92 days until SeriesFest

SeriesFest Team

Staff

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RANDI KLEINER

CO-FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
A medium-shot portrait of a white woman with long dark curled hair. She is sitting upright, wearing a black tanktop and pants, and there is a brick wall behind her.Randi Kleiner is a producer and entrepreneur. Serving as co-Founder and CEO of SeriesFest, her interest and love for episodic storytelling was ignited and developed while working for the Public Theater and later producing events for the Film Society of Lincoln Center, including the renowned 17- day New York Film Festival, New Directors/New Films in collaboration with MoMA, and the prestigious Chaplin Award Gala. Randi also owns Trifecta Studios, an Event Production Agency that works with major brands, including Marc Jacobs, Macallan, WWD, Sephora, Godiva, and Pepsi, to produce experiential events around the world. Utilizing emerging trends, talents, and technologies, Trifecta Studios generates custom marketing campaigns that include creative brand integration and consumer activations. Recently, Randi teamed up with Vulcan Productions, Oceanic Preservation Society, and Obscura Digital to produce the first-ever projection events promoting climate change and endangered species on the Empire State Building and Vatican for the Racing Extinction Campaign. Randi is a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
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KAILY SMITH WESTBROOK

CO-FOUNDER
A portrait of a white woman with short brown wavy hair looking directly into the camera. She has makeup on, brown eyes, and a pink lip. She has on a gray sweater.Originally from Colorado, Kaily received her BFA in Acting from USC. After graduating, Kaily’s love for storytelling bore life to her production company, Red Ladders Entertainment. Simultaneously with producing films and series, she acted in projects such as The Office, Gilmore Girls, and Broadway’s The Performers, among others. In 2009, Kaily created, wrote, and starred in the award-winning digital series MERRIme.com. Since then she has gone on to star in The Orchard’s, People You May Know, executive produce the Sundance Audience Award winning feature, Burden, and helm the short film, Just Between Us. Kaily is also proud to be the co-founder of SeriesFest, a non-profit organization and festival which champions artists at the forefront of episodic storytelling.
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KRISTIN NOLAN

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
A portrait of a white woman with dark hair and two blonde streaks in the front framing her face. She is wearing a jean jacket and looking into the camera with a small smile on her face.Kristin is the founder of LunchLady Productions, a company dedicated to the creation of inspiring and impactful events and projects around which community can be created, and passions recognized. With more than 20 years of experience, Kristin's work is focused on supporting the creative efforts of artists, musicians, and filmmakers to help bring their vision to fruition, and to the eyes and ears of the public. Present projects include the Denver Film Festival, SeriesFest, Denver 48 Hour Film Project, One Day in Denver - Your Day. Your City. Your Future, and The Heels Have Eyes.
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CLAIRE TAYLOR

DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING
Claire Taylor is a white woman posing for a portrait looking into the camera. She has medium length dark hair, light makeup, and an orange jacket and white t-shirt. The background behind her is gray.A local to the snowy slopes of Keystone, Colorado, Claire Taylor graduated from University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies with an emphasis on Acting and Education. After graduation, she said a teary goodbye to wide open spaces (insert The Chicks lyrics here) and moved to New York City (cue Sopranos theme song) where she focused on applying her passion for storytelling through producing theater and developing television for Triptyk Studios, who are best known for An American In Paris, You're Welcome America, Amelie: The Musical, and Xanadu. Thrilled to be back in her home state after 7 years in the Big Apple, Claire has been a proud member of the SeriesFest team since Season One where she oversees all festival and year-round programming.
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LAUREN SLOAN

INITIATIVES PRODUCER
A portrait of a white woman with straight brown hair looking into the camera. She is smiling, and wearing a green business shirt. The background of the photo is gray.Lauren Grimshaw Sloan is an independent producer and former Deputy Film Commissioner of the Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media where she was responsible for attracting film production to the state and administering Colorado's film incentive program. She worked to bring FURIOUS 7, COP CAR and Quentin Tarantino's THE HATEFUL EIGHT to Colorado along with numerous films. Prior to moving to Denver in 2013, she served as Production Executive at Red Crown Productions, a New York based independent film production company. Lauren’s credits include WHAT MAISIE KNEW (Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgård), GOATS (David Duchovny, Vera Farmiga) and THE ROMANTICS (Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel), which all debuted at premiere festivals including the Sundance Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. Originally from Chicago and a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.
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ASH HAVEY

VP OF PARTNERSHIPS
A portrait of a white woman looking into the camera. She is wearing a black button up shirt and a forest green jacket overtop. She has glasses and blue eyes with mascara. Her blond highlighted hair is pulled up into a bun.Ash Havey is a film and entertainment professional who has developed partnerships and marketing initiatives at iHeartMedia, Endeavor/IMG Fashion/NYFW, and New York Magazine. She joined the Tribeca Film Festival in 2004, managing over 40 partnerships and spearheading the development of new products and programs for the brand and its extensions as the Director of Product Development. In addition to acting as an associate programmer on the Tribeca Film Festival programming team from 2010-2016, Ashley served as an advisor for Killer Films and Stony Brook University’s MFA filmmaking program and has participated in various panels and classroom lectures about the film festival and distribution landscapes. She is pleased to join SeriesFest in its 6th and most revolutionary year.
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NEIL TRUGLIO

DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION
Neil Truglio is a white man with dark facial hair and short hair looking into the camera, smiling. He is wearing a blue jean shirt, and the background is blurred.Neil Truglio is a Denver-based artist and educator. Before coming to SeriesFest, Neil was a public school educator for six years, and an adjunct faculty member at the Colorado Film School. Previously, he served as the Education Director for Denver Film, as well as a teaching artist with both the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and Curious Theatre’s New Voices. Neil was the founding artist behind Modest Arts, a youth-orientated arts program for theatre and film, and his work with students is often showcased both in Denver and in film projects that can be seen around the world.
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CAIT GRIFFITH

MARKETING MANAGER
Nicole Fleit is a white woman with a big smile and long brown hair taking a selfie. Her hair is to the side, she has on glasses, is wearing a white and black vertical striped tank top and standing outside. There is a filter on the photo.

NICOLE FLEIT

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
Nicole Fleit is a white woman with a big smile and long brown hair taking a selfie. Her hair is to the side, she has on glasses, is wearing a white and black vertical striped tank top and standing outside. There is a filter on the photo.My name is Nicole Fleit, and my motto in life is “Do Weird Shit.” I am a strong proponent of working smarter not harder. Great outcomes require vision, commitment, and collaboration and I am thrilled to be working with the SeriesFest team who embody that belief. I have been working in the film industry on and off for 17 years in both Los Angeles and Denver. I started working for the amazing team at SeriesFest in October of 2022. I have my first degree in acting/directing and my second degree in dance. I am also an adamant writer for the entertainment industry and have trained at Cambridge University and Second City. I am a storyteller to my core and I am constantly in search of people with different perspectives and experiences to listen and learn from their stories. We all deserve a platform where our voices can be heard.
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JESSICA FLAHERTY

DEVELOPMENT & PARTNERSHIP MANAGER

Alex Mitchell

STORYTELLERS PROGRAM MANAGER
Alexandra “Alex” Mitchell was born, raised, and found her love of festivals in St. Louis, Missouri. After advancing vertically at Austin Film Festival and contributing across various roles and departments, Alex served as the Short Film Programmer and Interim Film Competition Director. A detour to learn about farming surprisingly landed Alex a position with SeriesFest as the Programming Manager for Season 7 and served as a Programmer for Season 8. Alex is excited to be back again, now as the Storytellers Program Manager to continue her love of the medium and celebrate writers. Outside of SeriesFest, Alex works in Production Management for Animated Films in Los Angeles, CA.
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RACHEL MALIA NEWKIRK

MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
A white woman with shoulder length brown hair and a red tank top sits in front of a fountain next to her white and black checkered bag in New York City.Rachel is a Social Media & Marketing Coordinator and aspiring Programmer who works with film and TV festivals across the country. Since graduating in 2019, she has worked with NewFest, SeriesFest, the Seattle Queer Film Festival, the San Franciso Film Festival, and North Bend Film Festival. She recently moved to Brooklyn, New York, and enjoys a plain bagel with tofu cream cheese and triple iced americano.
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SERGIO ANDRÉS LOBO-NAVIA

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
A man with curly black hair and brown glasses looks into the camera. He is wearing a red crewneck that says "carbonara" in yellow text that resembles a college sweater font. He has on a blue checkered collared shirt underneath.Sergio has worked on technical productions for media organizations across the country including SeriesFest, New Orleans Film Society, Miami Film Festival, True/False Film Festival, Montclair Film, and many others. His writing on technical exhibition has appeared in Filmmaker Magazine.

Julia Grinberg

GUEST RELATIONS MANAGER
SeriesFest: Season 9 marks Julia Grinberg's second year as the festival's Guest Relations Manager. She has also held the position with the Tribeca Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival, and the Mill Valley Film Festival. Prior to immersing herself in the world of festivals, Julia worked in different corners of the industry including talent management, development, production, and distribution. 

Jenna Curtis

OPERATIONS MANAGER

Kristin Petit

SPECIAL EVENTS MANAGER
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BITA KHORRAMI

MUSIC PRODUCER
A woman with brown skin and curly hair in a velvet navy top smiles in front of a white step and repeat for a professional photo.A graduate of the University of Texas, Bita Khorrami is the CEO of BK Consulting, a management consulting firm that contracts with entertainers, athletes, and non-profit organizations, effectively managing complex client needs with ever-changing priorities. With over 10 years of industry experience, Bita specializes in project management, event planning, and acting as key contact and liaison with A-List celebrities and brands. Bita is thrilled to have been on the SeriesFest Team since Season One!
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CALEB WARD

LATE NIGHT PROGRAMMER
A white man with facial hair and glasses smiles in a fitted cream sweater in front of a light purple Denver step and repeat.Caleb Ward has been part of SeriesFest since its inaugural season in 2015 and since has become the Late Night Program Manager. He also assists with the Independent Pilot Competition along with Rose McGowan’s Women’s Initiative. When not SeriesFesting his full time role is with Gravitas Ventures as both the Marketing and Theatrical Booking Coordinator as well as programming for the Cucalorus Film Festival. Caleb is based in Los Angeles, CA.
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BRIAN BROOKS

DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL PROJECTS & TALENT
A white man in a suit and black tie smiles in front of a step and repeat.Brian Brooks co-produces several programs at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, including its popular year-round talk series with filmmakers and talent, and oversees the organization’s industry outreach and special. He also spearheads specialty box office coverage for Deadline Hollywood with twice weekly columns. Brian has regularly attended film festivals throughout North America, Europe, and Korea since serving in his former position as managing editor of Indiewire, where he wrote daily interviews, news stories, event coverage and photography throughout the 2000s in addition to guiding the daily content of the site. A native of California, Brian spent a year-and-a-half living in Japan following graduation from UCLA in the late '90s. He has served on festival juries at SXSW, Seattle, Denver, Sarasota, Cleveland and Florida film festivals.

ANDREW HORN

Educator

JOHNNY JJ JOHNSON

Educator

SCOTTIE PIETZMAN

Educator

Board of Directors

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BETSY LEIGHTON (BOARD CO-CHAIR)

PRODUCER/WRITER, UNREAL MEDIA
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BRITTA ERICKSON (BOARD SECRETARY)

PRODUCER, LISTEN PRODUCTIONS

CAZ  MATTHEWS

FORMER PRESIDENT, ANTHEM BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD, COLORADO, NEVADA AND GEORGIA
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CHARLIE MILLER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & CURATOR, OFF-CENTER

CHERI BARNER

PRINCIPAL, CHERI BARNER MANAGEMENT
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CHRISTIE ISENBERG

PHILANTHROPIST

ERIC KUHN (BOARD CO-VICE CHAIR)

SVP OF SOCIAL MEDIA, CBS
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IRIS SMITH

PRESIDENT, ONCE UPON A TIME PRODUCTIONS
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JAMES LINDSAY

CO-HEAD OF LT GROWTH, LIONTREE
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JENNY BLOOM

EVP, JIVE PR + DIGITAL
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Jim Berger

CEO, ASPEN MOUNTAIN MEDIA

JONATHAN ALPERT

PARTNER, WESTFIELD DEVELOPMENT CO.
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KENDALL WRIGHT

CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS LEAD, SERIES PR AMAZON STUDIOS
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KRISTA SMITH

DIRECTOR, GLOBAL EDITORIAL AND PUBLISHING, NETFLIX
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MARK LOHMANN

SENIOR BANKER, BANK OF AMERICA
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NATALIE WEST

STAFF COUNSEL, WHEELER TRIGG O’DONNELL LLP
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RACHEL SHECHTMAN

FOUNDER, STORY
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ROBERT LEIGHTON (BOARD CO-CHAIR)

SVP, LIBERTY GLOBAL
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STEVE SWOBODA (BOARD TREASURER)

FOUNDER AND FORMER COO/CFO, SPOTX
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TOM CUNHA

PARTNER, BRIGADE MARKETING

Advisory Board

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AALIYAH WILLIAMS

FOUNDER & PRODUCER, JUST A REBEL PRODUCTIONS
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Peabody Award-nominated television & film producer Aaliyah Williams’ credits include the series Gentefied & film Really Love (Netflix). Williams launched Just A Rebel to create signature content that centers Black women and people of color—shifting the culture forward. The company’s first-look deal at CBS Television Studios has been renewed for a third year where Williams has several series in development. Just A Rebel’s feature film slate includes Tiffany Johnson’s (Mike, Black Monday) feature directorial debut THE LAST CLASS starring Marsai Martin based on the incredible true story of writer Kimberly Nicole Walker’s survival of a very special senior year of high school. Williams is currently in post on BLACK BARBIE: A DOCUMENTARY directed by Lagueria Davis and financed by LinLay Productions. Separately, Aaliyah is also a founding partner of Adventure Media, a management and production company launched by Chris von Goetz and James Robins Early. Originally from Arkansas and Oklahoma, Williams graduated from Harvard and is a 2023 UCLA School of Law MLS candidate. She is an active alum of Film Independent’s Project:Involve, Sundance, and the Ron Brown Scholar Program.
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ADAM SHAPIRO

ACTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER
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Adam Shapiro is a TV/Film and Theatre actor known for his roles in Never Have I Ever, Kingdom, The Affair, in the films She Said, Steve Jobs, and Now You See Me, and in Broadway’s Waitress. Adam is a co-founder of IAMA Theatre Company in Los Angeles and owner of Shappy Pretzel Co. And most importantly husband to Katie Lowes and father to Albee and Vera.
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ANGELA PELUSO

SENIOR TALENT EXECUTIVE, SPOTIFY
Brent Emery is a white man posing for a professional headshot. He is wearing a blue button up shirt and a gray cardigan, and sitting in front of a blank wall.. He has facial hair, and short dark hair.

BRENT EMERY

PARTNER & CO-FOUNDER, RESONATE ENTERTAINMENT
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CHIKÉ OKWONKO

ACTOR/DIRECTOR
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DAVID PERSON

WRITER/PRODUCER
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David Person (he/him) co-oversaw IFC TV’s linear originals ("Sherman's Showcase," "Documentary Now!," "Year of the Rabbit," "Baroness Von Sketch," and “The Independent Spirit Awards”) and executive produced for AMC Studios. David produced documentary feature films, including "Beer Wars," several award-winning narrative feature films, and animation projects for Brain Zoo Studios like Microsoft Screensavers and LEGO Star Wars commercials.
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EUGENE HERNANDEZ

DIRECTOR, SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL & PUBLIC PROGRAMMING
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GENEVA WASSERMAN

HEAD OF FILM & TV, THE STORY LAB
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Geneva is EVP, Head of Film & TV for The Story Lab with experience spanning over 20 years in roles including intellectual property attorney, creative development, marketing, and all aspects of film and television production and distribution. Previously, as SVP of Development & Production for Conde Nast Entertainment, Geneva was the Executive in charge of production for 22 films and 9 scripted series in various stages of development and production, including the recent Netflix Original film Spiderhead starring Chris Hemsworth, Jurnee Smollett, and Miles Teller, directed by Joe Kosinski and The Great Chinese Art Heist for Warner Bros to be directed by Jon M. Chu. Prior to Conde Nast, Geneva led the entry of ad-tech digital media company Optimad into the entertainment space, ran a film financing company (Whitener Entertainment Group), and ran a celebrity-led Hispanic-focused production company (WVE with Wilmer Valderrama). She holds a B.A. with distinction from UC San Diego and a JD with Honors from UC Hastings College of Law.
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JEREMY GOLD

PRESIDENT OF PRODUCTION, BLUMHOUSE TELEVISION
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KAREN BAILEY

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING, STARZ
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Karen Bailey is Executive Vice President of Original Programming for Starz. Based in the company’s Santa Monica office, Bailey oversees creative development and production on a number of programs for the network including the critically-acclaimed “Outlander” and “P-Valley,” and the upcoming series “Dangerous Liaisons” and “The Venery of Samantha Bird.” Bailey joined Starz in 2006 as an executive producer, overseeing development, production, and post-production for the company’s studio slate of television movies and mini-series. She was promoted to Vice President of Production in 2007, overseeing the physical production for the company’s newly launched original programming department. Bailey spent the next few years building the internal production department and focusing on the networks’ new slate of original series, including fan-favorite “Party Down,” “Crash,” “Boss” and Starz's first international series “Spartacus” and “Camelot.” In 2011 she transitioned to creative development and was promoted to Senior Vice President of Original Programming in 2012. Since then, she has worked on a number of international co-productions including Golden Globe® and Emmy®-nominated STARZ Original Miniseries “The White Queen” and the critically acclaimed STARZ Original Limited Series “The White Princess.” Golden Globe® and Emmy®-nominated limited series “The Missing” and its sequel; “Howard’s End,” a 4-part TV adaptation written by Academy Award® winner Kenneth Lonergan and Starz’s first movie for television, “The Dresser” starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins. Bailey has been a featured panelist at a number of events and international conferences including BAFTA Women Director’s Panel in London, Create and Cultivate Panel in Los Angeles, the College TV Summit at the Television Academy of Arts and Science, C21 London Drama Summit, and most recently has been an invited speaker at both Stanford University and Harvard Business School.
Katie Lowes is a white woman with long curled brown hair. She is wearing a white lace shirt, posed with her hand behind her head, and is smiling at the camera.

KATIE LOWES

ACTOR/DIRECTOR
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MICHAEL RUCKER

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR
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Michael Rucker is a Peabody Award-winning Executive Producer and Director in the Unscripted television landscape for over 15 years. Credit highlights include Project Runway, Work of Art, Fast Foodies, 101 Places to Party Before You Die, and heading, developing, and showrunning the most successful and viewed division of Fullscreen's SVOD.
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MILAN CHAKRABORTY

HEAD OF FILM, MARGINAL MEDIAWORKS
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Milan Chakraborty, Head of Film at Marginal MediaWorks, oversees the company’s independent, studio, and streaming film & TV efforts. He is an 18-year veteran of the film/tv industry. He has produced and executive produced over 22+ films including ASSASSINATION NATION, MY FRIEND DAHMER, KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, and FOUR SAMOSAS.
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PATRICK MACMANUS

SHOWRUNNER
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Under his overall deal with UCP (Universal Content Productions), a division of Universal Studio Group, Patrick Macmanus serves as writer, executive producer, and co-showrunner, alongside Liz Hannah, on Hulu’s ‘The Girl From Plainville’ starring Elle Fanning. Macmanus recently served as writer, executive producer, and showrunner on the Critic’s Choice nominated ‘Dr. Death,’ for NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock. Macmanus has developed series at AMC, Starz, ABC, Sony Pictures Television, Fox Television Studios, NBC, Tribeca, CBS, Amazon, Netflix, and more. He previously worked on SYFY’s ‘Happy!,’ starring Chris Meloni. In 2021, Macmanus expanded his production company, Littleton Road Productions, and formed Littleton Road Philanthropy with the goal of telling responsible stories and providing a call to action on culturally significant issues. Macmanus was born in Ohio, raised in New Jersey, and lives in Paris with his wife and two sons.
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ROY ASHTON

PARTNER, THE GERSH AGENCY
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Roy Ashton is a Partner at The Gersh Agency with offices in Beverly Hills and New York. He has been at Gersh for 11 years, and prior to that spent 14 years at CAA. Specializing in Television, Roy works with writers, directors, producers, and actors in all aspects of the television industry.
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TERRY WASHINGTON

OWNER & CEO, ZANE RYDER MANAGEMENT
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Having grown up in the industry Washington inherently has a passion for music and entertainment. That passion has led him to manage and oversee tours around the world with platinum recording artists like Chris Brown, Eric Benét, and The Fugees. He has produced films in remote locations and managed the legacy of many music artists and the late fashion icon André Leon Talley. As the industry evolves Washington has expanded his focus to producing original content and curating special projects. He is known for his creative visualization, ability to stay connected to trending media platforms, and a rolodex for which CEOs would pay millions. His skill set has translated into lasting management in the entertainment industry for over 20 years.
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TOM VERICA

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR
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Tom has an illustrious career that spans thirty years in the entertainment industry. A gifted director, actor, and producer, he is a true multi-hyphenate. He has helmed over 100 episodes of television which recently include INVENTING ANNA, BRIDGERTON, and THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY. A veteran actor with a distinguished career on stage and screen, he co-starred opposite Viola Davis as her husband, Sam Keating, on the ABC hit, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER. 
Shonda Rhimes has brought Tom in-house at Shondaland to serve as the company's head of creative production. In the newly created advisory role, Verica helps to translate Rhimes' creative vision across all Shondaland productions.

Valerie Stadler is a white woman with shoulder length brown hair, purple glasses, and light makeup on. She is sitting outside in a black and white stripped shirt, posing for a selfie.

Valerie Stadler

PRODUCER & FOUNDING PARTNER, BIG SWING PRODUCTIONS