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colleen bell

Executive Director
California Film Commission
Colleen Bell was appointed executive director of the California Film Commission (CFC) by Governor Gavin Newsom on May 23, 2019. As Film Commissioner, she oversees governmental efforts to facilitate motion picture, television, commercial and new media production statewide. She works directly with all levels of state and local government to promote California as a production locale and create production-related jobs. In addition to directing the CFC’s wide range of services, she is also tasked with educating legislators, production industry decision makers and the public at large about the value of filming in California. Bell is responsible for the administration of California’s 1.3 billion dollar Film&TV Tax Credit program and tracking all legislation and regulations that affect the entertainment production industry.

Prior to leading the CFC, Ms. Bell had a distinguished career in entertainment production, business and diplomacy. She was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary from 2014 - 2017. As Ambassador and Chief of Mission of U.S. Embassy Budapest, Ms. Bell led engagement on military cooperation, law enforcement and economic development between the U.S. and Hungary. She supervised a team of more than 300 while working on initiatives including treaty negotiations, cybersecurity, migration, biotechnology, cultural diplomacy, support for Ukraine and women’s issues. For her work as U.S. Ambassador, Ms. Bell was the first woman bestowed the Dr. Iván Völgyes award for business promotion from the American Chamber of Commerce in Hungary. In addition, she received the Order of Merit Middle Cross, which is the second-highest State Order of Hungary.

Prior to her diplomatic service, Ms. Bell was a producer at Bell-Phillip Television Productions -- an award-winning production company responsible for some of the world’s most-watched TV programming, Her work, which reached more than 40 million people in more than 100 countries across five continents, frequently earned the industry’s most prestigious recognition for creative content, social awareness and public health education. Ms. Bell continues to be regarded as a leading voice for the profound and very positive impact entertainment content can have on the lives of marginalized people across the world.

Devoted to public service, Ms. Bell is a longtime philanthropist and advocate committed to tackling some of the most complex domestic and international policy challenges. Her public service work and her record of strategic and organizational planning have led directly to the implementation of critical initiatives in natural-resource protection, child-abuse prevention, crime victim counseling and care, public-health awareness and art accessibility.

Ms. Bell speaks frequently on topics related to economic development, security, democracy, cultural diplomacy and women’s empowerment. She also supports programs and initiatives by top U.S. International Policy organizations, serving on the boards of the Atlantic Council, Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), Pacific Council on International Policy, Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Mayor's International Advisory Council and the USC Center on Public Diplomacy Advisory Council. She also serves on the board of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA.)

Ms. Bell is a graduate of Sweet Briar College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy. She also attended St. Andrews University in Scotland, where she studied International Relations. She is married to writer/producer Bradley Bell, with whom she has four children.
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rep. joaquin castro

Member of Congress
D-TX-20
 Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) represents Texas’ 20th district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Serving his fifth term, Rep. Castro is a member of on the House Intelligence and Education and Labor Committees, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Development, International Organizations, and Global Corporate Social Impact, and is the immediate past Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Rep. Castro also founded the Congressional Pre-K Caucus, the U.S.-Japan Caucus, and the Congressional Caucus on ASEAN. Before Congress, Rep. Castro graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Law School, and served five terms in the Texas Legislature. 
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jamila daniel

Chief Diversity Officer and SVP, Human Resources
Starz
Jamila Daniel is Chief Diversity Officer for Lionsgate and Senior Vice President of Human Resources at STARZ. As Chief Diversity Officer, she is responsible for partnering with the company’s leadership team to effect organizational changes in policy and culture that lead to a more diverse and inclusive workplace. She leads the Diversity Leadership team that orchestrates company-wide strategies to realize structural and sustainable change.  

As Senior Vice President of Human Resources for STARZ, Daniel consults with business unit management to strategically plan and process the development of HR strategies that support the company’s goals for its employees.  

Prior to her role at STARZ, Jamila was the Vice President of Human Resources at Crown Media Family Networks (The Hallmark Channels) where she developed strategic human capital solutions. Daniel provided leadership and direction across all HR functions including HR Operations, Employee Relations, Talent Acquisition, Performance Management, Compensation and Organizational Development. Daniel also provided full-spectrum HR support for the subsidiary production Home & Family. Before moving on to STARZ, Jamila was partnering with internal stakeholders to facilitate an organizational transformation into a culture of continuous feedback.   

At Crown Media Family Networks, Jamila spearheaded Talent Acquisition which included developing and executing a talent acquisition strategy focused on diversity, managing the full life cycle of recruitment including candidate sourcing, interviewing, hiring, orientation and on-boarding; affirmative action compliance and managing sourcing relationships. 

Daniel has extensive experience in Entertainment and Media having also held positions at Turner Broadcasting and AFTRA/SAG-AFTRA. 

Jamila holds a B.S. in Business Administration from California State University at Northridge.
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madeline di nonno

President and CEO
Geena Davis institute on Gender in Media
Di Nonno serves as President and CEO, of the Institute, the leading research based non-profit working to achieve cultural equity and inclusion in family media and entertainment. Di Nonno leads the Institute's strategic direction, advocacy, programs, research, financial and operational activities. Di Nonno brings a track record of successful executive leadership in the entertainment, non-profit, digital and consumer packaged goods industries. Di Nonno is an Executive Producer on the People’s Choice and Gracie award winning children’s show Mission Unstoppable on CBS and the award winning feature film documentary This Changes Everything. 

Previously, Di Nonno has served in Executive leadership positions for Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz Media. Nielsen Entertainment, Hallmark Channel, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and ABC Television Network. 

Di Nonno has been featured in major media outlets including, Ad Week, Media Week, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Glamour, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter.

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michelle sugihara

Executive Director
CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment)
Michelle K. Sugihara is the Executive Director of CAPE(Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment). She is also an entertainment attorney, film producer, and adjunct professor for the Claremont Colleges’ Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies. She co-leads #GoldOpen, is on the leadership team of Time's Up Entertainment Women of Color, and is a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Friends of the Theater. She is also an associate member of Cold Tofu, the nation's premier Asian American comedy improv and sketch group. An avid public speaker, Michelle speaks and teaches across the country on various topics including Representation in Media, Women in Entertainment, Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership, and Improv for Non-Actors.
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jaia thomas

Founder and President
Diverse Representation
Jaia Thomas is a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment attorney with over ten years of experience on both coasts. Her day-to-day consists of structuring, drafting, reviewing, and negotiating an array of agreements related to the production, distribution, and licensing of television and film content. Jaia is also an adjunct instructor at UCLA, where she teaches a course titled "Copyright Law and the Entertainment Industry."  

In 2018, Jaia launched Diverse Representation, a company aimed at increasing the hiring and exposure of Black attorneys, agents, managers, and publicists in the sports and entertainment industries. In addition to creating the first ever comprehensive database of Black attorneys, agents, managers, and publicists in the sports and entertainment industries, Diverse Representation also curates various events, programs, and diversity initiatives. Over the past three years Diverse Representation has partnered with an array of entertainment companies ranging from Netflix to WarnerMedia in an effort to expose and educate Black professionals about various career opportunities in the entertainment industry. 

In 2021, Diverse Representation partnered with Color of Change to launch the Black Entertainment Executives Pipeline Program, the first-of-its-kind program aimed at increasing the number of Black executives in the television and film industries. Six professionals were selected to participate in the inaugural cohort, where they received mentors, executive coaching, and had the opportunity to shadow various production companies. Lionsgate was a key sponsor of the program. For more information, visit www.diverserepresentation.com 

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Jaia is a graduate of Colgate University (BA) and The George Washington University Law School (JD). She also holds a Certificate in Television, Film and New Media Production from UCLA. 
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STARZ #TakeTheLead Transparency Talks:
Creating Opportunities Through Inclusive Hiring Practices

August 12, 2021

Full Talk Available Here

STARZ, in partnership with the California Film Commission, hosts a conversation about the importance of diversity in hiring for jobs in front of and behind the camera, as well as in executive leadership. Panelists will discuss the challenges, accomplishments and impact of these efforts on the entertainment industry.

In Partnership With:

Karen Bailey

Executive Vice President
Starz Original Programming

Jess Wu Calder

Executive Producer
One Night in Miami
& Blindspotting

Daveed Diggs

Executive Producer
Blindspotting

Maikiko James

Director of Programs
Women in Film

Diana Galbadon

Author
Outlander

Ben Lopez

Executive Director
NALIP

Alanna Brown

Writer
Blindspotting

Daveed Diggs

Executive Producer
Blindspotting

Diana Galbadon

Author
Outlander

Elizabeth Méndez Berry

Writer, Editor
Random House

Rafael Casal

Executive Producer
Blindspotting

Tery Lopez

TBD
Writers Guild of America

Rep. Joaquin Castro

Member of Congress
D-TX-20

Jamila Daniel

Chief Diversity Officer and SVP, Human Resources
Starz

Madeline Di Nonno

President and CEO
Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Michelle Sugihara

Executive Director
CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment)

Jaia Thomas

Founder and President
Diverse Representation

Colleen Bell

Executive Director
California Film Commission

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