2022 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

NOMINEES

The MN WIFT Board of Directors consists of an all-volunteer board.

Here are the nominees for new and returning board members.

Carol McCormick - New

After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus with a major in psychology and a minor in theater, Carol McCormick did not realize at the time that it would lead to a 39-year career as an on-camera talent agent at Moore Creative Talent, one of the top SAG-AFTRA franchised agencies in the Twin Cities.

Carol describes her career as "...a wild, satisfying journey, helping hundreds of actors to find gratifying, well-paying jobs in film and television.” Her career highlights include helping casting director Jane Brody fill in important roles for Fargo, and finding Charlie Korsmo to play 'The Kid' in Dick Tracy.

“My relationships with all local Twin Cities casting directors was very fulfilling, as was finding actors for hundreds of commercials and industrial films. I especially loved helping local directors to make indie films that would push their careers forward, and helping local actors advance in the industry."

Ariel Donahue - New

Ariel Donahue is a freelance filmmaker, writer, actor and voiceover artist based in Minneapolis. She has spent the last eight years doing production and wardrobe, but her career began at age 2, when she was cast as a series regular in her mother’s student films at MCAD in exchange for Barbie Dolls. (Today, Ariel’s rates are slightly higher.)

Her notable projects include: I Was There (History Channel), Wilson (Fox Searchlight Pictures), In An Instant (ABC), Mogadishu MN (HBO), The Zimmern List (Travel Channel) and many, many commercials.

Ariel is also the title voice of Amira & The StoryCraft, an interactive AI-powered app-based reading tutor. Go download it for free!

Aiyana Ruggiero - New

Aiyana launched Ruggiero Models & Talent in 2014 to represent great talent and support outstanding projects in the MN production/talent community. An accomplished and savvy manager, producer and marketer, Aiyana is known for her personal touch and grace-under-pressure running complex, fast-paced projects while serving clients with intricate needs and talent who are as enthusiastic and skilled as they are ambitious and professional. She loves the biz because of the people she gets to know and her pride in seeing talent and clients thrive.

Aiyana enjoys giving back to the community by mentoring newcomers, speaking at industry events, and sharing advice and insight on the ins-and-outs of the industry. Her near-constant companion, Betty, is known for her stylish collars and the lipstick kiss-mark just above her snout. When Aiyana isn’t working (but really, she’s always working) she is a passionate bon vivant and can be found cooking, networking, and hatching travel plans. Wine estates in France, anyone?

Carrie Bush - Returning

Carrie has a lifelong passion and drive to create stories, give voice to and advocate for the underrepresented and marginalized groups around the world which has formed her goals and dreams both professionally and through her continuing education. For the last 17 years, she’s worked in the film and commercial industry across the country and around the world as a director, producer, and assistant director on both narrative and documentary film projects.

Carrie has directed four award-winning short films and a web series with a focus on telling stories that showcase different perspectives. She currently mentors young filmmakers and volunteers for organizations that fight for social justice here in Minneapolis as well as at the USA-Mexican Border.

Amanda Day - Returning

Amanda Day has been an extremely active member of the MN film and TV community for 15 years. She has worked with the MN Film & TV Board as a producer and event host, volunteered with the TCFF for 9 years, been a judge and participant in numerous film festivals, has hosted and spoken on film and TV screenings and conferences, mentored many actors and worked as a full time actor, voice talent and host for 10 years.

She has been the lead in over 25 feature films and worked on over 70 shorts. She has a background in business and has branched into producing, locations and account management. She is passionate about the film community in MN, has a deep love for cooking food for her friends and family and loves to travel.

Linda Walen - Returning

Linda Walen is an experienced live event, web-stream, and video producer, dedicated to quality, leadership, and a keen focus on internal and external communication experiences.

As a commercial rep, she provides creative solutions for broadcast communications thru connecting top talent with agencies throughout the Midwest.

Current Board Members

These board members will continue to serve through 2022. They will be eligible for re-election in 2023.

Alison Guessou - President

As a filmmaker, Alison Guessou's aim is to tell those stories that are not often told, and to bring to light the characters that we rarely see. As the founder of Djini Productions, her belief in having diverse perspectives represented behind the camera will add to today’s narrative landscape. Her goal is to develop feature films that bring the experience of our communities to life; not only stories which speak to the concerns of our time, but also provide entertaining portrayals through diverse cast and crew. She is a recent recipient of the Jerome Foundation 2019 Minnesota Film, Video and Digital Production Grant.

Alison first joined MN WIFT in 2017, and has been serving on the board since August 2019.

Hannah Walker - Treasurer

Hannah Walker is a film and television producer, who recently moved back to Minnesota after 15 years of living and working in Los Angeles. Prior to her move, she served as Producer and Director of Development at Sander/ Moses Productions, where she guided the development of dozens of pilots and television series for ABC, Amazon Studios, FOX, NBCUniversal International Studios, Red Arrow Studios and Warner Bros. Studios, among others.

Hannah began her career working in feature film development at independent production companies like 2929 Productions (“The Road,” “Two Lovers”) and Matt Tolmach Productions (“The Amazing Spider Man,” “Jumanji”).

Christopher Powers - Secretary

Chris is a software engineer and filmmaker. He joined the Minneapolis/St. Paul filmmaking community in 2007, where he works as an assistant director and producer on feature films, short films, music videos and documentaries.

Chris joined the MN WIFT Board in 2016 and has served as Secretary since 2017.

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We always welcome helpful comments or question. Have an idea or program you would like to share with us? Contact us today!

Our Mailing Location

2801 Hennepin Ave. South #112

Minneapolis, MN 55408

Contact Information

(651) 764-8101

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