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THE SPIRIT OF SERVICE - From The Presidents

Posted By Administration, Friday, June 9, 2017

We can each remember the first time we sat down at the table in the PGA conference room as Board members. We were flattered to have been asked to run for seats on the Board by our colleagues, but at those initial meetings, we had little idea of what to expect.

What we discovered was a group of people—some of them friends, some whom we knew by reputation, many who were complete strangers—who were singularly committed to bettering the professional lives of their peers. The tone set by President Marshall Herskovitz was adopted by everyone present, leading to discussions that were thoughtful, deliberative, often passionate but always respectful. Working in this business for decades, we had of course been part of plenty of meetings driven by big egos and participants’ desires to hear themselves talk. The PGA Board meetings were different. Egos were checked at the door, and the center of discussion was never the people at the table, but always the needs of the Producers Guild and its members.

Those first meetings demonstrated to us that this was an organization worthy of our time and energy. It was work we could be proud of. We joined committees, and even started one or two of our own. We carved out time in our schedules to make phone calls, take part in working groups, review proposals—whatever the Guild seemed to need that we could provide. Ultimately, the rewards of that work have far surpassed our contributions, whether it be found in the PGA’s steadily growing membership, the adoption of the Producers Mark, or (most of all) in the fuller appreciation of the complexity of our business provided by the perspectives of members from our Associate Producer and New Media Councils. 

In recognition of that transformative power of Guild service, we’ve asked three outgoing Board members to reflect on their own service to the PGA, and offer insights and advice to fellow members who might follow in their footsteps.



Producers Council

When I mention PGA events, my wife always says, “You have to go—those are your people.” My PGA colleagues are the people I truly enjoy being around. Whether you’re in the Producers, AP, or New Media Council, there is mutual respect and an exchange of ideas that is impossible get anywhere else in the entertainment business.

The things I’m going to miss about the Board aren’t so much the “big initiatives” we support at the PGA, like the Producers Mark. What I’m going to miss is the stuff that I don’t get to hear about otherwise—what’s going on in new media, all the amazing things the Guild is doing in New York, the seminars and workshops that are being planned. I hear about all that stuff and it makes me wish that the PGA was as active and accessible when I was coming up in the business. I could have used it then. Young producers need it today.

That’s the spirit in which I sat down at the board room table, every time—this is my chance to give back. “What can I do to help?” “How can I get involved?” Those are the questions that served me best in my time on the Board, and they’ll serve the Board members who come after me just as well. Get involved. Join the committees. Jump in. Enjoy Gary and Lori; don’t be afraid of Vance. You’re sitting at that table because your peers thought you could help your profession. Your peers were right. All you have to do is say “yes” when you get the chance.



AP Council

Having now served two 3-year terms on the AP Council Board of Delegates (including three years as Chair) and on the National Board of Directors, I am terming out. The PGA Constitution requires Board members who serve two consecutive terms to sit out a year before running again. Will I? You bet!

I’m a joiner, always have been. It’s in my family’s blood. We also tend to rise to leadership positions – mostly because we are highly opinionated and can’t keep our mouths shut. I’ve been in the PGA for 15 years – helping on the Events and Diversity Committees most of that time, but it was not until serving on the Boards did I understand the power of the Guild – both the history and the potential in its future.

There are many ways to get involved in any region – including Education, Events and Employment, along with a host of other committees. I would say to any member that committees are the place to start. Meet other members, see how things are run. The time commitment is only what you can spare, and varies by committee project and the time of year.

The Board requires more of a time commitment. You don’t want to miss a meeting, because there is always a lot happening. The PGA, with its treasure of producing talent, wants and needs to be part of the conversation – protecting the Producer credit, our product in the marketplace, our benefits options and our professional well-being.

At the New Member Breakfast in May, one attendee said the reason they joined was for “collaboration, community and credit.” I could not agree more.



New Media Council

Good morning, producers! As we start a new term in 2017, I’ve been asked to say a few words as an outgoing Board member. Let me assure you that if you volunteer with the Guild, you’ll look back on your involvement as the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Your contributions as a Board member will improve our guild in ways you can’t yet imagine. Didn’t run for a Board seat? No problemo! For those of you who are thinking, ‘I coulda been a contender,’ there’s still time to get involved! After all, tomorrow is another day.

So, I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse: Get involved and enjoy the benefits of giving and receiving. I know what you’re thinking: ‘Ms. Todd, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?’ As if! I promise you, if you give freely of your time, the relationships you develop in the Guild will be priceless. Volunteer. Mentor. Pitch in and help at events for your council. Go ahead, make our day.

Incoming Board delegates, you’re about to jump into the middle of works-in-progress, and you’ll have the chance to start initiatives of your own. There will definitely be times when you feel like you’ve been thrown into the deep end of the ocean. Just keep swimming!  With the contributions of your time and exquisite brainpower, you can help take the PGA to the next level, even to infinity and beyond.

To all PGA members, we love making personal connections, so if you’re visiting San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York or DC, reach out to your fellow council members and plan to meet up. We’ll get together. Have a few laughs.

Finally, to the New Media Council, I wish I knew how to quit you, but even though I’m terming out, I’ll be back. Because, honestly, you complete me.

Tags:  from the presidents 

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