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Vision Maker Media

Meet the Team

Staff MEMBERS

Francene Blythe-Lewis
Executive Director

(Diné, Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota, Eastern Band Cherokee)

Rebekka Schlichting headshot
Rebekka Schlichting
Assistant director

(Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska)

DAWN AMORY
director of marketing
& development
Vision Maker Logo with no words
VACANT
Director of Finance & Administration
Alyssa Ranard
Marketing & Creative Specialist
alana Stone
Project Coordinator

(Sicangu Lakota)

Ann Mckeighan
Department Assistant
Stacy Price
Accounting Assistant
Meet Our Leaders

BOARD MEMBERS

Mary Kathryn Nagle is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program. She is also a partner at Pipestem Law, P.C., where she works to protect tribal sovereignty and the inherent right of Indian Nations to protect their women and children from domestic violence and sexual assault. 

Maya Solis-Austin (Pascua Yaqui/Blackfeet) serves as Senior Manager for the Native American and Indigenous Program at Sundance Institute, a non-profit organization that supports the development of Independent stories for the screen.

Randal P. Hansen is treasurer for the Vision Maker Media board of directors, serving the organization for the past eight years. His experience in the nonprofit sector includes current positions as assistant general manager of administration and finance for the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission and University of Nebraska Television, and treasurer and assistant secretary for the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission and the NET Foundations for Television and Radio.

Franz Joachim is the general manager and CEO of the New Mexico PBS in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Prior to that, he served as the content director at the station and was in charge of all content–local national, web-based and mobile for the station. From 1999 to 2010, Franz was the production manager at KNME Channel 5, managing all production technical and human resources for all local production. He also served as senior editor and television director at WUSF/WGCU, as studio supervisor at KUAT-TV and at KUAT Communications Group. His production credits include documentary work on Desert Reefs and Desert Speaks. He has nearly 23 years of world wide diving experience.

Robin Butterfield is senior liaison for minority community outreach at the National Education Association, and is an enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska with ancestry also from the White Earth Ojibwa Tribe of Minnesota. Butterfield has over 30 years of experience as an educator.

Walt is Oglala Lakota and created the logo for Urban Rez. He is Creative Director, owner of Nakota Designs Advertising Designs and Graphics. Executive Director of the Stronghold Society nonprofit dedicated to instilling hope and supporting youth movements through Live Life Call To Action Campaigns. 

Joely Proudfit (Luiseño), Ph.D., is the Director of California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center, CSUSM. Dr. Proudfit holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science with emphasis in public policy and American Indian studies from Northern Arizona University and a B.A. in political science with emphasis in public law from California State University Long Beach. As the first member of her family to complete a high school diploma, she serves as a role model for native youth and encourages self-determination through knowledge and education.

Elizabeth Weatherford is the founding director of the Film and Video Center of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and of NMAI’s International Native American Film + Video Festival

Patrick Yack is the Executive Director Florida Public Media

Francene Blythe-Lewis

Executive Director

“The visionary”

  • Netflix Binger
  • Inspiring fashion designer & flute player
  • Theatre Lover

Role: Francene oversees and directs the entire staff at Vision Maker Media. She keeps her team moving towards our mission to propel VMM to the forefront of storytelling, innovation and creative thinking. An advocate for supporting Native American filmmakers and Native American media, she believes the most important aspects of Native and Indigenous stories are rooted throughout the millennia of time.

Dawn Amory

Director of Marketing & Development

“Ol' Reliable”

  • Can do spirit
  • Customer service hack
  • Sugar addict

Role: Dawn is the master of her fundraising domain. No matter the project, deadline, or impossibility, Dawn will find someway to get it done. You’ll often find Dawn in Alyssa’s office, chatting about her furbaby and dreaming up new marketing and development campaigns.

Alyssa Ranard

Marketing & Creative Specialist

"Office Hippie"

  • Office yogi
  • Coffee addict
  • World travler
  • Circus performer by night

Role: Alyssa is the guru of all things marketing, tech, and creative at Vision Maker Media. Bounding from one project to another, she can often be found buried in Adobe software with a coffee mug by her side and headphones blaring music (much too loud) in her ears.

Alana Stone

Project Coordinator

"Office Fashionista"

  • Kombucha addict
  • Skin complexion guru
  • Smoothie lover

Role: Alana is the resident event planner and grant writing expert at Vision Maker Media. You can find her calmly and quietly juggling all the many moving parts for the next big event between sips of kombucha.

Ann McKeighan

Department Assistant

"Detail Queen"

  • Proofreading master
  • Resident cupcake chef
  • Office decorator

Role: Ann is the glue tying all the departments together, making sure no detail gets swept under the rug. From Shop Vision Maker management, to organizing filmmaker contracts, final proofreading, and even office birthday celebrations, Ann isn’t just the department assistant. She’s the department superhero.

Stacy Price

Accounting Assistant

“Smooth Operator”

  • Usually covered in blankets in the office
  • Avid tea drinker
  • Soft spoken but always listening

Role: Stacy is here to dot the i’s and cross the t’s in the financial records. Not only is she a MUST for our Director of Finance and Administration, she also helps our busy staff remember their travel forms, time sheets and all the other little vital details that keep Vision Maker Media running smoothly.