OTT.X to Host Career and Leadership Development Summit

OTT.X on July 28 announced plans to host its first-ever Career and Leadership Development Summit on Aug. 12, using an online format similar to its popular “OTT.X Online Live” sessions.

The summit will feature three components, including a conference session with career and leadership development presentations delivered by successful executives; a series of informal discussion sessions between industry executives and conference attendees; and a “happy-hour” networking session.

Steve Nickerson

Featured speakers include industry veterans Steve Nickerson, formerly of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Toshiba Corp.; Jason Peterson, chairman of the GoDigital Media Group; and Michele Edelman, head of growth with Premiere Video.

Other speakers include Teresa Philips, CEO of Spherex; Narendra Reddy, EVP and GM of The Africa Channel; and Paulette Pantoja, CEO of Blu; Jill Allen, SVP of digital distribution for Sony Pictures; Beth Anderson, AVP of digital strategy and business development for BBC Studios; Allison Martin, senior manager of content planning for BBC Studios; Kristen Bedno, director of domestic distribution and marketing for Vision Films; Lise Romanoff, managing director and CEO of worldwide distribution for Vision Films; and Lonni Silverman, director of client services, for Sony Pictures.

“The goal of the summit is to help prepare an inclusive population of professionals interested in advancing in business and technical roles in the entertainment industry and to provide opportunities to develop their leadership skills, contacts and confidence,” said Mark Fisher, OTT.X president and CEO. “Supporting the growth and professional development of future leaders and the diversity of those holding leadership positions is vital to our industry’s continued success. Our first Leadership Development Summit will provide a platform for leaders to share valuable insights and for a diverse community of professionals of all levels to connect and learn from each other.”

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Jason Peterson

Fisher also will speak, as will Eric Hanson, OTT.X’s VP of industry leadership.

To create an inclusive and diverse community of participants, women and minorities are especially encouraged to register and attend, Fisher said. The morning conference portion of the event is free for all OTT industry professionals. Afternoon discussion and networking sessions are free to any employee of an OTT.X member organization.

The conference is being hosted by OTT.X’s Leadership Development Foundation (LDF), an organization dedicated to the vision of a diverse and inclusive business and technical workforce in the OTT video entertainment industry, supported by a broad range of career and leadership development opportunities. The LDF is overseen by a steering committee with representatives from content providers, channels, retailers and service providers in the OTT video industry.

For more information and to register visit the OTT.X website.

EMA Expands Supply Chain Efforts with Hire of Former Microsoft Exec

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) on Feb. 13 announced that Eric Hanson has been named VP, industry leadership for the home entertainment trade association.

Hanson will manage all of EMA’s industry and supply chain support for both the home video and video game segments, including workgroups, committees, and councils. Hanson, who had been providing project management to the association since January 2017, assumed his new duties earlier this month.

“Over the past year, Eric has done an incredible job in driving industry consensus on digital supply chain best practices and promoting adoption of them,” said Mark Fisher, EMA’s president and CEO. “I’m really excited to bring Eric on-board on a full-time basis, as this allows EMA to invest even more deeply in promoting efficiencies in the digital video supply chain and other important industry initiatives.”

“I appreciate this opportunity, as full-fledged member of the EMA team, to stimulate industry collaboration that addresses operational friction points, help grow the home entertainment industry, enable innovation, and promote incredible consumer experiences,” said Hanson.

Prior to joining EMA, Hanson was involved in in strategic planning, operations, and process engineering work with Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., and Amazon. He was responsible for building and leading the content operation function for Xbox Live Video from its launch in 2006 until 2012 and for build-out and management of the content operations function for Intel’s OnCue service.

Hanson has been active in industry engagement and standards since 2001, when he led the planning process for Microsoft’s media standards engagement. He later oversaw Xbox’s representation in industry and standards groups, including EMA’s digital supply chain initiatives.

EMA also announced additional staff changes:

Carrie Dieterich, SVP, strategic initiatives, will retire in May. Dieterich has 24 years of experience with the trade group, most recently overseeing EMA’s research efforts and events, including the Los Angeles Entertainment Summit, Independent Product Market, Digital Media Pipeline, and Digital EMA Salons.

Jennifer Lane Burnell has been promoted to VP, marketing and events. She will assume responsibility for planning, promoting, and managing EMA’s events and continue her current duties in brand and event marketing and creative services.

Steve Apple has been given the new title of VP, industry sales. Apple is responsible for membership growth and maintaining relationships with companies involved in digital delivery of content, as well as soliciting sponsorship of EMA events.