April 4, 2019
The Entertainment Merchants Association has formed the EMA Leadership Development Foundation to support professional training and development within the home entertainment industry, and particularly within the EMA membership.
“It’s about time that we recognize that our industry, that of the retailing and streaming of entertainment content to the consumer, is a unique industry and with jobs classifications that are unique to this industry and yet common across our member companies,”said Mark Fisher, president and CEO of the EMA, April 4 at the Fast Forward Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, produced by Media Play News and hosted by the EMA.
The EMA Leadership Development Foundation will provide opportunities for recent entrants in the home entertainment workforce to learn how the industry operates and to interact with their peers in order to advance their careers and offer professional development opportunities in the industry for women and under-represented minorities, according to the EMA.
The activities for the EMA Leadership Development Foundation will include:
- Presenting seminars and workshops on the business of home entertainment;
- Hosting informal professional networking sessions for individuals who work in the home entertainment industry;
- Managing a structured mentoring program for women and under-represented minorities in the home entertainment industry; and
- Recognizing individuals in the home entertainment industry who have made significant contributions to the industry, their community, and/or the advancement of diversity in the industry.
A Leadership Development Advisory Council will advise the EMA Leadership Development Foundation on programs and strategies for leadership development, education, and recognition within the home entertainment industry. The council will consist of individuals from both within and outside the home entertainment industry who have expertise in professional development and the promotion of diverse workforces.
“The programs of the EMA Leadership Development Foundation will help employees in the home entertainment industry gain a greater understanding of the business of home entertainment, introduce them to their peers in other companies, and provide them with mentoring opportunities,” Fisher said. “This will help them become more effective employees and prepare them for career advancement in the industry.”
The EMA Leadership Development Foundation is a not-for-profit entity incorporated in the state of Delaware. The EMA Board of Directors will also act as the Board of Directors for the EMA Leadership Development Foundation. The foundation will be managed by the EMA staff.
Initial funding for the EMA Leadership Development Foundation came from the dissolution of the EMA Scholarship Foundation and the transfer of its assets to the EMA Leadership Development Foundation.
“The EMA Scholarship Foundation provided a tremendous service to our industry,” Fisher said. “Between its establishment in 1987 and 2019, it helped more than 240 students achieve higher education through scholarship grants totaling more than $1 million. But our industry has evolved over the past three decades and the resources previously dedicated to the Scholarship Foundation we believe can better serve the industry in a new way. We believe that new way, the EMA Leadership Development Foundation, will provide a great service to our industry.”