Board of Directors
Tige Charity, Founder of K.I.T.S., Inc.
A graduate of American Jewish University with an M.B.A. in nonprofit management and a graduate of Oral Roberts University with a B.S. in accounting. She worked 15 years as a Litigation Claims Specialist for major insurance companies. In 2006 she transferred her corporate skills into working as an independent casting director. She has cast several feature films, short films, stage plays, webisodes and live events. In May of 2009 she founded Kids in the Spotlight, Inc. Tige is also an Adjunct Professor at American Jewish University teaching “Managing the Nonprofit Enterprise” graduate course.
Gregory D. Metzger, Board Chair
Gregory D. Metzger is the Principal Consultant at GDM Coaching and Consulting, previously serving as National Practice Leader for two major global human capital consulting firms. Greg has a long history of Social Justice Advocacy, seeking justice and humanitarian relief globally and locally. He earned recognition and commendation for his work with Jail and Prison Inmates from the U.S. Congress, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors & the Los Angeles City Council. Before becoming a Rabbinical Student at the Academy for Jewish Religion, Mr. Metzger studied leadership at Harvard Business School and was a guest lecturer at a special program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Yvette Bess, Board Secretary
Ms. Bess graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Psychology and Human Services. She has worked with foster youth for over 20 years in many different capacities including teacher and most recently as a case manager advocate. “Foster youth have taught me more life lessons than any scholastic class, notebook or lecture,” said Ms. Bess. “They are brilliant survivors who deserve a voice and to be heard.” I am grateful that Kids In The Spotlight gives foster youth a voice and I am proud to be a part of it. She is married to Chris Bess, an executive at 20th Century Fox and has a daughter, Calista, who loves to act and write.
Claudia Wells, Board Treasurer
She is an Emmy winner who starred in 6 ABC and CBS television series, countless MOW’s, episodics, school break specials, and started her career at age 8. She’s most notably known for starring opposite Michael J. Fox in ‘Back To The Future.’ For nearly 2 decades, Ms. Wells has owned and operated Armani Wells, (www.armaniwells.com), a high end men’s resale shop in Studio City, CA. Her proudest accomplishments are raising her son and helping those in need.
A graduate of Penn State University, Ms. Roceania Williams made the trip to Los Angeles, CA from Pittsburgh, PA by way of New York City. After graduating, Ms. Williams went to work for Conde Nast Publications. After leaving Conde Nast, she worked with Def Jam Records in the Publicity and Artist Relations department where she was groomed by her mentor, Chrissy Murray. Ms. Williams then got a call to work in the Publicity and Artist Relations department for Mercury Records in their Black Music Division. There Ms. Williams was entrusted with not only the responsibility of publicity, but in assisting with setting up promotional tours for Mercury’s new and emerging artists. While there, Ms. Williams groomed her hosting and producing chops at What’s The 411?, an entertainment news magazine show that aired in the New York Tri-State area. She ended her work as a field reporter and producer for BET’s Screen Sceen before nurturing her own visions. In 2000 she founded GospelRhythms.com, a site that celebrates, promotes and supports Christians and Christians in the entertainment industry. The global effort of GospelRhythms encompass, radio, television, magazine, daily life issues and music, celebrating the talents, gifts and stories of triumph and victory of men and women of faith world-wide!
Andrea Smith is a native Angeleno, born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. Andrea works for what she considers the “Harvard” of all entertainment studios—Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Focusing on developing her corporate career and network, Ms. Smith quickly moved through the studio and gained Project Management experience in 3 different fields: Corporate Finance, IT, and Human Resources where she currently holds a Project Manager position in Employee Communications and Engagement. Andrea studied Business Law at Cal State LA and runs her own boutique event production company, The 818 Events. Ms. Smith currently resides in the San Fernando Valley.
A native of France, Sebastien moved his family from Paris to Los Angeles to lead the Global Sourcing Marketing team for Time Warner, servicing Warner Bros., HBO and Turner. With a desire to get involved and give back to the community, Sebastien joined Kids In The Spotlight in 2015.
Graduate of Ecole Polytechnique Montreal and HEC Paris, Sebastien has been perfecting his Marketing and Advertising sourcing expertise throughout his career, starting as a consultant for AT Kearney in 1997.
With a deep passion for Entertainment, Marketing and Innovation, Sebastien naturally offered his experience to the Leadership Board, quickly developing the organization’s first digital campaign promoting online donations.
In his spare time, Sebastien enjoys epic kitchen battles with his daughter, builds amazing robots with his son and supports his wife with her involvement in promoting “English as a second language” programs for the Burbank school district.
Ms. Scott is former foster child and ward of the court in the state of California. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a B.A. in Sociology and double minor in Psychology & Criminology. Following her graduation in 2005 she returned to California and began working in the entertainment industry in the area of Entertainment Marketing and PR for a major blue chip company.
Debbie Manners, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) has worked for over 35 years as a prominent leader in the child welfare and children’s mental health arenas. She is known for her passion and influence in working in community settings to help underserved families affected by mental illness and poverty. Debbie graduated with her undergraduate and graduate degree in Social Work from the University of Washington. Her professional career has been dedicated to leading the work in helping children, young adults and their families who are challenged with mental health issues by exploring innovative data based approaches to improving and leading practice change. Debbie is the President and CEO at Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services, one of the largest providers of children’s mental health services in Los Angeles County serving over 7,000 children, youth, young adults and families a year at 11 locations of care in Los Angeles and employs over 600 dedicated employees.
Our teachers work in the entertainment industry and/or have degrees in their respective disciplines.
T. Faye Griffin, Instructor & Executive Producer of “Movies by Kids, For Kids” Film Festival & Awards Ceremony
NAACP Image Award winner and proud product of South Central Los Angeles, T. Faye Griffin has put words into the mouths of Academy Award winners, comedians, and politicians as a speech and comedy writer. With more than 20 years experience, she has amassed an impressive list of television writing and producing credits. Griffin is a longtime member of the Writer’s Guild of America and the owner of the boutique writing service Words by Faye.
Sharon Hogg, Co-Director
For the past eleven years, Ms. Hogg has taught the Meisner Method Acting Technique at the highly respected Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studio in Santa Monica, CA. Her work extends to appearances in feature and independent films, television, music videos and theater, in addition to working behind the camera in production and casting. She is the founder of MONARCH Theater Company.
Beverly D. Hunter
CEO and President of Fortune Hunter Productions, Inc. Ms. Hunter graduated from Howard University School of Communications with a B.A. in Television and Film Production. Her more than 25 years of industry experience includes writer/producer for hit comedies series such as Family Matters, Moesha, Girlfriends, The Parkers, Eve and several independent productions. She brings her array of talents to K.I.T.S as a screenwriting instructor and film director.
Ryan Gibson is a talented television and feature writer. Ryan began writing in Brooklyn, New York, where many humid summer nights were spent sitting on a rusty fire escape watching silhouetted figures in the windows of the celebrated Marcy Projects. These images filled his imagination and the pages of many of his stories. It was here amid the streets of Brooklyn’s “Bed-Sty” he began his journey with the written word. The act of putting pen to paper was for him an outlet, giving voice to the world he lived in and the future he wanted.
Ryan moved to LA and worked as an assistant at Warner Brothers in the Estimating Department where he learned the “business” of the business. Then as a production assistant on the hit sit-com FRIENDS, where he learned what it takes to be number one — focus, dedication and a passion to get better at your craft. This led to work as a Writer/Producer on over 15 independent short films. Then later, Ryan transitioned to the world of Reality Television, where he worked on TOP CHEF, TOP CHEF II, TREASURE HUNTERS, MADE IN AMERICA and LAST COMIC STANDING.
A short time later, he re-wrote un-credited a feature length comedy script for Lion’s Gate and Anvil Studios, FRANKENHOOD that was later produced. A few months after, he developed, created and produced an Infotainment reality television program, SPOTLIGHT, which led to a freelance writing opportunity on the CBS hit “CRIMINAL MINDS”. Ryan, later traveled to Nigeria where he taught screenwriting to over 250 eager young filmmakers. It was during his time teaching that Ryan became aware he had something to offer young writers. Africa awakened an understanding in him about himself he didn’t know was there, he wanted to teach. He wanted to pay forward to new and emerging writers all he had been taught from the pitfalls to the peaks.
The best lesson Ryan learned is, “everyone has a story, but only a few of us have the ability to tell those stories.” Ryan is excited to share this lesson with the young writers of Kids In The Spotlight.
He is the founder and president of Jack Of All Trades, Inc. He has a B.F.A. from G.M.U. in acting and has been working in the media field as producer, director, editor and cameraman for over twentyfive years. He lends his skills to KITS as a director, editor and web-designer.
Antonio D. Charity
A graduate of Howard University’s Department of Theatre Arts, Mr. Charity has appeared in numerous TV shows, films, commercials and Off-Broadway and regional theatre productions. He has also worked for more than 20 years as a mentor for several youth programs such as the Boys and Girls Club and the Big Brother Big Sister program.