The year 2019 has seen many global cinema exhibition groups honor women leaders by bringing them into the spotlight. Distinguished women from all areas of exhibition are making great strides in the industry and its ever-changing landscape.
Now, is the ideal time to introduce Women in Exhibition (WIE), officially launching during this week’s Geneva Convention at the Geneva Resort and Spa in Lake Geneva, WI, where founding WIE members will conduct their first panel session on Wednesday afternoon, September 18th at 2:30 pm.
A newly formed non-profit, based in Los Angeles, WIE was uniquely established for exhibitors, studios, technology providers,. and cinema suppliers. WIE’s mission is to create a leadership narrative in exhibition for all women, serving as a voice to build inclusion over a global community. Heather Blair, president and founder, is spearheading WIE’s efforts by gathering ideas from other founding members to identify industry needs, implement programs and organize membership events with plans to have representation in key parts of the world.
Heather Blair of QuiMarket4U, Inc., is a technology consultant for exhibitors and represents a broad range of international companies including Cinema Esports, Lumma 4D, OnirixVR and other cinema technologies. Formerly Head of Cinema Sales at MediaMation, Inc., Heather successfully launched MX4D motion seat technologies into cinema exhibition. She has served on several domestic and international panels and asserts her most valued accomplishments are the relationships she’s cultivated and how WIE became a key focus.
Assembling some of cinema exhibition’s best, other WIE founding members include: Bernadette McCabe, Executive Vice President of CineLife Entertainment, a division of Spotlight Cinema Networks; Debbie Stanford-Kristiansen, CEO, Novo Cinemas; Miriam El Bacha, CEO, Cinepax Cinemas; Bobbie Bagby Ford, EVP, B&B Theatres; Darryl Schaffer, Screenvision Media; Kim Lueck, The Marcus Corporation; Shelly Davis, NCG; Jackie Brenneman, NATO; Robin Klamfoth, VIP Seating and Film Expos; Emma Francoeur, STX; Crystal Anderson, Webedia; Melissa Boudreau, Emagine Entertainment; Melissa Cogavin, Event Cinema; and Laura Peralta-Jones, LPJ Productions. WIE’s special advisor is Patricia Gonzalez, SVP, In-Theatre Marketing at Paramount Pictures. Through outreach from WIE founding members, the young foundation has grown steadily to nearly 100 members since spring.
Speaking on Wednesday’s “Women In Exhibition” panel are Heather Blair, WIE Founder and President, Melissa Boudreau, Chief Marketing Officer, Emagine Entertainment; Kim Lueck, VP Technology & Chief Information Officer, The Marcus Corporation; Darryl Schaffer, EVP, Operations and Exhibitor Relations, Screenvision; Gina DiSanto, NATO of Pennsylvania, Independent Cinema Alliance who also receives this year’s Larry D. Hanson Award of Excellence and moderating is Rebecca Pahle of Boxoffice Pro.
WIE intends to build, mentor and support women’s initiatives and create cinema exhibition educational forums, fostering platforms for women entering the exhibition industry for the first time, or those who are transitioning. Career opportunities, ongoing education and guidance are key goals.