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February 21, 2007
Contact:  Steve Jones
(202) 222-2373

CTPAA Announces Winners of the
4th Annual Public Affairs Achievement Award

Dena Kaplan, GSN. The Network for Games; Suzee Smith-Everhard, Cox Communications Arizona;
Lee Tenebruso, Court TV; and John Wolfe, Cox Communications New England
will be recognized during FORUM 2007

Washington, DC The Cable Television Public Affairs Association (CTPAA) today announced the winners of the fourth annual CTPAA Public Affairs Achievement Award. The winners are Dena Kaplan, senior vice president, marketing, GSN. The Network for Games; Suzee Smith-Everhard, director, community relations and televideo, Cox Communications Arizona; Lee Tenebruso, vice president, corporate affairs and education, Court TV; and John Wolfe, vice president of government and public affairs, Cox Communications New England.

The Public Affairs Achievement Award recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions within cable public affairs and to CTPAA. Up to four awards are presented each year to public affairs executives. The awards will be presented at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Washington, D.C., on Monday, March 12 during CTPAA’s FORUM 2007 conference, “Cable to the Extreme: Communicating the Possibilities.” FORUM is the cable industry’s annual educational event dedicated to the issues facing public affairs professionals.

“The CTPAA Public Affairs Achievement Award was created to acknowledge individuals who develop and execute effective public affairs initiatives throughout their careers in cable,” said CTPAA President Mark Harrad, senior vice president, corporate communications, Time Warner Cable. “These individuals create a path for their peers to follow. Dena Kaplan, Lee Tenebruso, John Wolfe and Suzee Smith-Everhard are being recognized this year as pacesetters in community relations, government relations and local programming respectively.”

Dena Kaplan is the architect behind every public service campaign for GSN. In 2003, Kaplan created GSN’s first public affairs campaign, “The Get Schooled Games Tour,” a nationwide, live mall touring show where contestants won college tuition. This affiliate public affairs program has awarded over half a million dollars to 60 citizens of varying ages in its three years of operation. Based on the success of the first campaign, Kaplan created a new, original public affairs campaign for the network in September 2006 called the National Vocabulary Championship (NVC). The NVC is a national competition for high school students that engages scholars in language arts and tests their vocabulary knowledge through a fun and dynamic vocabulary game. One top winner each year is awarded a free, four-year ride to college. In its inaugural year, 30,000 students participated. Kaplan also produced the NVC’s accompanying PSA campaign, “Win With Words,” recruiting noted celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg, Jeff Probst, Chuck Woolery and Tom Bergeron as spokespersons.

Before joining GSN in 1996 as vice president of sales strategy and communications, Kaplan moved through the ranks in the cable industry, rising from account executive to director of sales at Rainbow Advertising. She has also held sales, creative and media planning buying roles at Warner Cable, Ringel Associates and Spotwise Productions. Kaplan currently lends her support to the cable industry as a member of CTAM, serving on the board of CTAM’s Summit Committee and is involved with PROMAX/BDA, Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT), Hollywood Radio & TV Society, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Cable Advertising Bureau, Cable in the Classroom and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. Recognized as a leader among her peers, Kaplan was inducted as a 2004 “Wonder Woman of Cable” by Multichannel News and WICT. She also has garnered a host of honors that include Clio, Cannes Silver Lion, CTAM and PROMAX/BDA awards.

Suzee Smith-Everhard has dedicated her entire 26-year professional career to the advancement of cable television in Arizona, and along the way has pioneered many new initiatives that have greatly benefited the cable industry. When public access was first initiated in Arizona, Smith-Everhard designed and managed the Public Access Program with five studio locations and public training. She was also active in the development of the Arizona Sports Programming Network (ASPN), the first cable network in Arizona. In addition, Smith-Everhard took the lead in the development and leadership of Cox TeleVideo production facilities and staff for broadcast quality programming and production. She also partnered with ad sales and televideo to develop a business model for CoxTrons jumbo screens to be a focal point and on-site enhancement at many local large-scale events.

In addition to these accomplishments, Smith-Everhard has developed several signature community and education events including Everyday Heroes, CoxTrons at the FBR Open and Cox Charities. Everyday Heroes is a Cox Arizona signature education event recognizing students, teachers, administrators and coaches statewide for outstanding achievement on and off the field, awarding over $40,000 in cash scholarships and prizes each year. Smith-Everhard’s vision, creativity and attention to detail have also been invaluable to the Cox corporate office in the planning and execution of the Cox Senior Leadership conference for the general managers and vice presidents of all Cox systems across the country. For her own system, Smith-Everhard championed the Cox Learning and Information Channel (CLIC) as well as LINX, an employee channel that launched in January 2005. A recent graduate of the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute, Smith-Everhard serves as the Women in Cable Telecommunications chapter adviser and is active in the Metro Phoenix Boys & Girls Club as well as the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.

Since joining Court TV in 2002, Lee Tenebruso has led the network’s award-winning public affairs campaigns. Through her work on various initiatives, Tenebruso has made Court TV’s primetime programming a component of each of the initiatives, creating more brand definition and enhancing learning by using cable’s most valuable content assets to reach the nation’s most at-risk and troubled youth. Through the CHOICES initiative, Tenebruso has developed relationships with leading educators, parent groups and after school program officers to extend the reach of the program from middle schools and high schools to colleges, after-school programs and in the home. After an event with the Boys & Girls Club of America to open a BGCA juvenile detention facility for boys who have been convicted of criminal offenses, Tenebruso received high praise from BGCA program officers who cite the CHOICES initiative as having a positive impact on adolescent inmates in terms of helping them to choose nonviolent ways of dealing with issues and encouraging them to plan for their future.

Prior to joining Court TV, Lee served as vice president of marketing and communications for a national non-profit organization, PowerUP: Bridging the Digital Divide, a division of the Stephen Case Foundation which provided free computer technology and Internet services to underprivileged youth. A veteran of the cable industry for over 25 years, Tenebruso was employed at Showtime Networks for 17 years, holding senior level positions in national accounts, consumer and trade public relations and in programming promotions. An active member of the industry, Tenebruso serves as co-chair of the CTPAA Create Activities that Enhance the Membership Experience committee. She also is a member of WICT and CTAM.

As vice president of government and public affairs for Cox Communications’ New England, John Wolfe is responsible for the development of government, public affairs and local content development strategies for Cox’s cable and telecommunications operations in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Throughout his time with Cox, Wolfe has developed a relationship with legislators and regulators that has allowed Cox’s position to be thoroughly heard. Wolfe worked with the New England Cable and Telecommunications Association to pass legislation that would allow apartment tenants to select a provider of cable television, telephone, telecommunications or information services without any limitations imposed by a landlord. He also work with the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities to ensure that regulatory changes related to the video marketplace were viewed on a level playing field. This past year, Wolfe led a team to breathe new life into the local Political Action Committee (PAC) via employee contributions. Through his creation of an awareness campaign aimed at helping employees understand the value of the PAC and how their contributions were spent, Wolfe and his team were able to increase contributions by 60%.

Prior to joining Cox New England, Wolfe was managing editor and Washington Bureau Chief for CableVision magazine and managing editor for Arlen Communications, a Washington, D.C. based telecommunications publishing and consulting company. Wolfe also served as director of public information and press spokesperson on public policy issues for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. In 1991, Wolfe joined Times Mirror Cable Television as New England director of public affairs. An active supporter of the cable industry, Wolfe participates in several industry organizations, serving as immediate past chairman of the board of directors of the New England Cable and Telecommunications Association and treasurer of NECTA’s political action committees in Rhode Island and Connecticut. He is a two-term past president of CTPAA and past committee co-chair. Wolfe also serves on the board of directors of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Foundation and the Apple Valley Bank and Trust Company.

CTPAA is the only national, professional organization specifically addressing the issues, needs and interests of the cable industry’s communications and public affairs professionals. Its mission is to develop and promote cable communications excellence through professional development to help achieve industry and corporate goals. CTPAA works to enhance each member’s status and influence through skill building and professional development. For more information on CTPAA, go to

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