Board of Directors
Lynn is a partner in McReynolds Elek Communications, a strategic communications and public relations firm. Before founding the firm in 2002, she was Senior Vice President of Communications for Discovery Networks U.S., where she oversaw communications for Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel and Discovery’s six digital networks. Prior to joining Discovery, she served as vice president of media relations for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), and in public and media relations positions with the National Cable Television Association and on Capitol Hill. She has been involved in a wide range of community and non-profit endeavors, including serving on the Boards of the historic London Town Foundation and the Bay Ridge Trust, a land conservation organization. She currently serves on the Board of the Annapolis Film Festival; the Steering Committee of Anne Arundel Women Giving Together (AAWGT), a women’s giving circle; and co-chairs the Outreach Ministry Team of Calvary United Methodist Church in Annapolis.
Susan Hicks Walker
Susan is an attorney who practiced commercial real estate law in Florida and Colorado. Moving with her family to Annapolis in 2000, she enthusiastically became involved in the local community. She is an Emeritus Board Member of Friends of the Light House Shelter and has served on the Steering Committee of Anne Arundel Women Giving Together, a women’s giving circle, and The Great Give, a fundraising event of the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County. For the past three years, Susan has served as Production Coordinator for FILMSTERS Academy, specializing in costumes and props. She currently serves on the Hospice of the Chesapeake Foundation Board and the We Honor Veterans Committee of Hospice of the Chesapeake.
PARABH K. GILL, M.D., MBA
Dr. Parabh Gill joined our practice in November 2001. She received her medical degree from the West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown, West Virginia, in 1994. Dr. Gill graduated Cum Laude, received the Golden Hands Award for Best Surgical Technician and is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She worked as Assistant Clinical Professor at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the esteemed University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She also worked as a full-time provider from 1998-2000 at the Laurel Highlands Obstetrics and Gynecology Center in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Dr. Gill went to Severna Park High School and considers Maryland her home. Dr. Gill specializes in GYN surgery, da Vinci robot-assisted gyn surgery, perimenopause and menopause, infertility and family planning. Dr. Gill is also trained to do the MonaLisa Touch laser procedure for vaginal rejuvenation. Dr. Gill lives in Annapolis with her husband and three children. She enjoys skiing and gourmet cooking.
Frank B. Moorman
Frank B. Moorman has been a frequent presence in theatres in the Annapolis-Baltimore region since moving to the area in 1987. In addition to acting on stage, he has directed plays and been featured in local independent films. During a long association with Colonial Players of Annapolis, he was actor, director, and board member.
He served several terms on the CP Board of Directors and was president from 1999 to 2001. Frank has been a member of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company (CSC) since its first year, 2003, and a resident acting company member for four seasons.
On film, Frank has worked with several local directors, including Erik Kristopher Myers (“Roulette”), Steve Yeager (“Crystal Fog”), Keith Jodoin (“Postings” and “Open Door”), and Kalima Young (“Grace Haven” and “Lessons Learned”). He was featured in the History Channel’s “Sherman’s March,” directed by Rick King.
He retired from the University of Maryland Medical System as director, System Internal Communications in the department of Media Relations and Corporate Communications.
He has a BA in Theatre from Middlebury College, Vermont, and an MA in French from Trinity College, Connecticut. He collects dictionaries in both French and English, and he likes to write with fountain pens, of which he has about 20.
FESTIVAL DIRECTORS & CO-FOUNDERs
Festival Director & Co-Founder
Lee is an award-winning producer of documentaries and reality television. A principal of FILMSTERS, LLC, she has produced feature docs, tv series and large scale film centric events including over 100 episodes of the ABC series Extreme Makeover, a wildlife film series, a wedding series, and a large national series of events in 48 states for Google.
She is an experienced line producer and is knowledgeable about budgets, production and video marketing. Recently, she has been producing the film GREAT BIG BABY about the life and times of iconic NY Blues and Jazz singer Baby Jane Dexter. Executive Producer for the short documentary film, REVOVLING DOORS. This short documentary is about the endless cycle of re-incarceration in Baltimore and won the Honorable Mention Jury Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2015. Her credits have appeared on ABC, CBS, Turner, Discovery, Discovery Health, and others. She has produced countless digital film projects over the past two decades. For her work in television, Lee is the recipient of a Chris Columbus Award, a CINE Golden Eagle award, two Telly Awards and was nominated for a CableACE Award and she has won multiple film festival awards for her filmmaking efforts.
Lee has served on the Maryland Board of KidsPeace, a national non-profit for foster kids, and has been actively involved with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County for twenty years. In 2002, she co-founded FILMSTERS Academy in Annapolis, a unique summer filmmaking program for youth between the ages of 11-18.
Festival Director & Co-Founder
A co-founder of the Annapolis Film Festival, Patti has been a producer/director/writer in the fields of TV, journalism and film for over 30 years. She was Producer and Senior Producer for three seasons of Extreme Makeover for ABC TV. During her 15 years at CBS News in New York, Patti produced for 60 Minutes, CBS Reports, receiving three Emmy Awards and the George Foster Peabody Award for her work at CBS.
She also wrote and produced, America At Risk: Seeds of Hope, for Turner Broadcasting. This hard-hitting film earned her the Ohio State Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism and the Christopher Columbus Award. She also achieved one of the highest honors in Broadcast Journalism, the George Foster Peabody Award.
FILMSTERS, LLC, in which White is a principal, is a production company that develops stories, characters and produces documentaries, reality TV, films and digital content for the web. Patti’s award-winning work has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, Discovery, Lifetime, TBS, Turner, Discovery Health, VH1, MTV, Current TV, BET, BET Soul and many other national network and cable stations.
In 2002, she co-founded FILMSTERS Academy in Annapolis, a summer filmmaking camp for youth from 11-18 years old. She has been on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County for 20 years and is also on the Board of VisionQuest a national alternative treatment program for at-risk youth.
Steve has resided in Annapolis for almost four decades. Prior to retirement, he was Associate General Counsel of the National Association of Broadcasters. In that capacity, he served as in-house counsel for the NAB Show, the world’s largest annual convention encompassing the convergence of media, entertainment and technology, as well as being responsible for most First Amendment-related legal matters. He was an active board member of many groups concerned with a free press, including the Libel (now Media) Defense Resource Center, the ABA Forum on Communications Law and the First Amendment Congress. Prior to joining NAB, Steve was Attorney Advisor with the Federal Communications Commission and legislative assistant to then-Rep. Barbara Mikulski.
Before attending law school Steve was a broadcast journalist with WBAI Radio in New York. He established the Washington News Bureau for the Pacifica Foundation stations. He received his B.A. from the University of Colorado in Boulder and his J.D. from Washington College of Law at American University. In the Annapolis community he has been a Board member of the Annapolis Neck Peninsula Federation involved in efforts to influence the rewrite of the County’s zoning code.
At present, Ms. Gentry is the Senior Adviser for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health at the Department of Health and Human Services where she is responsible for the development and execution of national education and outreach campaigns for Medicare, Medicaid, the Health Insurance Marketplace and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. A former, Senior Political Analyst for CNN, National Public Radio and BET Network, she was responsible for daily coverage of the White House and Capitol Hill news. in her political blog “Pamela on Politics” she was widely followed on BET.com. For seven years prior to that, Gentry was the Washington Bureau Chief, Senior Political Producer for BET. As the Political Producer for C-SPAN in the 90’s she covered Washington, D.C. and was known for her razor sharp knowledge of the political scene.
Philip W. Gibbs serves as President of Hamel Builders, which he co-founded with J. Edward Hamel in 1998. Hamel Builders operates several entities as a full service General Contracting firm with offices in Elkridge, MD and Washington, DC. Under Philip’s leadership, Hamel Builders has constructed over 25,000 multi-family housing units and thrives on giving back to the communities in which employees live and work.
Philip has earned a reputation for excellence in multi-family renovation and new construction in the Mid-Atlantic region. He is driven by filling a need with well-designed affordable housing for individuals, families and seniors.
Philip holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Technology from East Carolina University and has served on several boards. Board membership includes Howard Bank, Anne Arundel Medical Center, Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition, Anne Arundel Affordable Housing Coalition as well as numerous advisory boards including Johns Hopkins Pediatric Hospital.
Mandisa is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the Project Coordinator at Studio Unknown, a post-production sound studio in Catonsville, MD and Los Angeles.
Besides working with FILMSTERS Academy for the past six years as supervising staff and assisting with music supervision, Mandisa volunteers with the Family Crisis Center of Prince George’s County, a Domestic Violence Shelter, and works as a Volunteer Coordinator with Hospice of the Chesapeake. Mandisa’s passion for film brought her to AFF and she is excited to help develop the Annapolis Film Festival. This is her fifth year serving on the Board. She also chairs the Screening Committee for Programming.
Mary Ellen Iwata
Mary Ellen Iwata is an Emmy Award winning television executive who has held senior positions across broadcast and cable industries and has been instrumental in growing such esteemed brands as Discovery Channel, TLC, HGTV, Scripps Networks International, and The Weather Channel.
As vice president, original content development for The Weather Channel, Iwata was responsible for the day-to-day oversight of development and production of non-scripted series and specials. She also worked closely with weather.com and mobile platforms to create cross-platform opportunities within concepts being developed for the television platform. Iwata was based in The Weather Channel’s New York offices.
Before joining The Weather Channel, Iwata served as vice president of programming and development for Scripps Networks International, where she oversaw original program development and production, acquisitions, and program scheduling. She was a key player in launching Food Network in the UK, EMEA and Asia, and continued to oversee the networks’ content after launch. She was also responsible for strengthening ties to the international production community and for facilitating new programming ideas, and ensuring that network content was culturally relevant as Scripps Networks International launched additional services around the world.
Prior to working in Scripps’ International division, Iwata was vice president of program and talent development for HGTV, a Scripps-owned network. She was instrumental in securing high-profile talent like Carter Oosterhouse (Carter Can), Steve Watson (Don’t Sweat It) and Kendra Todd (My House is Worth What?). She developed numerous hit series and specials including HGTV’s first high definition special, Extreme Homes of Europe, and the long-running spinoff series World’s Most Extreme Homes. Iwata also created the popular series My First Place and What’s With That House? and commissioned new series such as the highly rated Property Virgins and The Stagers.
Iwata joined HGTV from TLC, where she was vice president of development and special projects. Previous roles at TLC included vice president of production and executive producer for multiple original productions – including the Emmy-winning special Killer Virus. Prior to working at TLC, Iwata was an executive producer for Discovery Communications’ Discovery Channel.
A Baltimore native, Iwata began her career at Maryland Public Television and then WJZ-TV (CBS) in Baltimore, rising through the ranks to eventually become the executive producer for Evening Magazine. She holds a degree in fine arts from Towson University.
ELIZABETH A. LIECHTY
Elizabeth A. Liechty, ChFC, CLU is a partner at the Charter Financial Group,
a private financial planning services firm. Charter is associated with Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer and registered investment advisor,
a leader in financial planning in the U.S. for the past 50 years. She provides financial planning for clientele that ranges from Fortune 500 executives to those who receive pro bono services, especially, hospice patients and their families. In addition to her professional commitments, she chairs the audit committee for the Middle East Investment Initiative, a non-profit organization in the West Bank and Gaza. MEII currently has three programs, a loan guarantee facility, a risk insurance project and the Jordan housing initiative.
She formerly chaired the financial committee of the Board of Directors for Santa Fe Soul Foundation, an organization that provides integrative medical care for the uninsured in New Mexico. Elizabeth was also co-chair of the Board of Directors for KidsPeace, a private foster care agency in Baltimore until 2011. Elizabeth volunteers at the Hospice of the Chesapeake’s Spiritual and Bereavement Care Center and their Beads for Brit program that provides food and shelter for patients served by the Damonsville Project in South Africa. She started the Blue Elephant Canvas project there as a way to offer art supplies to grieving children.
In 2008, she received the Legacy Award, Lincoln Financial Advisors humanitarian award for the combination of professional designations and community service.
Cheryl is a businesswoman, volunteer and homemaker who has spent a lifetime contributing to the affairs of her native Anne Arundel County and other communities, where she has lived. She has been a sales and marketing executive in the healthcare and financial services sectors, managed her own Events Planning business and developed a commercial real estate portfolio in partnership with her husband of 36 years. A political activist, Cheryl co-founded Anne Arundel County for Obama in 2007; served as an elected Delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention; and stood for office as a Maryland State Delegate in the 2014 Democratic Primary. Cheryl is the founder of Project H.O.P.E., an innovative community nutrition and outreach program organized under the auspices of Historic Annapolis, where she also serves as a member of the Board of Directors.
Ms. Novotny has demonstrated years of supporting the arts in in her community. With her family, she created The Hladky Foundation, a charitable foundation to support local causes such as Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and the Annapolis Film Festival.
After a groundbreaking career as a top woman executive at Verizon for over thirty years from 1968 – 2000, Regina held positions of ever-increasing leadership responsibility beginning as customer representative and ending as Group President for the small and medium business market with a $4B revenue stream. She exhibited success in broad range of areas including sales and marketing, operations and labor relations in both line and staff positions.
She brings with her broad experience and leadership as well as a love for music! A graduate of the Baltimore Public School Music she did a brief stint as a teacher from 1966-1968. She graduated from University of Notre Dame of Maryland with a BA in Liberal Arts and is a Sloan School Senior Executive Program alumna.
Michael K. Phillips
Michael is passionate about helping families plan, manage, and protect their wealth. He successfully navigated clients through three economic recessions, the Internet boom and bust, the September 11th attacks, the red hot housing market of 2001 to 2007, the financial meltdown of 2008 and the stagnant economy and roller coaster stock market we are living through today. Vice-President of Investments for UBS Financial Services, Inc., he was formerly the Vice-President of Morgan Stanley, Annapolis and worked as an analyst for the U.S. Treasury Dept. in Washington, D.C.
His bachelor’s degree in economics is from St. Mary’s College and lives with his wife and two sons in Edgewater Maryland.