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Former Fellow Spotlight

July 2018 Newsletter

The IRTS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that develops future leaders and promotes diversity in the media industry. Our cornerstone program is the IRTS Summer Fellowship Program, often referred to as a “media boot camp.”

On a semi-regular basis, we send out a newsletter for IRTS Summer Fellowship program alumni. In each newsletter, we profile some of our alumni in the Former Fellow Spotlight section.

This edition, we caught up with 2013 alumna Joann Park and 1978 alum John Sadler.

For a full listing of the alumni profiled in our Former Fellow Spotlight, please click here.

Joann Park
Current Occupation: Audience Intelligence Manager, Great Big Story
IRTS Summer Fellow Year: 2013
IRTS Summer Internship: CBS Brand Studio

Advice in one sentence:
I have always found advice to be tricky. I have learned that in some cases, people don’t want you to be great, they want you to be like them. That being said…always do your best! Show, don’t tell.

What was your first thought arriving in NC for the Fellowship?
My first week at my internship was on the sales floor during the upfronts. It was one of the most intense weeks of my life. Phones were constantly ringing, people were literally running from the printer to the meeting rooms. I immediately thought “well, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”

What was a big milestone for you?
My first job after college was at Viacom following the completion of the Summer Associates program. During my time there, Joyce and Lauren asked me if I could introduce Tom Dooley, the COO of Viacom at the time, at the Hall of Mentorship dinner. It was a huge honor and a full-circle moment for me. After my speech, I had a chance to sit down for an informational with Tom. There are only a few twenty-somethings who get to say they had a one-on-one with the COO of their company, and I have IRTS to thank for that opportunity.

Something interesting you’re working on?
I love the spirit of collaboration at Great Big Story. Although my position is in the research realm, I got to pitch and develop a music series idea with a good friend in the Editorial department. We finished the pilot and we are now green-lit to make this a full-fledged series!

John Sadler
Current Occupation: Happily Retired. Former SVP & General Manager of ABC Television Network
IRTS Summer Fellow Year: 1978

Explain your “IRTS Impact”
It seems as though the phrase ‘changed my life’ is overused, but I must use it with regard to the IRTS. The IRTS summer experience altered the course of my professional life by exposing me to a seemingly endless number of business leaders and mentors willing to share their time and advice with a young college student. Those brief, but crucial meetings ignited my desire to attain a management level position in our business and gave me the confidence to persevere through the challenges we all experience on the way up.

In terms of my personal life, it is impossible for the IRTS to have been more impactful! I met my wife of 36 years, fellow IRTS intern Kerrie Malloy (pictured below), through the summer program. Our two wonderful children have heard the story a few thousand times!

What was a big milestone for you?
The opportunity to lead ABC’s Western Division Network Sales Group was a major milestone in my career. The rich texture of the media and film community on the West Coast provided the ideal environment for my first upper management position. It was the moment that I had dreamed of during that summer of 1978, and I grabbed it and ran.

Remember that time when…
I bluffed the Audience Manager at the David Letterman Show into placing all 10 Fellows in front row seats. We were unceremoniously removed from the seats just before the show started, scolded, and placed in the back row. Hey, it almost worked!

Something interesting you’re working on?
I am volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and the Special Olympics. I am humbled and inspired by every moment that I spend with these two organizations.

What’s something the 2018 class should do while in NYC this summer?
Experience every possible thing! The city, and the incredible people to which they will be exposed. They should ask way too many questions and not allow a single opportunity to pass them by. They will only have this set of circumstances once in their lifetime.

What’s a book you think everyone should read?
Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Advice in one sentence:
Exceed expectations.

From left to right, Kerrie Malloy Sadler (IRTS '78), John Sadler (IRTS '78), and Joyce Tudryn (IRTS President & CEO)
[From left to right] Kerrie Malloy Sadler (IRTS ’78), John Sadler (IRTS ’78), and Joyce Tudryn (IRTS President & CEO) at the June 2018 IRTS Summer Fellowship Reception in NYC.

For a full listing of the alumni profiled in our Former Fellow Spotlight, please click here.

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