Women of the West set for defining agenda

The Women of the West keynote and networking event is set to take place alongside Drama Summit West at The Ebel Theatre in LA tomorrow, featuring a stellar line-up.

Speakers Include members of the HRTS doard of directors Leigh Brecheen, Christina Davis, Chris Selak and Robin Schwartz; Kay Cannon (Blockers, Pitch Perfect, Girlboss); Vida Creator Tanya Saracho (Looking, How to Get Away with Murder) and Speakers From Such Companies as Amazon, Endemol Shine North America, HBO, ITV Studios America, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Netflix

Amazon Studios, Prime Video and IMDb Serve as Premiere Sponsors.

Women of the West is the off-the-record conference for women founded by HRTS CEO Melissa Grego. The organization will also launch ongoing Mentor Groups out of the event.

At a later date, HRTS will announce Summer and Fall “WOTW Reunion” events that will be free to all Women of the West attendees and are designed to foster the continuation of conversations and relationships started at the half-day conference.

Women of the West will feature three panel sessions, Mentor Group roundtable discussions led by a dozen expert leaders from across the landscape and a closing cocktail reception. The panels are —

THE WOMEN OF HRTS, in which HRTS Board Members offer insight into their career paths and keys to thriving in the future. This session will be moderated by HRTS Associates-LA Board Member Chika Chukudebelu, VP, programming and Diversity, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group, Universal Cable. Panelists on this session are:
Leigh Brecheen, partner, Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkmann & Goodman, LLP (HRTS Board Member)
Christina Davis, partner, Maniac Prods. (HRTS Board Member)
Robin Schwartz, head of TV, Big Beach (HRTS Board Member)
Chris Selak, EVP & head of Worldwide Scripted Television, Lionsgate (HRTS Board Secretary)

In BUILDING ON “THE PASS,” moderator Laverne McKinnon, Producer and Certified Coach/Grief Recovery Specialist, leads a candid discussion about how to acknowledge, understand and process things that do not going according to plan – be it getting a pass on a project or promotion, responsibilities redrawn in a restructuring, or promising business otherwise not panning out — and how to move onward and upward.
Panelists are:
Kay Cannon, director (BLOCKERS), Writer (Pitch Perfect franchise), executive producer/showrunner/creator (Girlboss)
Sophia Amoruso, founder & CEO, Girlboss
Bridget Baker, president & CEO, Baker Media Inc.

MAKING VIDA: INSIDE THE MISSION TO CREATE AN INCLUSIVE PRODUCTION, A candid look into how and why Tanya Saracho, Creator and Showrunner of the buzzworthy new half-hour drama Vida on Starz, and her producing and network colleagues mounted an all-Latinx show – before the “inclusion rider” existed. Discussion to include: What you can ask for in staffing up a show (and what’s out of bounds). Playwright and Creator of I Love Dick Sarah Gubbins (Better Things) moderates. Panelists are:
Tanya Saracho, creator/Showrunner/Executive Producer, Vida
Carmen Cabana, director of photography, Vida
Carmen Cuba, casting director, Vida
Nancy Mejía, staff writer, Vida
JoAnne Yarrow, Editor, Vida

Women of the West dives deeply into the most important issues to women working in TV and media during expert-led discussions conducted on a diverse set of topics around the tables in the ballroom.

New as an HRTS event, the roundtables will serve as a launch pad for peer mentor groups among our members – following the event, HRTS will present follow up gatherings for the groups and their leader to reunite and stay connected. Passes to the Women of the West reunion events are complimentary for all Women of the West attendees.

Leaders/Topics are:

Jennifer Collins, Video Business Development, IMDb
Creating Certainty in Your Partnerships in Uncertain Environments
Marisa Hammonds, Senior VP, Digital, Marketing & Research, Endemol Shine North America
Cultivating Audiences Beyond the TV Screen
Danae Kokenos, Head of TV Licensing and Original Series, Prime Video Latin America, Amazon
Understanding Successful Partnerships
Jenn Levy, Director, Unscripted Originals & Acquisitions, Netflix
Unscripted, Reality
Kathleen McCaffery, SVP of HBO Drama Programming Development
Laverne McKinnon, Producer and Certified Coach/Grief Recovery Specialist
Dealing with Disappointment and Loss
Lucienne Papon, EVP, Creative Affairs, ITV Studios America
Reinventing Yourself
Tamaya Petteway, Senior VP, Brand and Licensing Partnerships, Endemol Shine North America
Building Brand and Licensing Partnerships for Television IP
Chris Sanagustin, Director, International Originals, Netflix
Unique Challenges for Diverse and/or LGBTQ Executives

Anne Vasquez, Senior VP of Strategic Initiatives, tronc
Surviving Disruption
Shea Vaughn, Creator/CEO SheaNetics® & Co-Founder/CEO Women On TV (WBTVN)
The Importance of Well-Being in Business
Felicia Yue, Sr. Manager, Product Management, Amazon Prime Video
Careers in Production and Technology