President & General Manager of Studio Operations, Tyler Perry Studios
Steve Mensch is President and General Manager of Studio Operations at Tyler Perry Studios, an all-inclusive, premiere film and television production facility that supports both Tyler Perry Productions and outside production. He has executive experience in studio operations, design, strategic planning, budgeting, business development, and marketing. Prior to joining Tyler Perry Studios, Steve led the studio operations team for over a decade at the iconic broadcast company Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc. He then moved on to become President and CEO of the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis in Beijing and Qingdao China with the Dalian Wanda Group.
Steve has worked closely with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the City of Atlanta and the Georgia Legislature to help shape the state’s entertainment policies, which have contributed to the reinvigoration of the production industry in Georgia. Steve’s efforts have created billions of dollars of economic impact and placed him at the forefront of some of the most groundbreaking projects in film and television industry. He lives in Fayetteville, Georgia with his family.
Founder & Managing Partner, Atlanta Metro Studios
John Rooker is the Founder and Managing Partner of Atlanta Metro Studios, and the CEO of Rooker, a full-service real estate development firm specializing in the industrial and Government segment sectors. Atlanta Metro Studios (AMS) was the result of Rooker's redevelopment of Shannon Mall in Union City, GA. The Union City project resulted in a 1 million square foot building for DHL Logistics, as well as Atlanta Metro Studios, which offers 245,000 square feet of purpose built sound stages, offices and mills for film and television production. Most recently, AMS has served as the studio facility for recent film and television productions including Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle, The Gifted, Pitch Perfect 3, and 24: Legacy.
John serves on the Board of Directors for The Shepherd Center Foundation, on the University of Georgia Board of Visitors, the University of Georgia Terry College of Business Alumni Board of Directors and is a Founding Member for The Kirby Smart Family Foundation.
Executive Chairman of the Board, Blackhall Studios
Ryan Millsap is the Executive Chairman of the Board of Blackhall Studios and the Founder and CEO of Irinda Capital Management, LLC. In his role as Executive Chairman at Blackhall Studios, Ryan oversees the long and short-term strategy of the studios, staying involved on a daily basis to provide leadership and direction for the company and its assets.
He has played a principal level role in the capitalization, acquisition, and management of more than $1.2B in real estate assets, including more than 12,000 apartments in cities across the nation from Savannah to Los Angeles. Since 2008, his companies have acquired $800M in real estate assets, primarily via arranging joint venture arrangements with several prominent pension fund advisors, University Endowments and a publicly traded REIT.
President, Trilith Studios
Immediate Past Chairman
Frank Patterson is a studio executive, entrepreneur and higher education thought leader currently serving as president of Trilith Studios, the nation's second-largest production studio, and the largest studio complex in the U.S. outside of Hollywood. Trilith Studio's recent credits include Ant Man and The Wasp (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), and Passengers (2017).
Throughout his career, he has founded and led several film production companies, including Houston Cinema Group, Envisage Media and Pulse Evolution Corporation, a technology company that produces hyperrealistic digital humans for live and virtual reality applications.
General Manager, Cinelease, Three Ring Studios
Atlanta native and a resident of Los Angeles for approximately 20 years, Gannon began his career in entertainment in 1996 before working and living in Europe, Southeast Asia and again in Atlanta. With a Liberal Arts undergraduate degree as well as a Certificate in Business Studies from UCLA, Gannon has been integrating creative needs with practical solutions his entire career and has found Studio Management to be the logical extension of client services.
President & CEO, Georgia Chamber
Prior to joining the Georgia Chamber, Chris served as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and as Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Economic Development. Before his state service he was the President of the Fayette County Development Authority and CEO of the Hawkinsville-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce. Chris serves on the Board of Directors for Council of State Chambers and sits on the boards of the Georgia Allies and the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. He is also a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Council of 100 and the Political Affairs Committee.
Chris and his wife, Tiffany, their son, Christian and their dog Daisy, live in Peachtree City and attend Dogwood Church.
IATSE Local 479
Mike Akins was born and raised in Oklahoma. He served in the United States Navy from 1975 to 1979. He earned a BS in 1983 and MS 1986 from Oklahoma State University. Since 1987, he has worked as a Key Grip, Dolly Grip, and in other various capacities in the Motion Picture industry in Georgia.
In 1998, Mike became the business agent for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Local 479, which has grown during his tenure to be one of the largest film trade organizations in the United States. In his capacity as the IATSE Local 479 business agent, he was an architect of and instrumental in the initial movement to pass state film tax credit legislation in 2005 and an enhanced law in 2008.
Recognizing his role in the entertainment industry, Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Mike to his Governor’s Advisory Board. In 2015, Governor Nathan Deal appointed Mike to onto his Governor’s Advisory Board, where he presently serves.
WILLIAM A. EARON
Georgia Film Credit Tax Fund
Savannah Regional Film Commission
Columbus Film Commission
Georgia Production Partnership
Herc Entertainment Services
State Tax Incentives, LLC
Floyd County Productions
Creative Media Industries Institute at GSU
Lightnin Production Rentals
Taylor English Duma LLP