Susan Lyne, President + Managing Partner, BBG Ventures
Susan has had a long career in media, commerce and consumer products. She has held leadership positions at companies of all sizes and stages, from startups to public companies, often during periods of internal or external change.
She began her career in the magazine industry, where she founded and led Premiere Magazine. She spent almost a decade at Disney, rising to President of Entertainment at ABC. She was the CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia; CEO and then Chair of Gilt.com; and she led AOL’s Brand Group, overseeing such brands as TechCrunch, Engadget and Moviefone, immediately before launching BBG Ventures.
She has four daughters, three sisters, and a wide circle of entrepreneur-advisees who give as much as they get. Her biggest wins have all come from listening to, building for and betting on women.
Teri Schwartz, Dean of UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
Teri Schwartz is the Dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT) where she has launched an exciting new vision and long range plan that re-imagines entertainment and performing arts education as an interdisciplinary enterprise grounded in humanistic storytelling, social impact, technology and innovation, and global diversity.
Prior to becoming UCLA TFT’s new dean, she successfully served as the founding dean of the Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television. Schwartz was an award winning feature film producer whose many films garnered nominations for Academy, Emmy, Golden Globe, Grammy and MTV awards. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America; Directors Guild of America; Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and serves on the Television Academy’s Foundation Board of Directors; the Geffen Playhouse Board of Directors; Swarovski Foundation Board of Trustees; Los Angeles Stage Alliance Board of Governors; the Governing Council of the Los Angeles-India Film Council. Recently, Schwartz received the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award for Feature Film Producing from CAY/FILM; the 2013 American Spirit Award from the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors for her Special Achievement in Educating New Filmmakers; and in 2012, she was honored as Variety’s 2012 Media Mentor of the Year.
Jim Gunderson, Chief Executive, Governance and Transactions LLC
Jim Gunderson spent much of his career in senior executive positions in multibillion-dollar technology multinationals and holding board positions in startups, buyouts and other for-profit and non-profit organizations. He has advised CEOs, boards and owners of listed and privately owned pioneers in the semiconductor test, energy, mobile telecom, aerospace, and internet search industries. A seed investor in film, stage and comic book publishing ventures, he has participated in Series A investments in industrial companies, made co-production investments in Broadway productions, and co-founded or helped turn around arts and education non-profits. Jim’s interest in entertainment and intellectual property began at law school as Editor-In- Chief of the Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, and continued at an international copyright and trademark firm in the Netherlands, as well as in roles managing intellectual property in senior executive positions. Jim’s experience with fan-driven popular culture dates back to when he worked after school in vintage comic book reselling, and bought and sold comics at some of the first comic book conventions. He recently co-founded the special collection of Marvel comics at UC Santa Cruz and has been active in comic book creation and publication.
Noreen Halpern, CEO Halfire Entertainment
Noreen Halpern is a television executive with 25 years experience in television production and financing. In 2012, Halpern launched Halfire Entertainment to develop, produce, and finance television series and mini-series for the Canadian, U.S., and international marketplaces. In 2013, Halfire launched a joint venture between Halfire Entertainment and CORE Media Group, headed by Marc Graboff, to co-finance new scripted programming. By investing in content and partnerships, Halfire-CORE Entertainment is developing and producing exceptionally creative and commercial programming and employing non-traditional financing resulting in straight-to-series orders.
Prior to Halfire, Halpern oversaw scripted television programming for indie studio, eOne, where she launched Rookie Blue (ABC, Global), Call Me Fitz (DirectTV), Hell On Wheels (AMC), Hung (HBO), Haven (Global, Syfy), and many others. Under Halpern's leadership, eOne Television became one of the industry's foremost creators, producers, and distributors across all genres and attracted an impressive roster of creative partners.
Before joining eOne, Halpern co-founded and co-ran Blueprint Entertainment, an independent studio. Halpern used non-traditional funding models to create North American-targeted content and produced 200+ hours of quality programming with an estimated production cost of $145,000,000. Prior to that, Halpern was the Senior VP, Creative Affairs at Alliance Entertainment and remained with the company through a merger that formed production/distribution powerhouse Alliance-Atlantis.