Board of Directors

 

Ron Green

Executive Director

Ron Green is a former editor and editorial manager with Hallmark Cards. He founded and led Hallmark’s Creative University program where he was responsible for training over 1400 talented professionals from a wide range of creative occupations. Ron retired from Hallmark in August of 2012. He now works as a consultant for Mizzou Advantage’s Media of the Future program and serves as the Executive Director of the Digital Storytelling Center of Kansas City. He is currently working to establish a center for digital storytelling that will advance the digital media industry in our region, provide training and development for industry professionals and those desiring a career in digital storytelling including underprivileged kids in the urban core. He is working with others to locate this center in the Laugh-O-Gram building at 31st & Forest where Walt Disney launched his animation business.

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Dan Viets

President

Dan Viets is an attorney in private practice in Columbia, MO. He is a former president of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, former chair of the board of the Mid-Missouri ACLU, former president of the University of Missouri student body and former chair of the City of Columbia Human Rights Commission.
Mr. Viets was the recipient of the 1993 Martin Luther King Association’s “Keeping the Dream Alive” award and the 1995 Mid-Missouri “Civil Libertarian of the Year.” He received the 2005 Atticus Finch Outstanding Criminal Defense Lawyer award from the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In January, 2006, he received the Trailblazer award from the Mid-Missouri NAACP.
Dan is a movie and animation buff as well as a Walt Disney historian. He is co-author of the book, “Walt Disney’s Missouri: The Roots of a Creative Genius” published by the KC Star, and he is the author of several articles about Disney. Dan lectured for many years about Walt Disney’s life and work for the Missouri Humanities Council. He has made presentations to Disney employees at both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida. He also currently serves as President of Thank You Walt Disney, a Kansas City non-profit organization that rescued the crumbling Laugh-O-Gram building near 31st & Troost–Walt Disney’s first professional film studio.

Dan Viets on Digital Storytelling at Laugh-O-Gram

Jaime Sanchez

Vice President

Jaime Sanchez is a former Design Director for Hallmark Cards, retiring in July of 2012. He provided key leadership initiatives in various creative departments for Hallmark Cards, Inc. for over 30 years. Jaime led teams that established the Hallmark brand through creative marketing solutions, he was critical to developing the digital infrastructure for creative product design and he led Hallmark.com teams for online presence of digital consumer products. Jaime created Hallmark's first multimedia studio, developing roles and hiring talent to support new media innovative ventures for storytelling. His background as an artist and designer and his passion to motivate and lead are key to embracing unique challenges. Jaime recently also served as a founding partner and consultant for Blue Swivel Consulting, providing work process enhancements to accelerate capabilities and grow revenue for creative work groups. He is also the former owner of Southside Fitness Gym in Raymore, Mo.

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Greg Vermillion

Treasurer

Gregory L. Vermillion is vice president of accounting analysis for AMC Entertainment Inc. (AMC), where he oversees AMC’s accounting analysis and reconciliation functions.
Vermillion began his AMC career in 1988 as an accountant in the financial reporting group. In 1995 he became controller of AMC’s west division operations and then was advanced to director of theatre accounting in 2001. In August 2006 he was promoted to his current position of vice president.
During his tenure, Vermillion has been involved in numerous financial initiatives, including acquisitions of the General Cinemas and Loews and Kerasotes theatre chains, and has served on the Diversity Council and Workplace Quality Task Force committees at AMC.
Prior to joining AMC, Vermillion worked in public accounting and private industry, focusing primarily on the airline and retail industries.
Vermillion holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Kansas State University. He currently serves as a mentor in the K-State Business Executive Mentor Program.

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Ina Montgomery

Board Member

Ina P Montgomery, M.Ed. is the Founder, Executive Director and Edupreneur of Urban TEC (Technology Empowered Communities). The non-profit organization is a digital literacy and training company whose mission is to close the digital literacy divide for K-12 students in urban schools by teaching and training them on 21st century technology.

Ms. Montgomery has been a technology professional for over twenty years. Her career began in corporate America as a computer-based training developer for one of the top three consulting firms in Washington, DC. Ms. Montgomery followed her passion for education and served as the Technology Director for a national charter school company. Over the years, Ms. Montgomery has had many leadership roles in K-12 education technology. Ms. Montgomery is also, currently, an Adjunct Professor and a Workforce Development Trainer with Metropolitan Community College.

As a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Educator, Innovator and Creator, Ms. Montgomery is setting the model for how STEAM is delivered in urban schools and communities. Ms. Montgomery is currently creating culturally-relevant STEAM curriculum. Ms. Montgomery offers after-school programming in K-12 educational settings by delivering basic STEAM education concepts to students. Ms. Montgomery is determined to prepare students for the NexGen of STEAM careers through her work and programs.

Ms. Montgomery has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from South Carolina State University and a Master of Education in Instructional Technology from the University of Virginia.

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Jeff Daly

Board Member

Jeff is a cartoonist for his animation company, Boing Animation. Jeff worked as a greeting card writer and artist in humor for 38 years at Hallmark Cards, Inc. In his work at Hallmark, he partnered with world class Licensors such as Disney, Pixar, Warner Brothers, Peanuts, and Garfield. In that capacity he met and collaborated with some of the world’s top cartoonists. He continues to maintain those friendships as he pursues his personal animation interests after retiring from Hallmark. Jeff generously volunteers his time to work with kids to provide direction and advice about pursing creativity and art.

Link to Jeff Daly Cartoonist website

Laura Gilchrist

Board Member

Laura Gilchrist is the Vice President of ParentCamp, a non-profit organization and official partner, since 2016, of the United States Department of Education.

Laura is a Family Engagement Design Specialist and Personalized Learning Consultant with over 25 years in education as a middle school science and social studies teacher, high school instructional coach and now consultant for schools and communities. Laura earned awards for her teaching including the following: North Kansas City School District Teacher of the Year 2014, Christa McAuliffe Pioneer in Education Award 2014 (Northland Chamber of Commerce), and Missouri Teacher of the Year State Finalist, 2014-15. Laura taught in both Missouri and Kansas, in both suburban and urban schools, and in 4 counties -- Jackson, Platte, Clay and Wyandotte.

Laura earned Masters degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is a science enthusiast, who loves to talk about particle physics and puns. She is a birder, naturalist and former Secretary for the Audubon Society of Missouri. Laura and her husband live in KC where they root on their Chiefs and eagerly listen to stories from the medical field --from their daughters.

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Phil Kennedy

Board Member

Phil is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing and Strategy at Sift Finance a financial services agency that helps angels efficiently measure the quality of startup opportunities. Phil has extensive experience in marketing and account management. He has served as the Head of Client Services & Co-Founder at Seedlogic, Account Supervisor at InTouch Solutions, Business Development and Account Manager at PinsightMedia+, Group Account Director at Salva O’Renick, Product Marketing Manager at Sprint, Marketing & Communications Director at Westrope, Communications Consultant at JP Morgan Retirement Plans Services and Marketing and Product Development specialist at United Missouri Bank.

Phill has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Rockhurst University.

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Shawn McClaren

Board Member

Shawn is a benefits consultant for the Bukaty Companies in Leawood, Kansas. Shawn is a seasoned and experienced producer. Most recently he was a benefits consultant and producer for the Gallagher Benefit Services. Prior to that Shawn served for 18 years as a television producer for the Hallmark Hall of Fame.

Shawn has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Kansas University. Shawn serves on the board for the Kansas City Film Commission and for the Missouri Film Commission. He also is an active supporter for the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging.

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