Jerry Bell Jr. is an award-winning independent film director, producer, SAG/AFTRA actor, event host, motivational speaker, and emcee. He also served an 8-year tenure in the US Air Force as a radar technician and satellite communications technician (with an honorable discharge).
He first came to Portland as an engineering technician for Intel in 1998. During his 16 years at Intel, he earned a BA and MA in Business. As he became affiliated with the Portland arts community, his passion for the film industry was ignited. In 2014 he said farewell to the corporate world in order to pursue a career in the arts.
JBj’s acting credits include the TV shows Z Nation, The Librarians, The Wonder Girls, and Grimm, plus a number of national TV commercials. He’s most notably recognized for his role in the 2014 Swiffer commercial as the beloved Swiffer Dad, played alongside his son, Jerry Bell Jr. III.
JBj has been recognized with such honors as: Best Actor in Portland by Willamette Week, Best Director for Angela’s Sacred Heart, and Best Director for Red White & Black, which also won Best Biographical Documentary.
His production company, JBJR Productions, primarily focuses on creating films that address issues challenging our society. With an equity mindset, JBj’s objective is to identify and uplift film industry talents of color and women who are traditionally underserved. He is an inaugural member of OMPA’s Diversity Committee.
Filmmaker/creative, RaShaunda Brooks uses visual art to create modern day narratives of Black and Brown people. She fosters connection by sharing different perspectives with a broad audience. Brooks believes that well rounded stories of Black and Brown people help to empower those communities by giving them the space to write their own history.
Being in Portland Brooks has been able to connect with different familiar communities. If it be work with Y.G.B. Portland, music management with Brown Calculus or working with Open Signal Labs: Black Film Fellowship, it all provides Brooks with room to hold stories of people who don't always get represented.
Based in the Pacific NW since 2005, first in Spokane, WA and now Portland, OR. Prior to this was a wonderful, 18-year stint as a Props Designer, Art Director, and crew member for theatre, TV commercials, and feature films in Philadelphia, PA. He brings to the table 30 years in the entertainment biz and 27 years as a Property Master & Art Director.
He is currently the Southern Business Agent of IATSE Local 488. He’s been a member of the Executive Board since 2010; elected Vice President in 2016 and put in charge of New Membership. cdavid rewrote their Member Handbook and created an online Member Orientation Program. In 2016 he instigated the creation of a training program for members and has served as the Training Coordinator since its inception.
Besides his work in the entertainment industry, he has founded and run a non-profit, worked administratively for arts organizations, and tended bar. He is a proud member in absentia of the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers, a found object artist collective.
When not working, you’ll find him hanging out with Benny the cat and his wife Colette—a Mental Health Counselor—both of whom keep him sane.
David Cress’ career as an independent producer encompasses a multitude of genres. His work in music videos, advertising, feature films, and now television has established David as a key contributor in vitalizing the industry that is growing steadily around him in Portland, Oregon.
As the founding partner of Food Chain Films, a company he led out of obscurity and into the spotlight, David has developed the ability to bring talent together and lead projects seamlessly to their fruition. His leadership, coordination, and knack for creating an environment for directors to thrive in has brought him clients such as Nike, Budweiser, MTV, Miller Lite, and Pennzoil.
He is also known for his work on multiple films by internationally known director Gus Van Sant, including the critically acclaimed drama Paranoid Park. He is more recently known for producing the hit comedy show Portlandia, for which he was nominated for an Emmy in 2015. Other awards include work recognized by Peabody, Cannes, Clio, CA, and One Show, as well as Honorable Mention at the Sundance Film Festival and the Jury Prize for Best Music Video at SXSW Film Festival.
A Nigerian-American Producer, Director, and an Assistant Director who has studied directing under some of Hollywood’s most prominent and prolific filmmakers. He has directed and produced music videos, commercials, and films. His first feature, Hurricane In the Rose Garden (2008), screened at the Pan African Film Festival and Slamdance film festival before being picked up for distribution. He most recently served as an Assistant Director on local projects The Waterman, Shrill, and Trinkets.
Angela has been a Recruiter in the VFX and animation industry for 10 years. She has lived and worked all over the world for various VFX studios which include Base FX (Beijing, China), Gener8, and Prime Focus (Vancouver, Canada). She recently returned to the US to work at LAIKA and has championed reverse recruiting methods to help share talent among local studios. She looks forward to helping artists and studios make Oregon, and OMPA, their forever home.
Michael Koerner is owner of Koerner Camera Systems Inc. with offices in Portland and Seattle. His company rents the most sophisticated motion picture cameras, lenses, and accessories available to episodic television shows, movies, commercials, and corporate productions. Koerner Camera has grown to be the largest Motion Picture Camera Rental House North of Los Angeles. Prior to Koerner Camera, Michael was a freelance camera assistant and cinematographer. Long time OMPA member, former OMPA board member, married with four children.
Neil Kopp is a film producer whose projects include Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy (2006), Wendy and Lucy (2008), Meek’s Cutoff (2010), and Night Moves (2014). He also produced Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park (2007) and Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room (2015). Neil recently finished Reichardt’s Certain Women which was released in 2017 and Jeremy Saulnier’s Hold The Dark. He is currently working on Ritesh Batra’s Photograph, among other projects in various stages of development. He produces with Anish Savjani through their company filmscience and lives in Portland.
Josh Lunden has been working as an independent writer, director, and producer (and occasional DP) for nearly eight years in Portland. His films have screened at festivals across the country and have received international distribution. Josh currently serves as Director of Multimedia at Pollinate, a Portland creative agency, working on commercials, social campaigns, etc. Josh is a passionate advocate of independent artists and has been grateful for the opportunity to serve the Oregon media production community through OMPA.
Claudia Meza produces and co-hosts the weekly arts radio program “State of Wonder” at Oregon Public Broadcasting, Oregon’s NPR station.
She spent most of her 20s in vans, touring the country, playing in bands, learning every possible way she could fall asleep in an upright position. She attended The Evergreen State College where she studied lab sciences, music composition and digital media. Right after college, she worked as a lab analyst for the state of Washington and then the city of Portland in Oregon. From then until very recently she worked mainly in advertising and in film and television production. Now she’s dutifully learning how to not curse on air.
Tawny Schlieski is a research scientist and a virtual reality producer. She is founder and president of Oregon Story Board, a non-profit dedicated to building diversity and inclusion in the VR economy, and she runs Shovels and Whiskey, a VR prototyping studio in Portland, Oregon. Her work centers on the role of technology in enabling new forms of communication, including rethinking education and collaboration, creation and play, and immersive technology at work. Her partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company on "The Tempest" delivered record-breaking audiences and two Innovation Lions at Cannes. Her current work leverages VR to teach students critical thinking and research skills; and AR to transform expertise transfer in the workplace.