The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience

PDF - 2016 May Agenda - Click Here


Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Sponsored by: Alliance for Women in Media, SoCal

2:15 PM - 3:30 PM - Haas Conference Center - Room 171

Women Leading the Digital Charge from Content Creation to Distribution

Kristin Cruz, iHeart Radio Personality, Media Host and Producer

Laura Nickerson, Media Host/Producer and On-Camera Consultant,   MomAngeles Media LLC & The Randy Lane Co.

Cupid Hayes, Vice President of Business Development for MCMG (Missing Channel Media Group)

Sienna Babb, Head of Digital, MarVista

Sarah Penna, Head of AwesomenessTV’s Awestruck Network

Toby Berlin, President, School of Toby, Inc and Consultant to Playstation Vue

Michelle Van Jura, Founder and Owner, ‎Intersect Communications, Moderator


Cupid Hayes is Vice President of Business Development for MCMG (Missing Channel Media Group), a multi-platform, international media distribution company. In her role, she leads strategy, brand development, partnerships and international expansion. Cupid Hayes is a successful and well respected entertainment and technology entrepreneur and activist who has spent over a decade defining and redefining how content is created, distributed, and monetized. She advocates for the rights and protections of media creatives and currently serves on the SAG-AFTRA Hollywood Board of Directors. As an award- winning commercial casting director, her clients have included LEGO, Procter & Gamble, Western Union, and Famous Footwear. Cupid also directs clients on

multi-platform strategy, the execution of branded content, and upfront activations. A dedicated media disruptor and proud graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Cupid Hayes is a frequent speaker on the influence of technology as a tool for diversity and empowerment.


Laura Nickerson, Media Host/Producer and On-Camera Consultant, MomAngeles Media LLC & The Randy Lane Co.: Laura has worked as an On-Camera Host/Reporter and Radio Personality for KCET, CTV, MomAngeles, KHTS, KFI, KTLK, TV Guide, HBO, SM16, Dance Channel TV, Broad Topics TV and Radio, Clear Channel Inc, and NBC/Universal. She hosts the weekly television show “The Buzz” for CTV and the podcast and #MomBlab series “Best of LA with Kristin and Laura” for MomAngeles alongside fellow radio personality Kristin Cruz. In her copious free time, she also works as an on-camera consultant for The Randy Lane Company, a personal branding and media consulting firm. Of all of the things Laura has accomplished, she says trying to get two kids to nap at the same time has been the most difficult.


Sienna Babb is currently the Head of Digital for MarVista Entertainment, an independent studio based in Los Angeles.  In her role, she manages the studio’s digital distribution business as well as original digital productions for emerging digital platforms.  She is also responsible for defining and executing short and long-term strategic business initiatives in the digital space including direct-to-consumer and digital investments. Prior to joining MarVista, Sienna was Director of Digital Media Business Development for E! Online, and NBC Universal company, where she managed all video/content distribution, audience development and ad technology partnerships to increase monetization and traffic for E!’s desktop, mobile and video properties.  Sienna has also worked at Sony Network Entertainment International in Business Development, Sony Pictures Entertainment in the Corporate Development group and Putnam Lovell NBF Investment Bank in the Mergers and Acquisitions division. Sienna has an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management and a B.S. from Cornell University.


Sarah Penna, Head of AwesomenessTV’s Awestruck Network: Sarah Penna is the Head of Awestruck, a new network and lifestyle brand from AwesomenessTV targeting millennial moms. In this role, Penna is responsible for identifying talent and new creators to sign to the Awestruck multi-channel network.  Penna is also the Co-Founder of Big Frame, one of the top talent management firms in the digital space. Recognizing the importance of talent, Penna helped to establish Big Frame as an industry leading media company and talent management firm with 300 talent signed, who have a combined 70+ million YouTube subscribers and have a total social media reach of 200+ million followers. Dubbed “CAA for the digital set,” Big Frame was acquired by AwesomenessTV in April 2014. Penna's expertise in digital content creation and talent management has made her a sought-after speaker with engagements at VidCon, BlogHer Pro, ComicCon, CES, Digital Hollywood, Social Media Week and more. When she is not scouting new talent and nurturing digital influencers, Penna spends time with the biggest stars in her life, her toddler-aged son Jonah and husband Joe Penna a.k.a. MysteryGuitarMan.


Toby Berlin, Founder and President, School, Toby, Inc.: In her current role, Toby Berlin provides consulting expertise in the Cable/Satellite/MVPD/OTT universe including, high level negotiations, strategic planning, business development, financial and contractual support. She also advises on organizational structure, packaging, pricing, cost reduction, revenue growth, subscriber acquisition and retention, contract database, compliance, contractual negotiations and strategies and crisis management. Berlin is a longtime consultant to Playstation VUE and advises on content acquisition, successful media distribution strategies and sales, marketing and operations best practices. In addition, she serves as the Cable/Satellite/Retransmission Consent Advisor for multiple research firms to educate large institutional investors. She has created the roadmap for news-based cable network for expansion into airlines, hotels, motels and office buildings as well as crafted a successful negotiation strategy for cable networks seeking to extend contractual relationship with distributors. Finally, Berlin has worked with numerous programmers to expand their footprint through mergers and/or acquisitions. In her previous role, Berlin was responsible for aspects of programming acquisitions for the DIRECTV service including all networks available on DIRECTV’s Spanish-language package DIRECTV en Español, DIRECTV's WorldDirect international programming packages, shopping channels, adult programming, DIRECTV’s airborne platforms on United, JetBlue and Frontier airlines, as well as the Sonic Tap music channels available on the DIRECTV platform. Berlin was also the president emeritus and founder of the Women’s Leadership Exchange at DIRECTV. This internal group enhanced the experiences of female employees at DIRECTV through monthly seminars with industry executives, networking sessions, Toastmasters club, a mentoring program, a working mothers group, and quarterly newsletters. The WLE currently operates in Los Angeles, Denver and New York. Prior to her work at DIRECTV, she served as executive director of The Learning Annex, where she was responsible for the creation of a monthly catalog of over 250 classes featuring top best-selling authors and personalities.


Michelle Van Jura, Founder and Owner, ‎Intersect Communications, Moderator: Michelle Van Jura has over 20 years of experience ranging from business-to-business hardware, software, media and Internet clients to consumer-focused products. She has handled a full-range of corporate communications efforts, crisis management, media relations and analyst relations. She founded Intersect Communications in 2008, where she has worked with start-ups and industry giants alike, past and current clients, include IBM, Beamly, USA Network, NBCUniversal, Kodak, Cisco, Media Storm, DataStax and more. Prior to founding Intersect Communications, Michelle was a vice president within Ketchum’s prestigious brand practice team and worked as a consultant for the company’s growing technology practice. Previously, she was the General Manager of West Coast operations at Fusion Public Relations, Account Director at Bohle Company and Director of Corporate Communications at Inteliant. Michelle has won numerous awards and can been seen as a featured orator on a public speaking tutorial used at more than 10,000 U.S. universities. She splits her time between New York City and Charleston, SC.