Tom Freston began his career in advertising. In 1972, he moved to Asia to start a textile and clothing business, Hindu Kush, working and living out of New Delhi, India and Kabul, Afghanistan. In 1980, Freston joined MTV Networks, when it was a fledgling enterprise. He was one of the founding members of the team that created MTV: Music Television. As head of marketing, he worked on the "I Want My MTV" ad campaign that helped make the new network a cultural phenomenon. After being appointed CEO in 1987, he oversaw the expansion of MTV Networks into a multibillion-dollar global corporation and the leading multimedia entertainment company oriented toward children, teens, and young adults. Under Freston's leadership, MTV Networks created some of the strongest brands in television. Freston also directed MTV Networks' ventures into recorded music, radio, feature films, publishing, and digital. Known for his passion for business, Freston was acknowledged among coworkers and industry analysts for fostering the freedom necessary for innovative thinking and maintaining a globally oriented outlook. Freston remained at Viacom for 17 years and in 2006 he was noted by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He currently is a principal in Firefly3 LLC, a consulting and investment company. He is a consultant to Vice Media and serves on the boards of DreamWorks Animation, Moby Group, and Asia Society where he funded a new department focusing on issues in Afghanistan. Freston is also Board Chairman of the ONE Campaign, an advocacy organization for extreme poverty issues.
Louis Venezia is the owner and chief creative officer of the branding agency and creative production company, Pilot, and the owner of the independent production company and film fund, CoPilot Pictures. As an Executive Producer for CoPilot, Venezia has helped foster several independent film projects including Frame By Frame (SXSW 2015), Night School (shooting), Our Nixon (SXSW 2013) and Mateo (SXSW 2014). Venezia also executive produced two SXSW Audience Award winners, Maidentrip in 2013 and Becoming Santa in 2011. Pilot, with locations in New York City and Los Angeles, works directly with television channels and other clients consulting on branding, marketing, promotions and creative content initiatives. Television clients include: FX, USA Network, AMC, TBS, TNT, TLC, VH1, and MTV. Before launching Pilot, Venezia was the director of on-air creative for VH1, where he helped rebrand the channel in 2003. Venezia has also taught screenwriting for the English department at his alma mater, Rutgers University. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Melissa Klein.
Marshall Sonenshine won an Emmy Award in 2013 as Executive Producer of The Loving Story, a civil rights film released by HBO. He is Chairman of Sonenshine Partners, having previously been Partner to Jim Wolfensohn and Paul Volcker at Wolfensohn & Company and Senior M&A Partner in Bankers Trust and Deutsche Bank. He has advised on numerous leading transactions worldwide, such as Disney / ABC, Sony / Columbia Pictures, Chancellor / Capstar (later Clear Channel), and the restructuring of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Mr. Sonenshine is an Adjunct Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School and Chairman of the Harvard Law School Fund. He is a Trustee of Development for Jazz at Lincoln Center and for The International Center of Photography. Mr. Sonenshine is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and New York Tri-State Committee of the Democratic National Committee. Sonenshine, a frequent TV commentator on media and global finance, has published numerous business and political pieces in leading publications including The New York Times, The Financial Times, Institutional Investor, The Harvard Law Review, The Harvard International Law Journal, Columbia University Business School, Merrill DataSite and CNN.
Scott Berrie won an Emmy Award in 2013 as Executive Producer of The Loving Story, a documentary on the watershed civil rights case Loving v. Virginia released by HBO. He is the CEO and founder of Impulse Creative Productions, LLC. He’s currently developing Jerusalem, I Love You – a feature length, narrative film along the same format as films Paris, Je t'aime and New York, I Love You. Before founding Impulse, Scott was the co-founder and CEO of VisionSpring, a three-time winner of Fast Company's Social Capitalist Award for reducing poverty and generating opportunities in the developing world through the sale of affordable eyeglasses. Berrie was given the first NYU Stern Stewart Satter Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In 2007, Scojo New York joined the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. Scott is Vice President of the Russell Berrie Foundation; a trustee with the the Jewish Community Project Downtown, the American Society for Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, American Friends of the Shalom Hartman Institute, and Jerusalem Foundation. He’s a graduate of Colorado University, Columbia University Graduate School of International and Public Affairs with a certificate in Middle East Studies where he was a SIPA International Affairs Fellow and New York University Graduate School of Business Administration.