"If you're kind to people, if you're true to who you are, and you try to pay it forward, it always comes back to you in spades. I can sleep every night and wake up everyday knowing that I'm being authentic to who I am. Know who you are, live your true value, and find a place where that is valued." -- Wonya Lucas
On Wednesday, December 2, Trinity Hall welcomed Wonya Lucas, president and chief executive officer of Crown Media Family Networks as the latest featured speaker in our “Women in Leadership” series. During the virtual event for students, faculty, parents and alumnae (decked out in Christmas attire and not shy about their fondness for the Hallmark Channel), Ms. Lucas shared her personal story, from starting as an engineering major to growing as a marketer and becoming a leader in the entertainment industry.
Lucas joined Crown Media in August 2020 and oversees the company’s portfolio of entertainment brands, including the Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Hallmark Drama; subscription video on demand service Hallmark Movies Now; and publishing division Hallmark Publishing. In her prior position, she served as president and CEO of Public Broadcasting Atlanta, where she oversaw Atlanta’s NPR (WABE) and PBS (ATL PBA) stations. Previously, she was president and CEO of TV One, where she became the second African American woman to hold the president and chief executive officer role at a cable television network. Her professional experience also includes several positions at Discovery Communications, including executive vice president and chief operating officer for Discovery Channel and Science Channel, and global chief marketing officer, which entailed oversight of marketing in 210 countries and over 130 networks.
Members of the virtual audience enjoyed the chance to ask Ms. Lucas questions about her career path, advice for starting a career in the industry, and qualities of a great leader.
"I think great leaders try to understand that they don't have all the answers and they learn from the people around them. I think great leaders also lift others up, they identify top talent and they give them opportunities," she said, with words resonating with the Trinity Hall community and our shared core value of leadership. "I think it's important not just that I'm good at my job, but that I'm part of a community...I think great leaders give back to their community."
Ms. Lucas also shared her bond with Trinity Hall students, who must take four years of engineering as a graduation requirement. While her career path eventually took her in a different direction, she told the students, " I still use my engineer's brain every day. I have my engineer's pad of paper I take with me everywhere I go."
Trinity Hall has hosted many prominent professional women as part of the “Women in Leadership” speaker series. The series gives students exposure to female role models who work in interesting and unique industries such as finance, the arts, healthcare, politics, professional athletics and philanthropy. The speakers inspire students to find and work within their personal passions, develop a stronger sense of self, and lead.
Thank you, Ms. Lucas! As Mrs. Sciarrillo shared, “You made us think, you made us feel, and you left us with that wonderful message of kindness, hope, and love."