TitleSenior Vice President (retired), Comcast Cable Communications, LLC
Sheila R. Willard is retired from her role as Senior Vice President, Local Media Development, for Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, the nation's leading provider of entertainment, information and communications products and services. In this role, Sheila developed, coordinated and executed Comcast's local media initiatives, including Comcast Newsmakers and Project Open Voice.
Sheila started her career at Comcast in 1988 as Director of Corporate Development. In 2000, Sheila was promoted to Senior Vice President of Government Affairs. Her efforts throughout her tenure at Comcast played an essential role in helping the company clear the requisite regulatory and political hurdles, enabling Comcast to become the largest provider of cable and residential Internet services in the United States. Sheila led Comcast through the local franchise consent processes for the AT&T Broadband acquisition in 2002, the Adelphia/Time Warner Cable transactions in 2005-2006 and the Insight and Patriot Media transfers in 2007. In addition, she implemented Comcast's intergovernmental affairs (IGA) program, building important strategic relationships with more than 50 IGAs nationwide.
Leveraging her background as an educational filmmaker, Sheila produced, on Comcast's behalf, public service announcements on many subjects, including relief for Hurricane Katrina victims and support for families of soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, Sheila created and was the Executive Producer of MetroBeat TV, a series of cable TV programs highlighting people, issues and events in the Denver, Colorado, metropolitan area. Sheila received numerous awards for her work on MetroBeat TV, including ten Heartland Regional Emmys; three Telly Awards; two New York Festival World Medals; two Beacon Awards; a commendation from the Entertainment Industries Council; and the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Media Award for Community Awareness Programming.
In her most recent position, Sheila led Comcast Newsmakers, a unique local news program that provides local, state and federal officials, as well as community leaders, with a platform to discuss issues and ideas important to the communities they serve. Sheila was also responsible for Project Open Voice, a targeted effort to identify and field-test specific ways to enhance local TV content and strengthen public, educational and governmental programming online and On Demand.
In 2008, Sheila was awarded the Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Liberty Award for lifetime achievement. In 2011, Sheila was awarded the prestigious Vanguard Award for Government Affairs.
Sheila currently sits on the board of the People's Emergency Center (PEC) and has previously served on the boards of the Juvenile Law Center, the Corporate Alliance for Drug Education (CADE) and Network Arts.
A native of Massachusetts, Sheila received her undergraduate degree from Chatham College/Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and her graduate degree from Boston University.