Women In Film, Los Angeles announced today that they have elected five new members to its Board of Directors. Syrinthia Studer, Andrea Nelson Meigs, Talitha Watkins, Vanessa Morrison and Tracy McGrath have joined the board of industry leaders who represent diverse aspects of the screen industries.
“The 2019 Board of Directors will bring valuable guidance to our organization’s programming and advocacy work,” said WIF Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer. “They share our commitment to the mission of enacting change to make the entertainment industry equitable for all women, in front of and behind the camera.”
Board President Amy Baer added, “With the election of these new members, the Board gains the invaluable expertise of five of our esteemed colleagues in the screen industries. Each has established herself as an influential figure in our industry, leading to an improved and expanded definition of how women are represented on-screen, off-screen, and in positions of corporate leadership.”
Read more about the new board members below.
Tracy McGrath, a Senior Physical Production Executive for Amazon Studios Original Movies, has been responsible for physical production and production finance in many facets of the industry throughout her career. Prior to joining Amazon, McGrath oversaw productions at New Regency, Miramax/Dimension, and Disney’s Buena Vista Pictures. She also contributed to the establishment of CBS Films, serving as Senior Vice President of Physical Production when it first formed. McGrath earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from the American Film Institute, where she was awarded the Mary Pickford Foundation Scholarship.
Vanessa Morrison, President of Fox Family, oversees family projects for Fox Family. Successful features she has shepherded include Academy Award-nominated Ferdinand and three films in the Ice Age series, which carried it to its spot as the highest-grossing animated franchise, internationally. Morrison serves on the Women in Animation Advisory Board and on the Board of Visitors for the UC Berkeley Office of the Chancellor. She has been honored with the Ashley Boone Award by the African-American Film Critics Association, which is named for groundbreaking studio executive Ashley A. Boone and is presented to an executive who has distinguished herself within the industry with excellence.
Andrea Nelson Meigs, a Senior Talent and Literary Agent at ICM Partners, has been a trailblazer in the entertainment industry since changing paths from a career practicing law. Since working her way up from the mailroom to become the second African-American talent agent in CAA’s history, she has built a clientele that includes actors, writers, producers, and directors. Nelson Meigs’ clients include Beyoncé Knowles Carter, Ellen Burstyn, Tina Gordon, Quvenzhané Wallis—the youngest-ever nominee for the Best Actress Oscar—and Nathalie Emmanuel. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Council of the Motion Picture and Television Fund, and the Entertainment Board of TIME’S UP. She has also been a Steering Committee member of the American Black Film Festival, on the Advisory Committee for the Black Filmmakers Foundation, and a member of the Ebell of Los Angeles. Nelson Meigs is a member of the State Bar of California, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and is an active fundraiser for Cure SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy).
Syrinthia Studer, the Executive Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions for Paramount Pictures, leads acquisitions for theatrical release as well as multiple worldwide distribution platforms. A marketing veteran, Studer has overseen the negotiation and acquisition of film and television for theatrical and home entertainment. Among the properties Studer has licensed for distribution are Book Club, Spotlight, Boyhood, and programming on premium and cable networks.
Talitha Watkins, a Motion Picture Talent Agent at CAA, has built out the agency’s capabilities and opportunities around diverse talent, providing insights into multicultural audiences. She’s known as an expert in the space, having served as Vice President of Multicultural Marketing at Universal Pictures, where she maximized the studio’s outreach efforts and supported the box office success of African-American films. Watkins also has experience overseeing operations, sales, and marketing for female-focused digital properties in the Warner Bros. portfolio.
The WIF LA Executive Board includes of President Amy Baer, Executive Vice President Deborah Liebling, Vice President Stephanie Allain, Treasurer Stasia Washington, and Secretary Tara Kole. The newly elected members join the current Board of Directors members Orly Adelson, Adriana Alberghetti, Rowena Arguelles, Lake Bell, Esther Chang, Bonnie Eskenazi, Jane Fleming, Nisha Ganatra, Laura Gordon, Jamila Hunter, Ilene Kahn Power, Ghen Laraya Long, Tracy McKnight, Hannah Minghella, Gaude Paez, Keri Putnam, Pat Quinn, Rena Ronson, Cathy Schulman, and Lauren Williams.