT Animation; designing, implementing, and overseeing Nickelodeon’s Writer Fellowship Program; serving as the Director of Writer Development & Special Projects and Studio Liaison for the Walt Disney Studios Fellowship Program at Walt Disney Network Television; and holding the position of Director, West Coast, for the Black Filmmaker Foundation. Her early career features stints as an executive assistant to the president of ABC Entertainment, as well as positions at ABC Television Network Group and ABC Sports. Horne also worked at HBO as a co-producer for the Emmy Award-winning animated series “Spawn.”
Horne has always been dedicated to increasing equity and inclusion in the entertainment industry throughout her career. She has been honored with several awards and recognitions for her diversity and inclusion work and her service to underrepresented communities. Horne serves on multiple industry boards and has spoken both nationally and internationally on diversity and inclusion best practices. She serves on the boards of Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media, USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, The Alliance of Women Directors, RespectAbility, and The Urban League of the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. She is a member of several entertainment industry organizations.
Manager, Equity & Inclusion Monique Mitchell is a certified full-time dreamer and doer holding many titles as communications strategist, media maven and podcaster. She has worked in the network television industry for over ten years. Her career kicked-off at Cartoon Network, [adult swim] and Boomerang assisting with the launches of new animated programming, spreading the word about immersive digital spaces, implementing social media strategy, creating memorable viewer experiences and more. She’s currently a marketing and communications manager with WarnerMedia’s Equity & Inclusion.
Hailing from the magical city of Miami, Florida she attended the illustrious Florida A&M University and majored in broadcast journalism. As an undergraduate student, she interned at FOX 5 Atlanta, CNN Viewer Communications, a local news station as a student reporter and General Motors as student rep for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) to name a few.
Upon graduation, she took her talents to New York City where she began her career in the wonderful world of media. She was selected out of thousands of applicants for the prestigious and historic NBC East Coast Page program where she worked for various shows and networks including: Oxygen, NBC News Marketing, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock Live and TODAY. She has a knack for social media and talent and public relations.
Muneerah Ahad Freeman
Business Unit Advisor, Equity & InclusionMuneerah is a Business Unit Advisor on the Equity and Inclusion Strategies team, partnering closely with Sales and Distribution, WMTO, and DTC. Most recently she was the first Equality Business Partner at Salesforce, responsible for integrating diversity, equity and inclusion within the business, talent and recruiting processes. She led company-wide Equality Boards with executive leadership and provided data-driven diversity, equity and inclusion consulting for global sales, engineering, technology and operations. Prior to Salesforce, Muneerah was a Senior Consultant with Korn Ferry in Leadership Development and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, conducting organizational assessments, developing talent and succession plan strategies, and learning roadmaps. Her prior experience also includes roles in Organizational Development and Human Resources at Deloitte Global and PepsiCo. Muneerah values trust, authenticity, impact, collaboration, and creativity and is driven to ensure organizations are spaces where talent can thrive.
Muneerah has B.A. in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a M.S. in Human Resources Management from Loyola University Chicago.
Prior to the pandemic, you were likely to find her at the airport. A few of her favorite trips include Austria, China, Japan, and the Netherlands. Since the pandemic, however, she has deepened her commitment to both strength training and A Black Lady Sketch Show. She also adopted two living (!) plants, Patti and Gladys, and recently acquired Phyllis, her first orchid.
Muneerah is based in Chicago, IL and when she and her spouse (Vizente) are not running to keep up with their active children, Leryn and Miles, she enjoys a good workout, a glass of wine, and warm weather excursions.
VP, Equity & Inclusion Strategies Sophia Zeinu is the Vice President of Equity and Inclusion Strategies for WarnerMedia where she uses a data-driven, systems-based approach to develop and activate transformative equity and inclusion strategies. She also works directly with C-suite leaders to translate enterprise strategies into impactful business unit specific action plans.
Prior to WarnerMedia, Sophia worked for Deloitte Consulting where she spent eight years in the Human Capital and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) practice, specializing in DEI and talent current state assessments, strategy development and execution, as well as custom DEI experiential lab design and facilitation. She has helped numerous global organizations navigate large-scale transformations to bring DEI efforts from insight to impact at scale and facilitated DEI sessions for thousands of employees at Fortune 500 organizations. Sophia has also authored and contributed to DEI thoughtware, including Support Your Black Workforce, Now; 10 Ways HR Can Support the Black Workforce; and Becoming an Equitable Enterprise.
Sophia has a BA in Sociology from Georgetown University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She currently lives in Atlanta with her partner, Adam.