HPA announces 2017 class of Young Entertainment Professionals
October 30, 2017

HPA announces 2017 class of Young Entertainment Professionals

BURBANK, CA — The Hollywood Professional Association (hpaonline.com) has announced the second year’s class of its Young Entertainment Professionals (YEP) Program. The announcement came during the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers’ recent 2017 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition in Hollywood. 

Sponsored by the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) and SMPTE, YEP was created to encourage worthy individuals to follow a career in the media content industry by supporting them with connection, mentoring and community. The inaugural YEP class of 2016 recently finished the year-long program and will continue to be involved in HPA and SMPTE activities.

Aspiring YEPs were asked to complete an application outlining their interests in the content creation industry and their career goals and solicit a recommendation from a supervisor. The YEP program was incubated by HPA’s Women in Post YEP Advisory Committee, co-chaired by Kari Grubin and Loren Nielsen. 

“We received an incredible pool of applicants for the program, just as we did last year, matched by a strong outpouring of support from individuals and companies in the community,” says Nielsen. “It has been an honor to spend time with our first class over the past year, and the Women in Post Committee and HPA are delighted to have the opportunity to get acquainted with the new class.”

The 2017 YEP class includes 23 young men and women between the ages of 21 and 35, who hail from states across the US and abroad. They hold responsible creative and technical posts at studios, facilities, and tech companies, and in some cases are accomplished individuals from outside of the industry.

The 2017 class is made up of Adam Haracz, Alee Caldwell, Andrea Wolanin, Ben Narich, Cheryl Lee, Chris Visser, Clarence Deng, David Whitten, Drew Law, Elliot Hartley, Ethar El-Katatney, Jaclyn Pytlarz, Jiayi Wang, Leah Winter, Lina Sanchez, Lindsey Townley, Masahiko Fox, Michael Scotti, Molly Speacht, Sana Saeed, Stephanie Haas, Stephen Castro, Tomas Del Razo Perez. The first day for the 2017 YEP class included a mentoring lunch with the YEP Committee members, HPA president Seth Hallen, SMPTE-HPA executive director Barbara Lange and SMPTE president Matthew Goldman. As part of the YEP program, the class spent a day at the SMPTE ATC. Over lunch, YEP participants split into mentored roundtables led by industry leaders from studios, major vendors and manufacturers. As part of a larger HPA mentorship initiative, mentors will have an ongoing relationship with the class.

“As the pace of technological change accelerates, young professionals face the challenge of developing a career without the clearly defined paths that previous generations have been able to follow,” says Kari Grubin, co-chair of the WIP YEP commitee. “YEP helps them develop mentorship relationships with individuals who have built successful careers. We believe that the connections that are fostered by the YEP program will be an invaluable step in the professional development of the class.”