The members of the CSUEA Advisory Council are high profile executives, creators and trendsetters in all facets of entertainment art who represent media giants, leading studios and independent companies. The Council helps guide the CSU's efforts to develop mutually beneficial industry partnerships and the most relevant course and career development standards for our students.
Creative Talent Development Manager, Netflix
A marketing and social impact leader with 20+ years of experience at the intersection of entertainment and politics, successfully strengthening and building brands with a focus on social impact and DE&I for companies such as Walt Disney, the Grammy’s and Capri Capital Partners. Prior to joining Netflix, Buenaventura was Policy Liaise for Entertainment, Tourism, Convention and Hospitality for Mayor Garcetti’s Office of Economic Development, and was responsible for supporting and driving economic development programs and initiatives. Buenaventura is a champion for integrating diversity, equity and inclusion into media, marketing, and business practices and creating access for underserved and underrepresented communities. Buenaventura is actively involved in organizations that promote and advocate for increased diversity, equity and inclusion and serves as a board member for NAMIC SoCal (National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications) the IMPACT Learning Institute, AAPI LA and WiSTEM. Buenaventura holds a B.A. in Communications and Public Relations from California State University Fullerton.
Chief Strategy Officer, AcadArena
Mark "Garvey" Candella is the Director of Student and Education Programs for Twitch and leads the Twitch Student Program. The Twitch Student Program is dedicated to creating gaming and esports opportunities for students and universities around the world. From humble beginnings as a Magic the Gathering professional player in 1993 and an avid pen and paper role player prior to that, he has been involved in the esports industry in various ways ever since. His message of inclusiveness, diversity, and collaboration is a personal philosophy deeply ingrained in every project he works on.
President, Dakar Collective, Brownbagtv.org, The Hive Colony
Kevin Clark is an NAACP award winning producer, entrepreneur and content aggregator developing visionary entertainment arts and media work for both the public and private sectors. He is currently the Founder and Executive Director of the Dakar Foundation for The Performing Arts and Dakar Interactive. His broad experience in broadcast media includes diverse urban marketing & advertising campaigns, event exhibit planning & production, content creation & delivery and partnership & business development. Kevin’s educational and philanthropic projects include diversity marketing and interactive programs for homeless, single mother, foster-care, and system-impacted youth. He graduated from San Jose State University where he double majored in Broadcast Journalism and Radio, Television, and Film. Kevin also proudly manages a rare collection of African American Military Timeline artifacts.
Director of Education, House of Blues Music Forward Foundation
Laura is an experienced nonprofit professional with an extensive background in providing outcomes driven youth service programming. She began her career in Western New York where she developed and delivered educational access programs for at risk youth. Laura has presented best practices workshops at national youth at risk conferences and continues to lead dynamic teams in the delivery of engaging programs.
Chief Content Liscencing Officer, Paramount Global
Dan Cohen oversees the global licensing and distribution of all of the studio’s films, television series and other content across multiple platforms including mobile, pay-TV, broadcast, cable and SVOD as well as emerging digital arenas. He was formerly the Executive Vice President, Pay Television & Digital Disney/ABC Home Entertainment & Television Distribution Cohen overseeing the in-home sales and content distribution arm for Disney. His more than 25 years of industry experience also includes roles with Viewer’s Choice, Palmer Cablevision, and Post-Newsweek Cable. He earned his master’s in Radio & TV from SF State.
Program Manager, Early Career Recruiting, Outreach & Engagement, Netflix
Como develops and delivers several large scale training initiatives, including live instruction and online classes for DreamWorks Animation. She began her Dreamworks career as a render assistant on the studio’s first computer animated feature film, Antz, in 1997. Como worked in Visual FX and commercials as a production manager at Stan Winston Studios and in production technical support and training development at Digital Domain.
Chief Diversity Officer for Lionsgate and Senior Vice President of Human Resources at STARZ
Jamila Daniel is Chief Diversity Officer for Lionsgate and Senior Vice President of Human Resources at STARZ.
As Chief Diversity Officer, she is responsible for partnering with the company’s leadership team to effect organizational changes in policy and culture that lead to a more diverse and inclusive workplace. She leads the Diversity Leadership team that orchestrates company-wide strategies to realize structural and sustainable change.
As Senior Vice President of Human Resources for STARZ, Daniel consults with business unit management to strategically plan and process the development of HR strategies that support the company’s goals for its employees.
Prior to her role at STARZ, Jamila was the Vice President of Human Resources at Crown Media Family Networks (The Hallmark Channels) where she developed strategic human capital solutions. Daniel provided leadership and direction across all HR functions including HR Operations, Employee Relations, Talent Acquisition, Performance Management, Compensation and Organizational Development. Daniel also provided full-spectrum HR support for the subsidiary production Home & Family. Before moving on to STARZ, Jamila was partnering with internal stakeholders to facilitate an organizational transformation into a culture of continuous feedback. At Crown Media Family Networks, Jamila spearheaded Talent Acquisition which included developing and executing a talent acquisition strategy focused on diversity, managing the full life cycle of recruitment including candidate sourcing, interviewing, hiring, orientation and on-boarding; affirmative action compliance and managing sourcing relationships. Daniel has extensive experience in Entertainment and Media having also held positions at Turner Broadcasting and AFTRA/SAG-AFTRA. Jamila holds a B.S. in Business Administration from California State University at Northridge.
President & CEO, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Di Nonno is the Chief Executive Officer of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the leading research based non-profit working within the entertainment and media industry to achieve gender equity in family media and entertainment. Di Nonno leads the Institute's strategic direction, advocacy, programs, research, financial and operational activities. She is also an Executive Producer on the Emmy nominated, “People’s Choice” and Gracie award winning television series “Mission Unstoppable” and the Gracie award winning feature film documentary “This Changes Everything.” Previously, Di Nonno served as President and CEO of On The Scene Productions, served as Executive Vice President and GM for (formerly Nielsen) EDI a leading research provider of theatrical distribution measurement and information, as Senior Vice President, Marketing Alliances and Digital media at the Hallmark Channel, and as an executive at Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Her career started at ABC Television Network in corporate publicity working on communications campaigns for mini-series, sports and daytime, including “The Winds of War,” “The Thorn Birds” and the 1984 Olympics. Di Nonno serves as the Television Academy Foundation Chair and on the Advisory Board for The Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts. She was appointed Arts Commissioner for the Los Angeles County Arts Department by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and is a graduate of Boston University.
Associate Manager, School Relations, Walt Disney Animation Studios
Nicole's career in digital production and animation includes experience in production management, recruiting and outreach. In her new role at Disney, Nicole drives school outreach initiatives and connects the studio to educators and students around the globe. Prior to joining Disney in 2017, she was a University Relations Recruiter at DreamWorks Animation. She studied media production and history at Florida State University. Dial and her family live in Los Angeles, California.
Vice President, The Recording Academy
Droney, through the Producers & Engineers Wing of The Recording Academy, advocates and develops programs for creative and technical professionals in the recording industry. She worked in the industry for more than 20 years, serving as a freelance engineer on projects for George Benson, Whitney Houston, John Hiatt, Tower of Power and Santana, among many others. She earned a degree in broadcast communication arts from San Francisco State University.
Head of Originals, Roku
Eilenberg previously oversaw content for ITV Entertainment, whose portfolio includes Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, E!’s Rich Kids Of Beverly Hills and A&E’s The First 48. He served as SVP of Unscripted Development at TBS/TNT, and led development and current programming for Mark Burnett Productions, working on The Voice, The Apprentice and Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? – earning him a Daytime Emmy nomination.
Senior Director Early Career Talent Development, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Bettina Fisher, Director of Educational Initiatives, currently leads education programs for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2015, she launched the Academy’s first annual Careers in Film Summit, an educational program to inform youth about the vast jobs in the film industry. Held in Los Angeles, California, the day-long event features industry panels and clips on various careers. The Summit has expanded to London as well as Atlanta and New York with half-day programs. She is also responsible for creating and executing the curriculum for the Academy Gold Internship Enhancement and Mentorship Program as well as managing other Academy educational outreach programs.
Bettina previously worked as a music producer and director at National Public Radio where she worked on shows such as the Peabody Award-winning Wynton Marsalis: Making the Music, Billy Taylor’s Jazz at the Kennedy Center and Jazz Piano Christmas. She’s held other positions at Wake Forest University and American University, where she was the Director of Strategic Programs and launched the Reel Journalism Film Festival and Political Comedy Festival. She is a frequent juror for the LAUSD’s Student Film Festival, LMU’s Film Outside the Frame Festival, New Filmmaker LA’s Student Film Festival as well as the Pan African Film Festival.
Bettina holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from James Madison University. She lives in the Valley and is the proud mother of two sons, Andrew and Michael.
Trustee & Vice Chair of the Board, California State University
Wenda Fong is a partner of The Group, a strategic communications and marketing company. She began her 40-plus year career in television as the producer and host of her own live, talk show series in Los Angeles and is the producer and director of music and variety specials, awards shows, reality specials, sitcoms, talk shows, documentaries and live events. She holds the dual distinction as being the only woman and the only person of color to have produced the Emmy Awards. Fong was the was Fox Broadcasting’s first Executive Director of Creative Development of Diversity and Vice President of Diversity Development. Fong also is the co-founder and chairperson emeritus of CAPE, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and is the largest, longest-running, and most influential organization for Asian American Pacific Islanders in the entertainment industry. She was president of East West Players, the nation’s oldest Asian American theatre, and co-founded Asian Americans for Fair Media and served on the board of the Association of Asian Pacific American Artists. She was the co-chair of the Leaders Forum and currently serves on the board of California Humanities and chairs the Programming Committee. Fong has been a member of the Directors Guild of America since 1980 and is founding co-chair and chairperson emeritus of the DGA Asian American Committee. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian American Studies from the University of So. California.
Education Programs Consultant, California Dept. of Education
Allison Frenzel is an education programs specialist with the California Department of Education’s High School Innovations and Initiatives Office. She supports all Arts, Media and Entertainment (AME) and Secondary Arts programs in the state of California. Prior to her work at CDE, Allison spent 15 years as a classroom teacher and program coordinator in Sonoma County, and founded Pulse Arts, a 501(c)3 dedicated to connecting professional creatives and public education. Through programs like the AME Workforce Development and Youth Apprenticeship Program, the Hip Hop Education and Equity Initiative, and partnerships with the California Film Commission and creative industry, Allison's work is centered around supporting arts education equity and increasing access to industry-connected creative learning and career preparatory opportunities for AME programs in the state of California.
Software Engineer, Skywalker Sound
Ryan Frias is an award winning post-production sound professional with over 15 years of industry experience. His career spans sound editing and mixing for feature film, television, video games, and music with credits across Lucasfilm and Marvel. Although Ryan has held many positions at Skywalker Sound, both creative and technical, he currently is a software engineer building tools for the greater post-production industry. Combining his love for sound and software to improve post-production workflows is a dream come true.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in audio engineering from San Francisco State University and his master’s degree in software engineering, database design and implementation, and information security from the University of Denver.
Executive Producer, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune
Nineteen-time Emmy(R) Award-winner Harry Friedman was Executive Producer of the two most successful syndicated game shows ever, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, from 1995 to 2020. In 2011, both shows tied in the Daytime Emmy Awards’ Outstanding Game Show category, and Friedman became the first producer ever to win two Emmys in the same category. Under Friedman’s direction, Jeopardy! received the prestigious Peabody Award in 2012. In 2017, Friedman was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Emmy, and in 2019 he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Friedman began his TV career in 1972 as a writer on the classic game show The Hollywood Squares, and recently served as the Executive Producer and head writer on Capitol One College Bowl on NBC.
Vice President, Technology, Office of the CTO, Dolby Laboratories
As Technology Vice President in the CTO Office at Dolby, Griffis is charged with helping define future technology strategy for the company, which includes identifying and tracking key technical trends, performing technical due diligence and supporting advanced technology initiatives for the company. He has been an active company spokesperson on the topic of next-generation imaging and in particular, “better pixels”—a term he coined for High Dynamic Range plus Wide Color Gamut—and chaired the SMPTE ST 2084 drafting group which standardized the PQ curve.
Before joining Dolby, Griffis spent 10 years at Microsoft leading global digital media standards strategy, including standardization of Windows Media video technology as an international SMPTE standard. A SMPTE Fellow, Griffis currently serves as SMPTE President. He also serves as Vice President on the Board of the Ultra-HD Forum. Griffis is Dolby’s Board representative in the UHD Alliance as well as Vice Chair of its Interoperability Working Group. Griffis holds a BSEE degree from Tufts University and an MSEE from Purdue University.
Director, Nimble Studio, Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Grignon is the President and CEO of Nimble Collective, a virtual streaming collaborative animation platform provide creators with the tools, processes, and advice to create and distribute their own original work. He has worked for Pixar, the Computer Animation Lab, the NYIT Computer Graphics Lab and has served as the Head of Character Animation for PDI/Dreamworks (previously Dreamworks) since 1988. He led the Madagascar feature animated film and television franchise projects. Rex also taught animation for San Jose State University from 2008 to 2010.
Partner, Green Hasson Janks
Haimoff currently manages participation audits at various studios including 20th Century Fox, Sony, and Starz. He has over 18 years of accounting experience serving clients in the entertainment, financial services and real estate industries. He is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Internal Auditor, a Certified Fraud Examiner and is Certified in Financial Forensics. Haimoff holds an accounting bachelor’s from CSU Northridge.
Co-Founder/Executive Director, The BRIC Foundation
Nicole Hendrix is a four-time Emmy-winning Producer and has won five PromaxBDA GOLD awards as a Producer and Creative Director. With a multi-disciplinary background, Nicole has used storytelling as the main ingredient in her successful campaigns that span across television, games, live events, and film. She is currently working as a Producer and Marketing + PR Consultant with clients like Niantic, Baobab Studios, and 9B Collective.
She is the Co-Founder/Executive Director of the BRIC Foundation, an organization that focuses on increasing representation for women and people from underrepresented groups in the entertainment industry, where she directs their yearly Talent + Innovation Summit. She is also the Co-Founder and Producer of the Concept Art Association, an organization focusing on elevating and raising the profile of concept artists within the entertainment industry, where she directs their yearly Concept Art Awards show.
Director of Operations, Pipelines Pro
Shari began her work in the diversity & inclusion space at PromaxBDA where she implemented several development and training programs to prepare emerging talent to transition into the entertainment marketing industry and the early stages of their creative careers. Other programs and events led include: Creative Coach program, HR Roundtables, Student Portfolio Nights, Executive Mentorship Programs, panels and workshops with TV network partners, and various programs through strong academic and industry partnerships nationwide. Prior to Pipelines, Shari was the Program Administrator for the first ever Commercial Directors Diversity Program (CDDP); created and endorsed by both the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) and the Directors Guild of America (DGA) where she created an immersive program with the objective of providing more access and opportunity to underrepresented directors in commercial production. She currently oversees the all operations and development of the Pipelines mobile app which connects underrepresented talent to career and training opportunities in tech, entertainment, and creative industries, and companies to a vast pool of qualified, diverse talent.
Director, Casting, ABC Signature Studios
A Chicago native and graduate of the University of Southern California, Michelle started her career in the agent trainee program at ICM Partners and went on to work in casting at 20th Century Fox Television. Following the Disney acquisition, she moved to ABC Signature where she currently serves as Manager, Casting for the studio, working on such shows as Black-ish and Grey’s Anatomy. Michelle also sits on the NextGen Board of Directors for the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF).
EVP, Head of Business Operations and Content Strategy, MRC Entertainment
Valence is a leading media and entertainment company with divisions in film, television, live events and digital media. Hung was SVP & GM of Marvel Studios and has over 15 years of entertainment management experience. He also served as the executive director of business development with the Motion Pictures Group of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Advisor, Venture Partner, and CEO, BIXIN CAPITAL, Animoca Brands, Conductive.ai
Steve Ip co-founded a content marketing company that developed the first discovery marketing engine for virtual and augmented reality applications. He leads strategy and partnership initiatives. His viral-content marketing background garnered millions of organic impressions from various music projects, viral videos, published articles and independent games. Steve is also a writer for VRScout and co-founder of BoxCat, an award-winning independent mobile games developer. Steve graduated from CSU Los Angeles with a B.A. in Music.
Director of Technical Operations, Sony Pictures Television
Jackson has over 20 years of broadcast experience. He served as the manager of broadcast operations at FOX, director, Broadcast Operations at CBS Sports in New York, and has held senior positions at Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment, Omnibus Systems and Technical Digital Content Delivery. Jackson has extensive international television experience in Asia, Latin America and Europe. Doug earned his master’s in Radio and Television from San Francisco State University
Gregg Katano is media and entertainment entrepreneur, an experiential marketing strategist, speaker, and educator with over 30 years of experience in the areas of XR (VR, AR, MR), post-production, visual effects, and stereoscopic 3D.
Currently, Gregg is Partner and Senior Vice-President of U.S. Operations, at HOLOGATE, the world’s most successful immersive media company for location-based entertainment (8,000,000+ players to-date across 36 countries worldwide); Partner and Co-Event Director of DreamlandXR (Official CES® Partner Program), an XR, music, gaming, and technology event and experiential marketing company that curates the leading technologies, experiences, and speaker discussions to further increase corporate and public awareness for emerging mediums; and Co-Vice Chair of the Producers Guild of America’s ‘New Media Council’.
Creator CBS Diversity Writers Program - Director WGA Showrunner Training Program - Entertainment Career Coach/Speaker, CBS Diversity Writers Showrunners Program
Having worked as a senior level television development executive for eighteen years (including her posts at CBS and as head of Steven Spielberg’s first Amblin Television), Carole has heard over 3,000 pitches, bought hundreds of projects and was involved in developing dozens of television series. Now an international speaker and entertainment career coach, she teaches aspiring and established creative professionals how to navigate the often mystifying field of the entertainment industry. Her book, Hollywood Game Plan: How to Land a Job in Film, TV and Digital Entertainment, is assigned as a textbook in film/television classes at colleges and universities throughout the U.S.
Executive Director, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA)
Larry is the President of Production at SXM, a production company specializing in helping brands fuse entertainment, advertising and technology. Larry has produced series, branded entertainment and commercials for some of the world’s leading brands, networks and studios, including: Disney, NBC, CBS, VEVO, Dailymotion, MTV, DEFY Media, Comedy Central, Verizon go90, Amazon, Complex Media, IKEA, Mountain Dew, Samsung, Coca-Cola, Verizon and Smuckers. Larry has produced projects with Directors such as James Franco and Joseph Gordon Levitt.
In addition to his work at SXM, Larry also serves as Co-Founder and Executive Director of NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA), an organization committed to highlighting emerging filmmakers worldwide. He’s a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA) and has served as a Faculty Member at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) and L Art University in Shanghai and Beijing.
Author, Focal Press
Eve Light Honthaner was appointed the President of the Association of Film Commissioners International in 2021. Having previously come from an extensive background in production management, she worked in various saff positions and in every freelance capacity from PA to line producer. She worked for companies such DreamWorks and Legendary Pictures and on films such as Titanic, Just Married and Tropic Thunder. She’s the author of two entertainment industry standards: The Complete Film Production Handbook (4th Edition) and Hollywood Drive: What it Takes to Break in, Hang in & Make it in the Entertainment Industry (2nd Edition), both published by Focal Press. For the past 19 years, Eve taught a course she created for USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Summer Program called “Breaking Into The Industry.” She has lectured at other colleges and universities throughout the country and is a member of the Producers Guild of America.
General Manager and Vice President of Social Impact and Education, Unity Technologies
Jessica has spent over 15 years overseeing companies and teams that design, develop, market and distribute high impact learning offerings to the global education market. In her work at Unity Technologies, Common Sense Media, GlassLab, Scientific Learning, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, she has worked to improve learning outcomes and earning potential for all learners worldwide by blending effectiveness with ground-breaking engagement. Jessica is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, where she received a Masters in Business Administration with a focus on entrepreneurship and education. She lives in San Francisco, CA with her husband and two young sons.
Director, Inclusion and Equity, Writers Guild of America West
Tery Lopez is an inclusion strategist, thought leader, change agent and film and television producer.
As head of the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) Inclusion and Equity Department, Tery works with producers, studio and network executives, and writers to advance diverse representation. Under Tery’s leadership, her department works closely with the WGW Board appointed Inclusion and Equity Group (IEG), co-chaired by showrunners, Glen Mazzara and Shonda Rhimes.
Prior to joining the WGAW, Tery was the Conference Director for the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP). She began her career working for producers, Moctesuma Esparza and Robert Katz (Selena, Gettysburg, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge). Tery quickly advanced to development executive, producing film and tv, and served as Post Production Coordinator on the HBO film, Walkout. She also co-produced Innocent Voices, Mexico’s official Oscar entry for the International Feature Film in 2005.
Tery serves on the advisory board of the Latino Communications Institute (LCI) at Cal State Fullerton and was recently appointed chair of the Entertainment & Arts Alumni Network for Cal State Los Angeles. She is also a founding member of NALIP’s Diverse Women in Media Initiative (DWIMI).
Tery received her Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications and Film from the California State University at Los Angeles and received the Outstanding Alumni of the year award from the TV, Film and Media Studies department.
Luisi is a film, television & digital producer and executive who has served in a producing capacity on over forty productions. As an executive, Mr. Luisi most recently served for seven years as President of WWE Studios, where he oversaw worldwide strategy for a diverse slate of projects released theatrically, direct to home and across digital platforms by means of strategic partnerships. Prior to joining WWE, Mr. Luisi spent twelve years at The Walt Disney Company, most recently as Executive Vice President, Worldwide Operations for Miramax Films.
Mr. Luisi has been actively engaged in the field of education throughout his career. He served as an adjunct professor in the Entertainment, Media and Technology (EMT) program at New York University Stern School of Business for over a decade, and currently serves as an adjunct professor at USC’S School of Cinematic Arts, a position he has held since 2014. In addition, Mr. Luisi is a member of the Industry Advisory Board for Dodge College of Media Arts at Chapman University, a member of the Advisory Board for the California State University Entertainment Alliance, and a member of the Board of Trustees of The San Diego Junior Theatre, the oldest youth theatre program in the United State of America. Mr. Luisi is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film & Television Production from New York University Tisch School of the Arts, and a Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law.
Sr. Strategic Customer Success Manager, Education, Adobe, Courtney Miller Consulting
Courtney Miller has been working in media production for over 20 years and is currently driving education strategy at Adobe. She began her career as a Field Producer for Oxygen Television, has produced hundreds of concerts with world-renowned artists including Yo Yo Ma and John Williams, and helped THX Founder Tomlinson Holman launch an audio production startup. She created a cutting-edge makerspace while serving as the Director of Digital Learning Initiatives at USC Annenberg, and lived on a ship for over 3 years where she taught multimedia production and led students on service learning projects around the world with Semester at Sea. She holds a B.A. in Cinema-Television and an MFA in Writing from the University of Southern California.
Executive Director, Creative Diversity, Managing Partner, Event Planner, Production Consultant, STARZ, Eneday, LLC, Productive Planning
Daria Overby is Executive Director of Creative Diversity and Inclusion for Starz. She serves as strategic partner and ambassador in supporting and executing the company’s ongoing commitment to Inclusive Culture.
Ms. Overby leads the company in all facets of creative diversity outreach, providing opportunities for the underrepresented voices via events and activities that showcase our diverse creative talent. She has developed a strong network with other studios, programs, and creative talent including writers, directors, industry organizations, guilds and advocacy groups. Overby creates, establishes and oversees the talent diversity program by collecting, screening and managing the submissions process and procedures. Prior to joining Starz in 2015, Overby served as Comedy Development Director and VP of Talent Relations for Home Box Office.
Chief Executive Officer, Austin PBS
Patiño is the senior vice president and general manager of Univision Local Media Los Angeles (formerly known as Univision Television Group (UTG)), at Univision Communications Inc, the leading media company serving Hispanic America. Univision Local Media owns and/or operates 128 local television and radio stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico. Mr. Patiño is responsible for the day-to-day management of station operations, sales, news, marketing and promotions for in Los Angeles
President Emerita and Trustee, American Film Institute
Firstenberg was President and CEO of the American Film Institute from 1980 - 2007. Her book, “BECOMING AFI: 50 Years Inside the American Film Institute,” with James Hindman, was published in 2017. Jean has also worked in public affairs television programming and advertising, was the first woman Chair of the Peabody Awards Board, and the Director of Princeton University’s Office of Communication. She is a graduate of Boston University’s School of Communication and was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California State University Board of Trustees in 2016.
Executive Vice President, Enterprise Inclusion & Social Responsibility, Endemol Shine North America
Pita Loor leads all social responsibility efforts for Endemol Shine North America and its studio labels, including Bunim/Murray Productions, Truly Original, 51 Minds Entertainment, Authentic Entertainment, Stephen David Entertainment and Mexico City-based Endemol Shine Boomdog.
In the newly created role, Pita Loor also oversees all diversity and inclusion program efforts, implementing new processes, policies and initiatives for ESNA’s corporate and production staffers to support and enhance an inclusive and equitable corporate culture and talent development practices.
Pita Loor has more than two decades of experience in organizational development and brand partnerships, strategic philanthropy and social impact. Additionally, Pita Loor, who hails from Ecuador, has served on the board of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) for the past two years, assuming the role of Chair of the Board in 2021.
Prior to joining Endemol Shine North America, Pita Loor led the TV Academy’s philanthropic partnerships division, including the last three years, where she served as Chief Development Officer, overseeing all strategic partnerships and development for the Television Academy Foundation, the charitable and pro-social arm of the TV Academy.
During her tenure at the TV Academy, Pita Loor brokered numerous multi-million-dollar partnerships with corporations such as Dolby Laboratories, Netflix, Walt Disney, WarnerMedia, Saban Capital and Apple TV+. She also led on key diversity and inclusion efforts, including developing and launching the Academy’s Power of TV series, which brings together diverse storytellers to discuss authentic representation of historically excluded communities and spearheading new career pathway initiatives to broaden access to the television industry among historically excluded communities.
Additionally, Pita Loor spearheaded key collaborations with the TV Academy and other non-profits including GLAAD, Easterseals, the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. And she served as the Campaign Director for the New Destination Campaign, which transformed the TV Academy’s campus and established an endowment for its charitable work.
Prior to joining the Academy Foundation, Pita Loor focused on institutional advancement, organizational development, and strategic communications within the educational and entertainment space. Pita Loor’s diversity and inclusion work within the entertainment industry began at the Emma L. Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media, where she managed a national workforce development program.
An active industry leader on diversity and inclusion issues, Pita Loor is a founding member and serves on the advisory board of the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s (EIF) Career Program, which is creating a more diverse talent pipeline into film and television production careers.
Senior Manager, Partner Operations, Peacock Originals
Ramirez has a wealth of experience in digital video production and distribution, as well as localizing content. Previous to working for Peacock Originals, he established and maintained partnerships with distributors and vendors for Netflix and has served as a digital content specialist for the Global Indies and Latin America. Before joining Netflix in 2012, Ramirez was a manager and home entertainment associate producer for VIZ Media and a video production coordinator for LiveNote. Ramirez earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast & Electronic Communications Arts from San Francisco State University.
Director, Education Programs, The Television Academy Foundation
Robinson is the Director of Education Programs for the Television Academy Foundation. In this capacity, she oversees the Foundation’s highly rated summer Student Internship Program, the annual Faculty Seminar, the Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarship Program, the Visiting Professionals speaker program and Alumni engagement. Nancy is also responsible for educational outreach and creating alliances with colleges/universities nationwide. Nancy is a graduate of UC San Diego with a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts/Media Production.
Founder & President - AEM Marketing
Co-founder - LA Collab
Co-Chair AMPAS Latino Affinity Group - LA Agenda
Co-Chair Academy Aperture 2025 - Marketing and PR Branch
Academy Museum Equity and Inclusion committee
Ivette Rodriguez is the founder and president of
AEM (American Entertainment Marketing), a 25 year-old marketing and public relations firm that has led campaigns for some of the most successful films, television series, and events, from major studios to independent and award winning prestige titles, in both English and Spanish. Current clients include
Amazon Studios, Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV+, and Eugenio Derbez and Ben Odell’s
3 Pas Studios. Prior to starting her own firm, Ivette held positions at
Columbia TriStar and
Ivette is also known as the go to strategist for Latino films and filmmakers and has worked on consumer and awards campaigns for many films including
Amores Perros, Y Tu Mama Tambien,
Before Night Falls,
Guillermo Del Toro's Pinnochio, amongst others.
Ivette has dedicated much of her career advocating for fair and just representation, equity, and parity for the Latino community and has lent her expertise and advisory to many national Latino organizations and initiatives including National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), New American Alliance (NAA), Voto Latino, and
Friends of The National American Latino Museum. In 2020, Ivette co-founded
LA Collab with Mitu co-founder Beatriz Acevedo and the support of the City of Los Angeles to accelerate access for Latinos in entertainment and double representation in front of and behind the camera by 2030. La Collab is currently working on
LTX Match, an AI enabled platform that will finally build the broken bridge between “I can’t find Latino Talent” on one side and “No one gives me an opportunity” on the other.
A deeply connected and respected industry professional, Ivette is a branch executive member of the
Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences(AMPAS) Marketing & PR branch, co-chairs the AMPAS’s
LA Agenda - Latino Affinity Group, and
Aperture 2025, a diversity and inclusion committee established to encourage equitable hiring practices and ensure more diverse representation on and off screen. Ivette is also a member of Academy Museum’s Equity and inclusion committee.
Director, Content and Formats Management - Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED), The Walt Disney Company
Rodriguez advises on international distribution and content acquisitions related to The Walt Disney Company’s Media Networks and Studio Entertainment divisions, including its scripted and non-scripted television and motion picture portfolio. Before joining Disney, he was a Director of International Business & Legal Affairs at Paramount Pictures, a Business Affairs associate at Tribune Entertainment, and a Manager at the American Film Institute. He holds a J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (2000) and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley (1997).
ASG, Key Accounts Manager; SMPTE, Membership Director for Student Outreach
John Shike is an account manager at Advanced Systems Group in Emeryville, CA. He has a background with roles in marketing, sales, and product management at broadcast companies including Snell & Wilcox and Chyron. He is the Director of Educators and Educational Institutions for SMPTE’s membership committee. In addition to SMPTE, John has been involved in SBE, VSF, AMWA, and other industry organizations that have been essential to the development of new media technologies.
Chief Marketing Officer, Trustee and Chairman of the Board, KiwiCo, Asia Society Southern California
As Senior Vice President of Marketing, Katie Soo is responsible for overseeing marketing, business intelligence, and publicity across the Warner Brothers Digital Networks (WBDN) portfolio to develop and launch initiatives that strengthen the relationship with consumers. Soo plays a key role in enhancing brand awareness and exploring opportunities that help innovate the way consumers experience content through WBDN’s wide portfolio of assets.
Prior, Soo was the Vice President of Consumer Marketing at Fullscreen Media, overseeing Originals and Content Marketing, Social, and PR. Before that, she was Head of Digital & Social at Hulu where she led efforts to innovate, create and scale the digital vision across Brand, Originals, Content, and Product. Prior to Hulu, Soo was an early hire at Dollar Shave Club where she served as Head of Social and built the startup’s marketing roadmap from the ground up. Soo is still actively involved in startups, serving both as an advisor and mentor to a handful of companies and has been recognized for her work in both creative storytelling and digital products.
Director, Collegiate Esports, Mainline
Since founding the UConn gaming club in 2012, Billy Sprout has dedicated his life to social gaming and esports programs. That passion has given him a wide spectrum of experiences, including hundreds of hours of AAA livestream productions, live gaming events in partnership with ESPN and the Fiesta Bowl, and esports tournaments with 6-figure prize pools. To date, his Tespa programs connect students from 1,200 universities and have awarded over 2 million dollars in scholarships to students that find a balance between social gaming and individual development.
Senior Manager, University Relations, Dolby Laboratories
Anita Stokes has managed the Dolby U internship program as the Senior Manager for University Relations for the past three and a half years. She has helped students launch their careers at companies like EA, Apple, Lucasfilm, and PlayStation throughout her career. As a first-generation college graduate, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Colorado College, and Master's degree in Communications Management from the University of Southern California.
Director of Partnerships, Entertainment Industry Foundation
Jo’ie D. Taylor is an accomplished nonprofit leader with proven ability to create strategic alliances with corporate partners, community-based organizations, and philanthropists to build sustainable, value-based strategies for social good. As the director of partnerships at the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), she serves as an advisor to celebrity charities, providing administrative and strategic support, to amplify their social impact. Prior to joining EIF, Jo’ie worked at the Television Academy Foundation, focused on institutional giving, alumni engagement, and building donor-led diversity and inclusion efforts including the Power of TV series and career pathways to unscripted television for Angelenos. Prior to her role at the Television Academy, Jo’ie served as a program director and development manager for Jumpstart for Young Children, a national language and literacy organization, focused on workforce development and advocacy in the early childhood education space. While at Jumpstart, Jo’ie also was a lecturer in the Child and Adolescent Studies Department at California State University, Fullerton.
Jo’ie earned a Master of Arts from San Francisco State University focused on Social Justice and Equity in Education. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh in Urban Studies, with a minor in Economics and a certificate in Women’s Studies. She serves on the advisory council of the California State University Entertainment Alliance and a board member of the United States Student Association Foundation.
Client Service Manager, Partnerships & Business Development, The Recording Academy
DeMarco White began his career on the west side of Chicago working within the public school system to address the drop-out crisis. DeMarco joined Music Forward Foundation in 2016 with a passion for increasing equity among underrepresented voices. He then served as the Institutional Partnerships Manager at Music Forward, working to establish relationships to identify opportunities for young people within the music industry. He believes that by equipping youth with essential skills, knowledge, and access we can work to make the music industry a more diverse and inclusive space. He is now working to continue his mission by serving as the Partnerships Manager for Mentorships at Green Dot Public Schools.