2022 ACM Award Winners Announced

Emerging Leader Award
Emily Parent, Midpen Media Center

Emily Parent has been a media-maker, instructor, and advocate for media accessibility for over 5 years. She’s designed media education programs for community media centers throughout the nation.

Emily’s journey as an artist began at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where she studied creative writing and worked for years as a filmmaking equipment rental assistant. That’s where she first had access to media-making tools. Since then, she’s helped to produce an award-winning short film, developed multiple independent podcasting projects, and launched a series of graphic design-based zines.

Professionally, Emily joined our team as a podcasting instructor. It did not take long, however, for her to branch into the development of other media-making classes to serve our community. Now she works with our studio production team to develop, schedule, and ensure the successful execution of our community-based classes and events. She’s deeply grateful for the opportunity to work each day with the artists and activists of our community!

Emerging Leader Award
Andrea santopietro, Watertown Cable Access Corp

Andrea graduated from the New England Institute of Art in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Film making and Video Production. In college, she directed and produced many short films and documentaries. Andrea also served as a Technical Director for a Brookline-based TV station and worked as an editor for Boston’s leading non-profit, Action for Boston Community Development. Andrea was originally hired as a videographer at WCA-TV in 2014. Shortly after, she became the station’s Media Outreach Coordinator. She has trained many volunteers and interns who have created original programming on WCA-TV. Additionally, Andrea shoots and edits videos for WCA-TV’s news program, creates many of the graphics used at the station, and does production work for many of the shows and sporting events that air on our channels.

The Dirk Koning – George Stoney Award for Humanistic Communication

Maine Community Media Association

CTAM was founded in 1982 as a networking organization for community television stations in Maine and has been incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit since 1992. As an affiliate member of Maine Municipal Association, we assist more than 150 towns in Maine with their Public, Educational, and Governmental television channels. CTAM continues to evolve as “television” itself has evolved.

CTAM is a state-wide non-profit organization created to support the efforts of community media in Maine. The membership represents a variety of existing community television organizations, independent producers, municipalities and community members throughout the state.

Buske Leadership Award
Keith Thibault, Fall River Community Media

The Jewell Ryan-White Award for Cultural Diversity
Zenaida Mendez, Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN)

Ms. Zenaida Mendez is the Director of Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center. Ms. Mendez has an intensive career in public service, community activism, television production, and filmmaking. As a social justice activist, she is an avid voice for tolerance and has many years of experience working as an advocate for people of color, women’s, & LGBTQI+ rights, and artists, as well as economic, racial and environmental justice organizations. Zenaida's focus at MNN El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center is on Community Engagement. As such, she engages the entire diverse community in Manhattan, particularly Northern Manhattan, West and Central Harlem, and East Harlem.

She first became involved in public access television as a member of the Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) board of directors and as an independent television program producer. In 2006, she became MNN’s Director of External Affairs, and as such Ms. Mendez was responsible for leading a successful outcome of the cable television re-franchising process. In 2015, Ms. Mendez became Director of MNN’s newest television studio in East Harlem/El Barrio, in New York City. She also develops dynamic event-based programming initiatives, including developing partnerships with local nonprofits and community groups.

Prior to joining MNN Zenaida Mendez served for almost three years as director of Racial Diversity Programs at the National Organization for Women (NOW) where she successfully spearheaded a diversity and inclusion training program, a woman of color and allies summit, and the campaign to end femicide of the women of Juarez and Chihuahua, Mexico among other initiatives.
Zenaida is currently a Board Member of New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) and a former member of the West Harlem Environmental Action (WEACT) and the National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence (Alianza).

Ms. Mendez has received many local, national, and international recognitions and awards, recently among them The Merit Award, presented by the President of the Dominican Republic Luis Abinader in conjunction with the Ministry of Women, and an award for her public service at the SOMOS Conference celebration in Albany, NY.

Ms. Mendez earned a BA in Government and Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Master's degree in Public Administration from the City University of New York, Graduate School of Public Affairs.

The Special Recognition Award
Joseph Van Eaton, Best Best & Krieger 

Joseph Van Eaton represents government agencies on a broad range of communications issues in federal and state courts, before federal and state agencies and at the negotiating table. Joe is a partner in Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Municipal Law practice group in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. He is also a registered federal lobbyist and a member of BB&K’s Government Relations team. Prior to joining the firm in 2011, he was a founding partner of Miller & Van Eaton, a nationally recognized telecommunications law firm.

Keeping Cities Connected
Joe helps communities develop wireline and wireless communications ordinances, negotiates franchises for cable and telecommunications service providers and assists communities in developing their own communications networks. He has successfully defended local government efforts to establish and operate municipally owned systems. He has been a leading advocate for local governments before the FCC, including in key rulemakings affecting local authority to regulate placement of wireless facilities.

Involved in the development of publicly owned and nonprofit fiber networks, Joe plays an active role in the regulatory and legal debates regarding the development of open, neutral networks. He has negotiated contracts requiring the deployment of infrastructure that can be used by multiple providers to offer communications services, in return for rights to use municipal infrastructure.

Joe has significant experience working with Congress, federal agencies and state legislatures on legislation and regulations affecting municipalities. His practice focuses on representing cities on a broad range of communications issues.

In addition to his experience working with legislative bodies and state and federal regulatory agencies, Joe has significant litigation and appellate experience, and has successfully argued cases in most of the U.S. Courts of Appeal and before several state Supreme Courts. He has served as a special appointee to the board of directors of the Alliance for Community Media and is the recipient of the George Stoney Award, the International Municipal Lawyers Association President’s Award and the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors Ovation Award.