NYWICI Convenes Over 1,000 Attendees for 50th Anniversary of the Matrix Awards

Inspirational speeches dominated the 90-minute celebration and powerful anniversary video celebrating the visionaries who have defined what it means to be a woman leader in the communications industry.

At the 2020 New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) Matrix Awards, over 1,000 attendees gathered virtually to watch as seven outstanding women leaders were honored. This year’s 50th anniversary Matrix Awards, hosted by IPG, was emceed by Gayle King, Co-Host of CBS This Morning and Editor-at-Large O, The Oprah Magazine. To watch the full event, go here.

“Since 1971, the Matrix Awards have been given annually to a group of outstanding women leaders who exemplify excellence, have the courage to break boundaries and bring a steadfast commitment to champion the next generation,” said King.

The 2020 Matrix honorees included:

  • Carla Hassan, Chief Marketing Officer, Citi, who was presented by Antonio Lucio, Former Global CMO, Facebook;
  • Ann Lewnes, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Adobe, who was presented by Margo Georgiadis, CEO of;
  • Barri Rafferty, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications, Wells Fargo, who was presented by Dawn Robertson, CEO, On Campus Marketing;
  • Tina Tchen, CEO, TIME’S UP Now & TIME’S UP Foundation (NYWICI Incite Award Honoree), who was presented by Dyllan McGee, filmmaker and Founder, McGee Media;
  • Carol H. Williams, President, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Carol H. Williams Advertising, who was presented by Roland S. Martin, Journalist;
  • Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Global Advertising and Partnerships, NBCUniversal, who was presented by 10 women from NBCUniversal, including:
    Mika Brzezinski, MSNBC, Co-host Morning Joe; Hoda Kotb, Co-anchor Today and Co-host Today with Hoda & Jenna; Stephanie Ruhle, NBC News, MSNBC Anchor MSNBC Live and NBC News Senior Business Correspondent; Savannah Guthrie, NBC News, Co-anchor Today and NBC News Chief Legal Correspondent; Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and Host Andrea Mitchell Reports; Savannah Sellers, NBC News, Co-host Stay Tuned and NBC News Correspondent; Natalie Morales, NBC News, West Coast Anchor Today; Jenna Bush Hager, Co-host Today with Hoda & Jenna; Julia Boorstin, CNBC, Senior Media & Entertainment Correspondent; and Sheinelle Jones, NBC News, Co-host 3rd Hour, Today; and,
  • Susan Zirinsky, President and Senior Executive Producer, CBS News, who was presented by one of the most honored journalists in broadcast media and former Matrix honoree Lesley Stahl.

During the event, the #Matrix2020 honorees shared words of wisdom, including:

Linda Yaccarino: “If I’ve learned anything, no woman or person for that matter is one dimensional and no one’s success in life is the result of just one person. The only reason I am who I am is because of others.”

Susan Zirinsky: “I am not ashamed to admit that I’m an emotional person, once thought of as a weakness, but I’ve accepted that I lead from a position of humanity.”

Barri Rafferty: “I hope to normalize career second acts, just like it is for men. To show women that you are marketable at any age, can lead in a new industry and continue to break through in male dominated fields.”

Tina Tchen: “We all need to exercise that superpower that we have as citizens of a democracy and that is to make our voices heard loudly about what values we agree in and what values we stand for at the ballot box.”

Carol H. Williams: “Go through that door, take your power and do what it is that you need to do to impact the world.”

Carla Hassan: “My experience as an immigrant really shapes who I am. It has taught me how powerful and how important it is to see and value others for who they are.”

Ann Lewnes: In challenging times, “you have to just push through. I think compassion and the need to support one another has never been more important, and you will not get things done unless you have that.”

This year’s virtual event also showcased the 2020 NYWICI Scholarship recipients as they shared why they chose to pursue the field of communications and received advice from former Matrix Awards honorees Jacki Kelley, CEO, dentsu, and Renetta McCann, Chief Inclusion Experience Officer, Publicis Groupe, during a Q&A. It also looked back at the history of how Matrix has supported women’s success and equality in the communications industry spanning entertainment, journalism, digital marketing, advertising and public relations. This retrospective video was produced by Meredith, genconnectU and StoryElektric.

There were also special cameos from former NYWICI Presidents Kim Kelleher, President of Advertising Sales and Partnerships for AMC Networks, Patrice Tanaka, Chief “Joy” Officer at Joyful Planet, and Nancy Weber, CMO, Meredith Corp.

“The Matrix awards is our moment to honor the industry’s most outstanding leaders. We celebrate their accomplishments, their courage to break boundaries, and their commitment to reaching back to lift up others. They are beacons of light for young women who would follow in their footsteps,” said NYWICI’s Immediate Past President, Judith Harrison, Senior Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, Weber Shandwick.

“There’s never been a more important time to help women dream without bounds, take action and create growth over a lifetime journey,” added Ashley Miles, 2020-2021 President of NYWICI, and Founder and CEO of Franklyn West.

Proceeds from this year’s Matrix Awards supported NYWICI operations, as well as a full range of scholarships and educational programs for women. To show your support for NYWICI and Matrix, donate here. To inquire about supporting 2021 Matrix, please contact and

The 2020 Matrix Awards were hosted by IPG and was sponsored by NBCUniversal, Adobe, Meredith, Carol H. Williams, CBS News, Disney and Citi. Makeout was the 2020 Production Partner.

Matrix 2020 Spotlights
Dyllan McGee SPOTLIGHT: DYLLAN McGEE September 30, 2020
Margo Georgiadis SPOTLIGHT: MARGO GEORGIADIS September 30, 2020
Dawn Robertson SPOTLIGHT: DAWN ROBERTSON September 30, 2020
Roland S. Martin SPOTLIGHT: ROLAND S. MARTIN September 30, 2020
Antonia Lucio SPOTLIGHT: ANTONIO LUCIO September 25, 2020


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Matrix 2020 Spotlights
Dyllan McGee SPOTLIGHT: DYLLAN McGEE September 30, 2020
Margo Georgiadis SPOTLIGHT: MARGO GEORGIADIS September 30, 2020
Dawn Robertson SPOTLIGHT: DAWN ROBERTSON September 30, 2020
Roland S. Martin SPOTLIGHT: ROLAND S. MARTIN September 30, 2020
Antonia Lucio SPOTLIGHT: ANTONIO LUCIO September 25, 2020