Ms. Baker has been in the entertainment industry for over 20 years as a professional Stuntwoman/Stunt Coordinator. She has over 135 credits in the industry as a Stunt Performer. Ms. Baker also was the first African American Stuntwoman to Stunt Coordinate a big budget project “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.” Ms. Baker currently is the executive producer of a documentary about African American Stuntwomen called “Hollywood at Its Best II”. In addition, to her career as a stunt performer she has been working as a Probation Officer for over 22 years. As a Probation Officer, she has worked with juvenile delinquents and developed several innovative and creative special programs for at risk teens. Ms. Baker discovered that at risks teens were quite intrigued with the entertainment industry. By co-mingling her expertise in dual careers, she plans on increasing the ratio of women working in the entertainment field by creating programs that would be captivating for at risk teens (especially young girls). In 2010 Ms. Baker received the Peace Officer Award for her work in the community. Her passion and thrust in life is to change the imbalance of gender behind the scenes in Hollywood.
In 2015 Baker will be featured in the National Museum of African American History & Culture Smithsonian Exhibit, as a pioneer Stuntwoman and the Book ‘Untold Story of Stuntwomen in the Movies” by Mollie Gregory.
Ms. Baker graduated from California State University Long Beach where she received her Bachelors of Arts Degree. In 2002 she completed the University of California Los Angeles Film, Television and Digital Entertainment Studies Program. Baker is also a member of LAAAWPPI-2013 Institute.
Jadie David – Co Founder
Due to several injuries sustained as a stunt performer Jadie was forced to change her professions. In the early 90’s Jadie started working for Paramount Pictures as Production Safety Coordinator. Her responsibilities as Safety Coordinator included making sure productions stayed current with State and Federal Safety Regulations, reading and breaking down scripts for safety recommendations and supervising the production’s safety on set. Jadie also co-wrote one of Paramount Picture’s early Production Safety Programs as well as NBC Production’s first Production Safety Program.
Looking for yet another challenge, Jadie was hired by the Screen Actors Guild as a Field Representative (1991-1996). During the first year of her employment, Jadie saw the need for the Guild to become more involved in stunt safety and the general safety on the set. She went on to develop and manage a Stunt And Safety Department for the Screen Actors Guild. She re-wrote the Guild’s Safety Manual, making it far more comprehensive and included all applicable Safety Standards and Regulations. Jadie also served as the Guild’s representative to the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producer’s Safety Counsel.
You can also find her work archived in the National Archives and Records Administration, a government agency that preserves motion picture and sound recording that document important events relating to the history of the United States. She is a founding member of the United Stuntwomen’s Association and remains an honorary member to this day.
Jadie has always believed strongly in fair hiring of people of color in the entertainment industry. She was Assistant Affirmation Action Consultant for MGM Studios and assisted in locating employment opportunities for people of color (1976). She was co-founder of the Alliance of Stunt performers of Color and was responsible for creating the first Stunt Performers of Color Directory for the Screen Actors Guild. During that time she worked closely with the Guild’s Affirmation Action Department to increase employment for Stunt Performers of Color (1994).
Although Jadie is now retired, she co-founded and works closely with “A Diamond in the Raw”; a 501 3C dedicated to introducing inner city girls to the various employment opportunities in and outside of the entertainment industry. The foundation also raises money for scholarships and provides activities such as mentorship programs, workshops, shadowing programs, etc.
Tiffany N. Smith-Anoa’i- CBS TV Communication
A native of Los Angeles, Tiffany N. Smith-Anoa’i has over 20 years of experience as a creative and dedicated communications professional. Smith-Anoa’i joined CBS Entertainment as a Senior Publicist for primetime series in 2000. Currently Smith-Anoa’i serves as Vice President, Entertainment Diversity & Communications. In this position, she is directly responsible for the development and execution of communications strategies for diversity initiatives and programs across the entire company. Smith-Anoa’i works as a liaison with the writers/producers/directors and casting directors of the CBS Network and Studio to ensure diverse talent is being represented both in front of and behind the camera. Smith-Anoa’i maintains relationships with organizations that represent diverse talent within the entertainment industry with heavy interaction with agencies, coalitions, guilds and other workshop/fellowship programs to develop innovative methods of cultivating diverse TV talent and relationships. In this role she is widely respected among Diversity Coalitions and journalists throughout the industry for her assiduous work ethic and winning personality. Smith-Anoa’i is also considered a “go-to” executive for speaking engagements, mentoring and workshops on all issues that address the state of Diversity within the industry. Smith-Anoa’i oversees the annual CBS Diversity Symposium and is the force behind the CBS On Tour Mentoring Program, which sends executives into classrooms to educate students about potential careers in the entertainment industry.
Smith-Anoa’i also manages the internship and mentorship programs for CBS’ West Coast Communications office. Additionally, she still keeps part of her publicity roots, serving as a publicist for the annual Grammy Awards and other projects.
During her tenure at Image Public Relations, Smith-Anoa’i was responsible for all aspects of publicity and promotions, including the development of press materials and arranging of high profile celebrity appearances. Smith-Anoa’i organized global press efforts for “Sinbad’s Soul Music Festival,” the single largest music event to host groups from one of America’s most significant music eras, the 1970′s.
Prior to her work at Image Public Relations, Smith-Anoa’i worked for NIKE, Inc. where she launched their NIKETOWN stores in, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. In her community, she is actively involved in several charities, including Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Smith-Anoa’i is an honors graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism. Smith-Anoa’i is married to Reno J. Anoa’i and they live in Los Angeles with their daughter.
As a Jackson, MS native, Vernetra LaDawn Gavin started acting at the tender age of 8. She booked local print and commercial jobs and got her “hands wet” in the community theatre, church and school plays. At the age of 14, she auditioned and was accepted into the Academic and Performing Arts Complex (APAC), a performing arts high school where she studied Theatre. During her senior year of high school, she was selected to attend the Julliard School of the Arts Orientation Training. She decided to attend Jackson State University and was apart of the Dunbar Dramatic Guild and had roles in numerous plays within the Drama department. After college graduation, she auditioned and was accepted into the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. After completion of AMDA, she moved to Los Angeles where some of her acting credits include the musicals Annie and the European toured play Still Standing; and films such as Be Easy, Women Thou Art Loosed, Operation Midnight Climax, and Thug Passion. Additionally, Vernetra is an Educator for the Pasadena Unified School district and has worked closely our youth for the past (11) eleven years. Because of her love for the arts and education, she created a forum to combine both. In 2005, she started Gaviness Entertainment, a production company that has a subsidiary that focuses on projects that align educational success with artistic expression.
Carrie Henley – Marika-Active wear Executive VP/ General Manager
Carrie developed “sub brands” under the larger Marika label, which were the first of its kind in the active-wear industry. Essentially she developed a way to include the all important women’s shape-wear concept into women’s everyday active-wear which had not been done before and, as a result the revolutionary products created quite a buzz in the industry, not to mention a tremendous surge in sales! Carrie is frequently called upon as a top resource in the field for popular women’s/health resources and publications such as: Women’s Wear Daily, Apparel Magazine, BODY, Fashion Manuscript… and the list continues to grow.
But Carrie’s drive for new challenges continued. And, while she remained an integral part of the packaging business she helped grow with her husband, Carrie found her way back to the fashion world and joined FAM Brands, LLC in 2008 where she continues today as Executive VP/General Manager of the Marika active-wear brand. Under Carrie’s leadership, the brand has seen phenomenal success across all areas; double digit sale increases were reached from 2010-2011 and even larger increases are forecasted for the brand in 2011-2012.
Carrie currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. In her spare time she loves to jog, ski, travel and keep up a healthy, active lifestyle with her family.
Lauren Sutton – Brighton Collectibles – Director of Consumer Affairs
High-performance professional with 20+ years of progressive leadership experience developing, executing, and coordinating breakthrough sales, marketing, and merchandising programs for driving record sales, market share, and revenue growth in fiercely competitive retail consumer markets. Dynamic and decisive team builder, mentor, and trainer who excels at maximizing employee productivity, heightening team efficiency, and improving client servicing capabilities. Highly persuasive communicator and relationship manager adept at fostering collaboration and engaging the efforts of diverse internal and external stakeholders to achieve robust business objectives and goals.
Lauren also is the founder of a Mitrice Richarson Foundation a non-profit whose mission is to promote education in the public and to provide crisis intervention, referral services, education, and advocate assistance to individuals, and families of those, who are experiencing Mental illness issues/disorders while navigating the justice system.