FUTURE NOW Media and Entertainment Conference by Gennifer Birnbach for WICT-NY Chapter
Oprah Winfrey once said, “a mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” Nobody appreciates this sentiment more than Margaret “Peggy” Kim, award-winning Executive Producer and Founder & CEO of iSTANDtv and the FUTURE NOW MEDIA FOUNDATION, a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit and leadership incubator in media and entertainment.
Peggy recently produced the second annual FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference, of which WICT NY was a proud returning sponsor, and it was an amazing example of what happens when you connect the next generation of leaders with mentors who can guide them.
Of the 177 students who applied to attend, 127 of those accepted came from across the country to New York City for the opportunity of a lifetime. During the two-day conference, students heard from some of the media industry’s top executives and professionals and had opportunities to network with and be mentored by them during the networking luncheon, mentoring sessions, and on media tours the second day where they got a close-up view of what it’s like to work in the industry.
In a recent conversation, Peggy shared, “Many of the executives were so impressed by the quality of the FUTURE NOW students, that they welcomed them to connect and meet with them one-on-one even after the conference. The feedback has been phenomenal.”
“Amazing amazing amazing event! In the next 5 years this event is going to be THE event to go to if you want to be in media. This conference has so much potential Thank you again!” – Deanna
FUTURE NOW was born out of Peggy’s love and passion for the industry, recognizing its needs and challenges, and her keen desire to see change. “FUTURE NOW is about building future leaders NOW, leaders of integrity and excellence, providing equal opportunity, and opening the space for more diverse perspectives and stories to be seen and heard. And, the way that we do that is by opening the doors, educating, equipping, connecting and empowering future leaders in the media and entertainment industry.”
“I had a life-changing experience this past week…I gained so much knowledge, learning from some of the best in the media industry…and I am inspired more than I have ever been. Thank you.” – Joshua
Peggy served on the board of WICT NY from 2008-2015 and continues to be an active member, and credits WICT NY for helping to prepare her for what she is doing today. “I have learned so much from my 10 years so far with WICT NY. I started out as a volunteer, joined the board, served on the Prime Access executive mentoring committee, and led and organized the Executive Women’s Luncheon for many years. And, I have made life-long friends. So much of what I have been able to accomplish with the FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference and establishing the FUTURE NOW Media Foundation has been due to my experience as a member of WICT NY. And, that WICT NY would stand with me and FUTURE NOW, not just in word, but with its time and treasure, I am touched and deeply grateful.”
In fact, several members of WICT NY participated in the conference as speakers, mentors, and two of them also serve on the board of the FUTURE NOW Media Foundation, including Meeka Jun Bondy, HBO’s SVP of Legal Affairs, and Anjali Walter, a consultant with Tone Networks. WICT NY’s Melanie Ashley and Kari Ickert also gave out ten (10) free one-year memberships to the students in a special drawing at the event.
“One of the things that makes FUTURE NOW unique is that every single speaker and mentor is not only extremely talented and successful, they all have a sincere heart and desire to give back. We all recognize the critical importance of helping the next generation succeed,” said Peggy.
“I loved the energy everyone brought to the discussions and panels. Every speaker was motivated to teach us something about the industry and they were very inspiring to people that are about to start their careers.” – Marta
Peggy continues, “Also, these executives and professionals are themselves coming from diverse backgrounds, disciplines, and areas of the business. They are also at different levels and stages of their careers. By providing visibility and speaking opportunities not only to C-Suiters, but also to emerging and mid-level managers, FUTURE NOW is elevating their profiles, so that they can advance and reach their pinnacles of success. Let’s help people break through. It’s time!”
The dates for the 2019 FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference have been set for May 30-31 and will be held in New York City. The FUTURE NOW Media Foundation will be extending its programming throughout the year with quarterly and monthly meetups, educational talks and events. If you and/or your company would like to get involved, please contact Peggy Kim at mkim@iSTAND.tv.