Skip to main content

Notes from the Reel World: The Board President's Column, February 2001

By Michael Donaldson

HAPPY NEW YEAR! And what an exciting 12 months it is going to be for IDA. By this time next year, the new Executive Director will be well ensconced, the staff will have filled out and we will look back on this transition period as the grand opportunity that it is.

David Haugland leaves the presidency after an exemplary four years. He has overseen a period of remarkable growth for IDA.

We also bid farewell to those whose time is over on the board of directors:

Lisa Leeman has served nine years, including one year as President. Fortunately, she has promised to stay involved in IDA affairs.

Steve Poster, a noted cinematographer and active member of his union, has brought a broadening perspective to the board and will be missed. He is continuing in his role as co-chair of the Search Committee for a new Executive Director

Joan Owens, a writer and former member of the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America/West, Joan led the committee that oversaw growth and expansion of International Documentary. She continues on that committee.

At the same time we welcome new board members:

DIANA ESTELLE VICARY — Her credits include the Emmy® Award-winning Titanic: Death of a Dream and The Legends Live On, the Emmy®-nominated The Last Days of World War II. and the IDA/Pare Lorentz Award-winning Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness. She will be a strong voice for the working documentarian

NANCY WILLEN — A leading Los Angeles publicist, Nancy has run public relations campaigns for numerous documentaries and will bring to the board a strong sense of how to promote IDA and its members.

LYNNE LITTMAN — A multiple-award-winning documentary filmmaker, Lynne is the recipient of a Peabody Award for Having Our Say and the Oscar® for Number Our Days. As a board member returning after a one-year hiatus, she brings a unique historical perspective to the work of IDA.

DOUGLAS CHANG — Previously Supervising Producer at P.O.V. and now Manager of Broadcast Programming at public television station KCET, Douglas brings the twin perspective of producer and programmer to the board. He particularly wants IDA to reach out past the big city filmmaker and will help to lead that effort.

BARBARA LEIGH GREGSON — Barbara has been re-elected to the board after leading the highly successful seminar effort. She is also co-chair of the Search Committee for a new Executive Director. She provides leadership and continuity.

Normally, incoming Presidents have a lot of pompous pledges and misty projections. I promise only to keep my hand on the tiller as we pass through this period of great growth and unparalleled opportunity. Please plan on attending our biggest event of the year, which is the Oscar® Party at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences here in Los Angeles. We honor all the documentary nominees the Thursday before the big event. It is a magical evening and it sure makes watching the Oscars a lot more fun!



Michael C. Donaldson
IDA President