CEO and Co-Founder of DreamWorks Animation to kick off the industry’s annual main event.
Entertainment and media visionary Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive officer of DreamWorks Animation, will deliver the Opening Keynote address at Licensing Expo 2014. The Opening Keynote session of the Expo, sponsored by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) and staged by Advanstar, will take place Tuesday, June 17, from 8-9 a.m. at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, and is free for all Expo attendees and exhibitors.
“Licensing Expo’s keynote address is a rallying point for the licensing industry and sets the tone for the overall event,” said Charles Riotto, President of LIMA, the exclusive show sponsor. “As the leader of one of the most successful and trend-setting entertainment companies and licensors in the world, Jeffrey Katzenberg will provide attendees with his valuable insights into the future of the media and entertainment industries and the licensing business that is sure to resonate with all those in attendance, during the upcoming show and beyond.”
Chris DeMoulin, President of Licensing & EVP of Customer Development for Advanstar, commented, "We are honored to welcome industry icon Jeffrey Katzenberg to address our Licensing Expo audience. I can't imagine a better way to kick off this year's show."
In 1994, along with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen, Katzenberg co-founded DreamWorks SKG, which produced a number of celebrated films, including three Best Picture Academy Award® winners – American Beauty, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind. In 2004, DreamWorks Animation became a publicly-traded company with Katzenberg at the helm.
Under Katzenberg’s leadership, DreamWorks Animation has become the largest animation studio in the world and has released 27 animated feature films, which have enjoyed both critical and commercial successes, earning nine Academy Award® nominations and two wins for Best Animated Feature. In addition to critical success, DreamWorks Animation has been recognized as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE® Magazine for five consecutive years. In 2013, DreamWorks Animation ranked #12 on the list.
Prior to co-founding DreamWorks, Katzenberg served as Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. During his tenure, the studio produced such landmark animated films as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast – the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar® – as well as live action hits, including Good Morning, Vietnam; Three Men and a Baby; Dead Poets Society; Pretty Woman; Father of the Bride and Sister Act. Katzenberg previously served as President of Paramount Studios, where he was involved in now-classic films including Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saturday Night Fever, Grease and Best Picture Academy Award® winners Ordinary People and Terms of Endearment.
In 2013, Katzenberg was awarded the prestigious Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes.
With his wife Marilyn, Katzenberg supports and leads fundraising efforts for a wide range of national and international organizations focused on supporting healthcare, education, the arts, Jewish causes, children, civic improvement, and the environment. Among his philanthropic endeavors, Katzenberg is Chairman of the Board for the Motion Picture & Television Fund Foundation and Director of Zynga Inc. He sits on the Board or serves as a Trustee for AIDS Project Los Angeles, American Museum of the Moving Image, California Institute of the Arts, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Geffen Playhouse, Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, and The Simon Wiesenthal Center. Katzenberg also supports the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Boston University, and with DreamWorks Animation, he founded the DreamWorks Animation Academy of Inner-City Arts in 2008.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.