SCMS Announcement of Our New and First Executive Director, Jill Simpson
After reviewing a large pool of applications and going through several rounds of interviews, the SCMS Board of Directors and Executive Council are delighted to announce the results of our first national search for an Executive Director. Jill Simpson has enthusiastically accepted the position and will begin on September 2, 2014.
Jill comes to us from her previous job as Director of the Oklahoma Film and Music Office, an office that advocates for the state as a viable location for producing films, television, and music projects. As Director, she was a liaison to lawmakers, communities, and businesses in her successful efforts to support the arts and arts industries economically and creatively. During her stewardship, local and state filmmakers gained increasing visibility for their work at such venues as the Sundance Film Festival, MoMA’s New Directors/New Films program, the Venice International Film Festival, the Smithsonian Native American Film/Video Festival, New York’s Independent Rough Cut Lab, and the South by Southwest Festival. Jill is an active member of the Association of Film Commissioners International and the recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Film and Video Society. Prior to her directorship, she spent nearly twenty years in the Los Angeles entertainment industry in various roles, including as an associate producer, executive coordinator, and post-production supervisor for major films and television programs. She is alumna of Radio-TV-Film and Journalism at the University of Oklahoma. We are fortunate that our first choice for Executive Director is already knowledgeable about the University of Oklahoma, which promises a smooth transition to her work with the SCMS Home Office. We are also happy that her areas of expertise both differ from and complement those of SCMS members, providing the opportunity for dynamic interchange.
Jill brings to SCMS experience in film, television, music, and new media in her work with creative, industry, and business personnel. She has been a strong advocate for the arts and has represented the mission of a complex organization in relation to diverse constituencies. At the same time she has created initiatives and worked successfully with others toward significant goals. In addition, Jill has extensive experience in administration, finances, and fund-raising. She is a consummate professional with the energy and talent to become a major part of SCMS’s future.
The hiring of an Executive Director comes after years of preparation by the SCMS Board of Directors to meet a central goal of the Society’s strategic plan—to update its administrative structure to accord with those of other learned societies and, in so doing, to have consistent leadership in the context of the changing group of officers and members elected to the SCMS Board. The Executive Director will be an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Board and a voting member on relevant committees. The duties of this position are wide-ranging and include strong collaboration with the Board of Directors, Executive Council, Home Office staff, and our membership to address the specific needs of our organization.
We welcome Jill and look forward to working with her in the coming years. We will introduce her formally to you at the Montreal Conference in March 2015.
In the meantime, huge thanks to the members of the Search Committee, Steven Cohan (chair), Patrice Petro, Jim Castonguay, Jane Dye, Leslie LeMond, and, in a consulting capacity, Victoria Sturtevant, for their hard work on achieving this milestone for the Society.