Program nurtures talent to cultivate future industry leadership

LOS ANGELES--The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) has announced the 2019 class of Young Entertainment Professionals (YEP). Sponsored by HPA, YEP was developed to provide talented individuals early in their careers in the media content industry with connection, mentoring and opportunities for engagement. 

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The announcement came during the SMPTE 2018 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition in Los Angeles. The class was chosen by the YEP advisory committee from a group of applicants motivated to develop lasting relationships with industry leaders and other young professionals.

The YEP program provides a unique framework for young professionals to network and learn from peers and mentors. YEP mentors, who volunteer their time and expertise, are industry leaders who bring extensive knowledge to their mentees. Over the course of the year, YEP class members participate in a variety of events including the HPA Tech Retreat, HPA Awards, exclusive mentoring events and a number of YEP peer–driven events.

The 2019 YEP Class 

Zach Beggs, 3Ball Entertainment

Daniel Brown, Premiere Digital Services

Michelle Diaz, Pixelogic

Caroline Gilmore, ABC Studios

Bonnie Gross, Encore Hollywood

Jordan Hunter, Disney

Claire Iannelli, FotoKem

Dominic Koponen, Panavision LightIron

Daniel Larsh, DoctorPedia

Kimberly Martinez, ABC Studios

Elizabeth Peterson, Johnny Anarchy

Zoe Pinczower, Netflix

Clare Runciman, Home Los Angeles

Karen Singer, Viacom

Harmeet Singh, Dolby Laboratories

Colette Speer, New Media Hollywood

Jessica Wan, Pixar Animation Studios

Zachary Witherspoon, LightIron

Iris Wu, Ambidio

Katherine Yo, Disney

In keeping with tradition, the YEP class gathered at SMPTE 2018 for their first official event. Roundtable discussions, connection with mentors and peers, and expert-led presentations were followed by presentations by technology partners Avid, Cinnafilm, Dolby, Microsoft, Sundog and DTS/Xperi. Remarks from HPA Vice President Chuck Parker, incoming SMPTE President Pat Griffis and Kari Grubin, chair of HPA Women in Post responsible for incubating the program, kicked off the day.

Loren Nielsen, co-chair of the YEP committee, noted, “Witnessing YEP’s evolution has been nothing short of inspiring for the committee. The level of engagement has grown and the events have taken on their own energy from the talented YEPs organizing them. Each year, our applicants have been outstanding. We have been delighted to see our talented 2017 and 2018 YEP classes step up as industry participants and leaders in their own right.”

In closing the day, Parker noted “The YEP program is great source of pride to all of us at HPA. We are thoroughly impressed with the caliber of the class as well as their eagerness to connect with mentors and peers to make this an engaging and valuable experience. YEP membership is the future of HPA, and the HPA future is bright.”