Kevin Holder is the executive director for the Media Education Foundation, which he joined in late 2017. Kevin earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration. Kevin has previously served in various governmental capacities for the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts, DeKalb County Police Department, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office. After graduating from college, he served as a Senate Aide at the Georgia General Assembly. During his time at the Georgia General Assembly, Kevin was featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In addition to his duties with MEFGA, Kevin also serves as the executive director for the Council of Probate Court Judges of Georgia.
Danya Levine is an award winning Supervising Producer for CNN and HLN on air promotion. Levine has developed successful strategies for branding and messaging across CNN Worldwide’s multiple platforms, such as Soledad O’Brien’s Latino in America, the CNN/YouTube debates and image campaigns for Nancy Grace, Larry King Live, and Dr. Drew. She steered partnerships with music companies that sonic branded the new CNNI and HLN launch campaigns. Prior to her role at CNN, Levine worked at the NBC flagship in New York City. While serving as WNBC’s Creative Services writer and producer, she received two Local EMMY awards and six nominations. They were the #1 rated 5pm and 11pm newscasts. Levine graduated from the School of Visual Arts in NYC, and began her career from the basement of Burson Marstellar’s in house production agency as an edit assistant. In her 15 year television career, she has worn many hats from edit assist to production assistant to news desk booker, before a senior executive at CNBC gave her a chance in their on air promotion department. In 2006, Levine received a Mark Excellence award for her work on a Time Warner cable spot featuring Anderson Cooper. This year she received five Promax and BDA awards, in addition to her first national EMMY nomination for her work on Latino in America.
A 2012 inductee into NATAS’s Gold Circle, Smith has won 23 Emmys in 11 Categories, as well as numerous AP and UPI Awards, the Green Eyeshade Award, and the George Foster Peabody Award. His work includes radio, local TV, and Public Broadcasting.
He was An Associate Editor of Atlanta Magazine, and a columnist for the AJC; a reporter and Executive News Producer at WAGA, founded the Local Program Department (where PM Magazine debuted), and is a founding member of the Special Investigative Unit. Smith was Executive Producer of Talkback Live at CNN, and filled senior editorial positions at Headline News and CNN.
He produces documentaries for GPB. His most recent aired Christmas night of 2016: “The Dream Lives On: Atlanta’s Fox Theater.”
His most recent Emmy was for “First Family from Plains,” an hour special on the Carters and their home town.
Michael’s first interest for the recorded image was born in the 8th grade when a teacher showed him a twin-lens reflex camera. His fascination with this marvel of photography led him to the art of storytelling and a career in film and television. He attended West Montgomery High School in Troy, North Carolina where he was selected to be in the journalism class his senior year. There, he worked on the student newspaper, school yearbook and literacy journal.
Michael joined the Air Force shortly before high school graduation. He got stationed at Loring Air Force Base in northern Maine. He set his sights set on business management and attended college at night while also becoming an avid amateur photographer. It was during this time while attending church at Southern Baptist missionary outpost, that he was introduced to a photojournalism team from Atlanta. Photographer Everett Hullum and writer Phyllis Thompson from the Baptist Home Mission Board had come to do a story about this “far north” missionary church. After his stint in the military, Michael set his sights on the Art Institute of Atlanta with the hopes of becoming a professional photographer and writer, like the journalists he had met.
It was at the Art Institute of Atlanta that Michael’s love of photography and photojournalism became the impetus for a career in storytelling. He found an entry-level job at the Baptist Home Mission Board in their media production unit. He produced his first film when he was just 25 years old and became a respected producer/director as a result of his tireless work a dedication to the art of filmmaking. He went on to produce a number of films while still working with others on the production team in dozens of films and other programs, including the media presentation used at the Baptist Pavilion at the 1982 Worlds Fair in Knoxville. Several of his programs won accolades and awards at the annual Baptist Public Relations Awards.
In 1984 the Home Mission Board embarked on a transition into television. During his five year run as a producer for them, he traveled the country, creating or working on dozens of segments as well as many stand-alone documentaries. It was during these years that he also matriculated through the journalism program of Georgia State University. Eventually the academic classroom was replaced by on-the-job training, where he found that working on real stories in real time became the best teacher. In the spring of 1989 he left the Home Mission Board and embarked on another journey… that of a freelance writer/producer. And for the next eight years, his repertoire of skills and experience expanded. He began writing, shooting and producing video and television programs for a host of corporate clients including: IBM, Home Depot, Coca-Cola, and Georgia Public Television.
Georgia Public Broadcasting hired him in 1997 as a Senior Producer. There, he embarked on producing and directing television a wide variety of programming for a state and national audience garnering three Emmy nominations along the way. Shortly after before being named as an Executive Producer, Michael was recruited by the southeast chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to serve on the board of directors, where he filled a variety of roles including chair of finance, programs and his current role as chapter secretary. His eight year service on the board has allowed him to give back to the industry that not only offered him a career, but a way to explore his creative passion and to make changes in people’s lives.
This desire to change lives now has Michael in one of his most significant and important roles… that of a teacher. In 2009 Michael accepted a position at Central Educational Center (CEC) in Newnan, Georgia, a unique charter career academy… the first of it’s kind… as their Director of Television Production.
Jack English, a television producer and co-owner of Broadcast Solutions LLC. and Southeast Stockfootage in Atlanta, was past President of the Atlanta Producers Association. Jack served as Production Manager on the A&E Series First Flights with Neil Armstrong in the early 1990s; was Executive Producer of the award winning documentary, The South Takes Flight: 100 Years of Aviation in Georgia; and produced the documentary, Golden Isles at War. Jack and partners in 1995-96 created a media village for NBC News Channel used during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and worked two years with the United Space Alliance on a privatization plan for NASA’s television station, NASA Select. Jack won an Emmy Award for his work with Ambassador Andrew Young. His company with PMT Ltd. completed a major display for the Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Terminal welcoming tourists to America in the customs area.
Jack cherishes time with family especially his married daughters, Corrie and Katie, and grandchildren Aidan, Radley, and Kennedy.
Additional: Jack was born in Hempstead, Long Island. Is a graduate of Kansas State University and was a decorated Army Medical Service Officer in Vietnam.
Currently employed with Gwinnett County Public Schools where he serves as Coordinator of Media & Technology for the Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology. A charter high school that has been ranked by US News & World Report as the 3rd best public high school in the country for the past two years.
In addition, Chris works with a group of students on a daily basis through either their Junior Fellowship Experience or their Senior Capstone Experience to produce video content for non-profits and or government agencies that will air either on the Internet or through a Government Cable Access Channel.
He has also served as an Adjunct Film History Instructor at Georgia Perimeter College and was a Co-Chair of the Electronic Arts Department at the Atlanta College of the Arts. Prior to that Chris was a freelance writer/producer in the Atlanta market traveling the world working on Corporate videos and serving as a staff writer on children’s TV series. Chris has served as an Advisor to the State BOE to help develop a video production curriculum for both middle and high school students as well as served as one of several writers on a Media Literacy textbook for Turner Learning.
Prior to moving to Georgia, Chris worked in Hollywood for several years in different levels of production and on films such as “The Color Purple” and “Punchline.”
Nancy Hall was born in Savannah, GA, and graduated from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism in 1972. Nancy Hall served as Interim Executive Director of Georgia Public Broadcasting from July 2004 to June 2009. Prior to being appointed to the Interim position by the GPB Board of Directors, she was the Director of External Affairs and served as the liaison to the Georgia General Assembly and Georgia’s Congressional delegation for GPB. She also serves as President of the Foundation for Public Broadcasting in Georgia.Before joining GPB in 1995, Ms. Hall served as Special Assistant to the Georgia State Superintendent of Schools, working in the area of public affairs and with intergovernmental initiatives, including serving as the Department’s legislative liaison. During her years at the Department of Education, she was a co-chair of the executive committee of Family Connection and served on Governor Miller’s Policy Council on Children and Families. Hall has also held positions with Mercer University in Macon, East Georgia College in Swainsboro, and University Publications in Blacksburg, Virginia.Active in several education and children’s organizations, Ms. Hall has served as president of the Georgia School-Age Care Association Board of Directors and as an ex-officious member of the Georgia Child Care Council. She currently is a member of the Board of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and the Georgia Peach Credit Union. She has participated in both Leadership Georgia and the Regional Leadership Institute. A native of Savannah, she is a graduate of the University of Georgia College of Journalism and is active in her church’s mission activities. She is married and has one daughter and one granddaughter.
Mariela Romero joined Univision Atlanta in 2010 as Community Empowerment Director. With topics focusing on everything from health and wellness to financial literacy and education, Mariela seeks empowering the community, ensuring awareness through her weekly news magazine Conexión. Throughout her years in broadcast journalism Mariela Romero has received 13 Emmy Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Southeast Region. Mariela has a television career spanning two decades and several countries.
Mariela was born in Caracas, Venezuela but grew up in different countries, like France, Mexico and Argentina. She graduated in communications and journalism from Argentinean Universities “Católica Santa María de los Buenos Aires and Universidad de Belgrano”. During 1997-98 Mariela served as Language Specialist for Georgia Public Broadcasting’s multi-award winning Spanish language educational series Salsa, then moved on to produce, coordinate, and anchor for CNN en Español Radio. Afterwards she started working as a Spanish language narrator of documentaries and news feeds for Connect with Kids network, as well as a voice over talent for clients such as PBS, Amtrak, The Georgia Lottery, Chick-Fil-A and many others. For two years she was involved in the Public Relations field working for clients like the American Diabetes Association, Microsoft, Discovery Channel and Walmart among others. In 2014 Mariela became the first Latina President of The League of Women Voters of Gwinnett County, she also serves on the board of the Media Education Foundation of Georgia, The American Heart Association’s Metro Atlanta Board of Directors, The Hispanic Organization Promoting Education ‘HoPe’, The Community Foundation of Northeast Georgia and The Boy Scouts of America – Atlanta Council.
Mariela enjoys writing lyrics and some of her songs have been featured in independent films and television shows. Her song “Margarita” was part of Claudio Corsi’s Latin Grammy nominated album “Aire y Mar”. She has also worked with American composers Eddie Horst, Jim Brooks, and legendary jazz musician Johnny Knapp. Her proudest accomplishment is being mom to her 17 year old son Mateo who always gives her perspective, purpose and motivation.
Shane Tepper is an Atlanta-based writer, producer, director, and cinematographer—a visual storyteller, in other words. He’s also an experienced entrepreneur and brand consultant who has collaborated with clients across a variety of industries including entertainment, sports, fashion, hospitality, real estate, higher education, technology, healthcare, and the nonprofit sector.
Growing up, Shane regularly volunteered with local nonprofit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and Trees Atlanta. After graduating as valedictorian of Riverwood High School’s class of 2005, he attended the University of Pennsylvania where he earned degrees, magna cum laude, in creative writing and American history.
While at Penn, Shane became involved with the university’s Academically-Based Community Service (ABCS) program, which crystallized his desire to work in a field where he could benefit other people. Shane joined MEFGA in the fall of 2015 and is thrilled to be helping the organization achieve its laudable mission.
Sam is the Director of Communications for the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL), a position he has held since 1993. In that role, he manages the department’s media relations; manages, produces, and reports for Georgia JobTV; and produces and hosts a monthly radio program on department–related topics for the Georgia Radio Reading Service (GaRRS).
Sam was presented the 1996 Miller Merit Award by the Georgia Chapter of the International Association of Workforce Professionals (IAWP).
That same year, Sam received the organization’s International Award of Merit. Both awards recognized his work in managing the development and implementation of Georgia JobTV, the only television service of its kind in the nation, and in the launch and production of Success Track, a unique Emmy Award winning television series on employment and career development broadcast for seven years over Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB). Sam received an Emmy nomination for his individual producing and reporting work for the series.
He served eight years as a member of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) Communications Committee, helping to formulate the manner in which the nation’s 50 state employment security agencies administer communications policies and services. Prior to joining the GDOL in 1993, Sam had a successful 15-year career in television journalism. At the time he joined the labor department, he was the weeknight news anchor, managing editor and producer for WRBL-TV in Columbus, Georgia, a position he had held since 1989.
Previously he was the weeknight news anchor for WSAV-TV in Savannah, anchor/reporter for WTVM-TV in Columbus, anchor/producer/reporter for KPLC-TV in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and news director/anchor for WDHN-TV in Dothan, Alabama.
Sam received 18 awards for journalism excellence in a variety of categories, including investigative, medical, public affairs, commentary and criticism, spot news, series, and documentary reporting.
He received several awards and recognitions for his coverage of Ft. Benning soldiers in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990-91. Among those are an Associated Press Award for Series Reporting, a special Certificate of Achievement by the 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry, 197th
Infantry Brigade of Ft. Benniing and being named the Man of the Year in Columbus by the American Legion Auxiliary. The Georgia Association of Educators created a category in the organization’s annual School Bell Awards for journalism excellence to recognize his work. He has been presented several civic awards and was twice named to Outstanding Young Men of America.
Sam served two terms as president of the Georgia Associated Press Broadcasters Association and seven years on its board of directors. He was the charter president of the Wiregrass Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists-Sigma Delta Chi, in Dothan, Alabama.
He is serving his third term on the Board of Directors for Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers and served on the Board of Directors for the Harris County Chapter of the American Cancer Society.
Sam holds BS degrees in business administration and broadcast journalism from Troy University.
Celeste Headlee is an award-winning journalist who hosts GPB Radio’s “On Second Thought,” weekdays from 9 – 10 a.m. She has appeared on NPR, PBS World, CNN and other national networks and began working as a public radio journalist in1999. Headlee also hosts the national show “Middle Ground,” covering only the states between California and the eastern seaboard. She was formerly a host at National Public Radio, anchoring shows like “Tell Me More,” “Talk of the Nation,” “All Things Considered” and “Weekend Edition.” Until September of 2012, Celeste was the co-host of the national morning news show, “The Takeaway” from PRI and WNYC.
In 2014, she narrated the documentary “Packard: The Last Shift” for the Detroit Free Press. Headlee has won numerous awards for reporting from the Associated Press. She was selected twice to be a Getty/Annenberg Journalism Fellow and was selected as a fellow with the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources. She was also among the first fellows in Reporting on Native Stories for National Native News. For many years, she was a mentor and managing editor for NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project, training young reporters and editors in broadcasting.
Headlee graduated from the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts in 1987. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona and her Master’s of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Michigan in 1998.
She appears on the CD “Classically Blue” from gospel artist Lea Gilmore. She has given performances for the National Gallery of Art, the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Distinguished Artist Series at the Church of the Red Rocks, Colorado College, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Yavapai College, Wagner College and Wayne State University, among many other locations. She has also performed with the Michigan Opera Theatre, the Sedona Repertory Company, the Harlequin Players, the Sedona Arts Center, the Great Lakes Lyric Opera, and many other professional companies.
Headlee has always been vocal in her support of her grandfather, William Grant Still. She has been performing his music in concerts and recitals for more than 15 years in several different states and has given many lectures on his music for high schools and universities. She was also the editor of the second edition of the book, “William Grant Still and the Fusion of Cultures in American Music,” for which she compiled the first complete thematic catalog of Still’s works. She also sang William Grant Still’s “Levee Land” on the CD “Music of Afro-American Composers,” produced by the Northern Arizona University Wind Symphony.
Headlee is married with a son, a step-daughter, and a beagle.
Russ Jamieson has been involved in television and/or radio nearly all of his life. Upon graduation in 1976 from the University of Missouri School of Journalism (BJ), he was immediately hired as News Director for KTGR/KTGC AM/FM, in Columbia, Missouri. From 1981-1994, Russ was a General Assignment Reporter at WAGA-TV in Atlanta. During those 13 years, he won three Emmy Awards for General Assignment and Feature Reporting… plus a statewide Associated Press Award for Breaking News in 1990. After leaving WAGA in 1993, Russ was the lead anchor for the Atlanta Business Chronicle Show… a Comcast cable business show partnership with the Atlanta Business Chronicle. In 1995, Russ was hired by WAGA’s parent company, New World Television as the On-Site Coordinating Producer for their 13 station chain’s coverage of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Immediately following the Olympics, Russ also served as the group’s morning generic live reporter for the Republican and Democratic Conventions, delivering near 300 live shots for the group during the conventions. In 1995 Russ was a primary player in Panther Production’s establishment of a Media Village for NBC News Channel and NHK Television for their coverage of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.Following the Olympics, Russ was one of CNN’s primary freelance correspondents out of their SE Bureau in Atlanta from 1996-1998.For the last decade, Russ has been co-partner in Broadcast Solutions and Southeast Stockfootage, producing and delivering content for an extensive list of notable clients.
David Patterson has worked in Film and Broadcasting all of his adult life. Stations include WSB and WAGA in Atlanta, WRFC radio in Athens, and KHOU in Houston, Texas. He has worked on hundreds of TV commercials, and as either staff or freelance for Storer Studios, Ga House of Representatives, GPB, ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, MTV, Australian Broadcasting Company, BBC, the Weather Channel, and more. Several of the documentaries he has worked on have won Emmy awards, and one with Charles Kuralt of CBS won a Peabody award.
David has previously been a professor in the Journalism School at the University of Georgia in Athens, and is currently on the faculty of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.
Drew has more than 15 years of interactive development and business ownership experience. Not just a developer, Drew has the unique ability to bridge the gap between designers and developers, while also being able to clearly communicate with clients. An entrepreneur at heart, he runs the Marietta, GA-based interactive agency, Ninja Multimedia, and works on projects for companies like NBC Universal, Georgia Lottery, Georgia Aquarium, Genentech, Arby’s, and many top college athletic programs through a partnership with Bluechip Athletic Solutions. His team has created more than 100 mobile apps, and works on the cutting edge of responsive website design and development techniques, along with 360° video and augmented/virtual reality.
Highly self-driven and passionate about creating fun and unique user experiences, he is constantly trying out new technologies and thinking of ways they can be used commercially. When not geeking out, he loves to spend time with his family, white water rafting, and playing the latest video games.
Josh Lee is the Director of Strategy and Operations for the Georgia Film Academy. He is an award winning educator with over ten years of experience leading professional development, exposure, and educational opportunities for learners of all ages. Josh also has over twelve years of experience in the production industry, working previously at CNN, CNBC and running his own production business. Over the past two years, Josh has led numerous initiatives for the GFA, including the launch of several state-wide secondary programs, providing relevant industry exposure for high school teachers and students. He holds master’s degrees in Business Administration and Instructional Design.
Amanda is the Founder and CEO of Moxie Media and Marketing (M3), a Public Relations and Marketing firm in Atlanta. M3 serves clients in agriculture, government, real estate, healthcare, technology and non profit sectors. Her business philosophy is to be flexible in a world where change is the only constant, to meet clients’ needs. She works in partnership with clients to create savvy solutions and strives to develop long lasting relationships working to identify synergies and streamline marketing efforts.
Amanda was formally acting Director of Communications and Public Relations for the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association (SUDIA). Amanda started with SUDIA in 2007. She left for a year to work with the British Embassy as the Vice Consul of Press, Politics, and Public Affairs for the Southeast region, where she managed the political and press team, delivered the UK Government’s policy and public diplomacy priorities, developed media strategies, and served as Spokesperson on behalf of the Consulate-General and the British Government. She returned to SUDIA in August 2011.
Prior to becoming part of the SUDIA staff she worked for the Republican Party in Washington, D.C. as a media correspondent and the Director of Communications. And before moving to Washington, Amanda worked in communications at the Georgia State Capitol. She fostered press relationships with local media and served as a liaison between legislators and lobbyists. Prior to her three-year period at the Georgia State Capitol, Amanda was a Journalist serving as a “stringer” for several Georgia newspapers, most notably The Times Georgian and Douglas County Sentinel.
Amanda is a native Georgian and lives in Vinings, Georgia with her husband, Vincent.
Dean Velez has been working in the broadcast graphics industry since 1992 and training professional artists since 1996, receiving numerous awards and nominations, including Emmys and Promax.
The majority of his broadcast career was spent with Gannett Broadcasting. He was the Corporate Creative Director of Broadcast working with 21 television stations to design and create full broadcast packages for news, sports, entertainment, programming, and commercials.
While at Gannett Broadcasting, Dean was also responsible for training and evaluating the Motion Graphics departments of the individual stations. He became an Adobe Certified Expert in Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Photoshop, creating his own advanced courseware materials.
Dean spread his information throughout the Motion Graphics industry and educational community through his well-known forum, The Anvel, which later became The Motion Graphics Lab.
His views and techniques from his years in the industry have made him a sought-after presenter and speaker for major industry conventions including NAB, Siggraph, Promax/BDA, WEVA and LEVA. In 2005, Dean joined Adobe Systems, Inc. as a Digital Video Collection Applications Engineer and was responsible for creating the background, synthetics, and templates that are contained in Adobe After Effects 7.
In 2007 he decided to strike out on his own and become a full time freelancer. And in 2009 he began a long perma-lance relationship with Magick Lantern as Art Director, overseeing the motion graphics side of their business. In 2013 he decided to bring all of his experience together to form a training school that would focus on the real world techniques needed for the motion graphics and post production industry.
Brian Wray has been an independent digital media producer for nearly a decade in the Atlanta metro area. In that time he has worked for more than 25 local, national, and international clients on a regular basis. He travels frequently on production assignments for broadcast television. Brian has been shooting video for fifteen years and has also worked as a technical and media consultant for many different types of productions. His media experience and education started in Mass Media class in high school.
Josh Dempsey fell in love with video production when he first picked up a VHS camcorder in the mid-nineties…not his mid-nineties, but the 1990’s.
After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Television Production in the early 2000’s, he worked as a news producer at an NBC affiliate for three years. When he moved to Atlanta, determined to break into the biz, he had a change of heart. So, he went back to school and became a teacher. He has been teaching and doing video production in Georgia for more than a decade and has hopefully made a difference in a few lives along the way.
Josh lives north of Atlanta with his incredible wife, Megan, and their two kids, Wyatt & Brynleigh. They have more pets than Josh would like to talk about, and the family loves to make memories on their family adventures together.
Josh believes that Georgia is the place to learn production, and his goal is to help the rest of the world to see that as well.
Frank Patterson is a studio executive, entrepreneur and higher education thought leader. He serves as President of Pinewood Atlanta Studios, the second largest purpose-built film studio in North America, where the films Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Passengers were produced, among others.
Prior to Pinewood, Patterson co-founded and served as the CEO of Pulse Evolution Corporation, a technology company that produces hyper-realistic digital humans for live and virtual reality applications. While at Pulse, Patterson produced the immersive live production of Michael Jackson’s “Slave to the Rhythm” at the Billboard Music Awards, which featured an original performance by Pulse’s digital human likeness of the late Michael Jackson.
Patterson launched his entertainment career by founding and leading several film production companies, including Houston Cinema Group and Envisage Media, where he produced and directed straight-to-video feature film content as well as commercials and various video products for brands.
As an educator, Patterson teaches producing at Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts, where he served as dean for 14 years. He has taught at the University of Texas and Chapman University, where he also served as associate dean, and The Los Angeles Film School, where he led the school as president.
The “Hollywood Reporter” named Patterson one of the nation’s top mentors to a generation of Hollywood filmmakers. The Florida Governor’s Office recognized him for “inspiring a generation of Florida filmmakers” and for his “contribution to and support of production in Florida.”
His creative and research activities are focused at the intersection of artificial intelligence and immersive technologies, with an interest in digital human agency.