Charisse R. Lillie

Vice president, human resources for Comcast Corp., and senior vice president, human resources, of Comcast Cable.

Her rise to stardom:

This Houston native grew up wanting to be a civil rights lawyer - an unusual dream for little girls at the time. But with family support, she persevered and made it to Temple Law School. Her legal accomplishments include working as a Justice Department lawyer, two stints at law firm Ballard Spahr and time serving as city solicitor. Now at Comcast, the 55-year-old attorney oversees hiring and development, setting policies that promote diversity. "It's come full circle," she said.

Public vs. private: There are ups and downs to working for government, law firms or private companies, Lillie said. When she was in government, there weren't a lot of resources - but she was able to get a lot of responsibilities. Working in law firms, she enjoyed the hunt for clients. And at Comcast she enjoys getting to flex her leadership muscle.

Behind the scenes: Gasp! Lillie prefers live theater to television, going to see productions in Philadelphia and New York whenever she can. She does get a fancy cable package, complete with premium channels and DVR. But the only show she records is ABC's "Ugly Betty," to catch family friend Ana Ortiz in action.

She directs too: Since coming to Comcast in 2005, Lillie has beefed up internship programs and increased recruitment on college campuses. She's also enhanced "Comcast University," which trains new employees and tries to mentor and develop leaders. "One of the things we have to do with our children, we've got to create opportunities for them," she said.

No billing questions, please: Yes, everyone she talks to asks for a discount on their cable bill. Here's her stock answer: "We have to pay for the programming. We have to make sure there's great programming."

Hold your applause: Lillie is getting ready to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary with her "darling husband," attorney Thomas McGill Jr. The couple lives in Mount Airy and have three adult children.
- Catherine Lucey,
Daily News staff writer