July 25, 2019
Entertainment Merchants Association SVP Sean Bersell is leaving the association after nearly 20 years.
Bersell recently moved to Pittsburgh with his wife Heather Norris to be closer to family and “has decided it is time for him to embark on some new endeavors,” according to an email to board members and other stakeholders from EMA president and CEO Mark Fisher.
“Sean has been with the EMA for almost 20 years, starting in August 1999,” Fisher wrote. “He was originally brought on to manage the government relations program as the industry was under fire after the Columbine massacre for allegedly marketing and selling violent videos and video games to minors. Sean led our successful response to that through several federal investigations, countless proposed laws throughout the country, and nine lawsuits — culminating in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. EMA, which recognized First Amendment protections for video games. He also was instrumental in our efforts to protect the right to rent and resell videos and video games and to ward off punitive regulation of the industry’s products.
“In addition, he has led our public relations and member communications activities, managed our digital supply chain efforts for several years, and organized our conference programming for the past year. But more than that, he has been involved in practically every significant strategic decision of the organization over the past 20 years as we have navigated the industry’s many transitions.
“I have personally appreciated and valued Sean’s advice and guidance over the decades that we worked together, and will miss working with him.
“We are grateful for his service to EMA and wish him and Heather all the best.”
Bersell started his career in 1985 as legislative counsel for U.S. Senator Pete V. Domenici. From 1991 to 1993, Bersell served as the assistant director of the National Park Service in charge of the Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs.
In 1993, Bersell joined the government relations staff of the 58,000-member American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and eventually worked his way up to senior director, public affairs for the professional society.
Bersell is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of New Mexico School of Law.