Diane Nelson '89 among four alumni to receive prestigious Arents Award

By John Boccacino

July 31, 2017
Photo of Diane Nelson
Diane Nelson

Diane Nelson '89 will be among four recipients of the prestigious Arents Award, granted by the Syracuse University Alumni Association during the Orange Central celebration in October.

The Arents Award is named for George Arents, a successful manufacturer who served on the Syracuse University Board of Trustees from 1930 until his death in 1960. In 1939, he created an endowment to fund the Arents Award, which annually honors four Syracuse alumni for their extraordinary achievements.

Nelson graduated from the Newhouse School with a bachelor's degree in advertising.

Diane Nelson '89

Diane Nelson serves as president of DC Entertainment (DCE) and president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP).

As president of DC Entertainment, Nelson is charged with leading the efforts to fully realize the power and value of DCE’s rich portfolio of stories and characters, including such cultural icons as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, across all media and platforms, while strategically integrating the DC, Vertigo and MAD brands deeply across Warner Bros. Entertainment and all its content and distribution businesses.

Since 2009, when Nelson took over leadership of DCE, the comic book publisher has partnered with Studio colleagues on the development of television projects, feature films and blockbuster video games, as well as a host of other impressive headline-making initiatives—all sparking Advertising Age to name DC Entertainment one of America’s Hottest Brands. In close collaboration with Warner Bros. Television, there are more DC TV shows on the air than ever before.

A total of ten DC shows will air during the 2016-2017 season. New series include "Powerless" (NBC) and the animated show "Justice League Action" (Cartoon Network) with returning series "Supergirl" (CW), "Arrow" (CW), "The Flash" (CW), DC’s "Legends of Tomorrow" (CW), "iZombie" (CW), "Gotham" (FOX), "Lucifer" (FOX) and the animated show "Teen Titans Go!" (Cartoon Network). A robust DC film slate through 2020 in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures includes "The LEGO Batman Movie" (2017), "Wonder Woman" (2017), "Justice League" (2017), "The Flash" (2018), "Aquaman" (2018), "Justice League 2" (2019), "Cyborg" (2020) and "Green Lantern Corps." (2020).

Films in development at New Line Cinemas include Shazam! and Vertigo’s "Fables," "100 Bullets" and "The Kitchen." In partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, DC is home to the most successful super hero game franchise in the industry—"Batman: Arkham." Other DC games include "Batman: The Telltale Series," "Batman: Arkham Underworld" and the much anticipated "Injustice 2."

Nelson’s responsibilities at Warner Bros. Consumer Products include working with divisional management on the group’s global business strategies and execution to optimize Warner Bros.’ slate of film, television and animation properties. WBCP represents some of the most highly regarded entertainment franchises in the world, including DC (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman), J.K. Rowling’s Wizard World (Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts), The Hobbit Trilogy, Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo and The Big Bang Theory, among many others.

In addition, WBCP manages a successful global themed entertainment business, which includes the groundbreaking The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Previously, Nelson also served as president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, where she was responsible for overseeing the development of a slate of top-tier digitally powered console and mobile games, including those based on DC characters, as well as other Warner Bros. properties and original IP.

In addition, she has served as president of Warner Premiere, developing and producing direct-to-DVD feature films and short-form digital content for Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s distribution businesses. She was also executive vice president, global brand management for Warner Bros. Entertainment, a group she started in 2005 in order to continue the cross-company brand management work she began on the Harry Potter property in 2000, expanding efforts to include such iconic films as "Batman Begins," "Superman Returns," "The Polar Express," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Happy Feet."

Nelson transitioned into this cross-company role from her position as executive vice president of domestic marketing for Warner Bros. Pictures. She has held a number of other positions within the studio, having joined the company in 1996 as director of worldwide corporate promotions. Nelson came to Warner Bros. from Walt Disney Records, where she served as director of national promotions. Active in philanthropy, Nelson serves on the board of the Boulder, Colorado-based There with Care, a non-profit organization that supports families with children affected by critical illnesses.

In addition to Nelson, three Syracuse University alumni will receive the Arents Award this year. They are: Tom Coughlin ’68, G’69, a decorated National Football League coach; Daniel A. D’Aniello ’68, co-founder of a successful global asset management company and a committed philanthropist; and Mary Spio ’98, a pioneer in digital cinema and virtual reality.

For more information, see news.syr.edu/2017/07/four-accomplished-alumni-to-receive-arents-awards-during-orange-central.

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