Five rising stars in the communications industry were honored at the sixth annual New York Women in Communications “WiCi Awards” ceremony, held Oct. 23 in New York City.

The ceremony was emceed by Julie Hochheiser Ilkovich, co-founder, managing partner, president of editorial operations at Masthead Media Company (a past WiCi honoree) and hosted by the Meredith Corporation, represented by EVP, chief marketing officer Nancy Weber. Opening remarks came from NYWiCi president, Weber Shandwick senior vice president, diversity & inclusion, Judith Harrison.

WiCi Game Changers 2
From left: Lauren Skowronski, Ashley Miles, Michelle Tan, Jennifer Bender and Lisa Tobin.

Each of the honorees gave some words of advice, as well as naming their coffee of choice, a nod to a favorite question from the NYWiCi Coffee Break podcast:

Jennifer Bender (senior manager of strategy & commercial operations, Pfizer). “My mentor helped talk me through some difficult times in my career. I always try to give back because I’ve always had such a good sounding board throughout my career.” Coffee Choice—“is seasonal so in the summertime, I tend to do two shots over ice with skim milk, sometimes three depending on the day.”

Ashley Miles (chief client officer, head of advertising, North America, Refinery29). “Adaptability is a key skill because businesses need to evolve at a more rapid pace. It’s an important skill and, more important now than ever before.” Coffee choice—"a triple shot of espresso over ice. Splash of almond milk, no sugar from Starbucks, every single morning to get me going.”

Lauren Skowronski (senior vice president, corporate communications, NBCUniversal). “Sometimes it’s difficult to transition from team member to team leader, but be confident and know that you deserve to.” Coffee Choice—“not as strong as these ladies, but I love the iced hazelnut all the time, all seasons with soy and Splenda.”

Michelle Tan (editorial director, MAKERS). “To be at the helm of @MAKERSwomen and give inspiration to the next generation of girls and put my stamp on it is a true gift.” Coffee Choice—“is just a black coffee with a shot of espresso in it. And that espresso is due to a two-year-old toddler.”

Lisa Tobin (executive producer for audio, New York Times). “I needed the people around me to say to me ‘you can do the thing!’ It’s important to have the support of those around you, and that’s what I have at the New York Times.” Coffee Choice—“the coffee in front of me.”

The WiCi Awards complement the NYWiCi’s annual Matrix Awards ceremony coming up May 6, 2019, which honors women at the pinnacle of their communications careers.

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