Meet the Nominees of the WiTH Leadership Award

At this year’s SoCal Women’s Leadership Summit, taking place Nov. 4 in Los Angeles, and co-located with the Infinity Festival Hollywood event, Women in Technology Hollywood (WiTH) will present the winners of the 5th Annual Leadership Awards.

Honouring leaders and advocating for women in the entertainment technology field, the Leadership Awards recognise those who exemplify WiTH’s pillars in both their work and communities, with a focus on those who excel in professional development, mentoring and networking, and community engagement. Past winners of the award included Christina Aguilera, head of technology workflow and strategy for Amazon Studios; Nancy Faginas-Cody, former SVP of enterprise business systems for The Walt Disney Co.; Cristina Mancini-Jones, chief marketing and engagement officer for Salesforce; and Theresa Miller, EVP and CIO for Lionsgate.

Among the nominees are:

Theresa Alesso, president, imaging products and solutions Americas, Sony Electronics.

Theresa Alesso is responsible for sales and marketing operations for Sony’s professional products and imaging solutions, which support a diverse range of vertical markets, including broadcast, production, new media, corporate, education, healthcare, and sports. She has been with Sony for more than 30 years, rising through the ranks from an administrative professional to the president of the imaging division in North America. Alesso’s knowledge of how the business runs makes her such a valuable asset to the organisation since she’s been in almost every role. In addition, her loyalty and camaraderie make her a supportive and understanding colleague to the business units she manages and the more than 400 employees she oversees.

She serves on Sony’s DEI leadership committee and as an executive sponsor of Sony’s Women of Action, Vision and Empowerment (WAVE) employee network group, and supports and volunteers for charities and organisations including the Boys and Girls Club of America and the Girl Scouts, as well as leading initiatives within her town.

Victoria Alonso, president of physical, post production, VFX and animation, Marvel Studios

A native of La Plata, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, Victoria Alonso has been an executive producer on every major Marvel release since 2012’s The Avengers and has served one producer role or another for more than 40 Hollywood films. A winner of the Visual Effects Society (VES) award for outstanding supporting visual effects/motion pictures for 2005’s Kingdom of Heaven, Alonso first joined Marvel as the company’s EVP of visual effects and post production, where she was co-producer on Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger. She was promoted to EVP of production in 2015 and named to her current role in 2021.

In 2016, Alonso became the first woman to win the Advanced Imaging Society’s Harold Lloyd Award for achievements in visual effects and in January 2020, earned the Filmmaker Award by the Motion Picture Sound Editors.

Alonso has been named to The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100 list numerous times and has been named to People en Español magazine’s Most Influential Hispanic Women twice.

Rebecca Beam, founder, CEO, Zavikon

Rebecca Beam is a technology recruiter that has supported the media and entertainment industry for many years. Two years ago, Beam founded Zavikon which focuses on championing individuals with neurodiversity. She took her expertise in helping people find the right job and applied it toward creating opportunities for individuals who face challenges because they’re different.

Beam, like many individuals who work in the neurodiversity community, saw an opportunity when tech jobs were in high demand and resources were limited. She’s passionate about opening doors for disabled individuals to help them find the right career, and her and her company do this in a supported manner, by helping companies that are interested in having a more inclusive workplace find success in hiring and maintaining employees with autism and other neurodiversities.

Annie Chang, VP, creative technologies, Universal Pictures

Annie Chang, as VP of creative technologies for Universal Pictures, is responsible for designing next-generation workflows across film and helping to develop emerging immersive media experiences. Prior to joining Universal in early 2018, Chang was the technology innovation lead for Walt Disney Studios, and VP of technology for Marvel Studios, where she was in charge of the providing technology solutions for movie productions in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For more than a decade prior to that, Chang held various technology roles with Disney.

Chang has served as the AMPAS ACES Project Chair and co-chair of the AMPAS SciTech Council, and as chair of the Interoperable Master Format (IMF) Working Group at the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). Chang has been honoured with the SMPTE Workflow Systems Medal Award, the Distinguished Leadership award from the Advanced Imaging Society, StudioDaily’s 2018 Exceptional Women in Production and Post, and TVNewsCheck’s Women in Technology Futurist Award.

For more information about the WiTH Leadership Awards, please contact [email protected].

To register for the event, click here.

To sponsor SoCal Women’s Leadership Summit 2022, contact [email protected].

This is the first of several articles profiling the nominees of the Women in Technology Hollywood (WiTH) 5th Annual Leadership Awards.