Joyce Mitchell: Journalist by Trade, Artist for Fun

Joyce Mitchell: Journalist by Trade, Artist for Fun

By Larena Baldazo
Marketing Chair

Joyce Mitchell. She is a producer, philanthropist, former NATAS trustee and VP, governor, mother, wife and so much more! If you follow her on social media, it’s easy to see that she is also super creative, often sharing posts of her beautiful oil paintings, and photos of her latest guitars.

The self-taught painter started her journey on the canvas about 20 years ago, just after leaving a PR job at KOVR 13, “I’m just not a PR person,” says Joyce. Who knew that this newfound time would lead to a lifelong passion? 

The Sacramento native enrolled in an oil painting class where she learned about the different types of oils and canvases, and the rest is history. She only started charging for the paintings about a year and a half ago and the extra funds help support Joyce’s guitar collection. She currently owns three guitars.

When asked which painting is her favorite, Joyce says it’s, “the last one I did,” which would make the Marilyn Monroe painting her current favorite. Joyce says that her paintings are often inspired by her mood at that moment. One could imagine that she was feeling empowered and beautiful when she painted the vibrant Marilyn.  

Her paintings can take anywhere from a few days to a year to complete, depending on the canvas size, “think about the time it takes to produce a half-hour show compared to a 60 minute show,” she says. Joyce’s paintings are available for purchase and you can message her on Facebook to inquire here.

When she is not painting, what is she up to? “I’m always playing guitar, certifying Emmys, and producing music videos,” says the poet and artist.

About 2-3 years ago, the Silver Circle Inductee hosted her first art show, Art From the Heart, in Sacramento, at Apothic Tattoo Collective. Her paintings generated $15k, which was donated to her non-profit, Capital City Aids Fund. CCAF was co-created in 1997, in honor of her late mother. Education was a huge priority in Helen Mitchell’s book.  

When the __ time Emmy award recipient speaks about her mother, the tone in her voice changes in a positive way. It is no secret that they shared a very special bond.

Joyce recalls being a young girl when her mother asked what she wanted to do when she grew up. Joyce replied with, “I want to change the world,” and that is exactly what she is doing.

New Production Studio Opens in Sacramento Area

New Production Studio Opens in Sacramento Area

By Joyce Mitchell
Governor

Warm hugs and friendly smiles made a Sacramento area studio opening especially cozy during a wintry January day. The new Lynx Video Production Studio in Wilton is now open and ready for business. If the event is any indication of the future, magic will be happening in that facility.

Tours were conducted and business cards exchanged. “The mixer was wonderful,” said Lynx Video Production Studio Owner John Linck. “It’s always the people who make it a success.”

Linck draws on decades of broadcasting experience, having worked in Sacramento at KCRA, KOVR and KTXL. He retired as the lead video producer at UC Davis School of Medicine in 2019 and has been devoting his energy to growing Lynx Video Productions.

Kristen Simoes and John Linck

Freelance storyteller Kristen Simoes, who received an Emmy Award in 2021 for her work, checked out the studio for possible upcoming voice over and video projects. Simoes is a part-time general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor at NBC Affiliate KCRA 3. She also produces and reports for PBS Station KVIE.

Also supporting the kick-off was KFBK Afternoon News Anchor Kitty O’Neal. In addition to being a successful radio personality, she’s also lead singer of an original rock band called Skyler’s Pool. She and musician Rob Urbino AKA Robert Urban struck up a conversation during the opening that segued into discussions about music video production.

Robert Urbino, Kitty O’Neal and Joyce Mitchell
John Linck and Robert Urbino

Urbino and O’Neal shared band music videos during the mixer. Urbino’s band is called Robert Urban and the Legend. He and O’Neal, who both perform original music, brainstormed future collaborations.

Clearly, fun and work intersected. “I was excited checking out the audio recording studio,” said Urbino. “It provides yet another opportunity for people like me who are looking to generate original music.”

 As for Linck, he’s right in step. “The goal for the studio is to continue creating educational videos and start producing music video productions,” said Linck.

Visitors indulged in delicious hors d’ oeuvres provided by Linck’s talented wife Margie Tose. She makes a spectacular carrot cake known throughout Sacramento area restaurants. It was served up and raved about during the studio opening.

Then a whole one came out as a surprise raffle gift. Lucky Connie Reichert. She won the drawing and packed home that delightful delicacy. An entire, magnificent carrot cake! What a sweet way to end a marvelous afternoon.

Margie Tose, Connie, Reichert, John Linck (Margie made the cake – sold in Sac restaurants)

Check out Lynx Video Production Studio on Facebook here

They’re Tenacious, They’re Daring, They’re Soaking Wet…

They're tenacious, they're daring, they're soaking wet...

By Larena Baldazo
Emmy SF Marketing Chair

If you’ve been able to keep track of the storm coverage which seemed to intensify after the New Year, you can thank a journalist. When the community is directed to stay home, they are out in the field, to gather info to keep us all updated about flooding, evacuations, closed roads and so much more. 

Here’s a glimpse of what some folks’ experiences have been like, at home and out in the field. 

NBC Bay Area’s Marcus Washington teamed up with the City of Oakland to do some damage control, in the end he says it’s minimal compared to what other folks have experienced. 

NBC Bay Area’s Janelle Wang had a muddy start to the New Year, but we’re pleased to confirm that restoration is in progress! 

After multiple days of heavy rain in the Northstate, neighborhood streets flooded and drainage ditches filled up with more than a foot of water. ABC 7 KRCR’s, Mason Carroll, went out to show road conditions and reveal how nearby businesses were impacted. 

Click on the image to the left to view Carroll in action.  

KTVU cameraman, Jorge Bustos, “took one for the team” as he slid down a muddy section within a path, Brooks Jarosz was holding an interview on. The frame and camera remained impressively intact! 

NBC Bay Area’s Kris Sanchez and team cover some downed trees and power outages in the area. 

ICYMI: Recap of Wayne’s Tips For Successful Emmy® Entries

ICYMI: Recap of Wayne's Tips For Successful Emmy® Entries

On January 7, Awards Chair, Wayne Freedman, led a Q&A about this year’s Emmy® “Call for Entries”. 

About 32 attendees were able to join the two-hour session and brought all their questions! The entry deadline is Friday, January 13, 2023. Ultimately, the Zoom session went smoothly, “we were very pleased with the large turnout, and people stayed. We really appreciate people showing up to ask what works/what is allowed. It felt like a master class on entering the Emmys and they were great students,” says Wayne. 

If you missed the Q&A, you can watch the complete Zoom Cast below.     

You can also view Wayne’s Tips For Successful Emmy® Entries post here

Tips For Successful Emmy Entries

Tips For Successful Emmy Entries

By Wayne Freedman
Awards Chair

Emmy® Season began officially on December 1 with the release of our Call for Entries. The submission deadline hits January 13th.  It sneaks up faster than you might think. 

You do not want to rush submission decisions. We recommend strongly that you begin strategizing long before the deadline. Some of you even keep lists of potential entries during the year. Now is the time to pull those files to look back at your work.

Decide what might be worthy.

And don’t just slap that entry together. Give yourself time to create thoughtful, effective submissions.

Here are some best practices:

The Precis:

No one has ever earned an Emmy Award solely with a précis. And yet, many entrants predispose judges negatively by making boastful claims, misspelling words, or making grammatical errors. Simple mistakes create bad first impressions.

Your précis should be short and humble. Use it almost as an introduction or a tease.  Tell the judges what they need to know to better appreciate your submission. Then, allow the quality of that work to reveal itself.

For longer entries, a précis can provide a roadmap.  Judges will appreciate it.

Example:

“As this is a lengthy entry, please note what we consider to be some of the best moments. You will find them from 1:36>2:58; 6:00>9:27; 25:00<30:00.”

Manage Your Entry Time—Less Can Be More             

If you have judged entries from other chapters, you know how challenging it can be to create submissions that stand out, especially long ones. Judges appreciate entrants who respect their time. Less can be more. Judges inevitably score higher when a submission keeps their attention from beginning to end.

For instance, while composite categories allow as many as five lifts, use as few as necessary. Establish your credibility with the first cut. Seal the quality of your entry with the second or third.  Get in, get out. Make your case as briefly and boldly as possible.

There is another advantage to brevity. Chapters scale required viewing times based on submission lengths. The less you present, the more of your complete entry those judges may see.

Example:

In submissions from our chapter, Judges see a scoring prompt after they watch 100% of an entry running 5:00 or less.

For submissions running from 5:01 to 15:00, the prompt appears after they have watched 50%.

For entries exceeding 15:00, judges must watch only 25%.

Pragmatically, if you are entering in the Spot News category, skip the broadcast opening. Judges want to see your work, not a music and graphics package.

 

Begin Strong. Finish Stronger

Award-winning submissions don’t always follow convention. While composite categories allow as many as five lifts, use as few of them as necessary. Establish your credibility with the first cut. Seal the quality of your entry with the second or third. This goes back to brevity and respecting a judge’s time. Get in, get out.

When considering what to enter, try to imagine the perspective of a judge who does not know you. Be your own worst critic. Judges rarely give “inside strikes” to a stranger. You are what you present in that submission.

Judges expect to be entertained, enlightened, inspired, and wowed.  They look for excellent, superior work that advances the medium.

Never forget that this is a television/video contest. Be mindful of flow and rhythm.

Universal Appeal:

“I’m going to win an Emmy® with this,” a young reporter once told me. “Even my competitors said so.”

And yet, a few months later, he did not receive that golden statuette.

While the reporter had, in fact, done a fine job, he failed to make the story relevant or interesting outside of Nashville, where he worked. His piece required too much local knowledge. In short, it lacked universal appeal. Compelling work plays well everywhere, but first you need to make it approachable to anyone, anywhere. That’s your ticket to higher scores.

I explained universal appeal to my friend from Nashville. “It’s easy for you,” he argued. “You work in a major market. Every story interesting in San Francisco.”

“Not so,” I told him. “In a larger market, we have the challenge of making every story interesting, even when it doesn’t impact most viewers.”

That same challenge applies to Emmy® Awards competitions.

Technical Concerns:

An entry should begin immediately.

Avoid color bars.

Slates are against the rules.

Opening countdowns should last no longer than four seconds.

Dips to black between lifts should last no more than two seconds.

If from a master, mix the audio onto both tracks.  A submission with two tracks from separate channels will always distract judges, distracting from your work, calling attention to the process.  Worse, those judges may not have their systems set up properly.  

Also remember that judges have little patience for sloppy entries.

Always watch your submissions from beginning to end before sending them.

Catch your mistakes in advance.

Follow the Rules Carefully and Abide by the Spirit of Competition:

Judges generally know the contest rules for every category.  So should you.

They look unfavorably on submissions that ignore those rules, or that attempt to push that envelope.

Example:

A few years ago, two reporters from the same station submitted similar material from a potentially Emmy ® Award winning story. The dayside reporter entered his piece.  His colleague from the night shift did the same. It included much of that first reporter’s video. It even borrowed from his script.

The submissions were different enough to merit individual consideration. In competition, however, each ruined the other.  Neither received a nomination.

The lesson? Talk to each other.

We’re Here for You:

If you have questions, reach out to members of The Awards Committee.

You can find those contacts at emmysf.tv, and also in our Call for Entries.

Our committee looks at and certifies every submission to assure it fits the category, complies with Academy rules, and is fair to the field.

We are here for you as coaches when you prepare those entries. We’re happy to clarify rules, recommend categories, or suggest approaches.

We wish you the very best of luck, this year.

NOW THAT YOU'VE BEEN PREPPED, IT'S TIME TO PUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE TO THE TEST!

 

  1. A program or series exceeds the time limit for a given category. What are the producer’s options? 

 

  1. A person who contributed to an entry decides he does not want to be part of it. He learns later that the work has been nominated. Can he add his name after the fact? 

 

  1. A reporter, editor, or photographer submits a montage or resume tape in a craft category composite. Allowable?

 

  1. A news reporter enters most of a limited series or program in one category. He holds one segment back and submits it a different one. Can he do that?

 

  1. A local television station goes wall-to-wall covering a breaking news event. It submits a five-part composite with one or two silent seconds of black between segments, as required. Those segments contain internal edits without the black. They save time and omit awkward moments. Allowable? 

 

  1. An anchor has five segments from that wall-to-wall coverage in her talent composite. In each lift, she deletes her co-anchor and the reporters to save time. She does not add one second of black between those internal edits. Is this a violation? 

 

  1. A reporter that same, day-long coverage enters the breaking news category with the station’s main submission. He also enters the same material as a reporter in continuing coverage. We see it again in his reporter talent submission. Is this a double dip?

 

  1. The producer of a local program that aired later on a national broadcast cable channel foregoes our regional awards. Instead, he submits it in the national contest for which he also qualifies. Unknown to him, that program’s editor enters her work in the regional craft category. she wins. Later, the program receives a national nomination, only to have it disqualified. Why?

 

  1. A multi-media reporter (MMJ) submits a story in the news content feature category as a producer. He also enters the same material in the craft writing category, the reporter talent category, the photography category, the editing category, and in graphics. Can he do that? 

 

  1. A local public affairs program puts together a ‘best-of’ show at the end of a year. eligible? 

 

  1. A local television station group with an English and Spanish duopoly produces a program with similar versions in the two languages. Both stations submit their shows in the English and Spanish contests. Can they do that? 

 

  1. An executive producer or manager adds his/her name to a submission that already has a producer, photographer, editor, writer, and talent. He claims eligibility because he came up with the idea and provided feedback. Does his name belong on the entry? 

 

  1. A documentary debuted in a film festival three years ago. In the past 12 months, it first appeared on a local television station. Does that qualify it for our contest? 

 

  1. A producer submits a composite with multiple segments. His entry form includes a precis, but he does not add running times or airdates in the Emmy express drop-down menu. Is the submission ready for judging? 

 

  1. A photographer who shot a brief portion of a program without supervision adds his name as a producer. He enters the same material as part of his photography craft composite. Does he qualify?

 

Click here to view the answers!

NATAS Member Cynthia Brian Releases First Children’s Book

NATAS Member Cynthia Brian Releases First Children's Book

Nobody likes a bully. Not even in the animal kingdom!

A member of the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences since the 1990’s. bestselling author, actor, and TV/radio personality, Cynthia Brian, debuts her first book in the children’s picture book series, Stella Bella’s Barnyard Adventures, with her charming true-life cadre of characters and endearing illustrations in No Barnyard Bullies, a colorful book about learning to be kind and inclusive. 

No Barnyard Bullies ​follows a pampered piglet who lives in an apartment as she is re-homed to a barnyard filled with a variety of happy critters. Thinking that she is the Queen, she bullies the other animals until she is stopped by a tiny bunny who defends a three-legged goat from her attacks. Everyone is equal in Stella Bella’s barnyard where bullies are not tolerated, and inclusivity is the paramount number one rule.

This is the first book in the series, Stella Bella’s Barnyard Adventures by Cynthia Brian and illustrated by Jensen Russell. Each book is 32 action-packed pages peppered with lively conversations between the species as they discover how to live together serenely and joyfully in a diverse barnyard. Colorful, animated illustrations of the characters bring the prose and poetry dialog to life with timely and timeless tales that are relatable to humans. The animal family of Stella Bella’s Barnyard Adventures experiences complex encounters that challenge their integrity, individuality, and character while amplifying an assortment of expressions and original viewpoints to co-exist as a group. The barnyard animals address critical issues facing children including bullying, nature, power struggles, adversity, adoption, homelessness, creativity, justice, health, kindness, ethnicity, and being different through a cultural lens of hope and resolution. With visually rich illustrations, each picture book will inspire, motivate, and move children to appreciate all animals while learning the lessons the natural world teaches.

The goal of Stella Bella’s Barnyard Adventures is to instill in children wonder and awe of Mother Nature and her creatures as they participate in the escapades of the wild kingdom. Children are encouraged to love themselves exactly the way they are while living in peace and harmony with a barnyard of many colors and beliefs. Family is about whom you love and who loves you. In the series, the true tales will emerge from a variety of different animals, all with a prescription for living as better humans.

Like the Be the Star You Are!® series of books for teens and adults by Cynthia Brian, Stella Bella’s Barnyard Adventures will illuminate a simple fact for kids–we were not created equal. We are far better than equal. We are unique. We are individuals. We each have the ability and the responsibility to use our talents, genius, and strengths to sparkle, shine, and make a positive impact in this small galaxy we call Earth. We must strive to be the stars we were born to be.

Proceeds from the sale of the books benefit the 501 c3 charity, Be the Star You Are!® empowering women, families, and youth through increased literacy and positive media messages. www.BetheStarYouAre.org

Books are available at these online stores: www.BetheStarYouAre.org, www.CynthiaBrian.com, and Amazon.com

Unique and original NFT’s available of illustrations with special perks and events at www.StarStyleCommunity.com

Cynthia Brian is available for media interviews and book signings. Email: Cynthia@CynthiaBrian.com for information.

Stories, Reading, Book Sales, and Signing on November 12 from 3 PM to 5PM at Point Richmond Gallery, 145 W. Richmond Ave, Richmond, Ca. 94801. Families with children encouraged!

“What a wonderful book on such an important topic.” Jennifer Wake, Author and Newspaper Editor

Former KCRA Assignment Editor Jim Drennan Signs Off at the Age of 86

Former KCRA Assignment Editor Jim Drennan Signs Off at the Age of 86

By: Joyce Mitchell

Governor

In a quiet, poetic way, Jim Drennan was a force of nature. He had the strength to calmly manage the whirlwind that comes with overseeing newsrooms and assignment desks. Drennan signed off August 30, 2022 after a brief illness. His death is mourned by the Sacramento television community.

Drennan knew at the age of eleven that he was going to be a journalist. That’s when he earned his first byline in his Bakersfield school newspaper. Born in 1936, Drennan went on to graduate from San Jose University, studying journalism.

Following a two-year stint in the military, Drennan embarked upon a career in newspaper reporting in Madera and then Reno. In 1967, he bravely jumped into TV, becoming news director at KOLO in Reno. A couple of years later, Drennan joined KXTV in Sacramento as news director where he stayed a decade. Then it was on to KCRA Channel 3 as assignment editor/manager and he remained until his retirement in 1993.

An article written about Drennan back in 1972 refers to him as a face-paced man who likes “warmth and authority” in newscasting. He became an intricate part of the development of early TV news days. “These people who come into our living rooms are like an interesting guest who comes in and tells you what happened,” said Drennan in the story. In other words, he said that people must relate to talent, and invite them into their homes as they deliver the news.

Drennan oversaw the transition from film to videotape, a huge development back in the day that changed the TV world as we know it. “The other looming thing in the future is portable videotape,” Drennan is quoted as saying. “I think there’s going to be a battle between super-eight and portable videotape in the next decade or so.”

And was Drennan ever right. He lived to experience a great deal of change in the industry he loved and knew so very well. He also said it again and again – that TV is only as good as the story told. And that made him an excellent assignment editor and newsman. He always found the heart of the story – whether it was produced via film or videotape.

Drennan never stopped for a second after leaving TV. He eventually stepped in to lead Valley Broadcast Legends (VBL), a Sacramento based social club modeled after San Francisco Bay Area Legends – but perhaps even a bit more self-deprecating. As president of VBL, he always had a message in the newsletter to members about what was going on and planned excellent and relevant speakers. The organization lead the way for fun and fellowship for Sacramento’s veteran radio and television professionals.

He also volunteered with the Alzheimer’s Association after dementia claimed the lives of both his mother and partner Kenny Matsumoto. Drennan and Matsumoro had been together 46-years. Matsumoto died in 2019.

During Drennan’s final days, the TV set in his suite at an assisted living facility stayed tuned to news. He was glued to the headlines until the very end of his life. He was a true journalist.

A memorial service was held for Drennan September 22, 2022 by VBL at Sacramento Memorial Lawn. As in full Drennan-style, it was light-hearted, left people smiling about a life well-lived, a life that exuded “warmth and authority.”

Carolyn Tyler Joins San Francisco Film Commission

Carolyn Tyler Joins SF Film Commission

By: Kristin J. Bender

Member Contributor

From “Vertigo” and “The Birds” to “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Joy Luck Club,” San Francisco has long been a prime spot for shooting first-class movies.

The Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay, the twisty and narrow streets and the diverse neighborhoods provide a rich backdrop for movies, television shows and commercials.

And it’s the mission of the San Francisco Film Commission and its board to make sure each and every production has a successful shoot in the cinematic city.

NATAS Gov. Carolyn Tyler is one of the new film commission board members. Tyler, who spent 32 years as an anchor and reporter for KGO-TV/ABC7, was appointed in May by San Francisco Mayor London Breed to join the 10-member board.

“It’s a volunteer job and it’s basically a labor of love,” Tyler of San Francisco says. “I’m just trying to give back to a city that embraced me for 32 years.”

Tyler doesn’t consider herself a film buff, but keeps up on the latest movies and TV shows. “I’m a San Francisco buff,’’ she says. “I really love this city and I’d like to help.” She’s in a good position to help. Because of cost constraints, labor union challenges and pandemic-related issues, some producers choose to come to San Francisco only for the iconic beauty shots. They then go to cheaper markets, such as Austin, Vancouver or Atlanta, to complete filming, Tyler says.

But the commission is working on that with a rebate program and other incentives. “Nash Bridges took advantage of that,’’ she says. “Nash Bridges” couldn’t have been shot anywhere else.” As for her favorite San Francisco- based movies, she counts “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “The Joy Luck Club” and “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” among them.

But that could change.

Tyler advises that a remake of “The Thomas Crown Affair” will be shot in San Francisco down the line.

Leslie Griffith, former longtime KTVU anchor and reporter, dies at 66

Leslie Griffith, former longtime KTVU anchor and reporter, dies at 66

Leslie Griffith, the highly-acclaimed and much-honored journalist who graced Bay Area television screens for 20 years as an anchor and reporter at Oakland's KTVU Channel 2, died Aug. 10 in Lake Chapala, Mexico, where she had been living for the last several years. She was 66.

Her family said Griffith endured a years-long battle with Lyme disease.

The nine-time Emmy Award-winning Griffith worked at KTVU for 20 years -- from 1986 to 2006 -- beginning as a reporter and as co-anchor, with George Watson, for the station's 10 p.m. weekend newscast. For several years in the 1990s, she anchored that weekend broadcast by herself, doing the same as well for a weekend early evening edition. In 1998, following the departure of Elaine Corral from KTVU, Griffith was promoted to anchoring the weeknight 10 p.m.newscast with Dennis Richmond, a position she held until she left the station in 2006.

Prior to joining KTVU in 1986, Griffith's television news resume included a stop in Colorado Springs, Colorado, followed by a stint at KSBW in Salinas. Before entering television, she cut her journalistic teeth as a reporter for the Associated Press and the Denver Post. Prior to that, she worked as a teacher.

Throughout her 20 years at KTVU, Griffith received many accolades, including nine Emmys for her work. She was on the frontlines of many of the Bay Area's major stories, including the devastating 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the massive firestorm that swept through the Oakland hills in 1991.

In 2006, she left KTVU and television news, but she was never far from being a storyteller. She continued to write, and prolifically, for publications that included the San Francisco Chronicle and the Huffington Post. And, concerned with the problem of tuberculosis in circus elephants for many years, Griffith championed getting elephants out of performing in circuses. In 2015, Griffith's storytelling took her filmmaking. She was the brainchild behind her film, "When Giants Fall", which she wrote and directed. For Griffith, the film spotlighted the ivory trade as a cruel business -- that every 15 minutes, an elephant is killed for its ivory and that 65 percent of Africa's elephants have been killed for their ivory in a span of five years. Griffith's film went on to collect numerous accolades from film festivals across the United States. The film was also supported by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

A family member confirmed to KTVU that Griffith was suffering the effects of Lyme disease since being bitten by a tick while living in Oregon in 2015. She also had a home in Lake Chapala, Mexico, where she had been living since 2016.

Griffith is survived by her two daughters, Trenton and Carly, and by her adopted son, Eric. She is also survived by two grandchildren.

Board Retreat Renews Enthusiasm and Ignites Ideas

By: Brooks Jarosz 
NATAS SF/NorCal President

Great minds from the newly seated NATAS San Francisco/Northern California Board of Governors met in-person and virtually, for a fruitful day focused on serving our Chapter and its members.

For some, it may have felt like the first day of school. The excitement spilled throughout the meeting rooms and event space at OakStop in downtown Oakland on a sun-filled Saturday in August.

“The enthusiastic interaction and collaboration was quite wonderful,” National Trustee Alison Gibson said. “It shows we are all working together in earnest to make this Chapter stronger than ever.”

As the newly-elected President, it was my first time leading a retreat to culminate new ideas, provide structure, and aim to get every board member involved in one or more of our hardworking committees.

The retreat began with introductions and then breakout sessions between our markets including the Bay Area, Sacramento, Hawaii, Fresno, and other smaller markets. It allowed the Vice Presidents who represent those areas to discuss what mattered most, including how the organization could better serve those markets.

While NATAS is often only associated with the coveted Emmy Awards, our efforts in producing programs, funding and awarding scholarships, and providing valuable mentorships for our members, are just a few other key objectives.

“This was among the most productive board retreats I’ve attended in over a decade on the board,” said Finance Co-Chair Julie Watts. “Our newly elected board members brought energy and fantastic ideas.”

Those ideas for new initiatives led to robust discussions about events, sponsorships, member benefits, outreach and diversity. Stay tuned.

Great strides were also made to bolster key committees, including the Education Committee.

“This year’s smaller and much more focused group came up with many more innovative ideas for us to devote ourselves to in the coming year,” said Toby Momtaz who chairs the committee.

By assigning governors to specific roles or tasks in committees, plans are already being charted to encourage greater participation and expand our Chapter’s reach.

Ultimately, all of us on the board volunteer our service for the betterment of our Chapter, to serve our members, and to acknowledge and reward excellence.

I speak for all of us when I say, we are always open to new ideas, criticism, and finding ways to evolve and innovate.

“The retreat was just what we needed to discuss our needs, as a chapter and from a committee standpoint, to collaborate and restructure things,” said Marketing Chair Larena Baldazo. “I am excited to see how we evolve from here.”

If you have ideas or feedback, please email brooks@emmysf.tv