John J. Sie, Co-Trustee, Anna and John J. Sie Foundation
Chairman of the Board, Global Down Syndrome Foundation
John J. Sie is founder and former Chairman of Starz Entertainment Group LLC (SEG). Founded in 1991, the Colorado-based company is owned by Liberty Media Corporation and is the parent to numerous premium movie networks, including Starz and Encore. John is a cable television pioneer and leader. A consummate entrepreneur, John has successfully launched and managed many corporations, business lines and products. John is currently retired and has devoted himself to several impactful philanthropic initiatives and to his family.
John, a native of China, came to the United States at the age of 14 in 1950. He stayed at a Catholic orphanage on Staten Island, N.Y. until he graduated from high school in 1953. He received B.E.E. and M.E.E. degrees from Manhattan College and Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1957 and 1958, respectively. John is a member of the honor fraternity Sigma Xi and the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega.
John began his professional career in 1958 when he joined the RCA Defense Electronics Division on advanced microwave solid state devices. In 1960, he co-founded and later became chairman and CEO of Micro State Electronics Corp, which later became a subsidiary of the Raytheon Co. In 1972, John joined Jerrold Electronics Corp, a subsidiary of General Instrument Co., as General Manager and Sr. Vice President of the Cable Television Division. In 1977, he joined Showtime Entertainment as Sr. Vice President of sales and marketing.
In 1984, John and his family moved to Colorado to join Tele-Communications Inc. (now Comcast and Liberty Media) as Sr. Vice President in charge of strategic planning, programming, marketing, technology, and government relations. Many people consider John the father of digital television – in 1989 he submitted the very first white paper on digital High Definition Television (HDTV) to Congress and the FCC that would dramatically change the landscape of television in the United States and the world.
Throughout his professional life, John received numerous awards and honors:
- 2010 Community Cultural Enrichment Award, Mizel Museum
- 2009 Chinese American Hero, Asian Week Magazine; Man and Woman of the Year, The Villager
- 2008 Asian Pacific Americans in Business, Voices from Colorado
- 2003 Inductee, Cable Television Hall of Fame
- 2002 International Bridge Builder Award, Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver
- 2001 Chairman’s Award, Cable Television Administration and Marketing Association (CTAM); Stanley B. Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award, National Association of Minorities in Communications (NAMIC); Bridge Builder Asian American Leadership Award, The AURA Fund and aMedia, Inc.; Bill Daniels Business Leader of the Year, The Denver Business Journal
- 1986 Grand Tam Award CTAM
- 1982 Robert H. Beisswenger Memorial Award (Vanguard Associates Award) by the National Cable Television Association (NCTA)
- 1960 RCA David Sarnoff Fellowship
- 1958 Microwave Research Institute Fellow, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn
John is committed to bridging the US-China relationship through mutual understanding, dialogue and respect. He is a member of the prominent Committee of 100, a national non-partisan organization composed of outstanding American citizens of Chinese descent. In 2009, John established the SIÉ CHÉOU-KANG Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. John 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.
In 2005, John and his wife Anna established the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation. The Anna and John J. Sie Foundation supports the sharing of knowledge amongst peoples and cultures throughout the global community, with an emphasis on Down syndrome, education, media, business, and technology. The Foundation supports Children’s Hospital Colorado, the University of Colorado, the University of Denver, SIÉ CHÉOU-KANG Center for International Security and Diplomacy, Denver School of Science and Technology, Denver Art Museum and numerous other civic, social and educational institutions.
In 2008 and 2009 respectively, the Foundation became the founding donor of the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome and the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. The Crnic Institute is the first academic home for research and medical care for people with Down syndrome. Its mission is to eradicate the medical and cognitive ill effects associated with the condition.