CINE Board and Staff

Board Officers:

Bill Gardner, President
Bill Gardner oversees the acquisition, development and production of historical, cultural, current and world events, natural history and science programming for the PBS Primetime schedule as Vice President, Programming and Development at PBS. Before joining PBS, he was executive producer at Discovery Studios, where he developed projects in the reality, lifestyle and science genres.

John L. Simson, Vice President
John L. Simson is the business and entertainment program director at American University’s Kogod School of Business. A former recording artist and manager, Simson has practiced entertainment law since 1980 and recently joined the firm of Lommen Abdo in an “of counsel” role. Simson serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board and is a former member of the Recording Academy Board of Governors in 1997 for the Washington, D.C. Branch.

Endyia Kinney-Sterns, Treasurer
Endyia Kinney-Sterns is vice president of programming and development for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network overseeing day-to-day development of new original programming for the network.  She joined the company in May 2011 as executive director of programming and development. Kinney-Sterns has over 13 years of entertainment television experience producing shows for high-profile networks including VH1, CBS, NBC, HGTV and production companies such as Buena Vista Television, Arnold Shapiro Productions and LMNO.

Susie Ryan, Secretary
Susie Ryan is a Senior Producer/Writer based in Washington, D.C. with more than 30 years of experience in all facets of television production.  She most recently served as Director of Production Services at National Geographic Networks, US, where her team of producers was responsible for preparing hundreds of premiere programs for broadcast annually, serving both National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD.


Board of Directors:

Monica Lee Bellais
Monica Lee Bellais is a Screenwriter/Producer and global media expert with experiences in Hollywood, Washington, D.C., and international markets. Monica is well known for bridging Hollywood with Washington, D.C. area subject matter specialists in all spheres of government, military, and the private sector. She worked at James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, DreamWorks, Warner Bros. Records, Discovery Communications, Smithsonian Networks, Public iBroadcasting Service (PBS), and TeleProductions International (TPI). She serves on the Advisory Boards for Women in Film & Video (WIFV), the Council on International Non-Theatrical Events (CINE) and on the DOUBLE EXPOSURE: Investigative Film Festival and Symposium, which highlights investigative journalism in film.

Robert Johnson, Jr.
Robert Johnson, Jr. is Professor of Communication Arts at Framingham State University where he teaches documentary filmmaking, media production and writing. He has produced and directed numerous educational, promotional and instructional videos, and more than two-dozen history of science documentaries that have aired on Public Television and cable systems throughout the U.S., Canada, and England.

Brandon Litman
Brandon Litman is the Executive Producer and co-founder of One Day on Earth and is responsible for business development, including partnerships and project financing. In 2010, Brandon forged an unprecedented partnership with the United Nations, giving One Day on Earth global access through diplomatic relationships. In 2012, he produced the world’s most global film premiere, with a record setting 160 countries participating. Over the past several years Brandon and his team have focused the One Day on Earth community on developing shows for broadcast TV, including a series on the future of the American city to be distributed by PBS in 2016.

Mark D. Rasch
Mark D. Rasch is director of Cybersecurity and Privacy Consulting for CSC. He is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy for growing the cybersecurity and privacy consulting practice in CSC.  He leads CSC’s incident response practice, working with companies to develop and deploy incident response policies.

Amy Savitsky
Amy Savitsky is Senior VP of Development and Programming at A&E Network. She previously worked at Discovery Communications, most recently serving as senior VP of development for TLC. Among the series she shepherded for TLC were “Breaking Amish” and “My 600 LB Life.” Before TLC she worked for Discovery Channel and Discovery Health.


Betsy Walters
Betsy Walters is CINE’s Executive Director. A native of New Hampshire, Betsy began her career at CINE while still a student at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, succeeding Bruce Bucklin as Director of Competitions in 2007 after a triumphant coup. (Fine, he retired. Whatever.) Betsy oversees CINE’s awards and film scoring contests, runs CINE’s daily operations, represents CINE at industry events and programs, and is thrilled that her favorite occupational hobby—binge-watching—is now a widespread and socially acceptable practice.

Donna Purchase
Donna Purchase is the Assistant to the Executive Director. A native of New York City, Donna has lived in DC for more than 30 years.  In addition to assisting Betsy, Donna manages the CINE Connects Program, Volunteer Program and event planning for CINE Celebrates and CINE PitchFest.


Students interested in an internship with CINE should email a resume and cover letter to