Skip to main content

ADVISORY COUNCIL

The members of the CSUEA Advisory Council are high profile executives, creators and trendsetters in all facets of entertainment art who represent media giants, leading studios and independent companies. The Council helps guide the CSU's efforts to develop mutually beneficial industry partnerships and the most relevant course and career development standards for our students.

Alice A. Carter

Alice A. Carter

Professor Emeritus, San Jose State Animation Program
Co-Founder, The Animation/Illustration Program at SJSU

Carter co-founded San Jose State University’s renowned Animation/Illustration Program and is the former Co-Director of Education at the Walt Disney Family Museum. Honors include San Jose State’s Outstanding Professor award, the New York Society of Illustrator’s Distinguished Educator in the Arts award, and the Umhoefer Prize for Achievement in the Humanities.

Dan Cohen

Dan Cohen

President, Paramount Worldwide TV Licensing

Dan Cohen oversees the global licensing and distribution of all of the studio’s films, television series and other content across multiple platforms including mobile, pay-TV, broadcast, cable and SVOD as well as emerging digital arenas. He was formerly the Executive Vice President, Pay Television & Digital Disney/ABC Home Entertainment & Television Distribution Cohen overseeing the in-home sales and content distribution arm for Disney. His more than 25 years of industry experience also includes roles with Viewer’s Choice, Palmer Cablevision, and Post-Newsweek Cable. He earned his master’s in Radio & TV from SF State.

Grazia Como

Grazia Como

University Relations Recruiter, Manager, DreamWorks Animation

Como develops and delivers several large scale training initiatives, including live instruction and online classes for DreamWorks Animation. She began her Dreamworks career as a render assistant on the studio’s first computer animated feature film, Antz, in 1997. Como worked in Visual FX and commercials as a production manager at Stan Winston Studios and in production technical support and training development at Digital Domain.

Maureen Droney

Maureen Droney

Managing Director, Producers & Engineers Wing at The Recording Academy

Droney, through the Producers & Engineers Wing of The Recording Academy, advocates and develops programs for creative and technical professionals in the recording industry. She worked in the industry for more than 20 years, serving as a freelance engineer on projects for George Benson, Whitney Houston, John Hiatt, Tower of Power and Santana, among many others. She earned a degree in broadcast communication arts from San Francisco State University.

David Eilenberg

David Eilenberg

President, ITV Entertainment

Eilenberg oversees content for ITV Entertainment, whose portfolio includes Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, E!’s Rich Kids Of Beverly Hills and A&E’s The First 48. He served as SVP of Unscripted Development at TBS/TNT, and led development and current programming for Mark Burnett Productions, working on The Voice, The Apprentice and Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? – earning him a Daytime Emmy nomination.

Jean Picker Firstenberg

Jean Picker Firstenberg

Trustee, The California State University Board of Directors

Firstenberg was President and CEO of the American Film Institute from 1980- 2007. Her book, “BECOMING AFI: 50 Years Inside the American Film Institute,” with James Hindman, was published in 2017. Jean has also worked in public affairs television programming and advertising, was the first woman Chair of the Peabody Awards Board, and the Director of Princeton University’s Office of Communication. She is a graduate of Boston University’s School of Communication and was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California State University Board of Trustees in 2016.

Shannon Flynn

Shannon Flynn

Television Director, Nickelodeon, Disney, AwesomenessTV & ABCDigital

Flynn has directed a wide array of hit television shows, including AwesomenessTV’s Betch Sketch, Nick Jr.’s Mutt and Stuff (produced by the legendary Sid and Marty Krofft), TV Land’s Instant Mom. Currently, she is in preproduction for a new show with ABCDigital. Shannon began her career on the hit series Gilmore Girls, Bernie Mac and Arrested Development. Shannon also cofounded the Hunger Artists Theatre Company with fellow Orange Coast College students. She is an alumna of CSU Long Beach and has a Masters of Fine Arts in Directing from the Yale School of Drama.

Courtney Granner

Courtney Granner

Professor Emeritus, San Jose State Animation Program Co-Founder, The Animation/Illustration Program at SJSU

Granner co-founded San Jose State University’s renowned Animation/Illustration Program and is the former Co-Director of Education at the Walt Disney Family Museum. He completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Western Kentucky University, post-undergraduate study at The Art Institute of Boston, and a Master of Arts degree from Syracuse University. Academic honors include the SJSU School of Humanities and the Arts Teaching Innovation Award and a Fulbright Fellowship in Cairo, Egypt. Granner has worked professionally as a video game designer, art director, and editorial illustrator

Rex Grignon

Rex Grignon

CEO & Co-Founder, Nimble Collective

Grignon is the President and CEO of Nimble Collective, a virtual streaming collaborative animation platform provide creators with the tools, processes, and advice to create and distribute their own original work. He has worked for Pixar, the Computer Animation Lab, the NYIT Computer Graphics Lab and has served as the Head of Character Animation for PDI/Dreamworks (previously Dreamworks) since 1988. He led the Madagascar feature animated film and television franchise projects. Rex also taught animation for San Jose State University from 2008 to 2010.

Ilan Haimoff

Ilan Haimoff

Partner, Motion Picture & Television Participation Services, Green Hasson Janks

Haimoff currently manages participation audits at various studios including 20th Century Fox, Sony, and Starz. He has over 18 years of accounting experience serving clients in the entertainment, financial services and real estate industries. He is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Internal Auditor, a Certified Fraud Examiner and is Certified in Financial Forensics. Haimoff holds an accounting bachelor’s from CSU Northridge.

Eve Honthaner

Eve Honthaner

Eve Honthaner has been the Deputy Director of the California Film Commission since 2013. Having previously come from an extensive background in production management, she worked in various saff positions and in every freelance capacity from PA to line producer. She worked for companies such DreamWorks and Legendary Pictures and on films such as Titanic, Just Married and Tropic Thunder. She’s the author of two entertainment industry standards: The Complete Film Production Handbook (4th Edition) and Hollywood Drive: What it Takes to Break in, Hang in & Make it in the Entertainment Industry (2nd Edition), both published by Focal Press. For the past 19 years, Eve taught a course she created for USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Summer Program called “Breaking Into The Industry.” She has lectured at other colleges and universities throughout the country and is a member of the Producers Guild of America.

Benjamin Hung

Benjamin Hung

Chief Operating Officer, DMG Entertainment North America

DMG is a global entertainment and media company with diverse holdings across motion pictures, television, comic book publishing, music, gaming, creative management and entertainment-themed properties. Hung was SVP & GM of Marvel Studios and has over 15 years of entertainment management experience. He also served as the executive director of business development with the Motion Pictures Group of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Steve Ip

Steve Ip

Co-founder, Chief Strategy Officer at ADVR, Co-founder at MAP

Steve Ip co-founded a content marketing company that developed the first discovery marketing engine for virtual and augmented reality applications. He leads strategy and partnership initiatives. His viral-content marketing background garnered millions of organic impressions from various music projects, viral videos, published articles and independent games. Steve is also a writer for VRScout and co-founder of BoxCat, an award-winning independent mobile games developer. Steve graduated from CSU Los Angeles with a B.A. in Music.

Doug Jackson

Doug Jackson

Director of Programming Operations, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Jackson has over 20 years of broadcast experience. He served as the manager of broadcast operations at FOX, director, Broadcast Operations at CBS Sports in New York, and has held senior positions at Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment, Omnibus Systems and Technical Digital Content Delivery. Jackson has extensive international television experience in Asia, Latin America and Europe. Doug earned his master’s in Radio and Television from San Francisco State University

Gregg Katano

Gregg Katano

Vice President of U.S. Operations at HOLOGATE, Partner at the VR Arcade

Katano is a media entrepreneur, solutions architect, and educator with over 20 years of experience in the areas of production, visual effects, stereoscopic 3D, and virtual reality. Gregg has been a thought leader in the virtual reality community. He has recently co-founded, MELD, an agency that is combining the latest VR & AR technology, creative minds, and customer service to help brands achieve unparalleled engagement with their customers. He is currently partner and chief business strategist of the very first and leading Google-certified partnerthat producesGoogle’s‘Cardboard’ virtual reality viewers. He studied Radio, Television & Film at Cal State Long Beach, Film Production at the University of Southern California and online/blended instruction at Otis College of Art & Design.

Ilyanne Morden Kichaven

Ilyanne Morden Kichaven

Executive Director, Los Angeles, SAG-AFTRA

Morden Kichaven is one of the entertainment industry and labor’s leading women executives. SAG-AFTRA Los Angles represents over 80,000 actors, broadcasters, dancers, singers, stunt-persons, voice-over and recording artists. Morden Kichaven holds duties in the collective bargaining process, operations, governance, member programs, public policy, labor and industry relations, communications, and organizing. She has also served as an executive for numerous notable independent film production and distribution companies orchestrating several award-winning marketing and strategic partnerships, and has been recognized with numerous civic and community honors.

Carole Kirschner

Carole Kirschner

Director of the Writers Guild of America's Showrunner Training Program

Having worked as a senior level television development executive for eighteen years (including her posts at CBS and as head of Steven Spielberg’s first Amblin Television), Carole has heard over 3,000 pitches, bought hundreds of projects and was involved in developing dozens of television series. Now an international speaker and entertainment career coach, she teaches aspiring and established creative professionals how to navigate the often mystifying field of the entertainment industry. Her book, Hollywood Game Plan: How to Land a Job in Film, TV and Digital Entertainment, is assigned as a textbook in film/television classes at colleges and universities throughout the U.S.

Kristina Leach

Kristina Leach

Playwright & Teaching Artist, The Geffen and South Coast Repertory Theatres

Kristina Leach has worked in professional theatres for over 20 years. She served as a Literary Associate for both South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa and the Geffen Playhouse in LA. In addition to being a teaching artist of acting and playwriting, at South Coast Repertory (Adult and Youth Conservatories), she is a freelance social media curator, content creator and copywriter. An alum of Cal State Fullerton, she is also an award-winning playwright, an actor and a director. Her plays have been produced in New York, Los Angeles and the U.K. Presently, she lives in Orange County with her husband, their son and a very grumpy dog

Jessica Lindl

Jessica Lindl

Global Head of Education at Unity Technologies

Jessica has spent over 15 years overseeing companies and teams that design, develop, market and distribute high impact learning offerings to the global education market. In her work at Unity Technologies, Common Sense Media, GlassLab, Scientific Learning, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, she has worked to improve learning outcomes and earning potential for all learners worldwide by blending effectiveness with ground-breaking engagement. Jessica is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, where she received a Masters in Business Administration with a focus on entrepreneurship and education. She lives in San Francisco, CA with her husband and two young sons.

Luis Patiño

Luis Patiño

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Univision Television Group

Patiño is the senior vice president and general manager of Univision Local Media Los Angeles (formerly known as Univision Television Group (UTG)), at Univision Communications Inc, the leading media company serving Hispanic America. Univision Local Media owns and/or operates 128 local television and radio stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico. Mr. Patiño is responsible for the day-to-day management of station operations, sales, news, marketing and promotions for in Los Angeles

Robert Ramirez

Robert Ramirez

Digital Media Producer, Netflix

Ramirez has a wealth of experience in digital video production and distribution, as well as localizing content. He establishes and maintains partnerships with distributors and vendors for Netflix and has served as a digital content specialist for the Global Indies and Latin America. Before joining Netflix in 2012, Ramirez was a manager and home entertainment associate producer for VIZ Media and a video production coordinator for LiveNote. Ramirez earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast & Electronic Communications Arts from San Francisco State University.

Nancy Robinson

Nancy Robinson

Director, Education Programs at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation

Robinson is the Director of Education Programs for the Television Academy Foundation. In this capacity, she oversees the Foundation’s highly rated summer Student Internship Program, the annual Faculty Seminar, the Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarship Program, the Visiting Professionals speaker program and Alumni engagement. Nancy is also responsible for educational outreach and creating alliances with colleges/universities nationwide. Nancy is a graduate of UC San Diego with a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts/Media Production.

Juan E. Rodriguez

Juan E. Rodriguez

Senior Manager, Product & Portfolio Management | Global Dist. Business Operations & Strategy | Disney Media Networks

Rodriguez advises on international distribution and content acquisitions related to The Walt Disney Company’s Media Networks and Studio Entertainment divisions, including its scripted and non-scripted television and motion picture portfolio. Before joining Disney, he was a Director of International Business & Legal Affairs at Paramount Pictures, a Business Affairs associate at Tribune Entertainment, and a Manager at the American Film Institute. He holds a J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (2000) and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley (1997).

Justin Threatt

Justin Threatt

Senior Director, Sales & Business Operations, Fox Sports

Mr. Threatt is an innovative Organizational Sales Executive and trusted advisor with a demonstrated record of success and keen ability to understand business needs, challenge assumptions and see things from a fresh perspective. Passionate about continuous improvement for brands & companies through gap fit analysis, consulting, design and process implementation with outcomes that drive results.

Sam Wick

Sam Wick

Head of Ventures, United Talent Agency

Mr. Wick brings over 20 years of experience in marketing, business development, and relationship management in the traditional media, technology, and publishing industries. Wick previously led operations and business development, overseeing strategic partnerships and the enterprise business at Maker Studios. Prior to Maker, Wick served as senior vice president of marketing and programming at Myspace, overseeing the company’s programming, editorial, marketing, music, entertainment and video departments. Before joining Myspace, Wick has held senior positions at Platform-A, AOL’s advertising business, as well as MP3.com and MECA Communications.