2014 WICT Power Point

Spirit of the Midwest
Awards Reception
Emcee – Pete Abel
SVP, Corporate Communications
Since 2003, Pete has led the corporate communications function
at Suddenlink. He and his staff -- in conjunction with colleagues in
corporate and regional offices -- manage local, national, and trade
media relations; help guide the company’s evolving use of social
media; and contribute to financial communications, employee
communications, and government relations projects.
Prior to Suddenlink, Pete was a SVP and Senior Partner at
Fleishman-Hillard, an Omnicom company and one of the world's
largest public affairs agencies. There, he consulted with
organizations as diverse as Procter & Gamble, Monsanto,
Johnson & Johnson, Anheuser-Busch, Dell and the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Pete started his career in 1985 as a freelance reporter, and later as a full-time staff writer for
the (St. Louis) County Star-Journal, covering municipal politics and local businesses.
Keynote Speaker – Mary Meduski
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
With more than 25 years of financial experience in the
media and telecommunications industries, Mary joined
Suddenlink in 2006, as Executive Vice President and Chief
Financial Officer. She is also a member of the Board of
Mary serves as Executive Committee member of WICT’s
National Board. She is also a member of the Board’s
Finance, Governance and Leadership Development
Mary has been named to CableFAX's list of Most Powerful
Women in Cable in each of the last eight years and has
been named a Multichannel News Wonder Woman, Class
of 2012.
Women in Cable
Midwest Chapter
WICT develops women leaders who transform our
We partner with cable and telecommunications industry
leaders to provide leadership programs and services, and
challenge these companies to create professional
advancement opportunities for women. We create bold, selfempowered leaders through advocacy and leadership training.
Spirit of the Midwest Winners
• Rising Leader: Sally West
Director, Finance
• Spirit of the Midwest: Theresa Sunde
Government Relations Manager
• Woman in Technology: Ginni Hartley
Director, IT
Rising Leader: Sally West
This award recognizes an industry woman,
considered a newcomer to the industry,
who has demonstrated her own personal
leadership style and has become
accomplished in both her job and in her
working knowledge of the cable and/or
telecommunications industry.
Sally is a dedicated and enthusiastic leader with a passion for
serving her customers with excellence. Since moving to St.
Louis, she has made a tremendous impact on Suddenlink
through her work with Project Velocity and her commitment to
WICT’s Midwest Chapter. Even though you can’t take Texas
out of the employee, I’m very glad we were able to take the
employee out of Texas!
~ Pamela Hermann
VP, Management & Financial Reporting
Often times, “Rising leaders” are thought of as new employees to a
company with developing leadership capabilities. In Sally’s case it is a bit
different and I believe just as important, if not more important, to recognize
managers that seize the opportunity to rise and meet a “leadership”
opportunity within the same company. Sally, not only recognized the
opportunity to rise to meet an important business challenge, but she also
changed roles and moved her life to the Midwest. In the midst of those
changes, she was instrumental in the launch of a new and successful
business intelligence program for Suddenlink called “Velocity” which is
targeted at helping Suddenlink remain a growth leader in the industry.
~ Jim Fox
SVP Chief Accounting Officer
Having Sally as a personal friend has made me want to be a
better person. As a professional friend, she has helped me
realize that success lies with me. While we celebrated wins I
learned most from her motivation, encouragement and
support through professional struggles. I cherish her skill and
dedication and have been the benefactor many times of her
gentle honesty.
~ Cynthia Jackson
Director Customer Care
Sally West is a warm and caring, high integrity manager who
builds strong relationships and is dedicated to providing great
service to her internal customers, regardless of which role she
is in at the time. Sally has proven herself to be a trusted
servant leader, always working to find ways to help others and
accomplish the goals at hand. Her great sense of humor and
warm sincere manner help put others at ease and makes
others want to work with her. I have had the privilege of
working with her through a number of roles and it has been a
great experience. And, she is also a valued friend.
~ Randy Goad
SVP Operations, Mid South
Congratulations, Sally, on this much deserved award. Sally is an
enthusiastic friend and leader who always has words of wisdom and
encouragement. Her optimistic attitude is infectious and she inspires
everyone around her to strive for greatness. One of Sally’s favorite
quotes is from Theodore Roosevelt. It describes that it is not the critic
who counts, but that credit belongs to the person who tries again and
again, because there is no effort without error. It is this person who “at
the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at
the worst, if [s]he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Sally dares
~ Julie Potthast
Programming Manager
Spirit of the Midwest: Theresa Sunde
This award recognizes an industry woman
who has made significant contributions to
the cable and telecommunications industry
throughout her career, serves as a mentor
and role model to others, exhibits
leadership qualities that have made a
difference in her organization, is a risk
taker and groundbreaker, and inspires
others. This woman is highly regarded by
her peers and teammates for career
accomplishments and quality work-life
Theresa's favorite word is "LOL" and that perfectly
captures her positive attitude and natural
confidence. Her engaging style combined with her
results-oriented approach make her both formidable and
~ Jane Bremer
Bremer Law, P.C.
Theresa is an outstanding representative of her
company, her community and the cable industry. She
is a true professional with strong ethics, but at the
same time is approachable and fun to be around,
making everyone feel welcome and valued. I have
many great memories of going to games, cable
shows and events with Theresa over the years and
I’m glad to call her a friend!
~ Jean Edhlund
Manager, Distribution and Regional Sales
Fox Networks
I was greeted on my very first day in the cable industry by Theresa Sunde. She quickly
impressed me with her commitment and focus. Theresa understands the customers’ high
expectations and she delivers and compels her colleagues to do so as well. She is a true
champion of our industry and is tireless in her work with Mediacom and our industry-wide
efforts in Minnesota. It is also important to note “how” she gains her successes. With class,
respect, humor and integrity, she promises the experience to be a great one! My favorite
memory was how she handled a lovely elderly woman who continued to call to complain about
the persistent but intermittent noise coming from her cable box. Technicians could not locate
or solve the problem, despite repeated visits. Theresa told the woman to call her when she
heard the noise again, and when the woman did, Theresa literally left a conference call to go to
the woman’s home. She quickly located an alarm clock that had fallen out of sight in back of
her table. Another happy customer, thanks to Theresa! Congratulations on this well deserved
honor, Theresa.
~ Tom Bordwell
Senior Director Regional Government Affairs
Charter Communications
Theresa has been a great asset to the Waseca Area Chamber of
Commerce, serving as a board member and an ambassador. She
received the Chamber Champion Award. Good character is more
to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are to some
extent a gift, but good character by contrast is not given to us, one
has to build it by thought, choice, and determination. With this
said, Theresa excels in her volunteerism and character and is
deserving of such an award from our organization.
~ Kim Foels
Executive Director
Waseca Area Chamber of Commerce
Theresa is a genuine people person and the picture of
common sense for our company and the cable telecom
industry. She is passionate, professional and an excellent
team player who cares. Highly respected by her peers, I can’t
think of a better recipient of the WICT 2014 Spirit of the
Midwest award.
~ Bill Jensen
Regional Vice President
Woman in Technology: Ginni Hartley
This award recognizes an industry
woman serving in a technical position
who has contributed significantly to her
organization as well as the cable and
telecommunications industry. In
addition to her technical expertise, she
is a valued team member who is
committed to supporting and
motivating others.
Ginni is a supportive ally, confidant and friend to many in
the organization. She is always professional and
accommodating. She has proven herself to be a trusted
leader and always errs on the side of what is right, rather
than what is popular. She self-assuredly tackles projects
with knowledge to not only get the job done, but to
achieve goals that others have thought were out of
reach. Ginni is a Woman in Technology to watch.
~ Erin Lorenz
Senior Director, IT
When I realized that I would be working with Ginni on the Go It
Alone/Operation Reliant project at Suddenlink, I was thrilled! Ginni’s
amazing knowledge of the industry and technology used to support
telephony is mind-blowing! She has been so patient with those of us
new to this world and continually reminds us what acronyms
mean. She is very articulate when working with others and often uses
visual aids as a method to explain complicated concepts. The icing
on the cake is that Ginni is great to work with and loves to laugh – that
makes everything better!! Congratulations on this well-deserved
~ Randee Steffen
IT Project Manager
Suddenlink - Go It Alone Project
Ginni has the whip-smarts beyond mere mortals. She
is expressive and joyful even on the rainiest of days.
It’s my utmost pleasure to work beside her and share
countless hours solving the most maniacal of
problems. Snaps for Ginni.. Woman in Tech!!
~ Katie Atkinson
Manager, Integration Technology
Congratulations on your well-deserved award,
Ginni!! Reflecting back on all of our fun times between
BCP, PRI, and NPG to name a few…what a ride! Very
proud of you, my friend. Continued success!
~ Chandni Thakrar-Ochoa
Senior Director, Technology Integration
I really enjoy working with Ginni. She approaches her work
with such enthusiasm and drive!!! With an energy level
beyond compare, she will jump in with both feet to conquer
any task at hand. I can always trust that she will deliver on
what was promised. She truly leads by example! Her
dedication to Suddenlink is evident in everything that she
does. With all of her great qualities, what I admire most
about Ginni is her love for resource capacity
planning!!!! WOW…what a special lady!
~ Beth Petti
Vice President, IT
Special Recognition;
Lifetime Achievement
Patty McCaskill
Senior Vice President, Chief Programming
Patty joined the Suddenlink team in 2003. As Chief
Programming Officer, she was responsible for
managing all of Suddenlink’s content relationships
with media ownership groups, television stations and
cable networks. Patty is currently collaborating with
Suddenlink’s new Chief Programming Officer, Kathy
Payne, in preparation for her well-deserved
retirement later this year.
Patty McCaskill
Patty has more than 31 years’ experience in cable industry management and
operations, with an emphasis in marketing, sales, customer service,
programming, strategic planning and budget development.
A member of the Cable Pioneers Class of 2002, Patty founded and served as
a past-president of the St. Louis Chapter of Women in Cable
Telecommunications. She also serves on the Cable & Telecommunications
Association for Marketing (CTAM) Summit Planning Committee and cochaired the 2003 CTAM Digital Conference. In addition, she sits on the
board of the National Cable Television Cooperative; serves as a trustee and
member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Maryville University; and
is a past member of the Board of Governors of the St. Louis/Mid-America
Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
The Value of WICT – Mentorship Program
Being part of the WICT Midwest Mentor program has
changed my life. I have received so much encouraging
feedback and have accomplished things personally and
professionally that I may not have even tried before. The
WICT Midwest Mentoring program gave me such a great
opportunity to connect with someone who challenges me
to reach my potential.
~ Julie Potthast
Programming Manager
The Value of WICT – Mentorship Program
I am fortunate to have natural mentors within my
own team at Suddenlink, but adding another advisor
and advocate—one who can perhaps step back and
see me from another angle—has helped me better
identify my professional strengths and define my
~ Lisa Shea
Communications Supervisor
The Value of WICT
WICT is Community – our careers stand on
those that have come before us and paved the
way, and rest in the desire to pay it forward to
our next generation of female leaders.
~ Julie Pozel
Billing Manager
The Value of WICT
WICT provides opportunities to learn new techniques
and approaches to solving an item I am working on at
the office. During a board call or WebEx, most times, I
observe a new item what would be helpful or useful to
me that I can incorporate into a presentation or
meeting prep I am working on.
~ Denise Farley
Senior Director, Revenue Asset Recovery
The Value of WICT
I am very lucky and proud to be a part of WICT and
have learned a lot from attending both local and
national events and programs. I have gained
valuable insight from all of the wonderful women I
have met through this organization.
~ Julie Potthast
Programming Manager
The Value of WICT
Leadership, catalyst, and fearless are three words that come
to mind as I reflect back on my WICT experience. Through
my WICT journey I have grown both professionally and
personally and have had the opportunity to reflect on who I
am and where I am going, all while acknowledging the
journey is just beginning.
~ Chandni Thakrar-Ochoa
Senior Director, Technology Integration
The Value of WICT
Through WICT I’ve connected with people in a variety
of disciplines within my own company, as well as with
others from networks, industry support vendors, and
fellow MSOs. These friendly relationships, along with
excellent WICT programming, have given me a
broader and deeper understanding of the cable
~ Lisa Shea
Communications Supervisor
The Value of WICT
I became a WICT member in 2002 and have been on
the WICT Board of Directors for the Midwest Chapter
since 2010. Through WICT, I have the opportunity to
connect both professionally and personally with a great
number of dynamic women and men in our industry.
Through these connections, I have not only been given
great opportunities, I’ve made great friends!
~ Theresa Sunde
Government Relations Manager
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