Off Camera Header 2021

Governors’ Retreat Looks Toward Chapter’s Future

By Randy Forsman
NATAS Chapter President

Lineage Collection Winery Hosts Annual Meeting

On August 14 members of the Board of Governors of the San Francisco / Northern California Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences convened at The Steven Kent Winery in Livermore, CA for our annual retreat. It is notable that this was the board’s first in-person meeting since November of 2019.

Essentially a longer board meeting, the Board of Governors’ annual retreat served as an opportunity to discuss what has and hasn’t worked in the chapter and to brainstorm ideas and ways to improve over the coming year. We also took the time to welcome newly elected governors to the board and enthusiastically encouraged them to bring their new perspectives forward to benefit the chapter. We asked that all those in attendance be fully vaccinated for their safety and due to the recently imposed statewide mask mandate, asked that our members remain masked when not eating or drinking. For those on the board that did not feel comfortable attending or were too far away to travel, we offered a virtual component via Zoom so that everyone could participate.

After initial introductions by each committee chair as to their function and what they need and want to accomplish over the coming year, members split off into various breakout rooms across the winery grounds to take a deeper dive into how to accomplish our goals. Amongst what was discussed was the question: what benefits and perks can we offer our members aside from the annual Emmy® Awards? We also looked at how to expand our outreach to high school and college students across the chapter as well as to begin planning for the 51st Northern California Emmy® Awards to be held June 11, 2022.

In addition to retreat, the day included our monthly board meeting. Of note is the launch of our Mentor Match program. Mentor Match takes television professionals who want to become better in the field and matches them with seasoned professionals in a different market who are willing to look at their work and provide critiques and suggestions for improvement. To learn more about the program and how you can sign up to be a mentor or mentee click here. The board also voted unanimously to approve the “Fred Zehnder Memorial Scholarship.” The scholarship honors the late Zehnder and his decades of mentoring others and to help deserving students with promise to pursue a news career. The chapter will begin to award the scholarship in 2022. Contributions can be sent to the “Fred Zehnder Memorial Scholarship” to the TELEVISION ACADEMY FUND, 4317 Camden Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403. Link to donate online.

The Steven Kent Winery is part of The Lineage Collection which also includes Lineage Wine, L’Autre Côte, and Mia Nipote Wines. Located just southeast of Livermore, The Steven Kent Winery is roughly 50 miles from San Francisco, 90 miles from Sacramento, 90 miles from Salinas, and 150 miles from Fresno. At the conclusion of the retreat, long-time area vintner Steven Kent Mirassou guided board members on a tasting of the wonderful wines available at the winery.

I would like to thank Membership Chair Patty Zubov, and Activities & Programs Chair, Steve Shlisky for securing this beautiful location for our annual retreat. I would also like to thank The Steven Kent Winery for hosting our event. Our governors have big things in store for our members over the coming year and I hope you will join us in helping the chapter grow. New governors are elected once a year for a two-year term starting in July. We also welcome our members to join our various committees to be a part of shaping our chapter. If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to reach out to me at

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