Board Chair, Senior Vice President Production Development, Universal Pictures
Sara Scott | Board Chair, Senior Vice President Production Development, Universal Pictures
Sara Scott currently serves as Senior Vice President Production Development at Universal Pictures and has been with the studio since 2010. During her tenure at Universal, Scott has worked on some of the studio’s most successful films and franchises such as Ted, Straight Outta Compton, films in the Pitch Perfect, Jurassic World, and The Purge franchises, Girls Trip, Get Out, and 2018’s Glass.
Prior to joining Universal, Scott was an executive at Harpo Films. Before joining Harpo, she was an assistant to Peter Cramer, Universal Pictures’ current president, after following him from New Regency. Scott grew up just outside of Philadelphia and studied Theatre Arts and Urban Studies at The University of Pennsylvania, where she received her B.A. She currently resides in Los Angeles.
David Borsari | Attorney
David began his legal career in 1996 with the Public Defender’s Office in Miami, Florida, where he rose to the level of Major Crimes Attorney. In 2001 David returned to his home-state of California where he created his own private law firm as a solo practitioner handling criminal defense matters throughout the Southland. David’s affinity for assisting at-risk youths was developed through his participation as a board member with VIP Mentors which oversaw the attorney-mentoring of young adult new parolees transitioning back into society. David serves as a Temporary Judge in the Orange County Superior Court and recently coached La Habra High School’s inaugural mock trial competition team. David and his wife, Julie, enjoy spending time with their two children, Caroline and Jackson.
Board Treasurer, Attorney
Russ Cashdan | Board Treasurer, Attorney
Russ is a corporate and finance lawyer at Hogan Lovells, with a broad practice in mergers and acquisitions, finance, and general corporate matters. Mr. Cashdan represents buyers, sellers and investment bankers in mergers and acquisitions and public and private finance transactions, including initial public offerings, secondary public offerings and private placements. Mr. Cashdan also advises public and private companies of various sizes on matters ranging from day-to-day operations to restructuring transactions. Prior to attending University of Southern California law school, he worked as a certified public accountant for what was then a Big Eight public accounting.
Albert G. Chou
Albert G. Chou | Wealth Manager
Albert joined Goldman Sachs in 1996 as a Financial Analyst in the Firm’s Chicago office and was part of a highly successful Private Wealth Management team. After receiving his MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA, Albert rejoined Goldman Sachs in the Los Angeles office and joined his current team in 1999. He earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Chicago. Albert is involved with recruiting and mentoring of University of Chicago students through the University’s alumni organization. He also is part of the University of Chicago recruiting team at Goldman Sachs. Albert volunteers with Junior Achievement and Inner City Arts teaching and mentoring underprivileged children. He has participated in Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Business Program as a volunteer advisor. Albert is married with two children and lives in Hancock Park.
Senior Vice President Production Development, Universal Pictures
Ryan Jones | Senior Vice President Production Development, Universal Pictures
Ryan Jones currently serves as Senior Vice President of Production Development at Universal Pictures. Prior to joining Universal Pictures, Jones was Vice President of Development and Production at Hasbro/eOne where he oversaw such films as Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins and the Transformers spinoff, Bumblebee. Before joining Hasbro/eOne, he was an executive at 20th Century Fox where he worked on such films as Logan, Deadpool, The Martian, and Maze Runner. Jones also worked at Morgan Creek Productions and State Street Pictures. Additionally, he is a co-producer of the documentary, Lunch Hour, which focuses on the National School Lunch Program, childhood obesity, and addiction to unhealthy foods. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Ryan is a graduate of the University of Miami where he double-majored in Film and English Literature. He is proud to serve on the board of The Unusual Suspects.
Melissa Peterman | Actor
Growing up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Melissa Peterman is best-known for her starring role as Barbra Jean on the hit series Reba and just completed six seasons of Baby Daddy as Bonnie Wheeler. Melissa made her feature film debut as Hooker No. 2 in the Coen Brothers’ Oscar-winning movie Fargo. Her other film credits include 40 is the New Dead, Here Comes the Boom, and Dirty Politics. She also starred in and produced Working Class on CMT. She has starred in Retired at 35, Surviving Suburbia, Rita Rocks, Just Shoot Me, Cedric, Living in Abandon, The Pitts, and American Dad. Her first televised comedy special, Melissa Peterman: Am I The Only One? aired on CMT, and she hosted CMT’s The Singing Bee for four seasons. She also starred in Dusty Peacock, the online series created for Crackle.com. She hosted ABC’s primetime game show Bet on Your Baby and ABC Family’s reality comedy clip show Dancing Fools. She is a favorite guest on many popular games shows including Celebrity Name Game, Bet your Baby, Singing Bee and $100,000 Pyramid. A long-standing guest of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Melissa has hosted the Sing-A-Long Sound of Music at the Hollywood Bowl since 2004 and has hosted the LA Phil’s annual Holiday Sing-Along at Walt Disney Concert Hall since 2014. In summer 2017, she was on the Food Network celebrity cooking competition, Worst Cooks in America, playing for The Unusual Suspects! As a longtime supporter and host of our annual Gala since 2010, Melissa is honored to join the board of The Unusual Suspects.
Student / Advocate
Julio Quijada | Student / Advocate
Julio Quijada is an Unusual Suspects Theatre Company alumnus and an intern at NBC Universal-Creative Operations department where he is following his dream of film development. A student at West Los Angeles College pursing a degree in Cinematic Arts and English, Julio holds a Motion Picture, Television and Stage Crafts Certificate.
Julio is also a member of Mayor Garcetti’s Los Angeles Tech Pipeline initiative which connects diverse students to careers in the fast-growing technology sector.
Julio is committed to breaking down barriers in order to create opportunities for the most vulnerable youth. In addition to his work with The Unusual Suspects, he volunteers and is an advocate for public safety, welfare, and education non-profits utilizing the arts and creative expression to affect change for incarcerated and foster youth aged-out of the system.
TV Literary Agent at Verve Talent and Literary Agency
Gina Reyes | TV Literary Agent at Verve Talent and Literary Agency
Originally from Chicago, Gina started her Hollywood career at International Creative Management talent agency in Motion Picture Production and transitioned to Film Development in her post with Ms. Salma Hayek’s production company, Ventanazul/MGM. Following her time at Ventanazul, Gina landed at 20th Century Fox Film as a Creative Executive in feature film development and made the move to television as Director for the Fox Writers Lab, Fox TV Directors Lab and the Fox/AFI Filmmakers Lab for Fox Broadcasting Company, 20th Century Fox Television, and 20th Century Fox Film. She then returned to content development in her role as the Director of Content Development for Story House Entertainment/Univision, where she focused on Spanish and English-language scripted series. She was also the Vice President of Scripted Development for both Film and Television, at Mitú, an English-language digital platform targeting the new mainstream American millennial audience before moving on to her current role as a television lit agent at Verve Talent & Literary Agency.
Gina attended Columbia College Chicago where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism and Television. She is on the board of directors of The Unusual Suspects https://theunusualsuspects.org/ and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative http://annenberg.usc.edu/research/aii. Gina has also been recognized as one of twenty Latin Americans Making a Difference for American Independent Film Today on Indiewire http://www.indiewire.com/2016/12/latin-americans-film-industry-influence-1201745573/
Karine Rosenthal | Writer / Producer
Karine Rosenthal has served as a writer-producer on five primetime, network television programs, including six seasons on the long running FOX series “Bones.” Prior to writing for television, Karine spent many years involved in the New York theater world, initially as an actress, but also later as a writer and director. Two of the plays she co-wrote during that time (“Step in and Stand Clear” and “The Ballad of Larry the Flyer”) received well-regarded Off Broadway (Ensemble Studio Theatre) and regional (Piccolo Spoleto) productions. Karine lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Bob Fisher, who is also a writer, and their son, Joseph. She has a BA in English from Stanford University.
Decker Sadowski | Actor
Decker is a Dartmouth mechanical engineering graduate who recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of acting. She played the lead role in an award-winning web-series, and has acted in many short and independent films. Decker studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts as well as Dartmouth College and currently trains at John Rosenfeld Studios. Decker also works as a script supervisor and takes writing classes.
Private Wealth Management
Kristina Segesvary | Private Wealth Management
Kristina Segesvary joined The Ayco Company, LP, a Goldman Sachs Company, as a Vice President in May 2016. Kristina provides wealth counseling services to clients of Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management. Kristina’s professional background has been in the Big 4 public accounting industry. During her 17 years at global tax firms, she has worked with their high-net worth client base, both in U.S. and cross-border tax consulting and compliance matters. She spent 6 years working in London, as well as brief rotations to Munich, Paris, and Budapest. She is multilingual. Kristina earned her BA in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Kristina enjoys theatre and supporting her local community playwrights and theatres.
Lesley Wake Webster
Television Writer & Producer
Lesley Wake Webster | Television Writer & Producer
Lesley Wake Webster is a television writer and producer who has worked in comedy for twenty years. Her recent credits include “Speechless,” “Life in Pieces” and the NBC sitcom “Perfect Harmony,” which she created. Prior to her life as a writer, Lesley was a middle school teacher at the Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California. Lesley received a BA in English from Princeton University. Lesley and her husband live in West Hills with their two sons.
Director / President and Founder of Psycho Films
Joe Weil | Director / President and Founder of Psycho Films
Joe is a film director and entrepreneur, the President & Founder of Psycho Films, an LA based production and management company. Joe has directed music videos for artists including Kendrick Lamar, Puff Daddy, Drake and Khalid as well as various national commercials and television pilots. His works have been written about extensively in Rolling Stone, Billboard, Entertainment Weekly and many other entertainment publications. Born in St. Louis, MO, Joe attended the University of Southern California where he studied Film Production. A passionate advocate for all forms of creative expression, Joe is also an avid writer and painter. Joe has previously served as a Volunteer Mentor with The Unusual Suspects.
Board Vice Chair, Co-Founder, Ready to Launch
Charlotte White | Board Vice Chair, Co-Founder, Ready to Launch
Charlotte is the co-founder of Ready to Launch, an organization on a mission to help more women launch careers in politics and public service to diversify the staff pipeline. Charlotte’s background is in finance and fundraising, having managed multi-million dollar political campaigns, PACs, and nonprofit initiatives. Most recently, Charlotte managed economic development programs at Accelerator for America. Charlotte began her career at Goldman Sachs after graduating from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Economics, where she was a Presidential Scholar.