We’ve served as PGA Presidents for almost three years, and it feels like a good moment to reflect on where we’ve arrived as an organization. We’ve also been thinking about our agenda for the final year of our term and about the kind of Guild we want to hand off to our successors.
When we first assumed office, we saw the challenges primarily as issues of communication and perceived division. There were segments of the PGA membership who felt like they weren’t being heard. We could see those divisions even in the PGA conference room in the few minutes of socializing before the start of National Board meetings—we simply tended not to socialize outside of our council peer groups. The first and biggest step, we felt, was to get people talking about how they could work together. To that end, the Vice Presidents of the AP Council and New Media Council (first Megan Mascena Gaspar and John Heinsen, now Jethro Rothe-Kushel and John Canning) worked tirelessly to create initiatives and events that crossed council lines, allowing dedicated members from across the Guild to recognize that within the PGA, each of them stands on the same footing.
That effort became the source of the One Guild policy, which grew to become the heart of our presidency. The producing community is broad; it includes everyone from video game developers to indie film financiers to reality TV segment producers, most of them distributed among a half dozen production centers across the country. Even so, we believe that the PGA is big enough to be a home to all of them. No matter the medium or the platform, the essential challenges of story, team building, logistics and sales (or some combination thereof) provide all producers and team members with common interests, and ultimately, a common fate.
We’d like to think that the affirmation of One Guild has given our regional chapters the support and freedom to develop new offerings, whether it’s the SET series in San Francisco, the “Protect Your Team” workshop in Atlanta (see page 34) or the multitude of new offerings in New York, including the very first east coast reception honoring nominees for the PGA’s awards.
Our Guild couldn’t have arrived at this place without the dedicated work of so many individual volunteers—a significant proportion of our nearly 8,000 Producers Guild members across the country and around the world. It may be an ambitious dream to create One Guild out of those nearly 8,000 distinctive, individual producers, but if there’s one thing producers have always known how to do, it’s getting lots of people pointed in the same direction, striving towards a common goal.