More than 300 members of the entertainment industry gathered at UJA-Federation of New York’s Entertainment, Media & Communications Leadership Awards Dinner on April 8th to honor the professional and philanthropic accomplishments of Rob Marcus, chairman and chief executive officer of Time Warner Cable. The event was held at Chelsea Piers and raised more than $1.2 million to support UJA-Federation’s work.
There was a certain symmetry to Marcus receiving the Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award as Ross was the first CEO of Time Warner. Adding to the full-circle quality of the evening is the fact that at the start of Marcus’s career, at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, the client Marcus worked for much of the time was Time Warner.
“There are three great stages in modern professional life,” said Bob Schumer, Marcus’s longtime friend and his boss and mentor at Paul, Weiss, “to learn, to earn, and to return. Rob, of course, was a prodigious learner, and certainly is an earner, and even at the young age of 48, Rob is making a serious dent in his obligation to return.”
The evening was hosted by Willie Geist, co-anchor of The Today Show, and included a powerful performance by James Taylor. Taylor played classic songs from his catalogue, such as “Sweet Baby James,” “Fire and Rain,” and “Carolina in My Mind.” After playing a cover of Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend,” he said, “[this song] puts me in mind of our host tonight, UJA-Federation, and all the amazing work [it’s] done.”
Building a Community Where No One’s Left Out
After Schumer presented him with the award, Marcus spoke about why he finds UJA-Federation’s work meaningful. “There’s a brief sentence on UJA-Federation’s website that particularly resonates with me. It reads: ‘Together we’re building a community where no one is left out,’” he said. “I recently had an opportunity to see that in action.”
Marcus visited the Educational Alliance, one of UJA-Federation’s network agencies and saw an example of the many programs they run, addressing everything from drug treatment and arts education, to school enrichment and college prep. “I got to see firsthand the truly amazing work that UJA-Federation is supporting in our communities,” he said.
To drive home the impact the event’s attendees make by supporting UJA-Federation, prominent lay leaders like Jessica Abo, Russell Wolf, and Doug Davis stood up from their seats and shared other examples of the many services the organization funds.
Ultimately, the strong turnout was a mark of Marcus’s singularity and the respect he commands from his colleagues, friends, and employees. “There are those in our industry who have brilliant business minds,” said Schumer, “there are those who are just good folk, but it’s rare to find one who ranks so high on both lists. Rob is just that person.”