The Producers Guild of America’s (PGA) National Board of Directors has announced today the hiring of Michelle Byrd as Managing Director, PGA East, a newly created position within the guild. Byrd was appointed after an extensive search led by PGA East Chairs William Horberg and Kay Rothman, and with the support of PGA Presidents Gary Lucchesi and Lori McCreary, PGA National Executive Director/COO Vance Van Petten, and PGA Associate National Executive Director/COO Susan Sprung.
She will oversee east coast operations from the PGA’s New York office.
Byrd’s experience in the industry is extensive. Prior to her new position at the PGA, she worked in the non-profit media organization space, and has been involved with orgs serving film, digital, and games. She served 12 years (1997-2009) as Executive Director of the Independent Filmmaker Project, during which she collaborated with the United Nations and re-positioned IFP’s signature event Gotham Awards as an awards season player.
From 2010-2013, Byrd was Co-President of Games for Change (with Asi Burak) and oversaw the Games for Change Festival and served as an Executive Producer on “Half the Sky” Movement games (Zynga, Ford Foundation, USAID) based on Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s best-selling book.
Recently, Byrd headed up her own consulting practice, providing strategic planning, program and partnership development, and management advisory services to organizations like Ghetto Film School, Green Beetz, Museum of the Moving Image, New York State Commission on National and Community Service, and the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development, among others.
She’s also the recipient of the “Made in New York Award” from NYC’s Mayor and the “Good Egg Award” from Chicken & Egg Pictures. Byrd currently sits on the Board of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation and the Advisory Boards of Chicken & Egg Pictures and STREB Lab for Action Mechanics.
The Producers Guild currently has more than 7,500 members who work together to protect and improve their careers, the industry and community by providing members with employment opportunities, seeking to expand health benefits, promoting fair and impartial standards for the awarding of producing credits, as well as other education and advocacy efforts such as encouraging sustainable production practices.
Byrd will start in her new role on May 8, and will report to LA-based Van Petten and Sprung.