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Women in Animation Announces New Developments for 2017

New executive committee and board members, record membership numbers among highlights.

LOS ANGELES -- Women in Animation has announced some exciting new developments as it moves into 2017. WIA’s recently appointed Executive Committee leaders reflect both valuable experience and new perspectives. Returning to their posts of Co-President are Marge Dean and Kristy Scanlan, with their new terms in place through 2019. Dean is General Manager for Stoopid Buddy Studios, and Scanlan holds the role of Vice President of Business Development, Animation & Games at Technicolor. Joining the executive committee for the first time is Jinko Gotoh, serving as Secretary and Brendan Burch, serving as Treasurer. Gotoh is currently producing The LEGO Movie Sequel, and she had previously served in the role of WIA Chair of International Chapters. Burch is President of Six Point Harness and the CCO of Mondo Media. “We are thrilled to welcome Jinko and Brendan to our executive committee, as both have already given generously of their time and expertise in helping WIA grow as an organization,” says Dean.

The WIA board enters 2017 with three new positions in place: a Chair of Industry Relations in Julie Ann Crommett; a Chair of Interactive in Molly Mason-Boulé; and Chair of the Shorts Program in Chris Waters. Crommett is the newly appointed VP, Multicultural Strategies for The Walt Disney Studios and was recently named to the list of “Next Gen: 35 under 35” by The Hollywood Reporter. Mason-Boulé is based in Vancouver and has been leading CG and digital entertainment production for the past twenty years in film, television and games, currently holding the position of Vice President of Content Production for Electronic Arts Worldwide Studios. Waters is a veteran commercial, digital and TV producer who co-founded Oktobor Animation where he produced on hit TV series including Kung Fu Panda, Legends of Awesomeness and Penguins of Madagascar, and he is now consulting on business development and digital initiatives for clients including Stoopid Buddy Stoodios.

In terms of numbers, WIA has just crested the 1,500 member mark, a more than tenfold increase from its 120-member total just three years ago. “The momentum we have gathered is stunning, and it speaks volumes to the desire in our industry to bring more balance to the workplace,” says Scanlan. To that end, WIA’s campaign for the creative leadership in workplace to be “50/50 by 2025” has garnered attention from studios, schools, filmmakers and other industries, and the organization has launched various awareness and research efforts to call for and acknowledge measurable change in this effort.

Over the course 2016, WIA furthered the growth of women leaders in the animation industry with varied approaches to supporting its membership and its mission. WIA expanded its mentorship program to include both Los Angeles and San Francisco based locations. Programming has covered a diverse range of topics, from panels that cover “What is a Showrunner?” to “The Psychology of Storytelling,” as just two examples. WIA hosted events at last year’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival, and WIA members appeared on panels at SDCC, the Bentonville Film Festival, SIGGRAPH, as well as at the Spark CG Society Conference. Professional development seminars covered subjects ranging from contracts to copyrights to confidence, and special screenings were hosted for film releases such as Disney’s Zootopia and DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda 3. A new WIA website was launched, with new phases of rollout currently in development to add to member services in 2017.

The new year will be filled with exciting progress for the organization, including expanded research efforts, more specialized professional growth and networking opportunities, and production in the Shorts program, just to name a few. WIA leadership appreciates the momentum the organization has gathered and looks forward to riding the wave of support into more positive change in the animation industry, working to further empower women and enhance their career experiences in 2017 and beyond.

Source: Women in Animation

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.