Don Jensen was appointed Chair by Gov. Jay Inslee in August 2013. Previously he served as treasurer of Washington Filmworks. He is the owner of Alpha Cine Labs in Seattle, Washington. Jensen has 40 years experience in film and video production and post production. Jensen worked with a group of Washington companies to develop and pass the Motion Picture Competitiveness legislation in 2006.
From 1994 through 2005, Donna James served as the director of the Mayor’s Film Office and as city liaison to the tourism industry. Her duties as the Seattle Film Commissioner included serving as the liaison between production companies, city departments, neighborhoods and local businesses. In 2003 Mayor Greg Nickels added music to the Film Office agenda creating the Mayor’s Office of Film and Music. James continues to work as a leader in the efforts to promote Seattle as film friendly in order to increase production here. She is consulting on special events and film-related projects, which currently include development work with the Seattle International Film Festival. Ms. James is also a trustee at Cornish College of the Arts.
Paul Matthaeus started Digital Kitchen (DK) as the studio for the ad agency he founded in 1992. With training in photography, filmmaking, advertising and marketing communications, he chartered DK to advance experimentation and creativity in full-motion electronic media, leveraged with strategic marketing. DK was twice-voted best by the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, and in 2002 and 2007 won the Emmy® at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. DK has been nominated for more Emmys than any company of their kind. In 2011, DK took the Grand Prix at Cannes® for their immersive digital experience created for the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. In 2013, DK created immersive content for the new Bradley Terminal for LAX, and main titles for Will Smith’s After Earth feature film and transmedia project. Matthaeus has been a keynote speaker for the Vienna Uberall Symposium, AIGA, Broadcast Design Association, FlashForward, Hallmark Symposium, SIGGRAPH, AdClub, INVERGE and Graphic Artist Guild. His books and commentaries on advertising, technology and creativity in marketing have earned him a reputation as a futurist and thought leader. In 2013, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn awarded Matthaeus the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Film.
Becky Bogard owns a government relations consulting business that specializes in state and local issues. Her clients include tourism and health care interests, broadcasters, and high tech companies. Before starting her business, she worked for Governor Booth Gardner. She graduated from Duke University and American University School of Law.
Abby Dylan began her professional career Off Broadway at the famed Circle Repertory Theatre, where she performed in numerous productions by writers including Lanford Wilson and Eric Overmeyer, and acted on the Soap Operas “Another World” and “One Life to Live”. After moving to Seattle, Abby worked at theatres including the Seattle Repertory Theatre and the Intiman Playhouse, and could be seen in a variety of local industrial, TV and Film productions. Abby’s recent film and television work includes “Moving”, written and directed by Megan Griffiths with Lynn Shelton, and the feature “BFE”, which screened at the Champs D’eLysses Film Festival. Currently, she can be seen as “Jess Reilly” on the NBC series “GRIMM”. Abby is an elected member of the National SAG/AFTRA Board where she serves as the National Chairman of the SAGIndie Committee and Vice-Chair of the Legislative Committee. She is also a Director of the SAG Foundation Board. Abby received a BFA from the Professional Actor’s Training Program and Southern Methodist University.
Juan Mas has been entrenched in the indie film world for over 25 years and is a seasoned producer and director of television, film, and theater. He is experienced in a wide range of budgets and has produced film abroad and all over the United States.
A longtime resident of Spokane, Mas is actively involved with the city’s Film, Theater, Music, and Art scenes through his company Purple Crayon Pictures. He’s a founding member of the Spokane Film Project and 50 Hour Slam Film Festival, and serves on the advisory board for the Spokane Falls Community College Photography/Video department. Mas is an avid advocate for the development of the arts in Spokane and Washington State, but most importantly, he is the proud father of 3 amazing children.
Harry Sladich joined the WF Board as the President & CEO of the Spokane Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau, a region that saw $668.9M in tourism spending in 2005. Prior to working for the CVB, Sladich worked for Sterling Hospitality Management where he was responsible for growth and development of sales at nine hotel properties in four western states. In addition to serving on WF board of directors, he also serves on the board of directors for the Washington State Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (WACVB) and the Boy & Girls Clubs of Spokane County. Sladich is now the Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Red Lion Hotels Corporation, based in Spokane Washington. Sladich will oversee all aspects of sales, marketing and distribution for all 45 Red Lion hotels in eight western states and one Canadian province.
Greg Smith currently works as a Key Grip on feature films, television commercials and video productions. As a 20 year veteran of the local film industry he has seen the business adapt many times to the evolving economic climate and production priorities. Greg also serves as the president of IATSE Local 488 which represents many of the crafts employed in the region’s film industry. A lifelong resident of Washington State, he graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in communications.
Norma Jean Straw is a Seattle based TV and Film producer. Her credits include the indie feature EVERGREEN and close to 100 episodes of nationally broadcast TV. She was nominated for a National Daytime Emmy Award for the children’s show HIP HOP HARRY, and worked as line-producer on the Emmy winning PBS series BizKid$. In additional to her producing career, Norma has worked as a leader in the public sector, serving as a public engagement specialist for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and a program director at the YMCA of Greater Seattle. Norma earned her BA from The Evergreen State College and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.