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Women in Animation Relaunches Under New Leadership

Heading into its 20th year, Women in Animation relaunches under new executive leadership of Mattel’s Margaret Dean and Technicolor’s Kristy Scanlan.

 As Women In Animation (WIA) heads into its 20th year in 2014, the professional non-profit organization for women, who are involved in any aspect of the animation industry, has re-launched under new executive leadership, electing Director of Production for Mattel’s newly formed Playground Productions, Margaret Dean, and Technicolor’s Vice President of Business Development, Animation & Games, Kristy Scanlan, as Co-Presidents of the organization.  Additionally, WIA has formed a new Executive Committee, as well as Board of Directors and Advisory Committee.

In their roles as Co-Presidents, Dean and Scanlan are charged with leading the restructured WIA, communicating the organization’s current role and future vision to its members worldwide.  Encompassing women from all aspects of the animation industry, WIA envisions a world in which women share fully in the creation, production and rewards of animation, resulting in richer and more diverse entertainment and media that move our culture forward. Retiring Co-Presidents Rita Street and Jan Nagel will continue to support WIA as members of the Advisory Committee.

"It is our goal to engage WIA members through a variety of online and offline events, small collegial gatherings and large networking events in an effort to create new opportunities of connection and inspiration.  We understand how broad the animation market is today from games to web to the traditional film mediums," Scanlan and Dean jointly stated.  “The organization also looks to inspire women to excel in the animation industry by encouraging artistic excellence through WIA awards and by educating its members about technology advances and career growth in continuing education classes.”  They added, “WIA advocates for women in animation in an effort to improve access to opportunities; foster new talent by offering scholarships and mentorships to students; and pays tribute to the female pioneers of animation.”

In addition to Dean and Scanlan, WIA’s new Executive Committee also includes:

  • Barbara Cimity (Line Producer, Robot Chicken) as Treasurer
  • Dawn Rivera-Ernster (Director of Talent Development and Recruitment at Walt Disney Animation Studios) as Secretary.

The new WIA Board of Directors will include Dean, Scanlan, Cimity and Rivera-Ernster, along with:

  • Jinko Gotoh (Executive Producer, The Little Prince for Onyx Films) as Chair of Chapter Support
  • Tracy Campbell (Senior Manager Studio Training for Walt Disney Animation Studios) as Chair of Programming
  • Anna Jordan-Douglass (Interactive Producer at The Jim Henson Company) as Chair of Marketing
  • Karen Kirkland (Executive Director, Talent Outreach & Development for Nickelodeon) as Chair of Member Services.

In addition to Street and Nagel, the new WIA Advisory Committee is comprised of an esteemed roster of executives in the world of animation, including:

  • Bonnie Arnold (Producer, DreamWorks Animation) as Chair
  • Jenna Boyd (Senior Vice President Animation Development for Nickelodeon)
  • Ann Le Cam (Vice President of Human Resources and Production Planning for Walt Disney Animation Studios)
  • Lenora Hume (Production & Programming Executive for Shut Up! Cartoons and LA representative for TeamTO)
  • Adina Pitt (Vice President Content Acquisitions and Co-Productions, Cartoon Network and Boomerang)

“Women have always played a vitally important role in animation in spite of history’s having overlooked or underplayed many of their contributions,” said Dean.  “I’m looking forward to collaborating with Kristy and WIA to organize and represent the collective interests of women engaged in all aspects of animation, whether as independent filmmakers, studio artists or business executives, and believe that by working together we can create greater opportunities for us all.”

“There’s power in numbers, especially when we speak with a strong, unified voice,” added Scanlan.  “As co-presidents of WIA, Marge and I are proud to represent such an accomplished group of women who, regardless of the specific roles they have in animation, share our concerns and interests in improving the quality of work, influencing other aspects of the entertainment industry and inspiring creative minds to join our ranks.”

As Director of Production for Mattel since October 2012, Dean supports the group that produces Max Steel, which premiered on Disney XD in Spring 2013, as well as the highly successful Monster High web series and direct to DVD movies released by Universal in Spring 2013.  Prior to Mattel, Dean worked as General Manager of Wildbrain Entertainment animation studio, where she produced the Emmy nominated HBO series, “The Ricky Gervais Show.”  She produced the first season of the Emmy Award-winning series Back at the Barnyard for Nickelodeon while with Omation, and from 2001 through 2006, worked on the What’s New Scooby Doo? series and a number of Scooby Doo DVDs while a producer with Warner Bros. Animation. She has also worked as Director of Animation Production at Columbia Tristar Television and as Production Manager for The Ren and Stimpy Show at Games Animation. Dean earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego in 1980, and a Master of Fine Arts degree, Producer’s Program, from the University of California Los Angeles in 1992.

Scanlan currently serves as Vice President of Business Development, Animation & Games at Technicolor, responsible for the strategic expansion of Technicolor’s animation services business.  Prior to Technicolor, Scanlan worked as Head of Production at Threshold Entertainment, where she produced the computer animated feature films BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn; LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers; Hero Factory: Rise of the Rookies and Hero Factory: Savage Planet.  She also produced the television specials Hero Factory: Ordeal of Fire and LEGO: Atlantis.  Prior to Threshold, Scanlan held creative development posts working with director Steve Miner (Halloween H2O, Dawson’s Creek), as well as producer Bobby Newmyer at Outlaw Productions (The Santa Clause, Training Day) and producer Gale Anne Hurd at Valhalla Motion Pictures (Terminator, Armageddon). Scanlan holds a B.A. degree in Film Studies from Wesleyan University.

Source: Women in Animation