This summer marked the 9th year that the University of Denver hosted the Chinese Executive Media Management Program (CEMMP) – an innovative collaboration that connects the University, numerous Denver-area communications, entertainment and information organizations with ten up-and-coming managers from China’s State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT), China Central Television (CCTV) and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technologies (MIIT).
The Fellows received certificates from University of Denver Provost Gregg Kvistad during a closing ceremony on July 23 at The Cable Center. The ceremony marked the completion of a six-week program of study, company visits, and capstone presentations. Leaders from technology and media industries including Balan Nair, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Liberty Global, Inc. were in attendance to support the Fellows. In his commencement address, he gave a fascinating look into the future of customer-centered entertainment technologies and offered the a tale of wisdom that extends far beyond the specifics of any one particular industry.
Nai said, “Remember that in life, you must constantly juggle three balls…” He continued to tell the Fellows that the first ball is your work. You may be forced to drop it at some time, but not to worry because it is made of rubber, and it will bounce back to you. The second ball is your health. It is made of iron. It will take all of your strength to recover this ball, as you must stop all that you are doing to bend over and retrieve it with great effort.
The assembled crowd was tense, as were all the ambitious Fellows, wondering what was the third ball.
Mr. Nair revealed that the third ball was made of glass. “The ball is your family,” he said, “If you drop it, it will shatter.”
All in attendance looked around at each other momentarily, and shared a knowing glance, acknowledging the wisdom that had been proffered.
Celebrated American John J. Sie, the father of digital television, and founder of Starz Entertainment, LLC, also addressed the Fellows. The Fellows were particularly interested when Mr. Sie, also of Chinese descent, expressed his prediction that someday American executives would be travelling to China to learn from Chinese media industry experts.
“The international dialogue that takes place during the course of the program is vitally important to increase understanding, as our two countries continue to grow together,” said Michelle Sie Whitten, Executive Director of the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation, which underwrites the CEMMP.
CEMMP Program Director, Ronald Rizzuto, Ph.D., is Professor and Co-Chair of the Reiman School of Finance, Daniels College of Business, at the University of Denver. He presided as the Master of Ceremonies, and coordinated the curriculum for the program that included studies in Management, Marketing, Cable Industry History and Technologies, Team Building, Presentation Skills, as well as Accounting and Finance.