Dear Friends and Colleagues,
My retirement at the end of this year is right around the corner and I suppose it is appropriate to spend a few minutes reflecting on the past. I have completed 12 years at The Cable Center and served as president and CEO since June 1, 2005. It does not seem all that long ago that Bill Bresnan and I discussed the challenges facing The Center – and there were plenty at that time! We presented a five-year strategic plan to the board in April 2006 and accomplished our goals by fiscal year 2011. Reviewing that plan reminded me how far we have come since the beginning of my tenure.
By far, the biggest accomplishment revolves around stability – we stabilized the financial situation and reduced programs to put everything in balance. We accomplished this by developing a strong senior management team who made our programmatic offerings more relevant to the industry. In the last decade, we increased the endowment from $26 million to $36 million and raised an additional $10 million from the Cable Hall of Fame and other programs along the way. In addition, we reorganized the board of directors to include exceptional leaders who were in the field every day running a business. I have been especially blessed to have had Bill Bresnan, Michael Willner and Jerry Kent as my board chairs. They not only kept me on target, they provided leadership and friendship when I needed it the most.
When people ask me about my plans, I can only say that I am looking forward to six months of rest and relaxation to figure out my next steps. I plan to serve on several nonprofit boards that are in need of assistance. Dick Green invited me to serve on the board of the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado and I am considering involvement in one other science education organization as well. I also have interests in basic financial literacy, American history and autism research, and may volunteer in those areas in the future. I expect to continue writing about the history of the cable industry and look forward to undertaking additional in-depth research in order to tell the largely untold story of the industry over the last 20 years. I also have an interest in the emergence of municipal broadband that sits at the intersection of public policy, politics, economics and finance. I will continue to work with The Cable Center on a number of projects in the future.
If you would like to contact me, I will have my Cable Center email for a while. You can also find me on LinkedIn. Thank you for your help and support over the years. It has been my privilege to learn about this wonderful industry and the delightful people that have made my job so rewarding.
Wishing everyone a joyful holiday season and a very happy New Year.
Larry Satkowiak, The Cable Center’s president and CEO is retiring December 31. Jana Henthorn, current senior vice president of academic and industry outreach will take the reins on January 1, 2016. In honor of Satkowiak’s retirement, The Cable Center’s local supporters and staff surprised him with a recognition video and celebration earlier this year. You can view the video montage and celebration speeches by Paul Maxwell, David Van Valkenburg, Trygve Myhren, Ron Hranac, Dr. Charles Patti and Jana Henthorn on our website. Satkowiak was also thanked for his dedication to The Center by industry peers at a reception in New York City during Diversity Week.
Retiring after a twelve-year tenure at The Cable Center, president and CEO Larry Satkowiak helped mold The Center into its current role as an integral part of the cable industry. During his 12 years, Satkowiak has positively changed The Center from the inside out, including strategically hiring many of the employees who currently work for the nonprofit. Over the last few months, The Center’s staff have shared their stories about Satkowiak and their appreciation for his hard work and dedication to The Cable Center. Straight from the ‘water cooler’, or in The Center’s case … the coffee pot, below are some of these musings. The entire staff of The Cable Center thanks Larry for his tenure and wish him the best in his future endeavors.
“Larry and I have worked together for over 10 years and have been in the trenches together through good times and bad. Mostly good! Larry has a steadiness to his demeanor and we have always counted on him in the clutch. He has a keen financial sense and can sense a math mistake at 100 paces. I will miss his steady hand at our investment committee, board and budget meetings. I look forward to continuing the work he has done here at The Cable Center, strengthening our finances and giving us a solid balance sheet. Larry wasn’t a cable guy when he got here in 2003, but he is today – sharing with delight the stories he has heard about our great entrepreneurial industry. The future looks bright with broadband and we look forward to the opportunity to chronicle it all.” – Jana Henthorn, incoming president and CEO and current senior vice president of academic and industry outreach
“Larry provided strong leadership during a difficult transition at the start of his tenure as president and CEO. Since then, The Center has had some great accomplishments under Larry’s leadership, a successful Cable Hall of Fame, the development of a fantastic website, the growth and expansion of our work in Customer Experience and the publication of a really great short history of the industry. It was Larry who said we’re going to tell the story of the cable industry – and that’s exactly what we’re doing, and well!” – Diane Christman, senior vice president, marketing and development
“I’ve enjoyed working with Larry these last two years. I appreciate his financial background and the experience he brings as The Center’s former CFO. Larry has a keen understanding of both the nonprofit and business worlds and this translates well when it comes to balancing the budget and supporting our mission-related goals.” – Karen Chipley, senior vice president and CFO
“Unlike other bosses who give orders and tasks, Larry gave me direction; other bosses may give targets and goals, but Larry gave me a vision; other bosses often lead by authority, but Larry led me with respect and his affable qualities. The experience of working under a terrific boss like Larry is a great blessing to me and always will be.” – Cynthia Lang, outgoing senior executive coordinator, copy editor and research analyst
“Larry has one of the most diverse professional backgrounds of anyone I’ve ever met. With his gregarious personality and experience he always has a personal reflection or bit of advice to share that is always appreciated.” – Matt Hollingsworth, production and IT manager
“Larry has been a pleasure to work with. His style is calm but firmly in control, and he is never, ever, short of ideas. He has been a kindred spirit in his appreciation of history, cable as well as more generally, and I’ll especially miss our informal book talks. He has been exceedingly generous to me personally and to my family, and I can’t properly express how much that is appreciated. Who knew MBA-Finance-CEO types could have a big heart? As he sails off into the Land of Do as You Please for retirement, I wish Larry all the best and many happy years of self-directed study. Semper anticus.” – Brian Kenny, library and archives manager
If you've watched The Travel Channel recently, a familiar face and mustache may have graced your television. The Cable Center’s president and CEO Larry Satkowiak was interviewed for a segment on “Mysteries at the Museum” surrounding the ‘mystery’ of Ed Parsons, and the invention of the cable industry earlier this year. The episode, “Fallen Robins, Romeo Spies, All In For Poker”, began airing at the end of October. In the segment, Satkowiak describes how in 1948, spurred on by curiosity, ingenuity and the love of his wife, Ed Parsons sought to bring television to his home in Astoria, Oregon by inventing a signal amplifier, and in turn, helped pioneer the cable industry. The show utilized The Center’s extensive Barco Library archives for research and to film the artifact. The episode is still airing and is available ‘on-demand’. Click here to see a snippet of the episode.
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