Vision Maker Media

Meet the Team

Staff Members

Francene Blythe-Lewis
Executive Director

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

Open
Director of Programs & Projects
Dawn Amory
Director of Marketing
& Development
Gregg Jablonski
Director of Accounting & Finance
Alyssa Ranard
Marketing & Creative Manager
Alex Fox
Digital Media Coordinator
Alana Stone
Project Coordinator

(Sicangu Lakota)

Ann Mckeighan
Department Assistant
Meet Our Leaders

Board Members

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

Paul Allen Hunton is the General Manager of Texas Tech Public Media. He is a 3 time regional Emmy winning director, the vice-chair of Texas PBS, sits on the board of the University License Association, and formerly on the Digital Media Advisory Council for PBS Digital, and the NETA Production Council. He has been at Texas Tech Public Media since 2011.

La quen náay, Haida/Tlingit, is from Ḵéex̱ʼ Kwáan (Kake), Alaska. She is an enrolled Tribal Citizen of the Organized Village of Kake. La quen náay received her BA (BFA Equivalency) from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and her law degree from Arizona State University College of Law, graduating with a Juris Doctorate and a Certificate in Indian Law. Since coming to First Alaskans Institute, La quen náay has served as the Director of the Alaska Native Policy Center, Vice-President, and now serves as the President/CEO, providing a direct path for service to our Native peoples.

Elizabeth Weatherford is a Board member of Vision Maker Media, and the founder and emeritus director of the Film and Video Center of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and its Native American Film + Video Festival in New York City and Native Cinema Showcase in Santa Fe.  

Brent Cahwee is Pawnee/Euchee and Editor of NDNSPORTS.com.

Francene Blythe-Lewis

Executive Director

“The visionary”

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.

Charlie perry

Assistant Director

“The Bridge Builder”

Role: Charlie usually has his phone glued to his ear talking with Vision Maker Media partners and filmmakers. He’s a master networker that loves to laugh and has a knack of making others feel valued and appreciated. He spends a lot of time on the road sharing Vision Maker Media’s mission to empower Indigenous storytellers and their communities. When he’s in the office, Charlie makes sure all the folders in the file cabinet are the same color (egg shell) and our filmmakers have everything they need to succeed.

Dawn Amory

Director of Marketing & Development

“Ol' Reliable”

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.

Gregg Jablonski

Director of Accounting & Finance

“Money Man”

Role: Gregg makes sure the budget is balanced, and keeps Vision Maker Media from getting in trouble (at least financially). Gregg likes to laugh while dealing with numbers but occasionally cries. Gregg enjoys his new Vision Maker Media friends.

Alyssa Ranard

Marketing & Creative Manager

"Office Hippie"

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.

Alex Fox

Digital Media Coordinator

"Signal Booster"

Role: Alex is the Digital Media Coordinator at Vision Maker Media. With Alyssa and the VMM student workers, he helps Indigenous stories soar to new heights by stitching storytellers’ words into social media. Between finding stories new eyes, he’s usually found in outlandish eyeshadow, drinking tea and listening to an ever-expanding music catalog.

Ann McKeighan

Department Assistant

"Detail Queen"

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.