HBO and Girls Who Code to be honored at the 34th Annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner

Annual event raises funds to support telecommunications industry diversity groups

WASHINGTON, DC – The Walter Kaitz Foundation, the telecommunications industry’s premier organization focused on diversity and inclusion, will host their 34th Annual Fundraising Dinner on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, at the Marriott Marquis in the New York City. This year’s event will honor HBO and Girls Who Code (GWC), while raising funds to support the programs and initiatives of three key industry organizations: the Emma L. Bowen Foundation, the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT). Each year the dinner raises more than $1 million in support of these organizations’ programs and initiatives.

Pat Esser, president, Cox Communications, and Ken Lowe, chairman, president & CEO, Scripps Networks Interactive, will serve as dinner co-chairs. Joining them on the dinner committee are Rocco Commisso, chairman and CEO, Mediacom Communications Corp.; Nancy Dubuc, president & CEO, A&E Networks; John Evans, chairman & CEO, Evans Telecommunications Company; Peter Rice, chairman & CEO, Fox Networks Group; Richard Sjoberg, president & CEO, Sjoberg’s, Inc.; Robert Stanzione, executive chairman, ARRIS; and David Zaslav, president & CEO, Discovery Communications.

HBO will be honored as a 2017 Diversity Champion, an award given to organizations that act as catalysts for diversity throughout the cable industry. Diversity Champions motivate the industry to embrace and value diversity by serving as role models, inspiring and encouraging excellence, removing barriers that hinder progress, and empowering others with opportunities.

HBO is being recognized for its diverse programming, workforce diversity, supplier diversity and corporate philanthropy, as well as its continuing support for the industry organizations that the Kaitz Foundation funds. “Since its founding, HBO has cultivated an environment that values divergent voices, encourages innovative thinking and expression, and rewards both individual and collective accomplishments,” said David Porter, executive director of the Kaitz Foundation.

“We thank the Walter Kaitz Foundation for this recognition and their tremendous work ensuring access and opportunity for so many in our industry,” said Richard Plepler, chairman 2 and CEO of HBO. “We are a better company when we include diverse and unique perspectives into all aspects of our business.”

Girls Who Code will be honored as the Diversity Advocate during the 2017 Dinner, an award presented to an individual or organization outside of the cable industry that has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to diversity. The award recognizes visionary leadership that fosters a more embracing and inclusive environment. GWC is dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology by providing girls with the computing skills needed to pursue 21st century opportunities. The organization has over 1000 Girls Who Code clubs across America and runs summer and after school programs which teach computing and programming skills to girls from the sixth to the twelfth grades. Additionally, their Summer Immersion Program (SIP) is the flagship program of the organization, offering rising 11th and 12th grade girls a unique blend of computer science, sisterhood and exposure to careers in technology.

“Girls Who Code is a 21st century organization that is harnessing technology and making it real and usable for girls,” said Porter offered. “The young women trained here will be instrumental in helping us to continue to revolutionize our industry.”

Tickets for the dinner are now available for purchase. For information on sponsorship opportunities or for other questions about the dinner, contact the Walter Kaitz Foundation, at (202) 222-2490 or email Michelle Ray, Deputy Executive Director for the Walter Kaitz Foundation, at More information about the dinner can also be found at

About the Walter Kaitz Foundation
The Walter Kaitz Foundation stands at the center of the cable industry’s long-standing commitment to diversity as it seeks to advance the contributions of women and multi-ethnic professionals in cable. Through the funds we raise, the organizations we support, and the programs we produce, the Walter Kaitz Foundation serves as a catalyst for increasing diversity in cable in three areas – its workforce, its supplier base and its programming.

About HBO
Home Box Office, Inc., the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., is the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services – HBO® and Cinemax® – to approximately 134 million subscribers worldwide.

About Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Through its Summer Immersion Program and Clubs, Girls Who Code is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. By the end of year, Girls Who Code will have reached 40,000 girls in every US state. Additional information is available at