2019 Featured Speakers


CEO, Endemol Shine North America & Chairman, Endemol Shine Americas

Cris Abrego oversees both the North American and Latin American divisions of Endemol Shine Group, the global independent content creator, producer and distributor with a diverse portfolio of companies that are behind some of the most prominent hit television formats and series in the world. the former co-founder and chief executive of Endemol Shine-owned studio 51 Minds Entertainment, Abrego is one of the leading creators and producers of reality television in the U.S., recognized globally for pioneering a new genre of unscripted programming with the breakout celeb-reality series, The Surreal Life.

Abrego oversees all of Endemol Shine North America's programming, including hits such as Big Brother (CBS), MasterChef (FOX), The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo), MasterChef Latino (Telemundo), Mira Quién Baila (Univision), Ink Master (Paramount Network), Trading Spaces (TLC), Deal or No Deal (CNBC), LOL: Last One Laughing (Amazon) and the upcoming launch of Utopia (Amazon Prime), Ripley (Showtime), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (HGTV), Lego Masters (FOX), Súbete a Mi Moto (Amazon), and The Biggest Loser (USA).

As one of the highest-ranking Latinos in television, Abrego has made inclusion a top priority for his team at Endemol Shine and within the entertainment industry. He recently launched a fellowship program with the Television Academy Foundation focused on creating opportunities within the industry for diverse students.


Anya Adams has just recently wrapped on the pilot and second episode of Netflix's upcoming drama Ginny & Georgia. She is currently set to direct an upcoming episode of Sunnyside for NBC, and is returning to ABC's black-ish, Single Parents and Fresh Off the Boat. Adams has long been a go-to director for the alphabet network, where she has also helmed episodes of Bless This Mess and Speechless.

Additionally, she has directed episodes of The Good Place and Charmed and she is quickly becoming a favorite of writer-executive producer Jenji Kohan, with strong episodes of GLOW and American Princess. Adams' short, "Lemonade Mafia," features her original and dark sense of humor.

Director of Drama Programming, HBO

Kalia Booker is a director of drama programming at HBO, working with writers, producers and directors to create compelling scripted series for the network. Booker has developed and provided ongoing creative support for many projects including True DetectiveHis Dark MaterialsThe OutsiderShowtime and I Know This Much Is True.

After attending Spelman College, Booker moved to New York City to continue her career in musical theater. She found success in musicals like HairsprayCaroline, or ChangeAida and Seussical; before relocating to Los Angeles to transition into scripted programming. With a brief stint in casting at ABC and E!, Booker eventually joined the scripted development team at Universal Cable Productions (Mr. RobotThe SinnerThe Umbrella AcademyThe Act). From there, she joined the renowned HBO drama team, excited to make content that would change the television landscape and culture on a whole.

She is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Hollywood Radio & Television Society.

Producer, Family or Fiancé

Erika Bryant is a television and film producer who hails from San Francisco and currently lives in Los Angeles, California. While attending Clark Atlanta University, where she would graduate Magna Cum Laude, Bryant began her exploration and ascension of the multi-media and entertainment ladder. After spending nearly a decade in the music business, Bryant's ambition and innate love of all things good and media-related eventually landed her at Tyler Perry Studios coordinating the Diary of a Mad Black Woman soundtrack as well as presiding as Perry's executive assistant.

In 2006, on the heels of that opportunity, she was offered what she believed would be a two-month stint as a production assistant on America's Next Top Model in Los Angeles. Those two months turned into a complete relocation to Los Angeles and the beginning of a journey with ANTM that would culminate with her as a casting producer on the show. Bryant's time and the invaluable lessons she learned at Patchwerk Recording Studios, LaFace Records, Hitco Entertainment, Tyler Perry Studios and America's Next Top Model would be the springboard that would launch her into a successful career in film and television.

Bryant has been a freelance producer on popular and well-known television programs like Undercover Boss; Extreme Makeover Home Edition; Iyanla, Fix My Life; Married to Medicine; Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Real World. She co-produced the documentary Kunta Kinteh Island and was associate producer for the independent film, Everything But a Man. Bryant is currently executive producer along with Bunim-Murray Productions on Family or Fiancé for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

Writer, Director, Producer, Pose

Hailing from the Bronx, Steven Canals is the co-creator and executive producer of the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-nominated and Peabody Award-winning FX drama series POSE. He made his TV directorial debut with the eighth episode of the second season, titled "Revelations." the series recently finished its second season on FX and will return for a third. Canals co-created the series with Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.

A 2015 graduate of UCLA's MFA Screenwriting program, he began his journey as a storyteller in high school, producing the documentary short Turf Violence: What's It All About?, co-funded by HBO Family. Canals went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema, and a Masters in Student Affairs & Diversity from Binghamton University. He moved to Los Angeles in 2012 after a nine-year career in higher education. While attending UCLA, Canals served as a research assistant at Hungry Jackal Productions. in 2016, Canals was a staff writer on Freeform's Dead of Summer, the same year his short film, Afuera, premiered at the LA Film Festival.

Variety magazine named Canals a TV Writer to Watch in 2018.

Global Head of Original Content, YouTube

Susanne Daniels is an award-winning entertainment executive who has developed and produced some of the most iconic and groundbreaking series in entertainment.

As global head of Original Content for YouTube, Daniels is responsible for leading the company's overall efforts and investments in original content, including programming strategy, development and production of series and feature films from some of YouTube's most successful creators. While at the platform, Daniels has brought to life critically acclaimed programming such as Cobra Kai, Step Up: High Water and The Boy Band Con: the Lou Pearlman Story; and has spearheaded premium livestream events with artists including Katy Perry, Will Smith and Paul McCartney.

Prior to YouTube, Daniels served as president of programming and production at MTV as well as top posts as the president of Lifetime Networks and the WB, vice president of comedy development for Fox Television and more. in these roles she's led the development for some of the most memorable shows on TV, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson's Creek, Gilmore Girls, Army Wives, Charmed, 7th Heaven, Smallville, Project Runway, Drop Dead Diva, The Jamie Foxx Show, The Wayans Bros., Are You the One? and Scream.

Daniels serves on the boards of Common Sense Media, NATPE, UCLA MEMES and Center Theatre Group, among other advisory roles. She is based in Los Angeles where she resides with her husband, writer-producer-director Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks and Recreation and King of the Hill).

President & Co-Founder, Campanario Entertainment

Jaime Dávila is a leader among the generation of young producers betting their careers on the need for more inclusive content. Driven to expand opportunities for Latinx creators, deliver inclusive programming for audiences, and demonstrate that diversity is good business, Dávila produces a prolific amount of multilingual content in the U.S. and Mexico through his company Campanario Entertainment.

His slate includes the highly-anticipated scripted series on Selena Quintanilla for Netflix, Selena: The Series; the multigenerational reality series Mexican Dynasties for Bravo; an upcoming series for Amazon Prime Video, Como Sobrevivir Soltero; and a number of unscripted and scripted projects in development. Campanario is also known for Camelia La Texana (for Telemundo).

Dávila was previously a development executive at Bravo, where he held progressively senior roles adapting international formats and developing original series under the leadership of Andy Cohen. He holds degrees from Harvard and Oxford.

Executive Director Television Academy Foundation

Jodi Delaney is executive director of the Television Academy Foundation. She oversees daily operations and provides strategic leadership of foundation programs and initiatives to fulfill the charitable organization's mission to identify, advance and empower future television leaders. An executive with 20 years' experience in nonprofit, government and private sector management and development, Delaney has supervised high-profile initiatives in entertainment, environmental conservation, economic development and social services throughout her career.

Previously, Delaney served as chief development officer at the Youth Policy Institute, a nonprofit fighting intergenerational poverty in Los Angeles, where she oversaw donor development and fundraising efforts. Delaney also held the position of Los Angeles program director at The Trust for Public Land, a national environmental organization that builds parks and preserves natural places for communities in 30 states nationwide.

She served in New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's administration where she held two key positions over a six-year period. At the New Mexico Film Office, she directed the New Mexico Filmmakers program, creating numerous education and diversity-focused initiatives designed to help establish and grow a sustainable media community in the state. At the Department of Cultural Affairs, she was executive director of New Mexico's statehood centennial, a wide-ranging commemoration that involved over 300 projects among diverse communities in 33 counties.

Delaney's television career began in New York City, where she was field producer at ABC News on the multi-part series The Century with Peter Jennings. For over a decade Delaney was a writer and producer for documentaries, commercials and short films that aired on networks including HBO, TLC, History Channel and Discovery Health.

Senior Vice President, Programming & Development, OWN

Jill Dickerson serves as senior vice president of programming and development at OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network. She was formerly vice president of programming and development and has been with the network since 2009. a highly respected television executive and producer, she helped launch and oversee a diverse slate of groundbreaking reality and documentary programming there, including Welcome to Sweetie Pie's, Our America with Lisa Ling, Deion's Family Playbook and For Peete's Sake. Current projects include hit relationship series Black Love, Family or Fiancé, Ready to Love and Love & Marriage: Huntsville.

With two decades of experience in reality programming, Dickerson actively collaborates with producers in series development and supervises editorial management of outside production. Before joining OWN, she was consulting producer for the Sydney, Hollywood and Brooklyn seasons of MTV's The Real World, where she was responsible for developing all storylines and overseeing structure and editing of the landmark series.

Previously, Dickerson held roles ranging from supervising story editor to series producer for TLC's Miami Ink, VH1's My Fair Brady, CBS's Big Brother, and ABC's The Bachelorette and Making the Band. She got her start as a story editor on The Real World: Hawaii.

Dickerson holds a Master of Fine Arts in Culture & Media from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology from Harvard, and serves as an Executive Committee Member for the Reality Peer Group of the Television Academy. in addition to serving on the 2019 Creative Arts Awards Committee, she has also served on the boards of Transform Films and the Emma Bowen Foundation.

CEO, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Madeline Di Nonno comes to Faculty Seminar: the Conference with 30 years of executive leadership in the entertainment, non-profit, digital and consumer packaged goods industries. Di Nonno is an executive producer on the upcoming feature film This Changes Everything. She also serves as the chair of the Board of Directors for the Television Academy Foundation. Di Nonno previously served as president of the Glass Lions Jury for Cannes Lions 2016. Additionally, Di Nonno served as president and CEO of on the Scene Productions. Prior to on the Scene, Di Nonno served in executive positions for Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz Media.

As executive vice president and GM for Nielsen EDI, Di Nonno drove new digital product offerings, new business development and theatrical distribution and exhibition client management. Previously, Di Nonno served as senior vice president of marketing alliances and digital media at the Hallmark Channel and launched the cable channel. She also served for eight years at Universal Studios Home Video as vice president, strategic marketing, and began her career at ABC Television Network in corporate publicity.

Di Nonno is a frequent speaker at industry events and has been featured in the New York Times, Fast Company, Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, Forbes, Glamour, MediaWeek, the Guardian and Wired magazine.

Producer, The Amazing Race

Elise Doganieri is a ten-time Emmy Award-winning producer best known for co-creating and executive producing CBS's reality TV juggernaut The Amazing Race. Doganieri runs World Race Productions and Profiles Television — award-winning, full-service production companies, developing and producing programming for the worldwide marketplace. Since launching in 2001, The Amazing Race has aired nearly 400 episodes, and is seen in more than 80 countries. Doganieri's production company also oversees the international versions of the show in Canada, China, Israel, Australia and South America. for The Amazing Race, Doganieri has earned ten Emmy Awards, three Producers Guild Awards, a DGA Award, a GLAAD Media Award and a TCA Award.

Doganieri also executive produced Oprah Winfrey's The Big Give, Take the Money & Run and Profiles from the Front Line for ABC. Her other series include The Great Escape for TNT and Fight Master: Bellator MMA for Spike. Doganieri produced two groundbreaking, interactive branded-entertainment programs for Ford; Focus Rally America on Hulu, and Escape Routes on NBC, which also had a live-streaming and interactive component. in 2013, Escape Routes received an Effie Award nomination in the Media category, emerging as a finalist.

Doganieri is currently in production on an adventure competition show for National Geographic titled Race to the Center of the Earth, two new series for Disney+ and a soon to be filmed design show for HBO Max.

Doganieri has been a featured speaker at the Event Summit in Sydney, Australia, the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) conventions and the Dynamic Women in Business Conference, held at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Creator and Executive Producer of ABC’s American Housewife

Sarah Dunn has charted a wide-ranging career in scripted television, having written for such shows as Murphy BrownVeronica’s ClosetSpin City — for which she penned, with co-creator Bill Lawrence, Michael J. Fox’s farewell episode — and Bunheads, before creating American Housewife in 2016.

In addition to her TV work, Dunn is also an accomplished novelist. Her latest book, The Arrangement, was released to critical acclaim in March 2017.

Producer and CCO of Scout Productions

Rob Eric is an Emmy Award-winning producer and chief creative officer of Scout Productions. Focused on creating groundbreaking content and upending conventions, he was a producer on the Bravo iteration of Queer Eye, and executive produced the Netflix version. He has executive produced the long-running Emmy Award-winning series Home Made Simple on OWN, the innovative immersive-reality series The Quest on ABC, as well as various projects for platforms such as HBO, NBC, CBS, Disney+, VH1, Netflix and more. Eric comes from an eclectic creative background, with parallel careers in graphic design, advertising and music production.

Eric is currently executive producing over a dozen new projects for various streaming platforms and networks alongside his partners at Scout Productions, David Collins and Michael Williams.

Vice President of Original Series, Netflix

Peter Friedlander is currently vice president of original series at Netflix. Joining in 2011 as the first dedicated employee to Netflix’s original series, Friedlander has been involved with House of CardsMindhunterNarcosNarcos: MexicoBlack MirrorGodlessSense8; Marvel’s DaredevilAltered CarbonWormwoodThe Haunting of Hill HouseLove, Death and Robots and El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.

Prior to Netflix, Friedlander was an executive at Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone for over eight years and was a producer of their Emmy-nominated drama series Big Love and an executive on many feature films. Additionally, he produced the indie film A Bag of Hammers that premiered at SXSW.

Friedlander began his career working on film productions including Road to PerditionAustin Powers in Goldmember and Pieces of April (Sundance premiere). Raised in Phoenix, Friedlander received a degree in Public Policy at Duke University and studied Urban Planning at the University of California - Los Angeles.

Production Designer

Michael Gallenberg is the production designer responsible for creating all of the sets for NBC’s critically acclaimed series Superstore.

Before designing Superstore, Michael worked with executive producer Justin Spitzer on The Office where he was the production designer for nine years and well over 150 episodes. Some of Gallenberg’s other credits from the last 25 years are The Mindy ProjectAmerican WomanHeathersOther SpaceNewsradioMurphy Brown and Just Shoot Me. Gallenberg has an Emmy Award nomination for his work on the Academy Awards broadcast and several Art Directors Guild award nominations.

Gallenberg resides in Los Angeles with his wife, TV writer Maria Brown and their three children Isabel, Molly and Henry.

Director, Grace & Frankie, Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan

Dennie Gordon has been a trailblazing female director her entire career; spanning the worlds of feature films, television series, limited series and branded content. Her range of genre-busting entertainment covers a spectrum of comedy and drama.
After becoming one of the first women to graduate from Yale's School of Drama with an MFA in Directing, Gordon first gained recognition when A Hard Rain was chosen by Showtime's Discovery Program. Thanks to Steven Spielberg, a rough cut of her film attracted the attention of George Lucas, who donated the film's mix at Skywalker Ranch. A Hard Rain, which Gordon also wrote, went on to win dramatic awards at the British Short Film Festival and the Hampton's Film Festival.

The film also caught the eye of David E. Kelley who enlisted Gordon to helm multiple episodes of his television series including Goliath (where she was co-executive producer), Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, Ally McBeal and The Practice. Gordon has directed over 100 hours of network television including such critically acclaimed series as Legion, which was on many critic's lists as a Top 10 show of 2017. Her other work includes Bloodline, Rectify, Empire, Kingdom, Power, Hell on Wheels, Grace & Frankie, the Office, 30 Rock, Aaron Sorkin's Sports Night, and Tracey Ullman's Tracey Takes On, for which Gordon won the DGA Comedy Award. Gordon recently completed the limited series Waco, the second season of Jack Ryan and The Hunt, starring Al Pacino.

On the feature side, Gordon is developing Peace Like a River, starring Michael Shannon and Emily Blunt. Gordon directed the comedy cult hit Joe Dirt, starring David Spade and Christopher Walken, and What a Girl Wants, starring Oscar winner Colin Firth, Dame Eileen Atkins and Jonathan Pryce. Gordon was the first American woman to direct a film for the domestic Chinese market, called My Lucky Star. the 2013 film starred Oscar nominee Zhang Ziyi and Wang Leehom and was filmed in China and Singapore in the summer of 2012. My Lucky Star was the number one film in China for four weeks on 5,000 screens.

Gordon is a sought-after commercial director — having completed campaigns for Honda, Toyota, Tsingtao beer and Xcel energy, as well as campaigns with Jimmy Fallon, Betty White, Adam Devine and Don Cheadle. She recently completed a short dramatic film for Huawei, which was shot in Prague.

Sound Editor, Queen Sugar

Eileen Horta has been a sound editor for 40 years. Eileen's work can be heard on OWN's Queen Sugar, Lucifer for Fox and the Netflix series Dear White People. in addition to those primetime series, she has many years of experience with animation and documentaries and had the opportunity to work on the YouTube series God ComplX.

Horta is an active member of the Motion Picture Sound Editors, currently serving on their board. She has been active for the past 20 years at the Television Academy, serving either on the peer group or as Governor.

Editor, The Right Stuff

Paul Karasick has been a professional editor for television and film for 20 years. Unique career achievements include cutting 13 television pilots (so far) for award-winning director David Nutter. Successful pilots include Batwoman, Supernatural, The Mentalist, Arrow, The Flash and Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles, which earned him an Emmy nomination in 2008.

Currently, Karasick is cutting The Right Stuff for Nat Geo. in addition to pilots, he has edited such acclaimed drama series as The Good Wife, Everwood, and Roswell, New Mexico. He also had the experience of cutting film projects on location in London, San Francisco and New York.

Writer, Producer and Founder of Secret Hideout, Inc.

As one of the leading creative voices in the entertainment industry today, Alex Kurtzman is known for his ability to bring complex source material, recognizable IP and original stories to screens with relatable, character-driven narratives that reach mass audiences and receive critical acclaim.

Kurtzman and his production company, Secret Hideout, are dedicated to developing and producing a wide array of sophisticated and compelling content across all platforms through their overall TV deal with CBS Television Studios. Through the company, Kurtzman is at the helm of the growing Star Trek universe on CBS All Access, including the critically-acclaimed and award winning Star Trek: Discovery; the upcoming Star Trek: Picard featuring Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard; Star Trek: Short Treks, a series of short stories tied to Discovery and the overall Star Trek universe; Star Trek: Lower Decks, CBS All-Access’ first animated series; and a new Star Trek project in development based on Section 31 with Michelle Yeoh attached to star. In addition to Star Trek: Lower Decks, a new CG-animated Trek series from writers Kevin and Dan Hageman is in production for Nickelodeon.

Kurtzman will executive produce a miniseries based on the James Comey book A Higher Loyalty for CBS Television Studios. He will also serve as an executive producer on The Man Who Fell to Earth, a series based on the Walter Tevis novel of the same name, for CBS All Access. In addition, Kurtzman is an executive producer on the long-standing series Hawaii Five-0 for CBS.

Outside of TV, Kurtzman has co-written some of the decade’s biggest films including Star TrekStar Trek: Into Darkness, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Transformers and Mission: Impossible III and has directed films such as The Mummy and People Like Us. Additionally, he executive produced the romantic comedy The Proposal as well as the Now You See Me franchise. Overall, his writing and producing credits have earned over $4 billion worldwide. 

Kurtzman began his career writing for the popular TV series Hercules. He went on to write for Xena: Warrior Princess, where he moved up the ranks to become a head writer for the show at the age of twenty-three. Kurtzman was a writer and eventual executive producer on J.J. Abrams’ groundbreaking series Alias, which lead to a fruitful and collaborative relationship with Abrams and helped establish the new wave of engaging action dramas that have dominated television for the past 15 years.


Jenny Lumet is the screenwriter of Rachel Getting Married for which she received the 2008 New York Film Critics Circle Award, 2008 Toronto Film Critics Association Award and 2008 Washington D.C Film Critics Association Award. She also received a 2008 NAACP Image Award. She is also the writer of the screen adaptations of The Center Cannot Hold and The Language of Flowers, and she served as a script doctor on the films Remember Me, Bobbie Sue, Honeymoon with Harry and The Mummy.

Lumet is currently the creator and showrunner of the CBS All Access series The Man Who Fell to Earth. She is presently an executive producer on Star Trek: Discovery, and a co-executive producer on Star Trek: Picard. She co-wrote the episode “Runaway” for the series Star Trek: Short Treks with Alex Kurtzman.

She wrote the pilots Higher Ground, The Weissmans of Westport, Crazytown, Noir and The Beresfords and consulted on Fox Television’s Sleepy Hollow.

Lumet has an overall deal with CBS Television Studios, and a series pilot for the U.K.’s Blueprint Pictures.

She has written several other original screenplays including Kingdom of Louie and Sambo. Lumet served on the Council of the Writers Guild of America East and the Board of the Writers Guild Initiative. She generated and chairs the WGAE’s first Diversity Caucus. She is an executive director of Bindercona conference for women and non-gender conforming writers, and holds screenwriting seminars for women of color and women over forty.

Lumet lives in Los Angeles with her children.

Writer, Director, Producer

A native of Tupelo, Mississippi, Tina Mabry graduated from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts with an MFA in Film Production in 2005. a true hyphenate, Mabry is a writer, director and producer for television and film. She was a co-producer, writer and director for the second season of USA's hit drama Queen of the South. She was also a producer, writer, and director on OWN's Queen Sugar created by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey. Mabry produced and directed An American Girl Story: Melody 1963 – Love Has to Win, a special for Amazon Kids which earned Mabry a DGA Award and an NAACP Award. Her other television directing credits include Fox's hit series 9-1-1, Netflix's Dear White People, ABC's The Mayor, HBO's Insecure, FX's Pose and Starz's Power.

In film, Mabry began her career co-writing the feature screenplay Itty Bitty Titty Committee, directed by Jamie Babbit. the film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2007 and won Best Feature Narrative at South by Southwest Film and Music Festival. Mabry went on to write and direct her first feature film, Mississippi Damned, which garnered an impressive thirteen awards for participation in fifteen film festivals including awards for Best Feature Film and Best Screenplay at the Chicago International Film Festival in 2009. the film premiered on Showtime Networks in February 2011. Mabry has worked on a number of short films, including her first film, the award-winning Brooklyn's Bridge to Jordan, which screened at more than fifty film festivals worldwide and aired on Showtime Networks, LOGO and Centric. Most recently, Mabry wrote revisions for George Tillman Jr.'s upcoming feature at Fox 2000's, The Hate U Give, based on the best-selling novel of the same name, written by Angie Thomas. She also wrote Code of Silence for Madison Wells Media Studios.

Mabry was named among the "25 New Faces of Independent Film" in Filmmaker Magazine in July of 2009, was recognized by Out Magazine as one of the most inspirational and outstanding people of the year and was featured in The Advocate magazine as part of their "Top Forty Under 40" issue, which features the top 40 individuals who are raising the bar in their respective fields. Mabry has participated in several talent development programs including Film Independent's Writers' Lab, Tribeca Film Institute's All Access and Sundance's Screenwriters Intensive. She was recently accepted to be a part of Reframe Rise, which was founded and led by Women in Film and Sundance Institute. ReFrame is a non-profit initiative that employs a unique strategy and a peer-to-peer approach, in which ReFrame ambassadors engage with a growing coalition of senior and industry decision-makers at over 50 Partner Companies to provide support to established female filmmakers as they continue to rise in their field.

Mabry is currently in development to direct a feature film at Lionsgate in addition to writing and directing another feature for Fox Searchlight.

Writer and Producer

Under his overall deal with UCP (Universal Content Productions), Patrick Macmanus serves as a writer, executive producer and showrunner on Dr. Death, a new series coming to NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock.

Based on the Wondery podcast of the same name, Dr. Death is the terrifying true story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch (Jamie Dornan), a rising star in the Dallas medical community. Young, charismatic and ostensibly brilliant, Dr. Duntsch was building a flourishing neurosurgery practice when everything suddenly changed. Patients entered his operating room for complex but routine spinal surgeries and left permanently maimed or dead. As victims piled up, two fellow surgeons and a young assistant district attorney set out to stop him. Dr. Death explores the twisted mind of a sociopath and the gross negligence of the system designed to protect the most defenseless among us. The limited series will also star Emmy Award winner Alec Baldwin and Golden Globe Award winner Christian Slater.

Macmanus has developed series at AMC, Starz, ABC, Sony Pictures Television, Fox Television Studios, NBC, Tribeca, CBS, Amazon, Netflix and more. He most recently served as showrunner on SYFY’s Happy!

Writer, Director, Producer, Queen Sugar

Carmen Marrón is a self-taught writer, director and producer whose debut hip-hop indie feature, Go for It! was bought by Lionsgate and distributed to theaters across the United States. in addition to writing and directing, she edited, cast the actors and co-composed the theme song for her dance drama. Her second film, Endgame, premiered on HBO.

Marrón's second feature Endgame, a coming-of-age story, starred Rico Rodriguez (Modern Family) and was based on the true events of middle-school students from Brownsville, Texas. She spent months researching the story and capturing the community's essence and multi-cultural values. Indiewire's Latinobuzz named Marrón as "one of five Latina directors at the helm of breaking films in 2016. She is a talented genre director whose tenacity and talent make her primed to be our Latina Ava DuVernay success story."

In March 2019, Marrón made her TV directorial debut on OWN's hit series Queen Sugar, from Ava DuVernay, Harpo Productions and Warner Horizon. in August, she sold her pilot to a major broadcast network.

Marrón has been an international guest speaker for the US State Department in Latin American countries, promoting public diplomacy through her work in Latino Cinema and Education. When time permits, she is a jury member for film festivals and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation created by the White House. She holds a Bachelor's in Business Administration from DePaul University and a Master's in Educational Psychology from the University of Arizona.

Director, The Interviews

Jenni Matz is the director of the Television Academy Foundation's Interviews: an Oral History of Television. With her guidance, the Interviews launched its award-winning website, TelevisionAcademy.com/Interviews which contains cross-referenced access to over 900 interviews with television pioneers. Jenni managed the entire digitization project of more than 4,000 hours of video that spanned the Archive's 20-plus year history, working with colleagues in the archival and information technology fields. As its director, Jenni continued to oversee the online presence of the Interviews and seek ways to enhance use and access of the oral histories, including licensing footage.

Jenni has worked for more than 15 years in documentary television production as a producer, editor and researcher, including work on the award-winning PBS special Hoover Dam and a 16-part series on American Literature for Annenberg CPB. She is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, having toured the festival circuit with her rock-documentary about the New Jersey band Rye Coalition. She is also vice-chair of the Motion Picture Academy's oral history collective, MIC'D (Moving Image Craft Documentation).

Jenni is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in Philosophy and holds a Master's in Library and Information Sciences from Simmons College, as well as a J.D. from Southwestern Law School.

Writer, Executive Producer, Chernobyl

Craig Mazin is the writer and executive producer of the Emmy winning, five-part limited series Chernobyl, which tells the true story of the world's worst nuclear disaster and the remarkable acts of bravery and sacrifice that followed. the series, which premiered on HBO in May, stars Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård and Emily Watson.

Mazin's previous writing credits include the blockbuster films Identity Thief, the Hangover Part II and III and The Huntsman: Winter's War. Mazin currently co-hosts the popular weekly screenwriting podcast "Scriptnotes" with fellow writer John August.

President and Chief Operating Officer, Television Academy

Maury McIntyre leads the Television Academy as its president and chief operating officer, following a two-decade career as a senior executive and specialist in global brand/digital media marketing and entertainment franchise development. While McIntyre has been president, the Academy has launched online voting and viewing platforms for its annual Emmy competition, begun the rebuild and expansion of its NoHo Arts District campus, and extended member, student and educational outreach.

Prior to being named president of the Television Academy, McIntyre served as vice president of digital, overseeing digital initiatives and content development for all Academy activities, including the Primetime Emmy Awards. McIntyre elevated the Academy's digital presence with an award-winning new website and a major content distribution partnership with Yahoo. His focus on social media tripled the Academy's reach in that area, and his expansion of the organization's digital content around the Primetime Emmys helped secure and augment partnerships with companies like Audi, Chase Sapphire, McDonald's, Samsung and Target.

Before joining the Television Academy, McIntyre was vice president of programming and editorial for Disney Interactive, where he was responsible for site content and development across the entire Disney.com network of sites, including the award-winning sites for such Disney franchise properties as Cars, Toy Story, Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Disney Princess and Disney Fairies. Under his direction, the company won multiple Webby Awards in 2011 and 2012 for excellence in website design, content and usability, and realized significant growth in online traffic and engagement.

Prior to Disney Interactive, McIntyre held senior-level leadership roles in brand marketing and franchise development at Tokyopop and Twentieth Century Fox. His efforts for Tokyopop launched a new animated series on Cartoon Network and secured partnerships with Hasbro, Radio Shack and Best Buy. At Twentieth Century Fox, McIntyre oversaw global consumer product and franchise marketing programs for all of Fox's television properties. He was instrumental in the global re-launch of The Simpsons as a major consumer products brand, generating tremendous brand growth with partners such as Kellogg's, Mattel, PepsiCo and others.

Senior Director, Membership Publications, Television Academy & Editor in Chief, emmy Magazine

Juan Morales is senior director, membership publications, for the Television Academy and editor in chief of emmy magazine. In this capacity, he is responsible for all editorial, production, circulation and advertising sales for the magazine, as well as the Academy’s other publications, including the annual report and programs for the Emmy Awards, Los Angeles Area Emmys, Hall of Fame and Television Academy Honors.

Previously, he served as editor in chief of Detour magazine, editorial director of Movieline magazine and executive editor of E! Online. In addition, his writing has appeared in The New York TimesLos Angeles TimesIn StyleEntertainment WeeklyHarper’s BazaarRedbook and many other magazines and newspapers.

Founder and Executive Consultant, Bunim-Murray Productions

Widely credited with helping to usher in the modern reality television genre with his late partner Mary-Ellis Bunim, Jonathan Murray continues to inspire, influence and entertain television audiences worldwide. Since the launch of The Real World on MTV in 1992, Murray has created and executive produced some of the industry's most innovative, unscripted, entertainment television programs including the Emmy Award-winning Born This Way (A&E), which documents the lives of young adults with Down Syndrome and their families.

Besides The Real World, which is moving to Facebook after 32 seasons on MTV, Murray has executive produced the television series Project Runway, Project Runway All Stars, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Total Divas, Road Rules, the Challenge, the Simple Life, Starting Over (Emmy Award) and Making the Band. He also executive produced the feature film The Real Cancun; the television movie Pedro; and the documentaries Autism: the Musical (Emmy Award), Shadow Billionaire, Valentine Road and They Call Us Monsters. His most recent series, Family or Fiancé, premiered recently on OWN to record-breaking ratings.

Jonathan Murray graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and currently lives in Los Angeles. Murray serves on the Board of Trustees of Semester at Sea and on the board of RespectAbility, a national disability rights organization. in 2012, Murray was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

Showrunner and Executive Producer, Star Trek: Discovery

Michelle Paradise is showrunner and executive producer on Star Trek: Discovery. She was on The Originals for the entirety of its five-season run and prior to that she wrote for Rogue and Hart of Dixie. Paradise also created, wrote and starred in the MTV/Logo series Exes & Ohs. She just sold her first feature script — adapted from a non-fiction memoir — to Lifetime.

She holds B.A. degrees in English and French, a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, and she’s a proud graduate of the Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop.

President, Universal Content Productions and Wilshire Studios

Dawn Olmstead oversees creative development and operations for both studios. Olmstead joined NBCUniversal in January 2014 as executive vice president, development, for UCP, where she oversaw a range of scripted series in development across the NBCU Cable Entertainment portfolio — including USA Network, SYFY, Bravo, E! and Oxygen, as well as for external networks and streaming platforms (Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, Peacock, VRV and YouTube). in March 2016, her purview expanded to oversee development for Wilshire Studios. Since joining UCP, Olmstead has shepherded key scripted development projects, including the number one new cable series of 2017, USA Network's Golden Globe-nominated The Sinner, a project to which she attached executive producer and star Jessica Biel. the series earned Biel her first Emmy nomination as well as Bill Pullman his first SAG nomination. The Sinner is currently in production on season three with Matt Bomer joining the cast.

Another UCP series of note is Amazon's Homecoming — starring Julia Roberts, Stephan James and Bobby Cannavale — which received a two-season straight-to-series order as well as a Golden Globe nomination, and is currently shooting season two with Janelle Monáe. Additional outstanding UCP series include USA Network's Dirty John, starring Christian Slater and Amanda Peet; The Umbrella Academy, a top performer for Netflix currently in production on season two, starring Oscar nominees Ellen Page and Mary J. Blige; The Act, a series that drove more subscribers to Hulu than any of their other originals, and stars Oscar winner Patricia Arquette and Joey King (who both received Emmy nominations for their performances); and the upcoming Peacock original Dr. Death, based on the wildly popular Wondery podcast starring Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater. Olmstead's first project at the studio was working with the USA Network team on the award-winning Mr. Robot.

On the unscripted front, Olmstead and the Wilshire Studios team have partnered with some of the best documentary filmmakers in the business including Academy Award winner Errol Morris and Academy Award nominees Joe Berlinger and Amy Ziering, to name a few. Previously, Olmstead served as an executive producer on Bravo's Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce (UCP) and Fox's Prison Break, Tru Calling and Point Pleasant. She began her career as a segment producer for Saturday Night Live and The Jon Stewart Show. She also executive produced MTV's Fear, USA Network's Cannonball Run and brought Robot Wars to America.

Senior Vice President, Post Production, Bunim-Murray Productions

Mark Raudonis is the senior vice president of post production at Bunim-Murray Productions, where he oversees the editing and final finishing of all Bunim-Murray productions. the role is part creative, part technical and all-consuming. in any given year, BMP will deliver over a hundred hours of programming for a dozen different networks or distribution channels.

"This is the true story…" Those five words from the opening titles of MTV's The Real World transformed TV as we knew it and changed the course of Raudonis's career. Having worked as a field producer on many magazine-format TV shows, Raudonis was intrigued by this new type of show and sought out the show's creators, Jonathan Murray and Mary-Ellis Bunim. Turns out they had one episode in need of an editor, so Raudonis signed on to cut that single episode. Twenty-five years later he's still with Bunim-Murray, but doing a lot more than just editing.

Raudonis joined BMP in 1994 as an editor on the groundbreaking San Francisco season of The Real World. Over the years, Raudonis edited, directed and served as a post producer on many BMP productions. He received an Emmy nomination for his work on The Real World: Hawaii before there even was a category for reality television. As BMP grew, there was a need to develop post production workflows and infrastructures unique to reality TV. at the same time, advances in camera and editing technology were transforming how shows were produced and posted. Keeping BMP on the leading edge of that technology became a big part of Raudonis's job.

Raudonis is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

Features Editor, Entertainment Weekly

Sarah Rodman is the features editor at Entertainment Weekly, where she oversees all television and music coverage, from the biggest commercial hits to the overlooked gems. She also contributes stories to the TV, film, music and stage coverage. Prior to joining EW, she served as the television editor at the Los Angeles Times. Before making her way west she was the TV critic and pop music critic at the Boston Globe — two jobs she also held simultaneously at the Boston Herald. She has appeared in various CNN documentaries including The ‘90s and The 2000s, moderated panel discussions with everyone from Elvis Costello to the cast and producers of the Broadway musical Avenue Q and many TV panels at ATX Fest, Comic-Con and the WGA. She co-hosted the local music and arts show Dirty Water TV on NESN in Boston, spotlighting national touring acts coming through town. She is currently the president of the Television Critics Association.


Nico Santos stars as Mateo in the fifth season of NBC’s critically acclaimed comedy Superstore, for which he was nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award.

Santos was most recently seen in Warner Bros. Studios’ SAG and Golden Globe-nominated Crazy Rich Asians alongside an all-Asian cast including Constance Wu, Henry Golding and Ken Jeong. The film instantly became a cultural phenomenon, as well as the highest-grossing romantic comedy in the past decade.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Santos assimilated to American culture rather quickly by living in California by way of Portland, Oregon. He started doing stand-up comedy in San Francisco, and in just a short amount of time had become a popular fixture in the Bay Area comedy scene with his acute observations and quirky characters.

Previously, Santos has written for E! Network’s Fashion Police and appeared on screen in Showtime’s Pride Comedy Jam as well as the series Ground FloorMulaney and 2 Broke Girls. In 2015, he made his film debut in Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and in 2017 was seen in The Clapper, co-starring Ed Helms, Tracy Morgan and Amanda Seyfried. He was also a regular panelist on Chelsea Lately.

Executive Director, Women In Film, Los Angeles

Kirsten Schaffer is the executive director of Women In Film, Los Angeles, the preeminent organization that advocates for women in the screen industries to achieve parity and transform culture. She has been instrumental in launching ReFrame, an industry-wide initiative to advance inclusivity and gender equity, as well as starting a variety of programs at Women In Film to increase the skillset and opportunity for film and TV makers.

Previously, she was the director of programming and then executive director of Outfest. She is widely credited as having grown Outfest into the leading LGBT media arts organization that it is. During Schaffer’s tenure at Outfest, she shepherded three new programs for the organization: The Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, the Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival and OutSet, the Young Filmmakers Project.

Schaffer has extensive experience in film programming, small business management and arts administration. She is a graduate of the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, the Arts Innovation and Management program (AIM) and the Wells Fargo New Executive Director Institute. Schaffer was named one of Power Up’s “Top 10 Women in Show Business,” and was the recipient of a “Women in Business” Award from Senator Liu. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Creator/Executive Producer, Superstore

Justin Spitzer is the creator and executive producer of NBC’s critically acclaimed hit workplace comedy, Superstore, which is currently in its fifth season.

Before creating Superstore, Spitzer spent seven seasons writing for and producing on the NBC comedy The Office. During his tenure at The Office, Spitzer rose from story editor to co-executive producer, writing eleven episodes of the Emmy Award-winning comedy.

Spitzer resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Jenna, and two daughters, Lucy and Phoebe.

Music Editor, Genius

Del Spiva is a music editor who began his musical editing career with Hans Zimmer. Since then, he has served as music editor on the award-winning Dr. Dre/Jimmy Iovine biographical TV series The Defiant Ones, Fox's Shots Fired, Ron Howard's award-winning Nat Geo series Genius and an upcoming show about the life of Kevin Durant called Swagger.

Spiva first considered working in screen music when he was still just a trombonist in his high school jazz and marching bands. Now, Spiva's latest works include Just Mercy, starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson; the family-centered horror movie A Quiet Place and upcoming Marvel's Shang-Chi.

Writer and Performer

Shoshannah Stern represents the fourth generation of a deaf family. She started off in the theater, winning numerous awards for her work onstage at Gallaudet University. She appeared as the leads in Open Window and Children of a Lesser God with Deaf West Theatre. Stern was the female lead in both Adventures of Power opposite Adrian Grenier and Jane Lynch, and the festival favorite indie The Hammer. She is probably best known for her recurring and regular work on television, including WeedsJerichoLie to MeAnother Period and Supernatural.

She is the creator, writer, executive producer and star of SundanceTV's This Close, which has just released its second season to rave reviews. It happens to be the very first show written and created by deaf people. It is based on The Chances, the webseries she created that originally premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter and dog.

Senior Vice President of Development and Production at REELZ

Rob Swartz leads creative execution of the network's development and production slate. Since he joined REELZ, the network has enjoyed double-digit ratings increases every year while increasing the amount of original programming to over 200 hours. Swartz has overseen several hit unscripted series including The Price of Fame and the award-winning documentary, Manson: the Final Words as well as other tentpole documentaries Casey Anthony: Her Friends Speak, Slender Man Stabbing: the Untold Story, Kardashian: the Man Who Saved OJ Simpson, and The Real Hunt for Red October. Swartz works with production companies from across the US, Canada and the UK, and he has facilitated international distribution on many projects.

Prior to joining REELZ, Swartz served as president of production company Venn Media, developing programming for cable, broadcast, syndication and digital platforms. Previously, he served as vice president of Original Series for Cartoon Network, where he oversaw development and current programming for all of the network's original animated, live action and alternative series, including Adventure Time; Regular Show; Ben 10: Ultimate Alien; Hole in the Wall; Dude, What Would Happen and Destroy Build Destroy. Before joining Cartoon Network, Swartz was vice president of Alternative Programming at Syfy, where he developed and launched Destination Truth, Who Wants to Be a Superhero? and was responsible for overseeing the successful Ghost Hunters franchise.

Swartz has held positions at NBC Entertainment, Walt Disney/Touchstone Television, digital media company MXG, and Chris Craft/United Television. in addition to serving as secretary of the Television Academy, he has served as governor of the Television Executives Peer Group, as governors' appointee to the Executive Committee, as chair of the Digital Strategy Committee and on the Academy's Membership Committee.

A frequent speaker on the business of television, Swartz has taught in the Cinema and Television Arts department at California State University, Northridge. A graduate of Brown University and Harvard Business School, Swartz lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

Sound Engineer

Steve Venezia, C.A.S., is an independent sound engineer working in both production and post-production.

He worked in both live music and studio recording with numerous artists including Frank Zappa, The Pretenders, Dire Straits, Chaka Khan, INXS, Howard Jones and Tom Waits. He’s also worked on the audio production for 17 Oscar broadcasts.

Venezia was senior director of worldwide production and postproduction services at Dolby for over 20 years. He worked with the Advanced Television Systems Committee on the audio standards and launch of digital television. More recently, he worked on the development of Dolby Atmos for cinema and broadcast.

He is a member of the Cinema Audio Society, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. He holds two patents for digital audio used in both television and film.

Vice President of Original Series, Netflix

Nina Wolarsky is vice president of original series at Netflix. She joined Netflix in 2012 and has since launched award-winning and critically acclaimed series including The Crown, Orange Is the New Black and When They See Us. She and her team also manage Netflix’s upcoming slate of series with high-profile, prolific producers including Shonda Rhimes, Jenji Kohan, Barack and Michelle Obama (Higher Ground Productions), Marti Noxon and Peter Morgan.

Prior to joining Netflix, Wolarsky was senior vice president of Smokehouse Pictures, where she oversaw the film side of the company and developed and executive produced George Clooney’s The Ides of March, as well as Ben Affleck’s Argo (Academy Award winner for Best Picture, 2012). Wolarsky previously served as vice president of development and production at the independent film company Hart Sharp Entertainment. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.


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