Zenita has a deep passion for technology and has over thirty years in the telecommunications industry starting with Toner Cable, Jerrold/General Instrument, Motorola Mobility (a Google Company), ARRIS and now as Vice President of marketing and business development at the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE®) a subsidiary of CableLabs®.
Zenita is an award-winning marketing, community and industry relations catalyst supporting education, arts, science, technology and math (STEM/STEAM) initiatives, healthcare, diversity and inclusion programs in the cable industry. In her spare time, Zenita puts her expert marketing and relationship building skills to work as a Board Member of several charitable organizations including One Day Immersion in Media, Entertainment & Technology and Blind Institute of Technology. Zenita currently serves as Executive Champion of the Greater Philadelphia chapter of The WICT Network, and served as part President in 2016. She also serves on several cable industry association committees including the NCTA Public Affairs Committee and Emma Bowen Foundation Tech Committee. Zenita has also previously served on the boards of the Montgomery County PA chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Greater Philadelphia & South Jersey chapter of Girls Inc.
In 2014, Zenita was inducted into the Cable TV Pioneers, 2015 awarded the WICT Philly Inspire Award, 2019 SCTE/WICT Women In Technology honoree, 2019 WICT Woman to Watch in Technology and has been recognized multiple years as one of CableFax Most Powerful Women and Influential Minorities in Cable.
When you consider Black history month, what is the story of your history that influenced you the most?
My Mother’s family is from Virginia, and at one time owned over 1,000 acres of land that is now known as Lake Anna / Spotsylvania. Now a lakefront community. I still have family there and they own quite a few acres that go back to the 1800’s. To think of a black family in a segregated America owning that much property and ran active successful farms, is incredible to me. The men would leave in the wintertime to be railroad porters and their wives would go to Washington, DC to be maids to make money to go back in Spring and Summer to tend their land. A cousin recently shared a video recorded in 2020 where my Aunt Mary White tells the story and although I have heard bits and pieces over the years, this video brought it to life for me. To hear my Aunt, talk about her life, how her husband built the house she still lives In, no electricity, an outhouse, she was 100 when she filmed the video, still driving and taking care of herself. The reporter asked if she ever had a hard time or went hungry, and she said no. She may not have had what she wanted, but she never went hungry. My family has a history of working hard, strong faith and surviving against the odds. That history of my mother’s family is what influences me most.
What would you tell someone who is looking to be an ally for the advancement of people of color?
I would say something that is typically used for gambling ‘Always bet on Black’. Mentor and more important SPONSOR people of color, as we do everything EXTRA, because we have to. People of color can’t get away with what non people of color get away with. It’s an unconscious mindset for a person of color not to do anything less than, we have to do everything better- the first time.
SCTE is a proud sponsor of The WICT Network: Greater Philadelphia