Mitch is a gifted announcer with a clear and definitive voice. As the former KCRW General Manager and local host of NPR's All Things Considered in Los Angeles, Mitch Earle consistently brought a conscious awareness to the researching, writing, editing and broadcasting of state and local news. Mitch continues to bring this same consciousness to his many roles as a speaker, narrator, moderator and facilitator, announcer and emcee. Mitch narrated an international, awareness-raising video on the Anandamayi Ma Ashram School Project in Omkareshwar, India. Mitch served as narrator of Chameleons of Madagascar, Save the Tiger Foundation video and co-narrated Weird, Wild & Wonderful.
Past LA-IMIS Speakers/Panelist and
Karen A. Clark began measuring her dreams & limits as she saw the world early on while traveling as an Air Force brat. Her first live concert was Ramsey Lewis in Frankfurt Germany. Â Involved in dance, poetry, & theater, Karen's primary plan in life was unmistakable; performing. Never abandoning the pursuit of her lifelong dream, she embarked on a "back up plan" - college, where she discovered her vocal ability as a singer and her strength as a live performer in theater and spoken word. After receiving a BA in Economics from CA State U Sacramento, Karen A. entered the work force where she played many roles, including Mental Health Counselor, Drug Rehabilitation Counselor, and juvenile hall Probation Officer, before moving to L. A. where she climbed the ranks in the banking industry as an executive in commercial real estate; corporate diversity, community reinvestment & marketing.
KAREN A.CLARK - MODERATOR
A founding member of Litwak & Havkin, Mr. Litwak specializes in music and entertainment law. Mr. Litwak also represents clients in the film and T.V. business including the creator and co-executive producer of "Dance Life" which aired on MTV and the writer/director of the hit movie "You Got Served". Mr. Litwak has represented platinum selling recording artists in all aspects of their careers, including artists who have successfully branched out into acting. He has also represented prominent music producers who have produced for recording artists such as Christina Aguilera, Akon, Lupe Fiasco, Flo Rida, Ray J, Destiny's Child, The Backstreet Boys, Patti Labelle, and Ginuwine. Mr. Litwak has negotiated recording and management agreements for artists who have been signed to major record labels such as Universal, Sony, Interscope/Geffen/A&M, and Warner Music. Glenn also has experience in negotiating music publishing deals with publishers such as EMI, Zomba, and Notting Hill Music.
Mr. Litwak has extensive experience and expertise in representing R&B/Pop groups in all aspects of their careers, including the platinum selling group "B2K". He also represents rising new artists- such as FDM ( formerly signed to Geffen) and Tha Boogie (signed to Velma Records- Raphael Saadiq's label). Mr. Litwak has negotiated production agreements on behalf of artists he represents with some of the top music producers in the business including Puff Daddy, the Underdogs, the Neptunes, Tricky Stewart, Rodney Jerkins, Steven Russel, L.T. Hutton, R. Kelly, Timbaland, and Jermaine Dupri. Mr. Litwak is a frequent speaker at music, digital, and entertainment conferences around the country. He has spoken at the Hollywood Reporter/Billboard Film and TV Music Conference, the ASCAP "I Create Music" Expo, the Hollywood Music in Media Awards and Conference, the Urban Network Conference (Palm Springs, and Industry Hills California), the "North Park Music Thing" in San Diego, the "Get Seen Get Signed" Conference in Chicago, the New Music Seminar in Cleveland, the Brand Access Forum in Los Angeles, the Digital Music Conference in Miami, the Atlantis Music Conference in Atlanta, the North by Northeast Music Conference in Toronto, and the Winter Music Conference in Miami.
GLENN T. LITWAK - KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Joe Ortiz currently holds the position at Twentieth Century Fox International as Vice President Sales Administration and Systems Integration. During his 37-year career at Fox, Joe has handled the international distribution of some of the biggest films of all time, including the Star Wars franchise, Titanic, Avatar, the X-Men franchise and hundreds of other titles. Joe was instrumental in transitioning the business from 35mm film to digital cinema distribution, which has since become the industry norm. He is now responsible for overseeing the sales systems Fox uses to track box office and the dating and planning of all its releases and acquisitions.
JOE ORTIZ - VP 20TH CENTURY FOX
Richard has had a long and distinguished career as an actor and master teacher that spans 5 decades. Recognizing a hole in the teaching model, he went on to create one of the most cutting edge acting schools in existence - The Richard Lawson Studios. He has created a new teaching modality by incorporating time-tested acting techniques with 21st Century technological advances, and a sharp focus on career development of the artist, jobseekers and just regular people seeking to be empowered. His studio focuses on the complete development of an individual by combining scene study and all aspects of working on film, including on-camera auditioning, acting on film, and becoming a film making by learning how to shoot, edit, light, sound record, and more. Some of the notable students he's taught includes George Clooney, Patrick Swayze, Jenna Elfman, Catherine Bell, Doris Roberts, Grant Show just to name a few. Selected actors he's coached in preparation for a film include, Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Kevin Durant, Justin Chon, Jill Marie Jones, Anne Archer, Grant Show, Tyrese, Eric Gores, Shirly Brener.
Grammy Award winning Engineer/Producer Francis Buckley has been making records for over 20 years. His experience ranges from the groundbreaking punk act Black Flag's first album "Damaged" in 1980, to winning the Engineering Grammy Award in 1996 for "Q's Jook Joint" with Quincy Jones. Francis contributions as engineer and mixer to such multi-platinum recordings as The Pointer Sister's "Breakout", Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl", Wilson Phillip's "Wilson Phillips", Alanis Morisette's "Jagged Little Pill, Quincy Jones "Q's Jook Joint" and many others, have helped to sell over 100 million-plus records worldwide. Francis began producing while acting as chief engineer at W.E. Studios in Redondo Beach. He became chief engineer for Unicorn Records and worked with many different acts including Black Flag. He moved to MCA Music Publishing, beginning a 10 year stand as Director of Recording Services. Francis is working with singer/songwriters Noel, Tod McLeod and Michael Buckley, Lap-Pop Artist "Lo-Fi Sugar", Soul/Rock group "The Underground Railroad" and the funkiest thing to ever come out of Mexico "Pilaseca" as well as many Film, TV and Commercial spots. http://www.francisbuckley.com
FRANCIS BUCKLEY - MUSIC PRODUCER
Andrea is President of RKD Music Management and Executive Director of Back 2 School Tour. She has built businesses and marketing plans for several independent record companies in the entertainment industry. Now Andrea has utilized those talents into the start up and vision of RKD Music Management with her partner Keith Douglas, CEO and Chairman. As President, she oversees Marketing, Operations, Finance, Music Artist Management and the Speakers Bureau Institute (speaker agency). Andrea became the Executive Director of Back 2 School Stop the Violence" Youth Empowerment Tour in 2009, produced by Palace of Care & Goodwill Inc, a national non-profit organization that caters to the empowering of youth in communities across America. She has been a motivational speaker at several high school events and community organizations across the states. Her focus is building leaders and showing people young or old the steps of how to be a successful entrepreneur. No one is too young or too old to build their dreams. Andrea Wilson is currently an Alumni of FCCLA organization, a member of the American Marketing Association and member of the National Association of Professional Women.
ANDREA WILSON - RKD MUSIC MANAGEMENT
Keith decided to develop his own company with his law partner Joseph Gellman to speak to the music industry. From there RKD Music Management was born. He has been in the music and entertainment business for 15 years managing, advising and giving aid to the inquiring and talented minds of today. In addition he is also responsible for music on the movie "This Christmas" soundtrack which was released in 2007 with Chris Brown, Loretta Devine and Idris Elba. Keith produced his first film in 2009 called "Jada" which is now on DVD in stores. RKD Music & Talent Management has recently launched Speakers Bureau Institute (SBI), an agency catered to actors and musicians providing a platform for speaking engagements and appearances. Keith is a spokesman for many Gospel, Youth and Empowering Conferences. He is Executive Producer of The Book of David: Transition CD project by Dave Hollister which was nominated for a 2007 BET Gospel Album of the Year and was honored for 2009 Stop the Violence "Think Education: Put God First" Award by City of Refuge Bishop Noel Jones. Keith Douglas has been a successful entrepreneur for many years. Keith is the founder & Chairman of successful companies like RKD Music and Talent Management, the Speakers Bureau Institute and now the new Fragrance "US" by Actress Tasha Smith. After countless requests for spiritual advice amongst his peers, he is transitioning his skills and talent into being an Author. As a Motivational Speaker, he is bringing life changing and empowering messages to the masses. This is Keith's first debut book, The Power to Get Wealth: No Money Required.
KEITH DOUGLAS - RKD MUSIC & TALENT MANAGEMENTÂ
After graduating from Howard University in Washington, D.C in 1970 Sandra moved to Los Angeles and joined the all girl group "The Love Machine". With the group Sandra performed in more than 30 countries and with such greats as Juilo Iglesias, Kenny Rodgers, Sammy Davis Jr., Duke Ellington, Tom Jones,Johnny Halliday, BB King, Al Greene, and others. Sandra signed with Beverly Glen Records as a staff writer. With fellow staff writer Patrick Moten she wrote "Angel" and "Sometimes" for Anita Baker, "How can I get next to you" for Chapter 8, "Just ain't good enough" for Johnny Taylor and "If You think you're lonely now" for Bobby Womack. Her songs have been covered by Carlos Santana, Dennis Thompson, Joanne Ceeza, Impromp2, Monica, Rex Rideout, Lynn White, KCI and Jo-Jo and Jaheim. Her song "If you think you're lonely now" was sampled by Mariah Carey for "We Belong Together" which sold over 10 million copies world-wide. Sandra earned gold records for the "Best of Anita Baker" and the "Making of a Man" by Jaheim. She has written songs for movies "Getting Over", "East of Hope Street" and "Jason's Lyric."
SANDRA SULLY - SONGWRITER
Russel Blake is a professional speaker, musician, concert soloist, educator, music producer and author. He carries on the musical legacy of his father, Latin musical great Alexander Blake, and his brother, world renowned jazz bassist, Alex Blake. As a public speaker, Mr. Blake eloquently conveys a message of personal empowerment and all-encompassing hope. He has shared his talents in 65 countries, on five continents, held the title of "Adjunct Professor" at five universities across the country where he has shared his creation. As a concert soloist, Russel Blake currently holds over 432 pieces within his repertoire encompassing Classical, Spanish Classical, Traditional Jazz, Brazilian, Opera, Latin and Blues music idioms. He performs works from Mozart, Beethoven, Segovia, Albeniz, Cole Porter, Gershwin, Monk, Jobim, Stevie Wonder & Elton John. Mr. Blake has earned the opportunity to accompany and record with several music giants such as Sonny Rollins, Pharoah Sanders, Hugh Masakela, Cybil Shepherd, Chaka Khan, Harry Belafonte, El Gran Combo, Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and has enjoyed playing as the exclusive bassist for The Lion King, Dreamgirls, Angie Stone, Brenda Russell, Mary Mary, to name a few. Mr. Blake authored Proverbs 31: The Virtuous Black Woman Volume 1, in which he communicates the precious and priceless value of Black Women, the right for all women to be treated with unwavering respect and dignity, and the seeds of reverence to be sown by virtue of changing perception one community at a time.
For years, media expert and journalist Gina Smith, has served the public by informing individuals and communities via newspapers and Internet publications. She is an entrepreneur with a passion for people. As Publicist, Project Manager, Counselor, Media Coach and Expert, Gina has a wide range of experience doing freelance PR work for small organizations and individuals. In addition, Gina is a Certified Relationship Counselor with the American Association of Christian Counselors, possessing exceptional interpersonal, counseling, management, and crisis intervention skills, which often come in handy in the entertainment industry. She has successfully combined her myriad education and experience in the fields of media, marketing, communications, and counseling with her unique personal style, to become one of the most sought-after freelance PR and Media Consultants. Â Her experience expands to radio production and promotions, print news and Internet reporting. Recognizing the power of media, Smith found that many businesses and individuals had unique and amazing products and stories. But most do not know how to reach the public effectively. In light of this, she founded SPMG Media and its PR Division.
Ms. Hayter serves on several media boards and is an active member of the National Association of Publicists, Film Industry Network, the National Assn of Women in Music & Entertainment, WIFT (Women in Film and Television), and WIM (Women in Music) and Caring for Children and the Teddy Bear Foundation. She has worked with Australian Pop Star Vince Gelonese and Hungarian vocalist, Linda Kiraly who was recently signed with the Motown Universal record label. She has also worked with the rock Group Chicago, Femi Ojetunde (Anna Nicole Smith Show, Drumline, TuPac Documentary), Foster & McElroy (Producers of hits for Madonna and EnVogue), and Andy Zane, producer (Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones). http://deborahhayterpublicist.com/Deborah.html
SKM Artist Management is a music management and marketing company established in 2001 by Seth Keller, a 14-year music industry veteran. Management clients include Grammy and Tony nominated singer/songwriter/producer Brenda Russell, Grammy winning singer/songwriter/producer Sharon Robinson, singer/songwriter/guitarist Marcus Vaughn, and electro alternative band Parade Of Lights. While SKM Artist Management focuses on personal management for artists and writers, the company combines the advising and counseling of traditional artist management with a music industry 2.0 approach to directing its clients careers.
SETH KELLER - SKM ARTIST MANAGEMENT
DEBORAH HAYTER - PUBLICIST
Helene Muddiman is a multi-award winning composer, artist and producer. Helene film credits include the multi award winning film SKIN, Happy Feet 2, Ice Age 4, One Way, Stealing Sam, Jean, Candy & Brook, A Fist Full of Pizza, Modern Paints Uncovered, Asian Organic Colorants, Santa's Little Helper, and The Cramp Twins, just to name a few. As an artist, Helene was signed to EMI Records and Music Publishing at the age of 18. She is now signed to Sony/ATV. She is classically trained and plays a range of instruments, including guitar, bass, keyboards and piano. Her singing has been featured on many of Hans Zimmera's film scores and several pieces for television, and various hits for other artists. She has 2 albums for EMI through KPM produced by Harry Gregson-Williams and has written 2 top 5 hits, including the title track from the Gold selling album "FREE ME" by Emma Bunton. (1 of the Spice Girls). Helene's music has also been featured on many TV shows including; The Tonight Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Drew Carey Show, Dream on, Access Hollywood, Ren and Stimpy, Walt Disney World Summer, Martha Stewart Livin, Zoom, Spongebob Squarepant, Bill Nye the Science.
HELENE MUDDIMAN - FILM COMPOSER/MUSIC PRODUCER
SESAC was founded in 1930 to serve European composers not adequately represented in the United States. Though the company name was once an acronym, today it is simply SESAC and not an abbreviation of anything.
With an international reach and a vast repertory that spans virtually every genre of music, SESAC is the fastest growing and most technologically adept of the nation's performing rights companies.
SESAC will represent the right for your music to be played in public. Songwriters and publishers are paid royalties based upon how much their songs are played. The system required to compute compensation is based on many factors, including state-of-the-art monitoring, computer database information and broadcast logs. Unlike ASCAP and BMI, SESAC utilizes a selective process when affiliating songwriters and publishers, resulting in a roster of affiliates who have personal relationships with the SESAC staff. In short, SESAC's creative staff provides affiliated songwriters and publishers with a level of service and attention unparalleled in the industry.
James Leach, VP of Writer/Publisher Relations
Erin Collins, VP of Film, TV & Developing Media
J J Cheng, VP of Writer/Publisher Relations, SESAC Latina
Celeste Zendejas, Associate Director, SESAC Latina
Topic: Meet SESAC: Discussions with a P.R.O.
Objectives: To introduce SESAC and educate songwriters and publishers on their right to be compensated for having their music performed in public.
Richard began his legal career working in legal affairs at Virgin Records America, Inc. where he worked with top talent such as Janet Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Tina Turner, Aaliyah, Tank, The Smashing Pumpkins, Beanie Man, John Lee Hooker, Guru, D'Angelo, and Scarface. He co-founded M.E.T.A.L. Law Group, LLP, a full service law firm that represents clients within the media, entertainment, technology, action sports, and lifestyle brands spaces. Richard has extensive experience in putting together ventures, negotiating deals, managing intellectual property portfolios, and protecting brands in music, television, film, fashion, video gaming, and interactive entertainment. Recently, M.E.T.A.L. has represented entertainers, athletes and innovative entrepreneurs in negotiations with major companies including Universal Records, Sony, Atlantic Records, EMI Publishing, Warner Brothers Records, Warner-Chappell, Nickelodeon, Electronic Arts, PepsiCo, Disney, Hollywood Records, NBC Universal, Warner Brothers, Sony, Pioneer, Tapout, Comcast and OWN Television Network.
LINDA JONES departed corporate marketing to embrace the adventures of entertainment marketing in 1995. Jones joined actor comedian Sinbad for the launch of his HBO series "Sinbad's Soul Music Festival" as the marketing and promotions manager. After six television specials later with Sinbad, Jones worked at NBC and Disney in business development, affiliate marketing, and national broadcast publicity. In 2007, Jones formed the entertainment marketing and public relations firm, The Mass Appeal. Her past and present clients include Terry Crews (Everybody Hates); nominated actor Bobb'e J. Thompson (Role Models, 30 Rock); award winning actress Vanessa Williams; US Olympian Carl Lewis; famed actor/comedian John Witherspoon, veteran actor Hal Williams, Erica Hubbard (ABC Family's Lincoln Heights), Wendy Davis (Lifetime TV's Army Wives), multiple-Grammy winning singer Deniece Williams. Corporate clients include the United States Tennis Association, A Call to Men Foundation, Bright Ideas Entertainment and others. The Mass Appeal thrives on film and television projects, as well as corporate and charity events that have an entertainment thread woven into it.
RICHARD JEFFERSON - ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY
LINDA JONES - PUBLICIST/PRODUCER
A Los Angeles-based entertainment attorney specializing in motion picture and television transactions. Her clients include award-winning and aspiring writers, directors, actors, producers and production companies. Akua, and her staff of legal professionals, also specialize in additional entertainment related areas of law including: corporate formation, trademark registration and finance transactions. She is a graduate of Seton Hall Law School, Tufts University and extensive programs at UCLA Entertainment Law Studies. Akua is admitted to practice in California, New York and New Jersey, is a member of the American Bar Association, the Beverly Hills Bar Association, Women In Film and Film Independent, Inc.
AKUA BOYENNE - ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY
Rae Shaw is the award-winning writer/director of the short film, Soap and Roses. Soap and Roses is an award-winning film that explores the topic of sexual assault from the perspective of the perpetrator. In 2008 Rae founded the production company, Wicked Lovely Films, to develop her film feature project, Repass. She also completed a stage production with Write Act Repertory in Hollywood the same year. In 2009 Rae gained fiscal sponsorship through SFFS for The Effrayant Grief Project, an educational companion documentary to Repass, and in 2011 she wrote the feature film romantic comedy, The Misidentifycation of Black Hair.
Robi Reed, Vice President of Talent and Casting (BET) Emmy Award winning Casting Director and Producer Robi Reed has been a leader among casting directors in the Motion Picture and Television industry for over twenty years. With more than 50 films to her credit, her rise to success as a Casting Director began with the motion picture School Daze, written and directed by Spike Lee. Do the Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X and Clockers. As her list of film credits grew, so did the multitude of television successes. Among such are Harpo's Their Eyes Were Watching God (Emmy consideration for Outstanding Casting) starring Halle Berry, Showtime's Barbershop â€“ The Series and Richard Pryor's Pryor Offenses, The Tracey Morgan Show, Girlfriends, Soulfood (the series), The PJs, In Living Color, Roc, In The House, Good News, Sparks and A Different World. Robi's most recent films include Tyler Perry's; For Colored Girls, Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf, and I Can Do Bad All By Myself.
ROBIE REED - CASTING DIRECTOR
LEAH DANIELS BUTLER is a Los Angeles based casting director with over 20 years of television and film credits. She is responsible for discovering Academy Award Nominee, Gabourey Sidibe, in her breakout role in the Oscar-winning film, PRECIOUS. Her film credits include Precious (Mo'nique, Gabourey Sidibe, Paula Patton), 2 Fast 2 Furious (starring Tyrese, Ludacris, Eva Mendes), ATL (starring TI, Evan Ross), Shadowboxer (starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Helen Mirren), Friday (starring Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long). Her television credits include hit series Friends, The Wayans Brothers and TVOne's Love That Girl (starring Tatyana Ali and Alphonso Mcauley). Leah just wrapped The Paperboy, directed by Lee Daniels. The highly-anticipated film stars Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman and John Cusack.
LEAH DANIELS - CASTING DIRECTOR
For over a decade Tracy "Twinkie" Byrd has helped launch the acting careers of countless Hollywood hopefuls, making her the first casting director to successfully shift from music videos to major motion pictures. The New York native has an eagle eye for raw talent that has allowed her to discover actors such as Michael Kenneth Williams [Boardwalk Empire], Naturi Naughton [Notorious, The Playboy Club], Columbus Short [Scandal, Stomp the Yard] and Laz Alonso [Jumping the Broom, Avatar], to name a few. Most recently Byrd has been credited with casting the late Whitney Houston's final film, Sparkle, which also introduces American Idol star, Jordin Sparks, in her acting debut.
TRACY "TWINKIE" BYRD - CASTING DIRECTOR
Steven Barri Cohen award winning mixer, composer & producer owns Lake Transfer Productions a professional recording studio, artist and tour management company. Steve Cohen projects include: Mixing, tracking, mastering and/or management for Sheree Brown, Evelyn Champagne King, Friends Of Distinction, Craig Taubman, Phantom Planet, Shanice Wilson, Taylor Dayne, Rose Royce , Trina McGee (Boy Meets World ABC-TV), Lisa Nicole Carson (ER CBS-TV), Arjay Smith (The Day After Tomorrow - 20th Century Fox), Janet Jackson (The Janet Tour), B2K (Chris Stokes - Epic/Sony), Candyboy f/ Mari Y, Sylvia St. James, Michael Whaley and El Chicano
STEVEN COHEN - TOUR MANAGER/PRODUCER
Filmmaker Spotlight: Q&A with Ronnie Connell of "Ticket to Hell"
RONNIE CONNELL - EXECUTIVE PRODUCER & DIRECTOR
Filmmaker Spotlight: Q&A with Alex Chu of "The Equity Partners"
ALEX CHU - EXECUTIVE PRODUCER & DIRECTOR
Filmmaker Spotlight: Q&A with Jacqueline A. Finch "The Seedling"
JACQUELINE A. FINCH â€“ EXECUTIVE PRODCER & ACTRESS
Over the past 20 years, Norma Henry has parlayed her creative instincts as a writer/producer into a colorful career. She wrote, produced, and directed two short films entitled All That Glitters and Prime Time. She later served as assistant director on the short film, Cocaine: the Bride with the Cold Heart, directed by Actress/Producer Alice Arthur. Â The film won an award from the Black American Cinematographers Society. Norma worked with Filmmaker Regina Kimbel's Inner Vision Productions as a Production Manager on projects ranging from music videos to the half-hour TV pilot, Hollywood 24-7, a zany social comedy.
Filmmaker Spotlight: Q&A with cast of "How to Break Up with Your Mother"
LAWRENCE ZOELLER â€“ WRITER/DIRECTOR/EDITOR
Filmmaker Spotlight: Q&A with cast of the "THE UNBORN"
SERITA STEVENS â€“ EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Sabina Cabe is co-author of the book ShowBiz Kidz: How To Get Your Child Started in Show Business and co-founder of The ShowBiz Kidz Foundation. She is an alumni of Duke Ellington School of the Arts, in Washington, D.C., having studied classical vocal music and dance. Sabina acquired experience in diverse fields of entertainment, including: Film & Television, Music Publishing and Artist Management while working with great artists such as: Eddie Murphy, Irene Cara and Debbie Allen. Today, Sabina operates her own management/consulting company, and works diligently with The ShowBiz Kidz Foundation, to empower the lives of youth.
SABINA CABE - AUTHOR/ARTIST CONSULTANT
Filmmaker Spotlight: Q&A with cast of the "Pull the Trigger"
RICHARD RYAN â€“ DIRECTOR
Filmmaker Spotlight: Q&A with Executive producer "Poplockin Groovin To Tha Grave"
TODD MCGUIRE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER & DIRECTOR
James Leach began his music career at Famous Music Publishing before landing with ATV Music Group where he was eventually named Director of Creative Affairs. Upon leaving ATV, James formed Leach Entertainment Enterprises where he consulted for several indie labels and placed music recording projects in various film/television projects. James rejoined Famous Music Publishing and was responsible for signing current million-selling artist/producer AKON and also served as Music Consultant/Coordinator for the groundbreaking TV show, New York Undercover as well as serving as a Music Supervisor for Fox Television before joining SESAC in 2001. James continues to recruit writers and publishers for SESAC as well as facilitate catalog affiliations.
JAMES LEACH VICE PRESIDENT, WRITER/PUBLISHER RELATION
Erin assists SESAC in identifying film, television, and other media composers for affiliation with SESAC. Erin began her career in the music business with Warner Bros. Publications where she was responsible for creating and managing multi-media marketing budgets as well as developing advertising campaigns. She then served as Director of Marketing & Music Production for APM Music where she was in charge of creating, managing and supporting all online and offline creative, music, promotions, PR, branding, print advertising and portfolio marketing to clients such as MTV, Discovery, the major television networks, HBO and Fox among many others. Before joining SESAC, Collins was Producer/Music Supervisor at London Green Studios working with clients such as Apple, Activision, ESPN and THQ.
ERIN COLLINS/VICE PRESIDENT of FILM, TELEVISION & DEVELOPING MEDIA
Iona Morris is an actor, writer, director and teacher; an over 30 year veteran of film, stage and television. You have seen her on MOESHA, LAW & ORDER: L.A., LINCOLN HEIGHTS, AS THE WORLD TURNS, COLD CASE and many other television shows. Her film credits include ONCE UPON A TIME WHEN WE WERE COLORED, RIDE OR DIE and more. She is the original voice of Storm from THE X-MEN Cartoon and has voiced many other animation shows. Iona has written and performed in 3 one-woman shows. Her play titled FOR YOU about her father Greg Morris from the hit '70's series MISSION IMPOSSIBLE was Award winning and critically acclaimed. Miss Morris has directed Blair Underwood, Penny Johnson Jerald, Kim Wayans and several other performers in their one-person shows and has also directed many musicals, awards shows and events
Michael Levitt a veteran television producer who has, within the past decade, emerged as one of the entertainment industry's most successful and sought-after producers of music and event television programming. Levitt has reinvented the staple "awards show," infusing his projects with creativity and a sense of fun that has long been lacking from the genre. He is one of those rare producers who has earned the respect of performers and programmers alike. Levitt's specials deliver strong ratings, while providing talent with the best possible performance showcase, and viewers with an entertainment experience unlike anything else in the genre. Among his programs include Season Five of the reality series Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, The TV Land Awards, The Scream Awards,Â Ask Oprah's All Stars, America's Money Class with Suze Orman, Carpet, The, Hollywood Squares, The Teen Choice Awards and Celebrity Duets.
He also produced one of the most-watched television events in history, the 2009Â Michael Jackson memorial service.
MICHAEL LEVITT - PRODUCER
LA-IMIS CRYSTAL AWARD of EXCELLENCE RECIPIENT
Oz Scott is an accomplished and award-winning television, theatrical and motion picture director. In his two decades plus years of experience, Scott has directed hundreds of television episodes along with dozens of stage productions, made-for-TV movies and motion pictures.
He has had a great year doing episodes of UNFORGETTABLE, and CSI NY. And he has returned to the sitcom world by directing episodes of ARE WE THERE YET.
This summer Oz's film HOME RUN SHOWDOWN starring Matthew Lillard, Dean Cain, Barry Bostwick and Annabeth Gish will be released in the Detroit area.
Oz Scott is a seasoned entertainment industry veteran and a highly sought after director whose notable work throughout the past decade can be seen on dozens of highly-rated network and cable series. One of the best in his field, Scott has directed multiple episodes for ABC's Boston Legal, The Practice and Wonderland, NBC's Medium, American Dreams and Ed; CBS - CSI NY, C.S.I., Num3ers, The Unit, The Guardian, Family Law, The District, JAG, and American Gothic; and FOX's Ally McBeal and Party of Five. Oz's magical touch extends into the cable universe as well, having helmed several episodes of Soul Food (Showtime), Any Day Now (Lifetime), and the extremely popular movie on The Disney Channel, The Cheetah Girls.
LA-IMIS CRYSTAL VISIONARY AWARD RECIPIENT
DIRECTOR, ACTOR AND PRODUCER
A passionate visionary and trailblazer, Hollywood Icon, Robert Townsend transcends any medium he touches. Whether he's performing stand up, acting, writing, directing, producing, or running a television network, his magic and versatile talent is undeniable. A Hollywood-pioneer well ahead of his time, Townsend, a Chicago native is often referred to as one of the "Godfathers" of the Independent Film World." With over 30 years in the business, he has made an indelible mark in Hollywood with an extensive list of credits. Robert's genius first revealed itself in elementary school. As a kid Robert was always fascinated with television, watching and studying it tirelessly, he began to practice acting out scenes and impersonating famous characters. At his school during a reading of Shakespeare's Oedipus Rex he dazzled the class with his ability to transform effortlessly into character, as a result Robert's remarkable versatile talent as a young actor was born and caught the attention of Chicago's Experimental Bag Theatre. Robert made an unforgettable mark in his hometown of Chicago, where he went onto New York's renowned comedy club the Improvisation that initiated his career as a stand-up comedian. Then for Robert it was on to Hollywood, where he dabbled in a mixture of industries and found that with his versatile talent, he was able to adapt easily from being a comedian to a full-screen actor. Robert's first film appearance was in popular urban classic, "Cooley High". His break came while performing on various television comedy specials including "Rodney Dangerfield: It's Not Easy Bein' Me" and "Uptown Comedy Express." Although comedy had been his forte during the early part of his career, he knew he was destined to be on the big screen. He landed the role of a lifetime co-starring opposite Denzel Washington in "A Soldier's Story", and appeared with Diane Lane in "Streets of Fire" and Kevin Costner in "American Flyers".
Once in Hollywood, seeing the difficulty Black Actors had and the lack of good work available in the film industry, left a burning desire for Robert to step behind the camera. With his acting career in high gear, Robert's career took a turn for the best when Robert Townsend the "independent filmmaker" was born. He wanted to do something to fill this void and without formal film education or outside funding (he used his own credit cards to finance), Robert wrote, directed, produced and starred in his own first film. The result was the critically acclaimed "Hollywood Shuffle", a satire, depicting the trials and tribulations of Black Actors in Hollywood. The success of this film forced "Hollywood" to recognize and appreciate the visionary versatile talent of "Robert Townsend", Tinsel town's newest, talented actor and filmmaker.
LA-IMIS CRYSTAL PIONEER AWARD RECIPIENT
Executive Director - The Pan African Film Festival
Mr. Babu is an international legal, cultural and political consultant specializing in African affairs. In addition to the Pan African Film Festival, Mr. Babu currently serves as a Director on the Board of the Palais de la Culture in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Notably, he has worked as a consultant to Bishop H.H. Brookins, of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Mr. Dick Griffey, President of the African Development Public Investment Corporation and SOLAR Records. In 1977, Babu was a consultant to Stevie Wonder and facilitated Mr. Wonder's participation at FESTAC (the 2nd Festival of Pan African Arts and Culture) held in Lagos, Nigeria. At FESTAC among other activities, Babu coordinated the satellite transmission of Mr. Wonder's GRAMMY appearance from Lagos. Mr. Babu was a delegate to the 6th Pan African Congress in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania in 1974. In 1984, he brought Les Ballets Africains de la Republique de Guinee to the Olympics in Los Angeles. He was Co-Chair of the Program Committee for The Nelson Mandela Reception Committee at the Los Angeles Coliseum, in 1990.
Under his leadership the Pan African Film Festival has established institutional ties with the Pan African Festival of Cinema and Television (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso, the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, the Atibaia Film Festival in Brazil, the Africano Film Festival in Milan, Italy and the Zuma Film Festival in Abuja, the largest film festival in Nigeria, where he also recently served as a member of the jury. He is currently, an awards presenter and a permanent member of the jury of the annual African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), the worlds largest Pan African film awards presentation, broadcasted to an international audience. Additionally, he is developing formal ties with the Film & Video Foundation of South Africa. Most recently, in December 2010, he was an official delegate to the World Festival of Black Arts and Cultures in Dakar, Senegal for his contribution to Pan African Cinema.
Skip Saylor has worked with a variety of name artists including Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Cherie Currie of The Runaways, Johnny Bristol, Don Randi of the Wrecking Crew, The Whispers, Con Funk Shun, Shattered Faith, Community FK, The Emotions, Gary Taylor, Chico DeBarge, Vesta Williams, The Reddings, Mikey Craig of Culture Club, Linda Clifford and Osborne and Giles.
Skip Saylor was regularly sought out by many gold and platinum artists. Â Among the entire album projects mixed at the facility are the Grammy award winning "Ingenue" by k.d. lang, "Use You Illusion I and II" by Guns N' Roses, and "The Colour And The Shape" by the Foo Fighters. Among the artists who have recorded or mixed songs at Skip Saylor's are Santana, Snoop Dogg, 2 Pac, Eminem, Dr. Dre, R. Kelly, Nine Inch Nails, Pink, Dwight Yoakam, Elton John, Everclear, Def Leppard, Avril Lavigne, Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston.
SKIP SAYLOR - MUSIC PRODUCER/ENGINEER
Damon Cisneros is a multi-instrumentalist songwriter and music producer who began taking traditional guitar lessons at age 7. Self-taught on a variety of instruments, Damon has played guitar, bass, drums and piano in numerous bands since the early 90's. His musical proficiency and experience working closely with artists paved the way for an effortless transition into writing and producing music in all different genres.
Damon's writing /production credits include everything from rock, hip hop, folk, reggae, pop and death metal to corporate soundtracks, voice-overs, video games and commercials. He accredits his ever-growing success in the music business to his unrelenting drive, determination and ability to re-invent himself.
"My greatest assets are my ears. Not just because I use them to hear music, but because I use them as invaluable tools when communicating and, ultimately, learning about the artists I work with.
DAMON CISNEROS - MUSIC PRODUCER
Filmmaker Spotlight: Q&A with Director "Whole 'Nother Level"
BRUCE B. GORDON PRODUCER, DIRECTOR and WRITER
Filmmaker Spotlight: Q&A with Director "Pull"
DANIELLE L. ROSS - WRITER & DIRECTOR
Gerry has worked over the past 35 years in distribution, marketing and production/producer with: Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Phil Collins, Frank Zappa, Paul Anka, Charlie Daniels, Aerosmith, Kiss, Mariah Carey, The Jacksons, Journey, El Chicano, Phil Collins, Pete Brown (songwriter for Cream), Stevie Wonder, Chicago, The Who (John Entwhistle in regards to the soundtrack of the movie Jerry McGuire), Kim Wilde, Kate Bush, Abba, Wet-Wet-Wet, Simply Red (Mick Hucknall), Simple Minds (Jim Kerr), Anne Murray, Steve Miller, Dave Matthews, Elton John, ELO, Toto (David Paich), Nazareth, Booker T & The MG's, Santana, Vikki Carr, Jessy J, Ronnie Wood (Rolling Stones), Friends Of Distinction, and many more.
Gerry is the owner and CEO of SOLA (Sounds Of Los Angeles) a Southern California based independent production and recording company that is heavily involved with ongoing music and film projects in the USA as well as the United Kingdom. www.solalabel.com
Gerry also is heavily involved with giving music back to the community and often arranges free concerts involving the musical talent that he produces and manages. He also donates his time annually as a celebrity judge for the Rock Star Music Education program to promote music in elementary schools in the USA.
GERRY GALLAGHER - MUSIC PRODUCER
Bruce is well-known as a Musical Director, Producer, Independent Artist Developer and Talent Broker. Bruce Sterling has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry. Bruce Sterling and his company AEI directed and packaged talent for artist such as: Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Pink, Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, Nelly Furtado & Faith Evans as well as providing musicians for the sultry styles of Sade, Karyn White, Jill Scott, Dionne Warwick, Patti LaBelle, from the smooth crooning styles of Stevie Wonder, Clay Aiken, Brain McKnight Babyface, Eric Benet to Latin sensations like; Paulina Rubio, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan & Juanes.
Bruce Sterling's many entitlements include working and artist developing many child & tween artist that have become the superstars that you know today such as; Miley Cyrus, (2) x Grammy award winning artist Adele, Leona Lewis, Christina Aguilera, from Jessica Simpson, Ashley Tisdale, Bianca Ryan, Drew Seeley and latest young artists Kathleen Regan (Country/Pop) and Elly Stefanko (Alternative/Pop) from The Last Garage Band. And let's not forget the Classic R&B and Hip Hop World which Bruce has helped mount bands for such artist as; Ceelo, Black Eye Peas, Outkast, Morris Day, Club Nouveau, Tribe Called Quest, Bubba Sparaxx, Ying Yang Twins, & Dem Franchise Boyz.
BRUCE STERLINGâ€“ MUSIC PRODUCER/ COMPOSER
LA-IMIS CRYSTAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR AWARD RECIPIENT Will Donato
Will Donato is a smooth jazz composer, alto saxophonist and recording artist whose 2007 release, Will Call is his first with Innervision Records. His earliest musical work was with the mod revivalist band, The Untouchables, who gained a large underground following.
Donato has performed with some of the best known musicians of the genre, namely Al McKay of Earth, Wind and Fire, Bruce Conte of Tower of Power and Steve Reid of The Rippingtons; Donato also fronted Reid's Bamboo Forest for four years. He has worked outside the smooth jazz genre as well, most notably with Gerald Levert and Richard Marx. In addition, Donato frequently tours with his own band, The Art of Sax.
Donato's work can also be heard on the number one Steve Oliver hit from 2006, High Noon as well as on the soundtracks of Thelma and Louise, The Untouchables [disambiguation needed] and The Wedding Planner.
A resident of Palm Springs, California, Donato is a frequent headliner with The Art of Sax at smooth jazz concerts in the area
LA-IMIS CRYSTAL AWARD SHOW HOST
AUTHOR/RADIO SHOW HOST
Renard "Zo" Williams is a self-published author, relationship coach, television and radio personality. Dubbed as "Tupac meets Deepak," or the "The Hip Hop Dr. Phil," Zo
lends a unique perspective to the relationship coaching world. Zo got his professional start as a music executive. Having worked with a myriad of Hip Hop and Pop Music
heavyweights at Loud and Maverick Records over the years. Â Zo Williams has emerged
as a highly sought after relationship coach and one of the premiere authorities on relationships and the Hip Hop Community (Generation X). Currently, Zo can be found hosting his own show, The Voice of Reason, which is under the Jamie Foxx/FoxxHole Radio Show umbrella on Sirius Satellite Radio. He also can be heard on Speedy's Comedy Corner, another Sirius Satellite Radio show. Zo has appeared on several television shows including, Spitfire, a hip-hop roundtable show with rap legend Kool Mo Dee and as a panelist on TV Oneâ€™s, Black Men Revealed. Zo Williams is currently working on the follow up book to his 2008 release, the Rebirth of Seeds