LaRonda Sutton is an entertainment industry veteran with more than two decades of experience in all aspects of film, television, music, and new digital media. Sutton is the Owner/Principal of Film City, LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to advising city, county, and state government officials and policy makers on the long-term economic benefits of being film and entertainment friendly. Film City is also a permit facilitation company assisting film productions with their on-location needs throughout the state of Georgia. Prior to founding Film City, Sutton was the founding director of the Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment for the City of Atlanta. She established the new executive office during Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration in July 2013.
Robyn Watson is the Owner/Founder of Watson Media Ventures (WMV), a consulting firm that supports the creation of quality film, television and other media productions. Prior to WMV, she spent over 15 years as a corporate communications executive at Verizon and Time Warner Cable.
Robyn sits on the board of directors for Women In Film & Television Atlanta (WIFTA) where she is the VP of Professional Development. She is also on the advisory board for NY Women In Film & Television (NYWIFT).
Robyn graduated from Emory University and holds a Masters in Science in Organizational Leadership from Benedictine University. She is also pursuing a law degree in media & marketing at Emory University School of Law. As an empty-nester, she resides in Decatur GA with her husband Arnold.
Alex Ebanks is a Manager of Brand Public Relations in Coca-Cola North America, where she handles communications and media relations campaigns across the company's diverse brand portfolio. Prior to joining Coca-Cola, she held a position as a Senior Marketing Manager at Allied MOXY, the multicultural division of Allied Integrated Marketing. In her role at Allied, she strategically managed and created publicity, promotions and marketing campaigns both nationally and regionally, for entertainment based clients within the TV & film industry. Her highlights included leading targeted African American marketing campaigns for award winning films such as 20th Century Fox’s HIDDEN FIGURES and Paramount Pictures FENCES, as well as the hit television show “This is Us” on NBC, along with coordinating and executing large scale event activations at ESSENCE Festival, the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), CIAA and the Bronner Bros Hair Show. As a proud HBCU graduate from Spelman College, she received her bachelor of arts degree in English with a minor in Writing. Alex is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc and was named a 2017 HBCU Top 30 Under 30 selected recipient on behalf of HBCU Buzz.
Shellie Schmals is all over the Atlanta arts scene, from her current position as Film Programming Manager with the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival to her involvement with local artists and galleries. Shellie is an improv actress and comedy producer at Relapse Theatre and co-founder of Minette Magnifique, Creative Loafing's pick for 2013 Best Burlesque Troupe. Currently, Shellie fills her creative world as founder and emcee of Roxie Roz - a 50s and 60s rock ‘n’ roll burlesque troupe. In addition to beginning her term on the WIFTA Board of Directors, Shellie is active in Georgia Production Partnership and coordinates an annual fundraiser for Bullseye Rescue, aptly named "Pit Bulls and Poodle Skirts".
Kristy Clabaugh is a Certified Public Accountant and the Firm Business Development Coordinator at Whaley Hammonds Tomasello, PC. Kristy has more than 15 years of experience in accounting and working with owners in the entertainment and hospitality industry, small and mid-size businesses, as well as high net-worth individuals. Kristy joined WHT in 2013 from an international public accounting firm where she worked with clients to minimize federal and state taxes as well as to settle disputes with the IRS and state tax authorities. Today, Kristy specializes in the film & entertainment hospitality industry, offering comfort letter issuance, film tax credit placement, and tax filing preparation services.
Cheryl Jenkins is the CEO and principal and founding partner of Atlanta-based Production Accounting and Crew Services, International (PACS). Based in Atlanta, GA PACS services film and television production sets across the world with clients including NBC/Universal, New Line Television, VH-1, BET, Fox and many more.
Cheryl earned her Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Michigan State University. She got her start in the industry as an assistant accountant on UPN’s breakaway hit “Moesha” starring Brandy Norwood. Beyond her role as president of the Atlanta chapter of Women in Television and Film, she taught the first scheduling and budgeting workshop at the Independent Black Film Festival in Atlanta and served as a judge and panelist at the SONscreen Film Festival in Simi Valley, California.
Beth is the Vice President of Operations for Eagle Rock Studios Atlanta. ERSA is currently home to television productions including “Dynasty”, “Ozark”, “Greenleaf”, and “Kevin (probably) Saves the World.” Beth, a veteran of the television studio industry, has over eighteen years of experience in Los Angeles with a background in studio production, operations, distribution, client services and marketing at NEP Studios, Sunset Bronson and Sunset Gower Studios, Tribune Studios & Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Television. A native North Carolinian, she came to Atlanta in 2016 and is thrilled to be back in the south where she has jumped into the production community with both feet as a member of Women In Film & Television Atlanta, the Producer’s Guild of America Atlanta Chapter, the Georgia Studio & Infrastructure Alliance and serving on the DeKalb County Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Commission. She is also a member of the Television Academy where she recently assisted in coordinating their first event in Atlanta, “An Evening with Tyler Perry” held here last spring.
BJA Today is an American news magazine television program offering hard-hitting interviews, feature segments and profiles of people in the public sector, marketplace and entertainment industry. Previously working as a news anchor, entertainment/lifestyle reporter and host for GPTV, 11Alive News, TV69 (the now CW) host BJ Arnett is no stranger to investigative reporting. With her ever present warm and personal style, she has also hosted NBC's "Peachtree Morning" "Soul of Atlanta" and "Beat of the City," in which she interviewed the likes of Lena Horne, The Judds, Danny Glover, Marie Osmond, Patti Labelle, Mrs. Rosalyn Carter, Ambassador Andrew Young, and many others. And so, today, brings you the latest and brightest in great people, in depth interviews and compelling stories, with a twist.
Keisha Burnette is a Senior Attorney with the City of Atlanta’s Law Department. She provides legal counsel to the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment and all other internal departments on matters related to television and feature film production in Atlanta. She manages and negotiates legal matters related to contracts, permitting, intellectual property, strategic planning and regulatory compliance. Keisha’s film, television and sports projects include Captain America 3, Ant Man, Hidden Figures, Family Feud, Being Mary Jane, Atlanta, the Fast and Furious franchise, the annual Peach Drop event, the upcoming College Football Playoff Championship and Super Bowl LIII. She also provides legal counsel for the city’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. These projects drive economic development, tourism and film production for the City. In addition, she is the Co-Chair of the Law Department's Recruiting Committee, which is responsible for the interviewing and hiring of law staff, externs and summer interns.
Keisha began her legal and entertainment career at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. in Atlanta, GA, where she gained extensive experience in areas including digital content review, marketing and promotions, television production, sweepstakes regulation and online privacy management for shows such as The Closer, House of Payne, Conan, the Powerpuff Girls, TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar and the SAG Awards.
She currently serves on the steering committee for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and is active with the State Bar of Georgia Diversity section. Keisha received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Lee Morin is an entertainment attorney licensed in Georgia. She operates a law firm, MORIN Entertainment Law, and a consulting agency, Counterintuitive Consulting. Her firm represents primarily independent film, music, and game development clients, but also consults with clients involved in theatrical stage productions, freelance artists, and writers. Lee is a member of the Entertainment & Sports, Intellectual Property, and Business Law sections of the Georgia Bar and several arts & entertainment trade associations. She is the presiding Chair of Programs for Women in Film & Television Atlanta. She is a public speaker and author, who has an active blog where she has written about production legal issues that every independent filmmaker should know, and Georgia tax incentives. For more information about Lee, the firm, or her agency, please visit her at morinentlaw.com
Leslie Hochsztein is an Enterprise Application Engineering Specialist at GE Digital where she works on front-end development for General Electric internal applications. She was previously web developer at Superlux, a design studio dedicated to the moving image. Before she transitioned to web development, she was an Account Executive at Allied Integrated Marketing, a film and entertainment publicity and promotions agency. Leslie worked primarily with movie studio clients including Disney, Focus Features, and CBS Films to promote their films leading up to theatrical release. Leslie graduated from Emory University with a degree in Art History and Journalism.
Lisa Moore is the principal of her own entertainment and intellectual property boutique law practice, The Moore Firm, LLC. Ms. Moore currently represents clients throughout the entertainment industry including actors, screenwriters, managers, directors, production companies, musicians and composers, visual artists and galleries, clothing designers, authors and writers, magazines, among others. She also works with Fortune 500 companies and celebrities on contracts, licensing, copyright, trademark, First Amendment issues and all other legal aspects of the art, entertainment, intellectual property, film, television, music and literary publishing businesses.
After matriculating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ms. Moore continued on to graduate from the University of Virginia School of Law. She served as past chair of the Entertainment Section for the State Bar of Georgia. Ms. Moore has previously served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law where she taught Entertainment Law and Visual Arts and the Law, as well as at Georgia State University where she taught Copyright Law as an adjunct. She lectures frequently around the country on music, copyright, art law, film, television, literary publishing, new technology and new media issues.
She is a frequent lecturer and contributor to various law reviews, entertainment journals and related publications. She has been the recipient of numerous regional and national awards and accolades for her entertainment practice, including being named one of 13 lawyers under 40 On The Rise in 2011 in Georgia by the Fulton County Daily Report.
Born in San Turce, Puerto Rico to a Dominican mother and a Puerto Rican/Spaniard father, Michelle's aptitude for entertaining began at a young age in Puerto Rico performing in numerous children's productions. A performing arts program in middle school afforded Michelle the opportunity to compete nationally in different artistic genres. After graduating from high school she earned a cheerleading scholarship and student government grants that helped her receive degrees in Theater and Finance allowing her to focus on her academics while at the same time providing her with the creative outlet she craved. Michelle's determination and perseverance led her to graduate from Long Island University on the Dean's List and she hit the pavement running with a lead role in the nationwide tour of the Off-Broadway hit Yo Soy Latina! produced by Latino Flavored Productions, Inc. along with various other Off-Broadway productions. While pursuing her passion of performing, Michelle also put her finance degree to use by managing the Latin American business line at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. on Wall Street.
Michelle re-located to Georgia in 2004, and has performed at the 14th Street Playhouse, Whole World and the Aurora Theatre. She has been on hit shows Nashville, Sleepy Hollow, Outcast and Meet the Browns. You can catch Michelle on the big screen in the upcoming feature films Triple 9 and The Nice Guys starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe.
She wrote, produced and starred in the award winning cross-generational film, Encuéntrate, currently airing internationally on the Shorts Entertainment Network.
Michelle currently serves on the board of SAG/AFTRA Atlanta, Co-Chair of the SAG/AFTRA Diversity Committee and is an Ambassador for the Atlanta Film Society.
A resident of Atlanta, Georgia, Tammy Garnes is a communications expert and film producer who works daily in the public education sector as well as in the entertainment industry.
A graduate of the Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California, Garnes earned her Master of Arts Degree in Film Producing, and her Bachelor of Science in Education, Theater and Speech from Arkansas State University. Garnes worked as a film and television producer in Los Angeles, California, selling her first feature film to MGM studios immediately after completing graduate school in 1997.
Always seeking to focus on family-themed entertainment and stories with substance, her film and television credits quickly grew to include: Co-Producer, "Roots- Celebrating 25 Years" for NBC, HBO's award winning indie film "Dancing In September," and Associate Producer for the Laurence Fishburne action movie "Biker Boyz" for DreamWorks. One of her many talents as a producer included branding, marketing and product placement.
After moving to Atlanta, Garnes joined the Atlanta Public Schools, combining her love of public education with her entertainment and social networking skills. She was an immediate hit with the public, using her social media expertise to craft transparent and useful messages via the district's Twitter and Facebook sites. Within weeks, her work was publicly applauded by the Board of Education, the AJC and her work was featured on 11 Alive News.
Garnes will move on to Marietta, Georgia City Schools as Director of Communications in the fall of 2017.
Lorielle Broussard began her career as a stylist/costume designer for TV, film and music while she was a student at Spelman College. She also co-founded and was the CEO and designer of Barack the Vote, LLC. She was responsible for managing and executing the creative direction of the company as well as overseeing its day-to-day operations.
Lorielle has been exposed to the many different career paths that TV & film have to offer. She began her path in TV working on “Tyler Perry’s ‘House of Payne’;” to name a few others, she worked on “Law & Order: Los Angeles” in the costumes department and also as the Costume Coordinator on ABC’s “Body of Proof.” She also was a producer as well as the costume designer for “Purple Stuff TV”, a current news comedy sketch web-series, created by Brandon Broussard.
Lorielle Broussard served as the first Marketing & Communications Manager for the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment from December 2013 to February 2016. In this position, she oversaw all communication out of the office, including but not limited to press releases, media advisories, as well as community educational training panels and programming. She also developed and managed all of the communication channels and relationships that spanned across the social media channels, publication and network relationships, as well as journalist relationships. She is now the Executive Director of a non-profit organization, Women in Film & Television Atlanta.
With the success of her and Brandon Broussard’s company Barack the Vote, LLC., Lorielle was featured (along with Brandon) in the January 2009 edition of Black Enterprise as one of the top entrepreneurs to look out for in the future. She also was featured in the BET Docu-Series, "The Second Coming: Will Black America Decide 2012?"
Tammi Jones Tanaka is an event producer, writer, on-camera host, and actor. An Honors graduate of NYU, Tisch School of the Arts, Tammi is best known for her role as Caroline Gooden in the Miramax film Hav Plenty. During her New York days, she was a film correspondent for New York Central on Metro TV, and an interviewer/host for the IFP Gotham Awards on Bravo Network. Now an Atlanta resident, Tammi has resumed her acting career and plans to continue event producing. She is represented by Houghton Talent.
Melisha"Mel" Childs is an author and the senior managing editor for WIFTA's blog, Reel Focus. After self-publishing her first book, The Vital Sacrifice, she had a burning desire to see the book made into a film and decided to learn more about film making and screenwriting. Her journey to stardom in the world of film began with being appointed in 2014 to her current role by former WIFTA Communications Director, Tanisha Coffey. Ever since Tanisha passed the torch to her, she has continued to expand her writing career, hoping to be an inspiration to other women in the industry and continuing WIFTA's proud legacy of supporting the work of women in moving images.
Melisha earned her Bachelor's degree in history from Spelman College and her MBA with a concentration in Project Management from Devry University's, Keller Graduate School of Management. She resides in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia with her two children and is the owner of her own writing company, Lactrodectus Entertainment, LLC.