Board of Directors

Board Officers

Courtney B. Vance

President

From studying history at Harvard and acting at Yale Drama School to making history in Hollywood, Courtney B. Vance has carefully cultivated an exceptional career that showcases his passion, talent, and intellect. His penchant for successfully finding the dignity and honor in each character exploration has made this Tony® and Emmy® Award-winning and SAG Award®-nominated actor a powerful voice in the entertainment community. Whether appearing in a pivotal role in Lovecraft Country, playing Johnny Cochran in American Crime Story, or acting as Aretha Franklin’s Father in Genius, Courtney brings life and his experience to each role.

Courtney credits his parents for opening his eyes to the concept of giving back. He has a long history of philanthropic activities, including serving as a spokesperson for the Boys and Girls Club of America. Since taking the helm at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Courtney has raised over $8 million for our COVID-19 Relief Fund, which has been, and continues to be, distributed to his fellow SAG-AFTRA performers in financial crisis.

Pamela Reed

First Vice President

Pamela Reed is a veteran actor of theater, film, and television. Her over 30 film roles include performances in Melvin and Howard, The Long Riders, Best of Times, The Right Stuff, Cadillac Man, Junior, Proof of Life, and the box office smash Kindergarten Cop. In television, she received an ACE Award for Best Actress in a Dramatic Series in Robert Altman’s Tanner 88. Other television series credits include leads in Jericho, Grand, Family Album, and Home Court, as well as Amy Poehler’s mom in Parks and Recreation. She has contributed her voice to many of Ken Burns’ projects for PBS and created the role of Ruth in The Simpsons.

Pamela’s extensive theater credits include work on On and Off-Broadway. She is the recipient of the Drama Desk Award and the Obie For Sustained Excellence of Performance in Theater. She has recently concluded shooting the feature film, The Burial, with Tommy Lee Jones and Jamie Foxx, scheduled for a 2022 release.

Pamela has served on the board of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation since 2000 as 1st Vice President. She has worked on several committees including Executive, Nominating, and Children’s Literacy. She is the Chair of the Foundation’s annual Golf Tournament, which is instrumental in helping raise significant funds for the Foundation’s Emergency Financial Assistance and Catastrophic Health programs.

Sharon Lawrence

Second Vice President

With a prolific career in front of the camera and on stage that now spans over three decades, Sharon Lawrence is uniquely positioned to serve on the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Board of Directors as 2nd Vice President. Sharon embodies the definition of a successful working actor, and she knows the needs of SAG-AFTRA members, based on her own professional experience as a performing artist. Sharon has acted in some of television’s most critically acclaimed and popular series – from NYPD Blue, Grey’s Anatomy, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, to Shameless, On Becoming a God in Central Florida, How to Get Away with Murder, Queen Sugar, and Scandal. She has also appeared in films like Solace, The Lost Husband, and Middle of Nowhere, in addition to her work on Broadway and in productions at notable Los Angeles venues including the Mark Taper Forum and the Wallis. Her performances have garnered multiple Emmy® Award nominations, and she is a recipient of SAG, Prism, Method Fest, Drama Logue, and LA Drama Critics Circle Awards. 

Sharon also has an active history of participation in a wide range of charitable activities. In addition to serving on the Foundation’s Board, she is a past Board Chair of the Women in Film Foundation and is the current Board Chairperson of Heal the Bay. Sharon is also a former Board member of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill General Alumni Association, and she is a vocal supporter of the World Wildlife Foundation.

Rebecca Damon

Third Vice President

Rebecca Damon is currently Executive Director, New York Local, Labor Policy and International Affairs for SAG-AFTRA. She is also the former Executive Vice President of SAG-AFTRA, having been first elected to the Union’s second highest office in 2016. She was reelected to a two-year term in 2017 and again in 2019, while also serving as the President of the New York Local. 

Rebecca was a founding member of both the SAG President’s Forum for One Union and the joint Group for One Union, helping lead the effort to unite SAG and AFTRA. As co-leader of the Operations Workgroup, Damon was a key architect of the merger. 

As a Board member and Officer of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Rebecca also served as Co-Chair of the Foundation’s New York Committee, which was instrumental in growing programming and building offices and facilities, including the Robin Williams Center in NYC.

Maureen Donnelly

Treasurer

Maureen Donnelly was one of the Founders of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation in 1985, and has served as Treasurer for over two decades. 

As a professional actor in New York, she has been a member of SAG, AFTRA, SAG-AFTRA, and Actors Equity for over 50 years, performing on stage, radio, television, and film. She served 40 years on the Boards of SAG, AFTRA, and SAG-AFTRA, including six years as New York SAG President and 18 years as a SAG National Vice President. After spending almost three decades working to bring the two Unions together as SAG-AFTRA, she then helped join the Union’s three charities together as the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.

Maureen serves on several pivotal Foundation committees, and was the Co-Chair of the Foundation’s New York Committee, which was instrumental in growing programming and building offices and facilities, including the Robin Williams Center in NYC. She serves as one of the most senior advisors to the Foundation’s Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. 

Clyde Kusatsu

Secretary

Clyde Kusatsu is an actor from Honolulu and a Theater major graduate from Northwestern University. He has been seen in over 300 television and film projects, as well as commercials. His many credits include guest starring on All in the Family, appearing in The Interpreter, and voice acting in Curious George. In 2013, Clyde became the first elected President of the new SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles Local, where he also served as the first National Vice President Los Angeles through 2020. Clyde has served on the Board of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation since 2012, actively participating on several committees, including the Executive, Finance, Audit, and Nominating Committees. In 2020, Clyde was elected as the Foundation Secretary and works closely with the Foundation staff and in the office regarding daily business operations. 

Clyde has said that he learned to give back to the community by being of service through the Union, as well as the Foundation.

JoBeth Williams

President Emeritus

Throughout her career, JoBeth Williams has starred in some of the most provocative and cult classic films of our time, including Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist I and II, Lawrence Kasdan’s The Big Chill, Switch, American Dreamer, Wyatt Earp, Fever Pitch, The Big Year, and Kramer vs. Kramer, to name a few. She has appeared in well over 20 feature films, including Dennis Hopper’s final movie, The Last Film Festival. Her television roles have been extensive, garnering her three Emmy nominations, as well as two Golden Globe nominations. JoBeth has also had a long career in live theater. 

Behind the camera, JoBeth received an Academy Award nomination for her directing debut on the short film On Hope, for which she was also a producer. Following her nomination, she directed the Showtime original movie Frankie and Hazel, as well as the Warner Brothers Television production Night Visions.

JoBeth served as President of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation for 10 years. During her term, she spearheaded a period of phenomenal programatic growth, ensuring that the Foundation became a truly national organization.

Board Members

Gabrielle Carteris

Gabrielle Carteris became a household name playing Andrea Zuckerman on Beverly Hills, 90210 and recently starred in BH90210, a revival of the iconic show. Her extensive resume includes work in television, film, and the stage.

Gabrielle served several terms as SAG-AFTRA President, having been first elected in April 2016, and reelected in 2017 and 2019. She previously served as Executive Vice President from 2013–2016. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she guided the Union in creating a set of strict industry-wide protocols to ensure that sets and other workplaces were as safe as possible. As the head of the President’s Task Force on Education, Outreach and Engagement, she also led efforts to hold regular remote workshops, panels, and seminars to help keep members connected during the unprecedented disruption of the industry.

Branden Chapman

Branden Chapman is a 25-year entertainment industry veteran with extensive experience in live entertainment, telecast production, business development, international licensing, experiential marketing, digital strategy, special events, and talent relations. 

As Head of Entertainment and Chief Operating Officer, Chapman is leading the Recording Academy’s Entertainment and Consumer Division, which includes Partnerships and Business Development, Digital Media, Marketing, Social Media, Production and Event Development, and Talent Relations. He is responsible for bringing the GRAMMY Awards and other GRAMMY-branded specials to life. Branden currently serves on the Board of Directors of the GRAMMY Museum and the LA Sports and Entertainment Commission. 

Branden has been the Executive Producer of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Patron of the Artists Awards event since its inception. In this role, he has made meaningful contributions to ensure the highest caliber of musical talent performances, as well as maintaining a quality of technical excellence that has had a great impact on elevating our brand within the entertainment community.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland is the National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator of SAG-AFTRA. In that capacity, he oversees the world’s largest and most influential entertainment Union, comprised of approximately 160,000 members worldwide who work in film, television, broadcast news, commercials, music, video games and more.

As SAG-AFTRA’s longtime second-in-command Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Duncan was involved in many of SAG-AFTRA’s signature achievements over the past two decades, including being a key participant in the successful merger between SAG and AFTRA in 2012, and serving as the coordinator of SAG-AFTRA’s COVID-19 safety response and return-to-work initiatives. 

Over the years, Duncan has been involved in several of the Foundation’s programs, and this experience, along with the work he has done at the Union, gives him a distinct perspective on how the Foundation can work with the Union to support its members.

Linda Duncombe

Linda Duncombe is Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing, Product, and Digital Officer of City National Bank. Linda leads a team that is responsible for advancing the company’s brand and digital strategy, articulating its value proposition and supporting business development. Linda oversees marketing, client experience, advertising and communications, as well as digital channels, product development, credit cards, and multicultural outreach. She is also responsible for the bank’s technology innovation team, which identifies and deploys fintech solutions for City National and its clients.

In 2021, 2020, and 2019, Linda was named to Variety’s list of the most powerful women in Hollywood, and she was recognized as one of the most influential women in banking by the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2021 and 2020. Linda was also named in the Top Teams in American Banker’s most powerful women in banking in 2021.

Linda earned her bachelor’s degree from Western Sydney University. She is also a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program, and she completed Citi’s Women’s Leadership Development Program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Born in Australia, Linda began her career with National Australia Bank and held a variety of roles in business banking, private banking, and consumer banking. She went on to serve as the head of customer franchise with Citi in Australia, where she led digital banking, customer experience, and marketing.

Sam Freed

Sam Freed has had a successful career in theater, television, film, and commercials for a span of over 50 years. He has served on the Boards of the Screen Actors Guild and the merged SAG-AFTRA Union. At SAG, he held the positions of President of the New York Division and 2nd National Vice President. He has also served as a member and chair of various committees, including the New York Chair for several TV/TH negotiations. Sam became a Board member of the Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund in 2012, where he was part of the Finance Committee. He currently serves as a member of the Board of the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony in Woodstock, New York. 

Jason George

Jason George began his acting career in 1998. During the course of his career to date, he has embodied over 68 characters, many with multiple credits totaling appearances in hundreds of television shows. He has appeared in more than 120 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, and has starred as Dr. Ben Warren since 2018 in the hit series Station 19, which just entered its fifth season. 

When Jason joined the Board of the Foundation, he made it his purpose to bring along several of his acting peers to financially support our work. He brings the perspective of the needs of working-class actors to our Board discussions. Since 2016, Jason has served as a Producer of the SAG Awards® Telecast, and he has also been active on several SAG-AFTRA working committees.

Dulé Hill

Dulé Hill is an American actor/dancer who got his first break as an understudy in Broadway’s The Tap Dance Kid. He went on to perform the lead role in the musical’s national tour, working with Harold Nicholas of the famed Nicholas Brothers for the next 16 months, before going on to star in several more Broadway shows.

Dulé worked in multiple television series and shows before landing the career-defining role of Charlie Young on the hit series The West Wing, which ran for six seasons. During his career to date, he has played over 50 lead roles and can currently be seen in a reboot of the series The Wonder Years. Dulé is active in SAG-AFTRA, serving on the Board and many committees. 

Aside from his position as a Board member of the Foundation, Dulé has also appeared in the Foundation’s Storyline Online® program, reading As Fast as Words Could Fly.

Bill Immerman

As a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, Bill Immerman brings 50 years of experience as a film producer and entertainment law attorney, providing his knowledge of the intersection of performance with the financial and operational sectors of the entertainment industry. Currently President of Production at RSVP Entertainment, he notably served as Senior Executive Vice President of the Feature Film Division of Twentieth Century Fox, representing Fox during that time on the Board of Directors of both the Motion Picture Association of America and the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Bill is a member of SAG-AFTRA, as well as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and he served as an arbitrator for the Independent Film and Television Alliance, the non-profit association representing leading international motion picture distributors. Given his extensive legal experience in the industry, he frequently contributes expert testimony in arbitrations and court cases at the state, federal, and international levels.

Bill has over 35 credits as producer or executive producer, including the award-winning Ray, Nothing but the Truth, and, most recently, Across the River and Into the Trees, and Discussion Materials. In 2010, the UCLA Anderson School of Management awarded Bill the Louis B. Mayer Award for Motion Picture Business Leader of the Year.

Jim Kerr

Jim Kerr began his career as a radio broadcaster at age 14 in Ypsilanti, Michigan and has been on the air ever since. 

After working at stations in Howell and Ann Arbor Michigan, Kerr joined WORJ, a progressive rock station in Orlando, Florida. At 18, he returned to his hometown and joined the airstaff of WKNR, Detroit. At 19, he served as morning host at WDAI, Chicago, at 20, he moved to the legendary WLS, and when he was 21, he became New York’s youngest morning show host at WPLJ. Jim has been the morning show host on six NYC stations, most notably 15 years at WPLJ, and, as of 2022, 20 years at WAXQ. He is the longest running morning radio personality in NYC history. Notably, Jim was recognized for his work and inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2018.

Jim has been active for decades in civic and charitable affairs. He has served as a Board member of HeartShare Human Services of New York, one of New York’s largest social service agencies, for 36 years. In recognition of Jim’s efforts, HeartShare named its residence for adult women with developmental disabilities in Queens in his honor in 2012. His long list of philanthropic activities includes hosting telethons, radiothons, fundraising dinners, and other special events. He is also a Vice President of SAG-AFTRA, and has served as a Board member of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation since 2016.

Jo Ann Kessler

Jo Ann Kessler, a lifelong Brooklyn resident, has had a decades-long career in the advertising industry. After executive positions in the commercial production and business affairs area in several large ad agencies, she switched over 10 years ago to Extreme Reach, serving in that company’s Talent Services division as VP, Director of Business Affairs. Currently semi-retired, she continues part-time at Extreme Reach, providing consulting services to its staff and to agency and advertiser customers, specifically with a focus on SAG-AFTRA CBA issues. 

She has served as a Trustee on the American Federation of Musicians and Employers Pension Fund, AFM’s Local 802 Health Fund, the AFTRA Health and Retirement Funds, and the Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund. Her career included a 25-year stint as a member and Co-Chair of the Joint Policy Committee of the ANA/4A’s – the employer bargaining party for various performer CBA’s in the commercial industry. It was here she came to develop a deep appreciation for the work of the Union and its staff, and an abiding respect for actors and the hard work, training, and tenaciousness it takes to succeed in their profession. She stands ready to give back to that community. 

Dea Lawrence

Aside from her business acumen, Dea Lawrence performed on stage on Broadway and is a current SAG-AFTRA member in good standing. 

As Executive Vice President of Marketing for Variety, Inc., Dea serves as the brand architect for this iconic media company, developing the global brand and marketing strategy. She is responsible for the evolution and expansion of Variety’s advertising programs. Additionally, she oversees Variety and IndieWire’s corporate communications, publicity and promotion, and creative services, as well as marketing and production for the event/summit business. Her accomplishments include creating the Variety Streaming Room, extending Variety’s event business to virtual experiences, and developing the Variety Content Studio to create custom storytelling for brands. Since January of 2020, Dea is responsible for providing the Foundation with six free full-page ads to promote our Katzenberg grant matching initiative, as well as ads to promote our highly successful COVID-19 Relief fundraising campaign. She also made it possible for the Foundation to receive a Variety year-end donation of $10,000, and we were noted as their charity of choice for their Holiday Card that year.

John McGuire

John McGuire was one of the Founders of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation in 1985 and has served as a Board member since. He provides strategic business guidance to the Board, as well as to our senior staff. He also served as Director (NED) for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) from 1983 to 2001. Prior to his position as Associate NED, he served as the New York Executive Director at the Guild, having started with the Union in 1969.

In addition to assisting in the Union’s major contract negotiations, he has represented the Union internationally at meetings with performer organizations around the world. John presently holds the following positions in entertainment-related organizations: Trustee, SAG-Producers Pension & Health Plans; Vice-President and Founding Director of the Museum of the Moving Image; President, Council of Motion Picture & Television Unions of New York City; Secretary, Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund, and General Vice-President, Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO.

John graduated from Fordham College with a B.A. degree in History and earned a J.D. degree in law from Fordham Law School. 

Arianna Ozzanto

Arianna Ozzanto is the Chief Financial Officer for SAG-AFTRA. She was hired by the Union in February 2004. She held various positions within the organization, including Senior Manager of Finance, Director of Finance and Strategy, and National Director of Finance and Administration. Promoted to SAG’s Chief Financial Officer in January of 2009, she is currently responsible for the Accounting, Finance, and Payroll departments, as well as Membership and the Contact Center.

As a Board member of the Foundation, Arianna has served on all finance-related committees and contributes to our strategic plans. 

Her previous employment includes corporate finance positions at WellPoint, Inc. and 20th Century Fox. Arianna earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Southern California. She currently serves on the Board of the USC Economics Leadership Council and as a member of the governing body for the CFO Executive Summit.

Jeff Spurgeon

Jeff Spurgeon has been a radio broadcaster for nearly 45 years. He joined AFTRA in New York City in 1987. He served briefly on the AFTRA New York Local Board in the early 2000s, and returned to Union service shortly before the formation of SAG-AFTRA. He has served on the SAG-AFTRA National and New York Local Boards since the new Union was created. He is also a member of the SAG-AFTRA National Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Broadcast Steering Committee, Communications Committee, and several committees in the New York Local. He was elected as a Trustee of the Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund in 2021. 

Jeff’s professional experience includes employment in commercial and not-for-profit public radio. He has been an on-air host for over 20 years at classical music station WQXR in New York City, where he has also been a Shop Steward.He and his wife live in Brooklyn.