Eastern Diversity Steering Committee, Latino Committee and Women’s Steering Committee Announce Election Results

Committee Elections Results

September 7, 2023

Directors Seith Mann and Bertha Bay-Sa Pan and UPM Canella Williams-Larrabee have been elected Co-Chairs of the Eastern Diversity Steering Committee (EDSC). Directors Eli Gonda, SJ Main Muñoz and Jay Torres have been elected Co-Chairs of the Latino Committee (LC); and Directors Shaz Bennett and Valerie Weiss and 1st AD Shawn Pipkin-West have been elected Co-Chairs of the Women’s Steering Committee (WSC).

Additionally, Director Regina Ainsworth, 1st AD Chemen A. Ochoa and Associate Director Angela Visca have been elected as the Director, AD/UPM and AD/SM/PA category representatives of the LC; and Director Mary Lou Belli, UPM Liz Ryan and Associate Director Vanessa Ioppolo have been elected as the Director, AD/UPM and AD/SM/PA category representatives of the WSC. Each position will cover a two-year term.

About the Eastern Diversity Steering Committee Co-Chairs
Seith MannSeith Mann
Mann’s directorial credits include the movie for television The Breaks; the pilot episodes of Let the Right One In and Blindspotting; every episode of the multiple Emmy Award-winning series #FREERAYSHAWN; and over fifty episodes of television including The Wire, The Walking Dead and Homeland. He was nominated for a DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series for his Grey's Anatomy episode "Name of the Game." Mann has been a DGA member since 2005 and currently serves as the 4th Vice President of the Guild, as a member of the Television Creative Rights Committee and previously served on the Eastern Directors Council and as a mentor of the DGA Director Development Initiative's Television Mentorship Program.
Bertha Bay-Sa PanBertha Bay-Sa Pan
Pan’s directorial credits include the features Face — based on her short of the same name which won the DGA Best Asian American Student Filmmaker Award in 1997  and Almost Perfect; an episode of Queen Sugar;  of Open Fire 3D; and the short films Lucy in the Sky and Sluggers. She has been a member of the Guild since 2021 and was a part of the Women Steering Committee's WSC Squad Mentorship Program from 2022-2023
Canella Willams-LarrabeeUPM Canella Williams-Larrabee
Williams-Larrabee has nearly 20 years of experience in the film and television industry, her credits include episodes of series such as EvilRaising DionNCIS: New Orleans and the DGA Award-nominated limited series, The Undoing. A DGA member since 2019, Williams-Larrabee also serves as the Chair of the Eastern AD/UPM Council, a Second Alternate member of the DGA National Board, is a member of the UPM Committee and is the founder of the Diversity Coalition "New York Film and Television for Diversity and Inclusion" or NYFTDI (pronounced NIFTY). This is her second term as a Co-Chair of the EDSC.
About the Committee

The Eastern Diversity Steering Committee represents the concerns of Guild members of African, Asian, Native American, Arab-Middle Eastern or Latino descent residing in the East. Committed to improving the employment opportunities, working conditions and the skills of ethnically diverse Guild members, the Committee sponsors workshops, seminars, round-table discussions and networking events to showcase the talents of its members, recognize their contributions and increase their visibility.

About the Latino Committee Co-Chairs

Eli GondaEli Gonda
Gonda’s directorial credits include the feature films Sid Is Dead and The Outfield; and episodes of Freeridge, On My Block, ABC Discovers: Los Angeles Talent Showcase, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Husbands. He has been a member of the DGA since 2019 and is an alumnus of the Disney | ABC Directing Program, and the 2021-2022 DGA Television Director Mentorship Program.

SJ Main Muñoz
Main Muñoz’s directorial credits include episodes of Manifest, The Cleaning Lady, American Horror Stories, Dynasty, 9-1-1: Lone Star, Chicago Med, The Rookie, Ordinary Joe and Chicago P.D.; as well as numerous short films. In 2020, Main Muñoz was the only Latina narrative Director to be invited into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. A graduate of the DGA Television Director Mentorship Program, she has been a member of the Guild since 2020 and previously served as the Alternate Co-Chair of the Latino Committee.
Jay TorresDirector Jay Torres
Torres’s directorial credits include episodes of CeRealityLifeDesperate Housewives and Alias; the shorts Dead EndThe Lost Archives of Quincy Taylor and Learning to Fly; as well as commercials for Walmart, Footlocker/Reebok, Skechers, Buick, Texaco, DirecTV, Universal Studios, and the LA Times. He was instrumental in helping the platform Vudu build their original content programming, which led to an adaption of Stan Dragoti’s feature film Mr. Mom as a streaming series where he served as Executive Producer/Showrunner. Torres is also the Co-Founder of iDENTITY, a production company dedicated to telling stories that focus on diversity and inclusion, particularly for the American Latino market. A DGA member since 1999, Torres was previously elected to three terms as a Co-Chair of the Latino Committee, and currently serves on the Special Projects Committee. 
About the Committee

The Latino Committee was created as a networking group to advance career and job opportunities for Latino DGA members by improving craft skills, networking, and making Latinos better known to the Hollywood creative community. To achieve this mandate, the LC sponsors workshops, seminars, networking sessions and major events to showcase members’ talent, enhance qualifications, improve employment opportunities, and recognize our contributions to the industry.

About the Women’s Steering Committee Co-Chairs
SJ Main MunozShaz Bennett
Bennett’s directorial credits include the feature film, Alaska is a Drag  based on her short of the same name  as well as episodes of the series Billions, Queen Sugar, Animal Kingdom, Ordinary Joe and Bosch; and the short films Desert Rats, Top of the Circle and Tunnels. She has been a member of the Guild since 2019 and previously served as an Alternate Co-Chair of the WSC.
Valerie WeissValerie Weiss
Weiss’s directorial credits include the feature films, Mixtape, The Archer, A Light Beneath Their Feet and Losing Control; the movie for television, An American Girl Story: Maryellen 1955 – Extraordinary Christmas; and episodes of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Echoes, Monarch, Outer Banks, Echoes Prodigal Son, Bull, Why Women Kill, The Rookie, The Resident, For the People, How To Get Away With Murder, Scandal, Suits, Chicago P.D., The Librarians and Chicago Med. A DGA member since 2016, Weiss serves on the Sustainable Future Committee and previously served as the Director Category Representative of the WSC.
Shawn Pipkin-West1st AD Shawn Pipkin-West
A graduate of the DGA Assistant Director Training Program, Pipkin's Assistant Director credits include features such as Bill Condon’s Dreamgirls, Peter Segal’s The Longest Yard and Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights; and episodes of Raising DionGrey’s AnatomyShots FiredCommunityFriday Night Lights and Sorry for Your Loss. She was on the AD team for two DGA Award-winning productions: Thomas Schlamme’s 2020 special, A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote and Mick Jackson’s 2010 movie for television, Temple Grandin. A DGA member since 2004, Pipkin-West serves as an Associate member of the DGA National Board, as a member of the DGA Diversity Taskforce, is on the Board of Trustees for the Directors Guild-Producer Training Program, and has been on the Western AD/UPM Council as a member and/or alternate from 2013 - present. This is her second term as a Co-Chair of the WSC.
About the Committee

The Women's Steering Committee was created to advance the professional interests of its members, and to heighten their visibility and career opportunities. The WSC currently promotes diversity through sponsoring networking events, screenings and seminars, and fosters relationships between the members to provide support, mentoring and networking opportunities.