Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cable Positive Annual Benefit Dinner Honoring Three Leaders Who’ve Used The Power of their Positions, Resources, Passions & Personalities to Fight HIV

For the first time in Cable Positive’s 16-year history, the cable industry’s AIDS action organization will be honoring three outstanding leaders for their work in fighting HIV/AIDS.

The Benefit Dinner—called the “Power Awards”—is being held on March 4, 2008, at the Marriott Marquis in NYC, and is recognizing three individuals who have used the power of their positions, resources, passions or personalities to raise HIV/AIDS awareness, educate communities at risk, and prevent the spread of the disease.

Each Cable Positive honoree has exercised either their personal or professional power—or both—in extraordinary ways to battle the AIDS epidemic, and galvanize either their industry colleagues, the public, public officials, and many others to have an impact in the most important public health matter of our time.

Two of these people—unafraid to push their powerful industry toward courageous acts of corporate social responsibility on HIV/AIDS—are veterans of the cable industry, with a multitude of pro-active accomplishments under their belts, and just as many friends, colleagues and public officials, who hold them in enormous respect .

Bill Roedy, the Vice Chairman of MTV Networks, oversees all of MTV Networks’ growing international multimedia business operations. Under Bill’s leadership, 143 MTV cable, satellite & terrestrial TV channels reach a global audience of 1.5 billion people, and he has been aggressive in using that vast access to a world-wide audience for AIDS education and awareness. Appointed as an Ambassador for UNAIDS in 1998, Bill Roedy the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS in 2000, which was the first international collaboration of entire industries, to use their power and resources to fight the disease. In April 2005, then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Bill as the founding chair of the Global Media AIDS Initiative, a coalition of media organizations—including Cable Positive—to use their resources to educate audiences around the world about AIDS. Roedy is receiving the Joel A. Berger Memorial Award for using original programming and the power of the communications industry to fight AIDS.

Michael Willner, Vice Chairman and CEO of Insight Communications Company, the eighth largest cable operative in the U.S. Yet, Michael’s influence on Capitol Hill and within his industry, far exceeds the size of his company, since he has never feared using his power to do good. One of the early supporters of Cable Positive, Michael was a co-chair of the Benefit Dinner honoring Marc Nathanson in 2000, and with his full support, his company also co-chaired two other significant Cable Positive benefit dinners. Those took place in 2003, honoring Robert Johnson& Debra Lee of BET, and in 2007, honoring Glenn Britt, of Time Warner Cable. The 2007 Cable Positive Benefit raised more revenue for the organization’s programs than any other single event in Cable Positive’s history.

Under Michael’s leadership, Insight Communications has been a strong supporter of Cable Positive’s Tony Cox Community Fund of local AIDS grants, has offered its employees AIDS in the Workplace Training, and has encouraged its local affiliates to air Cable Positive’s AIDS awareness PSAs. Michael is receiving Cable Positive’s first-ever Corporate Leadership Award.

Yet, Cable Positive’s work—which reaches into 80 million households in the US, and nearly 1.5 billion worldwide thanks to MTV—is even more meaningful when coupled with the use of power in the fight against AIDS, by people in the public and non-profit sphere.

Such a transformative leader is Dr. Helene Gayle, the President and CEO of CARE USA, and she is being presented with Cable Positive’s first-ever Humanitarian Award, at the March 4 Benefit Dinner. Dr. Gayle, who received her MD from the University of Pennsylvania, has devoted her life to improving public health, and particularly to HIV/AIDS prevention. She worked at the CDC for 20 years where she headed the National Center for HIV,STD and TB Prevention. While at the CDC, Dr. Gayle participated in Cable Positive’s AIDS in The Workplace Training video, used across the country to teach cable industry employees about HIV/AIDS. Dr. Gayle also served as Director of HIV, TB & Reproductive Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, before taking the helm at CARE USA, an international organization which helps millions of people worldwide.

Leaders like Bill Roedy, Michael Willner and Dr. Helene Gayle give a more profound meaning to the word “power.” They use their power, influence or resources to have a positive impact upon the lives of others, and stand as models of how individuals can use their personal and professional gifts to make the world a better place.

That’s why Cable Positive is proud to honor them on March 4.

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