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News: General

Michelle Byrd Promoted to Associate National Executive Director

Tuesday, June 23, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Andrew Mahlmann
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The Producers Guild of America’s (PGA) National Board of Directors announced today the promotion of Michelle Byrd to Associate National Executive Director from her previous role of Managing Director, PGA East. In her new post, Byrd will work alongside National Executive Directors Susan Sprung and Vance Van Petten to assist in leading the expansion, reach, vision and operations of the Guild and its key programs. Current priorities include the Guild’s efforts to create standard protocols for productions during COVID-19; increasing diversity in membership through One Guild, as well as creating new programming and educational initiatives that serve this goal; the Producers Mark; green production initiatives; the annual PGA Awards; and the PGA Foundation’s Independent Production Safety Initiative. She remains based out of the New York office.

In her prior role as the first Managing Director of PGA East, Byrd was responsible for the growth and stewardship of the PGA’s East Coast membership and activities. Her accomplishments include establishing the Guild's first permanent home for member activities, restructuring the office's Member Services team, and increasing visibility around the PGA Awards in New York and the Produced By: New York conference, which has matured into a must-attend event for east coast-based film and television producers.

“It is clear that Michelle’s outstanding and unsurpassed leadership in many areas of the Guild including her accomplishments growing Guild membership, building a sense of community for producers on the east coast, and countless other examples, exemplifies the talents she brings on a national level to the role as Associate National Executive Director. We’re excited that she will be working closely with us alongside National Executive Directors Vance Van Petten and Susan Sprung on all aspects of the Guild to help our organization and our members become stronger and more impactful than ever,” said Producers Guild of America Presidents Lucy Fisher and Gail Berman.

“We are all aware of the challenges and hurdles that our industry is currently facing, and we are working day and night to identify and create solutions for our members. Michelle’s acute understanding of both producers and our Guild means that this promotion could not have come at a better time, both for leadership and our members. We are looking forward to continuing our work with Michelle on our current priorities and as we carve out viable, visionary ideas for the future of our industry and the Guild,” said Producers Guild of America National Executive Directors Susan Sprung and Vance Van Petten. 

“It is a privilege to work closely with the Guild’s national leadership, Presidents Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher and National Executive Directors Susan Sprung and Vance Van Petten, to bring a fresh eye and perspective to serving and engaging members wherever they live,” said Michelle Byrd, Associate National Executive Director.

Prior to the PGA, Byrd spent over 20 years successfully building prominent, non-profit media organizations involved with film, digital, and games. Based in New York, she served 12 years (1997-2009) as Executive Director of IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project) including repositioning IFP’s Gotham Awards into awards season with the introduction of competitive awards, establishing prominent collaborations with entities such as the United Nations and re-framing the organization’s programming to focus on projects in development and works-in-progress.

From 2010-2013, Byrd was Co-President of Games for Change and oversaw the Games for Change Festival and served as an Executive Producer on “Half the Sky” Movement’s Facebook and mobile games based on Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s best-selling book (Zynga, Ford Foundation, USAID). From 2014-2017 she ran her own consulting practice providing strategic planning, program and partnership development, and management advisory services for the Canadian Consulate, Ghetto Film School, Green Beetz, Museum of the Moving Image, New York State Commission on National and Community Service, and the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development, among others. She was also EP on "The Whiteness Project," an interactive investigation into how Americans who identify as white, or partially white, understand and experience their race. (American Documentary | POV).

Byrd has served as a juror on the documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival, been awarded the “Made in New York” career tribute by Mayor Bloomberg, received the “Good Egg Award” for Distinguished Leadership from Chicken & Egg Pictures, and appeared on both Variety’s Annual “Indie Impact List: 50 Who Made a Difference” and The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment “Power 100 List."