June 3, 2014 – Michelle Hillery, the Deputy Film Commissioner for the Palm Beach County Film and Television Commission (FTC), has been named President of Film Florida. It was announced at the annual Film Florida meeting at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL.

“Michelle has built an outstanding reputation as a business executive with a proven track record for teamwork and collaboration,” said Palm Beach County Film Commissioner Chuck Elderd. “Her passion for the entertainment business, combined with her creativity and vision, will be a tremendous asset to Film Florida, and I’m very pleased she was elected.”

Said Hillery: “It is a great honor to be named as the next President of Film Florida. I am hugely excited by the opportunities that lie ahead and look forward to working with the incoming leadership such as Sen. Andy Gardiner and Rep. Steve Crisafulli in the Florida Senate and House on creating more jobs for Floridians.”

As Deputy Film Commissioner for the FTC, Hillery is responsible for the development and implementation of the FTC’s contracts, marketing program, budget analysis, audit, public relation efforts, website coordination, and the Internship Program. Hillery is also responsible for the oversight of an annual Office of Economic Sustainability contract and programs relating to education including the Palm Beach International Film Festival’s Student Showcase of Films.

Additionally, she has worked with feature films such as Bad Boys II, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence; HeartBreakers, starring Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Gene Hackman and Ray Liotta; In Her Shoes, starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and  Shirley MacLaine; Parker starring Jennifer Lopez and Jason Statham; independent films such as Hitters Anonymous staring Linda Blair, Clint Howard and Steven Bauer; Boynton Beach Bereavement Club, starring Joseph Bologna, Dyan Cannon and Sally Kellerman; music videos Its 5 Five O’Clock Somewhere, staring Alan Jackson as well as Celine Dion’s A New Day Has Come with Jimmy Buffett.

Under Hillery’s leadership, the FTC has been recognized with some of the industry’s most prestigious awards including a gold Addy Award and a Telly Award. She also sits as an advisor on several boards including the Film & Television Institute and Palm Beach Gardens Five Star Magnet Program.

The other Executive Board officers elected are:

1st Vice President – Judson C. French, Jr., Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts (Education Council)
2nd Vice President – Kelly Paige, Level Talent Agency (Industry Council)
Secretary – Herta Suarez, SAG-AFTRA (Labor Council)
Treasurer – John Lux, IDEAS (Industry Council)
At Large – Sheena Fowler, Women in Film and Television – Florida (Associations Council)
Immediate Past President – Leah Sokolowsky, Teamsters Local 769 (Labor Council)

Additional board members include the Film Commission Council: Dale Gordon, Tampa/Hillsborough County Film & Digital Media Commission – Chair; Jeanne Corcoran, Sarasota County Film & Entertainment Office – Vice Chair; Bonnie King, Space Coast Film Commission – Secretary; and Alternates: Debbie Miehls, Bradenton Area Film Commission; and Jerry Jones, Charlotte Harbor Florida Film Office.

The Association Council elected Richard Seres, AICP Florida – Chair; and Thomas Mitchell, FMPTA – Vice-Chair.

The Education Council elected Lucia Fishburne, Florida State University College of Communication & Information – Chair; David Jaffe, Lynn University – Vice Chair; and Ralph Clemente, Valencia College – Secretary.

The Industry Council elected Dawson Peden, Cineverse Miami – Chair; and James Stamatis, Telemundo – Vice-Chair.

Herta Suarez, SAG–AFTRA; and Leah Sokolowsky, representing Teamsters Local 769 will continue to represent Labor Council on the Film Florida Executive Board as Secretary and Immediate Past President respectively.

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Michelle Hillery, mhillery@pbfilm.com,  561.233.1000
Christy Tricoli, christy.marie.tricoli@gmail.com, 407.947.3086