New Board Members Reflect Foundation’s Reach Beyond Traditional Media

New Board Members Reflect Foundation’s Reach Beyond Traditional Media
Foundation launches Diversity Partners for media-related companies

In an effort to increase opportunities for young minority professionals to build their careers in the media industry, the T. Howard Foundation (THF) is in the process of expanding its reach beyond traditional media to media-related companies.

Following a new development strategy, the THF Board of Directors continues to make a concerted effort to engage additional individuals to serve on the board who represent the public relations and advertising industry. Meeting this objective will also allow THF to serve as a resource to these companies seeking to meet their diversity goals.

The T. Howard Foundation recently welcomed to its Board of Directors Christopher Carroll, Senior Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer, Interpublic Group (IPG). IPG is one of the world’s leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services companies.

The T. Howard Foundation has a long-standing relationship with sports media companies, and has elected John Malkin, Vice President, Affiliate Distribution, NFL Network as a board member. The NFL has hosted THF interns in its competitive Junior Rotational Program and has supported the Foundation’s mission for several years at its annual Diversity Awards Dinner.

Additional new board members from existing THF partners continue to enhance the Foundation’s mission, reach and direction. Christina Spade, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Showtime Networks, replaces Tom Hayden, President, Smithsonian Networks. Ben Pyne, President, Global Distribution for Disney Media Networks replaces Sean Bratches, Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing, ESPN.

Earlier this year, THF welcomed Richard Warren, Executive Vice President, Content Negotiations and Strategy, Turner Network Sales, Inc. to the board. View a full list of the T. Howard Foundation Board of Directors.

Additionally, THF recently launched its Diversity Partners initiative for media-related companies that embrace diversity to support the Foundation’s programs and services. THF’s first registered Diversity Partner is Grey Group, a worldwide advertising and marketing organization.

In addition to hosting THF summer interns, advertising and public relations companies have opportunities to hire from THF’s Internship Program alumni pool. Diversity Partners can also participate in THF professional webinars and interview sessions.

For more information about Diversity Partners, please contact Jo Pamphile, THF President & CEO.

Alumni Spotlight: Soon Kwon, THF 2015 Rising Star

T Howard Foundation 22nd Annual Diversity Awards Dinner

Soon Kwon and TV One’s Roland Martin, emcee, at the 2015 THF Diversity Awards Dinner.

Soon Kwon, THF ’05, Showtime Networks, was recognized as a “rising star” at this year’s Diversity Awards Dinner, held March 25 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.

The T. Howard Foundation team chose Soon as this year’s “Rising Star” because she has shown great promise as a young professional and has remained connected and committed to the Foundation.

View Soon’s “Alumni Spotlight” video and read the inspiring remarks she delivered at the Diversity Awards Dinner below.

In 1985, my parents left their home in South Korea to pursue the American Dream. Growing up with immigrant parents, the media played a huge role in shaping my understanding of Western culture. My love of TV and movies as a kid turned into a passion for creating elaborate videos for class projects in high school. By then, it was pretty clear I wasn’t going to be pursuing a career in medicine or law.

During my junior year at Penn State, my telecommunications professor told me about an opportunity with the T. Howard Foundation. After an intense application process and an interview with [THF Board member and Penn State alumnus] Tom Hayden, I landed my first internship with Showtime Networks in the summer of 2005.

I was assigned to the Creative Services department. For the next ten weeks, I made dubs, delivered tapes and even worked on a few projects for the television show Dexter. I learned a lot about the promotional world of premium cable and met some great people, including Darrin Carter.

Darrin was a Production Assistant and also a former T. Howard intern. This created an instant bond between us and he ultimately became a friend and mentor. My favorite thing about Darrin was that he would wear a suit to work everyday, which was unusual for a PA. “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” he would say.

Looking back, I could have never imagined how that internship experience would change my life. But it did. Because the following year, I returned to Showtime and have been there ever since.

If there’s one lesson I’d like to share, it’s the value of saying “yes” to opportunities in life, no matter how scary it may seem at first. Just like my parents said “yes” to the opportunity of moving to this country for a chance at a better life, I found myself saying “yes” to opportunities for the chance at a better career.

During my nine years at Showtime, I’ve been a Production Assistant, Graphics Coordinator, Design Studio Manager and Marketing Producer. I’ve had the chance to visit new cities and work with stars like Claire Danes, Don Cheadle and Jon Voight. Last year, I joined the on-air promotions team as a Writer/Producer to work on shows like Homeland, The Affair, Ray Donovan and Shameless. Each experience has been challenging, but completely worth it.

I’m grateful to the T. Howard Foundation for giving me the opportunity to pursue a career that I’m passionate about and proud of. Their commitment to promote diversity and develop young talent is vital to shaping the future of our industry.

I encourage you to say “yes” to opportunities that come your way, so that you don’t just become the person you want you be, but the industry leaders you were MEANT to be. “If you get the chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it.”