Jesse D. Wilson – Chairman of the Board
Jesse graduated from Butler University with a degree in Finance before going on to law school at Indiana University – Indianapolis. Jesse has spent the last nine years working in the legal profession as in house counsel at a Fortune 500 company. Jesse has worked in a number of leadership positions leading teams from 5 to 60 associates. His combined knowledge and experience in business, law and leadership provide a great foundation for leading the Film School Africa organization.
Michelle Steffes Aucoin – Board Member
Michelle directed her first non-student short film, Say It Again, Sam, while she was the Director of Development at Larger than Life Productions, the production company of Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, Hunger Games.) Later, she wrote the short script Driftwood, which led to her acceptance into AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, where she directed the film. In 2011, she directed the comedy short film The Interview, which won at festivals such as the Oscar-qualifying USA Film Festival and was picked up for distribution on iTunes by Shorts International.
Michelle’s short films tend to be fantastical, whimsical twists on reality (Driftwood, Say It Again, Sam, The Interview, and Witches) but she is also drawn to tell stories about people trying to find hope and peace amidst adversity. She produced the short film Day Labor, which tells the story of a Columbian day laborer in the US and his battle to provide for his family. Day Labor went on to become a student Oscar finalist. She also produced the short film Short Term 12, about worker at a juvenile facility in Southern California struggling to connect with his troubled charges. Short Term 12 went on to become a student Oscar finalist, an Academy Award short list selection, and the US jury prize winner at Sundance. Recently Michelle directed the short film Refuge, about a single father in Iraq grappling with the ghosts of his past.
Michelle was the only live action short filmmaker invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2012.
Michelle is a graduate of Taylor University and has trained at AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, Judith Weston’s directing labs, and iO West. Michelle teaches workshops on screenwriting and the art of the short film for Biola University, iO West, Chicago’s Story conference, and Alberta’s Reel Shorts Film Festival and has served as a screenwriting/producing mentor for non-profits such as Cinestory, Act One, and WriteGirl.
Anna M. Scherrei – Board Member
Meeshee Scherrei is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and has worked professionally in careers ranging from Human Resources Director, to Marketing Manager to Ministry and Non-Profit Management. She first became interested in participating in relief work in Kayamandi, South Africa in 2006 when she was invited to assist in the making of a short film about AIDS and the havoc it wreaks on young South African children. Since that time, Meeshee has been actively involved in numerous relief trips and projects. She is excited about the future of FSA and looks forward to helping it launch into its next chapter. Meeshee currently resides in Orange County, CA.
Amanda Wilson – Board Member
Amanda Wilson obtained her bachelors in communications and public relations from Taylor University and completed two graduate degrees (Master of Public Affairs in Nonprofit Management and Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies) at Indiana University.
She is a member of a university advancement team as the Director of Parent and Family Programs. Prior to this position she worked in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. She has also been a financial supporter of Film School Africa since it began as a program under a separate not for profit.
Kari Reid – Board Member/Treasurer
Kari Reid obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Christian Education with a minor in Psychology in 1996 and went on to obtain her Master’s in Organizational Leadership. Kari brings more than seven (7) years of experience working with not-for-profit organizations. This experience coupled with that of roles as a lobbyist for 501(c)(3) organizations as well as program and curriculum development provide a wealth of practical experience and leadership that Kari can leverage to lead Film School Africa as it develops it programs and fulfills its mission.
Jill Taylor - Board Member/Secretary
Jill serves as the Executive Director of the Pregnancy Support Center of Stark County (Ohio) where she has served since 2000. During her tenure at the Center, the budget has risen from $125,000 annually to more than $1,000,000. Prior to her role at the Center, Jill worked in public education for 22 years in New York and Southern California. She is passionate about Film School Africa and the potential for life change through education, training and sharing of the gospel.