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Advisory Board Members
Sherri N. Blount
Jennifer Cover Payne
Shane Perrault, Ph.D
John W. Franklin
Royal Kennedy Rodgers
Timothy L. Jenkins
Kathleen McCampbell Vance
Joan E. Knight
Sherri N. Blount
Partner Fitch Even Tabin & Flannery
Sherri N. Blount is a partner at the DC law offices of Fitch Even Tabin & Flannery and focuses on Intellectual Property, Entertainment and Media issues. She represents media clients, including national cable, television radio networks, television and video producers, website operators, wireless telephone companies, new media entrepreneurs, music publishers, recording artists and authors. Previously, she served as Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Ms Blount is a frequent speaker on entertainment, intellectual property law and other legal issues. Her professional achievements were recognized by the Washington Business Journal in 2007, when she was named the Top Intellectual Property Lawyer in Washington, DC and by the Washingtonian magazine when she was named one of Washington’s top intellectual property lawyers in 2006 and again in 2008. She is the recipient of the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia 2011 Women Lawyer of The Year Award. Ms. Blount is also a member of the Ellington School of the Arts Fund Board and a past board member of the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA)
Crystal Palmer is Director of the DC Office of Motion Picture and Television Development, with oversight responsibility for every film and television show shot in the District of Columbia. She has extensive experience producing short films, infomercials, and promotional spots. Ms. Palmer, who earned her bachelor’s degree in television and film production as well as her MBA in finance and marketing from American University, began her career as a WJLA-TV copywriter and, later, an account executive at The Wayne Smith Company, a major public relations firm, where she assisted in representing a diverse clientele including prominent politicians, entertainers, lawyers and sports celebrities. She is a native of Washington, DC.
Gena Bradford is the President and CEO of BMG3 Enterprises, Inc., an international construction and development firm primarily operating on the continent of Africa. Ms. Bradford’s development vision in Africa includes large-scale housing and infrastructure development as well as affordable housing. Her business acumen spans more than 20 years in planning and management of multimillion dollar construction projects, local government initiatives and mission-based nonprofit fundraising. Her interest in all aspects of television is broad, and dates back to her contributions as part of the management team that wrote and implemented the initial business plan for the Black Family Channel, a former cable station headquartered in Atlanta, GA.
Jennifer Cover Payne is the President of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, which is a leader in supporting, developing and promoting the National Capital region as the arts and culture capital of our nation. The Cultural Alliance founded CultureCapital.com, a virtual arts marketplace which connects arts consumers to the DC metropolitan region’s thriving arts and culture community. A 1998 graduate of Leadership Washington and Leadership America, Jennifer serves on several boards of directors in the Washington Metropolitan region including Filmfest DC, National Cherry Blossom Festival, and the advisory boards of the Kennedy Center and WETA radio. Jennifer was an associate professor of theatre in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont. While at the university she served as the associate producer of the Champlain Shakespeare Festival, performed, and directed one-woman shows throughout the United States and in Oxford, England. A fourth generation Washingtonian, she also served on the DC Commission on the Arts for eight years. She was also the public liaison and curator of education for the Bethune Museum and Archives.
Eric Easter is the founding Partner of Rock the Content, LLC. He is a multi-platform digital content producer and developer of vertical websites and mobile applications targeted to specialized audiences. Mr. Easter has extensive experience working in the “new media” arena. He has served as Vice President of Digital & Entertainment for Johnson Publishing Company where he was responsible for the digital strategies for Ebony and Jet magazines. He was responsible for developing and supervising all aspects of online, new media and Internet strategy for the Johnson Publishing Company. While at Johnson Publishing, he initiated and executed a partnership with Google to digitize the company’s vase archival assets. Prior to joining Johnson Publishing, he managed the communications strategy, branding and promotion for Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive’s websites including washingtonpost.com, newsweek.com, slate.com and several other sites. He is the creator and co-author of the best-selling Songs of My People (Little Brown 1992) a historic book and international photo exhibition on the lives of African Americans.
Shane Perrault, Ph.D is a clinical psychologist with more than 18 years of experience, and is the founder of African American Marriage Counseling and the ADHD Performance Clinic – both which are located in Greenbelt, MD. As a sought-after speaker, author and expert, he has spoken at the Congressional Black Caucus, has been featured in The Washington Times and The Washington Post, and has appeared as a guest expert on a range of national and international radio and television outlets and in a score of film documentaries. He currently works with “At Risk” and none-traditional learners at several public and private schools in the DC and Maryland area.
John W. Franklin
Director of Partnerships and International Programs Smithsonian’s 19th St Museum
John W. Franklin is the Director of Partnerships and International Programs, at the Smithsonian’s 19th museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He has worked on African American, African and African Diaspora programs for the past 24 years at the Smithsonian. Initially, he served as researcher and French language interpreter for the Smithsonian’s African Diaspora program of the 1976 Bicentennial Folklife Festival while living and teaching English in Dakar, Senegal. Franklin developed symposia and seminars for the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies from 1987-1992. At the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage he curated Smithsonian Folklife Festival programs on the Bahamas (1994), Cape Verdean Culture (1995), Washington, D.C. (2000) and Mali (2003). Franklin served on the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture from 1998 to 2008 and the board of the Reginald Lewis Maryland Museum of African American History and Culture from 2000 to 2009. He currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies. He edited, My Life and an Era: the Autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin with his father, John Hope Franklin.
Dorothy Gilliam, noted reporter, editor, columnist and Founder/Director of the Young Journalists Development Program for The Washington Post from 1961 through 2003. She served as the Shapiro Fellow at The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs for the 2003-2004 academic year, and has served since 2004 as Senior Research Scientist and Founder/Director of Prime Movers Media (PMM) at The George Washington University. PMM engages new and evolving media in secondary and post-secondary education settings and assists urban high school media students produce multi-media products– print and online publications and radio and television programs. Gilliam first joined The Washington Post in October 1961 as a reporter on the City Desk. During that time she covered such major events of the civil rights movement. In 1972 she became an assistant editor in the Style section of The Post and in 1979 she became a columnist for The Post. Her column ran regularly in the Metro section for 19 years, covering issues in education, politics and race, as well as her own personal experiences. Gilliam served as chair of the board of directors of the Robert Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (MIJE) from l985-l992. She is a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).
Royal Kennedy Rodgers is an Independent Media Producer with more than 20 years of experience in local and network news and public affairs broadcasting. She began her career as a reporter for NBC stations in New Orleans, Cleveland and Chicago. Later, as an ABC network correspondent based in Los Angeles she covered assignments as diverse as presidential politics and the entertainment industry. She spent ten years as a producer/reporter for “Chicago Tonight” at WTTW, the PBS station in Chicago. Her professional awards include a local Emmy and recognition from the San Francisco State School of Journalism and the American Association of Trial Lawyers. She is currently an independent producer based in Washington, DC.
Nancy Gist is a Non-Profit Consultant with thirty years of experience building, managing and leading organizations in the public and non-profit sectors. Ms. Gist was appointed by President William J. Clinton, and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate, to the position of Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the U.S. Department of Justice’s largest grant making agency. She was previously Deputy Chief Counsel of the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services, the state public defender agency, and a founding Assistant Director of the United Auto Workers Legal Services Plan. Ms. Gist established The Legacy League, a non-profit organization designed to promote and strengthen philanthropy among professional athletes, and has consulted extensively on organizational and program development in the non- profit sector. She has served as an elected member of boards of directors, and on committees and commissions, of numerous community-based and national non-profit and alumni organizations; as a political appointee on commissions and boards. Ms. Gist is a graduate of Wellesley College and of the Yale Law School.
Chair MDS Holdings, B.S.C.
Marcus Scott is Founder and Chair of MDS Holdings, B.S.C. The entity’s diversified business activities range from manufacturing, trading, nanotechnology, and real estate, to media (i.e., film, Television and Public Relations) and healthcare (i.e., Practice Management, Electronic Health Records and Patient Communications). Marcus is an award winning communications expert and social justice entrepreneur. He has been recognized for outstanding communications efforts locally, nationally and internationally. He is a sought-after communications strategist with a proven track record of successfully integrating marketing tactics and media technologies across sectors and platforms. Marcus is a member of a number of nonprofit boards, including Academy of Hope, Mosaica: The Center for Nonprofit Development and Pluralism, The Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DVLEAP) and Dwight Hall at Yale. Marcus has numerous degrees, including B.S. in Mathematics, M.A. in Econometrics, PhD in Urban Technology Environmental Planning and a J.D. from University of California at Los Angeles, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Michigan Ann Arbor and University of Pittsburgh, respectively.
Chairman Unlimited Visions Multimedia, Inc.
Timothy L. Jenkins is Chairman of Unlimited Visions Multimedia, Inc. and a Director of The Lion’s Jewel Importers. Mr. Jenkins was formerly President at University of the District of Columbia; Governor of the United States Postal Service; Outstanding Professor at Howard University School of Law; Consultant to United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland; Consultant to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to develop national afterschool/distance learning networks; Publisher of “American Visions,” and “Education, Science and Technology” Magazines. He was twice elected an Alumni Trustee of Howard University. He served as outside counsel for the creation of the University Press, as well as, the acquisitions of WHUR-FM and WHUT-TV. He was a Founder and Congressional Lobbyist for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He is a Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Howard University and received his Juris Doctor degree from Yale University Law School with honors.
Kathleen McCampbell Vance is an Emmy Award-winning television producer and media consultant with an extensive background in TV program development, broadcast management, news and community affairs. During her more than twenty year career at NBC4 Washington, she created, produced, or executive produced, scores of programs ranging from newscasts, to documentaries, news series, entertainment, public interest, children’s programs, and live events, some of which were broadcast nationally and internationally, as well as on the NBC network and NBC local stations. As Director of Programming, Community Affairs and Broadcast Standards, she was responsible for the purchase and scheduling of the station’s syndicated programming, and all locally produced non-news broadcasts, as well as for the creation and marketing of station public service campaigns, some of which received national recognition. She also managed her department staff, and oversaw the station’s licensing and adherence to FCC requirements; and was part of the top management team charged with marketing and branding the station. Her NBC4 career began as a trainee reporter, following her completion of the Michele Clarke Minority Journalism Fellowship at Columbia University. She is also a freelance writer, editor, and author. She is a board member of the National Home Library Foundation; and serves as Chairman of the WHUT-TV Community Advisory Board. Ms. McCampbell Vance comes from a family of Howard University graduates including her grandfather, father, brother and niece.
Jacquie Jones is the Executive Director of the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), a media arts organization that funds, distributes and produces public interest media for all platforms. Ms. Jones is a leader in the evolving new media landscape and has been involved in innovative partnerships and initiatives such as the Katrina Project in 2005, the ground-breaking New Media Institute, which she founded in 2006, and the portal www.blackpublicmedia.org. Currently she is piloting the Public Media Corps, a collaborative engagement framework that includes public media stations, producers, schools, libraries and a variety of community-serving institutions as partners. Jones is a Peabody Award-winning producer and director of documentary films. Among her productions are Africans in America and Matters of Race for PBS and Behind Closed Doors: Sex in the 20th Century for Showtime. She is currently a scholar-in-residence at American University in Washington, DC. Jacquie serves on the boards of directors of the Integrated Media Association; Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media; the PBS Programming Services Committee and many other advisory committees focused on the intersection of media and the public interest. She has a BA in English from Howard University and an MA from Stanford University’s documentary filmmaking program.
Principal Associate Barrington Associates, Inc.
Joanne Williams, Principal Associate, Barrington Associates, Inc. earns her respected place in the communications field by designing award-winning programs and developing cutting-edge strategies. Her inter-disciplinary approach has served a client base representing the corporate, public, and nonprofit sectors. She formed Barrington Associates in 1991. Since then, she’s managed the multifaceted communications needs for an impressive client base, and developed a presentation skills practice for foreign and domestic corporate leaders, political candidates, or organization heads seeking to perfect their message content and delivery skills. She launched Barrington’s Caribbean and African Affairs Practice to help companies become “market ready.” Most recently, Joanne entered into collaboration with an innovative market research firm to explore the myriad of untapped uses for market segmentation data and advanced analysis leading toward more predictable outcomes.
Joan E. Knight
Administrative Law Judge Labor Standards Bureau
Joan E. Knight is an Administrative Law Judge with the Labor Standards Bureau for the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES). Ms. Knight has a unique and diverse professional background both as an attorney and communications professional. Prior to joining DOES, Ms. Knight worked as a transactional attorney for an intellectual property and entertainment law firm in Bethesda, Maryland. She has represented major publishers, independent television producers, writers and musicians on copyrights and trademark matters and negotiated agreements for traditional and electronic publishing, independent television productions and documentary programming distributed on major cable television networks. A former corporate media relations professional spanning a ten year career, Ms. Knight successfully managed national public relations and media campaigns for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Avon, Inc., Adolph Coors and American Airlines. She has a news and program production background and served as news reporter and public affairs producer for WHUR-FM in Washington, D.C. Ms. Knight began her career as an assistant producer at WHUT-TV, PBS (formerly, WHMM).