FUTURE NOW Media Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit, whose mission is to build future leaders in the media and entertainment industry. We are a leadership incubator, and we engage, mentor, train and connect college and graduate students and recent graduates to become the best and brightest future leaders in every sector of the media and entertainment industry, including in BUSINESS, CONTENT AND TECHNOLOGY.
Diversity and inclusion are in our DNA and organic to our mission. We believe in providing equal opportunity, exposure and access to advancement for the next generation and future generations of business leaders, technologists, content creators, storytellers, journalists and creative artists. We know that investing in future leaders today will ensure a better future for everyone.
We envision a strong, vibrant, diverse and inclusive community of future leaders in the media and entertainment industry, who stand for truth, integrity and excellence.
FUTURE NOW hosts the annual FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment conference (FNME) designed to bring together college and graduate students and recent graduates who are passionate about pursuing careers in the media and entertainment field with today's top executives, thought leaders and professionals. The conference is designed to give students the opportunity to hear directly from leaders in the industry, connect, network and be mentored by them.
In addition to the annual conference, FUTURE NOW produces quarterly and monthly meet ups, educational training, talks, workshops, and mentoring and networking opportunities throughout the year.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
MARGARET "PEGGY" KIM, Founder & President, is a senior programming and production executive known for her work at The History Channel, where she produced hit series and Peabody and Emmy award-winning programming. She is the Founder & CEO of iSTANDtv, a global content studio and online and mobile platform for smart, inspiring, thought-provoking stories that come from a perspective of hope. Margaret has a BA in Political Science from Williams College and a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Asbury University and is a board member of Operation Mobilization USA.
MEEKA JUN BONDY, Secretary, was formerly Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs at HBO, responsible for legal matters pertaining to the HBO Enterprises, Corporate Services, Research and Information Technology groups. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from Brooklyn Law School. She is executive sponsor for MOSAIC, the Asian-American business resource group at HBO, and has served on the board of the New York chapter of WICT (Women in Cable Telecommunications).
TANYA GILES, Board. As General Manager for ViacomCBS MTV Entertainment Group, Tanya leads content strategy, programming, and research & insights for MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel, Pop TV, CMT, VH1, TV Land and Logo. Additionally, she oversees initiatives to maximize IP for the nine brands and monetize content with corporate partners in sales and distribution and Pluto. She reports to President Chris McCarthy and serves on his five-person senior leadership team. Tanya received her BA from Syracuse University and her MA from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
TOM HALLEEN, Board. Tom, a former executive vice president of programming strategy, acquisitions and scheduling at AMC Networks, is the founding dean of Biola’s School of Cinema and Media Arts. Through his nearly 30 years as an entertainment industry executive, Halleen has experience in all divisions of programming national television networks including acquisitions, scheduling, development, production, operations, viewer services, research, legal, standards and practices, and promo/media planning. Halleen earned a BA in mass communications from Taylor University and a MA in communications from Regent University.
RICK MONIHAN, Board. As the former Director of Operations and Ad Solutions at the Walt Disney Company, he managed agency and vendor contract pielines, and set baseline terms and conditions for negotiations with agencies. Rick joined Disney | ESPN in 2011, and has worked to implement industry best practices which streamline the sales process, improve operational efficiency, and protect company business interests. Rick is passionate about mentoring, and has been a FUTURE NOW mentor since the first conference in 2017. He is a graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, and studied Economic History at the New School for Social Research.
VAL NICHOLAS, Board. Val Nicholas is Senior Vice President, Creative Director for SummitMedia, where he is tasked with accelerating creative innovation in partnership with SummitMedia Sales, Marketing, Programming and Event leadership teams. He has been nominated for 24 Emmy Awards, and is the winner of seven. Previously, he was Vice President Creative Director for NBC News where his tenure was marked by innovation, including the launch of new digital properties for NBCNews.com and 360 initiatives such as “Hiring Our Heroes.” Val is an army veteran, and sits on the national Board of the USO and Blue Star Families.
GIOVANNA NOGUERA, Board. In her first year at Discovery Networks, Giovanna was promoted from Senior Ad Sales Assistant to Advanced Targeting Planner. She performs daily account management for 60+ accounts under 4 Account Executives and handles added value/promos by working as a liaison between the marketing team and the client. Gio has been volunteering with FUTURE NOW as the Social Media Manager since 2018, heading up strategy and content creation for FUTURE NOW's social media channels. She is a alumna of the T. Howard Foundation program and earned her B.S. in Marketing from Rutgers Business School.
CHRIS ROSE, Board. Chris is Vice President of Scheduling & Acquisitions at History.
With nearly 450 premiere hours per year at the network, he is integral to leading the content strategy for all original series, specials and live events. Chris has successfully completed two certificate programs at Harvard Business School Online (CORE and Disruptive Strategy) and is a graduate of the NAMIC Executive Leadership Development Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Television, Radio & Film from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. He currently resides in New York City with his wife and two sons.
SOWON SAWYER, Board. As Director of Scheduling for SundanceTV at AMC Networks, Sowon is responsible for promoting audience growth for the network's critically-acclaimed Emmy, Golden Globe and Peabody Award-winning content. Sawyer also spearheaded AMC Networks’ Diversity & Inclusion committee, and developed mentorship and professional development programs. Sawyer has participated in the NAMIC Leadership Seminar, the WICT Rising Leaders program and The Cable Center’s Intrapreneurship Academy. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in German Language and Literature from Wellesley College.
CRAIG TELLO, Board. A leader in content and audience engagement for global entertainment brands, Craig is the head of content strategy for Electronic Arts’ Competitive Gaming Entertainment (esports) division. Previously, he led content and programming for WWE, serving more than a billion social followers worldwide, one of the most watched channels on YouTube and the award-winning WWE Network premium video service. Craig is also a NY Times bestselling author and has contributed to major brands such as Mattel and Marvel Entertainment. He received his degree in Journalism and Sociology from NYU.
MELANIE WASHINGTON, Board. As Senior Vice President at MediaLink, Melanie advises Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 brands across the marketing and media landscape, specializing in operational governance and agency ecosystem design and the architecture of global contracts and negotiation strategies. Previously, she was a Legal and Corporate Development Consultant guiding the legal strategies for global entertainment marketing agencies and lifestyle brands, and also held roles as VP of Marketing at BMF Media, and later, United Entertainment Group. Melanie received her BA from Northwestern University and JD from New York Law School.
GERALD YARBOROUGH, Board. Gerald recently joined LL Cool J's ROCK THE BELLS as Creative Director of Global Licensing & Commerce. Previously, Gerald was the Art Director of Super Fan Licensing Global Creative Group at ViacomCBS Consumer Products, where he translated the world’s most popular movies, TV shows, and beloved characters into licensed consumer products. He is passionately engaged in arts education and philanthropic endeavors to motivate the next generation of creatives. He holds BFA in Design and Advertising from St. John’s University where he was honored with the Distinguished Alumni award.
BOARD OF ADVISORS
GENNIFER BIRNBACH. Gennifer is an award-winning copywriter and branding expert with over two decades of experience. Her expertise in storytelling, branding and communications strategy, honed throughout her career as a publicist and sponsorship promotions director, has helped brands like Nickelodeon, Bravo and Conde Nast, navigate through multiple launches and re-brands. Gennifer is also passionate about Diversity & Inclusion. At NBC Universal, she led various Employee Resource Groups, including the Asian Pacific American group in NY. Gennifer is a dedicated mentor, career coach and personal branding consultant.
PHYLLIS EHRLICH. Phyllis Ehrlich is Group Vice President at Spectrum Reach Client Success, the advertising sales division of Charter Communications. Ms. Ehrlich leads Spectrum Reach Preferred, which offers the company’s top advertising clients exclusive services, support and customized data-driven solutions. She joined Charter from Time Warner Cable, where she served in a similar capacity. Ms. Ehrlich is a Certified Professional Coach and serves on the Board of Directors of She Runs It. She is an alumna of the CTAM Executive Management program at the Harvard Business School, and of WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Institute.
NICK FEBRIZIO. Nick Febrizio is the Vice President, Sales-OTT Distribution Solutions-at Float Left. A career Television Content Distribution executive, he has served in numerous distribution sales and affiliate marketing roles, and has been responsible for securing MVPD carriage for major and independent network brands. His experience ranges from core traditional cable networks to foreign language networks including Spanish and South Asian content, and he is known for his fluent understanding of the distribution needs of Media Brands and MVPDs and providing Ubiquitous Platform Solutions & Sales ranging from Traditional, OTT and TVE.
EDDIE LUISI. Being the "ALMOST FAMOUS" stage manager at GOOD MORNING AMERICA for over 30 years, Eddie has worked with top talent in entertainment and music. He has experience in all genres of Live & Tape television, including entertainment/variety, soaps, talk/magazine, sports, news, special events, industrials, music, and children's shows. His career includes producing, directing, composing and stage managing. He has worked at: ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, MTV, VH-1, HBO, Comedy Central, Children's Television Workshop, OH YEAH COOL Films & several top production companies.
VICKY OGDEN. CSR Ambassador for Ascential plc. (more to come)
PATALIA TATE. Patalia is an award-winning creative strategy and storytelling expert in driving brand growth and guiding marketing and promotion initiatives for top media brands. She has developed brand strategies behind some of the industry’s most recognizable networks, including History Channel, Travel Channel, Food Network and Cooking Channel. She is a recognized expert in driving the strategic execution of compelling campaigns and brand storytelling that inspire and motivate audiences to act and engage. Patalia earned her BS in Communications from the University of Tennessee - Knoxville.