Russ Hollander has taken over as the DGA’s national executive director, officially ending the Jay Roth era. Hollander’s appointment, which was first reported here in February, was made official at the DGA’s national board meeting Saturday. Roth will stay on as a senior adviser after 22 years as the guild’s top executive.
Roth and Hollander have been working together in recent months with the DGA’s national board, councils and senior executive staff to ensure a seamless transition. In his new role, Roth will remain as a trustee of the DGA Pension and Health Plans, and will continue to oversee the guild’s research department.
“I’m honored to have been selected to lead our guild into the future,” Hollander said. “For over 15 years, I have been part of our leadership team that has accomplished so much together and am proud to continue the 80-year tradition that’s made it all possible – a strong partnership between our elected leaders and staff. I thank our board for their confidence. And I thank Jay, my mentor, for building the template for success in advancing the creative and economic rights of directors and their teams. In a world where most labor unions are shrinking – our membership has nearly doubled, and the DGA’s position in our industry has grown more powerful than ever under his guidance over the past two decades. I look forward to building on that momentum.”
Said Roth: “The future is bright for our guild. For over a decade and a half, Russ has played a pivotal role on my senior executive team in our many milestones, in navigating complex industry dynamics and shifting technologies, and in shepherding our growing footprint. There is nobody better prepared to take the reins. I thank our board, and all the presidents I have worked alongside, for the opportunity and the privilege to do what I love – serve this phenomenal guild for so many years.”
Hollander, a 16-year DGA veteran, formerly headed the DGA’s New York office before moving to its Los Angeles headquarters to take on an expanded national role in January 2016 to focus on the growing challenges of national and international representation of directors and their teams in all genres represented by the DGA. During his tenure, Hollander has served as the DGA’s chief negotiator in six network negotiations with ABC, CBS, and NBC and four commercial negotiations with the Association of Independent Commercial Producers. He also was a leading participant in the guild’s most recent negotiations for a new film and TV contract, which tripled the residuals from high-budget SVOD shows.
His other responsibilities have included oversight of enforcement of the guild’s collective bargaining agreements in the Eastern region and national responsibility for non-dramatic programming, news, sports, commercials and new media.
Hollander joined the DGA in 2001 as Assistant Eastern Executive Director, was promoted to Eastern Executive Director in 2002 and promoted again in 2011 to Eastern Executive Director/Associate National Executive Director. Prior to joining the DGA, he was a partner at top labor law firm Cohen, Weiss and Simon, where he specialized in the representation of labor organizations and employee benefit plans.
“In this pivotal moment, we’re incredibly fortunate to have Russ – a longtime, dedicated guild executive who is well-poised to tackle the world of tomorrow,” said DGA president Paris Barclay. “With Russ at the helm of our incredible DGA staff, we’re confident in our future, but we’re also grateful for how far we’ve come. There aren’t enough words to thank Jay for the many milestones achieved under his guidance, and for developing a new generation of executive leadership. Our Guild is in good hands.”