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Nielsen’s Stacie de Armas Joins Board of Advisors at RespectAbility

Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 21 – Stacie de Armas, Senior Vice President of Diverse Consumer Insights & Initiatives, DEI Practice at Nielsen has joined the Board of Advisors at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. Since joining Nielsen in 1998, de Armas has held a variety of senior roles at the company and began her current role in July 2020. Nielsen is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Together with RespectAbility, de Armas and Nielsen will soon unveil groundbreaking research regarding disability representation in film and more.

“We’re so thankful for both Stacie and Nielsen’s dedication to the disability community and inclusion overall,” says Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, President of RespectAbility. “For so long, the disability market has been historically overlooked in terms of consumer insights and research. But with experts like Stacie leading the charge, we’re excited to have even more concrete data to support our work in fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities around the world.”

Prior to joining Nielsen, de Armas began her career as a Media Buyer for McCann Erickson, the world’s leading ad agency network. She also has been named one of Latina Style Magazine’s Top Latina Executives, and one of Imagen Foundation’s Most Powerful and Influential Latinos in Entertainment.

“At Nielson, we are dedicated to creating impactful and inclusive work that ensures all communities can reach their full potential,” says de Armas. “I’m honored to continue our partnership with RespectAbility by joining their board of advisors to ensure that the disability community continues to not only be included but also uplifted and empowered through our research and initiatives.”

De Armas has worked on several initiatives throughout her time at Nielsen, including Data for Good, a program that enhances the use of data by the social sector to reduce discrimination, ease global hunger, promote effective education, and build strong leadership.

De Armas joins entertainment industry powerhouses currently on the RespectAbility board: Christine Cadena, Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion at The Walt Disney Company; Paul Martin, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Office for Sony Pictures Entertainment; Jonathan Murray, Founder and Executive Consultant, Bunim/Murray Productions; and Delbert Whetter, a deaf film producer and executive with Exodus Film Group. Whetter has become a Vice Chair of the board. Author, director and screenwriter Stephen Chbosky is rotating off the board.

In addition to de Armas, two other industry leaders will be joining RespectAbility’s board of advisors, including Karen Horne, Senior Vice President of Equity and Inclusion at WarnerMedia and Craig Leen, Partner at K&L Gates and former director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) at the U.S. Department of Labor. Also at this time, Ollie Cantos, a blind civil rights attorney who was ABC News Person of the Week, was promoted from Vice Chair to Chair, as the organization’s current Chair, Steve Bartlett’s term came to a close. Chair to Chair, as the organization’s current Chair, Steve Bartlett’s term comes to a close.

As Cantos rises, two new Vice Chairs have been elected: Whetter, as well as Randall Duchesneau, a founding member of the United Spinal Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter, who is quadriplegic from a spinal cord injury during gymnastics. They join Vivian Bass, who continues her tenure as Vice Chair. Linda L. Burger was reelected as Treasurer and Ila Eckhoff is RespectAbility’s new Secretary.

About RespectAbility

RespectAbility is a diverse and disability-led nonprofit that works to create systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities and that advances policies and practices that empower people with disabilities to have a better future. Our mission is to fight stigmas and advance opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

The following are RespectAbility’s core programmatic areas:

  • Entertainment and News Media: Increase diverse and authentic representation of disabled people in media, both on screen and behind the camera/keyboard, so they are seen for what they can do instead of what they cannot.
  • Leadership Development: Enable diverse people with disabilities to participate fully in decision-making and have seats at decision-making tables.
  • Public Policy: Break down barriers and promote best practices in education, employment, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, and access.
  • Faith Inclusion: Ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in faith-based communities.

Media Contact

Lauren Appelbaum
Vice President, Communications and Entertainment & News Media, RespectAbility

Meet the Author

Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is the Vice President, Communications, of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities, and managing editor of The RespectAbility Report, a publication at the intersection of disability and politics. Previously she was a digital researcher with the NBC News political unit. As an individual with an acquired invisible disability - Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy - she writes about the intersection of disability, employment, Hollywood and politics. From entertainment professionals to presidential campaigns, journalists to philanthropists, she conducts trainings on the why and how to be more inclusive and accessible. Behind the scenes in the entertainment industry, Appelbaum engages decision makers and creatives to improve the quality and number of authentic, diverse and inclusive presentations of people with disabilities on TV and film so audiences can see people with disabilities as vital contributors in America and around the world. She and her team have consulted on projects with Amazon, Disney/ABC Television, NBCUniversal, Netflix, and The Walt Disney Studios, among others. Appelbaum also enriches the pool of disabled talent in Hollywood by nurturing and connecting them to those who can assist with their careers, both on the creative and business sides of the industry. She is the author of The Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit, which was created to help entertainment professionals to be as inclusive of people with disabilities as possible, and the creator of an innovative Lab Program for entertainment professionals with disabilities working behind the camera. To reach her, email

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