What is CAPS?
CAPS is a group of distinguished alumni, faculty and emeritus friends of UW–Madison who have agreed to work with the department to plan for the future, advise on serving our students in a changing communications environment, and help us to build up the department’s endowment and discretionary funds. Their support keeps us strong and growing in the right directions. The CAPS board meets twice a year in Madison, once in the fall and once in the spring, along with Comm Arts faculty, staff, and student invitees. All CAPS members are UW graduates or have spent many years on the faculty and have strong ties to the University and to the Department. CAPS members contribute to endowed professorships, labs and production facilities, student internships, research funding, and special needs and projects as they arise. They serve as resources for student career advising and placement, and share their professional expertise with faculty and students in occasional workshops and lectures.
Scott M. Broetzmann is President and Co–Founder of Customer Care Measurement and Consulting (CCMC), a firm providing a broad range of consulting services related to the customer experience including strategy, operations, organization and change, and measurement, centered on creating sustainable solutions to improve bottom–line performance and anticipate risk. He received his BA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, in Psychology and Communication Science in 1982. Having collaborated with more than 300 companies, worldwide, in nearly every sector, Mr. Broetzmann has a well–rounded, results–focused, and practical perspective on how to make the leap from measuring to managing the customer experience. His work and perspectives are routinely featured in the national and international conversation about the customer experience. You might read about his views in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Business Week, Forbes, or Money as well as on CNN, MSNBC, and CBS News.
Joanne Cantor is an internationally recognized expert on the psychology of media and communications. She is Professor Emerita and Outreach Director of the Center for Communication Research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she was an award–winning professor for 26 years. Through her consulting firm, Your Mind on Media, she gives keynote presentations and workshops to business, professional, and educational organizations on productivity, creativity, and stress reduction. Prof. Cantor is the author of the highly acclaimed parenting book, Mommy, I'm Scared, a children's book, Teddy's TV Troubles, and most recently, Conquer CyberOverload, a book for just about everyone. She has also published more than 100 articles in academic and popular journals. In recognition of her expertise, Prof. Cantor has testified on numerous occasions before US Congressional committees as well as the Federal Communications Commission. She enjoys speaking before non–academic audiences and has been a guest on numerous radio and television shows including Oprah, Good Morning America, and several NPR programs. Prof. Cantor is a member of the Authors Guild, the National Speakers Association, the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the International Communication Association.
Jeff Clarke graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a B.A. in radio, television and film. He earned an M.A. in Communication Arts, with an emphasis in film, from the UW-Madison. Jeff’s broadcasting career spans 45 years with more than 32 years in public broadcasting. He retired in 2010 after a highly successful eight years as President and CEO of Northern California Public Broadcasting, the parent company of KQED-TV-FM-San Francisco, KQEH-San Jose, KQET-Monterey/Salinas and KQEI-FM-North Highlands/Sacramento. Before moving to the Bay Area in 2002, Jeff was the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Houston PBS/KUHT, holding that position since 1992. Prior to his move to Texas he served as Deputy Director of Television, and Director of Production, at Wisconsin Public Television, based in Madison. The New Tech Times, and manager of news and public affairs at KETC-TV, St. Louis, Missouri, winning a local Emmy at KQED, five local Emmy nominations as well as numerous CPB, AP and UPI awards during his distinguished career. He is married to Gail, who hails from Wisconsin. They have one daughter, Melissa. She and her family as well as Jeff and Gail reside in the Houston, Texas area.
Mary Anne Fitzpatrick is the founding Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (established January 16, 2005) at the University of South Carolina. She is also a Carolina Educational Foundation Distinguished Professor of Psychology. As the chief academic and operating officer of the College, her responsibilities include strategic planning and policy development (in collaboration with the senior staff and the Academic Planning Council), faculty recruitment and retention, resource development and allocation, academic program development and review, and external relations. She represents the collective ideas and energies of the faculty, staff, and students of the College of Arts and Sciences. Before moving to South Carolina, Prof. Fitzpatrick taught in the Department of Communication Arts at UW–Madison, where she also served as Department Chair and as Associate Dean in the College of Letters and Science. The primary focus of Fitzpatrick’s research has been on communication processes in marriage and the family. Her book Between Husbands and Wives (1988) remains one of the most important works written on its subject. In recent years, she has become a visible figure in scholarship dealing with the dynamics of health communications. A past President of the International Communication Association, Prof. Fitzpatrick received its 2001 Career Achievement Award for sustained excellence in communication research. In 1993, she was elected a Fellow of the same association, one of only 25 in the world at the time. An internationally recognized authority on interpersonal communication, Prof. Fitzpatrick is the author of over 100 articles, chapters and books. She is president–elect of the Council of College of Arts and Sciences, the largest arts and sciences group in the country, and was recently elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
George F. Hamel Jr. is a Founder and was the Chief Operating Officer at ValueAct Capital (“VAC”) until his retirement at the end of 2014. Prior to co-founding VAC in 2000, an investment management firm in San Francisco with more than $19 billion in assets under management, Hamel was a Partner at BLUM Capital Partners in SF for over four years, and a Partner at Private Capital Management, Inc. and President at Carnes Capital Corporation, an affiliated broker-dealer, for four years in Naples, FL. Mr. Hamel was previously the President at Signet Investment Corporation and began his investment career as a Financial Consultant at Merrill Lynch. He is a member of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee, the Board of the University of Wisconsin Foundation, the Board of Visitors of the College of Letters and Science, and is a trustee at Bard College in NY. In addition, he is on the Board, and a former President of North Beach Citizens, a not-for-profit organization in San Francisco aiding the homeless. Mr. Hamel has a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, as part of a three generation family tradition: his father, George F. Hamel Sr., as well as his son, John, both also graduated from Wisconsin. He and his wife Pamela Hamel, along with two of his sons (GIII and John), also operate a winery in Sonoma, CA (imaginatively named Hamel Family Wines). Their logo will appear familiar to any Badger.
Sean Hanish is an award-winning feature film and commercial director, writer and producer. He has produced three films (RETURN TO ZERO, SISTER CITIES, SAINT JUDY), all alongside fellow Badger alum and CAPs member Kelly Kahl. RETURN TO ZERO earned an Emmy nomination for its star, Minnie Driver, and a WGA Award nomination for Sean. SISTER CITIES sold out its world festival premiere at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival and is now streaming on Netflix. Most recently, Sean directed and produced SAINT JUDY, starring Michelle Monaghan, Alfred Molina, Alfre Woodard, and Academy Award winner Common. Sean also writes, directs, and produces commercials through his production company Cannonball Productions (40% Badger employment rate!) in Los Angeles. His commercial clients include Cindy Crawford, Sofia Vergara, Eric Church, Disney, Rooms To Go, NCAA, Hallmark, Liz Claiborne, and Oscar De La Renta. After graduating from UW, Sean completed his Master of Arts at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.
Erik Hellum is COO/Local Media for Townsquare Media, the third-largest owner of radio stations in the U.S., overseeing operations of 318 stations in 67 markets. He served as President of GAP West Broadcasting from May 2008 to August 2010 until its acquisition by Townsquare Media. Erik received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison ('87) in Communication Arts (Radio, TV, Film) and began his career at Katz Radio in New York after securing a summer media-research internship posted on a door in the Comm Arts faculty corridor. He parlayed that internship into a sales position with Katz in Boston and went on to management positions of increasing responsibility in its Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York offices. He became Vice President/Sales when Katz sold to AM/FM and oversaw early cross-platform sales efforts for Clear Channel Communications in Chicago. In 2002, he left to pursue his dream of being a broadcaster. He worked for Bonneville International Communications as Vice President/Market Manager of WIL/WRTH in St. Louis, MO, and later as Vice President/Market Manager of KTAR AM/FM and KPKX in Phoenix, AZ. Erik and his wife, Jennifer ('89), currently live in New York.
James G. Hirsch is a founding partner of International Studio Group, LLC ('ISG') and is one of Hollywood's most inventive and successful writer–producers. After writing and producing hundreds of hours of award–winning film and television, Mr. Hirsch and his partner Bob Papazian built, marketed and very successfully operated their own motion picture and television facility, Ray–Art Studios. Ray–Art became a full–service, state of the art facility which housed many of Hollywood's leading independent producers, major studios and TV networks, including MGM, Fox, Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros., NBC, ABC, TNT and Spelling, among others. The highly profitable Ray–Art was sold in 2004. Previously Mr. Hirsch, through Papazian–Hirsch Productions, has been the executive producer, producer or writer of more than 40 television movies, series and miniseries, including Executive Producing HBO's highly acclaimed and smash hit Rome, The Rape of Richard Beck (ABC), for which he was nominated for a Writer’s Guild of America Award and for which Richard Crenna won the Emmy; a Media Access Award nomination for In the Best Interest of the Child (CBS), and many more. James Hirsch was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he studied creative writing under Nobel Prize laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer. Since 2005 he has taught a master class in screenwriting each fall semester at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Stephen P. Jarchow is Chairman of Here Media, which produces and distributes niche content across all platforms worldwide. Here Media’s iconic brands distribute gay media and world cinema programming with universal, humanistic appeal. Its distribution platforms include television, VOD, broadband, online, print, and mobile. It earns subscription, advertising, and licensing revenue from its award–winning content. He is also Chairman of Regent Entertainment, a producer and distributor of theatrical and television motion pictures which has ongoing relationships with over 100 international distributors and broadcasters. Together with his long–time business partner, Paul Colichman, he has been involved in the production and/or distribution of over 150 motion pictures and television series episodes, as well as the building of a library of over 3,500 motion pictures and television shows. Mr. Jarchow received a BBA, MS and JD with Honors from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He practiced tax and real estate law and subsequently was a partner in over 200 ventures with an international real estate development company and a senior managing director with an investment banking firm. Mr. Jarchow serves on the Board of Trustees of Otis College of Art and Design. He has taught Entertainment Law for many years and is the author of five books.
Kelly Kahl was promoted to President, CBS Entertainment in May 2017, reporting directly to Leslie Moonves, Chairman and CEO, CBS Corporation. Kahl, who has helped build CBS’ highly successful primetime schedule for more than 20 years, leads the Network’s Entertainment division. As part of his new role, he also oversees Entertainment matters in Marketing and Promotion, Digital/Interactive, Diversity, Publicity, Research and Scheduling. For the last 21 years, Kahl has helped build CBS’ durable and successful scheduling framework that nurtured hit shows for the Network and valuable programming assets for CBS Corporation. The Network has been #1 in viewers for 14 of the last 15 seasons, including nine straight. He also helped make key scheduling moves that have vaulted shows to huge success, including BULL, KEVIN CAN WAIT, BLUE BLOODS, SURVIVOR, THE BIG BANG THEORY, “CSI” and all three editions of the NCIS franchise. He also serves on the board of Pop, a cable network (formerly known as TVGN) that is a joint venture between CBS and Lionsgate Entertainment. Kahl had been Senior Executive Vice President, CBS Primetime, since 2005. He joined CBS in January 1996 as Vice President, Scheduling, CBS Entertainment, following three years as Director, Network Research at Warner Bros. Television. He joined Lorimar Television in 1990 (before Lorimar and Warner Bros. Television combined operations) as a research intern and quickly rose through the ranks as a research analyst and then manager, before assuming responsibility for the research department in 1993. Kahl is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison (B.A., Communications, 1989) and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communications (M.A., Communications Management, 1991).
Vance I. Kepley is Professor of Film and Director of the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, as well as former Chair of the Department of Communication Arts. He teaches and conducts research in the history of cinema, focusing on the relationship between film and social history with special interest in Russian/Soviet cinema and documentary film. Prof. Kepley is the author of The End of St. Petersburg: The Film Companion, and In the Service of the State: The Cinema of Alexander Dovzhenko, as well as numerous articles on Russian and Soviet filmmakers and on film and television documentary. He earned his BA from the University of Illinois in 1973 and his PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1978. He is married to Betty Kepley, who also studied at the UW–Madison; both are generous Badger and Comm Arts supporters. Each year the Vance and Betty Kepley Teaching Award is given to a graduate teaching assistant in Communication Arts to reward exceptional undergraduate instruction.
David Kurrasch attended the UW-Madison from 1970-73 and received a B.A. with a triple major in Communication Arts, History, and Economics. He earned an MBA at the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird School) in 1975. After graduating Dave joined the Treasury Department of the Armour-Dial Corporation, in Phoenix, AZ, then in 1982 was recruited to Wells Fargo Bank, San Francisco, where he spent 15 years managing the bank's wholesale risk and product management departments. Dave left Wells Fargo in 1997 to start his own business—Global Payments Advisors, Inc, in San Francisco, CA. Its specialty is providing payment and compliance advice to large banks and corporations worldwide. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Mary and dog "Hank." They live across the street from the home of the San Francisco Giants (AT&T Park) and, therefore, are required to be big Giants fans. Dave sits on the WI Union Board of Associate Trustees and on the Dean's Letters & Science Board of Visitors.
Andrew (AJ) Long is a recent UW-Madison graduate working in downtown Chicago for bswift, a firm which offers software and services that streamline benefits, HR and payroll administration for employers and public and private exchanges nationwide. AJ received his BA in Communication Arts (Communication Science and Rhetorical Studies) in 2014. During his undergraduate studies, AJ had previously worked with campus leaders in implementing the WiGrow program at UW-Madison. WiGrow is an engagement effort aimed to increase the positive impact of student employment through supervisor and student employee conversations. He looks forward to someday hopefully being as distinguished as his fellow board members.
Stephen E. Lucas is Professor of Communication Arts and Evjue–Bascom Professor in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he has taught since 1972. Prof. Lucas has been recognized for his work as both a scholar and a teacher. His first book, Portents of Rebellion: Rhetoric and Revolution in Philadelphia, 1765–1776, received the Golden Anniversary Award of the National Communication Association in 1977 and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Professor Lucas has received a number of teaching awards, including the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Wisconsin and the National Communication Association’s Donald Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education. Professor Lucas has directed the introductory public speaking course at the University of Wisconsin–Madison since 1973. Over the years he has been responsible for numerous teaching innovations and has supervised the training of hundreds of graduate assistants. In addition to participating in public speaking workshops and colloquia at schools throughout the United States, he has served as a judge for the major national English–language public speaking competitions in China, has lectured at numerous Chinese universities, and has conducted workshops for Chinese instructors on teaching public speaking.
Jay Russell earned a BA in Communication Arts from UW-Madison in 1980 focusing on Radio, TV and Film production. Instead of the production side, Jay ended up working on the business side of television. Starting with a television listings company, Jay worked up through the ranks to run the Atlanta office of TV Data Technologies before a corporate merger ended that phase of his career. After moving to Milwaukee, he joined Peter Storer & Associates (later StorerTV), a company that provided program management software systems used to manage programming contracts and their associated financial information. Involved in marketing, client support, training and finally sales, Jay worked with a number of broadcast groups including Raycom, Hearst and the CBS Television Stations Group along with cable networks like Golf Channel, BET, WWE, Univision, EWTN, and Bounce TV. When SintecMedia acquired StorerTV in 2012, Sales/Traffic and Affiliate Revenue Management systems were added to the list of products he represented. Currently Jay works out of his home in Madison, serving on a team which handles US sales and operations for Tedial, a media asset management and workflow company based in Spain. Over the years, he has worked with high school foreign exchange students and has also performed and taught improvisational comedy. He met his lovely and talented wife, Dana, in Witte Hall. They have a daughter, son-in-law and a delightful granddaughter named Cammie.
Tarek Saleh is a former Pro football player in the National Football League. He played for the Carolina Panthers (1997–1998) and the Cleveland Browns (1999–2001). He is one of the few Palestinian Americans to have played in the NFL. He was born in Woodbridge, Connecticut attending Notre Dame High School (West Haven, Connecticut) and graduating in 1997 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in communication arts. While at the UW, Tarek was a student-athlete playing all four years as a linebacker for the Badgers Football team. He was selected all-big ten as a junior and senior and Sporting News All-American as a Senior. Tarek currently is a business development consultant for Kollege Town Sports and Profit Point Tax Technology.
Steven J. Smith is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Journal Communications, a diversified media company with operations in publishing, radio and television broadcasting, interactive media and printing services and publisher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Smith joined Journal Communications in 1976 as an advertising salesperson at WTMJ–AM in Milwaukee. He was named general manager at WKTI–FM in Milwaukee in 1980. Three years later, he was named vice president and general manager of WTMJ–AM and WKTI–FM. In 1985, Mr. Smith was appointed vice president and general manager of KTNV–TV, which is the ABC affiliate in Las Vegas. In 1992, after serving five years as president of WTMJ Inc. — now Journal Broadcast Group — he became president of Journal Communications. While in that role, he also served separate terms as interim president of two Journal Communications businesses Norlight Telecommunications Inc. and PrimeNet Marketing Services. Mr. Smith added the title chief operating officer of Journal Communications in 1996. He was named chief executive officer on March 3, 1998, and chairman on December 1, 1998. Mr. Smith, who grew up in Milwaukee, earned a degree in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1972. In 1995, he completed the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.
Matthew Tauber is Vice President of Advertising Sales for Turner Entertainment. His responsibilities include monetizing tbs & TNT through advertising and brand activations across all media platforms including television, VOD, online video and mobile. Matt also has oversight for TNT and is responsible for setting Ad Sales strategy as the network evolves and rebrands. Matt joined Turner in 2007 as an Account Executive working on tbs, TNT & truTV. Prior to joining Turner, Matt held various positions at Fox Cable Networks as part of their Ad Sales team. He was an Account Executive at FX Networks and started his career on the Ad Agency side as a Media Buyer at Optimum Media. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (’99) where he majored in Communication Arts (TV, Radio & Film).
Carolynne Thomas received her BA in Communication Science and Women’s Studies at UW-Madison in 2000, and an MBA from the University of Denver in 2012. She is a partner at CRA, Inc., a consulting firm based in Radnor, PA. There she serves as co-head of CRA’s Strategic Communication practice, working with executive teams to create alignment around a common strategic direction, and then coaching those executives and their communication team to drive the same alignment in the organization. In 2010, she led the development of a model for Leadership Communication Effectiveness: a framework to measure, track, and understand how well leaders are communicating with their direct reports. Since joining CRA in 2000, Carolynne has helped to set the standards for advising clients on reducing uncertainty during times of change, adopting new processes and technology, and improving communication effectiveness. Carolynne's client list includes Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Cargill, Catholic Health Initiatives, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Inglis, Juniper Networks, Mercy, McDonald's Corporation, and University Hospitals. Before joining CRA, Carolynne researched the effects of genetic counselors' communication styles on patients for the Human Genome Project.
Maurice VerStandig is an AV-rated attorney known for his aggressive, unconventional, and detail-oriented approach to cases, Mr. VerStandig counsels various regional businesses, an international charity, and numerous individuals whose complex and diverse personal holdings regularly invite an equally complex and diverse array of legal issues. He has successfully tried cases before dozens of federal and state courts, negotiated favorable settlements in a multitude of other litigation matters, structured financial transactions and corporate deals involving tens of millions of dollars, consulted with both bettors and operators on a wide array of gaming-centric regulatory matters, and established a reputation as a source of pragmatic legal advice for businesses and individuals alike.
Barbara Wilson (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin–Madison) is the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC), where she provides leadership in the areas of academic affairs and faculty affairs. She is also the Kathryn Lee Baynes Dallenbach Professor in the Department of Communication at UIUC. Before joining the University of Illinois in 2000, she was on the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara for 12 years. Her areas of expertise include the social and psychological effects of the media, particularly on youth. She is co–author of Children, Adolescents, and the Media (Sage Publications, 2002; second edition, 2009) and three book volumes of the National Television Violence Study (Sage Publications, 1997–1998). She also co–edited the Handbook of Children, Media, and Development (Wiley–Blackwell, 2008), and has published over 100 scholarly articles, chapters, and technical reports on media effects and their implications for media policy. Professor Wilson currently serves on the editorial boards of four academic journals, including Media Psychology and the Journal of Media and Children. In 2008, she was elected as Fellow of the International Communication Association. She has served as a research consultant for Nickelodeon, the National Association of Television Program Executives, Discovery Channel Pictures, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tino Balio is Emeritus Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Balio served as director of the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research (1966–1982), chair of the Department of Communication Arts (1997–00), and executive director of the Arts Institute (1998–04). A specialist in the history of the American film industry, Prof. Balio is the author or editor of seven books, including a two volume history of United Artists, The American Film Industry, Hollywood in the Age of Television and most recently, The Foreign Film Renaissance on American Screens 1946–1973. He is the 2001 recipient of the inaugural Academy Film Scholar Grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and other awards.
David Bordwell is Jacques Ledoux Professor Emeritus of Film Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He holds a master's degree and a doctorate in film from the University of Iowa. His books include The Films of Carl Theodor Dreyer (University of California Press, 1981), Narration in the Fiction Film (University of Wisconsin Press, 1985), Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema (Princeton University Press, 1988), Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema (Harvard University Press, 1989), The Cinema of Eisenstein (Harvard University Press, 1993), On the History of Film Style (Harvard University Press, 1997), Planet Hong Kong: Popular Cinema and the Art of Entertainment (Harvard University Press, 2000), Figures Traced in Light: On Cinematic Staging (University of California Press, 2005), The Way Hollywood Tells It: Story and Style in Modern Movies (University of California Press, 2006), and The Poetics of Cinema (Routledge, 2008). He has won a University Distinguished Teaching Award and was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Copenhagen. His web site is www.davidbordwell.net.
Stuart N. Brotman received his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, where he served as Note and Comment Editor of the California Law Review. He received his M.A. in Communications from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he specialized in communications regulation and policy. He received his B.S. in Communication Studies and Mass Media, summa cum laude, from Northwestern University. As an undergraduate, he also studied international and comparative broadcasting at the Center for Communication Studies in London. Mr. Brotman completed the professional programs in negotiation and mediation at Harvard Law School. He is an appointed member of the US Department of State Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy (ACICIP), serving in an advisory capacity concerning major economic, social and legal issues and problems in international communications and information policy. He currently teaches Entertainment and Media Law at the Harvard Law School and serves as a faculty adviser to the Harvard Law School Committee on Sports and Entertainment Law. He also serves on the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program faculty. Mr. Brotman has served in three Presidential administrations, including the landmark federal task forces that led to the introduction of cellular telephone and direct broadcast satellite services in the United States, and to the development of e–mail as a competitive, commercial service. He also was an inaugural member of the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel.
Lee deBoer is a media veteran with broad experience in television, cable and new media. From 1976–1995, he served at Time–Warner's Home Box Office, where he was responsible for the development and launch of Cinemax, The Comedy Channel/Comedy Central, HBO Multiplex, HBO Ole, HBO Hungary, HBO Asia. He was Executive Vice President, HBO; President, HBO International and also President of Time–Warner International Broadcasting, before he established Media Futures, a multi–media consultancy in 1995. In 1997, deBoer was recruited to be CEO of New Century Network, the venture established by the nine largest newspaper companies to build a national network on the Internet. Mr. deBoer also served as CEO of Automatic Media, an Internet media and software company. He earned his BA in Communication Arts from the UW in 1974.
Ed Greenberg is currently a partner at RIME Communications Capital, an investment partnership focusing on the telecommunications, media and internet sectors, a company he founded in 2008. Prior to RIME Communications, he served in various roles at Morgan Stanley, which he joined in 1985, serving as a global telecommunications strategist and senior investment banker from 1998–2007, and as head of Morgan Stanley’s global telecommunications and media research team from 1994–1998. Mr. Greenberg began his career as a regulator, working at the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Agency. Mr. Greenberg graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1972.
Thomas P. Kane is Senior Director of Product Development at Brinks, Inc., in Dallas, Texas. He earned a BA in Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1987 and an MBA in Marketing and Management at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business in 2006. Prior to joint Brinks, Mr. Kane served as General Manager of Oaklawn Marketing and then as Retail Operations Manager at HBE Corporation.
Jeffrey P. Kurz served for seven years as an acquisitions and production executive for both Miramax and Dimension Films, where he was involved in Neil Jordan’s Oscar–winning The Crying Game, Alex Proyas’ The Crow, Guillermo del Toro’s Mimic, Chris Eyre’s Smoke Signals and John Carpenter’s highly successful Halloween series. In 2000, he formed his own production company, Belle City Pictures. His current projects include: Blackdeer, with actor Adam Beach, director Marilyn Agrelo and writer John Roach; and An Ocean Apart with director Lucy Walker. Mr. Kurz is also involved in several Midwestern arts organizations, including IFP/Chicago (Board of Directors; Production Fund Committee; Programming Committee); Milwaukee Film (World Feature Selection Committee; and Collaborative Cinema mentor).
Walter M. Mirisch and his brothers Marvin Mirisch and Harold Mirisch were one of the most successful producing teams in Hollywood history. The Mirisch Corporation has been called “one of the most successful independent production groups” in Hollwood. By 1962, it had sponsored eighteen films which had grossed over $100,000,000, and by 1967 it had sponsored thirty–six films which had grossed over $250,000,000. The Mirisch Brothers had by then received fifty–six Academy Award nominations from which they had been voted seventeen awards. Walter Mirisch produced thirteen of these films and won an Academy Award for In the Heat of the Night (1967). During these years, Walter Mirisch served as president of the Screen Producers Guild. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in 1942 and attended graduate school in business administration at Harvard for one year. In February 1967, Mr. Mirisch was named “Alumnus of the Year in Southern California” by the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association.
Susan Schmitz is President of Downtown Madison Inc., a not–for–profit advocacy organization with more than 500 members. DMI advocates for a healthy and vital downtown Madison, working with the Mayor’s office, city and elected officials, the UW Madison, and other organizations with similar civic interests. Ms. Schmitz serves on the boards of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Madison Parks Foundation, the Wisconsin Community Bank, and is a member of the Rotary Club, the American Planning Association, and the International Downtown Association. She is a fourth–generation Madisonian who earned a degree from the UW–Madison in 2000.
Neil Willenson is a national non–profit leader, public speaker, social activist, actor, entertainment industry executive and author. Most notably, he is the Founder of One Heartland (formerly Camp Heartland), a U.S. non–profit organization that greatly improves the lives of children, youth and families who experience HIV/AIDS and other significant life challenges worldwide. One Heartland has raised more than $40 million for this cause and is a model for similar programs around the world. Mr. Willenson is the Vice President of Community Relations for Kapco Metal Stamping in Grafton, WI where he is responsible for raising funds and distributing grants to hundreds of worthy charities. He is also the Vice President of a fast–growing entertainment company called K–Nation Entertainment. In December 2008, Mr. Willenson was named one of GQ Magazine’s “Men of the Year.” Previously, he was the recipient of the Forward Under Forty Award at his alma mater — University of Wisconsin–Madison, the Aetna Arthur Ashe Voice of Conscience Award, V100’s Peace Achiever Award, and the Use Your Life Award by Oprah Winfrey. Mr. Willenson graduated from the UW in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in Communication Arts.