John J. Sie. Photo by Scottie Iverson
BY SCOTTIE TAYLOR IVERSON
Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain and Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce will induct seven into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame when they present the black-tie evening Jan. 31. Those honored have shown a commitment to and investment in the community. The tribute is to recognize distinguished individuals who have made legendary contributions to the free enterprise system. Through their actions and accomplishments, the Colorado Business Hall of Fame laureates provide inspiration for the next generations as they take the reins of leadership in the years to come.
Cherry Hills Village resident John J. Sie will be one of those inducted. Born in China, he came to the United States in 1950 at the age of 14. He stayed at a Catholic orphanage on Staten Island and graduated high school in 1958. John earned his bachelor of electrical engineering from Manhattan College and master of engineering from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. He began his professional career in 1958 joining the RCA Defense Electronics Division on advanced microwave solid state devices. In 1960, he co-founded and was later chairman and CEO of Micro State Electronics Corp. that later became a subsidiary of Raytheon Co. In 1972, John joined Jerrold Electronics Corp., a subsidiary of General Instrument Co., as general manager and senior vice president of the cable television division. In 1997, he joined Showtime Entertainment as senior vice president of sales and marketing.
In 1984, he moved to Colorado to join Tele-Communication, Inc. as senior vice president in charge of strategic planning, programming, marketing, technology and government relations. Many consider John Sie to be the father of digital television. In 1989, he submitted the first white paper on digital high definition television to Congress and the Federal Communications Commission which would dramatically change the landscape of television across the globe. He is the founder and former chairman of Starz Entertainment Group. Founded in 1991, the Colorado-based company is owned by Liberty Media Corporation and is the parent of 13 premium movie networks, including Starz and Encore. In 2005, he stepped down as CEO in order to spend more time with his family and philanthropic endeavors. Strongly believing in giving back to the community, in 2005, he and his wife founded the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation. Their foundation became the founding donor of the Linda Crnic Institute for Down syndrome, the first global institute to encompass research and clinical care specifically for people with Down syndrome. He is also committed to bridging the U.S.-China relationship through mutual understanding, dialogue and respect. He is a member of the prominent Committee of 100, a national nonpartisan organization composed of outstanding American citizens of Chinese descent. He continues to support the Chinese Executive Media Management Program, a mini-MBA curriculum he helped establish in 2000 at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business for media executives from China.
Others being honored that evening are: Thomas E. Congdon, Charles L. Cousins and Charles R. Cousins, John E. Freyer, Evan Makovsky and Walter P. Paepcke. The VIP reception at Hyatt Regency Denver Colorado Convention Center begins at 5 p.m. the program and induction ceremony begins at 6:30 followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. and dessert reception at 8:30 p.m. For further information: ColoradoBusinessHallofFame.org.
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