Women in Home Entertainment 2023: Meet the Captains and See What They Have to Say

Welcome to Media Play News’ sixth annual Women in Home Entertainment issue.

As we have done since we launched this annual salute, we are leading off with a special spotlight on the top “captains” who are driving the industry, from top streaming executives such as Bela Bajaria, Alisa Bowen and Kelly Campbell, to transactional home entertainment marketing gurus such as Lexine Wong, Michele Bell and Hilary Hoffman.

We have once again expanded our list of “captains,” adding two new positions for women leaders who are driving content on the consumer electronics side: Katherine Pond of Vizio and Sarah Larsen of Samsung.

And, as always, we have a handful of newcomers on the list: Bowen, president of Disney+; Jennie Baird, EVP and managing director of global digital news and streaming at BBC; and Flory Bramnick, who as EVP of North America distribution for Sony Pictures Entertainment oversees the licensing of Sony Pictures’ films and television series across all distribution platforms in the United States and Canada.

While their duties vary, the one thing all these women executives have in common is the pivotal role they play in the film and TV show distribution chain — bringing entertainment into consumer homes across all the various channels and platforms that now make up what we call home entertainment.

Let’s meet the 2023 Women in Home Entertainment “captains” and see what they have to say.

SEE ALSO: WOMEN IN HOME ENTERTAINMENT 2023 — THE TEAMS

THE CAPTAINS OF HOME ENTERTAINMENT:

Jennie Baird

EVP and Managing Director, Digital News and Streaming
BBC Studios

Jennie Baird

A digital media trailblazer, Baird throughout her career has driven growth and innovation for some of the industry’s most successful digital brands. At BBC Studios, Baird leads the development of the company’s vision and investment plans to continue driving growth and audiences for the BBC’s digital news products around the globe. This includes BBC Studios’ direct-to-consumer documentary service, BBC Select, and BBC Podcasts. Before joining BBC Studios in February 2022, Baird served as SVP and global head of product at News Corp. There, she was responsible for developing digital solutions for Dow Jones, News UK, News Corp Australia, New York Post, Storyful, Realtor.com, Foxtel and HarperCollins Publishers. Prior to that she held various roles at a number of large-scale digital businesses, including AOL, iVillage, and Entertainment Weekly. Earlier in her career, she was instrumental in bringing the pioneering and award-winning website SmartMoney.com to market in the mid-1990s. She also co-founded the cult baby name website BabyNameWizard.com, exiting with a sale to CafeMedia.

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role?

I came up in technology in a time when all the senior leaders were men. In fact, in my first real people leader role, I was the only female manager at the company — and the one woman on my team was the only woman in the company who reported to a female manager. I was 28 years old, but my boss’s boss, who was the CEO of our company (and is now the CEO of Hearst Corporation), made a special effort to check in with me on a regular basis. He asked me tough questions and valued my perspective on the challenges our business faced and the opportunities ahead. He took me seriously and his confidence in me gave me confidence in me. I had a real inside view of the male leaders around me and I thought — OK, I think I could do that!

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

It’s maybe the most valuable lesson in life — things change all the time. Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. Things you thought were permanent turn out to be fleeting. We need to always be learning, to be open to change, and to embrace new ideas and ways of doing things when appropriate. We need to be OK with being wrong and learning from our mistakes. But one thing that doesn’t change is that people are at the heart of our businesses — audiences, of course, but the people we work with, too. While many of us may leave an impact with the actual work we produce, the great majority of us leave an impact by the people we touch — individuals we mentor (or are mentored by), inspire, treat with respect, have true connections with and stay in touch with throughout our careers.

What do you look for when hiring someone?

Most of my career has centered on solving new problems, inventing new products or businesses, so when I interview candidates, I like to hear these five magic words: “I just figured it out.”

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members?

While the crux of my job is about articulating and driving a vision, I like to get my hands dirty, to take the time to dig into details, to understand how things work, to really listen to the people on my team. Learning from them keeps my mind nimble, and it also allows me to provide informed decision-making, challenge assumptions, and make suggestions. And though I have a very high standard and am direct with feedback, I am also generous with compliments. At BBC Studios, we are committed to maintaining an inclusive workplace culture that empowers everyone to be their best selves and do their best work. And people do their best work when they feel competent and confident, when they know that making an effort will be noticed and appreciated.

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

I’ve always thought that if I hadn’t stumbled into this field, I might have been a long-haul trucker. (Though the career test I took when I dropped out of my Ph.D. program in my early 20s scored me highest for “electrician” or “naval officer.” I’m old enough that there was no “internet” or “digital media” then.)

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Bela Bajaria 

Chief Content Officer
Netflix

Bela Bajaria

Bajaria was appointed to Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos’ old job in January 2023. Fortune magazine at the time said that with the promotion, Bajaria “just became one of the most powerful women in Hollywood.” Born in London to Indian parents, Bajaria previously served for nearly three years as Netflix’s Head of global TV, leading the teams for all of television and responsible for such hit series as “Squid Game,” “Stranger Things,” “Wednesday,” “Bridgerton,” “La Casa de Papel” and “Cobra Kai.” Before, she oversaw local-language originals across Europe, the Middle East, Turkey, Africa, India, Asia and Latin America. Bajaria joined Netflix in 2016 to lead Netflix’s push into unscripted programming, including the critically acclaimed “Queer Eye,” “Nailed It!” and “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.” She was previously president of Universal Television, a role in which she made history as the first woman of color to oversee a studio, shepherding programming including “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “The Mindy Project.” Earlier, she held two key posts simultaneously: SVP of cable programming for CBS TV Studios, and SVP of movies and miniseries for CBS Network.

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Michele Bell

EVP, Worldwide Creative Services
Paramount Home Entertainment

Michele Bell

Bell is Paramount Home Entertainment’s top marketer, on both the transactional digital side and the physical media side. She oversees product packaging and digital design, in-store and online creative assets, and print, broadcast and online advertising. Her focus is on developing compelling, persuasive and disruptive creative assets that demand attention and drive consumer sales. Bell has more than 20 years of home entertainment marketing experience. Before joining Paramount in 2005, she was VP of creative services at what was then Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Bell spent the early part of her career at New Line Cinema, rising through the ranks to VP of creative advertising for home entertainment. 

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role

I wanted to have more of a say in the decisions being made at higher levels that impacted the teams I was working on and the type of creative we were delivering. I also felt it was a great opportunity to influence the environment and culture. I still check in with myself and ask, “Am I creating a space that I personally would want to work in?” And, knowing I’d be in meetings where my lived experiences are unique, I believed I’d be able to (within reason) guide conversations and decisions that might not have occurred if that representation, that voice, wasn’t in the room.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

In countless situations, I’ve learned it’s extremely valuable to trust my instincts because when I do, even if things don’t go as planned, I can live with the outcome. Second-most valuable lesson? “It ain’t personal, it’s business!” 

What do you look for when hiring someone

I have been told that in hiring I tend to cast for personality. I think there’s some truth to this in that I look for people who have a genuine enthusiasm for the role, for the business and for movies. If you come from an unrelated field but are genuinely excited to be here, are open to learning, and have relevant parallel experience, it inspires me to help shape that core knowledge to suit the role. In most cases, this results in an employee whose unique perspective benefits the entire team.

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members

I am a strong believer in transparency and candid communication. I want my team to know that what we do is an integral part of the success of the larger business, but also that their personal well-being and professional growth are important to that success. One of the best things to come out of COVID is our weekly all-team Zoom call. Now everyone can see the materials being worked on and feel connected to the process — there are no silos. When we’re in the office I spend a bit of time connecting on a personal level with everyone. It’s not just about deadlines and deliverables. 

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

Well, I had a nice run in the 1990s, so if I wasn’t doing this, maybe I’d go back to doing stand-up comedy!

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Alisa Bowen

President
Disney+

Alisa Bowen

Bowen oversees subscriber and revenue growth and content scheduling for Disney+. In addition, she oversees business operations across the direct-to-consumer division (Hulu and Disney+). She previously served as EVP of global business operations for Disney Streaming, overseeing global content and business operations for the company’s DTC video streaming businesses, including cross-functional leadership of the global Disney+ rollout in 154 markets worldwide. Bowen joined Disney in 2017 as CTO of the company’s international operations, where she led a transformation of Disney’s broadcast channels and content operations and digital publishing across EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Prior to joining Disney, Bowen held product, digital technology and general management leadership positions at major media organizations including Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones and News Corp, in London, New York and Sydney.

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role?

I love seeing a team come together and deliver seemingly impossible results, especially when the path isn’t entirely clear. I thrive in chaos, which is fortunate because the past few years have been chaotic for us all, both personally and professionally. When we were preparing to really scale the Disney+ international rollout, the world was shutting down and we were thrust into isolation as a fully remote team. None of us had a roadmap for how to manage such an ambitious product launch agenda in that model, but I’m so proud of all the innovation that came from those chaotic circumstances.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

That a unified purpose is one of the most powerful motivators to drive exceptional performance you can create. Now, more than ever, the very best people demand a purposeful role in a mission they can explain and believe in, where they are trusted to do their very best work, take measured and considered risks, and own the outcomes. At Disney, we “make magic happen,” and our teams here are committed to that purpose in a very tangible way. It’s been incredible to see how motivating that can be in driving “above and beyond” performance outcomes.

What do you look for when hiring someone?

Agility and resilience, with a healthy amount of EQ. There’s almost no problem we can’t solve with the perseverance to keep adapting and innovating. But when this tenacity is coupled with the EQ to listen actively and know how to ask for help, it can really set successful colleagues apart. I also think it’s critically important to be a compelling communicator. We are in the storytelling business, and every day we need to tell our story in different ways, to champion big new ideas, build alliances and collaborate effectively.

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members?

Transparent communication is number one. I try to maintain an open approach and be honest and authentic with my teams because trustworthy information and meaningful context is so critical in a large organization that’s trying to move quickly. We work hard to ensure that our teams understand not long what needs to be done, but the ‘why?’ behind the ask or the task. It helps everyone anticipate what might come next and anticipate problems around every corner, and more often than not, it leads to our team creating even better solutions than I could have anticipated.

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

I can’t imagine being anywhere else, but it would definitely involve a beach, my family and something entrepreneurial!

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Flory Bramnick

EVP, North America Distribution
Sony Pictures Entertainment

Flory Bramnick

Bramnick oversees the licensing of Sony Pictures’ rich catalog of feature films and television series across all distribution platforms in the United States and Canada, including broadcast networks, pay and basic cable, digital (AVOD, SVOD and FAST), and local syndication. Bramnick manages the North America distribution teams in the New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto offices. Over her 21-year tenure at SPE, she has held a variety of positions, from strategic operations to business development to sales. Bramnick was acknowledged as a “Woman to Watch” by Multichannel News in 2011, and was honored with the Lifetime Achiever Award by Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) in 2013.

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role?

I can’t say that I ever proactively pursued a leadership role in the sense that I pitched a role and a specific level. What I knew inherently is that I liked being “the boss” (just ask my daughter) and wanted my voice to be heard. The result was that I was privileged to be acknowledged with leadership positions by bosses who thought I could contribute in ways that I wasn’t necessarily aware of. And, in turn, they gave me the opportunity to mentor, guide and learn from others, which has always been an important aspect of every role I’ve had. 

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is to entertain opportunities that might otherwise seem like a career detour. Be open, because you never know where that opportunity may take you. The detour may be the best new direction you never expected.

What do you look for when hiring someone?

I look for what I call “confident humility” and a good cultural fit. What I mean by “confident humility” is someone who is equipped to handle the role and can confidently articulate what they can do in the role, while also understanding what it means to work collaboratively and transparently with other members of the team, and welcomes that. 

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members?

For one thing, I share the bigger picture of what I know and/or experience in the company. When I was more junior, it was frustrating to me that my bosses would be a part of meetings or discussions for which they could share elements but didn’t. For another, I trust my team. They’re smart, talented, and they understand our strategic goals, which means they don’t need me hovering over them or micromanaging them. For still another, I also show appreciation for what they do. The team has shared that the appreciation is meaningful.

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

I’d like to do something more entrepreneurial. A few years ago, a friend in the business and I had talked about opening a club for women that would serve as a meeting, networking and socializing hub. Since those early conversations with my friend, organizations have emerged with that mission. It’s good to see.

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Kelly Campbell

President, Peacock and Direct-to-Consumer
NBCUniversal

Kelly Campbell

Campbell is responsible for growing and elevating NBCUniversal’s streaming business and spearheading go-forward strategy for the platform. She oversees teams across programming, marketing, product, technology, partnerships and data sciences that together support NBCU’s direct-to-consumer portfolio. Prior to joining Peacock in October 2021, Campbell was president of Hulu, where she led the SVOD and live-TV streaming businesses. Before that, Campbell was Hulu’s chief marketing officer, leading the brand’s overall marketing and driving the strategic vision and voice behind the Hulu brand. Prior to joining Hulu, Campbell spent more than a decade at Google, where she held a variety of leadership and marketing roles across the Google Ads and Google Cloud businesses. She began her career in investment banking at JPMorgan Chase. Campbell is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Vanderbilt University. A respected leader and innovator, Campbell has been recognized as one of Business Insider’s Most Innovative CMOs, the Adweek 50, AdAge’s Women to Watch, FierceCable’s the Fierce 50: Executives Reshaping the Business of Pay-TV, and Forbes’ Most Influential Global CMOs. 

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

I’ve learned to trust my instincts. Over the years I’ve listened, asked a lot of questions, gotten some things right and gotten some things wrong. All of this has shaped and refined my instincts. I realize now that my instincts help me make quick decisions that are rooted in valuable experience.

What do you look for when hiring someone

I look for leaders at all levels, who have a balanced mix of skills, experience, energy and aspiration.

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

I’d either be starting a business — I’ve had an entrepreneurial streak from a young age — or spending a lot more time volunteering at my children’s school.

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Andrea Downing

President
PBS Distribution

Andrea Downing

Downing has a successful 20-year history of leading organizations for growth and profitability in dynamic landscapes. Her vision for PBS Distribution (PBSd) led to the transformation of the company’s initial focus on physical goods to multichannel, multi-format distribution, creating significant growth in digital distribution. A strategic leader with a strong operational background, Downing embraces change to transform organizations with new business strategies and products. Prior to joining PBSd, she served as the director of operations for Discovery Communications, managing the domestic and international consumer products division, and as the VP for home entertainment and partnerships for PBS. She currently serves on the boards of PBSd, PBS America and DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, as well as the DEG’s Canon Club Advisory Board.

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role?

I’ve always been very driven and focused, so I leaned in and worked hard to achieve goals in all my roles. Because I said “yes” to any new project, I developed a broad picture of the companies, with insights into their challenges and untapped opportunities. I quickly became the go-to person, which led me to leadership roles that I hadn’t considered.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Be honest, transparent, and fair. These set such an important tone, build trust, and help create a winning culture.

What do you look for when hiring someone?

Someone who is smart, self-motivated, and an independent and creative thinker who can learn new things and quickly adapt, especially in this ever-changing media landscape. Most importantly, someone who is a good fit with our culture and can work with people across the business.

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members?

My door is always open and I invite team members to stop by with any ideas or concerns they may have. Because not everyone is motivated in the same way, I do my best to listen well and let go of what I “know” in favor of learning something new about them. I have a voluntary small social meeting quarterly with employees across the company to get to know each other better. And because everyone works hard, we create opportunities to have fun together, which boosts engagement and productivity.

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

I can’t imagine working outside of public media! Its mission, combined with PBS Distribution’s for-profit mission of supporting the nonprofit public media ecosystem, is incredible, particularly given how quickly the media business is changing. If I weren’t in my current position, I would definitely be doing something within the media industry.

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Karin Gilford

SVP, Digital Media, and GM, Movies Anywhere
Disney

Karin Gilford

Gilford oversees a portfolio comprised of Movies Anywhere, the cloud-based service that lets consumers access purchased digital movies, and Digital Media, a cross-functional team that drives engagement and monetization across The Walt Disney Co. portfolio. She oversees product development, business strategy and long-term growth of all aspects of Movies Anywhere and Digital Media, and serves as key liaison, working with various key stakeholders and participating studios and retailers.

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role?

I was inspired by the leaders I reported to along the way. I saw the impact they had on our business and the people on their teams. I always look for ways to drive business goals and create opportunities for people on my team to grow both personally and professionally.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

There are so many lessons you learn along the way, but it seems that some of the most basic life lessons are those that prevail in your career: work hard, be nice to people and be passionate about what you do.

What do you look for when hiring someone?

I am usually thinking about the needs of the team and our business at that time and for the next three to five years. The media business is extremely dynamic, and I think you need to be nimble in hiring and continually re-evaluate your organization. Right now, I would be looking for sharp business skills, a consumer mindset and optimism.

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members

I try to show up in a transparent, authentic and optimistic manner. I put our portfolio of work into context of the larger company and industry, and am not afraid to seize opportunities and stop things that aren’t working. Everyone wants to do meaningful work, so I try to make sure my team is constantly learning, striving to use cutting-edge technology and processes, and understanding how their work fits into the bigger picture.

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

Finding a way to make an impact on up-and-coming people, companies, and ideas in media.

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Ellen Goodridge

Head of Worldwide Media Management and Distribution
Amazon Studios

Ellen Goodridge

Goodridge and her team are charged with managing and distributing Amazon Originals (movies and series) content into worldwide, localized, on-demand digital assets for Prime Video and Freevee. Before joining Amazon in January 2022, Goodridge enjoyed a more than 17-year run at Sony Pictures, culminating in a role as SVP of distribution and content delivery. At Sony Pictures, she focused on digital transformation, digital and traditional media content and supply chain management, and enablement of major distribution partnerships with platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Google, Amazon, Disney, and broadcast and streaming channels around the world. She also led many first-of-their-kind digital initiatives. A graduate of Duke University, Goodridge began her career as a producer at Agency.com and then Qwest Communications.

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role?

I was fortunate to have incredible role models to learn from, and through working for and around strong leaders, I was inspired and supported in becoming one myself.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Clearly define, and then stay focused on the underlying goal of what you are trying to accomplish. And then, when you inevitably hit challenges or pivot points, you will know how to move forward.

What do you look for when hiring someone?

Change agility is a key focus when I’m hiring. We have to constantly learn and grow.

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members?

Ensuring they feel engaged and understand the big picture of what we are trying to accomplish in the business, and giving them a lot of autonomy in how they and their teams do so.

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

Probably teaching swimming lessons!

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Shalini Govil-Pai

GM and VP of TV Platforms
Google

Shalini Govil-Pai

Govil-Pai oversees product, design and engineering teams for Android TV OS and Google TV. Her leadership has led to winning strategies for distribution of streaming media including Netflix, Disney+ and Max across TV and mobile device form factors. Prior to assuming her present position in 2017, she was senior director for technology solutions at YouTube, where her work enabled creators, storytellers and citizen journalists to expand their reach and increase monetization by more than 10 times. Prior to joining Google, Govil-Pai was technical director at Pixar Animation, where she led efforts for the first entirely CG animated blockbuster, Toy Story, and A Bug’s Life. She is a well-known thought-leader and speaker on digital production and distribution trends. Govil-Pai is also the author of two internationally published books on computer graphics, Principles of Computer Graphics and Learning Computer Graphics.

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role?

To be honest, it was never about a role, leadership or not, that inspired my career journey. It was more about what I was working on and my love for media and entertainment. Since early childhood I knew I wanted to work in media. I was awed by the impact it had on people, conscious and subconscious, and how it brought joy and meaning to their lives — and I wanted to be part of it. Pretty early on, I realized I would not make it as a celebrity. I had tried to act as a child actress with dismal results 😉 — so I harnessed my skills in computers, got into computer graphics and joined Pixar Animation in its early days. From there, as I moved to YouTube and now Google, the role media plays in people’s lives continues to be a big inspiration in how I think about our products and their value in people’s lives. We work very hard in ensuring our content reflects the diversity and viewing needs of our customers, and that our product initiatives are at the forefront of sustainability efforts we’ve seen emerge throughout the industry. Alongside driving on a vision for products, as I took on different roles, I learned how to nurture teams and help them grow in their own careers, always helping them look at their motivations first and then find the next steps in their journey. In the end, this is what inspires me today as a leader: How do I bring technology to media journeys together to help inspire more people find joy in their lives, and help people find their path to find joy in their careers.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

The most valuable lesson that I still struggle with (believe it or not) is to be confident about my point of view. I meet people who come across so suave and confident, and they can eat your ears off, and it’s easy to think they know it all. But they don’t! Your point of view matters. In the early days when I took on TV, I was surrounded by skeptics — why should Google care about TV? Who watches TV anymore? But I knew it was an important surface. All the learnings from my days at YouTube had built up a strong contention in me that it did matter. I had to work hard to convince our C-suite, but my conviction won the day, and today Google TV is one of the leading platforms in the world and set to be a strong business as well.

What do you look for when hiring someone?

I look for people who are self-starters and who are excited about the area they are joining, because if you are excited about something, you will give it your all. To a self-starter it’s not just another job, it’s something they care about. That kind of person also creates an energy within the team that makes the impossible possible because everyone is moving with excitement about the future.

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members?

When you hire self-starters, you need to make room for them to start things on their own! They need to make their own mistakes and learn from them and grow with it. So that’s a big philosophy that I follow, empowering my teams to learn and explore. Of course I am always there to brainstorm with them and help guide them or open doors to people with whom they can talk to further their ideas. I also do regular team lunches with subsets of my team as a way for them to know who I am and what I believe in (and vice versa). I have office hours that anyone can sign up for and bring anything up to me. And we have regular all-team meetings and fun outings, like a tailgate and watching an NFL game together, that allow everyone to get to know their leaders and colleagues better as people.

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

I would be acting in movies, but probably in ‘C’-grade ones (just kidding). I think I would be working on a startup, but in the media space.

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Alison Hoffman

President, Domestic Networks
Starz

Alison Hoffman

Hoffman has revenue and operational responsibility for Starz’s U.S. retail and wholesale businesses and oversees key network operations, including distribution, marketing, publicity, product development, analytics and program planning. She was one of the key executives responsible for launching the Starz app and managing the network’s direct-to-consumer business. She reorganized the business and built world-class performance marketing and analytics departments from the ground up. Hoffman works closely with partners including Amazon, Hulu, Roku and Apple to drive revenue on their platforms. Prior to assuming her present position in February 2020, Hoffman for nearly four years was chief marketing officer. During her tenure she launched a master brand strategy, repositioning Starz as the premium streaming content platform for women and underrepresented audiences. She led campaigns for the entire Starz Originals slate, including “P-Valley,” the “Power” universe, “Outlander,” “BMF,” “Vida” and “Gaslit.” Hoffman joined Starz in 2012 after serving as VP of creative and brand strategy at AMC Networks.

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role?

Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to work with women in key leadership positions. Although they had diverse leadership styles, they all led with confidence, humility and empathy and were archetypes of the type of leader I aspired to be.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Remain curious. Cultivating my curiosity has helped me broaden my business expertise, stay open to new ideas, maintain my motivation and avoid burnout. For me, it’s been the key to staying engaged and expanding my skills, my role and my thinking.

What do you look for when hiring someone?

A growth mindset. People who want to build on their inherent smarts and talent through a dedication to hard work and continually learning. I find these people to be more adaptive to change, and resilient when faced with setbacks. They also tend to approach their work with more inventiveness and less ego, so they’re fun to work with.

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members?

I am a big advocate of critical thinking and healthy disagreement within my team. I believe that hearing and encouraging diverse points of view is critical to productivity and innovation. It requires trust and respect, but healthy debates and candid conversations drive business results.

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

I love to read, so if I could wave a magic wand, I’d be a book scout.

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Hilary J. Hoffman

EVP, Global Marketing
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Hilary J. Hoffman

Hoffman oversees strategic marketing for Universal and its distributed lines worldwide across feature-film new-release, library and TV properties. Her responsibilities encompass defining go-to-market strategies and the company’s overall approach to consumer engagement, including leveraging new platforms and technologies as well as direct-to-consumer initiatives to drive profitable growth. She is responsible for creative, digital content, retail marketing, media, digital marketing, publicity and consumer insights. Since joining the company in 1998 as director of marketing, Hoffman has overseen the campaigns of some of the studio’s most successful home releases and has been a driving force behind Universal’s leading footprint in new industry initiatives. 

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

I’ve learned that working in an industry known for its unique challenges and ever-evolving nature requires constant creativity and adaptability, as well as a commitment to doing everything you can to keep teams inspired and motivated. Communication and transparency are key. I’ve found that something as simple as consistently bringing the teams together provides a meaningful platform for members to contribute. It is extremely important to me to have a culture of belonging, inclusion and empowerment. I want all voices to be heard and everyone at all levels to be informed, engaged and aligned in driving the business forward.

What do you look for in an employee?

We work in an industry known for its unique challenges and ever-evolving nature. Two key qualities I find critical in ensuring an employee is well set for success in their role are creative problem solving and adaptability. I should note that in my mind, these qualities do not tie directly to specific work experience. I have found these qualities come from people with diverse backgrounds, school and business experiences.

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Agapy Kapouranis

President of International Television and Digital Distribution
Lionsgate

Agapy Kapouranis

Kapouranis spearheads international distribution, acquisitions, sales and marketing for Lionsgate’s television and catalog feature slate. She’s responsible for distributing and licensing Lionsgate’s 18,000-title film and television library and a robust portfolio of Starz programming to hundreds of SVOD, AVOD and linear platforms around the world. Kapouranis has helped establish Lionsgate as a partner of choice to international buyers in the SVOD, electronic sellthrough (EST), transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) and AVOD space. She has helped orchestrate a number of innovative licensing deals including the global syndication of “Mad Men” to Amazon’s IMDb TV and Prime Video, AMC and STARZPLAY as well as the licensing of “Schitt’s Creek” to Netflix. Most recently, her team negotiated the international sale of the “John Wick” prequel series “The Continental” to Prime Video and licensed a package of films and television series to support the European relaunch of MGM+. Kapouranis joined Lionsgate in 2011 as SVP of television and digital distribution. She was later promoted to EVP of worldwide subscription video on demand. Prior to joining Lionsgate, Kapouranis was VP of international on-demand and New Media at MGM Studios.

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role?

I have always been motivated by people. I enjoy interacting with different types of people with various areas of expertise. As a leader, I get the opportunity to manage a global team comprised of employees from a range of backgrounds and experiences. 

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

You shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes — at Lionsgate, we empower employees to feel comfortable taking risks. 

What do you look for when hiring someone?

Attitude, communication skills and work ethic are key. I look for team members who are adept at dealing with challenging circumstances and personalities. They should also be “gritty,” willing to roll up their sleeves to get the job done no matter the size of the task. Another important factor is curiosity — employees must be eager to learn, regardless of level. 

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members?

Lionsgate’s scrappy, collaborative and entrepreneurial culture enables us to succeed in today’s challenging environment. We have lean teams that provide employees the opportunity to do more with less, in turn keeping them engaged, motivated and sharp. 

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

I love to cook, so that would be on the top of my list. Fortunately, I feel that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing in my role at Lionsgate. 

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Sarah Larsen

VP, Integrated Marketing
Samsung Home Entertainment

Sarah Larsen

As leader of the integrated marketing team for Samsung Home Entertainment, Larsen is responsible for building the brand with consumers across the United States. Her extensive knowledge of the latest and greatest in innovative marketing, especially digital activations, paired with her deep expertise with partnerships, experiential and influencer programs has led to numerous sales-driving and award-winning campaigns. Prior to joining Samsung, Larsen held leadership roles in several global marketing agencies such as Edelman and Ogilvy, working with globally renowned CPG, consumer electronics brands and retailer brands.

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role?

Our future generations inspire me! As the mother of two Gen Z kids, and with the many millennials and Gen Z people in our workforce at Samsung, I consider being a role model both a serious responsibility and an honor. I internalize servant leadership in all I do, and want to be able to help future generations grow in the soft skills and expertise they need to take on more and lead teams as well. I try to practice leadership by example rather than instruction, showing rather than telling, how to be a motivating leader.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

The most valuable lesson I learned is to not take things personally. I have found that 99% of the time when receiving feedback, it is based on many factors that have nothing to do with us — someone is having a tough day, they have pressure from someone else, or perhaps they just got bad news.

What do you look for when hiring someone?

Resourcefulness, creativity and proactivity are top qualities for me. I am impressed with someone who did their homework, demonstrates creative problem-solving skills, and can basically figure out how to get things done and then go after it. Great grades, an impressive education history and working for well-known brands are all wonderful, but how you work is more important to me than where you come from.

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members?

I try to really look at a person’s motives rather than behavior to understand why they might be doing what they do. I also make a point of giving context whenever possible with my questions or asks. For example, instead of just saying, “You need to do this by Friday,” I will talk about what we need and why we need it by a certain date, and get buy in from the team that this date is deliverable, and everyone is clear on roles and responsibilities for the project.

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

I absolutely love making everything around me beautiful — from my home space, to food presentation, to helping style my friends and family. I am the go-to girl for what paint color to choose, the right shoes with a dress, which haircut is more flattering, how should I arrange the furniture in this room, what to serve the first time someone is cooking for in-laws, etc. I always secretly hoped to be the Martha Stewart of my generation, but the fact is Samsung partnered with Martha Stewart now for our “More Wow Than Ever” campaign and I have come to realize that this 81-year-old dynamo is the master entertaining guru for all generations!

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Yolanda Macias

Chief Content Officer
Cineverse

Yolanda Macias

Macias is responsible for acquiring global content rights for all distribution platforms, including digital outlets Amazon, NBC Peacock, Tubi and Pluto. She is also charged with sourcing content for Cineverse’s owned-and-operated digital networks such as the Dove Channel, Screambox, asiancrush and RetroCrush, as well as retail outlets including Walmart. Additionally, she oversees all content marketing, including release strategy, growth and management of content. Macias joined what was then called Cinedigm in 2013 and has held leadership positions managing three departments and monetizing nearly 50,000 films and television series. During her previous tenure at Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment, Macias oversaw content acquisitions including securing home entertainment distribution rights for Crown Media’s Hallmark Channel and The Jim Henson Co. Macias helmed the launch and established the distribution strategy for Vivendi Entertainment’s digital distribution services along with acquiring rights for branded content such as National Geographic, WWE, NFL and Shout! Factory. Earlier in her career, Macias held executive positions at DirecTV and The Walt Disney Co.

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role?

I was a finance major in college, and upon graduation I worked for an investment banking firm. While I enjoyed the rigor and the intellect from my peers and management, I knew I was returning to graduate school not only to obtain an MBA, but also to change my career path. I wanted to be part of a service or product that is created, built and valued by consumers. My first position was with The Walt Disney Co., and I worked with very strong women, one of whom became the president of the division. I was fortunate to see effective female representation in leadership positions, which was inspirational and made it all seem achievable. I hope I have provided that same feeling to other women pursuing advancement and leadership.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

When someone is saying something that sounds like nonsense, it most likely is nonsense. During the early stages of your career, it’s common to be unaware of what you don’t know, and that’s actually a valuable gift because it opens the door to a wonderful lifelong gift of learning. However, with confidence and experience, you can lean on your intuition and push aside the noise to make informed decisions. Soon, it will be second nature and your energy is honed into the important decisions and execution.

What do you look for when hiring someone?

I look for the candidates’ strong sense of their own story. This requires self-reflection and an understanding of how they will contribute to the team and mission. I prefer those who enjoy teamwork and are capable of executing strategies. Collaboration and appreciation of data are key factors for success.

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members?

Within my teams, my goal is to actively contribute to both the development and growth of each individual. I provide my team members with the overall mission, vision and specific objectives in context of the broader goal. It is important that they understand how they fit in and the importance of their work. There is mutual respect and I try to be as transparent as possible. We are in this together. 

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

I would be in the south of Spain writing stories and immersed in the culture, practicing my Spanish.

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Dametra Johnson-Marletti

Corporate VP and Chief Commercial Officer, Gaming
Microsoft Corp.

Dametra Johnson-Marletti

Johnson-Marletti oversees global sales and category management for Xbox Gaming and Entertainment within the Microsoft Consumer Sales Organization. She leads a multi-billion-dollar business with a global team, focused on e-commerce, business strategy and third-party retail channel management, across 120 countries and millions of subscribers. She and her team are charged with delivering content accessible from all Microsoft devices and digital storefronts on Xbox, Windows and the Web. During her 22-year tenure at Microsoft, Johnson-Marletti has helped shape strategy and drive growth across several businesses. She has spearheaded collaborations with game publishers, major studios, content creators and retailers. She has built deep partnerships with leaders across the gaming and entertainment industries — focused on the creation of new business models and innovation for at-home and in-store commerce experiences. These efforts have been instrumental in Microsoft’s digital growth and have resulted in broader customer engagement, deeper partnerships and exponential e-commerce growth. Prior to joining the Consumer Sales Organization, Johnson-Marletti spent 12 years across the Microsoft Stores and Xbox Gaming divisions.

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role?

When I joined Microsoft 22 years ago, I was drawn to the company’s vision of using technology to change the world. Microsoft had consistently been (and continues to be) at the forefront of innovation, and I quickly knew that I wanted to lead and influence how our products and services could shape the future. This desire was not just fueled by my personal ambition but also by my aspiration to mentor and empower others, especially women and women of color, who, like me, wanted to make their mark in the tech industry. I’ve been fortunate to have had mentors and exceptional leaders who have supported me along my career journey. They each played an important role in my development as a leader and their support and guidance inspired and motivated me to pursue each of my leadership roles and pay it forward by investing in others through mentorship.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned in my career is the importance of adapting and evolving my leadership style and approach, while remaining authentic to who I am. Throughout my career, I’ve come to realize that being a successful leader isn’t about sticking to a single formula, it requires a willingness to continually change and grow. What worked in the past may not necessarily work in the present or in the future, and it’s up to us as leaders to be flexible and open minded. At the same time, it’s equally as important to remain true to your values and principles and to remain authentic. Balancing adaptability with authenticity is not always easy, and it took me a while to learn along my career journey. However, I’ve found that you can still be your authentic self while embracing change and growth.

What do you look for when hiring someone?

Ensuring that we have the right people in the right positions is always a top priority for me. When evaluating candidates, there are three attributes I look for. I want someone who has a passion for our industry and for their work. While skills and qualifications are undeniably important, I place more value on people who show genuine enthusiasm for their work. Additionally, I want someone who has a strong desire to learn. I don’t expect them to have all the answers or be experts in everything, but I look for people who show a willingness to invest in their growth — at Microsoft we call this being a “learn it all” as opposed to a “know it all.” I also look for strong character — someone who can successfully add to our culture and can bring in diverse perspectives.

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members?

I really prioritize creating meaningful moments of connection within my team. Whether through regular volunteer activities, making time for team learning, or recognition of team milestones, it’s so important to carve out time to ground ourselves as an organization and cultivate a culture that we all want to be a part of. These moments of connection play a pivotal role in building trust, camaraderie, a rich esprit de corps and an environment where people feel comfortable being their authentic selves. I also strongly believe in the power of constructive feedback and in building a culture where feedback is not just welcomed but encouraged. I want my team to feel safe expressing themselves, and I want them to know that their voices are heard and valued. Finally, having clear and transparent communication is so important to me. I want to ensure that my team understands our priorities, goals and expectations, empowering them to bring their best to work every day.

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

It’s hard to say what I would be doing if I wasn’t in this position! I feel fortunate to do what I love every day. However, if I were to guess, I’d probably find myself immersed in something that combines three of my passions:

  • Philanthropy: Specifically, helping to open the aperture of young people from marginalized communities understand the scope and scale of what they can be, even if they never see it in their day-to-day lives;
  • Technology: I love technology and endless possibilities that exist to create good through its use; and
  • Sports, as it represents a medium by which countless life lessons can be learned.

 

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Kim Overall

EVP, Global Data Solutions and AVOD Network, Distribution and Networks
Sony Pictures Entertainment

Kim Overall

Overall oversees Sony Pictures Entertainment’s central data team. She is responsible for identifying and developing the studio’s capabilities to become a more consumer-centric, data-driven organization. Her group defines the data strategy and utilizes advanced analytics and data science to co-create tools to enable all stakeholders at SPE to make better-informed decisions throughout the value chain. Additionally, she leads the AVOD Audience Network for SPE, building and fostering communities of interest around audience fandom for our rich and diverse repertoire of IP. Overall previously served as SVP of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s United Kingdom, Northern Europe and EMEA partnerships. In this role, she was responsible for defining the commercial strategies for the region and supporting the EMEA territories. She joined Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in 2008 as the managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role?

In the first phase of my career when I was learning about business I was fortunate to have great leaders and mentors. Their style and how they supported me had such an impact on me. I have been inspired to learn about what makes a great leader for 30 years and am very much still on that learning journey.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Having a personal purpose that guides you and enables you to know the value you uniquely bring the table is very empowering.

What do you look for when hiring someone?

Are they hungry, humble and smart? How curious are they — what questions do they ask? Are they about “We before Me?” Do they have high EQ and see people for who and what they represent?

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members

Align around a shared purpose and empowering beliefs, and agree on our social contract and our ways of being and working as a team.

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

Spending time with family between the beach in northern New South Wales and Serbia.

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Katherine Pond

Group VP of Platform Content and Partnerships
Vizio

Katherine Pond

Pond spearheads consumer electronics giant Vizio’s push into ad-supported VOD and free ad-supported streaming television (FAST). She leads distribution, content acquisition and programming, platform partnerships, platform and content marketing, and enterprise programs, Since joining Vizio in 2012 Pond has initiated, negotiated and closed deals across content distribution and acquisition, IP, advertising, and data verticals. She leads the teams responsible for closing deals with Amazon, Apple, Disney, Google, Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery, Sony and more. She has a history of building, growing, and monetizing new lines of business, including Vizio’s WatchFree+. Pond is passionate about the development and success of future generations, serving as a mentor at her alma mater, and co-founding Vizio’s Ascend Women’s Network.

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role?

My father, Dennis Reed, was always my biggest inspiration behind my pursuit of a career in business. He retired as a partner at a Fortune 500 company and I always loved listening to him talk about his team. My current motivation to become a better leader each day is inspired by two people: Bill Baxter, Vizio’s former CTO, and my current boss, Mike O’Donnell, Vizio’s CRO. These two leaders have demonstrated to me what it means to work for leaders who trust and empower their people — and that’s what I now strive to do for my team.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

To say “yes.” Very early on, I discovered that leaders are always looking for someone who is willing to step up and say “yes” to a challenge, in a moment of need. Particularly during my time at Vizio, my desire to try new things and say “yes” has given me tremendous opportunities: from licensing Inscape data, to running our advertising business in its early days, to launching our owned and operated WatchFree+ service, to forming a new team responsible for enterprise programs. I’ve been fortunate to work under leaders who have recognized and rewarded my passion for tackling difficult or new problems, and they have in turn offered me a wealth of knowledge and career growth.

What do you look for when hiring someone?

I look for key attributes I have found contribute to successful individuals, and in turn, successful teams: passion, curiosity, kindness, a dedication to relationships, collaboration, skillset and experience. I want to surround myself with the best and the brightest people I can find: those who have experience doing things that I may not, and those who will push me — and everyone else on the team — to become better.

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members?

I am a big believer that on a personal level people want to feel seen, acknowledged and connected to a community, and that high-achieving teams thrive on information and autonomy. That translates to plenty of team bonding activities (most recently a ropes course, and a “treats and trivia” session), a “Standing Ovation” Slack channel to share kudos, frequent texts and calls from me to my leaders to encourage and support them with feedback and words of affirmation — and, of course, friendly competitions with bragging rights as the award! I believe that information is power, and that for teams to feel empowered to do their best work, they must understand the strategy (the “why”) and have access to the information they need to make sound business decisions. 

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t at Vizio, I’d likely be somewhere else in this evolving industry, aiming to deliver a great experience to consumers and help contribute to the future of entertainment.

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Amy Jo Smith

President and CEO
DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group

Amy Jo Smith

Smith heads the leading trade group for the digital entertainment industry, representing the interests of the world’s largest media and entertainment companies, consumer electronics manufacturers, platform providers and technology companies. A former White House communications advisor, Smith since 1997 has led the industry-funded group’s efforts to enhance and promote home entertainment during its evolution from videocassettes to DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and today’s digital age. Under Smith’s leadership the DEG is credited with helping to make DVD the fastest-growing consumer electronics product in industry history. In 2019, DEG launched the D2C Alliance Council as a working community within the DEG to represent the global direct-to-consumer media industry and support its members to help create a robust marketplace to lead the new era of content consumption.

What inspired you to pursue a leadership role?

I’m not sure that I was as inspired to pursue leadership as much as I was hungry for more responsibility. I always felt I could take on more, and that it was on me to serve the DEG membership to its fullest. That belief organically drew more responsibility and was rewarded with leadership opportunities.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Whether it’s a board of directors or staff, really listen to the team you are working with. Don’t automatically assume that you know the best way forward, or that how something has been done before is necessarily the only way to continue. Trust that you’ve chosen smart, creative people to collaborate with, and take full advantage of their diversity of opinion, as long as all are focused on the same goal and what makes the most sense to achieve it. 

What do you look for when hiring someone?

Honesty, a sense of humor and flexibility are key. Skills can be taught, but these traits cannot. A strong team is comprised of those with varying skills sets, but if we are all to get along and accomplish our goals, we must be open to change and true in our approach. 

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members?

I’ve found that showing people you value their work and respect their opinions is the best motivator out there. People feel pride in their jobs and engage at a higher level when their work is regularly acknowledged, and they are thanked for their contributions. 

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

After leading DEG for 26 years, I’m not sure. But I believe it would be something that gives back to the larger community.

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Lexine Wong

Head of Global Multichannel Distribution Marketing
Sony Pictures Entertainment

Lexine Wong

Wong oversees marketing for the global home entertainment and television distribution businesses for Sony Pictures. As part of the marketing leadership team charged with integrating and leveraging collective expertise across the product lifecycle, she manages a team on the front line of responding to new and emerging distribution patterns. Wong oversees the delivery of breakthrough, sharable and highly interactive marketing experiences across the studio’s full range of properties — from film to television, catalog and beyond — all with a data and insights-driven approach that prioritizes consumer engagement and transaction. Specific areas of oversight include consumer and brand strategy, creative advertising, media, digital marketing, publicity, strategic partnerships, content production, and fostering innovation within emerging platforms critical for growth in the industry. With more than 25 years in the home entertainment industry, Lexine has overseen the studio’s biggest revenue-generating home entertainment releases, including blockbusters such as Spider-Man: No Way Home and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, as well as original IP such as A Man Called Otto and No Hard Feelings. She has also brought consumer marketing strategies to the global television distribution business.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

If I had to choose one lesson, as there have been so many, it’s being open to taking on new responsibilities even if you’re not sure you are ready. Embrace new opportunities, ask questions, be forthright about what you don’t understand, and be a team player. Through success or failure, you will glean valuable lessons along the way.

What do you look for when hiring someone?

Beyond the base skill sets required for the job, intangible skills like curiosity, flexibility, teamwork and a strong work ethic are critical. And never underestimate the power of excellent written and oral communication skills because no matter what your job is, you will most likely be “selling” something to someone, whether externally or internally. Additionally, I want to feel that a candidate is really excited about the job, and they are going to be all in.

What strategies do you use to motivate and engage your team members?

I’ve learned that one of the most important things to drive engagement is making sure your team understands the company’s and their department’s goals and objectives. Projecting growth through goal setting and alignment provides a North Star, and offers opportunities while driving accountability, which keeps things moving forward. It’s important to have regular communication, check-ins and brainstorms so they have a chance to ask questions and share ideas. We are in a creative business, so we need to fuel creativity and innovation through inclusion, encouragement, a test-and-learn philosophy, and challenging each person to be their best.

If you weren’t in your present position, what would you be doing?

I have been fortunate to have experienced so many aspects of the entertainment and distribution businesses and, as cliché as it sounds, I learn something new daily. I love all the new challenges and opportunities each year brings, whether it has been new formats, varied pricing models, complicated window management, complex data offerings, or evolving marketing techniques. So if I wasn’t doing this job, I would think about doing something that leverages what I spend a lot of time doing — problem solving and executing. Maybe something entrepreneurial that taps into an unmet need, or growing a small existing business.  

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Women in Home Entertainment 2023: The Teams

The home entertainment industry is filled with smart, strategic teams that support the captains of the big studios and streamers.

Additionally, there are many other talented women leaders at independent content distributors; digital retailers who sell and rent movies, TV shows and other filmed content; streaming services; technology companies; and ancillary service providers.

Here are some of the standouts.

SEE ALSO: WOMEN IN HOME ENTERTAINMENT 2023 — THE CAPTAINS

Amazon Studios

Jennifer Salke
Head, Amazon Studios
Salke oversees all aspects of television and film development as well as production for Amazon’s global entertainment division. Over the past two decades, Salke has been a major force behind some of television’s most successful comedy and drama series, including “This Is Us,” “Modern Family,” “The Blacklist,” “Superstore” and “The Good Place,” as well as Dick Wolf’s hugely successful “Chicago” franchise. Prior to joining Amazon, Salke was president of NBC Entertainment for seven consecutive years, where she was responsible for comedy and drama development, current programming, casting and diversity programming initiatives, as well as the entirety of Universal Television operations. She also served as EVP of creative affairs and SVP of drama development at 20th Century Fox Television. Salke began her career at Aaron Spelling Productions in the early 1990s.

Courtenay Valenti
Head of Film, Streaming and Theatrical, Amazon and MGM Studios
A veteran Hollywood movie executive, Valenti joined Amazon in March 2023 at a time when the company was looking to expand its footprint in the movie space. She previously enjoyed a 33-year run at Warner Bros., where she played an integral role in the production of some of the studio’s biggest theatrical hits, including four “Harry Potter” films, Crazy Rich Asians, and, most recently, Barbie. Valenti is the daughter of the late Jack Valenti, the longtime president of the Motion Picture Association.

Julie Rapaport
Head of Film, Creative and Strategy, Amazon and MGM Studios
Rapaport oversees the slate for Amazon Originals and MGM. Prior to assuming her current role, she was part of the team that during the pandemic moved from producing arthouse films designed to have robust theatrical launches to becoming a more streaming-focused service with more mainstream movies. Under her watch, Amazon acquired movies such as Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Coming 2 America and Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, which had been set up at Universal, Paramount and Sony, respectively. Those films instead debuted on Prime Video. 

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Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

Kristin Bowser
SVP of Operations, Redbox
Bowser plays a pivotal role for Redbox and its third-party service business. Her primary role is to oversee the company’s field support group of 800-plus employees across the United States who service Redbox kiosks. The team also services Amazon lockers and EcoATM kiosks, along with other businesses. Bowser joined Redbox in 2009 in the machine support department. Prior to joining Redbox, Kristin worked as district manager for Family Video.

Maura Gray
SVP, Marketing
Gray leads the marketing across all of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment’s brands, including Redbox, Crackle and Crackle Connex. She oversees multiple large-scale brand initiatives and originally spearheaded all of Redbox’s digital platform launches, including TVOD, Free Live TV and Free On Demand. In addition, she launched Redbox’s media network sales business. Before joining Redbox, she worked in marketing at the National Geographic Channels.

Jennifer Gale
VP of Ad Sales and Brand Partnerships, Crackle Connex
Gale and her team are responsible for media and branded content sales for OTT networks Crackle, Redbox and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her team recently collaborated with a leading pet retailer to create a new custom branded series, “Pet Caves.” Sales opportunities span AVOD, FAST, branded integrations into original series, and DOOH (digital out of home). In addition, her team holds sales rights for a growing portfolio of premium streaming services, including Xumo, Plex, FuboTV, Tastemade and Vidgo. Prior to joining Crackle, Gale served as the director of ad sales and brand partnerships at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Diana Liss
Senior Director, Ad Tech Operations
Liss leads the Ad Tech Operations team for Crackle and Redbox and is responsible for building and maintaining the tech stack to support direct and programmatic monetization across AVOD and FAST channels. Over the past two years, she has helped grow the Crackle Connex footprint exponentially to 14 new distribution partners and 17 new audience extension partners. She has also supported the re-launch of the Crackle and Chicken Soup for the Soul apps to enable new ad products and updated ad insertion methodology. Liss has more than 20 years of experience in the digital media entertainment industry. She began her career at Discovery.

Beth Galli
Director of Sales — Advanced Video and Strategic Partnerships, Crackle Connex
With 15-plus years of experience in the advertising business, Galli has formed strong agency and client relationships and has a proven track record for increasing revenue and generating new business. She has been at Crackle for four and a half years. Prior to joining Crackle, Galli spent 16 years at Scripps Networks.

Evie Kelly
Director, Midwest Advanced Video Ad Sales and Brand Partnerships, Crackle Connex
Kelly found her niche 20-plus years ago in the world of integrated ad sales. The evolving media landscape has allowed her to adapt and shift between cable, digital, streaming, DOOH and branded content. Kelly sold through two seasons of branded integrations between the award-winning Crackle original “Inside the Black Box” and The General Insurance Co. Prior to joining Crackle, she worked at Turner Broadcasting, Viacom and AMC Networks.  

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Cineverse

Lauren McCarthy
SVP, Marketing
McCarthy is responsible for telling the story of Cineverse, overseeing the strategy and execution of all marketing, communication and creative initiatives for the company. She and her customer-obsessed team build engaging and effective brand and consumer narratives — supporting revenue generators with measurable, data-driven results. She brings more than 15 years of entertainment and technology expertise to her work, including senior roles at SaaS startup Tangelo.ai and Broad Green Pictures, along with various marketing, product, creative strategy and filmed entertainment positions. Additionally, McCarthy is an advisor to the top-rated entrepreneurial course “NUVention: Arts & Media” at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering.

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DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group

Marcy Magiera
Executive Director
An industry veteran who set editorial direction in coverage of digital media and entertainment at industry trades Advertising Age, Video Business and Variety, Magiera became executive director of the DEG in 2020 after working with the trade group in a series of progressively more responsible positions. She curates the DEG’s newsletter, The DEN, and leads event programming and production. She played a key role in the DEG’s pivot to online events at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and in 2022 assumed responsibility for the DEG’s return to in-person events, with a hybrid strategy in which virtual events also continue. Magiera produces the DEG’s annual EnTech Fest, a B2B trade and networking event in Los Angeles. She leads the team planning EnTech Fest 2024, scheduled for Feb. 7.

Andi Elliott
Director, Sales and Membership Services
As the DEG’s sales and sponsorship leader, Elliott brings new members to the DEG and helps member companies make the most of their membership benefits. Since she joined the organization in 2017, the DEG has expanded its membership base to 90 member companies, the most in the group’s history. Elliott also creates opportunities for branding and exposure for members through sponsorship and branding at events. Elliott is an industry veteran whose previous positions include sales director for Video Business magazine, conference sales manager at Variety and stints at Warner Home Video, 20th Century Fox and various independent labels.

Jean Levicki
Director, Community and Member Programs
Levicki oversees the Direct-to-Consumer Alliance (D2CA), a working community of DEG member companies focused on the DTC offering. She leads the Alliance’s AVOD Innovation Group; its Targeted Services and TV & Connected Devices committees; and the Live Sports Council. She also manages the organization’s Marketing and Communications (MARCOM) and Digital Finance & Accounting (DFAC) committees, and is involved in the development and execution of DEG events. Prior to joining the DEG, Levicki was with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, where she held positions in international and global publicity.

Bekah Sturm
Senior Project Manager
Sturm oversees the technical committees within the DEG’s Advanced Content Delivery Alliance. This includes the Localization and Supply Chain Efficiency & Security Committees, which are creating shared industry resources and socializing best practices in a variety of mediums and topic areas. Currently, Sturm is working across the DEG supply chain member companies to coordinate the third annual DEG EnTech Awards. Before joining the DEG, Sturm worked as a producer in television and film.

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Dolby

Tina Eckman
Director, Content Relations
Eckman leads the Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos studio account management efforts for Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Showtime and more. Passionate about inspiring the creative community for more than 25 years, she works with storytellers around the world to help update workflows with the latest technologies. More recently, Eckman helped launch a team that enables audio-first sound design to reach new heights. Dolby Atmos has been rapidly adopted by many audio-first storytellers, podcast studios and distribution platforms. Eckman’s quest to inspire and educate new content creators on a larger scale continues.

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Fandango

Stephanie Terifay
Senior Director of Lifecycle Marketing

With more than 20 years of experience creating and growing entertainment brands, Terifay currently leads lifecycle marketing for Fandango, Vudu and Rotten Tomatoes. Terifay has a proven track record of managing fully integrated brand initiatives and growth-oriented business development opportunities across the Fandango suite of businesses. Most recently, she and her team successfully led the integration of Vudu as the new streaming platform for AMC Theatres On Demand, offering users more than 200,000 new-release and catalog movies and TV shows to rent or buy, including the largest collection of 4K UHD titles and thousands of titles to watch with no subscription required. Prior to joining Fandango, Terifay held positions at the Sundance Institute and Film Independent. She has an MBA from Chicago Booth and a B.S. in hotel administration from Cornell University.

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Google/YouTube

Christina J. Kim
Head of AVOD Licensing/FAST and TVOD, YouTube and Google TV
Kim oversees business development and partnerships for AVOD licensing/FAST for YouTube as well as Google’s transactional movies and TV (on You-Tube and Google TV). Before joining Google in 2014, Kim worked in content acquisition at Amazon and PlayStation Video.

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Gravitas Ventures

April (Tonsi) Elansari
Director, Publicity and Marketing
Elansari leads the creative marketing team and oversees the publicity for 200-plus new film releases each year. Having worked in publicity for the last 10 years, she has extensive experience strategizing and implementing impactful publicity and marketing campaigns for theatrical, festival and home entertainment releases. Elansari is a graduate of St. John’s University in New York City and is currently based in the Cleveland area. 

Sophia Fields
VP, Operations
With more than 20 years of experience in content distribution (including tenures at Showtime, RLJ Entertainment and Rhino Entertainment), Fields oversees all aspects of onboarding and delivery for Gravitas Ventures’ vast network of domestic and international distribution channels, including streaming, linear, theatrical and home entertainment. She works with 200 new filmmakers each year on delivery and manages the 3,000-plus titles in the Gravitas library. Additionally, Fields streamlines workflows and finds efficiencies with outside labs that service the company’s content. She loves cultivating new talent at the company, always glad to share her experience and help develop their skill sets. 

Danielle Gasher
VP, Acquisitions and International Sales
Gasher co-leads the acquisition department and heads the new international sales department, which Gravitas hard-launched in May 2023. Prior to her time at Gravitas, she served as VP of international sales at Academy Award-winning production and sales company Voltage Pictures. Prior to joining Voltage, Gasher worked as a sales executive for Canadian outfit Double Dutch International. In 2021, she was named a Future Leader to Watch in Screen Daily’s Acquisition & Sales leaders showcase.

Kellie (McElderry) Mutch
Director of Sales 
Mutch joined Gravitas in 2022. She has been working in digital distribution for 15-plus years and specializes in sales and marketing, account management and business development helping top studios (The Walt Disney Co., Fox) and indie distributors (The Orchard) meaningfully engage with customers and drive revenue. She is passionate about hiking, health and wellness, and independent film. She graduated from the University of Southern California.

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Level 33 Entertainment

Alisa Bunting
SVP, Marketing and Product Management
Bunting manages all content onboarding, platform marketing and product management. She has overseen the releases of more than 150 independent feature films across all windows from physical product to the ever-evolving world of video-on-demand. Bunting excels at everything from interacting with independent filmmakers and sales agents to managing external vendors and platform partners. She has been instrumental in building the Level 33 brand and expanding the company’s content profile over a continuously expanding number of entertainment outlets, platforms and channels. Prior to joining Level 33 in 2012, Bunting served as director of marketing and operations at Playboy Entertainment Group. She began her career at The Walt Disney Co. in the Buena Vista Home Video division working on brand marketing for Touchstone/Hollywood Pictures product.

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Lionsgate

Chase Brisbin
EVP, International Television and Digital Distribution
Brisbin spearheads Lionsgate’s international streaming distribution business (SVOD/AVOD). In a climate of change and uncertainty, she challenges her team to think differently and find new ways of doing business. Last year, Brisbin negotiated the worldwide (except U.S.) sale of the highly anticipated “John Wick” prequel series “The Continental” to Amazon. Under her guidance, the company also secured new structures for Pay 1 and 2 deals in the United Kingdom and LATAM, allowing unprecedented flexibility and security post pandemic on films such as John Wick: Chapter 4, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard and Joy Ride. Brisbin’s current focus is placed on growing AVOD partners, both local and global, and the explosive FAST channel space, including owned and operated channels such as MovieSphere and single series IP such as “Nashville” and “Ghosthunters.”

Suzy Feldman
EVP, Worldwide Television Marketing
Feldman oversees worldwide television marketing and PR for Lionsgate’s Television Group, working with global programming, production and sales teams, in addition to the studio’s network and broadcast partners, across scripted and unscripted programming. She also supports the division’s international and domestic distribution partners and manages social media development and execution for Lionsgate’s TV portfolio. Feldman’s strategic vision and marketing expertise has played a key role in the group’s success, as LGTV had 12 new shows picked up to series in the past 18 months and 11 current series renewed through at least their third seasons. Feldman recently spearheaded the studio’s marketing efforts for the highly anticipated “John Wick” television series “The Continental,” which debuted as a three-part event in September on Peacock in the United States and on Amazon’s Prime Video internationally. She also oversees the marketing for Lionsgate’s FAST channels, including MovieSphere, OuterSphere and HerSphere. Feldman joined Lionsgate in 2015. She began her career at Showtime as a marketing manager prior to moving to E! Entertainment Television. Feldman also worked at Fox News Channel for nearly a decade.

Kate Nexon
EVP, Domestic Television and Digital Distribution
A 14-year Lionsgate veteran, Nexon oversees domestic sales for Lionsgate’s 18,000-title library of films, series, and Starz programming across AVOD, SVOD, and linear platforms. She leads the windowing strategy and execution of domestic multi-platform initiatives. She negotiated the sale of the Emmy award-winning “Schitt’s Creek” to Hulu, and played an integral role in the sale of the highly anticipated “John Wick” prequel series “The Continental” to Peacock, as well as in securing licensing deals for the global hit show “The Chosen” with Peacock, Amazon and The CW. Nexon has been New York-based throughout her career at Lionsgate, rising through the TV distribution ranks as a remote member of an Los Angeles-based team.

Susan Posner
EVP, International Sales Strategy and Planning, Worldwide Television Group
Posner has grown a team of internationally focused sales and operations planners who help creatively and strategically manage Lionsgate’s premium inventory. Working closely with marketing, research, legal and rights management, she and her team serve as the central pipeline for sales’ go-to-market efforts. Posner joined Lionsgate in 2019 and most recently has been collaborating with the studio’s finance and IT groups to launch a sales tool for her team to use in deal analysis and approval, speeding up deal negotiation timelines for clients.  

Jill Anderson
Head of Home Entertainment Sales and Partner Management
Anderson was recently promoted to head up the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group’s digital and packaged-media sales teams. Her expanded responsibilities include digital sales of the studio’s 18,000-plus-title library and portfolio of brands and franchises in addition to her continuing responsibilities for overseeing packaged-media sales. Anderson has worked on all of Lionsgate’s major franchises since they first began: “John Wick,” “The Hunger Games,” “Saw” and “The Expendables.” She is a consummate team player who is driven by continual learning and growth and giving back to others. Anderson is proud to be a 20-year veteran of Lionsgate’s entrepreneurial culture, its commitment to innovation, and its passion for bold, original, relatable entertainment.

Lauren Bixby
SVP, Acquisitions and Co-Productions, Motion Picture Group
Bixby leads the studio’s acquisitions team for multiplatform and streaming titles and oversees its growing targeted theatrical business. Among Bixby’s upcoming titles are Flight Risk, starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Mel Gibson; 1992, starring Tyrese Gibson; and the thriller Anniversary, featuring an all-star cast headed by Diane Lane. She also oversaw the Lucy Hale starrer Puppy Love, a collaboration with BuzzFeed that was recently released on Freevee.

Jennifer Caprow
SVP, Domestic Sales Strategy and Planning
Caprow joined Lionsgate in 2011. Starting as a sales planning coordinator in the TV Distribution Group, she is now an integral member of the executive team and was promoted into her present position after serving for two years as VP of sales planning and TV distribution, and, before that, executive director. She collaborates with teams across Lionsgate and is constantly engaged with how the ever-changing TV/streaming landscape evolves.

Kenya Hart
SVP, Procurement and Inventory Operations, Motion Picture Group
Hart oversees the home entertainment manufacturing and production operations for Lionsgate’s 18,000-title library. She spearheads the daily operation of the materials management team, inventory reconciliation, multi-platform content production and procurement/demand planning teams to ensure timely finished inventory availability for U.S. and Canadian distribution. She and her team play a pivotal role in business acquisition onboarding, as well as business systems user acceptance testing (UAT) for systemic enhancements.

Amelia McPartlon Rogers
SVP, Marketing, Global Content Strategy, Motion Picture Group
Rogers oversees overall marketing strategy in the limited theatrical and digital distribution space. She leads her teams to develop a full 360-degree marketing strategy for Lionsgate’s entire limited theatrical and multi-platform release slate, as well as for the company’s vast library and third-party distribution companies.

Maria Chung, VP, Digital Creative, Motion Picture Group 
Jeanifer Clarke, Executive Director, Strategy and Programming, Motion Picture Group
Kathryn Ikenberry Jones, VP, Worldwide TV and Digital Distribution
Jessica Klein, VP, Creative Marketing — Print and Digital, Worldwide Television Group
Lindsay Lefrancois, VP, Procurement, Motion Picture Group
Kara McKinney, VP of Global AVOD, Worldwide Television and Digital Distribution
Alejandra Mugica, VP, Global Marketing Strategy, Library and Distributed Partners
Lisa Stephenson, Executive Director, Multi-Platform Content Production, Motion Picture Group

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Netflix

Amy Reinhard
President of Advertising
Reinhard was named to her current position this month after leading Netflix’s studio operations for three years. In that role, she oversaw physical production, production facilities management and creative services. Reinhard joined Netflix in 2016 as VP, content acquisition, where she led global live-action and animation production, production facilities management, global studio licensing for films and television series as well as local language acquisitions. Prior to joining Netflix, she was the president of worldwide TV licensing and distribution for Paramount Pictures, where she held various strategy, finance and operational roles over 10 years. She started her career at Revolution Studios.

Eunice Kim
Chief Product Officer
Kim was named to her current position this month. She previously led the company’s global consumer product Innovation team. Kim joined Netflix in early 2021 after having spent 10 years in product leadership roles at Google Play and YouTube. Prior to joining Google, she worked at several tech startups as well as PepsiCo and Adobe Systems.

Nne Ebong
VP, Overall Deals, Original Series
Ebong is responsible for leading the development of series under creative partnerships with Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland, and President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions, among others. Prior to joining Netflix, Ebong was creative lead at WIIP, a global film and television studio and played an integral role in the studio’s efforts to identify, develop and produce projects for the cable, streaming and international marketplace.

Kira Goldberg
VP, Film
Goldberg is co-head of the studio film team, responsible for setting the strategic direction for high-profile Netflix films. Recent successes from the 2023 slate include the Jennifer Lopez starrer The Mother, which became one of Netflix’s most popular films of all time; You People, starring Jonah Hill and Eddie Murphy; and Murder Mystery 2, starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. Prior to joining Netflix, Goldberg served as an EVP of production at Fox. Previous to that, she served as VP of production for DreamWorks.

Jinny Howe
VP, Drama Series
Howe is responsible for setting the strategic and creative direction for scripted dramas through the development, greenlighting and production process. She also oversees a team responsible for acquiring licensed series programming. Howe joined Netflix in 2018 to oversee the development and production of serialized dramatic content specifically in the character drama space. In this role, she managed several overall deals including those with Shondaland, Tribeca and Sugar23. She has played an integral role on such successful shows as “Bridgerton,” “Maid” and “Inventing Anna.” Prior to joining Netflix, Howe was EVP of television at John Wells Productions where she was responsible for spearheading the development and production of comedy and drama projects for cable and TV networks through the company’s first-look deal with Warner Bros. Television. 

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Paramount Home Entertainment

Susan Chun
EVP, Business and Legal Affairs — Content Distribution, Paramount Global
Chun oversees business and legal affairs for the worldwide distribution of Paramount Global’s full portfolio of produced and acquired feature films and series across all media, including theatrical, home entertainment and content licensing. In her role, Susan serves as the senior legal advisor to the distribution business, manages a large global team, and enjoys a multi-faceted practice, which ranges from complex and innovative deal making to shaping monetization strategies. Prior to joining Paramount in 2008, Susan was in private practice for over a decade as a business litigator.

Alanna Powers
SVP, Worldwide Marketing, Paramount Home Entertainment
Powers leads the home entertainment division’s global marketing strategies, overseeing the full slate of new releases, acquisitions and library titles, and managing the ever-changing landscape of windows and release patterns. She and her teams develop campaigns for physical and digital distribution channels, connecting audiences with a robust slate of content through innovative marketing activations. Prior to joining Paramount, Powers held senior marketing positions at Redbox and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment after starting her career at FCB advertising.

Erin Carey, VP, Digital Distribution
Boh Clancy, VP, Digital Distribution, Asia Pacific
Rachel Crang, VP, Worldwide Production Management
Micol Green, VP, Legal Affairs
Lauren Hamlett, VP, Human Resources
Sandra Hiestand, VP, Sales Planning and Reporting
Juliet Keehan, VP, Operations
Lin Park, VP, Digital Marketing
Meagan Roberts, VP, Sales
Michele Rumain, VP, Advertising (Media)
Pamela Sivula, VP, Financial Planning
Michelle Willey, VP, Creative Services

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Paramount Streaming

Erin Calhoun
EVP, Communications
Paramount Streaming and Showtime and Cross-Company Publicity
Calhoun is responsible for leading communications for the integrated Paramount Streaming team, which includes Paramount+, Pluto TV and Showtime, overseeing programming publicity, media and talent relations, events, photography, awards, film festivals, philanthropy, sports, and corporate branding. Calhoun also has oversight of cross-company publicity, with a focus on planning and elevating announcements that showcase the Paramount Global multiplatform strategy. Previously, she was EVP of communications for both Showtime and Paramount Television Studios. Calhoun joined Showtime in 2017 as SVP of corporate communications.

Catherine Houser
EVP, Paramount Pictures, Worldwide Human Resources and Paramount Streaming
Houser has managed human resources teams in the entertainment industry for 30 years. Prior to overseeing Paramount Pictures HR, she served as EVP of human resources for Viacom Media Networks, where she led the company’s HR strategies and practices. In that role, she was responsible for all of MTV Networks’ HR initiatives globally. Before joining MTV Networks, Houser was SVP of human resources and operations for Orion Pictures Corp.

Amy Kuessner
EVP, Content Strategy and Global Partnerships, Paramount Streaming
Kuessner is responsible for content strategy, partnerships and licensing for Paramount Streaming with a key focus on the leading FAST service Pluto TV and specialized areas of Paramount+. Under Kuessner’s lead, Pluto TV has established a library containing more than 700,000 hours of programming with 60,000 unique titles stemming from 425 global content partners. As a pioneer of the FAST movement, she was instrumental in the creation of Pluto TV’s original channel strategy and successfully struck first-ever FAST deals with the NFL, CNN, Scripps, BBC and AMC Networks, among others. Kuessner previously held various progressively more important roles at NBCUniversal, Liberty Media, Sony Corp. and DirectTV.

Elizabeth Wright
EVP and CFO, Direct-to-Consumer Segment, Paramount Global
Wright steers the global financial strategy for both Paramount+ and Pluto TV. Prior to becoming CFO of the direct-to-consumer segment, she served as SVP of finance for CBS Interactive. In that role, she oversaw the entire finance organization, ran annual budget processes, managed monthly KPIs and drove initiatives for new business partnerships for the CBS digital division. Prior to joining CBS in 2007, Wright worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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PBS Distribution

Amy Letourneau
SVP, Content and Rights Management
Letourneau’s scope of influence encompasses PBS Distribution’s content pipeline and crucial partnerships with producers. She leads a team entrusted with an array of critical responsibilities: production management, media asset oversight, operations, program coordination, rights management, scheduling, royalty reporting and project direction. This year, she significantly broadened her role’s purview. She is at the helm of PBS Distribution’s operations, steering a high-volume global business.

Tonya Harley
VP, Marketing
Harley leads PBS Distribution’s marketing efforts in global advertising, communications and creative services, and is responsible for creating effective marketing strategies to attract and engage consumers. She leads a team that strategically plans PBS Distribution’s marketing spend, most significantly on the company’s SVOD channels with a goal to maximize efficiency while driving customer acquisition and engagement. She recently added FAST channel marketing to her portfolio.

Liz Liebman
VP, SVOD Channels
Liebman leads the SVOD business and is responsible for strategic planning, customer acquisition, engagement strategies and partnerships across all global SVOD Channels. Her significance in PBS Distribution’s operations is underscored by her stewardship of the company’s largest business, spanning six SVOD Channels. Liebman has developed strong customer acquisition and retention strategies and has been instrumental in driving sustained growth within an intensely competitive landscape.

Megan Zamyatin
VP, Accounting and Finance
Zamyatin is responsible for overseeing financial planning, analysis and reporting, accounting, tax and compliance, internal controls, collections, and treasury. She manages all the accounting and finance functions for a global company with changing business models and an increased level of investment in content.

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Premiere Digital

Michele Edelman
Head of Growth
With more than 25 years of executive experience, an unmatched business acumen and extensive knowledge of home entertainment, Edelman has been a driving force behind innovation and growth at the forefront of an evolving OTT landscape. From launching TVOD programs at Warner Bros., to spearheading VOD strategies at Vubiquity, to redefining distribution at media services company Premiere Digital, Edelman has been instrumental in implementing international market plans across media services, distribution and software-as-a-service disciplines.

Pamela Ng
CFO
Ng oversees all financial operations and collaborates with management on the company’s most important initiatives, including organic growth strategies, acquisitions, KPI performance and risk avoidance through data-driven decision-making. Prior to joining the company in 2020, she was CFO at Irwin Naturals, a provider of premium vitamin and supplements.

Carrie Moore 
SVP, Product Development
Since joining the company as the seventh employee, Moore has become a reliable expert in digital distribution with experience in mastering, fulfillment and SaaS technology. She helped expand the company’s global footprint, launching the Bangalore facilities, workflow and teams to enable global operations. She also developed a product support infrastructure for all software used at Premiere Digital, continuing to grow the company’s flagship media management products, Storefront and PDX.

Natalie Martin 
VP, Growth and Development 
Martin is responsible for driving revenue by nurturing key industry relationships and building new revenue streams, including the company’s rapidly expanding aggregation business that increases scale and efficiency between digital platforms and content owners.  She has been a top-performing digital distribution executive for more than a decade, using her deep sales and operations expertise to help global brands monetize content.

Evelyn Arteaga 
Executive Director, Special Projects
Arteaga has become a key influence in developing digital workflows at Premiere Digital since she joined the company near its inception. Evolving through her roles as a digital media technician to a manager and to her current position, she has improved and developed processes that efficiently adapt with the company’s growth. In supporting significant functions of the company, she has curated instrumental industry knowledge that has positioned the company as a primary technological solution for media servicing and distribution. 

Tanya Razo
Executive Director, Production Technology and Operations
Razo has both developed and manages an effective workflow solution for thousands of content owners and digital platforms for Premiere’s onboarding and fulfillment. With a rich and seasoned career in the media and distribution industry, Razo has worked for various production companies and film studios throughout her time in the entertainment industry.

Beth Archer 
Director of Mastering 
Archer is responsible for establishing the company’s roots on the East Coast, launching the Stamford, Conn., facility and consolidating workflows and technologies to support the Los Angeles headquarters. In developing efficient processes and leveraging a honed knowledge of new technologies, she has been a key contributor to the company’s growth. 

Neha Mhatre
Director of Client Services
Mhatre manages a thriving client services team. She brings extensive experience working with platforms such as Amazon and Google to continually improve client satisfaction and actuating project goals. She has been instrumental in designing workflows per client requirements.

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Screen Media

Laura Giampino
VP, Sales, North America
Giampino is head of North American sales for DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Her mantra is “DVD is not dead.” She ensures placement in big box chains, kiosks, grocers, and independent retailers. Giampino has been in the home entertainment video business for nearly 40 years. Working in the mid-1980s at home entertainment distributors Commtron and Ingram, she honed the marketing model for studios’ brand management presence inside distributors. Later, she held roles at HBO, Orion Pictures, MGM Home Entertainment and Vivendi Entertainment.

Louise Oliver
VP, International Sales
Oliver is responsible for sales of film and TV content across all television, digital and theatrical distribution. With a broad understanding of the international marketplace and content, she has consistently maximized sales and revenue in the key territories of the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Africa, Japan and Australia. Prior to joining Screen Media, she worked for RHI Entertainment and Sonar Entertainment.

Samantha Klinger, Director, Sales and Marketing
Alana Kulba, Director, Business Affairs

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Shout! Studios

Melissa Boag
EVP, Family Entertainment
Boag is head of the family entertainment division, a significant part of Shout! Studios’ multiplatform business. She provides leadership across the company and big-picture strategy that supports Shout’s long-term growth. She creates marketing and distribution strategies for a large slate of new releases and catalog titles and oversees Shout’s publicity team. Boag steers distribution on key anime lines, including the partnerships with GKIDS on movies from GKIDS and Studio Ghibli titles, including perennial favorites such as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, and additional GKIDS titles, such as Evangelion: 3.0+1.11 Thrice Upon a Time and Belle. In family animation and live-action entertainment, Boag directs the home entertainment strategy with Aardman Animations on their catalog titles; Laika on films including Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings; Hasbro/eOne on “My Little Pony,” “Transformers” and “Power Rangers”; and a variety of other family animated films.

Julie Dansker
SVP, Streaming and Content Strategy
Dansker oversees the licensing and streaming sales team, leading the streaming and content distribution strategy for Shout! Studios. She drives the monetization for all film and series content across global SVOD, AVOD channel partners and broadcasters, executing licensing deals, managing a portfolio of AVOD channel partners and pitching and launching FAST channels. Utilizing data-driven analytics, her team monitors performance and optimizes engagement across partners. Dansker also collaborates with the acquisitions team to identify and acquire elevated new releases and is on the Shout! Studios’ original team developing original content across television, feature films, and podcast, actively pitching and setting up original productions.

Arlene Shapiro
SVP, Royalties and Income Tracking
Shapiro’s department compiles and administers royalty payments to hundreds of program licensors and royalty recipients from studios, producers, independents and talent. A Shout! employee since 2007, Shapiro coordinates and executes the company’s response to the ever-growing range of rights, deal structures, and licensor relationships that a multiplatform entertainment company must contend with. She ensures that revenue is being properly disclosed and maintains royalty systems to allow correct and effective reporting.

Lauren Blum, Associate VP, Publicity
Kathy Callahan, Head of e-commerce and DTC Sales
Dayna Cramer, Senior Marketing Director and Head of Advertising and Live Events
Lexie Heredia, VP, Financial Planning and Analysis
Paige Sherman, Director of Programming
Karrie Stouffer, VP, Creative Services

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Jill Allen
SVP, Digital Distribution
Allen leads Sony Pictures Entertainment’s transactional digital distribution business (TVOD) for North America. In her role she maximizes revenue for Sony’s iconic slate of film and TV content in collaboration with all North American digital retailers. Allen has been at Sony for 17 years in sales and business development roles, with an ongoing focus on the intersection of content and new technologies. Allen also serves as a board member of Sony Pictures Action — Sony Pictures Entertainment’s global racial equity and Inclusion initiative. Prior to joining Sony, Jill worked at The Walt Disney Co. and LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton).

Geri Bluerock
SVP, Sales and Operations, North America
Bluerock leads Sony’s home entertainment packaged-media business for North America. Her scope of duties includes sales, planning, operations and reporting. She integrates data-driven insights to address retailer and consumer opportunities while looking for efficiencies within the evolving business landscape. Her experience at Sony, MGM and Target includes leadership positions in sales, sales planning and analysis, retail operations, category management, vendor managed inventory, demand planning, and retail buying.

Jennifer Curtis
SVP, Global Marketing
Curtis leads the global brand marketing team that oversees and manages lifecycle campaigns across the Sony Pictures slate, establishing key consumer messaging, aligning marketing tactics to core brand strategy and ensuring that product marketing efforts are in line with studio business goals. Some priorities in this rapidly changing landscape have included optimizing release windows, bringing high-end productions direct to the home, and delighting content-hungry consumers with a wide range of catalog titles that continue to shine. Her oversight has recently expanded to include the global transactional business for television product, as well as creative advertising for Sony Pictures Classics, acquisitions, catalog and television.

Anja Dang
SVP, Global Audience Analytics, Data Science and Business Insights
Dang leads the team that develops Sony Pictures’ capabilities to become a more consumer-centric and data-driven organization. Her team builds, sources, connects, and manages consumer and audience-level data assets and capabilities to create consumer segments for activation, to design audience activation solutions, and to deliver commercial insights. The team accomplishes this through advanced data analytics and machine learning to develop models and apps to enable Sony Pictures to make informed decisions that drive and fulfill the consumer appetite for film and television content across the theatrical, home entertainment and television release windows.

Cathy Goldman
SVP, Global TV Distribution and International Production Marketing
Goldman oversees marketing for the U.S. television distribution business and Sony Pictures Television International Distribution. Her core responsibilities include leading brand strategy, promotions and partnerships, and collaborating closely with cross-functional teams across digital/social, creative, creative content, media and publicity for premiere television properties such as “Twisted Metal,” “Outlander,” “The Crown” and “Better Call Saul,” as well as key franchises such as “S.W.A.T.,” “Seinfeld” and Norman Lear favorites. Ensuring brand health for key series in Sony’s library through fan engagement and other consumer activations is essential to maintaining and growing the value of the studio’s catalog.

Jane Mohon
SVP, Media and Home Entertainment/TV Distribution Marketing Services
Mohon is responsible for consumer media strategy, overseeing strategic linear and digital media planning and buying. A champion of an analytics-led strategy, Mohon leverages consumer lifecycle data to drive multi-channel paid media strategies to drive transactions. In addition, she is responsible for consumer data-driven marketing operations functions such as Movies Anywhere and the consumer loyalty program within the home entertainment line of business.

Monica Veiga
SVP, U.S. Distribution
Veiga leads Sony Pictures Entertainment’s TV distribution business in the United States. Her team is responsible for licensing Sony’s feature film and series catalog of content across multiple platforms. Veiga manages the sales strategy, maximizing revenue opportunities for the studio, and has achieved significant growth in a time of consolidation and change in the industry. She has been instrumental in collaborating efforts across the studio to find the right home for key pieces of content, elevating brands while remaining nimble and exceedingly focused on both the client and consumer experience.

Dina Wiggins
SVP, Legal
Wiggins has been overseeing legal affairs for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Television Distribution marketing globally for more than 25 years, closely collaborating with related departments throughout the Sony organization. Her work also encompasses legal analysis and advice for the duration of the licensing, distribution, sales, manufacturing, and other exploitation of movies and TV series in all new and established areas of home entertainment for Sony Pictures.

Jill Allemand, VP, Marketing, U.S. Distribution
Lindsey Beams, VP, People and Organization Business Partners
Kelly Bouchey, VP, Client Services
Christine Galloway, VP, Global Digital Marketing
Judy Guevara, VP, Global Brand Marketing
Suzanne Emerson, VP, Legal
Sachiyo Hirano, VP, Sales Planning
Janet Schackman, VP, Customer Operations
Katie Ullrich, VP, Global Brand Marketing
Michelle Vendange, VP, Global Customer Experience  
Joan Villaros, VP, Production Services
Jane Webster, VP, New Digital Distribution

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Studio Distribution Services

Kristie Colley
SVP, Trade Marketing and Commercial Planning
Colley oversees trade marketing, which includes working with studio brand marketing teams on physical-release execution, including title set-up, budgeting, pricing and sales communication as well as establishing trade policy, promotional and lifecycle pricing to maximize sales. She also oversees commercial planning, which includes goal-setting and sales-forecasting across all lines of business, performance tracking, trade fund management, market insights, and sales analytics supporting SDS, studios, partners and customers. With 28 years of experience in physical home entertainment at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Colley joined SDS at launch after being part of the SDS studio transition team, bringing together Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Discovery and their many partners’ content in a joint venture.

Megan Blakeley, Senior Account Executive
Dawn Carpentiere, Senior Account Executive
Monserrat Carrillo, Executive Director, Financial Management And Reporting
Stacie Frisino, VP, Trade Marketing
Marti Garcia, Director, Human Resources
Lyndsey Hauser, Senior Account Executive
Erin Kadotani, Director, Trade Marketing
Jessie Means, Director, Order Management
Toni Metoyer, Director, Retail Marketing
Katy Moffat, VP, Manufacturing Services
Nicole Nelson, VP, Sales
Deby Tellez, VP, Distribution Services
Tatevik Torossian, Director, Material Requirement Planning
Heidi Turk, Chief Supply Chain Officer
Eve Waldman, Chief People Officer

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Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Pamela Blum 
SVP, Global Marketing
Blum manages creative marketing services and the development of value-added content for the studio’s digital, Blu-ray and DVD releases on a worldwide basis. Her responsibilities also extend to include maximizing opportunities cross-divisionally within NBCUniversal.

Sandy Choi 
SVP, Brand Marketing
Choi oversees all global marketing and product development for Focus Features’ new-release offerings as well as UPHE’s North American third-party partner relationships. She oversees the development and execution of all marketing campaigns for the partner releases across both digital and physical platforms as well as leads the cross-functional team responsible for the overall business. 

Erica Marie Dionne
SVP, Release Planning and Business Ops
Dionne manages the studio’s film and television releasing planning process and business operations strategy across digital platforms. Her responsibilities include establishing go-to-market best practices, managing cross-company supply chain initiatives, and identifying opportunities to maximize the value of content via new partnerships. She is an active community leader, serving as a mentor, leading initiatives in local public schools, representing NBCUniversal as the Los Angeles Regional Advisory Board Chair for America On Tech, a national nonprofit, and is also a proud Girl Scout Troop Leader.

Denise Haro
SVP, Worldwide Consumer Insights and Strategy
Haro manages business analytics, focusing on external market analytics, trend analysis and long-term outlook. She also manages UPHE’s consumer insights and research. She is focused on aligning global commercial strategy around product, window, messaging, and innovation founded in business and consumer insights. Throughout her tenure she has been influential in shaping company strategy.

Jerrlyn Iwata
SVP, Digital Distribution
Iwata spearheads business development and distribution for Universal’s domestic digital home entertainment arm. She is responsible for licensing Universal’s film and television content on a transactional basis to cable, satellite, internet and emerging digital platform partners across the United States and Canada.  

Stephanie Lutjens
SVP, Global Brand Marketing
Lutjens oversees global strategic marketing, product development, and management of all new-release titles from Universal Pictures, Illumination and DreamWorks Animation, in addition to the studio’s extensive catalog and television library. She also manages worldwide home entertainment promotions.

Lea Porteneuve
SVP, Global Publicity and Communications
Porteneuve oversees business, technology and executive communications for UPHE. She additionally spearheads all strategic publicity initiatives for Universal and its distributed lines, including media and talent relations, events, promotions, promotional partnerships, and social media activations in support of the studio’s digital and physical home entertainment offerings. She also actively serves as the company’s principal PR strategist on cross-studio, industry-specific committees.

Stacy Barger, VP, Global Creative Services
Stephanie Bayer, VP, Global Creative Services
Jennifer Black, VP, Global Publicity
Eng Chua, VP, Finance and Operations
Leigh Dunleavy, VP, Digital Platforms
Alissa Gury, VP, Global Controller
Nadia Haney, VP, Commercial Licensing and Partnerships
Tracy Kim, VP, Digital Distribution and Digital Platforms
Sandy Le Bihan, VP, Global Projects
Marian Mansi, VP, Global Creative Content
Priya Verma, VP, Digital Marketing
Shavonne Wieder, VP, Global Brand Marketing

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Warner Bros. Discovery Content Sales

Nicole Coleman
SVP, Content Planning and Analysis
Coleman leads analytics, business planning and operations in support of monetizing content and maximizing revenue for the studio. This includes the evaluation of content windowing trade-offs, price optimization and competitive analysis. Additionally, she leads product planning and availability for film and TV content across Warner Bros. Discovery’s vast content portfolio.

Kristina Fugate
SVP, Film and TV Marketing
Fugate oversees marketing for film, TV, and originals for transactional sales across both digital and disc platforms. Her purview also includes partner marketing, creative advertising, paid media, promotions and franchise management. Her team executes strategies resulting in strong performances of all Warner Bros. Discovery brands and franchises, including DC and “Harry Potter,” and recent titles including BarbieThe Batman, Elvis and “Rick & Morty.” Additionally, Fugate oversees the 4K Ultra HD slate, including remastering classics such as Casablanca, The Exorcist, 2001 and the “Middle Earth” collection.

Laura A. Gross
SVP, Content Sales Research
Gross joined Warner Bros. in 2003 to establish the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment international research and media team. In 2011, she was promoted to handling global responsibilities, adding the United States and Canada. In her position, she has built a global consumer insights and research team that manages groundbreaking and innovative consumer research, analytics, and modeling across digital and packaged movies and TV products. Her team partners with all aspects of the business — theatrical, games, TV, marketing, sales, finance, strategic planning and executive management — along with all other WBD divisions.

Nathalie Sawyer
SVP, Partnership Management
Sawyer leads partnership management and sales for all digital clients in the United States and Canada, including Amazon, Apple, Vudu/Fandango, Google, Microsoft, Comcast, DTV, Cox, Charter, Frontier and Dish. She is responsible for maximizing revenue on these partners’ platforms across Warner Bros. Discovery’s film and TV content portfolio, including planning and executing new-release and library promotions, negotiating editorial merchandising, and leading and coordinating cross-functional efforts with the theatrical, games, consumer products and streaming teams to amplify WBD’s IP. In her role, she also offers strategic guidance and facilitates collaboration across international territories with global platform partners.

Robyn Sklaren
SVP, Sales Planning
Sklaren leads all sales planning and library management for WBD’s vast library of films and television shows. She oversees rights, availability, windowing, pricing and strategic content curation across SVOD, AVOD, FAST, basic cable, pay cable and diginets for domestic content sales. She is also responsible for music clearance and remastering efforts on hundreds of classic TV series and films such as “The Drew Carey Show,” “Babylon 5,” “Dallas,” “The Flintstones,” Rio Bravo, Pump Up the Volume and The Outsiders: The Complete Novel.

Kristin Anderson, VP, Film and TV Marketing
Traci Carroll, VP, Creative Advertising
Amy-Beth Chamberlin, VP, Sales Services
Lindsay Feng, VP, Trade Marketing
Tina Depass Lujan, VP, Film and TV Marketing
Madison Wojciechowski, VP, U.S. Content Licensing

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Whip Media

Carol Hanley
CEO
Hanley leads the enterprise software platform and data provider to the world’s largest entertainment organizations, and is on its board of directors. She is a media industry veteran who has shaped digital innovation and fueled data-driven growth strategies for some of the world’s largest entertainment organizations for more than 25 years. Before being named CEO in June 2023, she was president and was responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales, business development and client solutions. Hanley joined Whip Media in 2017 to lead the company’s business strategy, revenue, sales and marketing. She also oversaw the development of new measurement solutions that combine audience consumption data with financial information to enable smarter TV and film buying and selling decisions in a rapidly evolving entertainment ecosystem. Previously, Hanley served as CRO of Deluxe Entertainment Services Group. She also spent 13 years as the EVP, chief revenue and marketing officer, at Nielsen Audio.

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Disney Entertainment

Lori B. LeBas
EVP, Platform Distribution Operations
As head of the business operations team for platform distribution, LeBas supports the development and distribution of products and services that create meaningful value for the company, its partners, and consumers. She is focused on the design and implementation of business processes for efficient management and operation of all media distribution, including linear networks, SVOD/AVOD/TVOD, transactional, syndication, audio and direct-to-consumer products. LeBas also leads the creation of cross-functional business requirements for new products, as well as oversight of all post-sales processes for content distribution across all platforms.

Lindsey Green
SVP, Content Sales
Green is responsible for licensing feature films and television content from Disney Entertainment. The lines of business that fall under her purview include domestic and global SVOD and AVOD platforms, West Coast-based cable networks and select pay-TV networks. She and her team also manage the company’s distribution of content to its direct-to-consumer streaming services — Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu — and its linear networks. Her client roster includes Amazon, YouTube, Starz, Roku and Tubi, to name a few.

Christen Harris
SVP, Platform Distribution Sales
Lauren Morrissey
SVP, Platform Distribution Sales
Harris and Morrissey negotiate key licensing agreements on behalf of the company across a wide array of media platforms and businesses, including domestic multichannel subscription distribution and global direct-to-consumer platforms. Among these substantial high-profile agreements managed by their teams are in-home TVOD and direct-to-consumer app penetration among digital aggregators, MVPDs, devices, wireless providers and social media applications. They also pursue and negotiate wholesale marketing partnerships for the company’s direct-to-consumer streaming services. Between the two of them, they oversee more than 100 key accounts, such as Apple, Comcast, Google, Roku and Verizon.

Rebecca Black, VP, Business Affairs
Brooke Johnson, VP, Platform Distribution Sales
Jane Kim, VP, Distribution Planning Analysis and Commercial Affairs
Ann Lee, VP, Distribution Planning and Analysis
Jennifer Lourie, VP, Product Management

Disney Streaming/Disney+

April Carretta
VP, DTC and Platform Distribution Communications
Carretta leads the team responsible for all communications efforts in support of The Walt Disney Co.’s portfolio of direct-to-consumer video streaming businesses, including corporate and brand, public relations, crisis, and incident management, as well as internal employee engagement. Caretta also oversees the platform distribution team that drives communications strategy behind all third-party media sales efforts for distribution and affiliate-related business operations for all of the company’s direct-to-consumer services and linear media networks, in addition to global content sales and licensing for Disney Entertainment and ESPN. Prior to joining Disney, Carretta spearheaded a global integrated marketing communications and strategic partnerships team at 20th Century Fox. She oversaw all aspects of global communications for the in-home and new and emerging technology division, including the Fox Innovation Lab and FoxNext. With more than 20 years of experience, Carretta has also pioneered innovative, consumer-centric marketing and global communication strategies for top companies including Edelman and Sony Pictures.

Andrea Roxas
VP, Content Planning and Scheduling, Disney+
Roxas is responsible for determining the premiere and release strategy for content on Disney+ in partnership with programming and marketing teams around the world. Roxas joined The Walt Disney Co. in 2011 as an editor for the Disney Digital Network. Prior to working on Disney+, Roxas led content strategy and programming for Disney’s digital portfolio of brands targeting millennial and family audiences, including Oh My Disney, Disney Style Guide, Disney Family and Babble.

Hulu

Lauren Tempest
GM
Tempest was named GM of Hulu in July 2023, taking on responsibility for the Hulu business and reporting directly to Joe Earley. She previously served as SVP of content partnerships, acquisitions and scheduling, where she oversaw Hulu’s robust library of content, working closely with the Walt Disney Co.’s content engines including Disney Television Studios (20th Television, 20th Animation Television, ABC Signature), Hulu Originals, FX, 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures, to deliver the most in-demand titles to consumers. In that role, she also worked with the company’s third-party partners to acquire top SVOD titles, which recently included critically acclaimed “Schitt’s Creek.” During her tenure with that team, Tempest was part of the group that established a new strategic scheduling framework and drove partnerships with the Walt Disney Co. content brands as they launched high-performing tentpole titles such as “The Bear” and Prey.

Barrie Gruner
EVP, Marketing and Publicity
Gruner is responsible for all facets of Hulu marketing (inclusive of marketing strategy, paid and owned media, events, social media, and publicity). She also co-leads creative marketing. In April 2023, she added brand and platform marketing to her content marketing purview, inclusive of partnerships, growth marketing, subscriber acquisition and on-channel marketing — giving her 360-degree leadership and oversight over the entire consumer lifecycle for the brand. In the past year alone, she has overseen the teams that lead marketing and publicity for titles including “The Kardashians,” the most-watched unscripted title in Hulu history and the most-watched premiere; “Only Murders in the Building,” the third season of which launched in August, which is Hulu’s most watched comedy original ever; and God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty, Hulu’s most-watched documentary film. As part of her brand scope, she oversees initiatives including “Hulu Animayhem,” supporting Hulu’s 20,000-hour library of adult animation and anime content. Under Gruner’s leadership, Hulu was the first company to engage with Threads on a branded creator thread for “Futurama” in partnership with lifelong fan and creator Adam Rose.

Lacey Donohue
SVP, Growth, Engagement, and Retention
Donohue was promoted to her current position in April 2023. Her duties include all aspects of subscriber growth, lifecycle marketing and content programming. She also leads engagement marketing and engagement forecasting for the streamer. She has been promoted several times since joining Hulu in 2016 as a content programming lead, and is a key member of the team responsible for determining content strategies for the future of streaming services across the Walt Disney Co. Since joining Hulu, Donohue has helped define and build content programming tooling and strategy and has established the language and frameworks for measuring engagement. In the past year alone, she has also overseen the teams that led initiatives resulting in historic subscriber growth, industry-low churn, and record-breaking monetizable hours. She’s also developed several soon-to-be released product updates that will drive a continued upward trajectory in brand engagement. Since she joined Hulu, the platform has gone from 12 million subscribers to more than 48 million in 2023, on the heels of multiple campaigns and initiatives in which she played a heavy strategic role. Before joining Hulu, Donohue was executive managing editor of all former Gawker Media websites, including Gawker, Deadspin, Jezebel, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Kotaku and Jalopnik. In this function, she oversaw all editorial operations and strategy in a network with more than 100 million global uniques.

Reagan Feeney
SVP, Live TV Content Programming and Partnerships
Feeney has had a standout year, overseeing the significant expansion of Hulu’s robust live offerings, while continuing to set the vision and strategic direction for Hulu + Live TV. After spearheading a deal with Live Nation to make Hulu the streaming destination for Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and the Austin City Limits Music Festival in 2022 and 2023, she closed a deal with iHeartMedia to bring their 2023 iHeartRadio Music Festival and Fiesta Latina live to the platform as well. These iconic music celebrations join Hulu’s extensive live news, sports, entertainment, and cultural programming, cementing it as the go-to destination for on-demand subscribers to stream live events. Reagan has also overseen negotiations with a wide variety of partners to bring new channels to the Hulu + Live TV line-up this year, most recently securing the Tennis Channel, the Game Show Network, the Magnolia Network and PBS Kids.

Angie Kang Park
Deputy Chief Council
In her 10 years with Hulu, Park’s contributions have significantly enhanced the platform’s value proposition to subscribers and solidified its position as a frontrunner in the competitive streaming landscape. While overseeing the company’s legal and business affairs matters, Angie led groundbreaking deals for Hulu’s Original and licensed content, including Award-winning series “The Bear,” “The Dropout” and “Abbott Elementary,” as well as “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Great,” “Dopesick” and “Only Murders in the Building.” She also oversees legal matters for Hulu + Live TV, driving negotiations that bring live content to both Hulu + Live TV and SVOD subscribers. At the end of last year, she managed deals with several high-profile partners, resulting in the addition of 14 new channels to Hulu + Live TV’s line-up.

Movies Anywhere

Elissa Brown 
VP, Business Operations 
Brown spearheads day-to-day operations, developing and executing key business and platform strategies to drive growth and deliver operational efficiencies across all facets of the cloud-based digital rights locker Movies Anywhere. This includes finance, strategy, business development, partner management, business intelligence/analytics, customer care and program management. 

Beth K. Baier 
Assistant Chief Counsel 
Baier leads all day-to-day legal and business affairs matters and serves as the senior legal advisor to the company’s business teams. She actively participates in legal analysis, modeling, negotiations and drafting of new strategic business models and high-profile deals involving emerging digital-distribution technologies, distribution platforms, technical operations and marketing strategies.

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BritBox International

Reemah Sakaan
CEO, BritBox International 
Sakaan leads the global streaming service and is responsible for the overall strategy and operations of BritBox in its overseas markets, namely the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. BritBox International is a joint venture between British broadcasters the BBC and ITV, and has 3.2 million subscribers across its markets. Sakaan was appointed to her role in February 2021. Prior to this she served as chief creative officer for BritBox Global and as ITV’s SVOD group director, launching BritBox in the United Kingdom. A seasoned marketing and media executive with a passion for content, she previously relaunched ITV Hub and worked for eight years at the BBC.

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Giant Worldwide

Meri Hassouni
SVP, Business Development
Hassouni is an entertainment executive with 20-plus years of industry experience, pivoting within the industry as it has evolved from physical media to digital media, to the growth of streaming platforms, EST, SVOD, AVOD and FAST channels. Hassouni has played an instrumental role in the significant growth of Giant since the founding of the company 18 years ago. After the merger with Testronic Labs and subsequent reorganization into Giant Worldwide, Hassouni has focused on expanding the company’s reach through new international offices across Europe and an expansion in New York City and Burbank, Calif., offering services including localization and master QC. Hassouni is passionate about working with FAST channels, developing preferred vendor relationships, and advancing work with studios on a global scale, all while simultaneously collaborating with independent distributors to deliver content and execute channel launches in the TVOD, SVOD and AVOD spaces. A member of DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group since 1999, she had been vice chair of Canon Club for four consecutive years, championing women in leadership roles throughout the home entertainment space.

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Women in Home Entertainment 2022: The Teams

The home entertainment industry is filled with smart, strategic teams that support the captains of the big studios and streamers.

Additionally, there are many other talented women leaders at independent content distributors; digital retailers who sell and rent movies, TV shows and other filmed content; streaming services; technology companies; and ancillary service providers.

Here are some of the standouts.

SEE ALSO: WOMEN IN HOME ENTERTAINMENT 2022 — THE CAPTAINS

Amazon

Lauren Anderson
Head of AVOD Original Content and Programming, Amazon Studios
Anderson oversees all programming, including creative development, production, licensing, scheduling, research, and strategy for Amazon Freevee and Prime Video’s ad-supported FAST linear channels. Additionally, Anderson recently assumed responsibility for the unscripted programming strategy across all of Amazon Studios, including SVOD and AVOD programming. She joined Amazon Studios in 2019 as the head of strategic content, managing such series as the “Savage X Fenty Show” for Prime Video. In 2020 she became co-head of content and programming for IMDb TV (now Freevee). Early accomplishments for Freevee included bringing the iconic Judge Judy Sheindlin to a streaming audience, shepherding Amazon’s first partnership with prolific creator Dick Wolf — his only half-hour crime procedural — and developing the AVOD spinoff of Prime Video’s longest-running series, “Bosch.” Before joining Amazon, Anderson was the chief content officer for Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts, the joint venture studio between NBCUniversal and Snapchat.

Julie Rapaport
Head of Movies, Amazon Studios
Rapaport leads the studio’s division focused on producing and acquiring a wide variety of high-quality, culturally relevant films for Prime Video’s global audience. She and the original movies team recently released and celebrated the critical and commercial success of films such as the Oscar-nominated Lucille Ball biopic Being the Ricardos, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, George Clooney’s coming-of-age drama The Tender Bar, the Chris Pratt-led action feature The Tomorrow War, and Coming 2 America starring Eddie Murphy. Some upcoming releases for Rapaport and her team include My Policeman, starring Harry Styles, the feature documentary Good Night Oppy, and The People We Hate at the Wedding. Prior to joining Amazon Studios in 2015, Rapaport worked at The Weinstein Company, where she rose to SVP of production and development.

Kelly Day
VP, International, Prime Video
Day serves as the leader for Prime Video’s SVOD, TVOD, and Channels businesses in all locales outside the United States. Overseeing a team of regional and country managers around the world, Day drives the content strategies, greenlights, and launches of Amazon Original movies and series across international. Prior to joining Amazon in 2022, Day served as president of streaming for ViacomCBS Networks International (now Paramount Global), where she was responsible for the international rollout and growth of Paramount+ and Pluto.

Marie Donoghue
VP, Global Sports Video
Donoghue oversees Prime Video’s global sports content business. She leads its global sports strategy, identifying and evaluating new opportunities, overseeing acquisitions, programming and production, and enabling customers to access original and live sports content on hundreds of devices in more than 240 countries and territories. This content includes Premier League in the United Kingdom, UEFA Champions League in Germany and Italy (U.K. starting in 2024), ONE Championship (United States and Canada), and the WNBA. Donoghue led the groundbreaking acquisition and production of “Thursday Night Football,” marking the first time a streaming service aired an exclusive national broadcast package from the NFL. Prior to joining Amazon, Donoghue was at ESPN for more than 18 years.

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Blu Digital Group

Paulette Pantoja
CEO
Pantoja founded Blu Digital Group in 2007, focusing on quality control for film and TV content distributed on physical media. The company has since created proprietary workflows and patented applications as a solution for content owners and platforms to deliver streaming content. Pantoja’s expansion of the localization division within Blu in 2021 further broadened the company’s ability to deliver international content to audiences around the world. She is an Ernst & Young Greater Los Angeles Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 finalist and this year is being honored with DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group’s Hedy Lamarr Award for Innovation in Entertainment.

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BritBox International

Reemah Sakaan
CEO
Sakaan heads up the BBC and ITV backed streaming service and is responsible for the overall strategy and operations of BritBox globally, leading a world-class team over multiple regions. In her short tenure as CEO thus far, Sakaan has already implemented several global initiatives focused on a cohesive strategy across all territories. Having worked on growing the partnership between ITV and BBC since the beginning, Sakaan was responsible for the creation of the BritBox brand and global concept. Before becoming CEO, she served as chief creative officer for BritBox Global as well as the group director of SVOD for ITV, launching BritBox in the United Kingdom in November of 2019 and serving as a pivotal part of the leadership team behind BritBox Australia. Prior to this, she spent 18 months living in New York where she oversaw the growth of BritBox U.S. subscribers and worked on the expansion of BritBox into Canada in February 2018. Throughout her career at BritBox, Sakaan has greenlighted an impressive and ever-growing list of original commissions, including “The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco,” the revival of “Spitting Image” and “The Beast Must Die,” as well as the upcoming “Magpie Murders,” “Crime” and “A Spy Among Friends.”

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Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

Amanda Edwards
SVP and Chief of Staff
Edwards is instrumental in the fluid operations, strategy and communications for the fast-growing company. She is the right-hand to the CEO and has been with the company for more than 10 years. Edwards supported the company through its IPO in 2017 and has been integral in every merger and acquisition transaction including the company’s acquisitions of Redbox, Crackle and Screen Media. Prior to her role as SVP and chief of staff, she worked for the company in a variety of roles in marketing, sales and social media. Prior to joining Chicken Soup, Edwards worked as a request-for-proposal writer for Clearbrook Investment Consulting and as a coordinator of sponsor management for dLife, a diabetes lifestyle and media company. Skilled in communications, strategy, operations and marketing, Edwards has also been published in five Chicken Soup for the Soul titles.

Elana Sofko
Chief Strategy Officer
Sofko joined Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment in 2016 as the SVP of business development and distribution, and was named chief operating officer in 2017. She brings more than two decades of media and entertainment experience, always on the leading edge of innovation. Prior to joining Chicken Soup, Sofko focused on a range of digital business growth initiatives for World Wrestling Entertainment, including international expansion and localization of WWE’s digital properties, as well as supporting the launch and international expansion of WWE Network, a subscription-based OTT service. Sofko worked on the launch of satellite radio as part of the start-up team at the company now called SiriusXM, and has overseen strategic growth initiatives at ESPN, Nokia, News Corp. and A&E Television Networks.

Dara Cohen
VP, Scripted Entertainment, Chicken Soup for the Soul Television Group
Cohen is a producer and executive with more than 20 years of experience in development, production and programming. She has worked in development at The Mark Gordon Company, Red Hour Films, Revolution Studios, USA Network, CourtTV, Island/Def Jam Records, Maker Studios and A+E Studios. She has collaborated with writers, directors, actors, producers, top recording artists and social media influencers to create engaging content across all platforms. She has extensive experience in sourcing material and IP, negotiating rights, and overseeing development through production and delivery of projects. While at CourtTV she developed, secured deficit financing, staffed writers and directors, and produced the network’s first scripted series, “Til Death Do Us Part.” She has produced 13 movies with the USA Network and Syfy channel, and executive produced Ring of Fire for Lifetime (nominated for four Emmys), “House of Joy” for NuvoTV, and the digital series “The Temp Agency” for Vuguru.

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Cinedigm

Kim Staruk
SVP, Marketing
Staruk oversees the general partner relationships along with the overall business strategy for Cinedigm’s films. She is also responsible for managing and executing marketing and media across multiple channels to elevate the profile of each release. This also includes developing strategic partnerships and programs across all of Cinedigm’s distributing platforms, including digital, streaming, physical media and Cinedigm’s owned-and-operated digital networks. Prior to joining Cinedigm, Staruk spent six years at Universal Music Group Distribution/Vivendi Entertainment, and two years at Sony in SPT International Production.

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Crackle

Michele Fino
Head of Branded Entertainment, Crackle Plus
A creative storyteller, Fino combines personal narratives with business objectives to create branded stories. She partners with like-minded organizations who embrace both action-driven content and innovative media distribution. Her career journey includes branded entertainment at a global productions company, content strategy at a national retailer, and marketing at various highly regarded nonprofits, including The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Her superpower is mixing the detailed intricacies of content production with the complex KPIs of a brand and sprinkling in the power of right time and right audience with the right platform partner.

Jennifer Gale
VP, Advanced Video Ad Sales and Brand Partnerships, Crackle Plus
Gale helps companies reach their customers in new and innovative ways within the AVOD space. She is responsible for media sales for Crackle Plus’s leading owned-and-operated ad-supported OTT networks Crackle, Popcornflix and Chicken Soup for the Soul, along with sales rights for a growing portfolio of premium streaming services including Redbox, Crunchyroll and Plex, combining to create one of the largest at-scale inventory sources for long-form OTT video. Additionally, Gale is responsible for driving custom branded entertainment sponsorships and integrating leading brands into original series, distributed at scale within the company’s streaming TV services.

Beth Galli
Regional Director Sales, East, Crackle Plus
Galli has 15-plus years of experience in the advertising business with strong agency and client relationships, developing a proven track record for increasing revenue and generating new business. Galli has been at Crackle Plus for more than three years. Prior to joining Crackle Plus, she spent 16 years at Scripps Networks, working as an account executive at HGTV and the DIY Network.

Kelly Burke Hopkins
VP, Sales Development and Advertising, Crackle Plus
Hopkins has more than 20 years of experience with marketing, media, brand content strategy, partnerships, programmatic, agency collaboration and client service. She is responsible for all ad solutions, focused on go-to-market, as well as custom solutions across Crackle Plus’s vast array of originals and premium video partnership sales strategy. For the past eight years she has specialized in OTT and video sales, with tenures at Yume (now Tremor), BuzzFeed, and currently Crackle Plus. Her career began on the agency side in a digital-media buying capacity.

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DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group

Marcy Magiera
Executive Director

An industry veteran who set editorial direction in coverage of digital media and entertainment at industry trades Advertising AgeVideo Business and Variety, Magiera became executive director of DEG in 2020 after working with the trade group in a series of progressively more responsible positions. She curates DEG’s newsletter, The DEN, four days a week and leads event programming and production. She played a key role in DEG’s pivot to online events at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, programming at least 15 virtual events per year in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, she assumed responsibility for DEG’s return to in-person events, with a hybrid strategy in which virtual events also continue. Magiera produced DEG’s inaugural EnTech Fest, a B2B trade and networking event in Los Angeles in which technology companies presented innovative products and services to DEG studio and platform members. She leads the team planning EnTech Fest 2023, scheduled for March 29.

Andi Elliott
Director, Sales and Membership Services

As DEG’s sales and sponsorship leader, Elliott brings new members to DEG and helps member companies make the most of their membership benefits. Since she joined the organization in 2017, DEG expanded its membership base to 90 member companies, the most in the group’s history. Elliott also creates opportunities for branding and exposure for members through sponsorship and branding at events.  Elliott is an industry veteran whose previous positions include sales director for Video Business magazine, conference sales manager at Variety and stints at Warner Home Video, 20th Century Fox and various independent labels.

Jean Levicki
Director, Community and Member Programs

Levicki oversees the Direct-to-Consumer Alliance (D2CA), a working community of DEG member companies focused on the DTC offering. She leads the Alliance’s AVOD Innovation Group; its Targeted Services and TV & Connected Devices committees;  and the LIVE Sports Council (currently in development). She also manages the organization’s Marketing and Communications (MARCOM) and Digital Finance & Accounting (DFAC) committees and is involved in the development and execution of DEG events. Prior to joining DEG, Levicki was with 20 Century Fox Home Entertainment, where she held positions in international and global publicity.

Beka Sturm
Senior Project Manager

Sturm oversees the technical committees within DEG’s Advanced Content Delivery Alliance. This includes the Localization and Supply Chain Efficiency & Security Committees, which are creating shared industry resources and socializing best practices in a variety of mediums and topic areas. Most recently, Sturm worked across DEG supply chain member companies to coordinate the second annual, and first in-person, DEG TechOps Awards. Before joining DEG, Sturm worked as a producer in television and film.

DEGI

Liz Bales
Chief Executive, DEGI: The Digital Entertainment Group International/The British Association for Screen Entertainment
Bales has been a key part of the home entertainment industry for more than a decade. She is a driving force for digital and transactional home entertainment across the globe. In her role as chief executive of The British Association for Screen Entertainment, she champions the transactional home entertainment category in the United Kingdom, both physical and digital, playing a key role in maximizing growth and opportunities for the category and confronting the factors that may impede it. She also transmits the message of the DEGI — sister organization to the U.S. DEG — taking the best-practice initiatives and learnings into multiple territories worldwide, including managing campaigns across The Nordics, Germany and France in the past year. She leans into and supports existing in-territory bodies or manages processes where there are not. From cross-industry events and collaboration to growth campaigns that then travel the world via the DEGI, Bales is the leading voice of these two best-in-class trade bodies that empower both the United Kingdom and international markets.

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Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, Platform Distribution

Lori B. LeBas
EVP, Platform Distribution Operations
As head of the business operations team for Platform Distribution, LeBas supports the development and distribution of products and services that create meaningful value for the company, its partners and its consumers. The business unit manages all third-party media sales efforts for distribution, affiliate marketing and affiliate-related business operations for all of the company’s direct-to-consumer services and linear media networks; content sales agreements for General Entertainment, Studios and Sports, as well as global theatrical film distribution; and management of Disney’s iconic El Capitan Theatre and the Disney Music Group. LeBas is focused on the design and implementation of business processes for efficient management and operation of all media distribution, including linear networks, SVOD, AVOD, transactional, syndication, audio and direct-to-consumer products. LeBas also leads the creation of cross-functional business requirements for new products, as well as oversight of all post-sales processes for content distribution across all platforms.

Lindsey Green
SVP, Content Sales
Green is responsible for licensing feature films and television content from Disney Studios Content and Disney General Entertainment. The lines of business that fall under her purview include domestic and global SVOD and AVOD platforms, West Coast-based cable networks and select pay-TV networks. She and her team also manage the company’s distribution of content to its direct-to-consumer streaming services — Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu — and its linear networks. Her client roster includes Amazon, YouTube, Starz, Roku and Tubi, to name a few.

Christen Harris
SVP, Platform Distribution Sales
Lauren Morrissey
SVP, Platform Distribution Sales
Harris and Morrissey negotiate key licensing agreements on behalf of the company across a wide array of media platforms and businesses, including domestic multichannel subscription distribution and global direct-to-consumer platforms. Among these substantial, high-profile agreements managed by their teams are in-home TVOD and direct-to-consumer app penetration among digital aggregators, MVPDs, devices, wireless providers and social media applications. They also pursue and negotiate wholesale marketing partnerships for the company’s direct-to-consumer streaming services. Between the two of them, they oversee more than 100 key accounts, such as Apple, Comcast, Google, Roku and Verizon.

Rebecca Black, VP, Business Affairs
Summer Imai, VP, Rights and Content Management
Brooke A. Johnson, VP, Platform Distribution Sales
Jane Kim, VP, Distribution Planning Analysis and Commercial Affairs
Ann Lee, VP, Distribution Planning and Analysis
Jennifer Lourie, VP, Product Management

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Disney Streaming Services/Disney+

Alisa Bowen
President, Disney+
Promoted to her current position in September, Bowen has led global business operations for Disney’s streaming platforms, including Disney+ since its launch in 2019. In this new position, Bowen will work closely with key leaders across The Walt Disney Co. for the forthcoming launch of the advertising-supported subscription-streaming tier, as well as multi-channel promotional support for Disney+ and its content slate. She most recently served as EVP of global business operations for Disney Streaming, overseeing the content and business operations, business development and planning, program management, and viewer experience functions for The Walt Disney Co.’s direct-to-consumer video streaming businesses, including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and Star+. Bowen joined Disney in 2017 as SVP, CTO and digital media lead for The Walt Disney Co.’s international operations, where she led a transformation of the Disney channel’s broadcast technology, content operations, and digital publishing across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Jaya Kolhatkar
EVP of Data, Disney Streaming Services
Kolhatkar oversees customer intelligence and all data- and analytics-related efforts at Disney Streaming. In her role, she is responsible for elevating customer intelligence, implementing strong data governance, and driving a culture of objective, data-driven decision-making. Kolhatkar previously served as the SVP of global data and analytics platforms at WalmartLabs, where she built data and analytic platforms that provided data and tools for making business decisions at Walmart. Kolhatkar joined WalmartLabs in 2013 as part of the acquisition of predictive analytics firm Inkiru, where she was the chief analytics officer and co-founder. Kolhatkar has also worked in analytics roles at PayPal, eBay and Amazon.

Molly Brady
SVP, Growth Marketing, Disney Streaming Services
Brady, who previously served as VP of customer acquisition, is responsible for growing the company’s streaming subscriber base. Prior to joining Disney, she worked at American Express, IBM and Bloomingdale’s. During her career, Brady has partnered with top brands, including Facebook, Instagram, Google, Credit Karma, Nerdwallet, Delta, Starwood and JetBlue to deliver unique products and marketing programs. She has expertise in display media, social media, paid search, SEO, affiliate, site marketing, email, offline channels, new customer acquisition, product management and consulting.

April Carretta
Head of Communications, Direct to Consumer
Carretta leads communications globally for Disney’s direct-to-consumer video streaming businesses. She oversees proactive and integrated communications, including consumer, content publicity, international, crisis communications, and incident management, as well as internal employee communications. Carretta joined Disney in 2019 through its acquisition of 20th Century Fox. She initially led communications for Disney’s Platform Distribution organization, playing a key role in shaping communications across all third-party media sales efforts for distribution, content sales agreements, affiliate marketing for direct-to-consumer services and linear media networks, global theatrical film distribution, and other Disney properties including Disney Music Group and the El Capitan Theatre.

Andrea Roxas
VP, Content Planning and Scheduling, Disney+
Roxas is responsible for determining the premiere and release strategy for content on Disney+ in partnership with programming and marketing teams around the world. Roxas joined The Walt Disney Co. in 2011 as an editor for the Disney Digital Network. Prior to working on Disney+, Roxas led content strategy and programming for Disney’s digital portfolio of brands targeting millennial and family audiences, including Oh My Disney, Disney Style Guide, Disney Family and Babble.

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Dolby

Ayisha Emerson
Business Manager, Content
Emerson is a business development professional at Dolby, where she is a content industry strategist helping to steer Dolby’s roadmap across traditional and emerging content categories. Having started with a focus on television production and streaming, Emerson now also leads the global business strategy for podcast content creation to inspire and expand the creative palette with Dolby Atmos. Previously, Emerson started her career in film at studios such as 20th Century Fox, Disney and DreamWorks Animation, and most recently worked at Quibi. Emerson is continuously pushing the convergence of entertainment and technology to better the consumer experience.

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Fandango

Eileen Rivera
Senior Director of Production and Development, Rotten Tomatoes
Rivera heads up all video development and production for Rotten Tomatoes, part of NBCUniversal’s Fandango portfolio. Her team is responsible for the creative execution of all original video content across OTT, online, YouTube and social channels (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram). Rivera successfully spearheaded the launch of the Rotten Tomatoes OTT/FAST channels, featuring 24/7 linear programming available on Peacock, Roku, Samsung TV and Xumo TV. The production team continues to further the companies’ content reach by helping produce and program more than a dozen originally produced shows and nearly 600 hours of premium long- and short-form video content.

Alejandra Brizuela
VP of Product Management, User Experience and User Interface
Brizuela directs all product management and user experience, user interface functions across Fandango’s home entertainment, ticketing, e-commerce, and publishing portfolios, including Vudu, Fandango, Flixster, and Rotten Tomatoes. She oversees products that reach more than 60 million monthly consumers in the United States and abroad. Throughout her career, Brizuela has successfully shaped and launched best-in-class experiences across iOS, Android, Web and TV applications. A native of Argentina, Brizuela has held roles at top e-commerce subscription services such as Disney Mobile, eHarmony and eSalon.

Kristine Lopes
Director of Integrated Marketing, Vudu
With more than 20 years of experience in marketing, sales, strategic planning and execution, Lopes leads integrated marketing for Vudu, Fandango’s leading on-demand streaming service. Lopes has been a marketing guru and instrumental part of the Vudu family since 2014, prior to its acquisition by Fandango. As a resourceful veteran of the home entertainment business, Lopes develops comprehensive business plans and works cross-functionally to drive marketing campaigns, go-to-market capabilities and partnership opportunities. Prior to her work at Vudu, Lopes was the senior manager of customer engagement for Advanced Auto Parts, online marketing manager for Symantec, and product marketing manager for Bank of the West.

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Giant Interactive

Meri Hassouni
EVP, Global Business Development
Hassouni is an entertainment executive with 20-plus years of industry experience and has pivoted with the industry as it evolved from physical media to digital media, to the growth of streaming platforms, AVOD and FAST channels. Hassouni has played an instrumental role in the significant growth of Giant (recently acquired by Testronic Labs) on the studio side as well as on the servicing side, working with independent distributors to deliver content and execute channel launches in the TVOD, SVOD and AVOD spaces. She was responsible for negotiating the preferred vendor relationship with Pluto, resulting in Giant’s collaboration with 50-plus Pluto partners and delivery of 1,000-plus hours of content monthly for clients, including BBC, AMC, Toei Animation and PBS. Hassouni has been a member of DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group since 1999, and when the Canon Club expanded in 2019, she became the vice chair of that DEG organization.

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Google/YouTube

Christina Kim
Head of AVOD Licensing/FAST and TVOD, YouTube and Google TV
Kim oversees business development and partnerships for AVOD licensing/FAST for YouTube as well as Google’s transactional movies and TV (on YouTube and Google TV). Before joining Google in 2014, Kim worked in content acquisition at Amazon and PlayStation Video.

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Hulu

Barrie Gruner
EVP, Marketing and Publicity, Hulu Originals
Gruner oversees marketing strategy, creative, events, media, social and communications for all Hulu original series (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Nine Perfect Strangers,” “The Kardashians,” “Only Murders in the Building,” etc.). Since joining Hulu in 2013, she has helped guide the company from plucky challenger to established player. She drove both communications and the awards strategy that helped launch “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which went on to dominate the 2017 Emmy Awards, including the award for Outstanding Drama Series that cemented Hulu in history as the first streaming platform to take home the prestigious honor. Over the past year, Gruner led marketing campaigns for several marquee titles, including “Only Murders in the Building,” leading it to become the most-watched comedy in Hulu history, and “The Kardashians,” leading it to become the most-watched unscripted series and premiere in Hulu history.

Reagan Feeney
SVP, Live-TV Content Programming and Partnerships
Feeney is responsible for setting the vision and strategic direction for live-TV distribution, including managing partnerships with national channels, regional sports networks and local broadcast affiliates. Her team also leads the strategy and execution of live news, sports, events and programming made available for Hulu on-demand subscribers, along with premium add-ons, ESPN+ on Hulu, and ABC News Live specials. Previously, Feeney was VP of content at AT&T’s DirecTV, where she was responsible for identifying and negotiating general entertainment and sports programming acquisitions, as well as maintaining external business relationships for linear cable channels, out-of-market sports subscription packages, regional sports networks and on-demand sports content.

Lauren Tempest
SVP, Content Partnerships, Acquisitions, Scheduling
Tempest leads the department that manages Hulu’s robust content portfolio across TV, film, kids and family, anime, and currents, through third-party acquisitions and in close partnership with The Walt Disney Co.’s content studio, and then strategically schedules title launches to showcase the breadth, depth and exclusivity that Hulu uniquely offers. She previously served as VP of content partnerships, and led Hulu’s licensed-television acquisitions group. She first joined Hulu in 2015, after working for six years at NBCUniversal’s USA Network.

Angie Kang Park
Deputy Chief Counsel
Park oversees legal matters for all areas across the company, including content, content acquisition, Hulu + Live TV, product and marketing. Since starting at Hulu about a decade ago, Park has led numerous high-profile deals and initiatives that have grown Hulu’s content library to include some of the most in-demand premium content in the market. Over the past two years Park has played an instrumental role in Hulu’s efforts to bring unique content, pricing and promotional offerings to the Hulu service. She oversaw the launch of the NFL Network on the service and led deals for on-demand content such as Nomadland and The United States vs. Billie Holiday, which won six Academy Awards and a Golden Globe Award, respectively.

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Level 33 Entertainment

Alisa Bunting
SVP, Marketing and Product Management
Bunting manages all content onboarding, platform marketing and product management. She has overseen the releases of more than 100 independent feature films across all windows from physical product to the ever-evolving world of video on demand. Bunting excels at everything from interacting with independent filmmakers and sales agents to managing external vendors and platform partners. She maintains a positive attitude and rises to the occasion with any challenge presented across a diverse slate of content delivered to a growing global consumer base. Bunting’s keen sense of the marketplace helps drive the visibility of Level 33 content over the multitude of entertainment outlets, platforms and channels that make up the modern distribution landscape. Prior to joining Level 33 in 2012, Bunting served as director of marketing and operations at Playboy Entertainment Group. She began her career at The Walt Disney Co. in the Buena Vista Home Video division working on brand marketing for Touchstone/Hollywood Pictures product.

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Lionsgate

Chase Brisbin
EVP, International Television and Digital Distribution
Brisbin leads the international SVOD and AVOD distribution team at Lionsgate, focused on strategy and sales across all content types, including TV and film, both library and first run. Her focus is to navigate and shape the company’s approach to an expanding international marketplace as heavyweights and newcomer services compete. Recently, Brisbin negotiated new creative deal structures on Pay 1 and Pay 2 outputs and packages in response to the pandemic. She joined Lionsgate in 2012 and has negotiated some of its most innovative deals.

Kate Nexon
EVP, Domestic Television and Digital Distribution
A 13-year Lionsgate veteran, Nexon is responsible for licensing the studio’s TV and film properties across AVOD, SVOD and linear platforms. She leads domestic sales, overseeing strategic planning and execution of multi-platform initiatives. In the past year she negotiated the sale of the Emmy-award winning series “Schitt’s Creek” to Hulu and played an integral role in the sales of “The Continental” to Peacock, hit comedy “Ghosts” to Paramount+, and Lionsgate’s Pay 2 theatrical output deals with NBCUniversal and Roku, as well as a multiyear film deal with Tubi.

Susan Posner
EVP, International Sales Strategy and Planning
Posner was promoted to EVP in April. She oversees a hub of sales and operations planners who help the team manage inventory, including the growing number of output deals and go-to-market on broad strategic initiatives. A consummate team player, she works closely with marketing, research, legal, rights and other teams to strategize and communicate the plans for Lionsgate’s healthy film and TV slates. Since joining in 2019 after 11 years at MGM, she has helped negotiate some key title reversions for the team to sell, leading to additional sales.

Jill Anderson
SVP, Home Entertainment Sales
Anderson leads Lionsgate’s home entertainment packaged-media business for retail’s largest accounts. She continually challenges herself and her team to drive higher reach and scale for Lionsgate’s 17,000-title film and TV library as well as for its world-class film business. Anderson is a consummate team player who is driven by continual learning and growth, leading by example, mentoring others within her network, and giving back to the community. She’s extremely proud to be a 19-year veteran of Lionsgate’s entrepreneurial culture, its commitment to innovation, and its passion for bold, original, relatable entertainment.

Jennifer Caprow
SVP, Domestic Sales Strategy and Planning
Born and raised in California, Caprow graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, before joining Lionsgate in 2011. Starting as a sales planning coordinator in the TV Distribution Group, she is now an integral member of the executive team and was recently promoted into her present position after serving for two years as VP of sales planning and TV distribution, and, before that, executive director. She collaborates with teams across Lionsgate and is constantly engaged with how the ever-changing TV/streaming landscape evolves.

Erin Carter
SVP, Marketing
Carter is a 14-year veteran of Lionsgate and predecessor company Anchor Bay, part of the studio’s acquisition of Starz. She oversees the marketing and distribution strategy for Lionsgate’s 17,000-title film and television library, one of the largest in the world. She continues to be at the forefront of content licensing initiatives to an expanding array of new and traditional buyers around the world. Carter also spearheads content lifecycle planning for Lionsgate’s distribution partners, including Roadside Attractions, Grindstone Entertainment and A&E Television. She joined Lionsgate in 2017 from Anchor Bay, where she spent a decade leading the company’s strategy for its independent theatrical releases.

Kenya Hart
SVP, Procurement and Inventory Operations
Hart oversees the daily operations of the materials management, inventory reconciliation and procurement/demand planning teams to ensure timely finished good product delivery in support of new-release, catalog and promotion deadlines for U.S. and Canadian distribution. As the SAP super user/departmental systems manager, she works closely with IT to test, implement and validate systemic upgrades and enhancements. Additionally, she handles cost analysis and business acquisition onboarding.

Amelia McPartlon Rogers
SVP, Marketing, Global Content Strategy
Rogers oversees overall marketing strategy in the limited theatrical and digital distribution space. She leads her teams to develop a full 360-degree marketing strategy for Lionsgate’s entire limited theatrical and multi-platform release slate, as well as for the company’s vast library and third-party distribution companies.

Kathy Arendain, VP, Digital Strategy and Engagement
Lauren Bixby, VP, Acquisitions
Maria Chung, VP, Digital Creative
Tiffany Olivares Girardi, VP, Global Earned and Media Communications
Lindsay Lefrancois, VP, Procurement
Kara McKinney, VP, Global AVOD

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Movies Anywhere

Elissa Brown
VP, Business Operations
Brown leads day-to-day operations, developing and executing key business and platform strategies to drive growth and deliver operational efficiencies across all facets of Movies Anywhere. This includes finance, strategy, business development, partner management, business intelligence/analytics, customer care and program management.

Beth K. Baier
Assistant Chief Counsel
Baier leads all day-to-day legal and business affairs matters and serves as the senior legal advisor to the company’s business teams. She actively participates in legal analysis, modeling, negotiations and drafting of new strategic business models and high-profile deals involving emerging digital-distribution technologies, distribution platforms, technical operations and marketing strategies. She was instrumental in developing the product’s Screen Pass and co-viewing features that were launched during the pandemic, including advising on compliant functionalities, business rules, branding and consumer messaging. Baier also provides legal support for new business strategies for the Disney Digital Media team, including FAST channels, e-commerce initiatives and search engine optimization.

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Paramount Pictures

Melinda Froelich
SVP, International Marketing, Paramount Home Entertainment
Froelich is responsible for international marketing, advertising, public relations, promotions and the release strategy for all transactional windows post theatrical. She also oversees global marketing for all worldwide television partners. Froelich joined the studio in 2005, having previously worked at The Walt Disney Co. for eight years.

Hilarie Hildebrandt
SVP, Digital Customer Marketing, Paramount Home Entertainment
Hildebrandt oversees customer marketing for global digital accounts with a focus on aligning strategic initiatives across new-release, catalog and television product, optimizing the retailer execution of joint home entertainment transactional and Paramount+ streaming efforts. Hildebrandt and her team’s responsibilities include executing multinational consumer-focused programs with each retail client to maximize sales and leverage the continually evolving digital retail environment to ensure Paramount and its partners reach their core objectives. Hildebrandt previously served as VP of retail marketing at 20th Century Fox and also held sales director positions at Fox and Polygram Filmed Entertainment in Canada.

Alanna Powers
SVP, Brand Marketing, Paramount Home Entertainment
Powers leads the division’s global marketing strategies, product development, and management of new releases, acquisitions and library titles. She and her teams develop campaigns for physical and digital distribution channels that align with cross-divisional partners to maximize the studio’s full portfolio of titles. Prior to joining Paramount, Powers held senior marketing positions at Redbox and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment after starting her career at FCB.

Aubrey Thomason
SVP, Business Affairs and Legal, Paramount Pictures
Thomason’s primary focuses are acquisitions for distribution primarily through television and home entertainment channels, related security agreements, interparty agreements and theatrical services agreements, as well as domestic video sublicensing matters. Prior to joining Paramount, Thomason from 2000 to 2005 was an associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, where she primarily worked on corporate finance and real estate transactions, but also served as outside counsel to Paramount Pictures between 2003 and 2005.

Nancy Pope
SVP, Human Resources, Paramount Pictures
Pope is responsible for supporting the home entertainment, theatrical marketing and TV licensing divisions. Early in her career she worked for AT&T as both an operations manager and HR professional. Upon earning her master’s degree in industrial psychology, Pope left AT&T and joined Nestle USA, where she became the director of training and development. In 1999 she joined EMI Music North America to become the VP of human resources, and in 2007 she joined Paramount Pictures. For the past several years Pope has been involved in various nonprofit organizations and most recently has become a member of the Jewish Family Service’s Board of Los Angeles, which is a multi-service agency with the goal of strengthening and preserving individual, family and community life by providing a wide range of needed human services to people in the community.

Erin Carey, VP, Digital Distribution, Paramount Home Entertainment
Boh Clancy, VP, Digital Distribution, Asia Pacific, Paramount Home Entertainment
Rachel Crang, VP, Worldwide Production Management, Paramount Home Entertainment
Micol Green, VP, Legal Affairs, Paramount Home Entertainment
Sandra Hiestand, VP, Sales Planning and Reporting, Paramount Home Entertainment
Michele Rumain, VP, Advertising (Media), Paramount Pictures
Pamela Sivula, VP, Financial Planning, Paramount Pictures

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Paramount Streaming/Paramount+ /Pluto TV

Nicole Clemens
President of Paramount Television Studios and Paramount+ Original Scripted Series
Clemens joined PTVS in 2018 and added the Paramount+ position to her portfolio in 2021. Her primary responsibility at Paramount+ is to shepherd original series and formulate programming strategy for the streaming platform. Paramount+ projects include the global hit series “Halo,” “The Offer” and the “Star Trek” franchise — “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” “Star Trek: Picard” and “Star Trek: Discovery” — as well as “SEAL Team,” “Evil,” “The Good Fight” and “The Game.” Upcoming series include “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Rabbit Hole” and “Criminal Minds.” In addition, as president of PTVS, Clemens oversees a robust slate of shows for buyers across multiple platforms, including Emmy Nominated “Station Eleven” for HBO Max; “Reacher” and “Jack Ryan” for Amazon Prime; “American Gigolo” for Showtime; “Defending Jacob,” “Shantaram” and “Time Bandits” for Apple TV+; and “The Haunting” anthology series for Netflix.

Tanya Giles
Chief Programming Officer, Paramount Streaming
Giles oversees and executes a holistic programming strategy for the global content offering across the company’s streaming services Paramount+ and Pluto TV, maximizing mix, prioritization, timing and impact of Paramount resources, franchises and brands to drive sustained audience acquisition and engagement. With more than 20 years of experience, Giles is widely respected across the entertainment industry and has a proven track record of applying research-driven insights to make high-impact programming decisions. Prior to joining Paramount Streaming, Giles served as GM for the MTV Entertainment Group, where she led content strategy, programming, and research and insights for leading entertainment brands such as MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, VH1, TV Land and others.

Catherine Houser
EVP, Worldwide Human Resources, Paramount Pictures and Paramount Streaming
A trusted leader in the Paramount Global family for 25 years with deep HR experience in film and television, Houser has managed human resources teams in the entertainment industry for 30 years. Prior to overseeing Paramount Pictures HR, she served as EVP of human resources for Viacom Media Networks. where she led the company’s HR strategies and practices. In that role, she was responsible for all of MTV Networks’ HR initiatives globally. Before joining MTV Networks, Houser was SVP of human resources and operations for Orion Pictures.

Elizabeth Wright
EVP and CFO, Direct to Consumer Segment, Paramount Global
Wright steers the global financial strategy for both Paramount+ and Pluto TV. Prior to becoming CFO of the direct-to-consumer segment, Wright served as SVP of finance for CBS Interactive. In that role, she oversaw the entire finance organization, ran annual budget processes, managed monthly key performance indicators, and drove initiatives for new business partnerships for the CBS digital division. Prior to joining CBS in 2007, Wright worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers and started her career in public accounting.

Amy Kuessner
SVP, Content Strategy and Global Partnerships, Paramount Global
Kuessner is responsible for growth strategies, partnerships, content licensing and international expansion for Pluto TV and focused areas of Paramount+. In this role, Kuessner brings her expertise, creative vision and strategy to identify, bridge and scale symbiotic content partnerships across the multiple streaming platforms. Since its onset, Kuessner has been instrumental in the development and oversight of Pluto TV’s content acquisitions team, responsible for establishing nearly 400 global content deals with major Hollywood studios, TV networks, distributors, major sports leagues, news organizations and publishing outfits. Prior to joining Pluto TV, Kuessner spent over two decades in entertainment, specializing in emerging digital technologies, including AVOD, linear, MVPDs and digital cinema. She has decades of experience in marketing and business development, with prior roles at NBCUniversal, Liberty Media, Sony Corp. and DirecTV, in addition to startups including National CineMedia/Fathom Entertainment and ByExperience.

Susan Lundgren
SVP, Communications, Paramount Streaming
Lundgren oversees all external and internal communications and events efforts for the division, as well as its streaming services Paramount+, Pluto TV and Noggin. She has more than 20 years of communications experience working with some of the top brands within tech and media. Prior to joining Paramount Streaming, Lundgren was with Apple, where she was responsible for managing global strategic communications for legal, government affairs and industrial design. Before that, Lundgren led corporate communications efforts for key technology clients of Porter Novelli, a global communications agency.

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PBS Distribution

Andrea Burton
Senior Director, Business Development
With more than 20 years of experience in the media and communications industry, Burton leads PBS Distribution’s global business development efforts and manages key partner relationships with Amazon, YouTube and others. She has launched partnerships with Pluto, Tubi, Roku, Freevee, Xumo and Peacock, and launched two FAST channels in the United States with a third on its way and two in the United Kingdom, as well as four YouTube channels. Prior to joining PBS Distribution, Burton was the director of sales at HBO.

Lori Galkowski
Director, National Sales
A home entertainment veteran with 30-plus years of experience, Galkowski has extensive knowledge in multiple channels of business supporting Blu-ray and DVD sales. Responsible for physical content sales and marketing in the mass and specialty channels in the United States and Canada, as well as the company’s distribution partnership, her expertise and efforts to create new, exclusive content have resulted in consistently strong retail placements. Prior to joining PBS Distribution in 2015, Galkowski held positions at Warner Bros. and Sight & Sound Distributors.

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Premiere Digital

Michele Edelman
Head of Growth
With more than 20 years of executive experience, an unmatched business acumen and extensive knowledge of home entertainment, Edelman has been a driving force behind innovation and growth at the forefront of an evolving OTT landscape. From launching TVOD programs at Warner Bros., to spearheading VOD strategies at Vubiquity, to redefining distribution at media services company Premiere Digital, Edelman has been instrumental in implementing international market plans across media services, distribution and software-as-a-service disciplines.

Pamela Ng
CFO
Ng joined Premiere Digital in December 2020 to oversee all financial operations and collaborate with management on the company’s most important initiatives, including organic growth strategies, acquisitions, KPI performance and risk avoidance through data-driven decision-making. Prior to joining the company, she served as CFO at Irwin Naturals, a provider of premium vitamin and supplements. Before that, she served as VP of strategy at Beachbody, a leading fitness streaming and nutrition company, and as GM of Teleflora’s SaaS e-commerce platform.

Evelyn Arteaga
Executive Director of Operations
Arteaga has become a key influence in developing digital workflows at Premiere Digital since she joined the company near its inception. Evolving through her roles as a digital media technician to a manager and to her current position, she has improved and developed processes that efficiently adapt with the company’s growth. In supporting significant functions of the company, she has curated instrumental industry knowledge that has positioned the company as a primary technological solution for media servicing and distribution.

Beth Archer
Director of Mastering
Since joining Premiere Digital, Archer has risen from an entry level position in ingest and mastering to director of mastering. She is responsible for establishing the company’s roots on the East Coast, launching the Stamford, Conn., facility and consolidating workflows and technologies to support the Los Angeles headquarters. In developing efficient processes and leveraging a honed knowledge of new technologies, she has been a key contributor to the company’s growth alongside the rise of digital media in entertainment.

Natalie Martin
VP, Growth and Development
Martin has been a top-performing digital distribution executive for more than a decade, using her deep sales and operations expertise to help global brands monetize content with innovative strategies and solutions that maximize profitability. In her current role, she is responsible for driving revenue by nurturing key industry relationships and building new revenue streams, including the company’s rapidly expanding aggregation business that increases scale and efficiency between digital platforms and content owners.

Carrie Moore
VP, Product Development
Moore is the quintessential Premiere Digital success story. Since joining the company as the seventh employee, she has become a reliable expert in digital distribution with experience in mastering, fulfillment and SaaS technology. She helped expand the company’s global footprint, launching the Bangalore facilities, workflow and teams to enable global operations. She also developed a product support infrastructure for all software used at Premiere Digital, continuing to grow the company’s flagship media management products, Storefront and PDX.

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Redbox

Christina Chu
Chief Technology Officer
Chu oversees all of technology across Redbox, including software engineering, technology operations, infrastructure, and corporate system teams responsible for TVOD, FLTV and AVOD streaming services, as well as the physical kiosk hardware and software. She’s responsible for developing next-generation technologies and strategy for the company’s growing streaming platform that includes apps on smart-TVs, the Web, Android and iOS devices, game consoles, and OTT devices, as well as its established kiosk business. Chu has worked closely with business, operations and product leaders to ensure that Redbox’s technology platforms can scale and quickly evolve in support of the ever-evolving streaming space. Prior to joining Redbox, Chu was the SVP of technology at Fullscreen where she led engineering strategy and execution for the company’s B2C and B2B lines of business. Chu spent more than a decade at NBCUniversal.

Durriya Gunja
Senior Director, Creative Services
Gunja is responsible for creative leadership, strategic oversight, and brand management ensuring a consistent experience across all channels and platforms at Redbox. She leads the management team overseeing brand promotions, creative and content development, video production, and operations supporting enterprise level products (kiosk, TVOD, AVOD, R+ and Perks) across multiple channels and platforms. The group also supports content creation, promos and marketing for Redbox Originals and Exclusives under Redbox Entertainment. Under her leadership, the team helped brand and launch the Redbox digital platform including its TVOD and AVOD offerings. Durriya led the Redbox rebrand efforts in 2017, refreshing the 36,000-plus kiosks, print and digital assets, Redbox website, and mobile and CE apps. Most recently, she led the creative efforts to launch the new Redbox Value Menu.

Tiffany Cruz
Director of Media Operations
Cruz is responsible for managing rights, operations and publishing of Redbox’s AVOD, linear, and owned-and-operated Redbox channels, as well as its transactional VOD libraries. With 20 years of film distribution and digital operations experience, she uses her technical background to streamline processes, increasing throughput. Cruz also oversees Redbox Entertainment original films delivery, having managed distribution of 4,000-plus films in her career. She previously led content ops at Roku, managing 400-plus partners and a 400,000-plus title library internationally and domestically.

Anuradha Kali Kadimcherla
Director of Data Engineering and Business Intelligence
Kadimcherla leads the data engineering, data operations and the DBA teams at Redbox. She is responsible for the data team’s product roadmap, back-end production databases, third-party integrations, KPI reports and dashboards. She liaises with product management, business and leadership to deliver data workloads based on the business requirements. She strives to create an open data platform for everyone to democratize the data and build products that are performant and scalable. For Redbox’s on-demand platform, she led the efforts to integrate with its recommendation engine provider, helped build the studio revenue share reports, led the loyalty program implementation, and assisted in building out on-demand executive dashboards and integrating with studios and content providers for on-demand content ingestion.

Katherine Killeen
Director of Product Management
Killeen leads product management functions at Redbox and has been involved in launching many new products and features through partnership since joining the company more than 10 years ago. She contributed to the launch and growth of the Redbox Perks loyalty program, which now includes more than 40 million consumers. She drives product roadmaps for customer incentives and perks, kiosk improvements, as well as internal tools used for content management, merchandising, marketing and customer support, and communications.

Jeanette Socke
Director of Marketing, Redbox
Socke leads consumer marketing and social media at Redbox. She manages strategic monthly planning and executes brand, seasonal and promotional campaigns. Some of the high-profile campaigns she has managed include “Value Menu,” “Dinner & a Movie” and “12 Days of Deals.” She also manages connected-TV paid media to grow awareness and conversions of Redbox digital products such as transactional, AVOD, FAST and Redbox Entertainment originals. She collaborates with studios and sales teams to build integrated partnerships that drive consumer engagement, incremental rents and new customer acquisition.

Laura Florence
VP, Merchandising and Programming
Florence joined Redbox in 2019 to lead the company’s digital content acquisitions and helped to launch the Redbox FAST channel service and the ad-supported on-demand platform. In 2021 she was promoted to her current position, where she handles all content strategy and merchandising for kiosk, transactional, FAST, ad-supported and Redbox Original content, as well as the programming of Redbox linear Channels. She has more than 15 years of experience in both the physical and digital categories of content distribution, including a tenure at Gravitas Ventures, where she was the VP of North American sales and marketing.

Maura Gray
Senior Director, Consumer, Brand and Partner Marketing
Gray leads consumer marketing for all Redbox lines of business, including physical and digital transactional and free ad-supported (FAST/Free On Demand). She and her teams drive acquisition, retention and engagement across all touchpoints with off-channel media (paid and partnerships), in addition to Redbox’s owned channels, including social. She manages new product launches, large-scale brand initiatives and strategic planning. Prior to joining Redbox, the 17-year veteran of the entertainment industry managed ad sales and partnership marketing at the National Geographic Channels.

Kristin Bowser
VP of operations
Bowser is responsible for all of the operations of the legacy kiosk business. She successfully led the field team through a pandemic, civil unrest and record inflation. She was able to keep the business operating during a very challenging time in the entertainment business.

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Screen Media

Tamara Birkemoe
EVP, International Sales and Distribution
Birkemoe oversees all international distribution for Screen Media and is also part of the global acquisition and co-production team. In addition, she leads Screen Media’s international theatrical sales division, Foresight Unlimited. Birkemoe brings more than 21 years of extensive hands-on experience and knowledge of the entertainment industry. Throughout her career she has shepherded numerous projects from acquisition and development through worldwide sales and distribution. She is currently executive producing Fast Charlie, starring Pierce Brosnan, Morena Baccarin and James Caan, and Saint Clare, starring Bella Thorne. She most recently executive produced Nine Bullets, starring Lena Headey and Sam Worthington. She has also executive produced And So It Goes, starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton and directed by Rob Reiner; 2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg; and Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Peter Berg.

Lisa Burgueno
SVP, Digital Distribution
Burgueno has been in digital distribution for more than a decade with roles at Lionsgate, Starz Digital, Cinedigm and Microsoft Movies & TV before joining Screen Media to head up transactional partnerships and development. Burgueno began her career in daily TV news production and spent several years as a festival manager and programmer for National Geographic, supporting first-hand storytelling by native and indigenous filmmakers.

Amanda Sherwin
SVP, Marketing
Sherwin has been working in the independent film arena for more than two decades. In February 2020 Sherwin started as a consultant for Screen Media Films overseeing theatrical marketing beginning with John Turturro’s The Jesus Rolls. She then came on full time as VP of marketing, and then SVP of marketing, overseeing the marketing and distribution campaigns for the company on such films as Rod Lurie’s critically acclaimed The Outpost, starring Scott Eastwood and Caleb Landry Jones and based on Jake Tapper’s best-selling book; the celebrated documentaries Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street and Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road; comedic titles, including Best Sellers, starring Michael Caine and Aubrey Plaza, and Family Squares, starring Henry Winkler, Margo Martindale and Judy Greer; dramas, such as Black Bird, starring Susan Sarandon and Kate Winslet; as well as thrillers, including Gold starring Zac Efron, Till Death starring Megan Fox, and Monstrous starring Christina Ricci. Prior to joining Screen Media, Sherwin worked as a marketing consultant for PBS Distribution and ran the release and Academy campaigns on the Oscar-nominated documentary For Sama.

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Shout! Factory

Melissa Boag
EVP, Family Entertainment
Boag heads the family entertainment division, a significant part of Shout! Factory’s multi-platform business. She provides leadership across the company and big-picture strategy that supports Shout’s long-term growth. She creates marketing and distribution strategies for a large slate of new releases and catalog titles. Boag oversees distribution on key anime lines, including the partnerships with GKIDS on movies from GKIDS and Studio Ghibli titles, including perennial favorites such as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, and with Eleven Arts on titles such as A Silent Voice and Poupelle of Chimney Town. In family animation and live-action entertainment, Boag directs the home entertainment strategy with Sesame Workshop on “Sesame Street”; with Laika on films including Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings; with Hasbro/eOne on “My Little Pony,” “Transformers” and “Power Rangers”; with Toei on “Digimon Adventure tri.”; and with MPCA on “When Calls the Heart.” She also collaborates on acquisitions and production of animated movies and the marketing strategy on Shout! Factory and Shout! Kids movie releases, including the 30th anniversary edition of FernGully: The Last Rainforest, The Magic Flute, Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon and Dreambuilders.

Lauren Blum
Associate VP, Publicity
Blum is an accomplished PR strategist, with a great passion for communication, journalism, business and leadership. She has delivered outstanding film, digital and home entertainment campaigns over the years. Recent campaign highlights include Belle, FernGully: The Last Rainforest 30th anniversary, Child’s Play collector’s editions, Oliver Stone’s JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, Old Henry and “The Six Million Dollar Man,” and home entertainment releases from GKIDS, Studio Ghibli and Laika Studios.

Kathy Callahan
VP, Special Market Sales and E-Commerce
Callahan is a 30-plus year veteran of entertainment media sales and marketing. She joined Shout! Factory in 2006. Since 2012 she has served as VP, overseeing Shout Factory’s e-commerce businesses, which include ShoutFactory.com and the company’s Marketplace businesses. Callahan also handles Shout! Factory specialty sales and non-traditional sales in general.

Julie Dansker
SVP, Streaming and Content Strategy
A seasoned entertainment executive with long-standing relationships with esteemed content creators, content buyers, digital and streaming platforms, studios, and networks, Dansker oversees the licensing and streaming sales team, leading the streaming and content distribution strategy for Shout! Factory. She drives the monetization for all film and series content across global SVOD and AVOD channel partners and broadcasters, executing licensing deals, managing a portfolio of AVOD channel partners, and pitching and launching FAST channels. Utilizing data-driven analytics, her team monitors performance and optimizes engagement across partners. Dansker also collaborates with the acquisitions team to identify and acquire elevated new releases and is on the Shout! Studios’ originals team developing original content across television, feature films and podcasts, actively pitching and setting up original productions. Most notable recent films include the award-winning Shout! Studios’ original Old Henry, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, as well as recent SXSW pick-up Linoleum, starring Jim Gaffigan and Rhea Seehorn.

Lexie Heredia
VP, Financial Planning and Analysis
Heredia manages all new deal evaluations within Shout’s content acquisition process. She also manages overall budgets annually as well as the long-range plan, constantly focused on aligning Shout’s strategic goals with overall forecasting into the future. Additionally, she is a member of Shout’s DEI taskforce, a committee that leads the company’s internal efforts with regards to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, as well as serves to find outreach opportunities within the community also focused on these efforts, such as internship/mentorship partnerships with Academy Gold Rising and continued sponsorship of the City of Angels Women’s Film Festival. Through her 10 years at Shout, she has remained passionate about the company’s growth and success as both a distributor of film and television content, as well as its culture and core values.

Karrie Stouffer
VP, Creative Services
Stouffer is the head of creative, specializing in entertainment properties. Her expertise spans numerous functions including leading and managing creative campaigns, art direction, design, key art/logo/brand/title treatment development, and project management. Most recently, Stouffer has helped spearhead the branding/merchandising of the relaunch of the beloved series “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” in step with Shout! Factory’s leap into original content.

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Jill Allen
SVP, Digital Distribution
Allen leads Sony Pictures Entertainment’s transactional digital distribution business (TVOD) for North America. In her role she maximizes revenues for SPE’s iconic slate of film and TV content in collaboration with all North American digital retailers. Most recently, she led SPE’s digital home entertainment release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the top-performing digital release of all time. Allen has been at SPE for 16 years in sales and business development roles, with an ongoing focus on the intersection of content and new technologies. Allen also serves as executive sponsor for Voz, SPE’s Latino Employee Resource Business Group, and is a board member of Sony Pictures Action, SPE’s global racial equity and Inclusion initiative. Prior to joining SPE, Allen worked at The Walt Disney Co. and LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton).

Jennifer Anderson
SVP, Global Brand Marketing
Anderson leads the global brand marketing team that oversees and manages lifecycle campaigns across the Sony Pictures slate, establishing key consumer messaging, aligning marketing tactics to core brand strategy and ensuring that product marketing efforts are in line with studio business goals. Some priorities in this rapidly changing landscape have included optimizing release windows, bringing high-end productions direct-to-home, and delighting content-hungry consumers with a wide range of catalog titles that continue to shine.

Geri Bluerock
SVP, Sales and Operations, North America
Bluerock leads the sales and operations organization for the domestic physical business. Her scope includes sales, supply chain, planning, reporting and administration. She has led the evolution of the sales team to integrate data-driven insights addressing retailer and consumer opportunities. Her experience at Sony, MGM and Target includes leadership positions in sales, sales planning and analysis, retail operations, category management, vendor managed inventory, demand planning, and retail buying.

Anja Dang
SVP, Global Audience Analytics, Data Science and Business Insights
Dang leads the team that develops Sony Pictures’ capabilities to become a more consumer-centric and data-driven organization. Her team builds, sources, connects and manages consumer and audience-level data assets and capabilities to create consumer segments for activation and design audience activation solutions and to deliver commercial insights. The team accomplishes this through advanced data analytics and machine learning to develop models and apps to enable Sony Pictures to make informed decisions that drive and fulfill the consumer appetite for film and television content across the theatrical, home entertainment and television release windows.

Cathy Goldman
SVP, Global TV Distribution and International Production Marketing
Goldman has been overseeing marketing for Sony Pictures Television International Distribution for the past eight years, and just recently expanded her purview to include the U.S. television distribution business as well as the global transactional business for television product. Alignment of the transactional TV business with distribution allows for a holistic marketing approach across the lifecycle. Core responsibilities include leading brand strategy, promotions, and partnerships and collaborating closely with cross-functional teams across digital/social, creative, creative content, media and publicity for premiere television properties such as “Outlander,” “The Crown,” “Better Call Saul” and “The Blacklist,” as well as key franchises such as “Seinfeld” and Norman Lear favorites.

Jane Mohon
SVP, Media and Home Entertainment/TV Distribution Marketing Services
Mohon is responsible for consumer media strategy, overseeing strategic linear and digital media planning and buying. A champion of an analytics-led strategy, Mohon leverages consumer lifecycle data to drive multi-channel paid media strategies to drive transactions. In addition, she is responsible for consumer-data-driven marketing operations functions, such as Movies Anywhere and the consumer loyalty program within the home entertainment line of business.

Dina Wiggins
SVP, Legal
Wiggins has been overseeing legal affairs for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Television Distribution marketing globally for more than 25 years, closely collaborating with related departments throughout the Sony organization. Her work also encompasses legal analysis and advice for the duration of the licensing, distribution, sales, manufacturing, and other exploitation of movies and television series in all new and established areas of home entertainment for Sony Pictures.

Lindsey Beams, VP, People and Organization Business Partners
Kelly Bouchey, VP, TVOD Client Services
Christine Galloway, VP, Global Digital Marketing
Sachiyo Hirano, VP, Sales Planning
Katie Ullrich, VP, Global Brand Marketing
Michelle Vendange, VP, Global Customer Experience
Jane Webster, VP, New Digital Distribution

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Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Pamela Blum
SVP, Global Marketing
Blum oversees creative marketing services and the development of value-added content for the studio’s digital, Blu-ray and DVD releases on a worldwide basis. Her responsibilities also extend to include maximizing opportunities cross-divisionally within NBC Universal.

Sandy Choi
SVP, Brand Marketing
Choi manages all global marketing and product development for Focus Features’ new-release offerings as well as UPHE’s North American third-party partner relationships. She oversees the development and execution of all marketing campaigns for the partner releases across both digital and physical platforms, as well as leads the cross-functional team responsible for the overall business.

Erica Marie Dionne
SVP, Release Planning and Business Ops
Dionne oversees the studio’s film and television releasing planning process and business operations strategy across digital platforms. Her responsibilities include establishing go-to-market best practices, managing cross-company digital initiatives and identifying opportunities to maximize the value of content on emerging platforms. She serves as a member of Universal Pictures’ Inclusion Committee, leading initiatives that enhance the studio’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workforce and represents NBCUniversal as the Los Angeles Regional Advisory Board Chair for a partner nonprofit, America On Tech.

Denise Haro
SVP, Worldwide Consumer Insights and Strategy
Haro oversees business analytics, focusing on external market analytics, trend analysis and long-term outlook. She also manages UPHE’s consumer insights and research. She is focused on aligning global commercial strategy around product, window, messaging, and innovation founded in business and consumer insights. Throughout her tenure, she has been influential in shaping company strategy.

Jerrlyn Iwata
SVP, Digital Distribution
Iwata oversees business development and distribution for Universal’s domestic digital home entertainment arm. She is responsible for licensing Universal’s film and television content on a transactional basis to cable, satellite, internet and emerging digital platform partners across the United States and Canada.

Stephanie Lutjens
SVP, Global Brand Marketing
Lutjens spearheads global strategic marketing, product development and management of all new-release titles from Universal Pictures, Illumination and DreamWorks Animation, in addition to the studio’s extensive catalog and television library. She also manages worldwide home entertainment promotions.

Lea Porteneuve
SVP, Global Publicity and Communications
Porteneuve oversees business, technology and executive communications for UPHE. She additionally spearheads all strategic publicity initiatives for Universal and its distributed lines, including media and talent relations, events, promotions, promotional partnerships and social media activations in support of the studio’s digital and physical home entertainment offerings. She also actively serves as the company’s principal PR strategist on cross-studio, industry-specific committees.

Stacy Barger, VP, Creative Services
Stephanie Bayer, VP, Creative Services
Jennifer Black, VP, Global Publicity
Eng Chua, VP, Finance and Operations
Leigh Dunleavy, VP, Digital Platforms
Alissa Gury, VP, Global Controller
Nadia Haney, VP, Emerging Partnerships and Formats
Tracy Kim, VP, Digital Distribution and Digital Platforms
Sandy Le Bihan, VP, Global Projects
Marian Mansi, VP, Global Creative Content
Jenna Webb, VP, Global Tech Operations
Shavonne Wieder, VP, Global Brand Marketing

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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Nicole Coleman
SVP, Content Planning and Analysis
Coleman leads analytics, business planning and operations in support of monetizing content and maximizing revenue for the studio. This includes the evaluation of content windowing trade-offs, price optimization and competitive analysis. Additionally, she leads product planning and availability for film and TV content across Warner Bros. Discovery’s vast content portfolio.

Kristina Fugate
SVP, Film Marketing
Fugate handles all theatrical new-release and catalog brand lifecycle marketing efforts across disc and digital platforms, which also includes creative advertising, franchise management and global strategy. Her team executes strategies resulting in strong performances of all Warner Bros. Discovery brands and franchises, including DC and “Harry Potter,” and recent titles including The Batman and Elvis. Additionally, Fugate oversees the 4K Ultra HD slate, including remastering classics such as The Shining, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Singin’ in the Rain and The Shawshank Redemption, and she manages immersive entertainment including Harry Potter VR at the New York City Harry Potter flagship store.

Mary Ellen Thomas
SVP, Television and Originals Product and Brand Marketing
Thomas leads home entertainment global marketing and creative for all non-theatrical content from Warner Bros., Tnets (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TBS, TNT, truTV, CNN) and HBO. She is responsible for driving the overall strategy, product development, creative, marketing and lifecycle management for originals and episodic product lines. In addition, Thomas manages talent and studio relationships and is responsible for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s portfolio brand partners, including Rooster Teeth, Peanuts, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, WWE and Viz Media.

Robyn Sklaren
SVP, Sales Planning
Sklaren is the executive in charge of domestic sales planning and library management for Warner Bros. Discovery’s vast library of films and television shows. She oversees rights, availability, windowing, pricing and strategic content curation across SVOD, AVOD, basic cable, pay cable and other linear networks for domestic content licensing. She leads the music clearance and remastering efforts on hundreds of classic TV series and films such as “Babylon 5,” “Dallas,” “The Flintstones,” Pump Up the Volume, Now & Then and The Outsiders: The Complete Novel.

Kristin Anderson, VP, Television and Originals
Traci Carroll, VP, Creative Advertising
Amy-Beth Chamberlin, VP, Sales Services
Lindsay Feng, VP, Trade Marketing
Sandra S. Kim, VP, Global Product Planning
Tina Depass Lujan, VP, Television and Originals
Angie Lai Makhoul, VP, Film Marketing
Zandra Palmer, VP, Trade Marketing
Beth Wetzel, VP, Creative Advertising Television and Originals

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Women in Home Entertainment 2022: Meet the Captains and See What They Have to Say

Welcome to Media Play News’ fifth annual Women in Home Entertainment issue.

Once again, we are leading off with a special focus on the top “captains” who are driving the industry. This year we have selected 18 women leaders, up from 15 last year. The growing number of “captains” can be attributed to both the healthy and welcome fact that more and more women are joining Hollywood’s executive ranks, as well as the continued broadening of what is considered “home entertainment” due to the proliferation of distribution channels.

Four of them, or 22%, are new to the list: Ellen Goodridge, head of worldwide media management and distribution for Amazon Studios; Shalini Govil-Pai, GM and VP of TV platforms for Google; Jackie Hayes, EVP, legal, for studios and networks at Warner Bros. Discovery; and Yolanda Macias, chief content officer for Cinedigm.

Several others either have completely new roles or have been given additional responsibilities since our last go-round. Among the former is Kelly Campbell, who had been president of Hulu and is now president of Peacock; among the latter is Karin Gilford, who in addition to serving as GM of Movies Anywhere is also SVP of digital media for Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

The common factor, among all 18, is that they hold very important and powerful positions in an industry that has changed dramatically over just the past few years — and one that will likely continue to evolve into the future.

Let’s meet the 2022 Women in Home Entertainment “captains” and see what they have to say.

SEE ALSO: WOMEN IN HOME ENTERTAINMENT 2022 — THE TEAMS

THE CAPTAINS OF HOME ENTERTAINMENT:

Bela Bajaria

Head of Global TV, Netflix

Bela Bajaria

Bajaria was named head of global TV at Netflix in 2020. She oversees all scripted and unscripted series around the world. Bajaria leads the teams responsible for hit series including “Bridgerton,” “The Queen’s Gambit,” “La Casa de Papel” and “Lupin.” Prior to joining Netflix, Bajaria was president of Universal Television, where she made history as the first woman of color to oversee a studio, shepherding programming including “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “The Mindy Project.” Earlier, she held two key posts simultaneously: SVP of cable programming for CBS TV Studios, and SVP of movies and miniseries for CBS Network.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

My parents manage car-washes and have always set an amazing example, not only through their work ethic but also with the way they run their business like a village, fostering a community with warmth and heart. As a leader, I try to run my teams like a family business where people have fun and care about each other while also doing great work.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

To build resiliency, you have to first experience failure — so don’t be afraid to fail. Getting fired from a job was devastating at first, but I ultimately gained more confidence from that experience because I learned to separate who I am from what I do.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

Like most women in entertainment, for a long time I heard doubts about women-led stories and their ability to command large audiences. I’m proud to work with multi-hyphenate talents such as Shonda Rhimes, Mindy Kaling, and many more who have bulldozed that obstacle.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

I’ve been fortunate to have mentors and advocates who supported me, and I’ve been determined to do the same for others, especially young women of color. We have a responsibility to open doors and make room for others who are on the path behind us. As leaders and bosses, we also have a responsibility to fight for pay equity, equal opportunity, and a safe and respectful work environment.

What has you most excited about the future?

My kids are in high school and college, and I’m in awe of how engaged they are in big cultural issues as well as their local communities. I’m excited about the future in their generation’s hands.

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Michele Bell

EVP, Worldwide Creative Services, Paramount Home Entertainment

Michele Bell

Bell oversees all of the division’s product packaging and digital design, in-store and online creative assets, and print, broadcast and online advertising. Bell is recognized for navigating the ever-changing home entertainment landscape with creative solutions that reach a wide range of consumers across traditional retailers and emerging digital platforms. Under her direction, the home entertainment creative team pivoted rapidly to develop assets, trailers and tailored advertising to launch Paramount’s first PVOD releases in 2020 with tremendous success. Her focus is on developing compelling, persuasive, and disruptive creative assets that demand attention and drive consumer sales. Bell has more than 20 years of home entertainment marketing experience. Before joining Paramount in 2005, she was VP of creative services at what was then Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Bell spent the early part of her career at New Line Cinema, rising through the ranks to VP of creative advertising for home entertainment.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

Be your authentic self … the alternative is exhausting. Listen as much as you speak (I still struggle with that one if I’m being honest!). Don’t be afraid to have a dissenting opinion — your unique perspective has value. Lead your teams with compassion and conviction and always be willing to jump in the trenches when needed.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Creative is very subjective and you can really, really love a campaign, but sometimes presentations just don’t go your way. Over the years, I’ve learned to trust my creative instincts and choices, and when I do I find I leave a presentation with more ‘yeses’ than ‘nos.’ Working on a complex campaign with challenging stakeholders and leaving a presentation with a ‘yes’ is definitely a confidence builder. But, rejection does help you build resilience!

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

The single biggest obstacle: TIME! There’s never enough of it! It’s probably the thing most creative people struggle with. If we had more time to ideate, more time to develop, more time to deliver … ah, yes … more TIME would be so nice. As for which obstacles are no more, this is a tough one because it’s impossible to speak for all women, but the post-COVID hybrid work model has helped me overcome the obstacle of achieving better work-life balance. I would venture to guess that’s true for many working women.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Pay equity is probably the single most important thing any industry can do to support women. Progress has been made, but there is still much work to be done in that area.

What has you most excited about the future?

I’ve had an incredibly interesting, challenging and rewarding career in the home entertainment industry, and my role continues to change as our business evolves. How we go to market today is very different than it was when I started, and that is very exciting to me. I look forward to leading my team into the next phase of our business and want to continue delivering breakthrough, world-class creative that elevates and enhances our customer’s experience. Whatever the next big thing is, I hope to be a part of it!!

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Kelly Campbell

President, Peacock and Direct-to-Consumer, NBCUniversal

Kelly Campbell

Campbell is responsible for building and growing the Peacock business. She reports to Matt Strauss, chairman of NBCUniversal  Direct-to-Consumer and International. Prior to joining Peacock in October 2021, Campbell was president of Hulu at The Walt Disney Co. She oversaw Hulu’s SVOD and live-TV streaming businesses. Before that, Campbell was Hulu’s chief marketing officer, leading the brand’s overall marketing and driving the strategic vision and voice behind the Hulu brand. Campbell was responsible for ensuring that Hulu’s consumer proposition and brand was reflected in every aspect of the Hulu experience. Prior to joining Hulu, Campbell spent more than a decade at Google, where she held a variety of leadership and marketing roles across the Google Ads and Google Cloud businesses. She began her career in investment banking at JPMorgan Chase. A respected leader and innovator, Campbell has been recognized as one of Business Insider’s Most Innovative CMOs, the Adweek 50, AdAge’s Women to Watch, FierceCable’s The Fierce 50: Executives Reshaping the Business of Pay TV, and Forbes’ Most Influential Global CMOs.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

Hire leaders you trust, then trust them to do their jobs. It can be hard to “let go” as a leader, but if you want the best talent you have to set leaders up to make decisions. In my role this means my job is less about managing down, and more about paving the way for leaders to move swiftly, and creating the right connection points across the leadership team to go bigger together.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

For me, confidence has always been paired with a sense of humility. I show up as a learner, not afraid to ask questions, even if it’s something I “should” know. It takes confidence to do that, but paired with humility this has helped me learn quickly. It’s a lot easier and faster to learn in the moment, when you are surrounded by the appropriate context and experts. Resilience comes with experience and perspective.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

I have not yet figured out how to manufacture more time in a day.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Foster a culture where diversity is built into the fabric of the team, and where different perspectives are valued and play a critical role in decision-making. We need to identify, hire, support and elevate leaders who are capable of building and leading diverse teams. It helps to do this at the company level, but we need to work harder across companies as an industry.

What has you most excited about the future?

Peacock’s content slate is on track to be unrivaled by any streaming player. We offer consumers more live sports, premium films, premium television series, and original stories than any other SVOD service. Increasingly, consumers are discovering this, and they’re choosing Peacock.

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Andrea Downing

President, PBS Distribution

Andrea Downing

With more than 20 years’ experience in the media and entertainment business, Downing has a successful history of leading organizations for growth and profitability in dynamic landscapes. Her vision for PBS Distribution (PBSd) led to the transformation of the company’s initial focus on physical goods to multichannel, multi-format distribution, creating significant growth in digital distribution. A strategic leader with a strong operational background, Downing embraces change to transform organizations with new business strategies and products. Prior to joining PBSd, she served as the director of operations for Discovery Communications, managing the domestic and international consumer products division, and as the VP for home entertainment and partnerships for PBS. She currently serves on the boards of PBSd, PBS America, and DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, as well as the DEG’s Canon Club Advisory Board.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

Trust your instincts. This sage advice was shared with me by a senior executive who observed me in a bit of analysis paralysis. I have taken it to heart and share it often. The advice I would give to future female leaders is that if you are in the room, act like you belong there and contribute productively to the discussion.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

By stepping in when something needed to be done, and saying yes to any project or task I was asked to do. I learned a lot from doing that and it gave me opportunities I would not have had otherwise. I also took well-considered risks at various points, including stepping back on my career path to start with a larger company where I could create opportunities for growth.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

As for so many, finding enough time to do it all is a challenge and usually results in less sleep and having to make difficult choices. As a single mom, I work hard to find the right “fit” for my family and my career, which has changed over time as my daughters grew and my career evolved. I have a great network of friends and family who provide incredible support, and I would not have been able to juggle everything without them. Plus, an awesome team and family-friendly culture. It truly takes a village!

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

I think we should look back to our own career paths and remember some of the leaders and executives who helped us navigate our own way up and try to do the same for the next generation, either by taking someone under our wing and mentoring them or through an organization like the DEG Canon Club, which is a fabulous organization that supports women in the industry.

What has you most excited about the future?

Change. The media landscape is always evolving and the public media ecosystem is complex. We must anticipate where the market is headed and be nimble enough to pivot. It is deeply satisfying to build and lead the team that can accomplish this and meet the moment, day after day. I am never bored, and that is a huge gift.

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Karin Gilford

SVP, Digital Media, and GM, Movies Anywhere, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution

Karin Gilford

Gilford oversees a portfolio comprised of Movies Anywhere, an independent, dedicated, cross-functional team that includes product, technology and marketing professionals, and Digital Media, a cross-functional team that drives engagement and monetization across The Walt Disney Co. portfolio. She oversees product development, business strategy and long-term growth of all aspects of Movies Anywhere and Digital Media, and serves as key liaison, working with various key stakeholders and participating studios and retailers.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

I have been lucky to work closely with some of the most influential leaders in media. The best lessons I have learned have been from watching them lead our team or company and thinking about how their demeanor, words and actions affected the team they were relying on to power things forward. To me the best advice is to be a kind, ambitious and bold leader. Everyone wants to feel like their leader has their back, is taking them to exciting places and truly values them as an individual. To me, that is the winning combination.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

I feel so lucky to be a leader in media and to have had so many amazing people on my teams. I find my resilience by constantly staying in touch with my role on the team and acknowledging the impact I have on the team and the people in their lives. If I am feeling down, I think about how my actions may make or break someone else’s day. As far as confidence goes, I have seen so many people fake confidence over the years. It has made me realize that confidence and authenticity are intertwined. I lead with authenticity, and confidence comes along.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

I have noticed lately that many of my executive meetings are mostly comprised of women, which is awesome. It seems like the VP/SVP level has really evened out. However, we all still see the lack of diversity at the highest levels of media companies, so there are clearly still obstacles there.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Working parents work 24/7. They get the most done in the shortest amount of time. We should leverage COVID-19 and working from home to let parents be parents, and work, and not have to hide or mask their childcare responsibilities. Normalize talking about childcare duties and the trials, tribulations and joys of parenthood at work.

What has you most excited about the future?

Gen Z! They are doers who don’t accept the norm. I can’t wait to see what this generation does for the world. Bring it on!

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Ellen Goodridge

Head of Worldwide Media Management and Distribution, Amazon Studios

Ellen Goodridge

Goodridge is responsible for global distribution of Amazon Originals content for Amazon Prime Video and Freevee. She oversees high-profile and complex launch projects and collaborates with executive leadership across the studio to build the future of digital entertainment. Prior to joining Amazon, Goodridge enjoyed a long and successful leadership track record at Sony Pictures, culminating in a role as SVP of distribution and content delivery. In this role and her prior roles, she focused on digital transformation, digital and traditional media content and supply chain management, and enablement of major distribution partnerships with platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Google, Amazon, Disney, and broadcast and streaming channels around the world. She also led many first-of-their-kind digital initiatives, including being a key part of the launch and growth of Movies Anywhere, a cross-industry distribution platform.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

I’ve been really lucky to have worked for some really bold and visionary leaders. Early on, I got some advice not to play small and to look for opportunities to think and create differently, but always to back it up with data and clear and transparent communication. I think that future leaders need to make sure that their vision and voice is at the forefront leading change, and not just implementing the change that others put forth.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Confidence and resiliency haven’t been straight linear growth, but have come from the experience of continually taking on challenges, including some day-to-day challenges and some fast-growth, career-defining ones that are difficult, risky, or unfamiliar endeavors. Once you work through a tricky situation on its own terms — even if it doesn’t turn out as planned — you can take that with you into the next level of problem to solve as a key opportunity to learn and grow.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

Having been in this business for a while, I’ve seen many times that there’s a difference between having an innovative idea and getting full buy-in, investment, recognition, and implementation assistance for that idea. Early on in this business, I had been in many situations where a female peer would bring up a good idea but there wouldn’t be the same energy around it and true business buy-in until/unless a male colleague brought it up. However, the good news is that a lot of that has evolved, and the voices around the table are considered much more equally. That said, I think women should challenge themselves to build robust, data-backed business cases for innovation and strive for an equal voice in change.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Through the media we produce, we have a massive role to play in how we drive media representation of women in leadership roles, political roles, intellectual and academic roles, and in finding and highlighting real stories of women who demonstrate what it looks like to have a voice and true power. We can also make sure that our employee teams, partners and vendors accurately reflect the true diversity (gender and otherwise) of our culture. And we can identify up-and-comers who demonstrate leadership potential and take on mentoring roles to help pull women up into leadership and board positions. I’ve been fortunate to have both in-company and external groups of colleagues to whom I could turn for advice on sticky issues, and I think fostering those wider industry conversations is really helpful.

What has you most excited about the future?

I think that there’s a truly intriguing convergence of themes including media technology, consumer-driven content, viewer interactivity, what we can now do with AI that’s really just beginning, and the possibility of entertainment in the metaverse. These and other emerging trends represent major areas of creativity for all of us in media and likely a massive reinvention of even the core definition of media over the next decade or so. It’s an exciting time to be part of the transformation, and it’s a thrill to be working alongside really bright minds who are leading the way.

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Shalini Govil-Pai

GM and VP of TV Platforms, Google

Shalini Govil-Pai

As GM and VP of Google TV, Govil-Pai conceived, implemented and executed the company’s TV strategy and is also leading emerging platform technologies at Google. Earlier, she was senior director for technology solutions at YouTube, where she led the distribution strategy for media creators and DTC businesses — growing this cohort to have 1 billion monthly active users, up tenfold during her tenure. Prior to joining Google, Govil-Pai was technical director at Pixar Animation, where she led efforts for the first entirely CG-animated blockbusters Toy Story and A Bug’s Life. Govil-Pai is a well-known thought leader and speaker on digital production and distribution trends, most recently delivering the keynote at IBC and at Google’s annual hardware event, and was featured on NextTV’s executive watchlist. She is the author of two internationally-published books on computer graphics.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

When I first joined Google, I was given the best piece of advice that I’ve followed ever since. Swim ahead of everyone else to have your voice heard. We all have a point of view, and it’s important for others to know yours. In addition, it pays to strategize and swim ahead of the pack, expressing your opinions to key decision-makers early on. First, it helps you to understand their perspectives so you can reshape yours as necessary. And, secondly, the power of getting in first ensures you’re heard with an unbiased perspective.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Building and executing innovative ideas can be a challenge, and requires patience, planning and a lot of conviction. Through these times, it’s critical to have a village of trusted allies supporting you through the hard times. My village is made up of mentors, coaches, bosses and family — especially my husband, who I met in college and has been my biggest supporter and cheerleader. When I feel weak, they have all been important to instilling confidence in me and encouraging me to keep going.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

Disbelief. My path has been guided by new product innovation, whether it was when I joined Pixar with only 50 employees, YouTube with a team of three, or Google TV from its inception. I was constantly questioned with, “Why will you succeed in this? No one else has. We’ve tried this before and it didn’t work. What a silly idea.” My obstacle was not gender specific, but around working to ensure I don’t let myself lose faith or confidence, and to keep driving with my own convictions.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

I continue to grow and take on bigger challenges by having a solid support system. In my mind, there continues to be a lack of network groups that help women move forward. This is why I am part of two women social groups — Chief and Neythri. The industry can help set up a strong support system for women to set up allies, mentors and sponsors. One of the programs I help run at Google is sponsorship programs, where we pair our emerging talent with key executives who work with them, provide advice and support their career development.

What has you most excited about the future?

Technology is rooted in every aspect of our lives, from information gathering to education and entertainment. I am particularly excited about seeing virtual immersive experiences and applications come to life in virtual galleries such as training for doctors, world travel while at home and entertainment that feels real.

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Jackie Hayes

EVP, Legal for Studios & Networks, Warner Bros. Discovery

Jackie Hayes

Hayes oversees the legal function for Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, the HBO and HBO Max programming units, and the Turner and Discovery Networks and programming units. She also supports the Warner Bros. Global Brands, Franchises & Experiences and the WB Games business units. Hayes is a 24-year veteran of Warner Bros., earlier serving as EVP and general counsel for direct-to-consumer, sales and distribution, and technology and operations. In that role, she led global legal strategy for HBO Max, WarnerMedia advertising sales, home entertainment, content licensing, network distribution, and technology and operations. Hayes began her career at Goulston & Storrs and also worked at Troop Meisinger Steuber & Pasich.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

The best advice I was given was to trust my own voice, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I would give that advice to future leaders, but I would also add, “Don’t settle for unacceptable answers.”

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Confidence comes from moving forward with a full understanding and acceptance that we will most certainly make mistakes, and that those moments will provide the best opportunities to learn. The sun will come up the next day, and we will have more chances to learn and improve. That, and remembering that progress is rarely fast or purely linear.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

I think implicit bias continues to be a big obstacle — sometimes it’s sinister, but I find that most of the time it’s just a matter of people not stretching themselves to seek out and include perspectives that are different from their own. And, even though technology and the internet have made it easier than it’s ever been to connect with diverse perspectives, we seem increasingly confined to our habitual bubbles. On the positive side, I am very happy to see that women are increasingly represented at senior levels of legal departments, although there is still a serious lack of other diversity at senior levels.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

It feels as though the pandemic may have helped open people’s eyes more to the challenges of traditionally gendered roles, whether it’s working, parenting, caregiving or elementary school teaching. I hope the past few years have been a catalyst for increased empathy for what everyone has to go through just to balance their work and non-work lives, and I really hope we don’t lose sight of that as we architect our post-pandemic work lives. That will help everyone, but especially women.

What has you most excited about the future?

I am thrilled to see the level of fearless determination in younger people now, and their willingness to challenge the status quo.

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Rebecca Heap

SVP, Consumer Products & Propositions, Comcast Corp.

Rebecca Heap

Heap leads Consumer Products & Propositions for the residential business of Comcast Cable. She is responsible for driving the vision, roadmap and go-to-market for the company’s converged portfolio, spanning connectivity products with Xfinity Internet, Mobile and Home, and entertainment platforms with Xfinity X1, Flex and Stream. Heap joined Comcast in early 2019 and has held various roles of increasing responsibility, including leading video and entertainment for Xfinity, the nation’s largest pay-TV distributor of video and entertainment services and products. She initially joined the company as SVP of strategic initiatives and projects, responsible for ensuring cross-functional alignment, growth and success across all of Xfinity’s residential business, and identifying opportunities for collaboration across the Comcast portfolio of companies, including NBCUniversal and Sky. Heap has more than 20 years of international experience in telecommunications and digital media spanning a broad range of responsibilities across strategy, product, pricing and packaging, commissioning, acquisitions, programming and distribution. Prior to joining Comcast, she was head of distribution programming and digital for the Australian Broadcasting Corp., responsible for the strategic growth and development of its digital and broadcast platforms to maximize reach and impact.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

You cannot underestimate the power and effectiveness of a team that works well together, one built on trust and strong values. While accomplishing business objectives is the end goal for any functioning team, the leaders I’ve learned from and admired most always start with the team dynamic and relationships. A team that trusts, communicates and is willing to win and lose together is going to move faster and feel more rewarded in the end. For female leaders in particular, know that your empathy and emotions are superpowers that help you understand colleagues (and consumers) better, so get comfortable sharing your full self at work.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

My business successes, as well as my failures, have been great learning experiences as my career progressed. Success can certainly build confidence, but the best resiliency comes from navigating and overcoming failure and obstacles. It is a million times better to have tried and failed than to have done nothing at all. I also find the more I invest in and build interests and passions outside of work — for me that’s reading, cooking, hiking and traveling — the more confident and balanced I am as an individual and a leader.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

We’ve made huge strides, but inclusion needs to remain a big focus for leaders today. As an industry we must keep making sure that diverse voices and ideas are not only at the table but are heard as well. For leadership, that often means talking less to hear more.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Connections, advocacy and mentorship are so incredibly valuable. As an industry we need to focus on putting more women in a position to succeed, with the right tools, resources and network around them. Men are often naturally good at supporting each other, and we need to actively focus on doing the same for women. I have been very fortunate to have some outstanding female mentors who continue to help me grow, learn and connect with like-minded leaders. We can all learn so much from each other.

What has you most excited about the future?

We’re at an inflection point in the industry. Consumers are overwhelmed with streaming options and reaching a tipping point. What stays and what goes? How do we collectively make it as easy and enjoyable as possible for consumers? This is what our industry needs to solve for, and, as a result, we’re going to see a lot of product and commercial innovation in the next few years, which is always thrilling to be part of.

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Alison Hoffman

President, Domestic Networks, Starz

Alison Hoffman

Hoffman oversees key domestic network operations for Starz, a leading global media streaming platform committed to delivering premium content that amplifies narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences. Hoffman has revenue and operational responsibility for the company’s U.S. retail and wholesale businesses, including distribution, marketing, publicity, product development, analytics and program planning. She previously served as chief marketing officer, responsible for spearheading brand and content marketing for the network, driving acquisition for the Starz app and delivering data-driven insights that support all facets of the business. Hoffman was one of the key executives responsible for launching the Starz app and managing the network’s direct-to-consumer business. She has worked closely with partners including Amazon, Hulu and Apple to successfully launch Starz on new platforms while continuing to build the Starz brand. She’s driven record-breaking success through the launches of the entire Starz Originals slate, including the “Power” franchise, “Outlander,” “P-Valley” and “Gaslit,” among many others.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead?

The mantra I embrace is “feedback is a gift” (even when it can feel like a burn). Whether it’s coming from my boss, my colleagues or my team, I try to embrace feedback with curiosity as opposed to defensiveness and see it as an opportunity to learn and widen my perspective.

What advice would you give to future female leaders?

I defer to the ever-quotable Madeleine Albright: “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” As you ascend, make it your mission to amplify the voices and ideas of other
women in your orbit.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Two things that have really anchored me throughout the course of my career are believing in the product and believing in the people I work with. When there are challenges, whether in the business or my career specifically, working on shows I love with people I trust and respect has made all the difference in my ability to recover quickly from setbacks. This is one of the best teams I’ve ever worked with. I don’t feel there’s a challenge this group of people in this organization at this time couldn’t overcome.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

Television is a highly competitive yet subjective business, and there have been multiple times throughout my career where we believed in a show and it didn’t hit the way we wanted — didn’t find the audience, or wasn’t received critically in the way we thought it deserved. That can be frustrating, but it forces you to sharpen your strategy, be bolder and be more relentless in your advocacy the next time. Corporately and creatively, there was a time when the female perspective and gaze wasn’t valued or respected. I think that is continuing to change, with a lot of ground yet to cover. I’m proud that Starz is at the forefront of that work.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Equal pay. A commitment across the industry to annihilate the pay gap.

What has you most excited about the future?

I’m excited about what the future of our industry can look like both in front of and behind the camera with continued commitment to representation like we’re doing at Starz. We have focused our entire business around amplifying the voices, stories and people that haven’t historically been given a platform and believe it will inspire others to do the same. Bringing fresh stories and perspectives to the forefront is powerful, as it allows more people to see nuanced and authentic depictions of themselves on TV. It’s exciting to imagine a future state where that’s the norm, not just in entertainment, but across all industries.

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Hilary J. Hoffman

EVP, Global Marketing, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Hilary J. Hoffman

Hoffman oversees strategic marketing for Universal and its distributed lines worldwide across feature-film new-release, library and TV properties. Her responsibilities encompass defining go-to-market strategies and the company’s overall approach to consumer engagement, including leveraging new platforms and technologies as well as direct-to-consumer initiatives to drive profitable growth. She is responsible for creative, digital content, retail marketing, media, digital marketing, publicity and consumer insights. Since joining the company in 1998 as director of marketing, Hoffman has overseen the campaigns of some of the studio’s most-successful home releases and has been a driving force behind Universal’s leading footprint in new industry initiatives.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Nothing in my career could have prepared me for what we have faced over the past few years. Working through a pandemic and working from home has redefined the meaning of resiliency. In a time that has prompted so much learning and reflection for me personally and professionally, it is clear to me that being a good leader requires equal focus on the right people, the right strategy and the right environment. Working remotely created the opportunity and the challenge to influence and refine the way we operate, and I am especially proud of the exceptional culture that NBCU has fostered. The company’s unwavering dedication to strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion throughout our ranks has engendered meaningful growth across our organization and has enabled me to profoundly evolve my leadership style.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years?

I’ve learned that working in an industry known for its unique challenges and ever-evolving nature requires constant creativity and adaptability, as well as a commitment to doing everything you can to keep teams inspired and motivated. Communication is key. It might sound mundane to some, but I’ve found that something as simple as consistently bringing the teams together provides a meaningful platform for members to contribute and ensures that everyone at all levels remains informed, engaged and aligned in driving the business forward, while also creating a culture of belonging, inclusion and empowerment.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

I feel very fortunate to have built my career in home entertainment. You can see by the number of talented women celebrated in Media Play News that the contributions and impact women have had on this business are far reaching. I believe that elevating that success going forward not only requires women to further support each other, but more importantly, necessitates formal debiasing as an industry of our hiring practices to ensure that as our business continues to evolve, we, too, collectively advance to more accurately reflect the broad range of consumers we serve.

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Agapy Kapouranis

President of International Television & Digital Distribution, Lionsgate

Agapy Kapouranis

Kapouranis spearheads international distribution, acquisitions, sales and marketing for Lionsgate’s television and catalog feature slate. She is responsible for distributing and licensing Lionsgate’s 17,000-title film and TV library, a slate of feature films, a strong line-up of first-run TV series, and a robust portfolio of Starz programming to hundreds of SVOD, AVOD and linear platforms around the world. A versatile and prolific dealmaker, Kapouranis has helped establish Lionsgate as a partner of choice to international buyers in the SVOD, electronic sellthrough, transactional-video-on-demand and ad-supported-video-on-demand spaces. She has helped orchestrate a number of innovative and bespoke licensing deals, including the global syndication of the multiple Emmy award-winning series “Mad Men” to Amazon’s IMDb TV, Amazon’s Prime Video, AMC and StarzPlay as well as the licensing of the Emmy-winning sensation “Schitt’s Creek” to Netflix. Kapouranis joined Lionsgate in 2011 as the Paris-based SVP of television and digital distribution. During her four years in that capacity, she closed global digital sellthrough deals with Apple, Xbox, PlayStation and Google. She was later promoted to EVP of worldwide subscription-video-on-demand. Prior to joining Lionsgate, Kapouranis was VP of international on-demand and new media at MGM Studios.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead?

As a leader you are not in charge; you are taking care of people in your charge.

What advice would you give to future female leaders?

Be open to taking career risks. Trust your ability to learn by doing. Find women that empower, and pay it forward!

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Openness to continue to learn and be curious. I know I do not know everything, and the possibility of learning from anyone is always exciting.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years?

Lack of opportunities. I don’t play golf … yet.

Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

Building a support network has become a lot more accessible — and, as a result, created more opportunities than ever before.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Provide more opportunities.

What has you most excited about the future?

It’s finally our time. Never been better for women!

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Yolanda Macias

Chief Content Officer, Cinedigm

Yolanda Macias

Macias is responsible for acquiring global content rights for all distribution and streaming platforms, and oversees all third-party sales and marketing. She joined Cinedigm in 2013 and has held leadership positions managing three departments and monetizing more than 46,000 films and television series. Macias has more than 25 years of entertainment distribution experience, including executive positions at Vivendi/Universal, DirecTV and The Walt Disney Co. She has a proven track record of developing and building profitable and sustainable businesses, such as the Spanish-language DirecTV subscription service, and Vivendi Entertainment, which was sold to Gaiam Inc. Macias has been honored as one of the Top 50 Women in Business and in 2022 was selected as a finalist as Executive of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead?

Invest in your team and provide them the tools to succeed. Be clear about the direction and mission of the company. Overcommunicate the company’s strategy to support every team player’s role in the context of company goals.

What advice would you give to future female leaders?

Know your mission and role and scope of responsibility. Be intentional with your actions and proposals, supported by facts and an indisputable point of view. Encourage and motivate other women not only in your company but across the industry. Finally, develop, support and inspire younger talent.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Confidence-building is critical and prevents hurdles like imposter syndrome. As you get more wins under your lapel, you may expand your role and take on more responsibility. As you continue to prove yourself and showcase your teams’ efforts you gain the respect and confidence of leadership. In my career I had the privilege to build and grow two businesses. One continues to exist, at DirecTV, and the other was sold to Gaiam and then Cinedigm. I invest in reading and speaking to other colleagues and I pull in best practices along with subject matter expertise to support my everyday work. I believe that one is a student of life, and there is more to learn every day.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

The lack of representation of women and people of color in leadership is a disservice to organizations and to the end service or product. Diverse thought is critical to bringing forth the most meaningful innovative ideas that will serve the makeup of the marketplace. Media Play News’ spotlight on women in leadership is helpful to ask organizations to pause and take stock and evaluate its internal efforts to support the development of female talent. Prior to the pandemic, organizations made strides in offering working mothers in-office accommodations, and with remote work, mothers in the workforce have continued to effectively perform, deliver results, and exhibit their multi-tasking natural qualities. We will see further policy improvements such as these as more women leaders continue to shatter glass ceilings and sponsor these changes.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

I encourage companies to sponsor female leaders to become involved in organizations such as the DEG Canon Club, which supports women in entertainment and technology, and Chief, a private membership network and community focused on connecting and supporting women executive leaders. Also, discourse on global gender-based gaps is important to acknowledge lack of parity and close these gaps as women advance in their leadership journey.

What has you most excited about the future?

With respect to home entertainment, I look forward to the progression of the metaverse and Cinedigm’s version of such an experience — Cineverse. Personally, I look forward to continued board service both on nonprofit organizations and on for-profit public companies. I am excited about sharing my deep work experience and views with other boards in the future.

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Dametra Johnson-Marletti

Chief Commercial Officer, Gaming, Microsoft Corp.

Dametra Johnson-Marletti

Johnson-Marletti is responsible for category management across Microsoft digital storefronts, including Store on Microsoft.com and Microsoft Store on Windows and Xbox. She oversees a multibillion-dollar business, with a global team focused on delivering category growth and connecting tens of millions of customers to content and services across gaming, entertainment, consumer apps, advertising and physical hardware. During her 20-year tenure at Microsoft, Johnson-Marletti has helped shape strategy for several critical products and launches. She most recently served as GM of digital stores category management, playing a key role in the evolution and transformation of Microsoft’s e-commerce policies and business models. Prior to joining Microsoft Store, she worked for nine years on the Xbox business. Outside of Microsoft, Johnson-Marletti sits on the board of Medical Teams International, a global nonprofit organization built around bringing life-saving medical care to people in crisis suffering from preventable diseases.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

I’ve had the great fortune of mentorship by some exceptional leaders throughout my career, so it’s hard to recite what might be the single best advice. That said, the one I think is incredibly relevant for today is to maintain perspective. That can be taken in so many ways, but in short it means work hard and have a big impact, but don’t take yourself or your corporate mission so seriously that you forget what or who is most important in your life in the end. Our jobs are great, and we bring joy to millions, which is admirable and worthy, but there are no cures for diseases in our daily output — so maintain perspective. In addition to the above, I would also give future female leaders the advice to find your authentic voice early and harness the confidence to use it. Too often, we hesitate to say what we think or speak our minds for myriad reasons. Know that your voice matters, and finding a way to bravely and respectfully use it to speak truth to anyone at any level in a way that is truly comfortable and authentic to you can be exceptionally powerful, inspiring and fulfilling.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

I would say there are probably three key approaches that have allowed me to build both confidence and resiliency in my career over the years. First is taking on roles that have aligned with my interest or passions. Whether that was learning a new business or skill or taking on a new challenge, for me having a genuine interest in the role and space has been a key ingredient. Second is always being clear on what is most important in my life and career, then setting boundaries so that I could be intentional in striving for some degree of balance across both. Even with that clarity, achieving balance across family and career is hard, but having that clarity makes those decision points and tradeoffs much easier. Third would have to be having a small personal board of directors or trusted mentors who are my safe place for everything from seeking wise counsel to venting frustrations — and above all keeping me grounded and headed in the right direction.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

Women of color, similarly to any person who sits outside the majority, face sustained challenges and obstacles grounded in bias and systemic discrimination that force them to navigate differently and with unwavering perseverance to achieve similar or greater success. My journey has been no different in that regard. Having the right set of sponsors, personal grit, some strategically placed luck and a lot of divine intervention are all key in working through obstacles. In terms of the progress women have made today, there are countless obstacles that either no longer exist or are materially diminished relative to the past. As we look the women who are C-level leaders, or board directors across this industry and others, it is clear exponential progress has been made. Just look at this year’s impressive list of Media Play News’ industry captains. The progress is impressive relative to the past. However, relative to a future state where we seek to close the gap between what can often be a challenging daily lived experience for women in the workplace and the aspiration of a more safe and equitable culture and experience, we still have much work to do.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Walk the walk when it comes to building diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments and cultures where everyone is inspired to do their best work and feels welcomed and valued. Hold leaders accountable as it pertains to addressing both the conscience and unconscious biases that continue to contribute to a system where the quality and impact of work, contribution and capability are not always equitably valued, especially for women of color. And, above all, ensure that the daily environment is a safe one for women on every dimension.

What has you most excited about the future?

After more than two years of dealing with the effects of a global pandemic, I’m most excited that with each passing day we seem to take steps to return to our more normal routines for day-to-day life and work. Things we previously took for granted are the same things that we now have a bit more appreciation for, like actually going out to dinner and a movie. That said, even as we return to a more familiar way of living, it’s clear that some parts of life and business are forever changed. In that regard I’m looking forward to evolving our business strategies in a way that continues to delight our customers and position our partners for success and drive growth for Microsoft.

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Kim Overall

EVP, Global Data Solutions and AVOD Network, Distribution & Networks, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Kim Overall

Overall leads Sony Pictures Entertainment’s central data team and is responsible for identifying and developing the studio’s capabilities to become a more consumer-centric, data-driven organization. Her group defines the data strategy and utilizes advanced analytics and data science to co-create tools to enable all stakeholders at SPE to make better-informed decisions throughout the value chain. Additionally, she leads the AVOD Audience Network for SPE, building and fostering communities of interest around audience fandom for its rich and diverse repertoire of IP. Overall previously served as SVP of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s United Kingdom, Northern Europe and EMEA partnerships. In this role, she was responsible for defining the commercial strategies for the region and supporting the Europe, Middle East and Africa territories. She joined Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in 2008 as the managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

Seek out the opportunities that feed your mind and soul, know the things that “light you up” and those that “deplete” your energy. Do more of what fuels you. Ask questions, great questions. Unlock great potential, and the journey often is more about learning than the end destination.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

I love the word “courage” vs. “confidence” — it’s more empowering and helpful for me than trying to be confident all of the time. Being compassionate toward yourself and others is harder than we realize sometimes; not listening to the unhelpful noise in our head sometimes and focusing more on what we choose to do about it.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

An obstacle for me was not speaking my truth because of how it might land with the people in the room. So I try to flip it and believe that truths are more powerful when spoken.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Find ways to share and learn from each other professionally and personally. Get to know each other a little more, via a coffee or a bite to eat so we have the opportunity to connect. Find your people and nurture those relationships.

What has you most excited about the future?

Continuing to learn, grow and find new ways to create future value for our organization and our audiences.

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Jessica Schell

EVP and GM, Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Discovery

Jessica Schell

Schell has global responsibility for Warner Bros. Discovery’s transactional home entertainment, including new theatrical titles, catalog films, and TV and originals. In addition, she manages the development and launch of the studio’s new immersive entertainment offerings, including the launch of the first “Harry Potter” virtual-reality experience in Warner’s New York City flagship Harry Potter store, and the upcoming Harry Potter Magic Caster Wand. Prior to joining Warner Bros., Schell spent nine years at NBCUniversal, where she most recently served as EVP of worldwide new media and digital entertainment for Universal Pictures, a role she assumed in late 2011. Before that she was Universal’s EVP of business development and strategic planning. Schell also served as SVP of digital media strategy and business development at NBC Universal. Schell spent the early years of her career at The Walt Disney Co. and Allen & Co.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

I was coached early in my career to make sure to share big-picture goals with the whole team, and leave room for ideas and insights to come from anyone. You’re only as strong as your team, and the more that you can give people the context and tools they need to contribute, the stronger your team will be. Good people often have more to offer than their specific expertise.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

When you’re working in big, matrixed media companies, reorgs and leadership changes can cause a lot of upheaval. I’m now going through my third merger (Comcast/NBCU, AT&T/Time Warner, Discovery/WarnerMedia). But along with each change have come opportunities to learn and grow. And I’ve learned that many changes aren’t necessarily permanent!

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

This isn’t exclusive to women, but increased flexibility in when and where work takes place has helped so many be able to contribute to their full potential without having to totally sacrifice other priorities and obligations.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Continue to support flexible work policies that acknowledge that people have lives outside the office, and don’t penalize the career growth of people who take advantage of flexible policies. We need to keep focusing on the bigger picture of what someone contributes.

What has you most excited about the future?

I’m fortunate to be working with some of the world’s most beloved brands and content, and to be at the forefront of leveraging new technology to connect fans to their passions in innovative and immersive ways.

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Amy Jo Smith

President and CEO, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group

Amy Jo Smith

Smith heads the leading trade group for the home entertainment industry, representing the interests of the world’s largest media and entertainment companies, consumer electronics manufacturers, platform providers and technology companies. A former White House communications advisor, Smith since 1997 has led the industry-funded group’s efforts to enhance and promote home entertainment during its evolution from videocassettes to DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and today’s digital age. Under Smith’s leadership the DEG is credited with helping to make DVD the fastest-growing consumer electronics product in industry history. In 2019 the DEG launched the D2C Alliance Council as a working community within the DEG to represent the global direct-to-consumer media industry and support its members to help create a robust marketplace to lead the new era of content consumption.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

The best advice I’ve been given, and I pass it on as often as I can, is don’t be shy about asking for more responsibility, more compensation, more whatever it is you need to make your job rewarding and to fulfill your purpose.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

A career is only as meaningful as the life balance you build with it. Make sure you have time away from the office that is rewarding and relaxing.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

This may be unique to our industry, but it seems that women are considered for all positions, at all levels.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

I think it is beneficial to stop making a distinction between male and female leaders. I look forward to the day when it isn’t necessary to call out gender, and we can instead simply focus on our top leaders.

What has you most excited about the future?

The most exciting thing about our industry and its future is the quantity of fantastic content that is being produced and distributed globally. So, I am most excited about the next thing I’m going to stream!

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Lexine Wong

Head of Global Multichannel Distribution Marketing, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Lexine Wong

Wong oversees marketing for the global home entertainment and television distribution businesses for Sony Pictures. As part of the marketing leadership team charged with integrating and leveraging collective expertise across the product lifecycle, Wong manages a team on the front line of responding to the new and emerging distribution patterns of today’s rapidly changing marketplace. She oversees the delivery of breakthrough, sharable and highly interactive marketing experiences across the studio’s full range of properties — from film to television, catalog and beyond — all with a data and insights-driven approach that prioritizes consumer engagement and transaction. Specific areas of oversight include consumer and brand strategy, creative advertising, media, digital marketing, publicity, strategic partnerships, content production, and fostering innovation within emerging platforms critical for growth in the industry, including Movies Anywhere and 4K Ultra HD. With more than 25 years in the home entertainment industry, Wong has overseen the studio’s biggest revenue-generating home entertainment releases. More recently, Wong has brought consumer-facing marketing strategies to the global television distribution business.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

One of the best pieces of advice I received was to accept that you don’t know everything and mistakes will be made. Often as females we tend to try to be perfect, crossing all our t’s and dotting all our i’s, which in itself isn’t a bad thing, but the downside of pursuing perfection can sometimes be missed opportunities, or lack of risk-taking which can often lead to quicker innovation and learnings. Take advantage of formal mentorship programs in your company. If you don’t have any, reach out to senior execs for an “informational” and you’ll be surprised how many will be open to continuing the relationship. Don’t underestimate the power of mentors and networks. Additionally, to earn respect you must gain it through leading by example. Some fundamental principles that I try to focus on are: building trust through transparency, consistent communication in context, and listening to learn. Also BE POSITIVE; no one likes to be around negative energy.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Know your stuff! Understand your business and what impacts it, whether it is technology, data intelligence, new marketing platforms, competition, etc. The old adage, knowledge is power, is true. Volunteer for projects that are out of your comfort zone and make you a little “sweaty” because if you’re persistent and do the work, hopefully you’ll be the next one picked to run a key project. Once you have a few successful projects under your belt, it will help propel you upwards. The old adage, success begets success, is also true.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

Understanding that you don’t have to be the loudest and most talkative in the room to get a seat at the table. I am shy by nature but found there is a role for quiet leadership that allows for teams to grow and thrive beneath you. It requires you to effectively delegate and foster teamwork and collaboration. It also forces a two-way dialogue, which provides a great feedback loop. As for obstacles for women that are no more, I’m thankful for our People & Organization team who are exceptional and have the pulse of our organization, which continues to address and alleviate some of the historical challenges for women.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

There are so many great industry bodies and networking groups for women that are looking to cultivate relationships. Women also need to take control and actively manage their careers by seeking both internal and external opportunities, such as applying for mentorships or enrolling in courses or workshops, as well joining employee business resource groups that provide an additional outlet to network and work on passion projects.

What has you most excited about the future?

Driving our studio’s strategy and seeing it play out. We have so many exciting projects in development, both film and television, from franchise properties to new original IP. If you love content, Sony is the place to be. Figuring out how to maximize our content in this ever-changing business is critical and fun. It takes a lot of collaboration between different teams to figure out the best strategy but we’re all aligned to achieve maximum success.

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Universal’s Kathleen Gallagher Promoted From Home Entertainment to Theatrical

Universal has promoted Kathleen Gallagher — a key executive with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and a four time honoree in Media Play News’ annual Women in Home Entertainment — to EVP and general sales manager of North American theatrical distribution.

She will report to Universal president of domestic theatrical distribution Jim Orr.

In her new role, Gallagher will head up the sales teams in the U.S. and Canada, creating strategies that optimize theatrical performance for all Universal titles. She will also further relationships with exhibition, as well as partner closely with key stakeholders across International Distribution, Home Entertainment and Marketing.

“Kathleen is a trusted distribution and sales executive who’s innovative strategies have benefited Universal for more than 20 years,” Orr said in a statement. “She brings to this position a wealth of knowledge and experience across the industry that will benefit us greatly.  I look forward to partnering with her as we build strategies that will continue to optimize Universal’s theatrical performance across North America.”

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Gallagher was previously EVP of global physical home entertainment at Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. It was a position she assumed in 2020 in which she was charged with leading Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s physical home entertainment operations worldwide, overseeing the company’s North American joint distribution venture Studio Distribution Services (SDS) with WarnerMedia, as well as a diverse slate of licensing and distribution partnerships around the world with partners including WarnerMedia, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Paramount Pictures.

Women in Home Entertainment 2021: Meet the Captains and See What They Have to Say

Like the world in general, Hollywood was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Productions were halted, theaters were shut, and stay-at-home orders, along with a proliferation of streaming services, led to a surge in home viewing.

But one of the few things the pandemic did not disrupt was the progress of women in Hollywood. In June, women accounted for seven of 12 governors elected for the first time to the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. UCLA’s 2021 Hollywood Diversity Report, released in April, found that in the top 185 films of 2020, women made up 47.8% of lead actors and 41.3% of overall casts — up from 44.1% and 40.2%, respectively, in the prior year.

Behind the scenes, there have been gains as well — although there’s still much work to be done. The Diversity Report found that women made up 26% of film writers and 20.5% of directors, up from 17.4% and 15.1% the year before. And on the studio level, data was conspicuously absent from the 2021 Hollywood Diversity Report — which the year before found that at the top 11 studios, only 18% of C-level positions, and 20% of all senior executive positions, were held by women.

At Media Play News, we believe further change will be driven by raising the profile of the female executives we do have and celebrating their achievements. As Serena Williams once said, “The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another.”

SEE ALSO: WOMEN IN HOME ENTERTAINMENT 2021 — THE TEAMS

Our fourth annual Women in Home Entertainment report once again features a special focus on the top “captains” who are driving the business, an elite group that this year has grown to 15 (from 12 the year before) in recognition of the blurring of lines between traditional home entertainment, television, streaming and other channels of distribution, as well as the growing number of women in high-profile executive positions. Six are new to the list; three returning executives have expanded roles and broadened responsibilities. They all have very important jobs — and they all have some equally important things to say.

THE CAPTAINS OF HOME ENTERTAINMENT: WHO THEY ARE

Bela Bajaria

Head of Global TV, Netflix

Bela Bajaria

Bajaria was named head of global TV for Netflix in 2020, overseeing English-language and local-language scripted and unscripted series around the world. Bajaria leads the team for all of television and is responsible for hit series including “Bridgerton,” “The Queen’s Gambit,” “Lupin” and “Cobra Kai.” Prior to joining Netflix in 2016, Bajaria was president of Universal Television, where she made history as the first woman of color to oversee a studio. Earlier, she held two key posts simultaneously: SVP of cable programming for CBS TV Studios, and SVP of movies and miniseries for CBS Network. Bajaria has been honored by The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment list and Variety’s L.A. Women’s Impact Report, and she was named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in 2020. Bajaria has been honored by the “I Have a Dream” Foundation of L.A. and The March of Dimes Foundation and was given the Industry Leadership Award from the L.A. Indian Film Festival.

Michele Bell

EVP, Worldwide Creative Services, Paramount Home Entertainment

Michele Bell

Bell oversees all of the division’s product packaging and digital design, in-store and online creative assets, and print, broadcast and online advertising. Bell is recognized for navigating the ever-changing home entertainment landscape with creative solutions that reach a wide range of consumers across traditional retailers and emerging digital platforms. Under her direction, the home entertainment creative team pivoted rapidly to develop assets, trailers, and tailored advertising to launch Paramount’s first PVOD releases in 2020 with tremendous success. Her focus is on developing compelling, persuasive and disruptive creative assets that demand attention and drive consumer sales. Before joining Paramount in 2005, Bell was VP of creative services at what was then Universal Studios Home Entertainment for nearly four years and, before that, VP of creative services at New Line Cinema, also for four years.

Kelly Campbell

President, Hulu

Kelly Campbell

Campbell manages Hulu’s suite of on-demand and live-streaming businesses within the Walt Disney Co.’s Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED) business unit. Late last year, she was given additional oversight of Disney’s Digital Media and Movies Anywhere businesses. Campbell previously served as chief marketing officer of Hulu, where she led Hulu’s overall marketing across the SVOD and Live TV businesses. As CMO, Campbell worked closely with the company’s technology, distribution, content and product leaders to ensure that Hulu’s consumer proposition and brand was reflected in every aspect of the Hulu experience. Prior to Hulu, Campbell was managing director of growth marketing for Google Cloud. Campbell has earned several industry accolades, including one of Business Insider’s Most Innovative CMOs, Cynopsis Media’s Top Women in Digital Media, AdAge’s Women to Watch, FierceCable’s The Fierce 50: Executives Reshaping the Business of Pay-TV, and Forbes’ Most Influential Global CMOs list.

Andrea Downing

President, PBS Distribution

Andrea Downing

With more than 20 years of experience in the media and entertainment business, Downing has a successful history of leading organizations in dynamic landscapes. Her vision for PBS Distribution led to the transformation of the organization’s initial focus on physical goods to multichannel, multi-format distribution, with a diversified portfolio of businesses, including three direct-to-consumer, subscription video-on-demand services at its core. This evolution has created significant growth and profitability. Her vision for PBS Distribution has evolved the focus of the organization to a global distribution company. A strategic leader with an extensive operational background, Downing embraces change to transform organizations with new business strategies and products. Prior to joining PBS Distribution, she was director of operations for Discovery Communications, managing the domestic and international consumer products division. She currently serves on the boards of PBS Distribution, PBS America and DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, as well as the DEG’s Canon Club Advisory Board.

Kathleen Gallagher

EVP, Global Physical Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Kathleen Gallagher

Gallagher assumed her present position in 2020 and is charged with leading Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s physical home entertainment operations worldwide, overseeing the company’s North American joint distribution venture Studio Distribution Services (SDS) with WarnerMedia, as well as a diverse slate of licensing and distribution partnerships around the world with partners including WarnerMedia, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Paramount Pictures. Among the distributed lines under Gallagher’s purview are films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination, NBC Universal, Entertainment One, Funimation, Shout! Factory and STX. Gallagher previously served for two years as EVP and GM of North America. Before that she was SVP of sales, customer marketing and category management for UPHE’s U.S. physical sellthrough and rental businesses. She started at Universal in 2000 as assistant category manager and served in various sales, category management and customer marketing positions. Gallagher began her career in 1999 at Sony Pictures Entertainment (at the time, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment).

Rebecca Heap

SVP, Consumer Products and Propositions, Comcast Corp.

Rebecca Heap

Heap leads Consumer Products & Propositions for Xfinity, which is the nation’s largest pay-TV distributor of video and entertainment services. With a strategic focus on innovation and seamless access to the best entertainment experiences across platforms, Comcast has introduced next-generation video products and services under the Xfinity brand that transcend traditional TV, including Xfinity X1, the company’s flagship entertainment platform for its TV customers, and Xfinity Flex, a 4K streaming device that enables Xfinity Internet customers to easily find all of their streaming services and manage their connected home network. Heap has 20 years of international experience in telecommunications and digital media spanning a broad range of responsibilities across strategy, product, pricing and packaging, commissioning, acquisitions, programming, and distribution. Prior to joining Comcast, she was head of distribution, programming and digital for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, responsible for the strategic growth and development of its digital and broadcast platforms to maximize reach and impact.

Alison Hoffman

President, Domestic Networks, Starz

Alison Hoffman

Hoffman oversees domestic network operations for Starz, including all aspects of marketing and promotion, product development, distribution, analytics, and program operations. She previously served as chief marketing officer, responsible for spearheading brand and content marketing for the network, driving acquisition for the Starz app and delivering data-driven insights that support all facets of the business. Hoffman was one of the key executives responsible for launching the Starz app and managing the network’s direct-to-consumer business. She has worked closely with partners including Amazon, Hulu and Apple to successfully launch Starz on new platforms while continuing to build the Starz brand as the premium streaming content platform appealing to female audiences around the world. She’s led campaigns for the entire Starz Originals slate, including “Power,” “Outlander,” “Vida” and “American Gods.” In the past year, Hoffman assumed oversight of program operations and built world-class acquisition marketing and insights and analytics departments for Starz from the ground up.

Hilary Hoffman

EVP, Global Marketing, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Hilary Hoffman

Hoffman oversees strategic marketing for Universal and its distributed lines worldwide across feature film new-release, library and TV properties. Her responsibilities encompass defining go-to-market strategies and the company’s overall approach for consumer engagement, including developing and leveraging new platforms and technologies as well as direct-to-consumer initiatives to drive profitable growth. She is responsible for creative, digital content, retail marketing, media, digital marketing, publicity and consumer insights. Hoffman has developed cross-divisional efforts within Comcast/NBC Universal, resulting in increased exposure for key releases. Her focus on the digital space is ongoing with marketing initiatives across paid, owned and earned platforms that improve targeting and direct-to-consumer outreach. Additionally, she serves as UPHE’s key representative on priority industry initiatives, with a particular focus on evolving new and emerging technologies into revenue generating businesses.

Dametra Johnson-Marletti

Corporate VP, Category Management, Digital Storefronts, Microsoft Corp.

Dametra Johnson-Marletti

Johnson-Marletti is responsible for category management across Microsoft digital storefronts, including Store on Microsoft.com and Microsoft Store on Windows and Xbox. She oversees a multi-billion-dollar business, with a global team focused on delivering category growth and connecting tens of millions of customers to content and services across gaming, entertainment, consumer apps, advertising and physical hardware. During her 20-year tenure at Microsoft, Johnson-Marletti has helped shape strategy for several critical products and launches. She most recently served as GM of digital stores category management, playing a key role in the evolution and transformation of Microsoft’s e-commerce policies and business models. Prior to joining Microsoft Store, she worked for nine years on the Xbox business. Outside of Microsoft, Johnson-Marletti sits on the board of Medical Teams International, a global nonprofit organization built around bringing life-saving medical care to people in crisis suffering from preventable diseases.

Agapy Kapouranis

President, International Television and Digital Distribution, Lionsgate

Agapy Kapouranis

Kapouranis spearheads international distribution, acquisitions, sales and marketing for Lionsgate’s television and catalog feature slate. She is responsible for distributing and licensing Lionsgate’s 17,000-title film and TV library, a slate of feature films, a strong line-up of first-run TV series, and a robust portfolio of Starz programming to hundreds of SVOD, AVOD and linear platforms around the world. A versatile and prolific dealmaker, Kapouranis has helped establish Lionsgate as a partner of choice to international buyers in the SVOD, electronic sellthrough, transactional video-on-demand and ad-supported video-on-demand space. Kapouranis joined Lionsgate in 2011 as SVP of television and digital distribution and was based in Paris for four years. In that capacity, she closed global digital sellthrough deals with Apple, Xbox, PlayStation and Google. She was later promoted to EVP of worldwide subscription video on demand. Prior to working at Lionsgate, Kapouranis served as VP of international on-demand and new media at MGM Studios.

Jennifer Mirgorod

Head of Partner Management and Partner Marketing, WarnerMedia

Jennifer Mirgorod

Mirgorod is responsible for the distribution and marketing of WarnerMedia’s portfolio of linear television networks, premium channels and direct-to-consumer brands, which include HBO, HBO Max, Cinemax, CNN, TNT, TBS, TCM, truTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and HLN, as well as its transactional video business. Based in Atlanta, Mirgorod also leads a team responsible for multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) partners in North America and global platforms. A seasoned cable veteran, Mirgorod previously served as EVP of content distribution and strategic partnerships for WarnerMedia Distribution, where she was responsible for account management, affiliate marketing and business development as well as serving as a conduit between the Turner brands and the distribution division. Before that she was EVP of brand distribution for Turner Content Distribution (TCD). Earlier positions include SVP of sales and marketing, and VP of strategic marketing. Mirgorod joined TCD in 2003.

Kim Overall

EVP, Consumer Insight and Innovation, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Overall leads Sony Pictures Entertainment’s central data team and is responsible for identifying and developing the studio’s capabilities to become a more consumer-centric, data-driven organization. Her group defines the data strategy and utilizes advanced analytics and data science to co-create tools to enable all stakeholders at SPE to make better-informed decisions throughout the value chain. She assumed her present position in 2015. Previously, Overall served for three years as SVP of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s United Kingdom, Northern Europe and EMEA partnerships. In this role, she was responsible for defining the commercial strategies for the region and supporting the EMEA territories. She joined Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in 2008 as the managing director for Australia and New Zealand. Earlier, Overall was VP of international sales marketing for Paramount Home Entertainment from 2006 to 2008, and VP of international marketing for DreamWorks Animation from 2004 to 2006.

Jessica Schell

EVP and GM, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Jessica Schell

Schell has global responsibility for WarnerMedia’s transactional home entertainment, including new theatrical titles, catalog films, TV and originals. In addition, she manages the development and launch of the studio’s new immersive entertainment offerings. This summer she oversaw the launch of the first Harry Potter Virtual Reality experience in Warner’s New York City flagship store. Prior to joining Warner Bros., Schell spent nine years at NBC Universal, where she most recently served as EVP of worldwide new media and digital entertainment for Universal Pictures, a role she assumed in late 2011. Before that she was Universal’s EVP of business development and strategic planning. Schell also served as SVP of digital media strategy and business development at NBC Universal. Schell spent the early years of her career at the Walt Disney Co. and Allen & Co. and is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.

Amy Jo Smith

President and CEO, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group

Amy Jo Smith

Smith heads the leading trade group for the home entertainment industry, representing the interests of the world’s largest media and entertainment companies, consumer electronics manufacturers, platform providers and technology companies. A former White House communications advisor, Smith since 1997 has led the industry-funded group’s efforts to enhance and promote home entertainment during its evolution from videocassettes to DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and today’s digital age. Under Smith’s leadership, the DEG is credited with helping to make DVD the fastest-growing consumer electronics product in industry history. In 2019, the DEG launched the D2C Alliance Council as a working community within the DEG to represent the global direct-to-consumer media industry and support its members to help create a robust marketplace to lead the new era of content consumption. A University of Pennsylvania graduate, Smith serves on the Advisory Board of the Annenberg School at Penn, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and the Tom Sherak MS Hope Foundation Board.

Lexine Wong

Head of Global Multichannel Marketing, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Lexine Wong

Wong oversees marketing for the home entertainment and television distribution businesses for Sony Pictures. As part of the marketing leadership team, Wong oversees the delivery of marketing experiences across the studio’s full range of properties — from film to television, catalog and beyond — all with a data- and insights-driven approach that prioritizes consumer engagement and transaction. Specific areas of oversight include consumer and brand strategy, creative advertising, media, digital marketing, publicity, strategic partnerships, content production, and innovation within emerging platforms critical for growth in the industry, including Movies Anywhere, augmented reality and 4K Ultra HD. With more than 25 years in the home entertainment industry, Wong has overseen the studio’s biggest revenue-generating home entertainment releases as well as hugely successful TV-on-DVD releases. Wong serves as a member of Sony Pictures Action, SPE’s global racial equity and inclusion initiative. She co-chairs the Partners sub-committee focused on maintaining a vendor and partner constituency that shares the studio’s diversity and inclusion values.

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THE CAPTAINS OF HOME ENTERTAINMENT: WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY

 

Bela Bejaria, Netflix

How has your job, and your work environment, changed? We’re a global company so many of our meetings were already virtual pre-COVID. My job hasn’t changed that much — the location of where I sit has, along with not being able to travel to see the team.

What lies ahead for both segments of home entertainment, transactional and streaming? We’re continuing to see audiences welcome streaming entertainment, but it still only accounts for 27% of viewing, with Netflix 7% of that. So there’s still plenty of room to grow.

What makes a good leader? Someone who creates an environment for people to do their best work — an environment in which people can grow and take risks and learn. A leader knows and meets the needs of the individuals and the team.

What do you look for in an employee? Curiosity, positive attitude, collaborative — selflessness and good judgment.

Your life, in one movie title: A Map of the World.

 

Michele Bell, Paramount Home Entertainment

How has your job, and your work environment, changed? So much has changed in the past year-and-a-half that it’s hard to capture it all — COVID, quarantine, working remotely, home premieres, home schooling, you name it. My job is definitely more intense due to the increased need for content and the challenges of executing creative campaigns in a fully remote, limited bandwidth home office environment. Oh, and Zoom bombs from my children and dogs did not occur when I was in my office on the lot! Still, it has been an incomparable experience, and I have to say I’m incredibly proud of my team’s resilience, creativity and stamina through it all.

What lies ahead for both segments of home entertainment, transactional and streaming? What’s great is that it’s clear there’s space for both, in that consumers are engaging with physical media, digital and streaming platforms, and we’re seeing that in sales and subscriptions. It will be interesting to see how it continues to develop, and hopefully consumer appetites will remain strong for all home entertainment product. As with the transition from videocassette to DVD and the addition of Blu-ray Disc, 4K and digital, change in this business is constant as ever, and it’s exciting to be part of the evolving home entertainment landscape.

What makes a good leader? I think a good leader is comprised of many characteristics. They inspire, challenge and support their teams, and can also jump into the trenches when necessary. They lead by example and manage down as well as they manage up. Good leaders value diverse voices and opinions and encourage authentic expression. They give constructive and honest feedback and foster an environment that is inclusive, productive, engaging, fun and allows for autonomy, but with accountability.

What do you look for in an employee? To be successful in what we do, it helps to have a genuine love of movies and have passion for the work — but be strategic in execution. I look for individuals who have a clear vision for what they need to accomplish and are bold and declarative with their creative choices. I love a sense of humor and those who aren’t afraid to speak their minds. I’m fortunate to have all of that and more in my amazing home entertainment creative team!

Your life, in one movie title: Do the Right Thing.

 

Kelly Campbell, Hulu

How has your job, and your work environment, changed? Like everyone else, it’s changed in many ways. Working from home definitely has its rewards, like the ability to be home every night for dinner with my family, but it’s also peppered with challenges because it can be difficult to draw clear lines between work and home life. I’m still learning to balance both. As a business leader, I wear many hats and I strive to balance being a steward of the company and our goals, being a strong coach and advocate for our teams and maintaining a culture that attracts, develops and retains the best talent. This past year, I’m especially proud of our team’s ability to navigate through unprecedented challenges while also achieving exceptional outcomes.

What lies ahead for both segments of home entertainment, transactional and streaming? I believe that streaming is the most exciting place to be in this industry right now, largely because that is where consumers are going. That being said, streaming and transactional businesses will continue to complement each other by providing consumers with opportunities to experience content in different ways. These businesses may also start to converge, as the lines between the two start to blur. Across the industry, it’s clear that viewers will show up for both streaming and transactional in-home entertainment. We’re learning better ways of doing things we’ve always done, and these learnings will continue to drive us as we go forward.

What makes a good leader? A good leader shares a clear vision, removes obstacles, and sets their team up to achieve. It’s critical for leaders to be fully present and engaged. Furthermore, it’s important to be visible, at times leading the conversation, at other times as a listener and learner. Finally, I think a good leader surrounds her/himself with a team of trusted leaders who are empowered to make decisions and move their part of the business forward.

What do you look for in an employee? We are accountable to one another, and in order to achieve what we set out to do, we need people who possess a can-do attitude, take initiative and have a strong drive to get things done. No one person or team can do everything, so if people can maintain a high degree of integrity and make strategic decisions with confidence, that’s all I can ask for.

Your life, in one movie title: Your Day Will Come.

 

Andrea Downing, PBS Distribution

How has your job, and your work environment, changed? PBS Distribution has always had to be nimble, anticipating where the market is headed and focusing on continuous improvement. This really helped us when the pandemic hit. Once we were 100% remote, we quickly assessed how we were working as a team and the framework we needed to be connected and informed so we could make good business decisions. We pivoted quickly when things were not going according to plan and doubled down when they exceeded our expectations. Now we’re moving into a hybrid work plan to build on our “remote” strengths while creating room for connection and collaboration.

What lies ahead for both segments of home entertainment, transactional and streaming? What we think of as “home entertainment” will continue to expand and evolve significantly. We’ll also see tremendous change in how content is funded, distributed and consumed. The rise in transactional spending during the pandemic surprised many of us, but it’s clear the long-term growth drivers are subscription and ad-supported streaming. This rise has already shifted the balance inside many media organizations and has affected permanent change to longstanding industry models like funding sources and release windows. At the end of the day, “home entertainment” has become core to the industry’s future success.

What makes a good leader? I think the last year has shown us that good leaders are flexible, listen really well, and are open to letting go of what they “know” in favor of trying new things to see what will lead to success. They set a clear and engaging vision, overcommunicate, and help their teams build resilience. Most important, good leaders know they cannot achieve success on their own and that a good team is invaluable to the sustainability of an organization.

What do you look for in an employee? To me, the best employees are successful because they are curious and see ways to contribute that are often outside their role. They take initiative, learn from their failures, have integrity and strong ethics, and use critical judgment. Most of all, they are team players who are focused on moving the business forward.

Your life, in one movie title: Riding the Waves, because it seems like that’s what life is really about! In our lives, we experience everything from gentle swells that are easy to ride to astonishing waves that are exhilarating to ones that come out of nowhere that knock us around. But we keep getting back on the surfboard and going out to find the next great set of waves.

 

Kathleen Gallagher, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

How has your job, and your work environment, changed? My organization has undergone a massive change over the past year since announcing our plans to launch a joint venture with our partners at WarnerMedia. I am incredibly proud of both organizations for what we were able to accomplish in setting up the new organization against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, including working from home, distance learning and all of the additional challenges that 2020 brought us.

What lies ahead for both segments of home entertainment, transactional and streaming? The creation of the joint venture, SDS, was driven by the need to find efficiencies to successfully position us to continue to support the physical piece of our home entertainment business. We continue to be impressed by the strong performance of our library content over the past year. It’s served as a great reminder that consumers want and need to interact with our content in many different ways.

What makes a good leader? The right blend of strategic thinking, tenacity and empathy — especially in today’s environment.

What do you look for in an employee? The best team is one where everyone is willing to roll up their sleeves, be creative, and have the ability to flex to meet the changing needs of the organization.

Your life, in one movie title: It’s Complicated.

 

Rebecca Heap, Comcast

How has your job, and your work environment, changed? An easier question would be, “What hasn’t changed?” Over the past year, we have seen so much change — social change, changing consumption patterns, new industry dynamics, changes to the way we work. It’s exciting and I’m grateful to work in a role and organization that is as dynamic as the industry we work in.

What lies ahead for both segments of home entertainment, transactional and streaming? Ultimately, I think there’s a place for both as today’s consumers value more choice and flexibility in their home entertainment. As the industry continues to evolve, our goal will be continuing to meet customers where they are — offering easy access to the content customers want, surfacing winning recommendations when they need them, on the terms that work best for the customer.

What makes a good leader? A “good” leader is not good enough! Leadership is a lifelong art that I will always want to be better at and I’m grateful to have been able to work with, and learn from, some of the very best. Top of my list of great leader attributes are a clear vision, the ability to empower others, inclusivity, an eye for talent and a genuine interest in your teammates.

What do you look for in an employee? Passion, curiosity, initiative, empathy for customers and colleagues, and the ability to execute.

Your life, in one movie title: How to Train Your Dragon.

 

Alison Hoffman, Starz

How has your job, and your work environment, changed? Many more Zooms. No more high heels.

What lies ahead for both segments of home entertainment, transactional and streaming? Like in so many other segments, the future is aggressively female. Women will continue to drive subscriptions and viewership in the household and demand programming that reflects their lives and experiences in a real and honest way.

What makes a good leader? Understanding what the team around you needs to succeed, both as a unit and individually, and then being relentless about putting those things in place.

What do you look for in an employee? Curiosity, passion, empathy, smarts and ambition.

Your life, in one movie title: It’s Complicated.

 

Hilary Hoffman, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

How has your job, and your work environment, changed? In a time when so many businesses faced unprecedented challenges, I am incredibly proud of our marketing team, who so skillfully adapted to working remotely. More than a year later, creativity and productivity remain high across the team, as we continue to test, learn and innovate amid what is still a very fluid global landscape. While we have experienced meaningful upside in working together remotely, I look forward to returning to the office for that in-person collaboration that I have always found to be engaging and motivating.

What lies ahead for both segments of home entertainment, transactional and streaming? We are seeing transactional and streaming continuing to grow and co-exist. As this past year has so clearly underscored, content is still king. Consumers wanting choice and convenience have become progressively more savvy about how and where to find content cross-platforms, driving increased momentum across all digital. Our plan is to continue leveraging this momentum to further differentiate our offerings and drive home the unique benefits of ownership, delivering entertaining bonus content and reminding consumers that ownership means your movie is always on.

What makes a good leader? In a year that has prompted so much learning and reflection for me personally and professionally, I think it is clear that being a good leader requires focus on a combination of having the right people, the right strategy and the right environment. Working from home creates a challenge to maintain the right environment, but I am proud of the NBCU culture and believe that it has endured through the last year. NBCU is also very dedicated to strengthening our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. The opportunity to learn and educate myself as leader and as part of the organization as a whole has allowed me to evolve my leadership style in a meaningful way.

What do you look for in an employee? Working in an industry known for its unique challenges and ever-evolving nature, creativity and adaptability represent two key qualities I find critical in ensuring an employee is well set for success in their role.

Your life, in one movie title: Bring It On.

 

Dametra Johnson-Marletti, Microsoft Corp.

How has your job, and your work environment, changed? Working remotely the past 14 months has forced us all to work in new ways, both individually and in how we collaborate with co-workers. Thankfully, great tools like Microsoft Teams have allowed us to maintain keen productivity levels and deliver results. That said, as work and life have more seamlessly bled together, clearer boundaries had to be established for greater balance and wellness. As a leader, ensuring that we are more frequently “checking-in” with our teams, to maintain our connections, better support each other, and continue to strengthen our esprit de corps across the group, has also been super important.

What lies ahead for both segments of home entertainment, transactional and streaming? Despite a slow movement toward more-normal times, it’s clear the entertainment industry will be forever changed. Consumers have become far more knowledgeable about their choices for content consumption. The good news is I believe there will be a place for all options; consequently, it will remain important to keep customer choice at the center of industry strategy. I think customers continue to have a keen interest in continuing to build their libraries, which gives ongoing vibrance and viability to transactions. Additionally, smart windowing, content variety, breadth and depth of catalog all make streaming options attractive to customers as well.

What makes a good leader? There are many facets of a great leader, and one’s ability to be a great leader is a journey of constant learning and evolution, not a stagnant destination. I would say a great leader demonstrates the ability to deliver strong results and growth the organization expects, while also bringing the people you lead and work with along the journey in a positive and inspiring way, and all within a healthy and inclusive culture.

What do you look for in an employee? I look for two key pillars in candidates, and within each of those pillars are a set of traits that contribute to their success and that of the organization — capability and character. Capability entails doing a fantastic job in the position for which they are being hired. That can be demonstrated through past successes in similar or related experiences. Character means can they successfully add to our culture, bringing diverse perspectives, inclusive collaboration and a growth mindset.

Your life, in one movie title: What Dreams May Come.

 

Agapy Kapouranis, Lionsgate

How has your job, and your work environment, changed? I had to adapt quickly to our work-from-home schedule, securing time for individual support and expressing my appreciation to a relentless team. I communicate openly and extensively. My team is uber-involved in critical thinking and decision making. I also make an effort to designate time and space for safe team bonding during these epic changes we’re living through.

What lies ahead for both segments of home entertainment, transactional and streaming? More disruption — and we are ready for it. Consumer expectations and usage habits are changing rapidly, and we’re seeing an influx of competitors come into international markets like never before. Consumers expect to access television and film content anytime, anywhere and in the format that suits their immediate needs.

What makes a good leader? Great leaders are passionate about what they do because they believe in what they do. They communicate a vision and build a strong foundation for connection. Empathy plays a huge role as you mentor and cultivate confident people who can work well as a team. Leaders nurture growth and provide constructive feedback to motivate others to be their best, inspiring people to do things they never thought they could and relishing achievement!

What do you look for in an employee? I’m always willing to hire for potential, not just experience, people who are willing to listen, learn and grow as individuals and with the team. One constant in life is change, so being resilient and adaptable will always serve you well. Finally, I welcome diverse thinking and POVs from employees who are self-motivated and eager to collaborate while having fun.

Your life, in one movie title: Around the World in 80 Days.

 

Jennifer Mirgorod, WarnerMedia

How has your job, and your work environment, changed? A better question would be, “How hasn’t it?” Over the course of the past 20-plus years, so much about the media industry has changed and I’ve had a front row seat to much of it, from the evolution of the linear business to the rise of streaming and most recently the transformation of content windowing. Add to that the more obvious impact of the pandemic to our new hybrid workforce and a changing company culture and structure, and the past few years have been dynamic, to say the least.

What lies ahead for both segments of home entertainment, transactional and streaming? As consumer viewing habits evolve, so, too, does our content windowing strategy across transactional, linear networks and streaming to maximize exposure for our movies, series and specials. Though timelines may shift, there are unique audiences for each window, and at the end of the day, our goal is to meet our consumers where and when they want to consume content. We are very focused on promoting our key assets throughout their lifecycles, and we work closely with partners to develop marketing campaigns that highlight when an asset is available on HBO Max and then available in its transactional window.

What makes a good leader? In my estimation, a good leader is one who communicates effectively and sets expectations for the team, expresses gratitude for the work and serves as the team’s advocate. Good leaders also surround themselves with talented people who possess differentiated skills, and are collaborative, strategic and kind. Particularly in our business, so much of what we do is equal parts strategy and partnership driven, so it’s important the team is equal parts pragmatic and thoughtful.

What do you look for in an employee? A good employee is intellectually curious and looks for creative ways to approach everyday challenges. They are in an industry where change is the only constant and the approach taken last year might need to be radically adapted, so someone who is not only comfortable in that type of environment, but who thrives in it, is a huge asset for any team. I also appreciate people with diverse backgrounds and experiences that inform their perspectives.

Your life, in one movie title: Bend It Like Beckham.

 

Kim Overall, Sony Pictures Entertainment

How has your job, and your work environment, changed? It has changed in ways that I couldn’t have imagined, but that have brought unique opportunities. I have learned new ways to engage and communicate, and new skills that I never knew I needed, but which have proved immensely valuable in all aspects of my life. I have been very fortunate to be able to explore new ways to get closer to our audiences and understand what is resonating and why. If there was ever a time where I have seen the appetite for content change and evolve it was in the last 18 months.

What lies ahead for both segments of home entertainment, transactional and streaming? We are still listening, watching and figuring this out, both personally and within the industry. We have seen our entertainment ecosystems change, and the type of content we are seeking evolve. And the way we consume it looks different. The most important thing we can do right now is pay attention to what is changing and why — if there is one thing we know, a year from now it will look different again. We need to stay close to how these changes impact our ability to meet audiences where they are and give them the content they are looking for.

What makes a good leader? The ability to listen, constantly learn, connect the dots, and lead with empathy and compassion. It is so inspiring when we see and feel the impact of great leadership on a team and their creativity, and it’s amazing to be a part of that team. There is an art in the ability to ask the right questions to unlock great potential.

What do you look for in an employee? Curiosity and courage, learning agility, passion and drive. I am a big believer in having an aligned set of values that we all commit to as a team. It makes the wins sweeter and the tough stuff easier.

Your life, in one movie title: The NeverEnding Story.

 

Jessica Schell, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

How has your job, and your work environment, changed? We’ve learned that we can be highly effective outside of a traditional office environment, and leadership at every level is more open to being flexible about work locations. But in-person interaction with colleagues is so valuable for all the intangible aspects of community — building trust, sparking innovation and driving collaboration. So we are still figuring out what that is going to look like. My job and my team’s role have evolved beyond a focus solely on transactional home entertainment to applying our skills, assets and knowledge also to new businesses. We are supporting the launch of HBO Max globally by bringing our rich marketing, artwork and bonus content assets to the HBO Max platform, and driving Max subscriptions through our data, social assets and collaborations. We are also leveraging our skills to bring new products to market, such as the recent launch of Harry Potter VR in our New York flagship store.

What lies ahead for both segments of home entertainment, transactional and streaming? We are in a time of unprecedented experimentation and learning. My division is working with teams across the company to maximize the value of Warner Bros. content across its full lifecycle on all windows and platforms. How the landscape will shake out remains to be seen, but early insights show that giving consumers choice seems to be expanding the market.

What makes a good leader? The ability to embrace change and motivate people while demonstrating empathy.

What do you look for in an employee? Resilience, flexibility, the ability to look for white spaces in which to add value.

 

Amy Jo Smith, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group

How has your job, and your work environment, changed? Things at the DEG are moving more quickly. Since our pivot to virtual meetings and events, we have found we’re able to assemble the membership with greater ease and provide more frequent programming. This has improved our ability to cultivate a community where all segments of the industry are included, which has turned out to be a powerful draw for new members. Bringing in these new viewpoints is proving to be very valuable as we chart our future course in support of advanced content delivery to consumers.

What lies ahead for both segments of home entertainment, transactional and streaming? It’s a very exciting time for our industry. There is an abundance of content coupled with numerous platforms for viewing. The consumer is in the driver’s seat and will show us where to go.

What makes a good leader? A good leader is someone who leads, allowing the team to follow, but also someone who follows. A good leader needs to
support the team so they can do their best work. And, a great (not good) leader must be a good listener, open to suggestions and willing to change course if necessary.

What do you look for in an employee? A strong team includes members with different skillsets. The ideal employee is someone who brings additional talents helping to round out and complement the team.

Your life, in one movie title: Groundhog Day (during the pandemic, it just feels like that!) or Teacher’s Pet (yes, it’s true, I’m guilty of this).

 

Lexine Wong, Sony Pictures Entertainment

How has your job, and your work environment, changed? What hasn’t changed since we left our offices in March 2020! School, work, home life, entertainment … and the list goes on. The waves of this pandemic will ripple for some time to come, yet there have been some great learnings along the way. At Sony, we used the time to future-proof our organization by combining our global home office marketing and distribution teams across theatrical, home entertainment and television distribution. This new structure will allow us to maximize each film’s potential with a lifecycle approach. Working remotely for an extended period has enabled us to be more inclusive, democratize meeting participation, and connect with colleagues and clients around the world in a much more intimate way. Our reliance on teamwork was never more necessary than over the past year.

What lies ahead for both segments of home entertainment, transactional and streaming? For the past several years, the home entertainment business had been relatively stable. The onslaught of the pandemic and simultaneous launches of several major streaming services have driven unprecedented windowing experimentation. Voila! The home entertainment business has become much more complex. Each studio/service/platform has a unique ecosystem and strategy to deliver corporate and consumer value. Knowing what, where and how to watch movies is more confusing than ever. Sony aims to deliver each filmmaker’s vision to as many consumers as possible: from theatrical all the way through the lifecycle — no matter what platform.

What makes a good leader? Earlier in my career, I thought a good leader was simply someone who was smart, directive and espoused a clear vision. While I still value those qualities, they aren’t necessarily the pillars I had envisioned originally. Integrity, diversity, transparent communication and empowerment are even more foundational. I’ve been lucky enough to have worked for some strong leaders who have exemplified these traits and inspired me to be more purposeful in my role as a coach and motivator.

What do you look for in an employee? It’s funny, as I was considering what makes a good leader, I couldn’t help but reflect on how those same key characteristics describe a great employee as well. Generally, young employees who are passionate and collaborative seem to find longevity in our dynamic and demanding industry. Diverse thinkers who can connect the dots and stay a step ahead are our future leaders. I’m so excited to get back to the office at some point and connect in person with everyone!

Your life, in one movie title: Sense & Sensibility or Stand by Me.

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Women in Home Entertainment 2021: The Teams

The home entertainment sector is filled with smart, strategic teams that support the captains of the big studios and streamers.

The industry also has many other talented women leaders at independent content distributors, digital retailers, streaming services and ancillary service providers.

Here are some of the standouts.

SEE ALSO: WOMEN IN HOME ENTERTAINMENT 2021 — THE CAPTAINS

Amazon

JENNIFER SALKE
Head of Amazon Studios
Salke leads all aspects of television and film development, as well as production for Amazon’s entertainment division. This includes implementing an overall long-term content strategy for both units along with launching upcoming series and films, as well as ongoing support of current series. High-profile projects include the pending “The Lord of the Rings” series debuting in September 2022.

MARIE DONOGHUE
VP, Global Sports Video
Donoghue heads up Amazon’s global sports content business, as well as its sports strategy, enabling customers to access live and on-demand sports content, on hundreds of devices, in more than 200 countries and territories. She was responsible for Amazon acquiring exclusive rights to “NFL Thursday Night Football,” in addition to expanded professional soccer league rights in Europe. Prior to joining Amazon, Donoghue served as EVP of global business and content strategy at ESPN, leading the ongoing development and implementation of its enterprise-wide business and content strategy. Donoghue oversaw all digital dealmaking for ESPN, including ESPN’s relationship with Disney-owned BAMTech, the home of ESPN’s first direct-to-consumer (OTT) streaming platform.

 

BritBox

EMILY POWERS
EVP and Head , BritBox North America
Powers launched the BritBox business in 2017 and spent the next four years overseeing the commercial side of the business, growing it to more than
2 million subscribers. Due to her success in this role, Powers was appointed head of BritBox North America last year with the task of continuing to drive growth domestically and also play an important role in expanding the business globally (Australia/South Africa). In her short tenure heading up BritBox North America, she has greenlighted two already buzzed about 2022 Emmy contenders — Hugh Laurie’s adaptation of Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, which he is appearing in and directing, and The Long Call, an adaptation of Ann Cleeves’ “Two River” series.

 

Discovery+

LISA HOLME
Group SVP of Content and Commercial Strategy, Discovery

Holme leads programming and partnership for Discovery’s aggregated, direct-to-consumer streaming service, Discovery+. In this role, she oversees the editorial vision, working closely with the company’s content and programming teams to source original content and license third-party programming. She also collaborates with the affiliate and ad sales teams to prioritize, structure and negotiate distribution deals for direct-to-consumer products, with the goal of driving subscriber growth. Holme is based out of Discovery’s Los Angeles office and reports directly to CEO David Zaslav. Prior to joining Discovery, Holme led the investigation and strategy for Hulu’s international expansion, which followed several years of leading Hulu’s content acquisition team, where she was responsible for negotiating tens of billions of dollars’ worth of content deals, helping to expand the service from zero to roughly 30 million subscribers.

VIKKI NEIL
EVP, Global Brand, Originals Marketing & Creative
After leading the Lifestyle Digital Group for many years and most recently overseeing the launch of Food Network Kitchen in 2019 in partnership with Amazon, Neil pivoted in 2020 to lead the marketing efforts for Discovery’s largest initiative to date, the Discovery+ streaming service. Neil and her team were responsible for conceptualizing and executing a number of marketing campaigns across all mediums to drive subscription rates. Anchored by Discovery’s investments in content, beloved personalities and brands with huge consumer appeal, Neil has helped Discovery+ grow nationally in subscriber additions, customer engagement, and retention. In April 2021, Discovery announced that they have now surpassed 15 million total paying direct-to-consumer subscribers globally.

 

Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution

KRISTEN FINNEY
EVP, Content Distribution Strategy and Development, Disney Platform Distribution
Finney is responsible for overseeing key support functions for global content sales including content portfolio management, deal support and analysis, and formats and rights management for both the sales and direct-to-consumer teams. In this role, Finney advises on key strategic initiatives companywide, working in close collaboration with sales colleagues across all regions. In addition, her team acts as a liaison between the sales and direct-to-consumer acquisition teams and the company’s creative content organizations.

LINDSEY GREEN
SVP, Content Sales Disney Platform Distribution

Green is responsible for licensing of feature films and television content across domestic and global SVOD and AVOD platforms, West Coast-based cable networks and select pay-TV networks. She and her team also manage the company’s distribution of content to its direct-to-consumer streaming services — Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu. Her client roster includes Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and Facebook, to name a few.

CHRISTEN HARRIS
SVP, Platform Distribution, Disney Platform Distribution
LAUREN MORRISEY
SVP, Platform Distribution, Disney Platform Distribution
Harris and Morrissey negotiate key licensing agreements on behalf of the company across a wide array of media platforms and businesses including domestic multichannel subscription distribution and global direct-to-consumer platforms. Among these substantial high-profile agreements managed by their teams are in-home VOD and transactional sales, and DTC app penetration among digital aggregators, MVPDs, devices, wireless providers and social media applications. Between the two of them, they oversee more than 100 key accounts, such as Apple, Comcast, Google, Roku and Verizon.

LORI LeBAS
SVP, Business Operations, Disney Platform Distribution

As head of Disney Platform Distribution’s business operations team, LeBas supports the development and distribution of products and services that create meaningful value for the company, its partners and consumers. She is focused on the design and implementation of business processes for efficient management and operation of all media distribution, including linear networks, SVOD/AVOD/TVOD, transactional, syndication, audio and direct-to-consumer products. LeBas also leads the creation of cross-functional business requirements for new products, as well as oversight of all post-sales processes for content distribution across all platforms.

SUMMER IMAI, VP, Rights and Content Management, Platform Distribution
BROOKE JOHNSON, VP, Platform Distribution
JANE KIM, VP, Distribution Planning and Analysis, Platform Distribution
JENNIFER LOURIE, VP, Product Management, Platform Distribution
LORI COHEN-ELIAS, VP, Product Management, Networks
JAIME GORMAN, VP, Creative Development, Networks
SUZANNE KAMENIR, VP, Global Creative Marketing, Networks
MICHELLE LEVISOHN, VP, Creative Development, Networks
KIMBERLY WILSON, VP, Multi-Platform Marketing, Networks

 

Disney+/Disney Streaming Services

JAYA KOLHATKAR
EVP, Data, Disney Streaming Services
Kolhatkar oversees customer intelligence and all data- and analytics-related efforts at Disney Streaming. In her role, she is responsible for elevating customer intelligence, implementing strong data governance and driving a culture of objective, data-driven decision-making. Previously, Kolhatkar served as the SVP of global data and analytics platforms at Walmart Labs, where she built data and analytic platforms that provided data and tools for making business decisions.

ALISA BOWEN
SVP, Business Operations, Disney Streaming Services

Bowen is in charge of ensuring operational effectiveness for The Walt Disney Company’s direct-to-consumer video streaming businesses, including Disney+ and ESPN+. As part of her oversight, Bowen is responsible for overall program management, including the rollout of Disney+ across international markets, identification and implementation of Disney+ internal synergy opportunities, and leading global customer support for ESPN+ and Disney+.

MOLLY BRADY
SVP, Growth Marketing, Disney Streaming Services

Brady oversees a team that is responsible for growing the subscriber base for The Walt Disney Company’s direct-to-consumer video streaming businesses, including Disney+, ESPN+ and the Disney Bundle. As part of her oversight, Brady is responsible for launching and rolling out customer acquisition initiatives and optimizing performance of media investments globally across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. In the three years since she started at Disney, ESPN+ has grown to more than 13 million paid subscribers and Disney+ has acquired more than 100 million subscribers in 59 countries in the 18 months since it launched.

LEAH ASHLEY, VP, Paid Media, Disney+
PAULA BECK, VP, Operations, Disney+
JESSICA CASANO-ANTONELLIS, VP, Communications, Disney+ and Hulu
BILLIE SUE CHAFFINS, VP, Software Development, Disney Streaming Services
CYNDI CRUZ, VP, Acquisitions & Licensing, Disney+
ANDREA CUTRIGHT, VP, Product Marketing, Disney+
JACQUELINE DONALDSON, VP, Product Strategy, Disney Streaming Services
NATALIE MARGULIES, VP, Deputy Chief Counsel, Disney Streaming Services
PAULA MCMAHON, VP, Integrated Marketing, Disney+
CLAISIAN PHILLIPS, VP, Marketing, ESPN+
JUDY SCHWAB, VP, HR, Disney Streaming Services

 

Dolby Labs

JACLYN PYTLARZ
Staff Researcher, Applied Vision Science

Pytlarz plays a key role at Dolby as a lead engineer keenly focused on Dolby Vision display technology and development. Her research includes vision science surrounding color mapping and display management algorithms for high dynamic range and wide color gamut displays. By integrating knowledge of human vision, her designs help ensure that a consumer, on any display in any environment, can experience the director’s creative intent. Pytlarz’s innovative work is one of the drivers of the technology behind the thousands of titles and millions of devices that define the Dolby Vision ecosystem for the home entertainment industry, now and in the future.

 

Fandango

DANA BENSON
SVP, Communications, Fandango

Benson spearheads all corporate communications and public relations functions across the company’s ticketing, e-commerce and editorial content portfolio, including Fandango, Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster, MovieTickets.com and its leading TVOD service, Vudu. She also oversees public relations for subsidiary Ingresso.com in Brazil. Prior to joining Fandango, Benson was director of public relations at Disney Interactive. Benson has held senior positions at top family entertainment and technology companies, including Hasbro, Mattel and Broderbund Software, and public relations agencies Edelman, B/HI and The Lippin Group.

REMA MORGAN-ALUKO
Senior Director, Software Engineering, Fandango

With more than 15 years of experience in technology, engineering leadership and software development, Morgan-Aluko leads the technology group for Fandango’s leading TVOD service, Vudu. She oversees the development of Web, mobile apps, OTT applications and services, as well as application program interfaces (APIs). To improve diversity and inclusion across the technology industry, Morgan-Aluko co-founded Fandango’s TECHWomen chapter, which aims to advance opportunities for female technologists within the company and beyond. Previously, Morgan-Aluko led the development and implementation of several initiatives across Fandango’s verticals, including trailers (Movieclips), video and editorial content, movie and entertainment metadata, commerce, user profiles, CRM, marketing campaigns, and programs, as well as advertising and monetization.

LORI PANTEL
Chief Marketing Officer, Fandango

Pantel directs all brand and marketing strategies across the company’s e-commerce and editorial content portfolio, including Fandango, Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster, MovieTickets.com, Fandango Movieclips and its leading TVOD service, Vudu. Throughout her career, Pantel has effectively redefined and executed strategies for global consumer brands, with a focus on ensuring a cohesive global brand DNA that resonates with consumers, retailers and partners. Before joining Fandango, Pantel served as SVP and global GM for Mattel’s girls’ brands, overseeing global teams responsible for worldwide brand and marketing strategy, creative execution and product development for Mattel’s “Monster High” and “Ever After High” brands, as well as the company’s “DC Super Hero Girls” line. Prior to that, Pantel served as VP of marketing for Mattel’s North America division, VP of global brand marketing, and associate brand manager on the “Barbie” brand.

JENNI READIO
Senior Director, Merchandising and Licensing, Vudu

Readio is a 17-year entertainment industry veteran. For the past 10 years she has led merchandising, licensing and content acquisition strategy at Vudu (acquired from Walmart by Fandango in April 2020), where her team continues to successfully grow revenue and content partnerships annually. Under her ideation and leadership, Vudu launched the exclusive merchandising functionality “Mix & Match.” Prior to joining Vudu, Readio managed the Walmart music business, including its brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce and digital downloads storefronts, and original music content platform Walmart Soundcheck.

PRIYA SINGHEE
VP, Analytics and Data Science, Fandango

Singhee is a seasoned analytics leader with more than 15 years of experience across both enterprise and consumer tech startups. Her team drives optimizations in the customer lifecycle using data and machine learning. Prior to joining Fandango, she led customer analytics at Vudu, delivering deep insights into consumer behavior across the tens of millions of devices that stream premium home entertainment content on Vudu. Prior to joining Vudu, she held key analytics roles at various consumer tech startups, such as Smule, GoFundMe and Flipboard. Relevant areas of expertise include managing growth roadmaps, identifying growth KPIs, predictive modeling, A/B testing, data visualization, funnel optimization, UX research, customer segmentation and media mix modeling.

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Fox Weather

SHARRI BERG
President, Fox Weather
Chief Operating Officer, Fox Television Stations
Berg joined Fox News Channel at its inception in 1996, and currently serves as the president of Fox Weather, Fox News Media’s pending ad-supported streaming weather service launching in the third quarter. She is also the chief operating officer of news and operations for Fox television stations. A founding member of the Fox News Channel launch team, Berg has held several senior management positions throughout the past 24 years of its existence, including serving in a dual role spanning FNC and FTS since 2005. In 2016, she was named chief operating officer of news and operations at FTS, while maintaining her role as the EVP of news operations at FNC.

 

Google/YouTube TV

CHRISTINA AVITABILE
Head of Content Distribution and Licensing, YouTube/Google Play

Avitabile oversees business development and partnerships for Google’s
transactional movies and TV stores (on Google Play and YouTube) as well as licensing and acquisition deals for YouTube. Before joining Google in 2014, Avitabile spent a year in content acquisition, digital video, at Amazon.

KELLY MERRYMAN
VP, Global Content Partnerships, YouTube

Merryman is a veteran in the streaming entertainment space. She oversees the platform’s largest partners across the creator and media ecosystems across televisions, movies, sports, news, gaming, lifestyle, fashion, beauty, food, learning, family and health. Merryman manages a team of 300 people across the Americas, with employees in five countries. Prior to joining YouTube, Merryman served as VP of content acquisition at Netflix from 2007 to 2014. She also held positions in digital distribution and business development at Sony Pictures.

 

Gravitas Ventures

SOPHIA FIELDS
Senior Director, Operations

On more than 300 releases per year, Fields oversees technical onboarding from filmmakers and delivery to Gravitas Ventures’ vast network of domestic and international distribution partners, including digital, linear (broadcast and cable), theatrical and home entertainment. With more than 20 years of content distribution experience, she leads the Gravitas operations team, maximizing internal efficiencies and streamlining workflow with outside labs that service the company’s content. She loves cultivating new talent at the company, always glad to share her experience and help develop their skill sets.

LINDSEY MOFFAT
Director, Business Affairs and Filmmaker Relations

Moffat oversees communication between Gravitas Ventures and its partners, overseeing and conveying distribution strategy in both domestic and international markets throughout each film’s lifecycle. Additionally, she serves as rights manager and maintains the database of Gravitas’ robust catalog of films. She has built up a wide variety of institutional knowledge across operations, marketing and global sales throughout her tenure with Gravitas and is passionate about her role as an educator for both her team internally as well as supporting the next generation of filmmakers.

 

HBO Max

SUSANNA FELLEMAN
EVP, Business Affairs, HBO, HBO Max, TBS, TNT and truTV

Felleman is responsible for overseeing business and legal negotiations for the networks’ programming, including talent deals, co-financing and licensing arrangements, and business strategy. Felleman joined HBO in April 2001 as associate counsel, legal, West Coast; was named senior counsel, legal, West Coast, in April 2003; was promoted to director of business affairs, West Coast, in August 2005; and was elevated to VP of business affairs in December 2006. She was promoted to her current position this year.

MEREDITH GERTLER
EVP, Content Strategy and Planning, HBO and HBO Max

Gertler is responsible for shaping the HBO Max portfolio and developing overall content and programming strategies for Max and all HBO and Cinemax streaming and on-demand platforms, and linear networks. In addition, she oversees content and promotion scheduling for Max and all HBO platforms. She joined HBO in 2004 on HBO Video’s marketing team, where she developed and executed strategic business and marketing plans for original programming on DVD. In 2012, she made the move to program strategy and planning and helped craft the content planning and scheduling framework in support of the launch of the HBO Now direct-to-consumer product in 2015.

JANET GRAHAM BORBA
EVP, Production, HBO and HBO Max
Borba is responsible for supervising production on all HBO and HBO Max programming. She shares production oversight of TBS, TNT and truTV with Brett Weitz, GM, TBS, TNT and truTV. Prior to this role, Borba was SVP of West Coast production, overseeing films and miniseries, where she worked on “Game of Thrones” from the pilot stage onward. She also worked on the multiple award-winning miniseries “Olive Kitteridge,” “The Pacific,” “John Adams” and “Angels in America,” as well as films such as Paterno, Lackawanna Blues, Something the Lord Made, Iron Jawed Angels and Wit.

SARAH LYONS
EVP, DTC Global Product Management, HBO Max

Lyons helps define the vision for the HBO Max product’s features, user experience and product roadmap. She is shaping the app experience across all major platforms, defining how users discover content they care about, as well as paving the way for innovation on how content is viewed and experienced globally. Prior to this, Lyons held various positions within AT&T/DirecTV, including VP of OTT Media Products, responsible for the DirecTV Now product, and the launch of their next-generation video platform.

SU KELSAY
SVP, Marketing Technology and Operations, HBO Max
Kelsay is driving strategic growth, retention and engagement for the worldwide launch of HBO Max through innovative marketing strategies, technology and analytics. She has helped Max successfully increase engagement and decrease churn by establishing tools to measure and monitor customer lifecycle patterns. Under Kelsay’s leadership, her team was pivotal in growing HBO/Max domestic subscriber count from 33 million to 47 million since Max’s launch, surpassing AT&T’s projected figure for 2022. The 14 million is more growth in subscribers than HBO had in the United States in the past 10 years combined. Following the launch of Max in 39 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Kelsay’s team will play an instrumental role in onboarding colleagues in Europe later this year by serving to streamline data collection efforts and processes.

MELISSA WEINER
SVP, Product Management, HBO Max

Weiner leads a global team across various focus areas, including portfolio prioritization and roadmap, product innovation, budget and operational processes, app store go-to-market strategies, and measurement and experimentation. Seasoned at launching new products and revamping existing business models, Weiner is also responsible for managing the HBO Max international product roadmap starting with the platform’s rollout in Latin America and across Europe. Weiner’s team will help facilitate a uniform experience in new regions around the world, including localization with capabilities to accept new payment methods for each region, provide local language support and more. She previously oversaw product planning efforts for the platform’s May 2020 launch, including the app replacement strategy that helped facilitate the transition of HBO Now to HBO Max.

DUAN PENG
SVP, Data and Artificial Intelligence, WarnerMedia/HBO Max

Peng leads the global data and AI group including data science, data engineering, machine learning engineering, business intelligence and analytics, data product, and data governance to support the launch and growth of HBO Max across multiple countries. In her role, she powers strategy and decision-making across product, marketing, content, revenue management and operations. Her team analyzes consumer behavior and data to provide insight into audiences and in effect builds out personalized experiences for Max customers, which has helped grow the service to 41.5 million HBO/Max U.S. subscribers at the end of 2020, surpassing AT&T’s projected figure for 2022.

LINDSEY EMERSON
VP, Product Management, HBO Max, Kids and Family

Emerson has more than a decade of experience in product management building streaming platforms across educational and entertainment spaces. Since joining HBO Max as a founding team member, her team launched the Kids & Family experience, offering kids an autonomous and age-appropriate experience while giving parents transparent controls. Prior to joining WarnerMedia in 2017, Emerson served as director of product management for The Bouqs Company. There she drove e-commerce platform optimization and improved distribution effectiveness. Emerson also managed the growth of the marketplace while at DogVacay, which was acquired by Rover in March of 2016. As a part of the acquisition, she was tapped to help manage the integration of the DogVacay marketplace onto the Rover platform.

 

Hulu

REAGAN FEENEY
SVP, Live TV Content Programming and Partnerships
Feeney is responsible for setting the vision and strategic direction for Hulu’s live-TV distribution, including managing partnerships with national channels, regional sports networks and local broadcast affiliates. Her team also leads the strategy surrounding premium add-ons, ESPN+ on Hulu, and ABC News Live specials. Previously, she was VP of content at AT&T’s DirecTV, where she was responsible for identifying and negotiating general entertainment and sports programming acquisitions, as well as maintaining external business relationships for linear cable channels, out-of-market sports subscribers.

BRITTANY HVEEM
Head of Business Affairs
Hveem leads negotiations of development and licensing deals related to Hulu’s slate of original series, documentaries, international co-productions and specials. She oversees the business and production relationships with studio suppliers such as Warner Bros., Universal Television, Sony and Lionsgate, approving production budgets and negotiations with talent. Prior to joining Hulu in 2016, Hveem was most recently VP of business affairs for Warner Horizon Television and was previously counsel at ABC Studios.

ANGIE KANG
VP, Business and Legal Affairs and Deputy Chief Counsel
Kang oversees the company’s legal and business affairs matters. Since
starting at Hulu about a decade ago, she has led numerous high-profile deals and initiatives that have grown Hulu’s content library to include some of the most in-demand, premium content in the market. Before joining Hulu, Kang was an associate at Latham & Watkins, where she was responsible for mergers and acquisitions, public company representation and corporate finance transactions across a wide range of industries including technology, media and entertainment.

ANNIE LUO
SVP, Business Development and Operations

Luo is responsible for driving expansion efforts and relationships with partners and connecting business operations across the organization. Prior to joining Hulu, Luo worked at McKinsey & Company, where she was a founding member for their consumer tech and media practice, leading operations and strategic alliances globally. She spent six years as the head of media, entertainment and information practice at the World Economic Forum and held various roles across top media brands, including BBC Worldwide (Asia), CNBC and Bloomberg Media Group.

 

IMDb TV

LAUREN ANDERSON
Co-Head of Content and Programming
Anderson oversees all programming for IMDb TV, including creative development, production, licensing, scheduling, research and strategy. She joined Amazon Studios in 2019 as the head of strategic content, managing such series as “The Savage x Fenty Show” for Prime Video. Anderson was named to Next TV’s 2020 “The Watch List” as well as Business Insider’s “AVOD Industry Leaders.” Early accomplishments for IMDb TV include bringing the iconic Judge Judy Sheindlin to a streaming audience, shepherding Amazon’s first partnership with prolific creator Dick Wolf — his only half-hour crime procedural — and developing the AVOD spinoff of Prime Video’s longest-running series, “Bosch.”

 

Lionsgate

CHASE BRISBIN
EVP, International Television and Digital Distribution

Brisbin was promoted to EVP in May. A skilled strategist, she’s responsible for licensing Lionsgate’s TV and film content, both library and first run, to an expanding international SVOD marketplace. She helped negotiate the syndication of “Mad Men” and works closely with the Starz team to support their international expansion. She joined Lionsgate in 2012 and has negotiated some of its most innovative deals.

KATE NEXON
EVP, Domestic Television and Digital Distribution

Nexon was promoted to EVP in May and is an invaluable member of the domestic distribution team. A 12-year Lionsgate veteran, she’s responsible for licensing the studio’s TV and film properties across hundreds of SVOD, AVOD and linear platforms in the United States. She leads domestic sales, overseeing strategic planning and execution of multi-platform initiatives. She helped negotiate the syndication of “Mad Men,” and she also helped secure Lionsgate’s Pay 1 theatrical output deal with Starz.

JILL ANDERSON
SVP, Home Entertainment Sales

Anderson oversees Lionsgate’s home entertainment business for retail’s
largest accounts. She continually looks for new opportunities to uniquely position Lionsgate’s 17,000-title library, driving her team to do the same. Anderson is a consummate team player who is dedicated to finding win-win solutions. She’s extremely proud to be an 18-year veteran of Lionsgate’s entrepreneurial culture, its commitment to innovation, and its passion for bold, original, relatable entertainment.

ERIN CARTER
SVP, Marketing
Carter is a 14-year veteran of Lionsgate and predecessor company Anchor Bay, part of the studio’s acquisition of Starz. She oversees the marketing and distribution strategy for Lionsgate’s 17,000-title film and television library, one of the largest in the world, which achieved a record $780 million in revenue during the past 12 months. She continues to be at the forefront of content licensing initiatives to an expanding array of new and traditional buyers around the world. Carter also spearheads content lifecycle planning for Lionsgate’s distribution partners, including Roadside Attractions, Grindstone Entertainment and A&E Television. She joined Lionsgate in 2017 from Anchor Bay, where she spent a decade leading the
company’s strategy for its independent theatrical releases.

KENYA HART
SVP, Procurement and Inventory Operations
Hart oversees the daily operations of the materials management, inventory
reconciliation and procurement/demand planning teams to ensure timely finished good product delivery in support of new release, catalog and promotion deadlines for U.S. and Canadian distribution. As the SAP super user/departmental systems manager, she works closely with IT to test, implement and validate systemic upgrades and enhancements. Additionally, she handles cost analysis and business acquisition onboarding.

AMELIA McPARTLON ROGERS
SVP, Marketing, Global Content Strategy

Rogers oversees overall marketing strategy in the limited theatrical and
digital distribution space. She leads her teams to develop a full 360-degree
marketing strategy for Lionsgate’s entire limited theatrical and multiplatform release slate, as well as for the company’s vast library and third-party distribution companies.

LAUREN BIXBY
VP, Acquisitions and Co-Productions

Bixby builds a slate of 12-plus feature films per year, curating a pipeline of programming across a wide range of genres for a variety of distribution strategies and platforms. She handles both the business side, making offers and negotiating deals, and the creative side, often pre-buying projects before production. Building relationships with producers, she champions high-concept thriller, action, comedy, romance and horror films, and shepherds projects through to release.

KATHY ARENDAIN, VP, Creative Marketing, Digital and Social
MELISSA CLARKE, VP, Retail Operations
TIFFANY OLIVARES GIRARDI, VP, Publicity and Digital Engagement
LINDSAY LEFRANCOIS, VP, Procurement
SHANNON PARKER, VP, AV Creative Services
HELEN REICH, VP, Sales Administration

 

Movies Anywhere

KARIN GILFORD
SVP, Digital Media, The Walt Disney Co., and GM, Movies Anywhere
Gilford oversees a portfolio comprised of cloud-based digital library service Movies Anywhere, an independent, dedicated, cross-functional team that includes product, technology and marketing professionals, and Digital Media, a cross-functional team that drives engagement and monetization across The Walt Disney Co. portfolio. She oversees product development, business strategy and long-term growth of all aspects of Movies Anywhere and Digital Media, and serves as key liaison, working with various key stakeholders and participating studios and retailers.

ELISSA BROWN
VP, Finance and Operations
Brown leads day-to-day operations, developing and executing key business and platform strategies to drive growth and deliver operational efficiencies across all facets of Movies Anywhere. This organization includes finance, strategy, business development, partner management, business intelligence/analytics, customer care and program management.

BETH K. BAIER
Assistant Chief Counsel
Baier leads all day-to-day legal and business affairs matters and serves as the senior legal advisor to the company’s business teams. She actively participates in legal analysis, modeling, negotiations and drafting of new strategic business models and high-profile deals involving emerging digital distribution technologies, distribution platforms, technical operations and marketing strategies. She was instrumental in developing Movies Anywhere’s Screen Pass and co-viewing features that were launched during the pandemic, including advising on compliant functionalities, business rules, branding and consumer messaging.

 

NBCUniversal/Peacock

Maggie McLean Suniewick
President, Digital Enterprises, NBCUniversal Media
President, Business Development and Partnerships, Peacock
Suniewick leads NBC Universal’s digital business strategy and partnerships with new-media and technology companies to deliver premium content to emerging platforms. She previously served as SVP of strategic integration, where she was charged with identifying creative, technological and strategic opportunities between Comcast Corp. and NBCUniversal. She led Symphony, the companywide marketing initiative that promotes NBCUniversal TV programming, movies and events, including the Olympics, and Comcast’s products and services across the entire portfolio to drive awareness and help connect with consumers.

 

Netflix

TRACEY PAKOSTA
VP, Comedy, Original Series
Pakosta was named head of comedy on the original series team at Netflix in November 2020. She oversees both development and current programming for Netflix’s slate of scripted comedy series, including adult animation and live-action family comedies, as well as the stand-up and comedy formats team. Prior to joining Netflix, Pakosta had served as co-president of scripted programming at NBC Entertainment since 2018. In this role, she was responsible for comedy development, drama development, current programming, casting and diversity programming initiatives for NBC. Previously, Pakosta served as EVP of comedy development at NBC Entertainment. While in a leadership role with the network, she developed a number of acclaimed series, including “The Good Place,” “Superstore” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

AMY REINHARD
VP, Studio Operations

Reinhard was named VP of studio operations in 2020. Since joining Netflix in 2016 as VP of content acquisition, she has led global studio licensing for films and television series as well as local language acquisitions from Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India. In addition to global licensing, Reinhard oversees physical production, production facilities management, consumer products and creative services, including casting, literary scouting, IP management and music business development. Prior to joining Netflix, she was the president of worldwide TV licensing and distribution for Paramount Pictures, where she held various roles for over 10 years.

BOZOMA SAINT JOHN
Chief Marketing Officer
Saint John was named CMO of Netflix in June 2020. She previously held the same role at Endeavor after serving as the first-ever chief brand officer at Uber. Her 20-year marketing career also includes tenures as head of global consumer marketing for Apple Music and iTunes, and head of the music and entertainment marketing group at Pepsi-Cola North America. Saint John has been recognized for her breakthrough work by both the industry and her peers, having been inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Achievement in 2014. Additionally, she serves on the boards of Girls Who Code and Vital Voices, and in March 2017, she was named as a Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute.

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Paramount Pictures

MELINDA FROELICH
SVP, International Marketing, Paramount Home Entertainment
Froelich handles international marketing, advertising, public relations, promotions and release strategy for all transactional windows post-theatrical. She also oversees global marketing for all worldwide television partners. Froelich joined the studio in 2005, having previously worked at The Walt Disney Company for eight years.

HILARIE HILDEBRANDT
SVP, Global Accounts and Customer Marketing, Paramount Home
Entertainment
Hildebrandt oversees customer marketing and sales for global digital accounts with a focus on aligning strategic initiatives across new-release, catalog and television product. Her responsibilities include executing consumer-focused programs with each retail client to maximize sales and drive growth formats including 4K Ultra HD, digital sellthrough and VOD. Hildebrandt and her team work to leverage the continually evolving digital retail environment to ensure Paramount and its partners reach their core objectives. Hildebrandt previously served as VP of retail marketing at 20th Century Fox, and also held sales director positions at Fox and Polygram Filmed Entertainment in Canada.

NANCY POPE
SVP, Human Resources, Paramount Pictures
Pope supports the home entertainment, theatrical marketing and TV licensing divisions. Early in her career she worked for AT&T as both an operations manager and HR professional. Upon earning her master’s degree in industrial psychology, Pope left AT&T and joined Nestle USA, where she became the director of training and development. In 1999, she joined EMI Music North America to become VP of human resources, and in 2007 she joined Paramount Pictures.

ALANNA POWERS
SVP, Brand Marketing, Paramount Home Entertainment
Powers leads the division’s global marketing strategies, product development, and management of new releases, acquisitions and library titles. She and her teams develop campaigns for physical and digital distribution channels that align with cross-divisional partners to maximize the studio’s full portfolio of titles. Prior to joining Paramount, Powers held senior marketing positions at Redbox and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment after starting her career at FCB.

AUBREY THOMASON
SVP, Business Affairs and Legal, Paramount Pictures
Thomason focuses on acquisitions for distribution primarily through television and home entertainment channels, related security agreements, interparty agreements and theatrical services agreements, as well as domestic video sublicensing matters. Prior to joining Paramount, Thomason was an associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP (2000-05), where she primarily worked on corporate finance and real estate transactions, but also served as outside counsel to Paramount Pictures between 2003 and 2005.

LEDA CHANG, VP, Digital Marketing, Paramount Home Entertainment
MICHELE RUMAIN, VP, Advertising (Media), Paramount Home Entertainment
PAMELA SIVULA, VP, Financial Planning, Paramount Home Entertainment

 

PBS Distribution

GERMAINE DEAGAN SWEET
Managing Director, Content Acquisitions
A TV industry veteran, Sweet has worked her way across the globe, from her homeland in Australia to London and the United States. As head of the acquisitions unit, she is responsible for ensuring a significant and consistent pipeline of quality drama for PBS Distribution and, with key internal partners, the larger PBS system. Additionally, she focuses on increasing and solidifying co-production partnerships and financing for a wide range of productions developed by PBS, WGBH, WETA and WNET, as well as programs from independent producers such as Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and well-known U.K. producers. Prior to joining PBS Distribution in 2017, Sweet held key executive positions at Fox Network Group, where she launched its international sales unit and merged the Fox International Channels and National Geographic content sales businesses. She also launched and led the National Geographic Channels global content sales business.

JILL GREENBLATT
Senior Director, Production Operations
Greenblatt directs the production operations department at PBS Distribution. Her department is responsible for the acquisition, creation and distribution of assets for streaming media, Blu-ray and DVD, and broadcast worldwide. She developed and implemented an end-to-end media supply chain and overhauled technical specifications and developed other day-to-day operational processes. Her efforts have increased production output for the company by more than 40%. Greenblatt previously worked at 21st Century Fox, Sony Pictures and numerous other companies in a variety of post-production, operations and
engineering positions.

 

Premiere Digital

MICHELE EDELMAN
Head of Growth
With more than 20 years of executive experience, an unmatched business acumen and extensive knowledge of home entertainment, Edelman has been a driving force behind innovation and growth at the forefront of an evolving OTT landscape. From launching TVOD/EST programs at Warner Bros., to spearheading VOD strategies at Vubiquity, to redefining distribution at media services company Premiere Digital, Edelman has been instrumental in implementing international market plans across media services, distribution and software-as-a-service disciplines.

EVELYN ARTEAGA
Executive Director of Operations
Arteaga has become a key influence in developing digital workflows at Premiere Digital since she joined the company near its inception. Evolving through her roles as a digital media technician to a manager and her current position, she has improved and developed processes that efficiently adapted with the company’s growth. In supporting significant functions of the company, she has curated instrumental industry knowledge that has positioned the company as a primary technological solution for media servicing and distribution.

BETH ARCHER
Director of Mastering
Since joining Premiere Digital, Archer has risen from an entry level position in ingest and mastering to director of mastering. She is responsible for establishing the company’s roots on the East Coast, launching the Stamford, Conn., facility and consolidating workflows and technologies to support the Los Angeles headquarters. In developing efficient processes and leveraging a honed knowledge of new technologies, she has been a key contributor to the company’s growth alongside the rise of digital media in entertainment.

ABIGAIL HUGHES
VP, Growth, EMEA
Hughes is a well-respected global supply chain and operations expert with significant experience at top entertainment companies, working with sales teams and customers to optimize end-to-end content distribution. Her career includes stints at BBC Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Endemol Shine where she led multiple efforts including digital supply chain transformation and global technical operations. At Premiere Digital, she leads global expansion in Europe, growing the company’s presence worldwide and establishing the company as a media and technology solution for global industry leaders.

NATALIE MARTIN
VP, Growth and Development
Martin has been a top-performing digital distribution executive for more than a decade, using her deep sales and operations expertise to help global brands monetize content with innovative strategies and solutions that maximize profitability. In her current role, she is responsible for driving revenue by nurturing key industry relationships and building new revenue streams, including the company’s rapidly expanding aggregation business that increases scale and efficiency between digital platforms and content owners.

CARRIE MOORE
VP, Product Development
Moore is the quintessential Premiere Digital success story. Since joining the company as the seventh employee, she has become a reliable expert in digital distribution with experience in mastering, fulfillment and SaaS technology. She helped expand the company’s global footprint, launching the Bangalore facilities, workflow and teams to enable global operations. She also developed a product support infrastructure for all software used at Premiere Digital, continuing to grow the company’s flagship media management products, Storefront and PDX.

 

Redbox

KAVITA SUTHAR
CFO
Suthar assumed her current role in 2020. From 2015 to 2020, she served in various finance positions at Redbox, including VP of finance, strategy and analytics and senior director of financial planning and analysis. Before joining Redbox, Suthar worked in positions in finance, strategy and audit at U.S. Cellular from 2004 to 2015. In addition, she worked as an auditor for Grant Thornton from 2002 to 2004. Suthar received a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a licensed CPA.

KRISTIN BOWSER
VP, Operations
Bowser leads the company’s field support group of 1,000 employees across the U.S. who service and stock Redbox kiosks. She and her team also provide service and support to third parties through Redbox’s service business including Amazon Lockers, ECO ATM and other kiosk businesses. During the pandemic, she played a pivotal role for Redbox and its third-party service business ensuring millions of customers were able to enjoy new-release movies, easily access purchases and recycle electronics safely. She joined Redbox in 2009 in the machine support department and quickly moved through the organization to her current role. Prior to joining Redbox, Kristin worked as district manager for Family Video.

LAURA FLORENCE
Senior Director, Content Partnerships and Programming
Florence leads Redbox’s digital partnerships and programming teams, handling content acquisitions and programming for TVOD/EST, AVOD and FAST Channels. A more than 14-year veteran of the entertainment industry, with extensive experience in both the physical and digital categories of content distribution, Florence has partnered with some of the largest digital distributors and retailers in the industry, including Walmart, Amazon, Vudu and iTunes. Most recently, she worked at Gravitas Ventures running North American sales and marketing for theatrical, TVOD/Cable/Satellite, home entertainment and AVOD Sales.

LORI FLYNN
VP, Content
Flynn is focused on revenue-growth strategies, including exclusive and original content opportunities for the movie business. Prior to joining Redbox, she spent more than 17 years at Blockbuster Video, where she was responsible for managing the rental/merchandising group for corporate stores and online.

MAURA GRAY
Senior Director, Consumer Marketing and Partnerships
Gray helps Redbox’s 40 million customers discover and enjoy entertainment across all the products the company offers, from transactional to ad-supported free content. She oversees multiple large-scale brand initiatives and was tasked with building awareness for the launch of Redbox’s most recent services, Free Live TV and Free On Demand. Prior to joining Redbox, she focused on ad sales and partnership marketing at the National Geographic Channels.

NICOLE HENRY
Senior Director, Financial Planning and Analysis
Henry oversees the financial strategy and analytics team at Redbox, including budgeting, payments, content analytics and deal support. She has also handled financial planning and analytics for Redbox’s digital transactional business as well as its ad-supported free content platforms. Prior to joining Redbox, Henry served as manager, corporate financial planning and analysis for Outerwall. She began her career in the public and educational sectors.

 

Sling TV

MELISA ORDONEZ BODDIE
VP, Programming
Boddie heads up the local broadcast, public interest and pay-for-carriage business for Dish Network and Sling TV. Her responsibilities include local, core and paid-programming acquisitions, including contract negotiations.

LIZ RIEMERSMA
VP, Sling and Dish International Programming

Riemersma oversees programming, marketing and operations for both Dish International and Sling International. She is responsible for acquiring and marketing international content, and driving subscriber growth across 27 languages at Dish and Sling TV.

 

Shout! Factory

MELISSA BOAG
SVP, Family Entertainment
As head of the family entertainment division — a significant part of the company’s business — Boag develops North American marketing, distribution, acquisition and sales strategy in the physical and digital business. She oversees the company’s key partnerships with Sesame Street, Hasbro/eOne Entertainment, Gkids, Laika Studios, Anime Limited, Eleven Arts, ​and other notable filmmakers and producers. Under her management, the studio’s animated entertainment business has seen significant growth each year showcasing key lines, including Studio Ghibli classics with Gkids, Laika Studios specialty releases, the classic “Transformers” movies and series, Gkids’ wide range of acclaimed animated and anime films, “Digimon Adventure Tri.” movies, and other top anime properties and critically acclaimed family films.

LAUREN BLUM
Associate VP, Publicity
Blum is an accomplished PR strategist, with a great passion for communication, journalism, business and leadership. She has delivered outstanding film, digital and home entertainment campaigns over the years. Recent highlights include campaigns for the comedy drama Misbehaviour, documentary features A Crime on the Bayou and Linda and the Mockingbirds, and home entertainment releases from Gkids, Studio Ghibli and the upcoming Laika Studios editions.

JULIE DANSKER
Head of New Content Sales
A seasoned entertainment executive with long-standing relationships with esteemed content creators, content buyers, multichannel video programming distributors, digital and streaming platforms, studios and networks, Dansker oversees the new content sales and strategy for Shout! Factory. She leads the efforts to distribute premium theatrical new releases and sell content directly to key global partners, leveraging her strong relationships with the buyers at major streaming services and digital channels. She collaborates with the film acquisitions team to acquire and distribute new movies and series to streaming and broadcast partners. She also works closely with Shout! Studios’ original productions team to develop original content across television, feature films and podcast, actively pitching and setting up original productions as well.

KATHY CALLAHAN
VP, Special Market Sales and E-Commerce
Callahan is a 30-plus year veteran of entertainment media sales and marketing. She joined the company in 2006. Since 2012 she has served as the GM of Shout! Factory’s e-commerce businesses, which include ShoutFactory.com, the MST3Kstore.com, and Shout!’s Amazon Marketplace business. Callahan also handles Shout! Factory specialty sales and non-traditional sales in general.

KARRIE STOUFFER
VP, Creative Services
Stouffer is the head of creative, specializing in entertainment properties. Her expertise spans numerous functions, including leading and managing creative campaigns, art direction, design, key art/logo/brand/title treatment development, and project management. Most recently, Stouffer has helped spearhead the branding/merchandising of the reboot of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” in step with Shout! Factory’s leap into original content.

 

Sony Pictures

JILL ALLEN
SVP, Digital Distribution
Allen heads up U.S. digital distribution across all new-media and MVPD platforms, including Amazon, Apple TV, Fandango and Comcast. She oversees sales and sales-planning teams to drive business across the studio’s new-release and catalog properties. Allen began her career at Disney and LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) before joining the Sony team 15 years ago. During her time at Sony, she has held both sales and business development roles, always with a focus on the intersection of content and new technologies.

JENNIFER ANDERSON
SVP, Global Brand Marketing
Anderson leads the global brand management team that oversees and manages lifecycle campaigns across the Sony Pictures slate, establishing key consumer messaging, aligning marketing tactics to core brand strategy and ensuring that product marketing efforts are in line with studio business goals. Some priorities in this rapidly changing landscape have included optimizing release windows, bringing high-end productions direct-to-home, and delighting content-hungry consumers with a wide range of catalog titles that continue to shine.

GERI BLUEROCK
SVP, Sales and Operations, North America
Bluerock leads the sales and operations organization for the domestic physical business. Her scope includes sales, supply chain, planning, reporting and administration. She has led the evolution of the sales team to integrate data-driven insights addressing retailer and consumer opportunities. Her experience at Sony, MGM and Target includes leadership positions in sales, sales planning and analysis, retail operations, category management, vendor managed inventory, demand planning and retail buying.

ANJA DANG
SVP, Global Audience Analytics, Data Science and Business Insights
Dang is responsible for identifying and developing Sony Pictures’ capabilities to become a more consumer-centric, data-driven organization. Her team builds, sources, connects, and manages consumer and audience-level data assets and capabilities; understands and creates consumer segments for activation; designs activation solutions for Sony Pictures Entertainment audiences; and delivers insights. Her team utilizes advanced data analytics and machine learning to develop models and apps to enable SPE to make informed decisions that drive and fulfill consumer appetite for film and television content across the theatrical, home entertainment and television release windows.

JACQUI MARSHALL
EVP, Legal Affairs
Marshall heads up the corporate legal team for Sony in the EMEA region. She is responsible for legal matters for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, including physical and digital rights distribution and acquisition, joint ventures, operational and retailer arrangements, and all other corporate and commercial initiatives. Marshall has looked after SPHE’s legal requirements in EMEA for more than a decade after starting her career at Universal Pictures.

JANE MOHON
SVP, Media
Mohon is responsible for consumer media strategy, overseeing strategic linear and digital media planning and buying. A champion of an analytics-led strategy, Mohon leverages consumer lifecycle data to drive multi-channel paid media strategies to drive transactions.

DINA WIGGINS
SVP, Legal
Wiggins has been overseeing legal affairs worldwide for SPHE marketing for nearly 25 years, closely collaborating with all departments throughout SPHE. Her work also includes legal compliance in all aspects of the licensing, distribution, sales, manufacturing, and other exploitation of movies and television series in home entertainment for domestic and international territories, excluding EMEA.

CATHY GOLDMAN
SVP, Global TV Distribution and International Production Marketing
Goldman has been overseeing marketing for Sony Pictures Television International Distribution for the past seven years, and just recently expanded her purview to include the U.S. television distribution business as well as the global transactional business for television product. Alignment of the transactional TV business with distribution allows for a holistic marketing approach across the lifecycle. Her core responsibilities include leading brand strategy, promotions and partnerships, and collaborating closely with cross-functional teams across digital/social, creative, creative content, media and publicity for premiere television properties such as “Outlander,” “The Crown,” “Better Call Saul” and “The Blacklist,” as well as key franchises such as “Seinfeld” and Norman Lear favorites.

ALLIE CARSIA-TALBOTT, VP, Digital Distribution
SUZANNE EMERSON, VP, Legal
JUDY GUEVARA, VP, Global Brand Marketing
HELENA KU, VP, Business Affairs
JANET SCHACKMAN, VP, Customer Operations
JANA SIMMONS, VP, Global Customer Experience
JOAN VILLAROS, VP, Production Services, North America

 

STXfilms

AMY ELKINS
President, Media and Marketing Innovation
Elkins has pioneered a results-driven direct-to-consumer ad model. She is the strategic media architect behind all STX releases, including such hits as the “Bad Moms” franchise, The Upside, Hustlers and Greenland. She created a comprehensive data-driven specialty unit to tackle effective business solutions via audience understanding and advanced analytics and insights, while also leading campaign innovation and inventive partnership success.

CHRISTINE MANNA
EVP, Digital Distribution
Over the past 15 months, Manna and her team created new strategies for STX films to reach the new stay-at-home audience, negotiating new terms with each of the top PVOD platforms. Manna and her team created bespoke release models for such STX films as Greenland (one of the top films in the PVOD category), Songbird, Horizon Line, The Mauritanian, The Secret Garden and Me, You, Madness.

KERI MOORE
President, Marketing
Moore oversees all marketing, branding and communication strategies for all STX films and is involved in marketing from the films’ inception through all lifecycles. With such recent releases as Greenland, The Gentlemen, Songbird, My Spy, The Mauritanian and Horizon Line, and the upcoming Queenpins, the company has maximized success and profitability through deal making and release strategies in the home entertainment corridor.

CAROLYN STEINMETZ
EVP and Head of Content Finance
Steinmetz’s team is critical to the company’s dealmaking, licensing and distribution of film entertainment on all platforms. She has driven the deals behind such hits as Bad Moms and I Feel Pretty, which became even bigger wins in home entertainment. More recently, she has arranged deals for Greenland, Songbird and My Spy. She is president of the nonprofit women’s industry organization FEME (Female Executives in Media and Entertainment).

 

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

PAMELA BLUM
SVP, Global Marketing
Blum oversees creative marketing services and the development of value-added content for the studio’s Blu-ray, DVD and digital releases on a worldwide basis. Her responsibilities also extend to include maximizing opportunities cross-divisionally within NBC Universal.

SANDY CHOI
SVP, Brand Marketing
Choi manages UPHE’s North American third-party partner relationships. She oversees the development and execution of all marketing campaigns for the partner releases across both physical and digital platforms. She also leads the cross-functional team responsible for the overall business.

DENISE HARO
SVP, Worldwide Consumer Insights and Strategy
Haro oversees business analytics, focusing on external market analytics, trend analysis, and long-term outlook. She also manages UPHE’s consumer insights and research. She is focused on aligning global commercial strategy around product, windows, messaging and innovation founded in business and consumer insights. Throughout her tenure, she has been influential in shaping company strategy.

JERRLYN IWATA
SVP, Digital Distribution
Iwata oversees business development and distribution for Universal’s domestic digital home entertainment arm. She is responsible for licensing Universal’s film and television content on a transactional basis to cable, satellite, Internet and emerging digital platform partners across the United States and Canada.

LEA PORTENEUVE
SVP, Global Publicity and Communications
Porteneuve oversees business, technology and executive communications for UPHE. She additionally spearheads all strategic publicity initiatives for Universal and its distributed lines, including media and talent relations, events, promotions, promotional partnerships and social media activations in support of the studio’s digital and physical home entertainment offerings. She also actively serves as the company’s principal PR strategist on cross-studio, industry-specific committees.

STACY BARGER, VP, Global Creative Services
STEPHANIE BAYER, VP, Global Creative Services
JENNIFER BLACK, VP, Global Publicity
ERICA MARIE DIONNE, VP, Product Development and Strategy
LEIGH DUNLEAVY, VP, Digital Platforms
ALISSA GURY, VP, Global Controller
NADIA HANEY, VP, Emerging Partnerships and Formats
TRACY KIM, VP, Digital Distribution and Digital Platforms
SANDY LE BIHAN, VP, Global Projects
STEPHANIE LUTJENS, VP, Global Brand Marketing
MARIAN MANSI, VP, Global Creative Content
JENNA WEBB, VP, Global Tech Operations

 

ViacomCBS/Paramount+

TANYA GILES
Chief Programming Officer, ViacomCBS Streaming
Giles oversees and executes a holistic programming strategy for the global content offering across the company’s streaming services Paramount+ and Pluto TV, maximizing mix, prioritization, timing and impact of ViacomCBS resources, franchises and brands to drive sustained audience acquisition and engagement. With more than 20 years of experience, Giles is widely respected across the entertainment industry and has a proven track record of applying research-driven insights to make high-impact programming decisions. Prior to joining ViacomCBS Streaming, Giles served as GM for the ViacomCBS MTV Entertainment Group, where she led content strategy, programming, and research and insights for leading entertainment brands such as MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, VH1, TV Land and others.

NICOLE CLEMENS
President, Paramount Television Studios and Paramount+ Original Scripted Series
Clemens oversees a robust slate of shows including original scripted content for Paramount+. Upcoming projects include “The Offer” (Paramount+) starring Miles Teller, and “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies” (Paramount+). Previously, Clemens was a producer at Anonymous Content, where she set up both film and television projects. Prior to joining Anonymous Content, Clemens was EVP and head of series development for FX Networks, where she guided a coveted roster of critically acclaimed original series including “Atlanta,” “Better Things,” “You’re the Worst,” “Baskets,” “Snowfall,” “Tyrant” and “Mayans MC.” Before that, Clemens was a partner and head of the motion picture literary department at ICM Partners for 16 years. Prior to her tenure at ICM Partners, Clemens ran Rod Holcomb Productions and was a television executive at Spelling Television.

CATHERINE HOUSER
EVP, Paramount Pictures, Worldwide Human Resources and ViacomCBS Streaming
Houser has managed human resources teams in the entertainment industry for 30 years. Prior to overseeing Paramount Pictures HR, Houser served as EVP of human resources for Viacom Media Networks where she led the company’s HR strategies and practices. In that role, she was responsible for all of MTV Networks’ HR initiatives globally.

ELIZABETH WRIGHT
EVP, Finance, ViacomCBS Streaming
Wright steers financial strategy for both Paramount+ and Pluto TV. Prior to joining ViacomCBS Streaming, Wright was at CBS for more than 10 years. As an SVP of financial planning and analysis, Wright ran annual budget processes, managed monthly KPIs, and drove initiatives for new business partnerships for CBS’s digital division.

AMY KUESSNER
SVP, Content Strategy and Global Partnerships, ViacomCBS Streaming
Kuessner is responsible for growth strategies, partnerships, content licensing and international expansion for Pluto TV and focused areas of Paramount+. In this role, Kuessner brings her expertise, creative vision and strategy to identify, bridge and scale symbiotic content partnerships across the multiple streaming platforms. Since its onset, Kuessner has been instrumental in the development and oversight of Pluto TV’s content acquisitions team, responsible for establishing nearly 400 global content deals with major Hollywood studios, TV Networks, distributors, major sports leagues, news organizations and publishing outfits.

SUSAN LUNDGREN
SVP, Communications, ViacomCBS Streaming
Lundgren oversees all external and internal communications and public relations efforts for the division as well as its streaming service Paramount+. She has more than 20 years of communications experience working with some of the top brands within tech and media. Prior to joining ViacomCBS Streaming, Lundgren was with Apple, where she was responsible for managing global strategic communications for legal, government affairs and industrial design as a part of the corporate communications team.

 

Warner Bros. Entertainment

NICOLE COLEMAN
SVP, Analytics, Planning and Marketing Operations
Coleman leads analytics, business planning, distribution marketing and operational teams in support of maximizing revenue for the sales and distribution organization.

KRISTINA FUGATE
SVP, Marketing, Film
Fugate handles all theatrical new-release and catalog brand marketing efforts across disc and digital platforms, which also includes creative advertising, franchise lifecycle management and global strategy. She’s responsible for developing strategies resulting in strong performances of brands and franchises, including “DC,” “Harry Potter,” “Godzilla,” “Wonder Woman” and the “Lego” films and recent titles including Tenet, Scoob!, Wonder Woman 1984 and Godzilla vs. Kong, as well as the 4K UHD slate and virtual reality experiences.

LAURA LUPINETTI
SVP, Partner Marketing
Lupinetti is responsible for maximizing Warner Bros. content exposure across the distribution landscape (digital and physical) to drive revenue for the full transactional portfolio using price variability, content exclusives/creative differentiation and co-marketing opportunities.

MARY ELLEN THOMAS
SVP, TV and Originals Product and Brand Marketing
Thomas leads home entertainment global marketing and creative for all non-theatrical content from Warner Bros., TNets (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TBS, TNT, truTV, CNN) and HBO. She is responsible for driving the overall strategy, product development, creative, marketing and lifecycle management for originals and episodic product lines. In addition, Thomas manages talent and studio relationships and is responsible for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s portfolio brand partners, including Rooster Teeth, Peanuts, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, WWE and Viz Media.

KRISTIN ANDERSON, VP, TV Marketing
TRACI CARROLL, VP, Creative Advertising
AMY-BETH CHAMBERLIN, VP, Sales Services
SANDRA S. KIM, VP, Global Product Planning
TINA DEPASS LUJAN, VP, TV Marketing, TV Series
ANGIE LAI MAKHOUL, VP, Film Marketing
ZANDRA PALMER, VP, Trade Marketing
BETH WETZEL, VP, Creative Advertising

Women in Home Entertainment 2020: Meet the 12 Captains and See What They Have to Say

Hollywood, you’re getting better — but we’re still not quite there.

UCLA’s 2020 Hollywood Diversity Report, released in February, found that, overall, there are more acting jobs for women in film. In a look at 145 films released in 2019, women had 44.1% of the lead acting roles and accounted for 40.2% of the total cast.

But if you look behind the scenes, there remains much more of a divide. In 2019, just 15.1% of the directors, and 17.4% of the writers, of top-grossing films were women. The 2020 Hollywood Diversity Report also includes a workplace analysis of the top 11 studios, and found that 82% of ‘C’-level positions, and 80% of all senior executive positions, are held by men.

SEE ALSO: WOMEN IN HOME ENTERTAINMENT 2020 — THE TEAMS

This is why, for the third year, Media Play News is saluting the top women in home entertainment — with a special focus on the top “captains” who are driving the business — as selected by a panel of studio executives, key retailers, journalists and other industry leaders.

Our list of “captains” this year has expanded from 10 to 12, in recognition of the proliferation of high-profile streaming services. Our Women in Home Entertainment section takes on special significance this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic — which has presented our executives with a whole new series of challenges that are explored, in detail, in the Q&A section with our captains that follows our introductions.

THE CAPTAINS OF HOME ENTERTAINMENT: WHO THEY ARE

Sarah Aubrey

Head of Original Content, HBO Max

Sarah Aubrey

Aubrey heads up Original Content for HBO Max, presiding over a robust slate of Max Originals that offers programming options for every member of the household from preschool aged children through adults. Max Originals include a wide range of genres and formats, slanted toward Gen Z, millennial and female audiences, including programs such as “Legendary,” “Love Life,” “Expecting Amy,” “On the Trail,” “Raised by Wolves,” “Close Enough,” “Looney Tunes” and more. Previously, Aubrey was EVP of original programming for TNT, where she played an integral role in the network’s evolution into one of the premier destinations for prestige original dramas. Under her leadership, the number of women holding jobs at the highest levels on the average TNT scripted project more than doubled. TNT also jumped an impressive 320% on the annual GLAAD TV report rankings for LGBTQ representation. Prior to joining TNT, Aubrey was a prolific television and film producer, responsible for such projects as “Friday Night Lights” and “The Leftovers” while at Film 44, and films including Bad Santa before that.

Kelly Campbell

President, Hulu

Kelly Campbell

Campbell manages Hulu’s suite of on-demand and live streaming businesses within the Walt Disney Co.’s Direct-to-Consumer & International business unit. Campbell previously served as chief marketing officer of Hulu. Her team of marketers was responsible for creating and executing initiatives across brand, creative, subscriber growth, entertainment publicity, consumer research and viewer experience. Campbell has earned several industry accolades, including one of Business Insider’s Most Innovative CMOs, Cynopsis Media’s Top Women in Digital Media, Ad Age’s Women to Watch and FierceCable’s The Fierce 50: Executives Reshaping the Business of Pay-TV. Most recently, she made Forbes’ Most Influential Global CMOs list for embracing transparency in influencer marketing.

Agnes Chu

SVP, Content, Disney+

Agnes Chu

Though she is leaving in September to lead publisher Conde Nast’s studio and distribution unit, Chu is being honored as one of the key players behind the successful launch of Disney+. Chu is responsible for identifying and developing series, feature films, short-form content and other entertainment formats for the service. Reporting to Ricky Strauss, president of content and marketing, Chu leads the Disney+ Originals teams for scripted, unscripted and content operations, partnering closely with Disney-owned internal content creators, including The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Television, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. Over the course of her career at Disney, Chu has served in a variety of roles. Prior to her current position, she served as executive of story and franchise development at Walt Disney Imagineering. From 2013 to 2016, she worked for Bob Iger as VP, office of the chairman and CEO, leading corporate synergy in the integration of Lucasfilm and the grand opening of Shanghai Disney Resort. While at ABC Entertainment, managing content production for the broadcast network’s digital platforms, Chu garnered an Emmy nomination for “Lost: Mysteries of the Universe,” a pioneering streaming extension of the fan-favorite series “Lost.”  Chu began her career at Jigsaw Productions, working on Academy Award documentary nominee Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and “The Blues,” a seven-part series on PBS with directors Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood and Alex Gibney.

Andrea Downing

Co-President, PBS Distribution

Andrea Downing

With more than 20 years of experience in the media and entertainment business, Downing has a successful history of leading organizations for growth and profitability in dynamic landscapes. Her vision for PBS Distribution (PBSd) has evolved the focus of the organization to a global distribution company with a diversified portfolio of businesses, including three direct-to-consumer subscription video-on-demand (DTC-SVOD) services at its core. A strategic leader with a strong operational background who embraces change to transform organizations with new business strategies and products, Downing leads the company including strategic, financial, and operational aspects of PBSd.

Kathleen Gallagher

EVP and Managing Director — North America, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Kathleen Gallagher

Gallagher leads UPHE’s physical home entertainment business, including sales, operations, finance, customer marketing and distribution partnerships across the United States and Canada. She assumed her present position in March 2018, after serving as SVP of sales, customer marketing and category management for UPHE’s U.S. physical sellthrough and rental businesses. She started at Universal in 2000 as assistant category manager and served in various sales, category management and customer marketing positions. Gallagher began her career in 1999 at Sony Pictures Entertainment (at the time, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment).

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Hilary Hoffman

EVP, Global Marketing, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Hilary Hoffman

Hoffman oversees strategic marketing and business strategy for Universal and its distributed lines worldwide across new-release, catalog and TV properties for both digital and physical, focusing on the complete product lifecycle. Her responsibilities encompass defining go-to-market strategies and the overall approach for consumer engagement, including developing and leveraging new platforms and technologies as well as direct-to-consumer initiatives to drive profitable growth across all formats. During her tenure at Universal, Hoffman has overseen the campaigns of some of the studio’s biggest, revenue-generating releases and has successfully been a driving force behind Universal’s leading footprint in new industry initiatives.

Cindy Holland

VP, Original Content, Netflix

Cindy Holland

Holland, a 17-year Netflix veteran, is responsible for acquiring and launching original series for Netflix members around the globe. Under her purview, Holland and her team have launched award-winning and critically acclaimed projects that span drama, comedy, family/YA, documentaries, unscripted, stand-up specials and docu-series. She was named to the 2018 Time 100 list of the most influential people. According to the magazine, “in less than a decade, Cindy has helped orchestrate one of the biggest entertainment revolutions since the invention of the television.”

Dametra Johnson-Marletti

GM, Digital Store Category Management, Microsoft Corp.

Dametra Johnson-Marletti

Johnson-Marletti has responsibility for digital content categories (Gaming, Movies & TV, Entertainment and Consumer Apps) across all Microsoft digital storefronts.  She is charged with working with external content creating partners to optimize customer experiences and financial opportunities through creative content marketing programs, and business model innovation. Johnson-Marletti joined Microsoft in 2001 and has since made multiple contributions across a number of different businesses, including nine years in the Xbox Division. Prior to coming to Microsoft, Johnson-Marletti spent almost 10 years with Bristol Myers-Squibb, where she held several positions across sales and sales management in the Southern California area. A former professional women’s basketball player, Johnson-Marletti is a Los Angeles native who currently lives on the East Side of Seattle with her two teen children.

Kim Overall

EVP, Consumer Insights and Innovation, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Kim Overall

Overall is responsible for identifying and developing the studio’s capabilities to become a more consumer-centric, data-driven organization. Her group utilizes data analytics and consumer insights, enabling SPHE and Sony Pictures Television Distribution to make better-informed decisions to satisfy consumer demand for content. Formerly, Overall was SVP of SPHE’s United Kingdom, Norther Europe and EMEA partnerships. In this role, she was responsible for defining the commercial strategies for the region and supporting the EMEA territories. She joined SPHE in 2008 as the managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

Jessica Schell

EVP and GM, Film, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Jessica Schell

Schell joined Warner Bros. in 2014 as EVP and GM of film at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and oversees all aspects of the transactional home entertainment business for Warner Bros. films worldwide. At Warner Bros. she has taken on additional responsibilities managing theatrical lifecycle marketing, cross-enterprise synergy initiatives, and immersive entertainment. Schell spent her early career at the Walt Disney Co. and Allen & Co. and is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. At NBC Universal, she held roles of SVP of digital strategy and business development for NBC Universal, and EVP of business development and digital for Universal Pictures.

Amy Jo Smith

President and CEO, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group

Amy Jo Smith

Smith heads the leading trade group for the home entertainment industry. The DEG promotes entertainment platforms, products and distribution channels that support the movie, television, music, consumer electronics and IT industries. A former White House communications advisor, Smith since 1997 has led the industry-funded organization through the industry’s wholesale evolution from videocassettes to DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and today’s digital age. She joined the DEG as executive director under then-President Emiel Petrone, and was promoted to president in 2013 and CEO in 2017. Before the DEG she was SVP and group director at ad agency Cohn & Wolfe.

Lexine Wong

Senior EVP, Worldwide Marketing, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Lexine Wong

Wong leads Sony Pictures Television Distribution’s global home entertainment marketing team and is charged with delivering breakthrough marketing campaigns across a wide range of product from Sony Pictures Entertainment’s studio labels and television series. Specific areas of oversight include consumer and brand strategy, creative advertising, media and digital, PR and strategic partnerships, content development and new product development. Wong’s insights-driven marketing strategy is the foundation for product development and continued marketing innovation around new platforms critical for growth in the industry, such as Movies Anywhere, augmented reality, 4K UHD and other direct-to-consumer digital offerings. With more than 25 years in advertising and consumer marketing, Wong began her career at Young & Rubicam, before joining what would become Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, where she rose to EVP of worldwide marketing in 2001 and her present position in 2006.

THE CAPTAINS OF HOME ENTERTAINMENT: WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY

Sarah Aubrey, Head of  Original Content, HBO Max

Tell us about your career path. I began my career as an entertainment lawyer, later transitioning to production starting with Bad Santa and then joining forces with Peter Berg at our production company Film 44. During this time, I produced series and features such as “Friday Night Lights” and Lone Survivor. I then joined Kevin Reilly, who I had worked with on “Friday Night Lights,” at TNT as EVP of original programming for the network. We created programming that evolved the network into a place for premium tentpole dramas with series such as “Claws,” “Animal Kingdom” and the Emmy Award-winning drama “The Alienist.” I worked hard in this position to champion diversity and inclusion both in front of and behind the camera. During this time we were able to more than double the number of women holding jobs at the highest levels on the average TNT scripted project, and TNT jumped an impressive 320% on the annual GLAAD TV report rankings for LGBTQ representation. Kevin then presented me with a once-in-a-career opportunity, to be on the ground floor of HBO Max, a brand-new platform that brings together an incredibly special portfolio and group of creators in one place. [Reilly recently left WarnerMedia in a management shakeup.] In this role, I oversee our Originals slate from drama, comedy, unscripted, documentary, animation, and feature films, with something for everyone in the household. My team and I are empowered to go after unique, distinctive stories from creative voices that make a cultural impact, stories that we feel passionate about and that deserve to be seen by a wide audience. We are proud to have launched with the 2020 Sundance Documentary feature On the Record as well as the fan-favorites “Love Life” and “Legendary,” and to continue bringing incredible stories to our platform such as “Expecting Amy,” “On the Trail,” the “Friends” reunion special, and, of course in 2021, the long-awaited Snyder Cut (director Zack Snyder’s cut of the 2017 superhero film Justice League).

If you had to pick one career highlight, what would it be? The launch of HBO Max and the opportunity to build a streaming platform from scratch within a company that has a tremendous legacy.

What was the toughest decision you’ve ever made? To leave the security of being a practicing attorney to start my career as a producer.

How has your work life changed with COVID-19? Working from home has been an immense change not without its challenges, but we are all still working at the same incredible pace as we were in the office. Our teams have persevered, managing launching a platform alongside home schooling and shared spaces. Because of the determination of our teams, we were able to launch HBO Max on schedule and continue to debut and create new Max Originals, all from our homes. We have had to adjust how we tackle things day to day, but we are still accomplishing them, and with a level of quality that I think only this team could achieve. I keep reminding everyone, “Guys, when you have a baby, that’s not the end, that’s the beginning.” We are just at the beginning with HBO Max and I am excited to share everything we still have coming.

How has your personal life changed? As much as my kids can drive me crazy, it’s been a real joy getting to spend more time together than we would have were I in the office. And I’ve been cooking more. My beef enchiladas have hit a new level of deliciousness.

Where do you work at home? Did you already have a home office, or did you have to modify a space? My home office is wherever I can find space for my laptop. My new office is my chair in the corner of my bedroom and then with my kids in the dining room.

What’s the best thing about remote working? Wearing my pajama pants.

What is the downside? Wearing my pajama pants!

What impact is COVID-19 having on your business, and what are you doing about it? Like everyone in our creative community, our productions and teams have been impacted by COVID-19, but fortunately we have been able to keep our programming slate on track and our teams have been incredibly inventive and have remained dedicated to our goals working at the same pace we had in the office. Our launch slate and planned summer programs have been set for some time and thankfully were mostly unaffected, but we did have some projects in production that were placed on hiatus while we figure out the best, and safest, path forward. The health and safety of our casts and crews are our first priority. Care for our employees, cast and crew are the most important consideration in all decision-making. But we are still really busy! We have several projects in post-production, with people working from the safety of their homes using editing rigs we provided. We were able to continue shooting the Max Original CNN Films documentary On The Trail as part of CNN’s news-gathering operation and have also greenlighted new series such as “Selena + Chef,” an unscripted cooking show starring Selena Gomez, and “Homeschool Musical,” a scripted series from Tony winner Laura Benanti. Both of these projects were born out of quarantine and demonstrate the innovation and creativity of the teams at HBO Max.

How are you collaborating with colleagues and meeting with customers? Our office is built on collaboration, so we are constantly working together over WebEx, checking in with our creative partners, and continuing to work on our slate in creative ways under these new circumstances. I am so impressed and proud of my team, and of the teams across the company, who have shown such resiliency and continued passion as we continue to make deals, write scripts and edit our programming from home.

How many Zoom or other video conference calls do you have in an average week? Too many to count!

Has a return to the office date been set, and if so what changes are you expecting? It is a company priority to restart television and film production, but care for our employees, cast and crew is the most important consideration in all decision-making, and we are prioritizing productions for our testing and safety resources. There are no imminent plans for my team to return to the office, but we are currently starting up smaller productions in consultation with local authorities, the unions and medical experts. There will definitely be changes to how our productions are run, and we will do everything we can to make sure that our employees, cast, crew and creative partners feel protected and comfortable each step of the way. With our wide range of formats and shooting locations, each production is different and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Do you envision any long-term changes in our industry? There has been a lot of innovation around using digital experiences and formats that I think will remain in place and be useful once we begin to reopen and restart productions, festivals and other large gatherings. By opening up once-exclusive events to a wider platform digitally, we are able to more freely share with the community and expand our reach to voices around the world.

What are the last two or three movies, TV shows or original series you watched — and please tell us why you love them? I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. I was obsessed with Michelle McNamara’s very personal account of her hunt to reveal the identity of the Golden State Killer and HBO has done a wonderful job of bringing that book to life. Getting to see Michelle’s perspective has been moving and inspiring. I have been catching up on the latest season of “Better Things” and Pamela Adlon is a god.

If you could spend the day with any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be — and why? Connie Britton. We are old friends from making “Friday Night Lights” together and overdue for a backyard margarita.

 

Kelly Campbell, President, Hulu  

If you had to pick one career highlight, what would it be? Joining the team at Hulu — and now Disney — has been the biggest highlight of my career.  Having the opportunity to work with so many brilliant, creative people who are genuinely passionate about having a positive impact on our viewers and communities has been life-changing, and I’m incredibly grateful for that. I firmly believe that this is the most exciting place to be in this industry right now.

How has your work life changed with COVID-19? While there have been some obvious changes and challenges transitioning to a remote work environment, I’ve also been energized by the more than 2,500 Hulugans who have worked hard to maintain our culture beyond the physical walls of our office space, provide support to their colleagues and continue to push our business forward. As a company leader during this uncertain time, my focus remains on the health and safety of our employees and making sure I’m present, available and proactively communicating with all Hulugans on a regular basis.

What impact is COVID-19 having on your business, and what are you doing about it? It’s no secret that people are watching more television now that they are spending more time at home, and Hulu, like other streamers, has benefited from that. But I think our growth in 2020 has been less about the pandemic and more about the creativity and innovation we’ve brought to market this year. The Hulu Originals team led by Craig Erwich has delivered its most successful slate of originals ever, from “Little Fires Everywhere,” “Hillary” and “Ramy” — which just received Emmy nominations in major series categories — to breakout hits like “Normal People,” “Solar Opposites” and our original film Palm Springs. Through FX on Hulu, which we launched earlier this year in partnership with John Landgraf, we’ve provided viewers with even more Emmy-nominated series, like “Mrs. America” and “Devs.” Hulu’s technology and design teams introduced a newly redesigned interface that helps Hulu viewers find and discover the content they love more quickly. And on the advertising front we continue to introduce new non-traditional ad formats to provide the best experience possible to our viewers, and more-innovative solutions to brands. All of these things together are driving Hulu’s strong momentum this year.

What are the last two or three movies, TV shows or original series you watched — and please tell us why you love them? Hamilton on Disney+ — I think I’ve watched this 10 times since it launched on Disney+.  It’s powerful on so many levels. Thought-provoking creativity and storytelling at its finest. Thirteenth on Netflix — a critical film of our time that provides an eye-opening look at history. Palm Springs on Hulu — so very clever — the writing, the acting, the set — I love it all. I’m a sucker for romantic comedies, but this one goes above and beyond!

If you could spend the day with any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be — and why? Living, I would say Oprah! I’ve always looked up to Oprah. I love hearing people’s stories, and there is no one more masterful at asking the right questions to learn people’s stories than Oprah. She brings empathy, passion and positivity to all that she does. If it’s someone no longer with us, then it would most definitely be my father-in-law. He passed away before I met him. I’d love to spend a day with him, getting to know the man that shaped the incredible human that is my husband.

 

Agnes Chu, SVP, Content, Disney+

If you had to pick one career highlight, what would it be? In my 13 years at Disney, I’ve been incredibly blessed to have had two epic professional adventures with teams that have transformed our company in significant ways. During my time as [former CEO] Bob Iger’s chief of staff, the company was building Shanghai Disney Resort.  My grandparents are from Shanghai, so it was especially meaningful to be part of planning its grand opening. It was such a gift to have watched Imagineers transform farm land into a truly fantastical and breathtaking park with thousands of fans lining up on opening day. And, of course, the launch of Disney+. This team really knows no bounds in terms of their creativity, inventiveness and tirelessness. So many talented people from across the Walt Disney Company collaborated to make the launch a success. It’s awe-inspiring and gratifying to wake up every day and get to work with some of the most gifted storytellers in the world.

What was the toughest decision you’ve ever made? This job is full of tough decisions.  My advice on this is to confront them with heart and strength of conviction, and be open-minded and fair.

How has your work life changed with COVID-19? Like so many other working moms out there, it’s changed in many ways. Working from home has rewards and challenges. In between Zoom calls, I’m able to steal a hug or play a quick game with my 2-year-old daughter. I treasure that. But it can also be difficult to draw lines and have clear boundaries. With the help of my amazing husband, I’m learning new lessons every day in how to navigate and balance both.

What impact is COVID-19 having on your business, and what are you doing about it? Obviously, this is an unprecedented time. In so many ways it has reinforced the power of storytelling and its vital and indelible role in society. At a time when we can’t easily come together physically, people are looking for content that brings them together emotionally. Disney+, with our depth and breadth of library content and new multigenerational stories like “The Mandalorian,” “Encore!” and “Diary of a Future President,” is able to do just that. From a production standpoint, it’s obviously tough. COVID safety protocols are challenging us to find new ways of doing things. My team likes to say that creativity is the best antidote for road blocks. Whether it’s voiceover talent calling in their performances or musicians scoring content from home, we are able to complete and fine-tune projects that were already in process. We are also spending more time on the development process and writing new material. I really think that we’ll see a lot of interesting storytelling come out of this period of time — not just here but across the industry.

What are the last two or three movies, TV shows or original series you watched — and please tell us why you love them? Hamilton is a given.  So in addition to that, a shout-out to our sister service, Hulu, and their recent premiere of Palm Springs, which totally delivered on much needed belly-laughs during these hard times. Mindy Kaling’s series “Never Have I Ever” because of its nuanced and fresh twist on family comedy, harnessing such a delightfully specific voice to capture coming-of-age and the complexities of grief. I was laughing and crying at the same time, and I loved it. Finally, I’ve been watching Hong Kong kung-fu soap operas produced in the 1980s, often set as Chinese historical period pieces. Cantonese was my first language, and it’s important to me that my daughter also hears the language as she learns to talk. While hilariously low budget and corny, these soap operas also kick ass because every episode involves elaborate martial arts.

If you could spend the day with any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be — and why? I’ve been reading my daughter the “Little People, Big Dreams” books. We picked up the one that told the story of Martin Luther King Jr., and it made me so emotional. While progress has been made since his death, it has not nearly been enough — what would MLK say today and what actions must we take to achieve our dream of equality?

 

Andrea Downing, Co-President, PBS Distribution

Tell us about your career path. I started my career in manufacturing after I graduated from college in the Midwest, in a picture frame factory. I have always said yes when asked to take on new projects or tasks, and the more that I successfully managed, the more senior my position became. At some point, I realized that I wanted to be in a region where there were more of my peers, and I moved to Washington, D.C. Clearly there’s not a lot of manufacturing on the East Coast, so I started over in an entry-level position, but soon moved into a management position. A friend recommended me to someone at the Discovery Channel, a startup at the time, and while it meant taking what looked like a step backwards in terms of my role, I wanted to be in a larger, more entrepreneurial organization. I started taking on what needed to be done, and quickly became the go-to person. The decision to join Discovery led me to where I am today.

If you had to pick one career highlight, what would it be? Being recruited and hired to work at PBS as a vice president, particularly when I did not have a lot of experience in what I was being tasked to do. But the woman who recruited me had been my boss at Discovery and knew my track record. The trust that she placed in me to get the job done set me on the path to my current role at PBSd.

What was the toughest decision you’ve ever made? The first time I was faced with the challenge of having to let go of team members, some of whom were more senior than me. It was the right decision for the business, and a learning curve in terms of making the decision and implementing the plan. It is never easy to do, but I think the first time is by far the hardest.

How has your work life changed with COVID-19? We went remote in mid-March and instituted weekly conference calls with the full team to keep everyone in the loop. We invited some of our vendors to join us periodically to meet the broader team and talk about the work they are doing and how they are being impacted by the pandemic. Because productions shut down, affecting content delivery and procurement, and some of our vendors closed, we have had to be nimble and creative and quickly adapt to changing circumstances. I am really proud of how our team came together and almost seamlessly managed all that has been thrown at them.

How has your personal life changed? I have been able to spend more time with my family, an unexpected benefit of the pandemic, and I am grateful that we are all healthy and managing well. I am acutely aware that there are so many who are not so fortunate. Without the commute I have more hours in the day, so I have been getting outside to walk or run consistently. It is challenging to not be able to get together with friends or travel the way that I used to, but I connect frequently through voice and video calls.

Where do you work at home? Did you already have a home office, or did you have to modify a space? I have a home office that I had to modify slightly to video conference effectively, primarily from a technology standpoint. I am still working on finding a way to keep my cats out of the picture — they always show up and insert themselves in my calls. They are now well-known across the company!

What’s the best thing about remote working? Watching the way our team adapted to the new situation so quickly. They really leaned in and figured out how to work remotely while supporting their teams and managing their family obligations. Our weekly conference calls created an opportunity for a broader selection of team members to give updates on the business, which has led to greater transparency and sharing ideas for adapting our business as issues arise.

What is the downside? I miss seeing everyone in person and having the impromptu conversations that happen during a typical workday. It is easier to pull a number of people together on short notice when you’re in the same office and challenging to do that when we are remote and juggling multiple work schedules.

What impact is COVID-19 having on your business, and what are you doing about it? The biggest impact has been the growth of our subscription channels and TVOD revenue as a result of the stay-at-home orders and increase in streaming. With the disruption to content production and delivery, we’re thinking creatively about how to fill the content pipeline to ensure that we are well-positioned for the months ahead.

How are you collaborating with colleagues and meeting with customers? I prefer video conferences if I am connecting for multiple agenda items or don’t know the person well, but often have quick phone calls with those I am regularly in touch with to discuss one or two issues.

How many Zoom or other video conference calls do you have in an average week? Pre-pandemic I had one or two video conferences per week. The last several months, I have averaged around 40 a week.

Has a return to the office date been set, and if so what changes are you expecting? We have not set a date for returning to the office because too many variables are in flux. We don’t know what is going to happen with schools and day care centers, which impacts many on our team, and we are mindful that some have health concerns for themselves or their families. We stay up to date with the guidance from local and national health officials and recommendations about opening offices. I am sure that when we go back, it will be a combination of remote and in the office and we will adapt as needed based on circumstances.

Do you envision any long-term changes in our industry? It is difficult to anticipate how the industry will change long-term because this time in history is unprecedented. But I think more content will be available for streaming rather than in theaters, stressing an already challenged sector of the entertainment market, with continued consumer transition to subscription-based models. Given the uncertainty about how long we will be susceptible to this virus, and anticipating the possibility of another pandemic, I think that companies will be adapting their technology and work spaces to position themselves for greater resilience.

What are the last two or three movies, TV shows or original series you watched — and please tell us why you love them? American Experience: The Vote, a film about the hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote. It is an extraordinary story of the courage and determination it took to achieve the passage of the 19th Amendment. This is the 100-year anniversary of the amendment’s passage, and is particularly timely given our nation’s current movement to correct long-standing social injustices.“World on Fire” is an incredible series about World War II that shows us the war from the perspective of individuals impacted by it. And Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, a brilliant Stanley Nelson film for “American Masters,” explores the complicated man who became a legend and changed the world of jazz.

 

Kathleen Gallagher, Executive Vice President and Managing Director – North America, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Tell us about your career path. I have been with Universal for almost 20 years. I have been so fortunate to have found amazing mentors and advocates in this organization who have given me opportunity and exposure. I started in this industry as a sales analyst for Kmart and Walmart. I have held many different roles in the sales and trade marketing functions that taught me the importance of being customer- and consumer-centric in everything we do. That sensibility has been incredibly helpful to me in this role as I strive to find the right balance between sales, operations and finance.

How has your work life changed with COVID-19? While we have found ourselves working under the most unforeseen circumstances, I am especially proud of our team’s ability not only to navigate and excel in the face of the unprecedented challenges currently facing our industry, but to achieve such exceptional outcomes, as evidenced with The Invisible Man and, most recently, Trolls World Tour. Personally, much like everyone else, I am still figuring out the best way to balance office hours and family time. I have a 5-year-old son who has been out of school since March, and it is critical that I make time for him throughout the day. Of course, this isn’t easy as most of us are on back-to-back calls. It has been a unifying experience to get a glimpse into the home lives of our colleagues as kids and pets make guest appearances throughout the day. And, it has also been very empowering to see the broad support, compassion and respect around maintaining a work/life balance extend throughout the highest levels of our organization.

Where do you work at home? Did you already have a home office, or did you have to modify a space? I didn’t have a home office. I started at the dining table. That lasted about a week. I created a mini office in the corner of the guestroom, which I later enhanced with a treadmill. I spend a lot more time looking at the treadmill than I do running on it! Aside from that, the setup is functional and comfortable, and having the distinct space definitely helps me transition between work and family mode.

What’s the best thing about remote working? I have been so impressed by our team’s ability to quickly embrace and thrive in this new way of working. A great example is how swiftly and easily we are able to assemble the right group of people together for meetings. What previously may have taken days or weeks to schedule when we were in the office often now can take a matter of hours to accomplish. This ability to effectively adapt to a new work style and function nimbly has served us well in maintaining momentum, quality and consistency with both customers and consumers. That — and being able to wear sweats every day!

What impact is COVID-19 having on your business, and what are you doing about it? It has been encouraging to see a rebound in our catalog business over the past few months. We have so much content that consumers love and can look to for comfort and escape during this time. We have been partnering with retail to make sure shelves are stocked, and our brand team has been working to develop promotions and collections that can drive significant value for shoppers.

How are you collaborating with colleagues and meeting with customers? Most of our communications and exchanges are happening primarily via video conference. I don’t know the last time I scheduled a regular phone call. We are all looking for that personal connection as we spend so much time in our homes.As much as it can be sometimes exhausting to be on video all day, I am really happy that this mode of interaction has become our norm.

How many Zoom or other video conference calls do you have in an average week? Somewhere around 30.

 

Hilary Hoffman, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Tell us about your career path. I appreciate this question, as it comes at a critical moment in time when we all should be reflecting on our own career journeys as well as those of our team members and colleagues across the industry. I believe that my path has been greatly influenced and supported by my mentors and leaders. Going forward, my goal is to heighten my focus on others in our organization, particularly those from diverse backgrounds, to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to grow, thrive and always feel supported professionally.

How has your work life changed with COVID-19? I am so incredibly proud of my marketing team, who so swiftly and skillfully adapted to working remotely. With Universal’s decision to release select films to PVOD coming right on the heels of the stay-at-home order, the team around the world faced a massive undertaking in determining quickly and effectively the best way to join together to deliver on this new and unprecedented consumer offer. Together we successfully led the way in helping to launch the new platform while at the same time continuing to maintain a robust traditional home entertainment business.

What’s the best thing about remote working? We have experienced meaningful upside in working together remotely. In particular, there is a special feeling of unity that we are all in it together.

What is the downside? The downside is the loss of spontaneous dialogue and ideation as a team. And we all miss the hallway and elevator conversations that extended beyond business into personal life. The loss of our ability to travel also has been a challenge. While international business can definitely be managed by video call, nothing replaces the opportunity to gather together in the same time zone and work with your colleagues in real time.

 

Cindy Holland, VP, Original Content, Netflix

Tell us about your career path. I grew up in Nebraska, where the nearest arthouse cinema was about 30 miles away. I loved what I saw, though, and couldn’t wait to work in film. I moved to L.A. and worked at the Mutual Film Company and Baltimore-Spring Creek Productions, where I had a wonderful mentor in Paula Weinstein. Before Netflix, I worked at an e-commerce startup you may remember called Kozmo.com. Through that, I met Ted Sarandos, and then I joined Netflix in 2002 when we were a DVD-by-mail subscription service. From the very beginning we had the ambition to be a global entertainment company, and it’s been incredible to see that now realized all around the world.

If you had to pick one career highlight, what would it be? Sharing “Orange Is the New Black” with the world over its seven seasons was an unforgettable experience.

How has your work life changed with COVID-19? Like everyone, I’m spending more time on video conferences than I ever imagined, and a lot less time at industry events. And it’s always casual Friday, but I’ve never been that formal anyway.

How has your personal life changed? Way more time indoors, though I still find time for a daily bike ride.

Where do you work at home? Did you already have a home office, or did you have to modify a space? I already had a home office.

What’s the best thing about remote working? The flexibility to work from anywhere.

What is the downside? The flexibility to work from anywhere, and the perception that one is always available.

What impact is COVID-19 having on your business, and what are you doing about it? We’re fortunate to have great shows in the pipeline and we’re proud to be a place viewers are turning for comfort and escape at a really challenging time. We have some shows shooting outside the U.S., but there are many that are still paused here. Things won’t look exactly the same when we return to production, but we’re looking forward to it and are focused on our cast and crews’ welfare and safety.

How are you collaborating with colleagues and meeting with customers? Like everyone else, we’re on a lot of video conferences.

How many Zoom or other video conference calls do you have in an average week? It varies, but they’re pretty back to back.

 

Dametra Johnson-Marletti, General Manager, Digital Store Category Management, Microsoft Corp.

If you had to pick one career highlight, what would it be? I consider myself to have been extremely blessed in my career. I have had many great experiences over the years. As I look back over my entire career, I have to say landing at the company where I have spent two-thirds of my career to date, has not only been a huge highlight, but being at Microsoft has positioned me to realize many great benefits, highlights and unique experiences several times over. Whether landing in my current role focused on digital entertainment and content, or working with our partners across the industry or traveling the different parts of the world to help drive impact for the company, the decision to come to Microsoft has been the foundational highlight that has led to so many others.

What was the toughest decision you’ve ever made? I think issues and decisions related to people are by far some of the most difficult decisions that leaders must contend with at work. Decisions that have involved removing people from their positions are always challenging. As a leader you balance being a steward of the company, a coach for your team, and an attractor and developer of talent — yet for any number of reasons, sometimes a change is required. As a leader you own that, implement it with empathy and grace, with the understanding that you are dealing with a person’s life and livelihood. All of these factors make such decisions extremely challenging.

How has your work life changed with COVID-19?  First, my heart goes out to the many lives that have been lost and families that have been impacted by COVID-19. From a work life perspective, Microsoft has been working remote since mid-March. With some minor enhancements, I was able to replicate the comfort of my Microsoft on-campus office. That, combined with the power and impact of Microsoft Teams meeting and collaboration technology has given us the ability to continue to drive business results, serve our customers, and collaborate with our partners in a very meaningful way. What I do miss most is seeing my co-workers every day. I work with a great group of people and it’s really hard in this environment to replicate the impromptu hallway chats or those quick office pop-in-type conversations — both work and social catch-up topics.

How has your personal life changed? On the homefront there were definite bright spots. The greatest by far has been the quality family time that has been created by by everyone being quarantined at home. Like many who work every day, especially working moms, the pace of life felt like a treadmill on high prior to the shutdown. The constant balance of work commitments, commute time, family activities, and other daily tasks seem to consume most hours. So, the instant slowing of life was quite enjoyable and really allowed us time together that we would not have otherwise had. All of that said, we have really started to miss the many wonderful things that create enjoyable variability in life, like travel, sports (pro and youth), concerts, and getting together with lots of friends, especially during the summer. We greatly look forward to when those things are once again the norm.

Where do you work at home? Did you already have a home office, or did you have to modify a space? I already had a home office set up, and really just needed a few modifications to replicate my on-campus work space, like getting a double monitor (life-changing), bringing home my comfy ergonomic chair and investing in a good webcam. I also upgraded my espresso machine — it’s not as good as the Microsoft version, but it does the job.

What’s the best thing about remote working? NO COMMUTE!  Seattle commute times were difficult — not L.A. difficult, but getting there, and the commute was even worse when it rained (if you can believe that). So, getting all that time back has been great and has further allowed for greater productivity at work and better balance at home.

What is the downside? The downside by far been has been not seeing the fun, smart and amazing people I get to work with each day, having impromptu meetings, catching up on each other’s lives while grabbing coffee, or having lunch together. I will most definitely appreciate those times far more when they return.

What impact is COVID-19 having on your business, and what are you doing about it? Unlike many businesses across the country and world, during the pandemic, the e-commerce space has realized explosive growth and creative business model innovation. At the peak of the global shutdown and quarantine — around April — we saw many people turn to digital entertainment to fill their time, whether it was gaming online with friends, movie and TV consumption or just online shopping, we have seen new high-water marks across the business broadly. The many Microsoft teams that bring content and our services to life have done yeoman’s work in ensuring that our customers can find what they are looking for when they want. We have been very pleased with our ability to be there to connect customers to their community of friends and to our partner’s tremendous content during these challenging times.

How are you collaborating with colleagues and meeting with customers? Primarily through Microsoft Teams. The Microsoft Teams Business Group has been working overtime to continue to innovate and evolve Teams based on customer feedback. This is the same technology my kids used during remote learning as well. Needless to say, our home bandwidth has really been working overtime.

How many Zoom or other video conference calls do you have in an average week? Thirty-plus Microsoft Teams meetings each week.

Has a return to the office date been set, and if so what changes are you expecting? We will not return to the office prior to January 2021. Microsoft has done a terrific job communicating with all employees very broadly on a regular basis. The company prioritizes employee safety first, so when we do return, we are expecting to align to a clear set of guidelines and protocols meant to keep everyone safe and that contribute to flattening the curve.

Do you envision any long-term changes in our industry? For sure, I think there will be lasting changes across the industry as a result of the global pandemic and how it’s been handled around the world. The entertainment industry as a whole feels like a continuous circle that has many interrelated dependent parts, each of which has been impacted in slightly different ways, which makes predicting the long-term effects on the whole ecosystem very difficult. For example, consumer confidence in returning to the theater is varied at this point and in many places not allowed at all. That puts enormous strain on both theater chains and studios, as they now have to decide on releasing straight to home entertainment or waiting for blockbuster-worthy theater-going crowds to return — the economics for these options are very different. Production is largely at a standstill, so the funnel for new-release content becomes smaller, which effects theaters, studios, broadcasters, and subscription and transactional services that rely on that content to attract and retain a consistent flow of customers.  So again, the level of uncertainty across the ecosystem makes it hard to call where we’ll ultimately settle into a new normal. That said, creativity and business model evolution remains high, that coupled with the continued collaboration with our partners continues to be a bright point of hope for us.

What are the last two or three movies, TV shows or original series you watched — and please tell us why you love them? Becoming, The Last Dance and “Yellowstone.” There is so much great content today — but these are the most recent three that I have enjoyed. All capture my interest for different reasons. Becoming is inspiring and uplifting. Given the current state of the world, and in particular the manner in which those in leadership positions carry themselves and behave — it is just flat-out refreshing and heart-warming to hear someone speak with intellect, grace and strength. For that reason, I thoroughly enjoyed Becoming. As a former professional basketball player, and someone that grew up LOVING the Lakers, and being in awe of Michael Jordan, The Last Dance is just a must watch. It was super fun reliving all those great moments and interesting to see an inside view of Jordan and player dynamics. Finally, for the purposes of pure escapist entertainment, I continue to enjoy time spent watching “Yellowstone.” Each season brings a different side of the characters and interesting storylines. Not to mention I love all things Kevin Costner.

If you could spend the day with any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be — and why? Michelle Obama. I would love to sit and talk with her to get first-hand accounts of how she has navigated life. She is an accomplished business leader, a mother who by all accounts has done a wonderful job with her girls, and someone who has navigated the scrutiny and muck of D.C. while demonstrating class, intellect, faith and grace. I think spending a day with such a person would only be goodness.

 

Kim Overall, EVP, Consumer Insights and Innovation, Sony Pictures Entertainment

How has your work life changed with COVID-19? I am learning that working remotely and virtually means we need to look out for one another in different ways and listen to what we need on an individual level. Creating new routines and rituals is really important as we adjust to our new ways of working, interacting and socializing. Asking questions and listening have never been so important as we seek to understand the moment we are in and know how best to help and support each other.

Where do you work at home? Did you already have a home office, or did you have to modify a space? I modified a little spot upstairs that lets me look out onto the road, and I filled the walls with photos, quotes and other things that make me happy.

What is the best thing about remote working? I get to hear the voice of my 6-year-old son playing downstairs when I am working and it always fills my heart with happiness and makes me smile.

What is the downside? I have to confess, I miss the office! The rate of change in our industry is so rapid right now and has been accelerated in some areas in the past few months. As we try to understand the changes in real time and solve for ways to respond I miss not being able to grab a coffee with one of the many wonderful thought partners in our business to talk through options together.

What impact is COVID-19 having on your business, and what are you doing about it? We are very focused on listening to and understanding how our most-valuable entertainment consumers are changing their content consumption behaviors and preferences, from what and when they are viewing to how they are interacting on social media.

How are you collaborating with colleagues and meeting with customers? Zoom, Teams, OWL — every piece of enabling technology we can get our hands on to stay as close to one another as we can.

How many Zoom or other video conference calls do you have in an average week? The short answer is probably too many, but the reality is that it’s our new normal and I would much rather see people and be able to share a smile and a laugh than not!

If you could spend the day with any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be — and why? Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. I think they would be incredibly insightful across many of the topics and challenges we are facing. And I imagine they’d be accessible, relatable and engaging.

 

Jessica Schell, EVP and General Manager, Film, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

How has your work life changed with COVID-19? We are busier than ever, and the work is incredibly challenging, which is a welcome respite from the monotony brought on by so many other things being shut down — travel, socializing and in-person meetings, to name a few. My whole career has focused on navigating changes in technology and consumer behavior, but the speed of change has exponentially accelerated. We are forced to find creative solutions and new ways of doing things on the fly, building the train while it is going down the track.

How has your personal life changed? Since most activities outside the home are canceled, my immediate family is spending a lot more time together! That’s been a silver lining, being able to grab lunch with my 4-year-old and being home for dinner the moment my last meeting is over rather than having to commute in traffic. Like everyone else I’ve been catching up with old friends across geographies, like a monthly virtual meet-up of my business school section classmates.

Where do you work at home? Did you already have a home office, or did you have to modify a space? I converted a guest bedroom, which has conveniently been empty since none of our East Coast family or friends can come visit. But I find that mixing it up helps keep me sane: spending time outside when the weather permits, or in the living room in the rare moments when my house is quiet. My home office can really be wherever my laptop is.

What’s the best thing about remote working? Since no one can be physically together, it puts everyone around the globe on an equal footing. When I’m working across different departments with people who usually sit in different buildings, or working on releases around the world, I’ve found that communication has actually improved. Since we aren’t limited by who is in the room, we can reach out to a broader set of people and leverage more opinions and expertise than we could before.

What is the downside? It’s harder to build a culture, and as a manager, harder to get an informal read on how the whole team is doing. No more walking the halls and chatting with whoever is around. That’s been particularly difficult when you know so many people are going through a hard time, and as we try to tackle sensitive topics like addressing diversity and inclusion.

What impact is COVID-19 having on your business, and what are you doing about it? Our business has been dramatically affected in so many ways — production has been stalled, theaters are closed, and so many marketing tactics and channels have been shut down. At the same time, consumer demand to be entertained at home has skyrocketed, so there is a huge appetite for content at a time when there are no new theatrical releases. Scoob! had been intended for theaters, and with the marketing campaign underway, consumer products hitting stores and theaters closed, we released it under a new premium rental and ownership model and proved that audiences will show up for eventized in-home releases. We’ve also been filling the void by highlighting films from our vast library through different themes, and our catalog business is booming. And of course, we’ve thrown our support behind the launch of HBO Max. As the custodians of the Warner Bros. library, we have a vast repository of marketing assets and ancillary content and social communities at our disposal, there is so much we can provide the Max team to support their offering which draws heavily from Warner Bros. content.

How are you collaborating with colleagues and meeting with customers? All internal meetings have moved to video conferences on Teams, and depending on which customers we are meeting with, we use various other video conferencing systems, like Google Hangout when meeting with YouTube, of course! We work on shared digital documents together. It’s all technology that existed before, but until we were forced to use it, adoption was slow — we were more of a telephone and email culture. It works well because everyone is on the same level playing field, dealing with makeshift home offices, kids and pets in the background. If some people were in the office and some people at home I think it would have been much more difficult to make it work for those not in the office.

How many Zoom or other video conference calls do you have in an average week? I find that I spend most of the workday on video calls. That can be anything from a one on one to a presentation to hundreds of people. We’ve tried to institute companywide meeting-free lunch breaks and Fridays, so those times are a bit lighter. With California schools indefinitely closed, we will be re-looking at schedules in the fall to try to accommodate working parents who are doing double duty with kids at home.

Do you envision any long-term changes in our industry? Since so much business-as-usual isn’t possible, we’ve had the opportunity to experiment. We are figuring out how to do some things more efficiently and create new kinds of cultural moments. Across the industry, we’ve proved that audiences will show up for event in-home releases such as Scoob! and Trolls World Tour and gotten to see the impact on subscriptions of putting a huge event like Hamilton straight on to SVOD. With so much less event television programming and no live sports or awards shows, we’ve had to find more audiences on digital. Since in-person events aren’t possible, in lieu of premiere and fan conventions, we’ve been leveraging virtual audiences in Fortnite (Tenet trailer release) and on TikTok (#ScoobDance) and hosting virtual press junkets. We’re learning what can work better than the ways we’ve always done things, and what are sacred cows for a reason. Undoubtedly these learnings will influence how we go forward.

What are the last two or three movies, TV shows or original series you watched — and please tell us why you love them? Limiting the kids’ screen time has gone out the window, but we’ve tried to make our TV viewing feel more special by instituting “family movie nights” a few times a week. Trying to find something that works for me and my husband plus daughters ages 4, 12 and 14 is a challenge! Some of the best evenings have been when we’ve revisited classics like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Wizard of Oz and the “Harry Potter” movies, which have something for each of us: nostalgia and the joy of introducing something you love to your kids.

 

Amy Jo Smith, President and CEO, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group

If you had to pick one career highlight, what would it be? My most memorable career stop was my brief tenure at the White House. One of my duties was to take VIP guests of the Oval Office around the White House. I had the great opportunity to meet the children and grandchildren of Presidents Eisenhower, Ford and Carter.  One of my most interesting walks around the White House was with Ambassador Shirley Temple Black, who had many fantastic stories to share during both her stints as ambassador.

How has your work life changed with COVID-19? Since COVID-19 and working from home, I’ve found the DEG team is working more efficiently, but with some loneliness. We are on call all day, but also have time to slip in a walk with dogs or do a load of laundry. The days blend together and the hours start earlier and end later. I buy gas once a month, wear pants with no zippers and haven’t worn shoes without laces.

Where do you work at home? Did you already have a home office, or did you have to modify a space? I have a home office but have given it to my daughter so she has quiet space for her virtual school. As a result, I’m in the kitchen as anyone who has been on a video call with me can confirm.

What’s the best thing about remote working? I’m grateful to see my daughter throughout the day and share a laugh with her. It’s nice not to be on the road stuck in traffic. I love being able to spend more time with my daughter and husband.

What is the downside? I feel isolated from my office DEG teammates and the industry at large.

How are you collaborating with colleagues and meeting with customers? DEG quickly pivoted to a virtual meeting environment, bringing the industry together in small salon discussions and a larger expo where we invite expert speakers and members to share their perspectives and services that will help the industry grow.

How many Zoom or other video conference calls do you have in an average week? Three to four a day.

Do you envision any long-term changes in our industry? I foresee long-term changes to how we do business and how we function as a global community. I don’t think this will be unique to entertainment. I envision a business community where most meetings and transactions take place via video. And, we learn how to foster relationships and discussions via video conference.

What are the last two or three movies, TV shows or original series you watched — and please tell us why you love them? That’s a hard question because there are so many great shows on many platforms. I’m personally attracted to documentaries. The Staircase was one of my favorites as it was revealing to see the inside story of a murder trial. I also liked the Aaron Hernandez story and the Bill Gates documentary Inside Bill’s Brain. “Succession” and “Ozark” are both fantastic dramas. But, when push comes to shove, I always love watching a “Seinfeld” episode!

If you could spend the day with any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be — and why? George Clooney because I’d love to know what it’s like to be equal parts humanitarian, talented at his trade, and strong enough to marry a smart, accomplished, beautiful woman. And, because, you know … George Clooney! Or, Alfred Hitchcock because I’d love to hear his take on how movies have evolved and what his vision would be to use Ultra HD and immersive technologies to improve them further.

 

Lexine Wong, Senior Executive Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Tell us about your career path. My entire career in entertainment has been at Sony, so I’ve basically grown along with the industry from disc to digital. Prior to entertainment I had a short stint in advertising in New York. That fast-paced account management position gave me a taste of marketing brands and led me to the ever-changing world of home entertainment. I’ve enjoyed every minute of the journey — from rolling out new formats and platforms around the world, to reimagining marketing tactics, to developing and leading a team of smart, driven, creative and enthusiastic individuals. In my 20-plus years at Sony I have been continually confronted with new and different business challenges and am constantly learning. For example, when I was given the opportunity to begin supporting the television distribution business last year, I found that it was primarily a B2B marketing model. By taking a chapter from our home entertainment consumer-first marketing approach and using audience data and insights from our strategy team, we have been able to more effectively drive awareness and ratings and support our commercial teams and distribution partners.

How has your work life changed with COVID-19? I vividly remember my last day in the office. We ended the day celebrating a new partnership with our Sony Music partners in a small conference room with 30 people, drinking tequila and eating tapas from one of their sponsors. We said “see you in a bit” … and now 20 weeks later we are still working from home. Like many studios we were immediately faced with the challenge of theaters closing and focused quickly on getting our recent theatrical releases out on home entertainment. I was worried about my team feeling disconnected and wanted to make sure information was disseminated in real time without having to send tons of emails, so I instituted a “daily check-in” on Microsoft Teams for everyone on the marketing team. We continue to have them, and anyone in the marketing organization can join and add items to the daily agenda. Working from home has changed the entire social ecosystem, and I think many of us look forward to being back together and enjoying the camaraderie from in-person meetings, grabbing a quick coffee or lunch and touching base in the hallways when it’s safe to do so.

How has your personal life changed? With nowhere to go, you would have thought being quarantined at home with my husband and two kids (high school and college age) would have been pretty mellow … not so much, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. Being forced to hang out and spend mealtimes together made for lots of interesting discussions. We experimented with lots of new recipes, planted a garden to try to create the “farm-to-table” experience (four kinds of tomatoes, kale, Swiss chard, bok choy, eggplant, shishito peppers), participated in Zoom workouts, started our college kid on Robinhood to create a stock portfolio (Shopify was huge!) and worked on a ton of house projects, from organizing to building shelving and varnishing tables — Marie Kondo watch out! We even started composting!

Where do you work at home? Did you already have a home office, or did you have to modify a space? My original home office was in an open area which didn’t work at all due to all the noise with the kids being home, so I ended up setting up camp in an extra bedroom. I bought a better printer and slowly started acquiring office staples like a small filing cabinet, desk organizers, etc. as I realized we probably wouldn’t be heading back to our offices for a while.

What’s the best thing about remote working? Saving commute time, less pressure on deciding what to wear every day since it’s only my top half that I worry about, and being able to walk my dog at lunch. Because we are social creatures at heart, the ease of turning our cameras on for every Zoom/Teams call has helped reinforce connections with colleagues — and it’s been fun to get a little glimpse into our colleagues’ personal lives.

What is the downside? There’s no delineation of when the day starts and when it ends. With no commute time, you end up being “always on,” a blur of meetings every day, with one day running into the next … wash/rinse/repeat. You can imagine the fun we had re-promoting our movie Groundhog Day!

How are you collaborating with colleagues and meeting with customers? One of the best things that has come out of the quarantine is the exceptional collaboration with the different divisions and departments across the studio. One of the most productive partnerships has been with our theatrical counterparts. Aside from the shortened windows, where we quickly passed the baton and leaned on each other’s expertise to develop the best go-to-market approach, we set up a marketing “stay-at-home” task force where we were able to brainstorm and prioritize a ton of ideas to support the catalog. Everyone rolled up their sleeves to help access talent and support the social handles, giving the commercial teams great marketing programs for our retail partners. We also did a similar task force with the TV production and marketing team which resulted in creative executions in the form of cast reunions, table reads and live Q&As.

How many Zoom or other video conference calls do you have in an average week? Between 40-50 conference calls per week. Just a push of a key to the next meeting … join, leave, join, leave…. It’s efficient, but not great for getting your steps in!

What are the last two or three movies, TV shows or original series you watched — and please tell us why you love them? I have watched so many TV shows and films during the quarantine — new and old, popular and eclectic. I would have to say my favorite TV series was The Last Dance. It was so well done and so cool to see Jordan and all the players, past and present. Having that behind-the-scenes look into Jordan’s life was fascinating. And maybe because I was missing sports as a whole, it was fun to tune into something ‘live’ for a few weeks.  I also caught up on all the seasons of “The Crown,” “The Good Doctor” and “Ozark,” just to name a few. I just watched an indie movie, The Young Offenders, which I had never seen, and it was funny and charming. I also re-watched Crash, Argo and The Blind Side recently, which are all so good for different reasons. And I’ve been reading lots of scripts and books as well. I highly recommend Catch and Kill and The Splendid and the Vile.

If you could spend the day with any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be — and why? So many to choose from! I think I’d go with Angelina Jolie, because she’s a very private celebrity who has made strong, deliberate career choices that resonate because of her passion and commitment to the stories she is telling. I would love to hear what she has to say on life, love, politics and the causes she supports.

Women in Home Entertainment 2020: The Teams

The “captains” profiled in the third annual Media Play News Women in Home Entertainment issue need smart, savvy and strategic teams who work with them. And then there are other women providing valuable leadership in the home entertainment space at independent content distributors, digital retailers, streaming services and other companies helping the industry continue to evolve.

SEE ALSO ‘WOMEN IN HOME ENTERTAINMENT 2020: THE 12 CAPTAINS’

Here’s a look at the rest of the Women in Home Entertainment, class of 2020 …

 

Amazon

JENNIFER SALKE
HEAD OF AMAZON STUDIOS
Salke is in charge of all aspects of television and film development, as well as production for Amazon’s entertainment division. This includes implementing an overall long-term content strategy for both units along with launching upcoming series and films, as well as ongoing support of current series. High-profile projects include “Lord of the Rings” and “Cortes,” from Steven Spielberg and starring Javier Bardem, and the Emmy-winning comedy series “Fleabag.”

MARIE DONOGHUE
VP, GLOBAL SPORTS VIDEO
Donoghue oversees Amazon’s global sports content business, as well as its sports strategy, enabling customers to access live and on-demand sports content, on hundreds of devices, in more than 200 countries and territories. Prior to joining Amazon, Donoghue served as EVP of global business and content strategy at ESPN, leading the ongoing development and implementation of its enterprise-wide business and content strategy. Donoghue oversaw all digital dealmaking for ESPN, including ESPN’s relationship with Disney-owned BAMTech, the home of ESPN’s first direct-to-consumer (OTT) streaming platform.

 

AMC/RLJ Entertainment

SYLVIA GEORGE
EVP AND GM, URBAN MOVIE CHANNEL

George oversees the management and operation of the UMC subscription streaming service across all platforms and available markets. Under her leadership, the service has seen a 200% increase to its subscriber base in the past 12 months and has developed an impressive slate of original programming that includes popular series “Craig Ross Jr.’s Monogamy,” “A House Divided,” and the latest breakout, “Double Cross.” Prior to that she was the company’s first chief marketing officer after serving as president, U.S., managing North American distribution and spearheading integration of Acorn Media and Image Entertainment, which were acquired by RLJ Entertainment in 2012. During this time, George helped to build Acorn’s brand profile as the “chief curator of the best Brit TV,” according to Time Magazine.

CATHERINE MACKIN
MANAGING DIRECTOR, ACORN MEDIA ENTERPRISES
Mackin previously worked at the BBC to run UKTV Gold, TV3 in Ireland as deputy director of programming, and again at the BBC in 2009 as UKTV’s director of programming acquisitions for nearly nine years. Since 2018, she has led Acorn Media Enterprises, British content SVOD service Acorn TV’s co-production and commissioning arm. She has overseen the commissioning or co-producing of dramas and mysteries including British mystery “Queens of Mystery,” Irish period drama “Dead Still,” British crime drama “London Kills,” New Zealand thriller “The Sounds,” British mystery “Agatha Raisin,” Australian drama “Mystery Road,” BBC drama “Keeping Faith,” Irish drama “Blood,” and Irish comedy “Finding Joy,” among several others, which have exclusively premiered on Acorn TV.

 

CBS All Access

JULIE MCNAMARA
EVP, HEAD OF PROGRAMMING
McNamara in February was promoted to head of programming for CBS All Access, reporting to ViacomCBS chief digital officer and CBS Interactive CEO Marc DeBevoise and chief creative officer David Nevins. McNamara’s expanded duties include spearheading programming strategy for the streaming platform, including current and future original series, acquisitions and bringing in content from other ViacomCBS properties, including BET, Comedy Central, Paramount, Nickelodeon, MTV, TV Land, VH1 and Smithsonian.

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Disney+/Disney Streaming Services

LINDA BAGLEY
DEPUTY GENERAL COUNSEL, DISNEY DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER & INTERNATIONAL
Bagley leads a global team of lawyers responsible for matters relating to company priorities such as Disney’s subscription streaming services and international media businesses.

ALISA BOWEN
SVP, OPERATIONS, DISNEY STREAMING SERVICES
Bowen is responsible for ensuring operational effectiveness for The Walt Disney Company’s direct-to-consumer video streaming businesses, including Disney+ and ESPN+. As part of her oversight, Alisa is responsible for overall program management, including the rollout of Disney+ across international markets, identification and implementation of Disney+ internal synergy opportunities, and leading global customer support for ESPN+ and Disney+.

LAURA EVANS
SVP, DATA SCIENCE AND ANALYTICS, DISNEY STREAMING SERVICES
Evans is responsible for overseeing analytics, data science and insight capabilities for the company’s portfolio of direct-to-consumer services, including ESPN+ and the Disney+ streaming service.

KAREN HOBSON
SVP, COMMUNICATIONS, DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER & INTERNATIONAL
Hobson oversees global communications and public affairs strategies across the Disney Direct-to-Consumer segment, including the company’s direct-to-consumer streaming businesses: Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu. She also oversees communications strategies for Disney’s international media operations stretching from Europe to Asia to Latin America.

TEHMINA JAFFER
SVP, BUSINESS AFFAIRS, DISNEY+
Jaffer leads all aspects of business affairs strategy, policy and procedure for the Disney+ content and marketing team. She oversees the coordination and negotiation of development, production and talent deals and contracts, as well as rights, acquisitions, clearances and content agreements. She also collaborates with content groups across the Walt Disney Company that are developing and producing original content exclusively for the service — including the Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Television, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm — as well as external third-party production entities.

ROBYN ARONSON, VP, business affairs, unscripted content, Disney+
MOLLY BRADY, VP, customer acquisition, Disney Streaming Services
JESSICA CASANO-ANTONELLIS, VP, communications, Disney Streaming Services
JENNIFER JONES, VP, business affairs, Disney+
PAULA MCMAHON, VP, integrated marketing, Disney+
SARAH SHEPARD, VP, originals — scripted content, Disney+

 

Disney Media Distribution

APRIL CARRETTA
SVP, COMMUNICATIONS
Carretta leads communications for Disney Media Distribution, which includes domestic channel distribution, global platform distribution, content licensing in the U.S. and Canada, and global in-home transactional sales. DMD licenses content to a wide range of high-profile platforms and third-party distribution channels, including linear (broadcast and cable), MVPDs, PVOD, SVOD, AVOD, digital and physical retailers, hotels and airlines. Carretta and her team manage content licensing announcements, consumer-facing campaigns and talent relations for the company’s portfolio of theatrical and television content. She also spearheads all corporate and executive communications on behalf of the division and its senior leaders.

CHRISTEN HARRIS, SVP, PLATFORM DISTRIBUTION
LAUREN MORRISSEY, SVP, PLATFORM DISTRIBUTION
LINDSEY GREEN, SVP, PLATFORM DISTRIBUTION
Green, Harris and Morrissey negotiate key licensing agreements on behalf of the company across a wide array of media platforms and businesses including domestic multichannel subscription distribution and global direct-to-consumer platforms. Among these substantial high-profile agreements managed by their teams are in-home VOD and transactional sales for theatrical and television content from The Walt Disney Studios and Disney Media Networks across digital aggregators, MVPDs, devices and social media applications. Between the three of them they oversee a roster of well over 100 accounts, which also includes global airlines and hotels. In addition, they are heavily involved in the negotiations for Movies Anywhere with its digital retail partners.

CHERYLYN CARR, assistant general counsel
LORI COHEN-ELIAS, VP, marketing strategy
CYNDI CRUZ, VP, sales planning and administration
ELIZABETH DUKE, assistant chief counsel
JAIME GORMAN, VP, creative development
CHRISTINE HUPALO, VP, marketing
SUMMER IMAI, VP, content management
SUZANNE KAMENIR, VP, global creative marketing
JANE KIM, VP, business development and strategic partnerships
MICHELLE LEVISOHN, VP, creative development
JENNIFER LOURIE, VP, product management
KIMBERLY WILSON, VP, affiliate marketing account management

 

Dolby Labs

GRAEF ALLEN
MANAGER, TECHNICAL OPERATIONS
Allen manages Dolby’s Burbank-based technical operations department. She is one of the industry’s most experienced and knowledgeable resources for Dolby Vision mastering/delivery and has become a key technical driver in the growth of Dolby Vision since its 2015 launch. Allen works closely with both Dolby software as well as third-party products and partners. She has also spoken at several Dolby-supported events encouraging girls and young women to participate in STEM fields.

TINA ECKMAN
DIRECTOR OF CONTENT RELATIONS
Eckman leads the Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos account management effort for streaming content from Netflix, Apple, Showtime and several others. Passionate about inspiring the creative community for more than 25 years, she has been working on a global level with storytellers and their use of technology. Motivated to bring new women into entertainment technology, Eckman co-leads the Women in Post annual event at NAB, which has led to post-production job opportunities for women, by women.

 

Fandango

LORI PANTEL
CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER
Pantel directs all brand and marketing strategies across the company’s e-commerce and editorial content portfolio, including Fandango, Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster, MovieTickets.com, Fandango Movieclips and TVOD service FandangoNow. Throughout her career, Pantel has effectively redefined and executed strategies for global consumer brands, with a focus on ensuring a cohesive global brand DNA that resonates with consumers, retailers and partners. Before joining Fandango, Pantel served as SVPD and global GM for Mattel’s girls’ brands. In this role, Pantel oversaw global teams responsible for worldwide brand and marketing strategy, creative execution and product development for Mattel’s “Monster High” and “Ever After High” brands, as well as the company’s “DC Super Hero Girls” line. Prior to that, Pantel served as VP of marketing for Mattel’s North America division, VP of global brand marketing, and associate brand manager on the Barbie brand.

DANA BENSON
SVP, COMMUNICATIONS
Benson directs all corporate communications and public relations functions across the company’s ticketing, e-commerce and editorial content portfolio, including Fandango, Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster, MovieTickets.com and TVOD service FandangoNow. She also oversees public relations for subsidiaries Ingresso.com in Brazil, and Fandango Latin America.

PENNY ALBERTS
SENIOR DIRECTOR, CRM, STRATEGY AND CUSTOMER GROWTH PLANNING
Alberts leads cross-channel, journey-based retention strategies for Fandango, FandangoNow and Rotten Tomatoes. She crafts integrated business plans to align stakeholders around key beats throughout the movie lifecycle. She also drives incremental revenue across brands and franchises, and develops personalized contact strategies across email, push notifications and inbox that support business goals at brand, segment and genre levels.

REMA MORGAN-ALUKO
DIRECTOR, SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
With more than 15 years of experience in technology, engineering leadership and software development, Morgan-Aluko leads the technology group for FandangoNow. She oversees the development of Web, mobile apps, OTT applications and services, as well as application program interfaces (APIs) for the service. In pursuit of her goal to improve diversity and inclusion across the technology industry, Morgan-Aluko co-founded Fandango’s TECHWomen chapter, which aims to advance opportunities for female technologists within the company and beyond. Previously, Morgan-Aluko led the development and implementation of several initiatives across Fandango’s verticals, including trailers (Movieclips), video and editorial content, movie and entertainment metadata, commerce, user profiles, CRM, marketing campaigns, and programs, as well as advertising and monetization.

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Hulu

REAGAN FEENEY
VP, NETWORK PARTNERSHIPS
Feeney manages Hulu’s strategic relationships and carriage agreements with networks and operators. Previously, she was VP of content at AT&T’s DirecTV, where she was responsible for identifying and negotiating general entertainment and sports programming acquisitions, as well as maintaining external business relationships for linear cable channels, out-of-market sports subscription packages, regional sports networks and on-demand sports content.

BRITTANY HVEEM
HEAD OF BUSINESS AFFAIRS
Hveem leads negotiations of development and licensing deals related to Hulu’s slate of original series, documentaries, international co-productions and specials. She oversees the business and production relationships with studio suppliers such as Warner Bros., Universal Television, Sony and Lionsgate, approving production budgets and negotiations with talent. Prior to joining Hulu in 2016, Hveem was most recently VP of business affairs for Warner Horizon Television and was previously counsel at ABC Studios.

ANGIE KANG
VP, BUSINESS AND LEGAL AFFAIRS
Kang has led numerous deals that have built out Hulu’s content library. She led efforts to lock in the first official content provider for Hulu’s online TV service. Kang negotiated a multiyear deal with AMC Networks for “Fear the Walking Dead.” She closed a deal with 20th Century Fox Television Distribution for exclusive SVOD rights to new and upcoming FX and FXX primetime comedies, dramas and miniseries. She led all of Hulu’s legal efforts on an output agreement to new shows from Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TNT and TBS, among others.

JAYA KOLHATKAR
CHIEF DATA OFFICER
Kolhatkar oversees customer intelligence and all data- and analytics-related efforts at Hulu. She is responsible for elevating Hulu’s customer intelligence, implementing strong data governance and driving a culture of objective, data-driven decision making across the company. Kolhatkar manages a team of more than 100 across strategic analytics, data engineering, data science and business intelligence. Prior to joining Hulu, Kolhatkar served as the SVP of global data and analytics platforms at Walmart Labs, where she built data and analytic platforms that provided data and tools for making business decisions.

ANNIE LUO
SVP, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATIONS
Luo is responsible for driving expansion efforts and relationships with partners and connecting business operations across the organization. Prior to joining Hulu, Annie worked at McKinsey & Company, where she was a founding member for their consumer tech and media practice, leading operations and strategic alliances globally. She spent six years as the head of media, entertainment and information practice at the World Economic Forum and held various roles across the top media brands including BBC Worldwide (Asia), CNBC and Bloomberg Media Group.

GAUDE LYDIA PAEZ
SVP, HEAD OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
Paez oversees the team responsible for all communications efforts in support of Hulu’s brand, subscriber growth and engagement, product and technology, content strategy, monetization, and overall market position. She joined Hulu in April 2016 from Fox Broadcasting Co., where she served as SVP of corporate communications and digital publicity for the network.

BEATRICE SPRINGBORN
VP, CONTENT DEVELOPMENT
Springborn, who joined Hulu in 2014, has played an integral role in developing and greenlighting straight-to-series orders for Hulu’s slate of originals, including the Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award-winning “The Handmaid’s Tale,” as well as “The Looming Tower,” “Future Man,” “Castle Rock,” “Catch-22” from George Clooney, and the limited series “Little Fires Everywhere” from Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

 

Google/YouTube TV

CHRISTINA AVITABILE
HEAD OF CONTENT DISTRIBUTION AND LICENSING (TVOD/SVOD/AVOD), YOUTUBE AND GOOGLE PLAY
Avitabile oversees business development and partnerships for Google’s transactional movies and TV stores (on Google Play and YouTube) as well as licensing and acquisition deals for YouTube. Before joining Google in 2014, Avitabile spent a year in content acquisition, digital video, at Amazon.

KELLY MERRYMAN
VP, GLOBAL CONTENT PARTNERSHIPS, YOUTUBE
Merryman is a veteran in the streaming entertainment space. Prior to joining YouTube, she served as VP of content acquisition at Netflix from 2007 to 2014. She also held positions in digital distribution and business development at Sony Pictures.

 

Lionsgate

AGAPY KAPOURANIS
PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION AND DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION
A nine-year veteran of Lionsgate, Kapouranis spearheads international distribution, acquisitions, sales and marketing for Lionsgate’s television and catalog feature slate. She oversees a sales and distribution team responsible for a broad range of global and regional licensing deals encompassing the company’s films, television series and Starz original programming with nearly all leading digital and linear platforms around the world.

DANIELLE COHEN
EVP, WORLDWIDE TECHNICAL OPERATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION
With the help of her teams, Cohen oversees technical operations and quality assurance for all incoming worldwide theatrical titles, home entertainment, TV series, outgoing deliveries to Lionsgate’s international distributors, and the company’s digital and physical asset management. In addition, she oversees the remastering of library titles to 4K, asset migration, and screening room activities.

SANJANA NAIKSATAM
EVP, PROCUREMENT AND DISTRIBUTION OPERATIONS
Naiksatam oversees the end-to-end home entertainment operations in the United States and Canada for the packaged-media business. This includes evaluating the supply chain and striving for continuous improvements and efficiencies, as well as managing and providing direction on system enhancements relating to home entertainment and metadata management.

JILL ANDERSON
SVP, HOME ENTERTAINMENT SALES
Anderson oversees Lionsgate’s home entertainment business for some of retail’s largest accounts — specifically Walmart and Best Buy — the latter where she started her career. Anderson is continually looking for new retail opportunities to uniquely position Lionsgate’s new-release and catalog content in stores as well as online for DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD titles. She is the consummate team player who is dedicated to finding win-win solutions. Anderson is committed to Lionsgate’s passion for original, daring and groundbreaking entertainment and driving her team to support that vision.

CHASE BRISBIN
SVP, GLOBAL SVOD SALES
Brisbin overseas Lionsgate’s global SVOD licensing across both TV and film, including partnerships with Netflix, Amazon and Hulu as well as emerging platforms. She and her team also work closely alongside Starz to support their impressive international expansion strategy. Since joining Lionsgate in 2012, she has touched all areas of TV distribution, from digital home entertainment to traditional linear sales, and now keeps her focus on the evolving streaming landscape.

ERIN CARTER
SVP, MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTION
Carter focuses on partnerships, catalog marketing, research and retail marketing. In this role, she leads the lifecycle planning for content from Lionsgate and its distribution partners, along with driving retail marketing efforts. Carter joined Lionsgate from Anchor Bay in 2017, where she spent a decade leading the marketing strategy for all its independent film and theatrical releases.

KENYA HART
SVP, PROCUREMENT AND INVENTORY OPERATIONS
Hart oversees the day-to-day operations of the materials management and demand planning (procurement) teams in the United States and Canada for packaged media. As the super user/departmental systems manager, she works closely with IT to test, implement and validate systemic upgrades and enhancements. Additional functions include cost analysis and business acquisition onboarding.

ANGELA HENRY
SVP, HOME ENTERTAINMENT SALES
Henry is instrumental in managing daily sales with a particular focus on the Walmart account. She helped launch the Summit Home Entertainment division in 2007, which was acquired by Lionsgate in 2012. Prior to joining Summit, Henry started her career at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment in 2001 as a sales manager, covering a wide variety of retailers.

KATE NEXON
SVP, NORTH AMERICAN TV AND DIGITAL SALES
Nexon is responsible for licensing Lionsgate’s current and library television and film properties across U.S. linear and digital platforms. She leads the strategic planning, release, and analysis of multi-platform domestic sales initiatives driving to market-leading sales. Nexon joined Lionsgate in 2009 shortly before completing her MFA in Film Directing from Columbia University School of the Arts. She also holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

AMELIA MCPARTLON ROGERS
SVP, MARKETING, HOME ENTERTAINMENT AND DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION
Rogers oversees overall marketing strategy, publicity, social media, research and paid media initiatives across all Lionsgate home entertainment and digital platforms. She leads her teams to develop a full 360-degree marketing strategy for the entire limited theatrical and multiplatform release slate; traditional 4K, Blu-ray, DVD and digital releases of Lionsgate and Starz films and television programming; as well as the company’s third-party distribution companies.

KATHY ARENDAIN, VP, creative marketing, digital and social
MELISSA CLARKE, VP, retail operations
TIFFANY OLIVARES GIRARDI, VP, publicity and digital engagement
LINDSAY LEFRANCOIS, VP, procurement
SHANNON PARKER, VP, AV creative services
HALLIE PRINCE, VP, integrated marketing
HELEN REICH, VP, sales administration

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Movies Anywhere

KARIN GILFORD
GM
Gilford leads an independent, dedicated, cross-functional team that includes product, technology and marketing professionals. She oversees product development, business strategy and long-term growth of all aspects of the Movies Anywhere brand, and serves as key liaison, working with participating studios and retailers.

BETH K. BAIER
ASSISTANT CHIEF COUNSEL
Baier heads up all day-to-day legal and business affairs matters and serves as the senior legal advisor to the company’s business teams. She actively participates in legal analysis, modeling, negotiations and drafting of new strategic business models and high-profile deals involving emerging digital distribution technologies, distribution platforms, technical operations and marketing strategies.

ELISSA BROWN
VP, FINANCE AND OPERATIONS
Brown supervises day-to-day operations, developing and executing key business and platform strategies to drive growth and deliver operational efficiencies across all facets of Movies Anywhere. This organization includes finance, strategy, business development, partner management, business intelligence/analytics, customer care and program management.

 

MVD Entertainment Group

RACHEL NORDMARK
VP, SALES
Nordmark oversees MVD’s U.S. physical and digital home entertainment business, including sales, account management and customer marketing. She also helps establish and maintain positive relations with vendors and customers, and assists in product acquisitions and social media. She assumed her present position in 2014, after serving as sales and marketing representative, account manager and vendor manager. Nordmark began her career in film and music distribution with MVD in 1999 as a sales representative.

 

NBCUniversal/Peacock

MAGGIE MCLEAN SUNIEWICK
PRESIDENT, DIGITAL ENTERPRISES, NBCUNIVERSAL MEDIA, AND
PRESIDENT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND PARTNERSHIPS, PEACOCK
Suniewick leads NBC Universal’s digital business strategy and partnerships with new-media and technology companies to deliver premium content to emerging platforms. Suniewick previously served as SVP of strategic integration, where she was charged with identifying creative, technological and strategic opportunities between Comcast Corp. and NBCUniversal. She led Symphony, the companywide marketing initiative that promotes upcoming NBCUniversal programming, movies and events, including the Olympics, and Comcast’s products and services across the entire portfolio to drive awareness and help connect with consumers.

 

Netflix

BELA BAJARIA
VP, LOCAL-LANGUAGE ORIGINALS
Bajaria, who joined Netflix in November 2016 as VP of content, oversees all non-English original series around the world. In her previous role, Bajaria oversaw Netflix’s push into unscripted programming, including “Queer Eye” and “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” as well as talk series with David Letterman and Hasan Minhaj. Bajaria also oversaw scripted originals “You,” “Locke and Key” and “Daybreak,” among others.

MELISSA COBB
VP, ORIGINAL ANIMATION
Cobb leads the content team responsible for bringing animated series and feature films to Netflix members in 190 countries around the world. Prior to joining Netflix, Cobb was chief creative officer for Oriental DreamWorks, where she oversaw development and production, business strategy and production strategy for animated feature films targeted to a global audience. She also served as a producer at DreamWorks Animation.

CHANNING DUNGEY
VP, ORIGINAL SERIES
In her role, Dungey partners with VP of original content Cindy Holland in setting strategic direction as well as in overseeing a large portion of Netflix’s slate, including some of the company’s overall deals with high-profile, prolific producers.

JESSICA NEAL
CHIEF TALENT OFFICER
Neal is a 14-year veteran at Netflix, starting at the company in 2006 when DVD was king and streaming just a dream. She has been heavily involved in improving the Netflix culture as the company has grown. She oversees HR for the 2,000-person product engineering team responsible for improving the Netflix consumer experience. Neal also serves on the board of directors of the Association for Talent Development.

AMY REINHARD
VP, CONTENT ACQUISITION
Reinhardt has held this role since joining the company in 2016. She oversees global studio licensing for films and television series as well as local-language acquisitions from Latin America, Europe, Africa, The Middle East and India. In addition to global licensing, Reinhard negotiates international distribution rights on major studio films.

BOZOMA SAINT JOHN
CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER
Saint John took her position at Netflix in June 2020. She previously held the same role at Endeavor after serving as the first-ever chief brand officer at Uber. Her 20-year marketing career also includes tenures as head of global consumer marketing for Apple Music and iTunes, and head of the music and entertainment marketing group at Pepsi-Cola North America. She has been recognized for her breakthrough work by both the industry and her peers, having been inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Achievement in 2014.

JANE WISEMAN
VP, COMEDY SERIES
Wiseman joined the Netflix original programming team in 2014 and over the past six years has built out Netflix’s scripted comedy department. Today, Wiseman oversees a curated, diverse lineup of content, from dark comedies and multi-cam sitcoms to Netflix’s growing slate of adult-animated comedies.

 

Paramount Pictures

MICHELE BELL
SVP, WORLDWIDE CREATIVE SERVICES, PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Bell is in charge of all of the division’s creative advertising materials including all packaging, menu design, and print, broadcast, VOD and online advertising. She previously was VP of home entertainment creative services for Universal Studios. There, she oversaw and managed creative advertising objectives for the feature, catalog, TV and specialty brand groups. Bell also oversaw the development of creative marketing concepts for all consumer and trade materials.

BRENDA CICCONE
SVP, WORLDWIDE PUBLICITY AND COMMUNICATIONS, PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT AND TV LICENSING
Ciccone supervises all publicity and corporate communications for the home entertainment and TV licensing divisions on a global basis. She is responsible for the public relations campaigns on behalf of all of the studio’s home entertainment labels and distribution partners, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Television, Paramount Players, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and CBS. Ciccone also manages domestic and international trade show activity at markets including MIPCOM, ATF, NATPE and more.

MELINDA FROELICH
SVP, INTERNATIONAL MARKETING, PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Froelich is responsible for international marketing, advertising, public relations, promotions and release strategy for all post-theatrical transactional windows. She also supervises global marketing for all worldwide television partners. Froelich joined the studio in 2005, having previously worked at The Walt Disney Co. for eight years.

HILARIE HILDEBRANDT
SVP, CUSTOMER MARKETING, PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Hildebrandt oversees customer marketing for both physical and digital retail accounts with a focus on aligning strategic initiatives across new-release, catalog and television product. She is responsible for executing consumer-focused programs with each retail client to maximize sales and drive growth formats, including 4K, electronic sellthrough and VOD. Hildebrandt previously served as VP of retail marketing at Fox and also held sales director positions at Fox and Polygram Filmed Entertainment in Canada.

DINA MAROVICH
SVP, WORLDWIDE MEDIA AND INTERACTIVE MARKETING, PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT
With more than 20 years of advertising experience, Marovich is responsible for overseeing all media planning and buying for the home entertainment division. She joined Paramount in 2006 as VP of media for Paramount Home Entertainment. She previously served as the head of the Paramount Home Entertainment account at MEC, where she was responsible for all advertising on behalf of the division. Prior to that, she was assistant media director for Starcom Worldwide, where she managed the media planning for all Buena Vista Home Entertainment releases and worked as a media planning supervisor for Buena Vista Theatrical.

NANCY POPE
SVP, HUMAN RESOURCES, PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Pope is responsible for supporting the home entertainment, theatrical marketing and TV licensing divisions. Early in her career she worked for AT&T as both an operations manager and HR professional. Upon earning her master’s degree in industrial psychology, she left AT&T and joined Nestle USA, where she became the director of training and development. In 1999 Pope joined EMI Music North America as VP of human resources, and in 2007 she joined Paramount Pictures.

ALANNA POWERS
SVP, BRAND MARKETING, PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Powers heads up Paramount’s film catalog business globally across digital and physical distribution channels where she develops marketing and distribution strategies that align with cross-divisional partners to maximize the studio’s full portfolio of titles. Prior to joining Paramount, Powers held senior marketing positions at Redbox and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment after starting her career at FCB.

AUBREY THOMASON
SVP, BUSINESS AFFAIRS AND LEGAL, PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Thomason primarily focuses on acquisitions for distribution through home entertainment channels, theatrical services agreements for acquisitions and domestic video sublicensing matters. Before joining Paramount, she was an associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP (2000-05), where she primarily worked on corporate finance and real estate transactions, but also served as outside counsel to Paramount Pictures between 2003 and 2005.

ROZITA TOLOUEY
SVP, WORLDWIDE BRAND MARKETING, PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT
An industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience in entertainment marketing, Tolouey is responsible for driving the division’s marketing strategies across the new-release and acquisitions business globally for both physical and digital markets. Prior to joining Paramount, Tolouey held marketing positions with video game developer Konami Digital Entertainment and with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

LEDA CHANG, VP, digital marketing, PHE
JACQUELINE GUSTAFSON, VP, home media content, PHE
ANNE MASUDA, VP, digital distribution (U.K.), PHE
MICHELE RUMAIN, VP, advertising (media), PHE
JULIA SALTER, VP, digital distribution (AU), PHE
PAMELA SIVULA, VP, financial planning, PHE
MICHELLE VEN DANGE, VP, international marketing, PHE

 

PBS Distribution

AMY LETOURNEAU
SVP, STRATEGY AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS
Since joining WGBH in 2000, Letourneau has worked in various organizations across public media, including stints focused on public television system media strategies at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and as a production manager on “Antiques Roadshow.” Since joining PBS Distribution in 2010, she has significantly expanded the home entertainment content pipeline across genres including such programs as “The Great British Baking Show,” the PBS Kids hit “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” Masterpiece’s “Victoria,” and the recent Academy Award nominated For Sama, in partnership with PBS’s “Frontline.”

REBECCA CARR
VP, OPERATIONS, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY
Carr has worked in operations for PBS Distribution since its inception and heads operations, production and technology for all the unit’s business divisions. She oversees all aspects of the digital supply chain for direct-to-consumer and SVOD channels, SVOD and TVOD, as well as operations and production for hardcopy distribution. Combining her strategic and tactical strengths, Carr is responsible for asset and data management, evolving systems and processes, product execution and vendor management.

LIZ LIEBMAN
SENIOR DIRECTOR, DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION — DTC
Liebman’s experience across all digital distribution areas of the business allows her to successfully lead complex strategic initiatives. Never satisfied with the status quo, Liz sets high standards for her team and leads by example. She welcomes new challenges and opportunities, most recently stepping up to lead the newly created Direct-to-Consumer Subscription Video-on-Demand (DTC-SVOD) business to manage a growing portfolio of channels, including PBS Masterpiece, PBS Kids, PBS Living and PBS Documentaries.

 

Premiere Digital

MICHELE EDELMAN
HEAD OF GROWTH
With more than 20 years of executive experience, an unmatched business acumen and extensive knowledge of home entertainment, Edelman has been a driving force behind innovation and growth at the forefront of an evolving OTT landscape. From launching TVOD/EST programs at Warner Bros, to spearheading VOD strategies at Vubiquity, to redefining distribution at media services company Premiere Digital, Edelman has been instrumental in implementing intentional market plans across media services, distribution and SaaS disciplines.

 

Quibi

MEG WHITMAN
CO-FOUNDER/CEO
In 2018, Whitman became the first employee and CEO of new video streaming platform Quibi with co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. The app-based service, which launched in April for $4.99 monthly with ads, $7.99 without, features original, short-form content designed specifically for smartphones. The start-up is backed by $1.7 billion in funding from investors Disney, NBCUniversal, Sony, Viacom, and WarnerMedia. Whitman previously served as CEO of eBay from 1998 to 2008. During her tenure, Whitman oversaw its expansion from 30 employees and $4 million in annual revenue, to more than 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue. In 2014, Whitman was named No. 20 on Forbes’ list of the 100 most powerful women in the world.

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Redbox

KAVITA SUTHAR
CFO
Suthar oversees the company’s long-term financial health, which includes setting financial direction, implementing strategies to drive revenue growth and profitability, and deal support. She previously held long-term strategy and analytics roles at U.S. Cellular.

MAURA GRAY
SENIOR DIRECTOR, CONSUMER, BRAND AND PARTNERSHIP MARKETING
Gray has led multiple, large-scale brand and marketing initiatives since joining Redbox, including the Redbox On Demand and Free Live TV launches. Prior to joining Redbox, she focused on ad sales and partnership marketing at the National Geographic Channels.

LAURA FLORENCE
DIRECTOR, CONTENT PARTNERSHIPS
Florence leads the company’s digital content relationships with studios and independent partners and is responsible for the growing lineup of channels available on Redbox’s Free Live TV service. She has more than 14 years of experience in both the physical and digital categories of content distribution, including a tenure at Gravitas Ventures, where she ran North American sales and marketing for theatrical, TVOD/cable/satellite and home entertainment and AVOD sales.

LORI FLYNN
VP, CONTENT
Flynn is focused on revenue-growth strategies and new content opportunities for the movie business. Prior to joining Redbox, she spent more than 17 years at Blockbuster Video, where she was responsible for managing the rental/merchandising group for corporate stores and online.

NICOLE ZINNO
VP, HUMAN RESOURCES
Zinno leads human resources, overseeing all functions of HR, payroll, benefits, recruitment and internal communications that attract, retain and engage Redbox’s employee base of corporate and nationwide field team members.

 

Shout! Factory

MELISSA BOAG
SVP, FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT
As head of the family entertainment division — the biggest portion of the company’s business — Boag creates marketing and distribution strategy and oversees partnerships with GKIDS, Anime Limited, Eleven Arts, Hasbro and Sesame Street. She has led the strategy, marketing and acquisition work to grow this business to more than $30 million annually. She steers implementation on key lines, including “My Little Pony,” “Transformers,” “Power Rangers,” “Digimon Adventure” and GKIDS’s wide range of critically acclaimed animated movies and Studio Ghibli classics. She also collaborates on acquisitions and the production of new animated films.

LAUREN BLUM
ASSOCIATE VP OF PUBLICITY
Blum is a smart and well-respected PR strategist and has delivered many outstanding campaigns over the years. Recent home entertainment campaign highlights include “Sesame Street,” Studio Ghibli classics, “When Calls the Heart,” “The Carol Burnett Show” on ShoutFactoryTV, and cult movie releases from Scream Factory.

KATHY CALLAHAN
VP, SPECIAL MARKET SALES AND E-COMMERCE
Callahan is a more than 30-year veteran of entertainment media sales and marketing. She joined Shout! Factory in 2006. Since 2012, she has served as the GM of the company’s e-commerce businesses, which include shoutfactory.com, the MST3Kstore.com, and its Amazon Marketplace business. Kathy also handles specialty sales and non-traditional sales in general.

KARRIE STOUFFER
VP, CREATIVE SERVICES
Stouffer is a creative director and designer specializing in entertainment properties. In this role, she oversees key art and packaging development for a slew of music, film, television, digital and home entertainment projects. Her expertise spans numerous functions, including leading and managing creative campaigns, art direction and design, key art/logo/brand/title treatment development, and project management.

 

Sling TV

LEAH ASHLEY
VP, DIGITAL MARKETING
Ashley leads a team of 30 marketers across all digital tactics for Sling TV and Dish. Prior to joining Dish in 2019, she worked at Condé Nast as the executive director of consumer revenue for Allure and GQ. Ashley’s previous media experience includes positions at Birchbox, Castanea Partners and Bain & Co.

MELISA BODDIE
VP, PROGRAMMING
Boddie manages the local broadcasting, public interest and pay-for-carriage business units for Dish and Sling TV. Her responsibilities include local, core and paid-programming acquisitions.

DANA MCLEOD
VP, PROGRAMMING, PROMOTION AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
McLeod oversees content acquisition, strategy, curation and promotion for Sling TV. She also manages programmer relationships and business development. Previously, she served as director of finance for Sling TV, where she was responsible for its finances, in addition to programming and media sales for both Dish and Sling TV.

LIZ RIEMERSMA
VP, SLING AND DISH INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMMING
Riemersma oversees programming, marketing and operations for both Dish International and Sling International. She is responsible for acquiring and marketing international content and driving subscriber growth across 27 languages at Dish and Sling TV.

 

Sony Pictures

JILL ALLEN
SVP, DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION
Allen leads U.S. digital distribution across all new-media and MVPD platforms, including Amazon, Apple TV, Fandango and Comcast. She oversees sales and sales planning teams to drive business across the studio’s new-release and catalog properties. Allen began her career at Disney and LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) before joining the Sony team 14 years ago. During her time at Sony, she has held both sales and business development roles, always with a focus on the intersection of content and new technologies.

JENNIFER ANDERSON
SVP, MARKETING
Anderson leads the strategic development and execution of brand marketing, promotions and creative for all SPHE new-release and catalog business, establishing key consumer messaging, aligning marketing tactics to core brand strategy and ensuring that product marketing efforts are in line with studio business goals. She oversees a cross-functional team that includes brand and product marketing, promotions and creative advertising.

GERI BLUEROCK
SVP, SALES AND OPERATIONS
Bluerock heads up the sales and operations organization for the domestic physical business. The scope of her responsibilities includes sales, supply chain, planning, reporting and administration. She has led the evolution of the sales team to integrate data-driven insights addressing retailer and consumer opportunities. Her experience at Sony, MGM and Target includes leadership positions in sales, sales planning and analysis, retail operations, category management, vendor managed inventory, demand planning and retail buying.

ANJA DANG
SVP, ANALYTICS AND BUSINESS INSIGHTS
Dang is responsible for identifying and developing Sony Pictures’ capabilities to become a more consumer-centric, data-driven organization. Her team sources, connects and manages consumer and audience level data universes, understands and builds consumer segments for activation, designs activation solutions, and delivers insights. Her team utilizes advanced data analytics and machine learning to develop models and apps to enable SPE to make informed decisions that drive and fulfill consumer appetite for film and television content across the theatrical, home entertainment and television release windows.

JACQUI MARSHALL
EVP, LEGAL AFFAIRS
Marshall heads up the corporate legal team for Sony in the EMEA region. She is responsible for legal matters for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, including physical and digital rights distribution and acquisition, joint ventures, operational and retailer arrangements, and all other corporate and commercial initiatives. Marshall has managed SPHE’s legal requirements in EMEA for more than a decade after starting her career at Universal Pictures.

JANE MOHON
SVP, MARKETING SERVICES
Mohon is responsible for data-driven consumer strategy, overseeing digital and social media marketing, traditional and digital media planning, and buying as well as publicity. Utilizing social and digital insights as well as traditional research to identify consumer demand and voice, she helps set paid, owned and earned media strategies for SPHE releases. A champion of an analytics-led strategy, Mohon leverages consumer lifecycle data to drive multi-channel paid media strategies to drive transactions.

DINA WIGGINS
SVP, LEGAL
For more than 20 years Wiggins has been overseeing legal affairs worldwide for SPHE marketing, closely collaborating with all departments throughout the division. Her work also includes legal compliance in all aspects of the licensing, distribution, sales, manufacturing, and other exploitation of movies and television series in home entertainment for domestic and international territories, excluding EMEA.

ALLIE CARSIA-TALBOTT, VP, digital distribution
SUZANNE EMERSON, VP, legal
JUDY GUEVARA, VP, international marketing
HELENA KU, VP, business affairs
JANET SCHACKMAN, VP, customer operations
JANA SIMMONS, VP, TV and customer marketing
JOAN VILLAROS, VP, production services, North America

 

Universal Pictures

HELEN PARKER
EVP, UNIVERSAL PICTURES CONTENT GROUP
Parker is responsible for spearheading UPHE’s global content business. Based in London, she oversees both content acquisitions and productions for all media and manages a roster of international and U.S. talent and content distributed by NBCUniversal, spanning documentaries, live events, music and theater, films, live-comedy shows, anime, TV, Korean drama, sport and fitness, and children and family, among others. Since assuming her position in 2007, Parker has successfully launched and developed this business for Universal and successfully positioned the company as an industry leader within the sector.

PAMELA BLUM
SVP, GLOBAL MARKETING, UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Blum manages creative marketing services and the development of value-added content for the studio’s Blu-ray, DVD and digital releases on a worldwide basis. Her responsibilities also extend to include maximizing opportunities cross-divisionally within NBC Universal.

SANDY CHOI
SVP, BRAND MARKETING, UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Choi oversees UPHE’s North American third-party partner relationships. She handles the development and execution of all marketing campaigns for partner releases across both physical and digital platforms, as well as leads the cross-functional team responsible for the overall business.

ELLEN COCKRILL
SVP, ANIMATION PRODUCTION, UNIVERSAL 1440 ENTERTAINMENT
Cockrill oversees development and production of animated movies and TV fare for Universal 1440 Entertainment for distribution in all media worldwide. She produced the PBS/Hulu animated series “Curious George,” garnering her two Daytime Emmys. Additionally, she has spearheaded numerous feature-length productions including multiple “Curious George” and “The Land Before Time” movies, The Little Engine That Could, and more than 300 television episodes.

NANCY EAGLE
SVP, BUSINESS AND LEGAL AFFAIRS, UNIVERSAL 1440 ENTERTAINMENT
Eagle is responsible for the business and legal affairs for Universal 1440 Entertainment, the entity that develops and produces live-action and animated projects for distribution across various media platforms worldwide. Her duties include supervision of all business and legal issues on all of the group’s development and production slate, including rights and talent acquisition, negative pick-up distribution agreements, foreign co-productions, intellectual property matters, and litigation management. She also handles the group’s soundtrack partnerships and is responsible for selling certain ancillary rights.

DENISE HARO
SVP, WORLDWIDE CONSUMER INSIGHTS AND STRATEGY, UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Haro oversees business analytics, focusing on external market analytics, trend analysis and long-term outlook. She also manages UPHE’s consumer insights and research. She is focused on aligning global commercial strategy around product, window, messaging and innovation founded in business and consumer insights. Throughout her tenure, she has been influential in shaping company strategy.

JERRLYN IWATA
SVP, DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION, UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Iwata manages business development and distribution for Universal’s domestic digital home entertainment arm. She is responsible for licensing Universal’s film and television content on a transactional basis to cable, satellite, Internet and emerging digital platform partners across the United States and Canada.

LEA PORTENEUVE
SVP, GLOBAL PUBLICITY AND COMMUNICATIONS, UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Porteneuve manages business, technology and executive communications for UPHE. She additionally spearheads all strategic publicity initiatives, including media and talent relations, events, promotions, promotional partnerships and social media activations in support of the studio’s digital and physical home entertainment offerings. She also actively serves as the company’s principal PR strategist on cross-studio industry-specific committees.

HEIDI TURK
SVP, SUPPLY CHAIN, UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Turk oversees technical operations, customer operations, master data, release and production planning, distribution, logistics, retail inventory management, and business insights for Universal’s Blu-ray and DVD releases in the United States and Canada. She also plays a vital role in the development and implementation of the company’s eco-friendly initiatives and serves as a primary liaison to Universal’s distribution partners, including Paramount Home Entertainment, Entertainment One, Funimation, Shout! Factory, STX, Bleecker Street and Neon, among others.

JENNIFER ADOLPH, VP, sales strategy, Canada
STACY BARGER, VP, global creative services
STEPHANIE BAYER, VP, global creative services
JENNIFER BLACK, VP, global publicity
HEATHER BRIGGS, VP, finance
ERICA MARIE DIONNE, VP, product development and strategy
LEIGH DUNLEAVY, VP, digital platforms
LISA GOODING, VP, live-action production
ALISSA GURY, VP, global controller
NADIA HANEY, VP, global marketing, emerging technology
KELLY HARRINGTON, VP, global brand marketing
TRACY KIM, VP, digital distribution and digital platforms
SANDY LE BIHAN, VP, global projects
BRIGITTE LIFSON, VP, business and legal affairs
STEPHANIE LUTJENS, VP, global brand marketing
MARIAN MANSI, VP, global creative content
LINDA MARTINEZ, VP, legal rights and clearances
LISA MELBYE, VP, animation production
SHARE STALLINGS, VP, development
MARY TREZIA, VP, operations
EVE WALDMAN, VP, human resources
JENNA WEBB, VP, global tech operations

 

Vudu

JENNI READIO
SENIOR DIRECTOR, MERCHANDISING AND LICENSING
Readio is a 16-year entertainment industry veteran. For the past nine years she has led merchandising, licensing and content acquisition strategy at Vudu (acquired from Walmart by Fandango in April), where her team continues to successfully grow revenue and content partnerships annually. Under her ideation and leadership, Vudu launched the exclusive merchandising functionality Mix & Match. Prior to joining Vudu, Readio managed the Walmart music business, including its brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce and digital downloads storefronts, and original music content platform Walmart Soundcheck.

GIGI SHANG
DIRECTOR, TECHNICAL PROGRAM MANAGEMENT
Shang leads Vudu’s technical program management office, overseeing large-scale technology and development programs for the past six years. During her tenure, she has driven strategic company initiatives by leading alignment on program vision, scope, resource allocation and release management, managing the full lifecycle from ideation to product delivery. Her mandate also includes the operations strategy of the business. Prior to joining Vudu, Shang led technical program management and software development at Sony Electronics for 13 years.

 

WarnerMedia Entertainment/HBO Max

JORI ARANCIO
EVP, COMMUNICATIONS, HBO MAX, TNT, TBS AND TRUTV
Named to her current position in December 2019, Arancio is responsible for overseeing all communications for the three networks and streaming platform. Prior to joining WarnerMedia, she worked for the Walt Disney Company for 21 years, most recently as SVP of communications for ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios, where she was responsible for all strategic corporate communication efforts, consumer press campaigns, awards outreach and talent relations for the two business units.

MEREDITH GERTLER
EVP, CONTENT STRATEGY AND PLANNING, HBO AND HBO MAX
Gertler is responsible for shaping the HBO Max portfolio and developing overall content and programming strategies for HBO Max and all HBO streaming and on-demand platforms, as well as the HBO and Cinemax linear networks. In addition, she oversees program and promotion scheduling for HBO Max and all HBO platforms. Gertler joined HBO in 2004 on HBO Video’s marketing team, where she developed and executed strategic business and marketing plans for original programming on DVD. In January 2009, she was named VP of product management, operations and production for HBO Home Entertainment, responsible for the short- and long-term planning and profitability for all the company’s home entertainment product lines in North America. In 2012, she made the move to program strategy and planning and helped craft the content planning and scheduling framework in support of the launch of HBO Now in 2015.

LINDA LOWY
EVP, CASTING, HBO MAX, TBS, TNT AND TRUTV
Named to her current position in July 2019, Lowy is responsible for overseeing casting for scripted series, feature films, docudramas, animation and unscripted. Lowy’s projects for HBO Max include “The Flight Attendant,” “Love Life,” “Americanah,” “Julia Child,” “Raised by Wolves,” “Tokyo Vice,” “Made For Love,” “Station Eleven” and “Generation.” Prior to joining WarnerMedia, Lowy consulted on TNT dramas including “Snowpiercer,” “Claws,” “The Alienist” and “Animal Kingdom.” Lowy also collaborated with Shonda Rhimes in a partnership spanning nearly 17 years on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” “How to Get Away With Murder,” “Private Practice,” “For the People” and “Station 19.”

PIA CHAOZON BARLOW
SVP, PROGRAM MARKETING, HBO MAX
Barlow is responsible for guiding the overall marketing strategy, including creative, media, events, partnerships and social media, for HBO Max Originals alongside Peter Sherman. She was named to this position in January. She began her career at HBO, where she worked for nine years launching consumer marketing campaigns for award-winning series, films and documentaries. In 2014, Barlow joined Netflix as director of originals marketing, building and growing that team and overseeing global marketing campaigns across all programming genres and titles. From 2015 to 2017, she expanded her role and was appointed as the key marketing executive on the team focused on the expansion of international originals for Netflix.

KATIE SOO
SVP, GROWTH MARKETING, HBO MAX
Soo was the first member of a core HBO Max team tasked with building key disciplines from the ground up. She currently oversees growth marketing for the WarnerMedia direct-to-consumer platform. Her areas of focus include subscriber acquisitions, consumer engagement, digital campaigns, social media and audience development, and retention strategies. Soo’s direct-to-consumer portfolio includes DC Universe, Ellen Digital Ventures, Stage 13 and Uninterrupted. Soo previously served as head of marketing at Warner Bros. Digital Networks.

SOFIA CHANG
PRESIDENT, WARNERMEDIA DISTRIBUTION, THE DOMESTIC
DISTRIBUTION/MARKETING ARM OF WARNERMEDIA ENTERTAINMENT
Chang oversees distribution efforts for WarnerMedia’s domestic linear TV networks, premium channels, digital brands and direct-to-consumer services, including CNN, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network, TCM, Adult Swim, truTV, HLN, Boomerang, HBO, Cinemax and HBO Max. She is responsible for oversight of the revenue, marketing and distribution strategy of WarnerMedia’s business across cable, satellite, telco and digital affiliate partners. She is based in New York and reports to Gerhard Zeiler, chief revenue officer of WarnerMedia, and president of WarnerMedia International Networks. Most recently, Chang served as EVP of global digital distribution and content licensing at HBO, where she oversaw $2 billion in annual global revenue for HBO and Cinemax.

SANDRA DEWEY
PRESIDENT, PRODUCTIONS AND BUSINESS OPERATIONS, WARNERMEDIA ENTERTAINMENT
Dewey oversees the business affairs and production teams for DTC Originals, for which she also leads the day-to-day operational responsibilities in partnership with DTC head of content Sarah Aubrey. Dewey and her team have been establishing policy and process for the DTC Originals and the new areas of business, including features and documentaries, as well as entering into strategic partnerships with new content partners. Additionally, Dewey oversees the business side of WarnerMedia Entertainment’s linear networks, TBS, TNT and truTV. At TBS and TNT, Dewey has played a key role in the networks’ ongoing transition from linear television to omni-platform media brands with numerous revenue streams, including the WarnerMedia joint venture with Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco.

RONNI COBERN-BASIS
EVP, TALENT RELATIONS, EVENTS AND AWARDS, WARNERMEDIA ENTERTAINMENT AND DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER
Named to this role in October 2019, Cobern-Basis is responsible for all talent relations, events and awards efforts on behalf of the entire portfolio, spanning HBO, HBO Max, TNT, TBS and truTV. Cobern-Basis has not only set the gold standard for excellence within the industry, but she has also led the charge in producing promotional events during the coronavirus pandemic. Under her leadership, her team has been credited with reinventing virtual events with interactive experiences.

JESSICA L. HOLSCOTT
EVP/CFO, WARNERMEDIA ENTERTAINMENT
Holscott is responsible for overseeing all aspects of finance and supporting the CEO with all strategic decisions. Her responsibilities include HBO, HBO Max, TBS, TNT, truTV and Otter. Prior to taking this role, Holscott served as EVP and CFO for HBO. Before that, she spent more than two years as SVP of investor relations for Time Warner. In this role, she worked to develop and execute the company’s investor relations initiatives and served as one of the primary day-to-day contacts for the investment community. Holscott also led Time Warner’s cross-company merger planning efforts with AT&T.

JACQUELINE JOURDAIN HAYES
EVP AND GENERAL COUNSEL, WARNERMEDIA ENTERTAINMENT
Named to this role in August 2019, Hayes is responsible for all of WarnerMedia’s legal affairs, including the linear businesses, Otter Media and HBO Max. Hayes joined Warner Home Video in 1998, providing legal support for the then nascent DVD business. She went on to become a primary legal steward of Warner Bros.’ transactional and subscription digital businesses — leading the first content clearance, digital licensing and content protection initiatives for the online distribution of WB titles — and was eventually named SVP and general counsel of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment in 2015.

LUCINDA MARTINEZ
EVP, MULTICULTURAL MARKETING, BRAND AND INCLUSION STRATEGY, WARNERMEDIA ENTERTAINMENT
Martinez is responsible for developing a distinct and inclusive brand narrative across WarnerMedia Entertainment’s marketing campaigns, including HBO, HBO Max, TNT, TBS, and truTV, among others. In addition, Martinez leads the development and expansion of talent development and emerging artist programs across all company brands. Martinez joined HBO more than 17 years ago and most recently served as EVP of brand marketing where she was responsible for all HBO, HBO Latino, Cinemax and Cinemáx branded targeted marketing efforts to the African-American, Latino, Asian and LGBTQ+ audiences.

SARAH LYONS
SVP, PRODUCT EXPERIENCE, WARNERMEDIA ENTERTAINMENT
Lyons helps shape the app experience across all major platforms, defining how users discover content, as well as paving the way for innovation on how content is viewed and experienced in the future. She also plays a key role in overall product strategy. Prior to joining WarnerMedia, Lyons held various positions within DirecTV, including VP of OTT media products, responsible for the DirecTV Now product, and the launch of their next-generation video platform. She oversaw the launch of DirecTV’s TV Everywhere product suite, which under her leadership became a streaming experience available on more than 250 million mobile devices. She also was responsible for the product roadmap for the NFL Sunday Ticket streaming service and NFLST.tv OTT product.

 

Warner Bros.

LOUISE BAGNALL
SVP AND CHIEF COUNSEL
Bagnall leads the legal and business affairs team for the studio’s physical, digital and interactive entertainment businesses on a worldwide basis. In this role, she and her team provide legal counsel in respect to licensing, acquisitions, production, marketing, sales and supply chain, as well as advising on key strategic and growth initiatives. She previously worked in the London office of Warner Bros. and relocated to Burbank in 2017, significantly expanding her role and helping to cultivate a global approach.

JOHNNA CHO
SVP, LEGAL AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS
Cho oversees and advises on legal matters involving acquisitions, licensing, distribution, marketing, sales, production and operations for the studio’s physical, digital and games businesses in the Asia-Pacific region. She also manages legal matters for the studio’s Japan-based anime production and distribution business.

NICOLE COLEMAN
SVP, TRADE MARKETING, RETAIL PLANNING AND THEATRICAL CATALOG
Coleman is responsible for the theatrical catalog P&L for the home entertainment group across the physical and digital retail landscape. In addition, she leads trade marketing and sales planning for both physical and digital film and television content.

KRISTINA FUGATE
SVP, FILM MARKETING
Fugate manages all theatrical new-release and catalog U.S. brand marketing efforts for Warner across disc and digital platforms. She’s also responsible for developing long-term strategies, resulting in strong performances for franchises including the Wizarding World and DC properties, 4K UHD and emerging platforms.

LAURA A. GROSS
SVP, WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT GLOBAL CONSUMER INSIGHTS AND RESEARCH
Gross joined Warner Bros. in 2003 to establish the WBHE international research and media team. In 2011, she was promoted to handling global responsibilities, adding the United States and Canada. In her position, she has built a global consumer insights and research team that manages groundbreaking and innovative consumer research, analytics, and modeling across digital and packaged movies and TV products. Her team partners with all aspects of the business — theatrical, games, TV, marketing, sales, finance, strategic planning and executive management along with all other WarnerMedia divisions.

ROSEMARY MARKSON
SVP, TV MARKETING
Markson handles global marketing for all Warner Bros. and HBO TV properties across physical and digital home entertainment platforms. She manages marketing strategies, product development, consumer marketing and business planning for both current on-air series and library/catalog series. Markson is also responsible for managing talent and studio relationships and ensuring that key content partners are properly serviced.

ISABELLE RENAUD
SVP, CREATIVE PRODUCTION SERVICES
Renaud oversees the worldwide physical and digital product production and localization for the film, television, and originals as well as animation and family businesses, including motion picture new-release and catalog, WBTV, MGM, HBO, Turner, DC and other WarnerMedia partner properties. Her team focuses on the production of global digital assets and distribution, menu and user interface initiatives, print and custom packaging/manufacturing, and retail merchandising. As part of both the Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment teams, Renaud also oversees marketing process initiatives leading the review and implementation of combined organizational workflows and continuous improvement opportunities.

JENNIFER STUMP
SVP, LEGAL AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS
Stump is the lead attorney for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) for franchises such as “Batman: Arkham,” “Lego,” “Mortal Kombat” and “The Hobbit.” She and her team provide legal counsel across all functions of WBIE’s publishing business, in addition to supporting all Warner-owned development studios, including Avalanche, Monolith Productions, NetherRealm Studios, Rocksteady Studios, WB Games Boston and TT Games.

MARY ELLEN THOMAS
SVP, ORIGINALS, ANIMATION AND FAMILY
Thomas leads global marketing efforts for originals, animation and family content, as well as all content from Turner Networks (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TNT, truTV, CNN) across physical and digital home entertainment platforms. She is responsible for driving the overall strategy, product development, marketing, and lifecycle management for originals (MFV) and episodic product lines. In addition, she oversees the relationships with WBHE’s portfolio brand partners, including Rooster Teeth, Crunchy Roll, Peanuts, Dr. Seuss, WWE and Viz Media.

EMILY ZALENSKI
SVP, WORLDWIDE PUBLICITY
Zalenski handles worldwide publicity and corporate communications for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. She heads up the strategic execution of digital and physical publicity campaigns for all new-release and catalog film releases, including media and talent relations, special events, and experiential marketing. She also leads communications efforts for emerging technology initiatives, including 4K UHD and emerging digital release technologies. She serves as the WBHE representative for communications strategy on many cross-studio committees.

ALICE CALAMAR, VP, creative production management
TRACI CARROLL, VP, creative advertising
MARIANA CASAS, VP, financial planning and analysis, digital
AMY-BETH CHAMBERLIN, VP, sales services
KRISTIE L. COLLEY, VP, retail planning and trade fund management
TINA DEPASS LUJAN, VP, TV marketing, TV series
GIULIA ERICKSON, VP, marketing analytics and channel strategy
CASEY ESTEVEZ, VP, creative production management
MICHELLE FOWLER, VP, legal and business affairs
FEIFEI HU, VP, business development and licensing
SUCHITRA INJATI, VP, strategic supply chain planning and forecasting
CHERILYNN KEHRLI, VP, legal and business affairs
JULIE V. KELLEY, VP and associate general counsel, legal and business affairs
SANDRA KIM, VP, global product planning
JUNGSUN (MONICA) KIM, VP, legal and business affairs
OLIVIA LLAMAS, VP, retail and user experience
LAURA LUPINETTI, VP, trade marketing
ANGIE LAI MAKHOUL, VP, film marketing
MELISSA HUFJAY MCALEVEY, VP, publicity
KATY MOFFAT, VP, operations
DEBBIE NEVEU, VP, accounting, financial reporting and contract administration
ZANDRA PALMER, VP, trade marketing
NATHALIE SAWYER, VP, sales
YVONNE SPENCE, VP, creative services content
MARYAM TASHROUDIAN, VP and associate general counsel, legal and business affairs
BETH WETZEL, VP, creative advertising
MARISA ZWEBEN, VP, legal and business affairs