Karen Horne, Senior Vice President of Equity and Inclusion at WarnerMedia and Stacie de Armas, Senior Vice President of Diverse Consumer Insights & Initiatives, DEI Practice at Nielsen have both joined the board of advisors at RespectAbility.
Bringing more than 20 years of entertainment industry experience, Horne has been recognized as a Diversity and Inclusion pioneer and pipeline builder. Prior to joining WarnerMedia, Horne spent more than a decade at NBCUniversal where she served as Senior Vice President, Programming Talent Development and Inclusion. Horne was responsible for overseeing in-front-of and behind-the-camera primetime diversity efforts, and the programs and initiatives she created and developed have become the industry’s gold standard and a blueprint for many other companies.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Karen to our board of advisors” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, President of RespectAbility. “Her expertise in entertainment and inclusive talent development is unmatched, and we are excited to continue working together to create programs that will tap even further into the disability community that has historically been excluded from so many areas of the entertainment industry.”
“Everyone deserves to see themselves represented on-screen and have the opportunity to tell their own stories,” said Horne, “and it’s an honor to continue working with RespectAbility to ensure that the disability community is continually included and uplifted in that quest for better representation.”
In addition, Horne designed, implemented and oversaw Nickelodeon’s Writer Fellowship Program. She was the Director of Writer Development & Special Projects for Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Network Television. Previously, she also served as Director, West Coast, for the Black Filmmaker Foundation.
Since joining Nielsen in 1998, de Armas has held a variety of senior roles at the company and began her current role in July 2020. Nielsen is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Together with RespectAbility, de Armas and Nielsen will soon unveil groundbreaking research regarding disability representation in film and more.
“We’re so thankful for both Stacie and Nielsen’s dedication to the disability community and inclusion overall,” said Laszlo Mizrahi.. “For so long, the disability market has been historically overlooked in terms of consumer insights and research. But with experts like Stacie leading the charge, we’re excited to have even more concrete data to support our work in fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities around the world.”
“At Nielsen, we are dedicated to creating impactful and inclusive work that ensures all communities can reach their full potential,” said de Armas. “I’m honored to continue our partnership with RespectAbility by joining their board of advisors to ensure that the disability community continues to not only be included but also uplifted and empowered through our research and initiatives.”
Prior to joining Nielsen, de Armas began her career as a Media Buyer for McCann Erickson, the world’s leading ad agency network. She also has been named one of Latina Style Magazine’s Top Latina Executives, and one of Imagen Foundation’s Most Powerful and Influential Latinos in Entertainment.
De Armas has worked on several initiatives throughout her time at Nielsen, including Data for Good, a program that enhances the use of data by the social sector to reduce discrimination, ease global hunger, promote effective education, and build strong leadership.
Horne and de Armas join the RespectAbility board which currently includes Christine Cadena, Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion at The Walt Disney Company; Paul Martin, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Office for Sony Pictures Entertainment; Jonathan Murray, Founder and Executive Consultant, Bunim/Murray Productions; and Delbert Whetter, a deaf film producer and executive with Exodus Film Group. Whetter has become a Vice Chair of the board. Author, director and screenwriter Stephen Chbosky is rotating off the board.
In addition to Horne and de Armas, Craig Leen, Partner at K&L Gates and former director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) at the U.S. Department of Labor has also joined the board. Ollie Cantos, a blind civil rights attorney who was ABC News Person of the Week, was promoted from Vice Chair to Chair, as the organization’s current Chair, Steve Bartlett’s term came to a close.
As Cantos rises, two new Vice Chairs have been elected: Whetter, as well as Randall Duchesneau, a founding member of the United Spinal Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter, who is quadriplegic from a spinal cord injury during gymnastics. They join Vivian Bass, who continues her tenure as Vice Chair. Linda L. Burger was reelected as Treasurer and Ila Eckhoff is RespectAbility’s new Secretary.