2015 Honorees

BACK TO PAST HONOREES

Steve Simmons

Chairman, Patriot Media and Communication

Steve Simmons

Steve created his first cable company, Simmons Communications, in 1981. Over the next decade it served over 300,000 customers in 20 states. The company improved cable service in many places around the country, including its complete turnaround of the Long Beach, California system. Upon its sale the Mayor issued a proclamation citing the great improvement in customer and technical service and major contributions to the community.

In 2001 Steve started Patriot Media. The dramatically improved service in its system serving Princeton and 29 other towns in New Jersey, won plaudits from local communities. In 2006 he was recognized by CableWorld as US Independent Cable Operator of the Year for Patriot's operational success and advanced triple play technology. Today, Steve and the Patriot management team have ownership in and manage RCN Cable, Grande and Choice that together serve over 700,000 customers.

Steve also served on the Board of Virgin Media, a public company that provided cable and mobile service in the United Kingdom, and today sits on the Board of Cablevision. Steve previously served on the NCTA Board for 3 years, was voted a Cable Pioneer, and for over 25 years has been chairing the Cable Entrepreneurs Club whose members include 25 present and former Chairmen/CEOs of cable companies.

In his non-cable life, Steve has worked on the White House staff, been a professor at the University of California, a Governor on the US Broadcasting Board of Governors where he chaired committees overseeing Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Chair of the gubernatorial Commission in Connecticut examining the educational achievement gap, and producer of an Emmy Award winning documentary on education reform issues. Steve has also written 5 children's books. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School.

BACK TO PAST HONOREES

Eleanor Winter

Senior Vice President, NCTA

Eleanor Winter

Eleanor Winter has been a part of the cable television industry for twenty five years. She presently serves as Senior Vice President at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. Prior to joining NCTA, Eleanor worked for two United States Senators, Senator John Stennis from Mississippi and Senator Paul Simon, from Illinois. She then moved into the public relations world at the firm, Cribben, Miller and Moses.

At NCTA, she is responsible for the cable television industry's political action committee, CablePAC. When Eleanor was first hired, CablePAC membership totaled 163 people, representing 30 cable companies with annual receipts of $185,000.

Today, thanks to the leadership of the NCTA Board, the work of the CablePAC Committee and the generous support of the industry, the membership is made up of more than 2800 cable executives, representing over 100 companies and annual receipts total well over $2 million.

In 1999, for the first time, CablePAC earned the ranking of the number one telecommunications association PAC and has stayed in that position ever since. More than $30 million has been raised and distributed to Federal campaigns since she was hired.

Eleanor was born and raised in Mississippi and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ole Miss.

She currently serves on the Board of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship and the Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. She also serves as a mentor for young men and women in the cable industry through the WICT mentorship program.

.

BACK TO PAST HONOREES

William H. Roedy

Global Health Ambassador and Former Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks International

William H. Roedy

Bill Roedy is the former Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks International, where he and his team built from scratch a global operation of 200 channels, 20 brands (including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central) in 200 countries, reaching a potential audience of 2 billion people, launching the most channels in the history of TV.

Prior to joining MTVNI, Roedy was a Vice President for HBO for ten years, and was inducted as one of the "Pioneers" of the U.S. cable industry. Earlier he was a career officer in the United States Army where he qualified as Airborne and Army Ranger and was a decorated combat veteran in Vietnam. He also commanded nuclear missile bases in Italy as part of NATO during the Cold War.

In 1998 Mr Roedy was named Ambassador for UNAIDS and he has addressed the UN General Assembly on several occasions regarding the pandemic. He was a founding member and chair of the Global Business Coalition (GBC) on HIV/AIDS from 1998 to 2002, and currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Board. In 2005, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed him founding chair of the Global Media AIDS Initiative Leadership Committee. Mary Robinson also appointed him as an Envoy for the Global Alliance for Vaccinations and Immunizations (GAVI) in 2010.

Mr Roedy currently serves as Chairman of the Staying Alive Foundation, which provides young people with resources to fight the epidemic at the grass roots level, in combination with MTV's award winning HIV/AIDS programming.

In addition to the above, he is active in a wide range of other Global Health initiatives, including the boards of amfAR, Healthright, Fitzmi, The Hawn Foundation (Goldie Hawn) and Global Health Corps. His business roles include Zumba (Healthy Lifestyle), Moshi Monsters, Lionsgate, Ping4 (Mobile Alerts), DJZ and the private equity advisory boards of TowerBrook (NY/London) and ClearVue (Shanghai).

His education roles include board membership with Westminster College, and the American School in London (ASL), and advisory board roles with Baruch College and the Berlin School of Creative Leadership.

He has received numerous awards - - including Individual Business Leadership Award presented by US President Bill Clinton, the International Emmy Founder's Award, amfAR's Award of Courage, ,Doctors of the World Leadership Award and the UN Correspondents Association Global Citizen of the Year Award presented by UN Secretary General Ban–Ki-Moon in 2009. He has given numerous commencement addresses with honorary doctorate degrees.

Roedy holds degrees of Bachelor of Science from West Point and an MBA from Harvard. He has recently joined the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Mr Roedy is one of the Exec Producers of the film documentary "Battle of amfAR", which premiered on HBO on World AIDS Day, December 1st 2013. He is also the author of 'What Makes Business Rock', one of CNBC's Best Books of Summer 2011. Bill is currently working on a second book on the art of intelligent perseverance.

BACK TO PAST HONOREES

Tony Werner

Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Comcast Cable

Tony Werner

Tony Werner is responsible for developing and guiding Comcast Cable's technology and product strategy including network architecture and next-generation consumer systems/products including the X1 operating system and CloudTV.

Prior to joining Comcast in 2006, Tony served as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Liberty Global, Inc., in Englewood, CO, where he led the company's global strategy for video, voice and data services.

Prior to Liberty Global, Tony was the CTO for Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI) /AT&T Broadband.

Tony spent the early part of his career with Rogers Communications, Inc., both in the US and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

A graduate of Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, MN with a degree in Telecommunications, Tony and his wife Laurel reside in Philadelphia.

BACK TO PAST HONOREES

Chris Berman

Sportscaster, ESPN

Chris Berman

In October 1979 – one month after its inception – ESPN hired a little known 24-year-old sports anchor named Chris Berman. Over the past three and a half decades, Berman has become one of America's most respected, popular, and in many ways, most beloved sportscasters of his era. A legend in the industry, Berman has also been recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his peers and countless other organizations for his exceptional contributions to sports broadcasting. With his trademark combination of genuine enthusiasm, knowledge and wit, he has come to embody ESPN in its dedication to entertaining and informing sports fans across the country. He is best known for his signature delivery of highlights in every sport, most notably on NFL Sundays.

Six times the versatile Berman has been selected the National Sportscaster of the Year by the members of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Berman, who in 1989 became the first cable sportscaster to win the award, ranks second among sportscasters in winning this award from the NSSA. Berman and his various shows have won 10 Emmy Awards and 12 CableACEs. In 2010, he received the distinguished Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his longtime contributions to radio and TV in professional football.

Berman graduated from Brown University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He resides in his native Connecticut with his wife, Kathy. They have two grown children, Meredith and Doug.

BACK TO PAST HONOREES

JC Sparkman

Chief Operating Officer, TCI, Retired

JC Sparkman

J.C. Sparkman joined cable equipment manufacturer Jerrold Electronics in 1959. Ten years later, he joined the operations department at Tele-Communications Inc., when the company served 56,000 cable subscribers. During his 26 years with TCI, he oversaw cable operations, construction of new networks and expansion of existing networks as the company grew through acquisition. For several years during Sparkman's tenure, TCI doubled in size every 18 months. He was named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 1987, serving in these positions until 1995. He was a member of the TCI board of directors from 1996-1999. By then, TCI was the nation's largest cable MSO, serving 18.5 million customers.

In 1999, Sparkman co-founded Broadband Services, Inc., a provider of asset management, logistics, installation and repair services for telecommunications service providers and equipment manufacturers. He served as Co-CEO and Chairman of the company's board until 2003.

Sparkman has held numerous board positions within the cable industry. He currently serves on the boards of Shaw Communications, Liberty Global PLC, and Universal Electronics, Inc. He previously held board positions with On Command Corporation; TSX Corporation; Liberty Media International, Inc.; Comcast Cable Holdings LLC; UnitedGlobalCOM, Inc.; DMX Inc.; and United Video Satellite Group.

.