2016-2017 WIFV BOARD OF DIRECTORS
WIFV has an all-volunteer board that is elected by the membership. This board is responsible for guiding the organization during the programming year, which runs from July 1 through June 30. WIFV Professional, Executive and Corporate Members are eligible to serve on the Board. Board terms are two years and each board member has the option to run for three consecutive terms. The board is responsible for the basic operations, programming, benefits, fundraising and other key areas that support the organization.
REBECCA BUSTAMANTE, PMP was introduced to the world of women in film through WIF.Dallas when she performed in their Gilda’s Club PSA that featured voiceover by Meryl Streep. When her career moved her to Washington, DC, she immediately connected with WIFV to smooth her transition. In her first term on the Board, she executed the WIFTI Summit Marketing plan for the 2012 international conference, successfully secured the donation of the Linked In for Board Connect account, and obtained Google non-profit status for the organization. A professional actress, she learned her way around the set from directors Robert Altman, Melanie Mayron, and Michael Preece, and received vocal coaching from renowned teachers Cecily Berry and Patsy Rodenburg. Favorite roles include “Wilhe’s Mother” in the anti-bullying film Toobie, Maryland Vehicle Association’s PSA against teen drunk driving, and Breaking In, recipient of various awards for cinematography and semi-finalist at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Rebecca was delighted to be featured in the print and digital campaign for the re-launch of the Verisign Brand Store, where she works as a Corporate Programs Project Manager. Project management highlights include the Spend Smart campaign ($15MM cost savings), and the 2013 PMI publication about SlideShare. Rebecca’s arts advocacy began when The National Museum of Women in the Arts invited her to be a charter member. She has an MFA in Acting from SMU in Dallas, where she co-founded the Cross-Cultural Artists Forum with support from the Non-Traditional Casting Project in NYC.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
KAREN WHITEHEAD is an independent filmmaker originally from London, UK Her first independent feature documentary HER AIM IS TRUE on the hidden story of a pioneering rock and roll photographer, has played to sold out audiences on the US film festival circuit and won the Tacoma Film Festival Audience Award in 2013. Karen is an accomplished journalist, a former BBC producer and director of current affairs programs on UK network television, as well as creator of documentary style videos for non-profits. Before leaving the UK, Karen made documentary style videos for the BBC’s journalism training program, as well as mentored trainee journalists. In the US, she has produced a film on the history of the Berlin Wall for the Newseum, currently on exhibit there. She is also a recipient of a CINE Golden Eagle Award for directing a short film,WOODLAWN REDUX (2008). Since founding Fur Face Film, Karen has channeled her passion for digital storytelling through advocacy projects within the autism community in Montgomery County, Maryland. Karen holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from the University of East Anglia, UK. Her specialist study was nuclear weapons and proliferation in the post-Cold War environment.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS
BRIGITTE YUILLE has worked in the field of journalism for 20 years in radio, online, print and television. She has specialized in business and financial news. She is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of B.Y. Communications Worldwide which provides content management services, ebooks and online courses. Brigitte began her career as a news intern at WBFF FOX 29 in Raleigh, NC in 1995 while attending North Carolina State University. After graduation, she accepted a full-time job as an Editorial Assistant at the Public Broadcasting System’s political news program, THE NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER. Her work experience includes on-air reporting, producing, and business news writing at international and national renowned news organizations within the top media markets. Her articles have been published in China Daily, Entrepreneur, Essence, The Financial Times and Forbes. She received the Director’s Award for Excellence in Teaching as an Adjunct Faculty member at Brown Mackie College.
In addition to journalism, Brigitte has worked as an actress. She has appeared in major motion pictures, television shows, and commercials filmed in Florida. Brigitte earned a Master of Science degree in Communications with an emphasis in Business Journalism from Florida International University (FIU) as well as a Master of Science in Business Administration from FIU.
VICE PRESIDENT, PROGRAMMING
CARLETTA S. HURT is an award-winning producer at IKAM Productions, passionate educator, fierce youth advocate and dynamic leader. Film credits include JACKIE (NYU award-winning student film), REMEMBER THE TITANS, DRUMLINE, THE FIGHTING TEMPTATIONS, and HIS/HER STORY (starring Jessica Care Moore). She also produces theater and has worked with some of Hollywood’s leading ladies like Jane Fonda, Eve Ensler, Pearl Cleage, and Jasmine Guy. A graduate of Oglethorpe University and Georgia State University, Carletta is dedicated to creating a space for new, unique voices to be heard and a platform to showcase rising talent that deserve a chance. She is currently an educator in the DC Public Charter School community and runs the broadcast media program.
VICE PRESIDENT, STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS
HILLARY SHEA graduated from James Madison University with a degree in Media Art & Design with a concentration in Digital Video & Cinema in May of 2013. For her college capstone, Hillary wrote and directed her short film, SNAP about a police officer who attempts to find his kid brother, and realizes that life can change in an instant. While in college, Hillary became a member of WIFV through the spring job fair. After graduating, she interned at RHED Pixel as an assistant producer and was brought on full-time in October of 2013. At RHED Pixel, Hillary helps produce lynda.com courses and Pearson LiveLessons, as well as internal videos for Children’s National Medical Center and other Washington DC-based organizations. As a member of WIFV, Hillary is most involved with the screenwriting workshops and ScriptDC.
KATHERINE WILKINS DE FRANCIS is an independent filmmaker/visual media producer, with a 30-year business/development executive background in the media industry (US & UK). Katherine produced her first feature documentary, DON’T ASK ME QUESTIONS: THE UNSUNG LIFE OF GRAHAM PARKER (2013), with director Michael Gramaglia (The Ramones: End Of The Century). In 2015, she produced a major photographic retrospective: Chalkie Davies – the NME Years, at the National Museum Wales. She also worked on the accompanying BBC documentary. She is currently in development with IMITATING LIFE – THE AUDACITY OF SUZANNE HEINTZ, a feature documentary she is producing with Karen Whitehead (HER AIM IS TRUE). She was a founding executive of two high tech/media start-ups, and has worked at Virgin Vision, Mirror Group Newspapers, and K-III Communications (PRIMEDIA). A proud Welsh woman, Katherine is President of the Washington Welsh-American Society, and a Maryland State Councilor for the Humane Society of the United States.
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT / ADVISORY COMMITTEE LIAISON
ERIN ESSENMACHER is an award-winning writer, director and producer with nearly 15 years of experience in production with a strong focus on documentary. Her work has appeared internationally and on PBS, Discovery, Animal Planet, History Channel and CourtTV. She has been lucky to work for a broad range of industry stars – from Double R Productions to Hedrick Smith Productions to Discovery Networks International. Happy corporate and non-profit clients include Acura, Sony, the Gap, Arts Engine, SEIU and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. Most recently Erin produced and co-wrote the independent film MINE, which won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at both the 2009 South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) and the 2009 San Francisco Doc Fest. The film has received critical acclaim from a wide variety of news outlets from Entertainment Weekly to The New York Times, and enjoyed a successful theatrical run. MINE also aired on PBS’ Independent Lens as part of the 2010 season, where it won the Audience Award for best doc. Erin is currently the Education Director at the National Association of Corporate Directors and has several documentary projects in development. She holds a degree in Political Science and American Culture with a minor in Communications from the University of Michigan.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SANDRA ABRAMS is a 30 year veteran of the media and broadcasting industry starting as a research associate writing television reports using Arbitron and Nielsen. After a decade of selling air time, she went back to school, getting M.A. from NYU in Media Education and jumped to the production side. She has been a producer for MSNBC, CNNfn in New York and in DC at Reuters Television covering the Hill and the White House. She also has experience as a print reporter covering Wall Street and consumer financial issues. For the past few years, Sandra has been a communications marketing strategist. In 2010, she went back to school for a certificate in Digital Media Journalism from the UMD. She has served as a board member for the New York Financial Writers’ Association and the American Women in Radio and Television. She is also a German-American Broadcasting Fellow and former Knight Journalism fellow for Business Reporting. She was also part of the CNN team which was recognized by the National Academy of Arts and Sciences for reporting on 9-11 in New York.
MEMBER AT LARGE
JULIE ALLEN has been in the production industry for nearly 30 years, starting out in Atlanta at CNN in 1990. Her productions range from news, corporate events, to commercials & PSAs, to corporate and educational video to just about anything else a client can ask for. She currently owns her own production company, Firedrake Production, specializing in educational and non-profit media. While previously on the WIFV board, she served as VP of Programming and was an active member of the Women of Vision Award ceremonies. She has been an Executive Member for the last 6 years.
CHAIR, MEDIA JOB FAIR
WORYENEH BENSON is an advocate for educating the world through the arts. In recent years, she worked as an actress, teacher, theater manager, and director. Before her current position with Trinity Volunteer Corps, she lived in Monrovia, Liberia and was a Drama teacher at Jahzet Missionary School. At Jazhet Missionary, she wrote her first play The Young Gal Wan Marsh that covers the lives of two Liberian women reuniting after the 14 years of separation due to the civil war in Liberia. In DC, she volunteered at ScriptDC and the DC Independent Film Festival. As for management, she worked at Wayne State University Theatre & Dance in Detroit, MI and Black Women Playwrights’ Group in Washington, DC as a liaison between the theatre and management offices. At WSU, she was able to defeat hardships in art programming in a revitalizing city recovering from bankruptcy and daily struggles for a small “one-man band” nonprofit at B.W.P.G. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management from SUNY Purchase College. She aspires to bring her writings to life through stage and screen.
FAITH DEVEAUX received her BA from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA, and her Master of Science in Management from Friends University, Wichita, KS. She has been an intern and summer hire at Sony Music Entertainment, and worked at Shanghai Morning Sun Animation, and K-Tel International. She has been a PA on graduate films in Los Angeles, as well as a PA and extra for the Women in Film (Los Angeles) Director’s Program. She has also worked in the theater, working in all capacities, eventually becoming resident Stage Manager for the Ft. Huachuca (AZ) Playhouse. As a PR intern, she worked on many entertainment events, most notably with Grammy in the Schools. Faith is an active member of WIFV. She attends and assists at as many WIFV programs and projects as possible, including WIFV’s 48 Hour Film Project team, ScriptDC, WIFTI screenings, and was a volunteer for the WIFTI Summit when it was hosted by WIFV-DC. She is currently in post-production with a narrative feature, as well as a documentary feature, all with the assistance of WIFV members.
MEMBER AT LARGE
SONYA DUNN is the President and Chairman of Arlington Independent Media, a nonprofit media corporation, cable channel and training center for media content creators in film, cable and web programming. Currently, she is spearheading the development and implementation of a radio station to provide curriculum and training in sound editing, music creation, and audio content programming. Sonya operates and manages a full-service production company, JEMH Entertainment, that has several interactive and transmedia projects in development. Her film THE BEDROOM was her directorial debut, and screened at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. She was a semi-finalist in the Slamdance Screenwriting Competition and a finalist for the Best Screenplay at the LA Femme International Film Festival.
Sonya holds a masters degree from American University in Producing Film, Video and Digital Media. She will complete her MBA in Media Entertainment in 2016.
JUDY MESCHEL is a 13-year veteran of the film and video industry, currently serving as the coordinator of footage research and services for National Geographic’s film and video archive. Her credits include broadcasters like PBS, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, RAI and USIA, game companies like Firaxis and Sony, live events like SOS Live Earth and Reading for the Common Good, and education producers and distributors like Library Video Company, Human Rights Campaign, and SDCinematografica. Prior to working in film and video production, Judy led large, distributed teams that delivered new online learning and education technologies. Judy’s passion is historical and cultural documentary programming based in archival material. She also serves on the programming committee of the Society for Values in Higher Education, to which she was elected a Fellow in 1999. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.
CO-CHAIR, KIDS WORLD FILM FESTIVAL
ROBIN NOONAN-PRICE earned her M.A. in Film and Video Production from The American University. After grad school, Robin moved to Georgia where she worked in television sales, traffic and production. She then became a commercial copy writer. Once, in a pinch she had to play the role of a gypsy medium in one of her commercials. That experience made her realize she is better suited to be behind the camera!
In 1994, while juggling motherhood with three young daughters at home, Robin started her own production company. In 1999, she began freelancing for Fairfax County Public Schools and in 2000; she was offered a full-time producer position, where she has been working ever since. Robin’s primary role at FCPS has been producing MEET THE AUTHOR. This 30-minute live-streamed studio program provides students from around the country and internationally, with direct access to guest authors, through Skype, email and phone. Robin is a four-time Emmy Award Nominee as producer of MEET THE AUTHOR, a five-time Telly Award winner and has earned three TIVA-DC Peer Awards.
CHAIR, COMMUNITY OUTREACH
KERI WILLIAMS is a native Washingtonian, raised in New York City. Keri is a very industrious artist and a 10-year Traumatic Brain Injury survivor. Education has created an opportunity for her to succeed, thus forming a new path when old ones have faded. Belief and determination are her strengths, and life encourages her to cultivate her talents. As a creative thinker and visual communicator, Keri intends to empower or teach others how to capture information to tell their story. In May 2012, she obtained two undergraduate degrees. Keri has a BFA in Photography and a BA in Radio, TV and Film from Howard University. “This is a time of tremendous change, reinventing myself after a 26 year career in beauty, health and wellness. I believe that higher education is the path to freedom.” Keri is a wonderful image weaver, having a special interest in portraying one’s identity, representing one’s culture and revealing one’s inner vision.
CHAIR, MEMBERSHIP EVENTS
ANN ZAMUDIO is the owner of Clever Gretel Productions and is currently producing a documentary aiming to take the taboo away from pregnancy loss and infertility called DON’T TALK ABOUT THE BABY. This documentary is currently fiscally sponsored by WIFV. She has attended UC Davis and the University of Maryland and has a degree in Cinematic Arts. Credits include BABY DANCE, CHAPTER TWO, and the award winning short film, SPECTOR. She has served as an instructor for the Young Filmmakers Workshop, worked for the Discovery Channel and is an award winning Toastmaster. She is married with two children and resides in Silver Spring.
WIFV DC gratefully acknowledges LinkedIn for its generous contributions to volunteers, job postings, and connections with partners and members through the LinkedIn Board Member Connect program.