Directors & Committees
Faith Dickinson – Founder & President
Faith Dickinson began her career in the entertainment industry in Pittsburgh as an actress in theatre, film, commercials and industrial films. She moved to Las Vegas where she worked in several films, and was in lead roles on the theatre circuit. Her career led her to Los Angeles, where she began as an actress but soon moved behind the camera. She joined the Women In Film chapter in Los Angeles, eventually co-chairing its Public Service Announcement Committee. Later, Faith returned to Pittsburgh and created the Women In Film and Media chapter, the 20th Women In Film chapter in the US. In addition to being its Founding President, Faith has a full time career in marketing with Church Restoration where she has received numerous awards from local associations, including Humanitarian of the Year, Industry Partner of the Year and Account Executive of the Year.
Kalpana Biswas – Board Chair – Membership Committee
Kalpana Biswas, who is President of Earthspring Media, LLC, is an independent documentary filmmaker based in Pittsburgh. Her current documentary project “Below the Radar,” features women filmmakers from conflict regions, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan–women helping to rebuild societies after periods of war and social turbulence. Kalpana has also worked as Locations Manager (“A New York Heartbeat”) and Research Coordinator (“A Shot Felt ’Round the World.”)
Prior to filmmaking, Kalpana was Co-founder of ReCombinant Partners, a strategy consulting agency in Pittsburgh, and Senior Research Executive at Prescott & Associates, a strategic marketing and research firm. Kalpana was President of American Marketing Association, Pittsburgh, and has an MBA from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Virginia Herdman – Vice-Chair – Membership Committee
As Key Set/Construction and Rigging Nurse – I.A.T.S.E. –Local #489, Virginia has provided and coordinated medical care for cast and crew, and arranged for outside medical treatment and care on and off production hours. She is able to provide support medical personnel care (i.e. MD, RN, PN, PT, PM, EMT, massage and chiropractic) on and off set. She can also provide Emergency Treatment and First Aid to injured workers/staff and construction crews as needed, following all safety standards and protocols. Virginia is the owner of SPA 54 at 553 Clever Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15136.
Diane Donati – PSA Program Committee Chair
Diane worked her way up through the business beginning in Pittsburgh as Slate on “Dawn of the Dead”, and culminating in New York as Producer/Director of videos and commercials. Her early years were spent working on feature films, commercials, corporate videos, and included “Mr Rogers Neighborhood” television shows. As a Producer and Director of her own production company, Diane’s client list included several national political campaigns, the highlight of which were the two campaigns of President G.H.W. Bush.
Katherine [Katie] Jones - Programming
Katherine [Katie] Jones is the events and operations director for Silk Screen: Asian Arts Organization of Pittsburgh. Started in 2005, Silk Screen is a 501c3 Arts Non-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate cross cultural understanding through appreciation of the arts. Katie has been with Silk Screen since 2006. A former technology project manager and PA certified Elementary Teacher, Katie made the move from corporate America to the arts world in 2002. She has been involved in the non-profit and education world for over 8 years with time at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Junior League of Pittsburgh and New York City, Health Hope Network, Morningside Area Community Council and PUMP. Katie’s experience includes planning events, managing budgets, grant writing, building relationships with community educational and arts organizations. Katie has a keen interest in all international cultures as well as the arts-media, performance, film and music.
Shirley Gaudette – Programming
Shirley Gaudette is an established fundraiser and event planner. After eight years with The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, she has just joined the Senator John Heinz History Center in the capacity of Membership Coordinator. She has been associated with Women in Film and Media since 2006 and has served as a board member for five years.
Marianne Skiba – Membership
In her 20 years in Film and Television, Makeup Artist and native Pittsburgher, Marianne has been honored with 2 Emmy Awards and the Designing Women Award from New York Women in Film & Television. She served two terms on the Board of Governors of NATAS and helped create the High School Emmy program.
Alexandra Pursglove – Programming
Alexandra Pursglove is the Executive Assistant to the President at the Urban Impact Foundation. Prior to her transition into the nonprofit field, Alexandra spent several years in Los Angeles working in freelance film and television production. Her professional experience includes Warner Bros’ Inception, Relativity Media’s The Fight, HBO’s The Pacific, and Summit Entertainment’s Twilight. Alexandra also spent a year in Dallas, where she served as the Special Events Manager for the Dallas International Film Festival, Production Manger for M3 Films, and as the Vice President of Women In Film Dallas. In addition to serving as Events Co-Chair for WIFM Pittsburgh, Alexandra volunteers as a mentor for HOPE for Prisoners.
Heidi Schlegel – Public Service Announcement Program
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “It is not length of life, but depth of life.” Skydiving, polar bear plunging, horse back riding, and target shooting are just a few of the outlandish activities that one will find Heidi Schlegel willingly participating in. Originally from a small town called Lancaster, Heidi decided that she had bigger dreams than her little hometown could hold. Therefore, after high school she traveled to Pittsburgh where possibilities seem to be endless. She is currently a junior with a major in Cinema and Digital Arts at Point Park University. She has spent her time so far there involved in the Honors Program, Green and Gold Society, United Student Government, and The Office of Campus Life. Outside of school, Heidi has been volunteering her with Women in Film and Media for the past two years. She is currently the Production Manager for their up and coming Public Service Announcement for Hair Peace. It is her hopes, to one day become a Producer for major motion pictures.
Jessica Pachuta – Public Service Announcement Program
Jessica got her start in Pittsburgh co-managing youth media literacy programs after finishing dual degrees in Film & Video Production and Applied French & Marketing at Penn State where she interned at WPSU. Jessica has worked on several independent and studio film productions, enjoys volunteering for local film festivals, working with kids and teens to use media and video responsibly and fighting the good fight. Jessica thinks that being Co-Production Manager of the WIFM Hair Peace PSA is one of the best jobs out there, and the pay isn’t bad either.
Sharon Glick – Webmaster, Membership
Sharon developed several websites for small companies. She has a Masters in Web Design and Multimedia. She completed ABD for a PhD in Instructional Design for Online Learning. She is an avid film lover and can be seen an as extra in several films. She has attended the Toronto International Film Festival for over ten years. She teaches Web and Multimedia at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. She co-taught classes at Chatham University. Sharon is a Full-Time Program Analyst for a Federal Agency and provides support, analysis, design and expertise regarding Personnel and Retirement issues. She enjoys theater, literature, travel and photography. She has three dogs and loves animals of all kinds.