board of directors
Gary R. Benz *
Gary R. Benz established GRB Entertainment to be a premiere independent, fully service production and international distribution company. As an Executive Producer, Gary has overseen thousands of hours of original broadcast, cable and syndicated programming, including live events, specials and numerous critically acclaimed and award-winning series for networks such as Disney+, A&E, Discovery, National Geographic, Fox, ABC and The Weather Channel. Now entering its fourth decade in business and nominated for Emmy® awards in almost every year over the past decade, Mr. Benz’s diverse scope of work ranges from NBC’s NEXT ACTION STAR and other high-profile action stunt specials, to provocative and humorous dramatic recreations like TLC’s UNTOLD STORIES OF THE ER and SEX SENT ME TO THE ER, as well as the high-stakes life and death, Emmy® award winning documentary series INTERVENTION for A&E. Read More -->
Leroy Bobbitt is a founding partner of Bobbitt & Roberts, and has specialized in Entertainment Law and handled major transactions in motion pictures, television, music and egitimate theater. Mr. Bobbitt has represented such diverse clients as paramount Pictures, the National Association of Television Program Executives, Black Entertainment Television, Prism Entertainment Corporation, Hollywood Center Studios, RKO Pictures, Carolco Pictures, and Barbara Taylor Bradford.
Lionel Chetwynd has over 40 feature and long-form television credits and has written, produced, and directed over 21 documentaries. These have varied from romances (Goldenrod) to a Vietnam trilogy (Hanoi Hilton, Kissinger and Nixon, To Heal a Nation) to his examination of seemingly ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances (Sadat, The Man Who Captured Eichmann, Varian’s War) and historical pieces (Ike: Countdown to D-Day, Two Solitudes, Darkness at High Noon: the Carl Forman Documents, and Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye). He has received both Oscar and Emmy nominations, six Writers Guild of American nominations, including an award, three New York Festival Gold Medals, two Christophers, two George Washington Freedom Medals, and seven Telly Awards. Read More -->
Vin Di Bona captivated television audiences when he introduced America’s Funniest Home Videos in 1989. In March 2006, AFV became the longest running primetime entertainment show in the history of the network. Di Bona previously created America’s Funniest People in 1990. Prior to founding Vin Di Bona Productions, Di Bona produced the special Papal Spacebridge ’87, which documented Pope John Paul II’s visit to the U.S., as well as the pilot and first season of the Richard Dean Anderson action series MacGyver. From 1981-83, he produced more than 460 daily and weekly editions of Entertainment Tonight, guiding the series toward its status as a syndication icon. Di Bona, an eight-time Emmy Award nominee, and has won four Emmys as a producer. Aside from his many accomplishments in the entertainment industry, Di Bona is also highly recognized for his role as Chairman of The Caucus for Television Producers, Writers & Directors. Mr. Di Bona also has many charitable interests. At Marymount High School, he has worked to revitalize the building fund. He is active in Bread for the Poor, The Westside Children’s Center, The Human Rights Campaign and Newport Hospital in Rhode Island.
A veteran producer of television series such as Mike Hammer and numerous independent feature films, Nancy Dockry spends much of her time traveling the world to oversee productions and negotiate foreign investment and finance packages for films. A founding Board Director of the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc., she currently serves as Vice Treasurer to the organization.
Brian L. Dyak +*
Chief Executive, The Brian L. Dyak Team, LLC, Founder, Entertainment Industries Council, Inc.
Brian Dyak, a pioneer of edutainment depiction and strategies for the story telling of important health and social issues, is a nationally recognized impresario of health-oriented communication campaigns involving the entertainment and media creative community and their audiences. Brian motivates entertainment creators and executives to engage in the “art of making a difference”. He serves as a key link between the entertainment industry, national health and social policy experts, and trends in the popular culture.
As founder of the Entertainment Industries Council, he successfully constructed a bridge between the entertainment industry and health and social policy issue leaders and organizations since 1983. Read More -->
David Goldsmith +*
With an extensive background as both a producer and a studio creative executive, David Goldsmith recently expanded his production repertoire to production of multimedia products as well. He was asked to join the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. as a Board Director after producing the Dennis Weaver film Cocaine: One Man’s Seduction. He currently serves as EIC’s CO-Chairman for Finance.
Michele Lee +*
A founding Board Director of the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc., this thriving star of Broadway, film and television has diversified since completing her nine-year stint as Karen McKenzie on Knot”s Landing. Now an accomplished filmmaker, she was the first woman to ever write, produce, direct and star in a movie for television. A 1998 recipient of the Larry Stewart Leadership and Inspiration Award, she has long served as the “voice of EIC” – a passion which continues in her role on the PRISM Awards Honorary Committee.
Roland McFarland is served as Vice President of Broadcast Standards for Fox Broadcasting Company, where he is was responsible for overseeing broadcast standards for Fox’s prime time, late-night and children’s programming, as well as all ongoing comedy and drama development and on-air promotions. A veteran of over 30 years in broadcasting, he currently serves as Vice President of the Hollywood/Beverly Hills NAACP and is a member of the Board of Directors of that organization, as well as a Board Member of the Chrysalis Foundation for the Homeless and the Challenger’s Boy’s and Girl’s Club of America. He also serves as an EIC Board Director.
CEO of the O Team
Bob Okun is CEO of The O Team, a Washington-based government relations firm representing a range of media and healthcare interests for the past 10 years. (www.theoteam.biz) He also is the Executive Producer of the America Salutes You benefit concert series now in its fifth year, raising awareness and funds for a range of brain and mental wellness charities supporting veteran and first responders. (www.americasalutesyou.org) Previously, Bob was VP and Head of the Washington, DC office for NBCUniversal for 16.5 years. As head of NBC’s Washington office, his responsibilities include coordinating the development of NBC’s policy positions on legislative and regulatory issues and representing NBC’s positions to the Congress, the Administration and the FCC. Read More -->
Chair, Creative Professional Network
Melissa Rivers is best known for her celebrity interviews and fashion expertise at red carpet events. Her career includes hosting and producing numerous television specials on E! and TV Guide Channel. She has also hosted the series “The Craze” on Fit TV, and has been a feature reporter for “CBS This Morning” and a regular contributor to MTVs “Hangin’ With MTV.” She recently hosted the 10th Annual PRISM Awards which aired on FX Network, and participated in a number of EIC events in L.A. and Washington DC, including the PRISM Awards Capitol Hill Showcase.
William N. Utz +
William Nelson Utz, a founding Board Director of EIC and a respected Washington, D.C. attorney, has served as business and political advisor to U.S. Government Agencies, Members of Congress and corporate executives worldwide. Steele & Utz, a professional corporation, provides representation in the areas of U.S. and International Government Affairs. Mr. Utz has concentrated his professional service in areas of international business development, project financing, and conflict resolution. And, has clients in worldwide infomercial television marketing and “Cause Related” nonprofit organizations. He has represented selected Entertainment Industry Executives and Personalities.
Frank Wheaton *
You may have seen or heard Frank K. Wheaton on ’60 Minutes II,’ ‘The Today Show,’ ‘Good Morning, America,’ CNN, or another network program as the former and exclusive representative of Mrs. Essie Mae Washington Williams, the African American daughter of the late Senator James Strom Thurmond. This fascinating news revelation of 2003 and 2004 sent shock waves around the globe and allowed Mr. Wheaton to successfully negotiate what would become a New York Times Best Seller in the Harper-Collins publication entitled, ‘Dear Senator.’ In addition, Mr. Wheaton has appeared on several major broadcast and cable networks including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and MS-NBC. Southern Californians are accustomed to his television broadcasts on KCAL, KABC, KNBC, KCOP or KNX,KFWB and other radio stations as the former eloquent spokesperson for the colorful city of Compton, California reporting on breaking news stories and events over the past years. His polished broadcast presentation was cultivated through years of experience and a natural born talent. His father, James L. Wheaton, was a well-respected actor and voice in the theatrical community.
+ = founders
* = executive committee members