Montez Flenoury: THF 2017 Rising Star

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Montez Flenoury at THF’s 2012 Summer Intern Orientation

Montez Flenoury first discovered the T. Howard Foundation’s Internship Program as a freshman at University of Georgia. Find out how THF was instrumental during his college years, and how he landed a full-time position as Associate Booking Producer for NBC’s The Today Show, and chosen as THF’s 2017 Rising Star.

We sat down with Montez at last month’s annual Diversity Awards Dinner, prior to his Rising Star speech.

I was a freshman, pre-journalism major at UGA and joined the National Association of Black Journalists on campus. I knew I had a serious interest in media, and a THF staff member visited campus to present to our group. I thought THF was something I’d be interested in, so I spoke with my career advisor and I applied. I went through the interview process and was selected for an internship. I was initially concerned because I didn’t have experience, but after the semester ended, I was selected for an internship in the sales operations department with Turner Network Sales in Atlanta.

At Turner Network Sales, my responsibilities included working on organization charts. I attended meetings and I met quite a few THF alumni who had become full-time employees. I worked on marketing projects and also attended a number of events.

Two THF Internships Provided Career Clarity

As a rising senior in 2012, I secured another internship with Cartoon Network. I had decided to major in public relations, and sought an internship where I could obtain PR experience, still in the media industry. Since Cartoon Network is part of the Turner family, I spoke with the THF team to see if my internship could be converted to a THF internship. Fusing Cartoon Network and THF, I was able to have a great second internship experience, coupled with the valuable information I received at Summer Intern Orientation.

In my Cartoon Network internship, I worked on a major project from original conception to completion as a true member of the team.

THF Interns are Their Own Network
The word “network” doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. As a THF intern, there are numerous opportunities to meet, connect and build relationships with a lot of different people. We tend, however, to underestimate the network we have with our THF class interns, in addition to meeting executives. The new THF interns are working in the media industry as well, and can be great resources now and in the future.

With THF, the resources are incredible, and I received a Scott Weiss Scholarship that helped me study abroad. The staff was always there to help me and connect me with others. The staff has so many partners in different business functions within the industry.

THF Alumni Status Opens Doors
Just before graduation from UGA, I attended the 2013 THF Diversity Awards Dinner in New York. I was in the process of interviewing for NBC’s page program at the time, and I spoke with an NBC executive at the dinner. I asked him for suggestions on how to get farther along in the interview process. I think this contact and others helped me to be selected for the page program. That was extremely instrumental to beginning my journey with NBCUniversal.

After working as an NBC page for a year, I became a production assistant for The Today Show. I later worked for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and now I’m back at The Today Show as an Associate Booking Producer. In my current role, I book guests that a team of producers wants to have on the show. These guests range from news guests to people from the world of politics and entertainment.

2017 Diversity Awards Dinner photo album

The 24th Annual T. Howard Foundation Diversity Awards Dinner was held March 29 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.

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2017 Honorees:

AT&T – Corporate Excellence Award
Accepted by John Stankey, CEO, AT&T Entertainment Group

FX Networks – Corporate Leadership Award
Accepted by John Landgraf, CEO, FX Networks and FX Productions

TV One – Family of Champions Award
Accepted by Cathy Hughes, Founder and Chairperson, Radio One
and Alfred C. Liggins, III, CEO, Radio One and Chairman and CEO, TV One

Major League Baseball – Diversity Partner Award
Accepted by Renee E. Tirado, VP of Talent Acquisition and Diversity & Inclusion

Pac-12 Networks – Diversity Partner Award
Accepted by Lydia Murphy-Stephans, President

Read THF’s Fall 2016 Newsletter

Read our Fall 2016 newsletter where we announce the 2017 Diversity Awards Dinner honorees, recap our Diversity Week networking events, spotlight our Internship Program alumni who are making strides in the media industry, and welcome new board members!

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THF Hosts 4th Annual HR Diversity Roundtable in NYC

On Wednesday, September 21, the T. Howard Foundation held its 4th Annual HR Diversity Roundtable at PwC in New York City.  The event  was hosted by THF board member, Ken Sharkey, Partner, Entertainment Media & Communications, PwC.

More than 16 leading media, entertainment, advertising and marketing companies were represented, including A+E Networks, Bloomberg, Grey, HBO, NBCUniversal, Publicis Media, Scripps Networks Interactive and Viacom.

THF’s HR Diversity Roundtable provides a platform for human resources, talent acquisition and diversity & inclusion professionals to discuss best practices, challenges and the value of recruiting and retaining diverse talent. It also provides THF with valuable insight to enhance our programs, assist our partners with identifying qualified, diverse talent and promote the achievement of their diversity goals.

We are grateful to our partners for their ongoing support and for helping to make the HR Diversity Roundtable a staple among Diversity Week events!

 

THF MEN Meet & Greet Hosted by A+E Networks

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Brynton Lett, THF Associate Manager, Internship Program (center) is pictured with THF Internship Program alumni from various years.

On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, the T. Howard Foundation hosted a MEN (Mentor, Engage, Network) meet & greet at A+E Networks in New York City. THF’s male recruitment event provided a space for Internship Program alumni to reconnect with each other and the Foundation, while also bridging the connection with prospective intern candidates.

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L to R: Alexis Johnson, VP, Programming, Charter Communications; Rich Warren, EVP, Content Negotiations & Strategy, Turner Content Distribution; Jo Pamphile, President & CEO, T. Howard Foundation; Mark Garner, SVP, Distribution Business Development; A+E Networks; David Zagin, President, Distribution, A+E Networks

 

The event, part of the media industry’s Diversity Week, was held in A+E’s loft space. THF board members, David Zagin, A+E Networks’ President, Distribution, and Rich Warren, Executive Vice President, Content Negotiations & Strategy for Turner Content Distribution, both made presentations to the group.  Presentations were followed by a networking reception for executives, A+E HR professionals, THF alumni, prospective interns and special guests.

 

 

 

Disney Hosts THF Alumni Mixer

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THF staff and alumni pose at The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank.

On August 4, THF staff members LaShika Howard, Senior Manager, Career and Alumni Services, and Brynton Lett, Associate Manager, Internship Program, joined more than 20 current THF interns and alumni at The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, Calif. The group enjoyed a welcome reception at the lot’s Legends Plaza, followed by a brief history presentation, and a tour of the sets of hit television shows Code Black and black-ish.

After the tour, Ben Pyne, THF board member and President, Global Distribution, Disney Media Networks, greeted the group. Members of the talent acquisition and diversity teams were also present and engaged with the interns and alumni during a networking reception.

“It was wonderful connecting with fellow THF LA interns and alumni, and getting to visit the Disney lot was an extraordinarily special experience,” said Victor Li (THF ’16, Paramount Pictures)

A special thank you to Ben Pyne and the rest of The Walt Disney Company team for a great event.

 

 

 

THF Alumna Jordan Budget Scores Diverse Experiences at NBA

Jordan Budget was a 2014 T. Howard Foundation intern at Showtime Networks. She is currently part of the rotational NBA Associate Program in New York. Jordan received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Global Studies in 2015 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Jordan Budget (right) attends the 2016 THF MEN event hosted by at NBA headquarters. Also pictured: Preston Chin (THF  ’12, ’13), Partnership Solutions, NBA, and LaShika Howard, THF Senior Manager, Career & Alumni Services

NBA Associates Experience Four Departments
As an NBA Associate, I rotate through four different departments with four different responsibilities. My third rotation was in the partnerships department, and my responsibilities included identifying new partners with which the NBA could to do deals, what would be included in the contracts and establishing why the new relationships are important.

THF Internship at Showtime Created Networking Opportunities
I interned at Showtime Networks, and the best part was connecting with other THF interns and alumni to learn their experiences. I was also excited to have been assigned a mentor through THF’s Internship Program.

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Jordan participates in a networking exercise as a THF intern at the 2014 Summer Intern Orientation.

THF taught me about the importance of networking and getting to know people in the media and entertainment industry. The networking skills I learned from THF Summer Intern Orientation have benefited me in the long run, and has helped open doors for me at the NBA.

Be Willing to Learn in New Positions
The most important thing for someone new to the industry is to be honest. At the entry level, it’s important to enter a company with a willingness to learn. Be upfront with yourself and with other people about your experience (what you know and what you don’t know); managers will appreciate that and provide opportunities for you to learn and grow.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is telling people that I work for the NBA. I find that my family is proud of me, not just for the professional position I’m in, but the fact that I’m a woman in a male-dominated company. I’m proud that I can sit at the table and be respected.

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Jordan (second from right) connects with other THF alumni and media industry decision makers at THF’s 2015 Diversity Awards Dinner.

Career Goals Often Change
When speaking with younger people, I often find that they have a dream job in mind. In my internship at Showtime, and now working at the NBA, I find that no one came out of college with a complete, clear career path and went straight there. Many of them worked their way around to gain different experiences before setting long-term goals.