Health, Wealth & Happiness: An Overview of the Health and Pension Plan

September 9, 2023 Hosted by the Eastern AD/UPM Council Eastern Regional Committee

On September 9, the Eastern Regional Committee of the Eastern AD/UPM Council hosted the online event, Health, Wealth & Happiness: An Overview of the Health and Pension Plan.  The event was designed to discuss opportunities and resources available to members that live outside of major production centers.

In a conversation moderated by 1st AD Philip L. Hardage; UPM Mary Rae Thewlis; 1st ADs Stephen A. Glanzrock, Renee Hill-Sweet, Jason Inman and Michele A. Panelli-Venetis; and 2nd AD Lisa Mall shared their stories helpful tips for accessing and utilizing the DGA-Producer Pension & Health Plans.

Mall covered the section on Qualifying for the Health Plan and Hill-Sweet gave an overview of Health Plan Benefits with Inman doing likewise for Pension Plan Benefits. Acting as guest speakers were Thewlis, who serves as a trustee of the DGA-Producer Pension and Health Plan, and Glanzrock and Panelli-Venetis lent the benefit of their personal experiences dealing with these benefits.

Mary Rae ThewlisUPM Mary Rae Thewlis 
Thewlis’s Producer/UPM credits include the series The AmericansLaw & Order and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. A DGA member since 1993, she has served as the DGA National Vice President, on the National Board, and on a committee chaired by Directors Steven Soderbergh and Paris Barclay for the Return to Work guidelines designed to keep the industry healthy, safe and working during the Covid Pandemic. She currently serves as a Trustee on the Directors Guild-Producers Pension and Health Plans as an ex-officio on the Eastern AD/UPM Council and as chair of the East Coast Training Program. Thewlis received the 2016 Frank Capra Achievement Award for Outstanding Service to the Guild and Career excellence. 
Stephen A. Glanzrock1st AD Stephen A. Glanzrock 
Now retired, Glanzrock’s assistant directing credits include features such as Bob Balaban’s Bernard and Doris, Michael Wadleigh’s Wolfen, Adrian Lyne’s 9½Weeks, Volker Schlöndorff’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Richard Benjamin’s Mrs. Winterbourne and Dario Argento’s Inferno; and episodes of DamagesThe EqualizerHothouse, and Hart to Hart. A DGA member since 1980, he served on the Eastern AD/UPM Council for nearly three decades in various roles, including 4 terms as Council Chair and a term as 1st Vice Chair. He also served six terms on the National Board, as well as 13 terms on various Negotiating Committees and Subcommittees. For his career and service, Glanzrock was awarded the Frank Capra Achievement Award in 2004. 
Renee Hill-Sweet1st AD Renee Hill-Sweet 
Hill-Sweet’s assistant directing credits include episodes of Average Joe, AtlantaCobra KaiTom SwiftGenius: ArethaAmerican SoulThe QuadBeing Mary JaneShots FiredSleepy Hollow and Finding Carter. She was also part of the directorial team on Barry Sonnenfeld’s DGA Award-winning pilot for the series Pushing Daisies. She has been a DGA member since 2000, has served as an alternate on the Western AD/UPM Council and is a current co-chair of the Eastern AD/UPM Council’s Eastern Regional Committee. 
Jason Inman1st AD Jason Inman 
Inman’s assistant directing credits include features such as Chris McKay’s Renfield, Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and the Wasp and Peter Chelsom’s The Space Between Us; as well as episodes of DynastyMacGyverCobra KaiStan Against EvilYo Gabba Gabba! and Justified. He has been a DGA member since 2012 and has served as an alternate on the Eastern AD/UPM Council. 
Michele A. Panelli-Venetis1st AD Michele A. Panelli-Venetis 
Panelli-Venetis’ assistant directing credits include features such as Kasi Lemmons’ Harriet, Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Judd Apatow’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Dean Parisot’s Galaxy Quest, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, Joe Johnston’s The Rocketeer and Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop. She has been a DGA member since 1988 and has served on the Western AD/UPM Council. 
Lisa Mall2nd AD Lisa Mall 
Mall’s assistant directing credits include episodes of We Own This CityCruel SummerGrand ArmyQueen of the SouthPortlandia and The Umbrella Academy. She has been a DGA member since 2015.  
Phil Hardage1st AD Philip L. Hardage (moderator) 
Hardage’s assistant directing credits include episodes of Walker, Paradise LostDoom PatrolValorPreacherThe LibrariansAmerican CrimeRevolutionDallasFriday Night LightsLongmireThe Good Guys and Burn Notice. He has been a DGA member since 1994 and serves as member of the Eastern AD/UPM Council’s Eastern Regional Committee. 

About the Committee and the Council

The Eastern Regional Committee is chaired by Alison Rosa with co-chairs John Rusk and Renee Hill-Sweet and members Angi Bones, David Chapman, Michele Cusick, Derrick Doose, Edward Eberwine, Yor El Frances, Jason Graham, Phil Hardage, Blair Howley, Jason Inman, Amir Khan, Lisa Mall, Brian Niemczyk, Roxanne Paul, Kristina Peterson, Nelson Quinones, Nick Rafferty, Susan Ransom-Coyle, Brendalyn Richard, James Roque and John West. The Eastern AD/UPM Council is the elected body that represent the Assistant Director and Unit Production Manager members of the Guild who work in film, television, commercials and new media..


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