2014 Diversity Awards Dinner Brings Together Media Executives, Interns and Supporters

On Wednesday, March 26, T. Howard Foundation (THF) board and staff welcomed more than 635 media industry representatives for the Foundation’s 21st annual Diversity Awards Dinner, held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.

THF recognized media corporations and executives for outstanding leadership in the area of diversity, and saluted the Foundation’s internship class of 2013 and acknowledged the students’ host company partners.

“The T. Howard Foundation is thankful for the support and partnership with so many media companies that enables the organization to provide the priceless gift of opportunity to young people of color,” said Jo Pamphile, THF President & CEO. “I’m proud that in 2013, 103 THF talent pool students gained professional work experiences with our media host company partners. In addition, last year 32 T. Howard alumni were hired for full-time positions in the industry.”

The following media industry leaders were honored at this year’s Diversity Awards Dinner:

thoward-5278Corporate Excellence Award
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., accepted by John K. Martin, CEO

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. has been a THF media partner since 1994 and has increased financial and internship program support over the years. Turner has demonstrated its commitment to presenting quality programming and content that reflects and respects the diversity of its global audience.



thoward-5117Innovative Program Award
Comcast|NBCUniversal, for Internet Essentials, accepted by David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation

Internet Essentials is the nation’s most comprehensive broadband adoption program. It provides families with children eligible to receive a free or reduced school lunch the opportunity to purchase low-cost Internet service, a low-cost computer and to participate in digital literacy training either in person, in print or online.


Champion Award
Salaam Coleman Smith, President, Strategic Initiatives, Cable Entertainment Group, NBCUniversal

Ms. Coleman Smith, as past president, led the Style Network, growing it into a prominent cable destination for young, diverse, female audiences.

The evening’s program featured a balance of media industry newcomers and veterans, including:

  • THF’s 2013 “Rising Star”: Steven DeShields, THF’ 05 (Viacom), Manager, Point of Sales, Showtime Networks, Inc.
  • Award and tribute presenters:

o   Jacqueline Hernandez, COO, Telemundo Media

o   Nadya Mason, THF ’13 (Comcast Corporation) and University of Pennsylvania student

o   Carlos Morcillo, THF ’12 (Speakeasy), Marketing Analyst, Telemundo Media

o   Camly Nguyen, THF ’13 (Turner Network Sales), Sales Operation Coordinator, Turner Network Sales

o   Cristina Recino, THF ‘13 (Viacom) and Penn State University student

  • Michaela Pereira, CNN News Anchor for “New Day” and Co-Anchor of “@This Hour, emceed the Diversity Awards program.

The T. Howard Foundation’s Diversity Awards Dinner also included a silent auction featuring more than 40 national media-related items and experiences, with all proceeds benefitting the Foundation’s summer internship program.

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Alumni Spotlight: Edgar Corona, Marketing Coordinator, National Football League


Edgar_CoronaTwo key elements for Edgar Corona launching a successful career in the media industry are networking and mentorship. Growing up in Los Angeles, Edgar moved to the East Coast to attend Georgetown University in Washington. DC. At Georgetown, Edgar majored in marketing and international business. In his marketing classes and during an internship experience after his freshman year of college, Edgar says that the roles media promotions and advertising play in marketing grabbed his attention, “I was working with a political marketing team and was able to really see the face-to-face marketing and distribution. That is where my interest in media really began.”

At that time, Edgar shared his interest in media with one of his mentors and she suggested that he pursue an internship with the T. Howard Foundation (THF). Edgar, ever persistent, researched the Foundation and requested an informational interview with Sharise Kent, Senior Project Manager. His meeting with Sharise increased his interest and he applied for the summer internship program during his junior year. After being selected for THF’s Final Talent Pool for summer 2011 opportunities, Edgar then landed an internship with ESPN, in the sports network’s sales and marketing division, located in New York City. During the Foundation’s 2011 Summer Internship Orientation, Edgar continued to network and cultivate mentors. “It was fascinating for me to see and learn how individuals really communicated and contributed to different parts of the media sector.”

The T. Howard Foundation pairs all its interns with a mentor. Bryce Adams, an active THF alumnus who now works for the New York Yankees, was assigned to mentor Edgar. He often turned to his mentor for guidance. “Bryce was experienced in the field, and I was able to talk to him about the experiences I had in my role and how a project would develop, and he gave me pointers and advice on how best to handle a situation.”

After Edgar concluded his internship with ESPN, he returned to Georgetown for his senior year and maintained the relationships he established during the summer and also spread the word about the T. Howard Foundation Internship Program at campus events.


Edgar Corona at the NFL Draft

After graduation, Edgar secured a position in the NFL’s highly competitive Junior Rotational Program. In July 2012 he began an assignment as a Marketing Coordinator in the NFL’s sponsorship department focusing on entertainment marketing.

“One of the reasons I really like this industry is because it is always changing and it is constantly evolving where you always have the opportunity to learn,” Edgar stated last week. “I have been working with partners, players and agents to understand how players and teams cooperate in promoting the teams.”

Edgar credits the T. Howard Foundation with providing him with the resources and access to individuals that have allowed him to begin his career path. In fact, THF chose Edgar to represent all Internship Program alumni by inviting him to speak at last year’s Diversity Awards Dinner, held annually in New York, and attended by multimedia industry executives.

At the beginning of 2014, he transitioned out of the NFL’s Junior Rotational Program and was promoted to a full-time Marketing Coordinator in the League’s entertainment and promotions department. Edgar encourages students to “take advantage of the opportunities they encounter, whether they are big or small there is always an opportunity to learn; there is always an opportunity to meet new individuals and grow as individuals and professionals. The resources provided by this program (T. Howard Foundation) really make it helpful for individuals and puts you in a position to succeed.”