Visionaries - Changing the World One Story at a Time
Bill Mosher, Creator/Executive Producer
Bill Mosher's career began as a writer in the early 1980's when he founded his own hometown newspaper. He developed his writing skills as publisher of two weekly newspapers - publications which earned him top awards in investigative reporting from the Massachusetts Press Association and the New England Press Association. As a freelance writer, his work has been published by scores of newspapers and magazines, both here and abroad. He is also the author of numerous short stories and novellas; the co-author of two books on local Massachusetts history; and the author of Visionaries, a companion book to The Visionaries television series.
Bill's interest in documenting philanthropic work began during an assignment for Boston Magazine in South America. That trip led to writing and producing videos for many nonprofit organizations, working on location in India, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru.
Bill's work in television began in 1992 with a project for the Stobart Foundation: a 13-part television series that encouraged young artists to paint directly from nature. The series focused on world-renowned maritime artist John Stobart as he traveled around the globe painting original landscapes on camera. Hosted by Walter Cronkite, WorldScape was broadcast on public television stations nationwide.
Since 1993, Bill has dedicated himself to creating, producing and promoting The Visionaries.
Elizabeth Turner, Executive Director
Elizabeth, better known as "Lit," joined Visionaries in 1995 as a bookkeeper and through the years her job evolved into the day-to-day running of the television series and the start-up of the Visionaries Institute. This past year, her focused has shifted to working on new project development with Bill Mosher. Lit started working in the nonprofit world during her senior year at Stonehill College in Easton, MA. Within a week of signing up to do her internship with a nonprofit called Por Cristo, she had her passport and was off to Guayaquil, Ecuador, traveling with a group of physicians and medical professionals who traveled to third world countries to teach their counterparts modern medical care. The experience was so profound that it changed her career path from her dream of working in hospital administration to working in the nonprofit world. Before joining Visionaries, Inc., her previous positions included being Special Events Director for American Lung Association of Massachusetts and Director of Volunteers and Special Events for the Massachusetts Audubon Society's Moose Hill Sanctuary. When not in the office she is busy taking care of her three little girls.
Bruce Lundeen, Director of Photography
Bruce has worked for fifteen years in broadcast, industrial and documentary television production as a director of photography, camera operator and lighting director. He has also instructed seminars and courses in video production with the ITVA, Emerson College and the International Film and Television Workshops in Rockport, Maine. Bruce has shot in virtually every major city in the U.S. and over 50 foreign countries.
Charlene LaFerriere, Director of Development
Charlene came to Visionaries in 2004 after many years in the for-profit world. A graduate of Simmons College in Boston, Charlene began her career in the human resources field, specializing in employment, employee relations and training. After working in a variety of banking, finance, retail, and manufacturing organizations, she left the corporate world to join a human resources consulting firm. Gradually, she made the realization that she wanted to do more. Since joining the Visionaries team, Charlene has met some incredible people working diligently throughout the non profit world. When not working with Visionaries, Charlene enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 daughters, vacationing on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.
John Barnett, On-line Editor and Postproduction Director
Ever since 2005, John has brought the highest quality to the Visionaries post-production. He has a long track record, three decades, as a preferred editor at the best post houses of Boston. Experienced with all aspects of production, with John’s focus on editing and graphics he was in demand at Videocraft, Video One, Target, and Multivision post houses, among others, and at Avid Technologies as a features consultant and test engineer, and at Convergent Media Systems as senior editor and national tech consultant. John moved from that scene to documentaries and PBS work in the latter 1990s. After editing at WGBH, John Rubin Productions, and Powderhouse Productions, the mission of the Visionaries attracted John – spreading the good news of non-profit efforts out there helping people. John is responsible for post production for the entire series and responsible for sending off our all our shows to PBS each season in the best of quality.
David Reeder, Technical Director
David first came to Visionaries in 1999 as a student of the Visionaries Institute of Suffolk University. Prior to joining Visionaries, Inc., David worked as a motion-picture cameraman in Hollywood and the Southeast US. With the completion of his Masters Degree in Philanthropy and Media, he worked on Visionaries productions in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Ukrane, the Dominican Republic and the US. Today, David teaches Digital Filmmaking and Media Production at Suffolk University, The New England Institute of Art as well as numerous classes and media workshops throughout New England. David is responsible for the Visionaries website and post-production technologies.
Heather Riley, Senior Producer
Heather began her career in production at a very young age with dozens of elaborate backyard performances using the neighborhood kids as cast and crew. Her passion for performance led her to a Broadcasting and Film Degree at Boston University. A summer in New York City as an intern for Tribeca Film Center broadened her interest in storytelling to include the stories of real people, not just fictional characters. She graduated in 1996 and her dream of somehow doing the production work she loved while making a difference in the world came shortly after graduation in the form of Visionaries, Inc. Since coming to Visionaries, Inc. in 1998, Heather has had the chance to learn about mental illness, juvenile crime, low-income housing, and women's struggle with homelessness - not to mention producing on a budget and meeting deadlines! When she's not producing, Heather loves to cook, mountain bike, hang out with her family, and look for moose in Maine.
David Santos, Public Relations
George Araneo, Field Producer
George Araneo first learned about the power of television while working as an account executive at the ABC and CBS affiliates in Denver, Colorado. Due to a growing concern about the negative impact he felt television was having on society George resigned from his job to take classes at the Colorado Film/Video Instructional Studio. He made it his mission to become a producer of television programming that educates, enlightens, and inspires.
While as a student he produced two documentary shorts, Trash Collectors: The Dignity of all Work, and The Media: Creating Change from Within. He moved to Boston in 2000 to attend The Visionaries Institute at Suffolk University and to connect with other filmmakers whose values aligned with his own. There he earned his masters degree in Philanthropy and Media.
He is working on his fourth season for Visionaries and has produced shows on diverse subjects such as mental health, community reinvestment, the developmentally disabled, protecting Alaskan wilderness. and education in Latin America. He is a graduate of American University and a member of the International Documentary Association.
He believes strongly in the power of positive media to create social change and in his mid life career course correction.
Brian Lindstrom, Field Producer
While pursuing his MFA in screenwriting and directing at Columbia University, Brian Lindstrom's fascination with heroin addiction and schoolyard basketball lead him to make "Coming Back, Giving Back," a short documentary on Harlem basketball legend Earl "The Goat" Manigault's work with children (broadcast on PBS in 1994). During the making of the film, Manigault became homeless and moved into Lindstrom's tiny East Village apartment. This experience greatly influenced Lindstrom, pushing him away from "objectivity" and toward "advocacy video." Manigault used "Coming Back, Giving Back" to help secure funding for his Walk Away From Drugs Basketball Tournament, held every summer on 95th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. Earl died in 1998; the tournament continues under the stewardship of his son, Darrin.
Lindstrom's thesis film, "Lucy's Room" was awarded a cash prize from New Line Cinema, and broadcast on French Television. It is distributed by Leo Media.
Lindstrom has worked extensively with at-risk youth as Filmmaker-in-Residence in the Northwest Film Center's Filmmaker-in-the-Schools program. Projects include "Measure 11: The Law & Its Consequences" in which Lindstrom worked with nine teenage probationers to produce a documentary on Oregon's controversial mandatory sentencing law; and "Blue Christmas" a dramatic look at a day in the life of a homeless teen, produced by homeless teens from New Avenues for Youth.
Lindstrom collaborated with producer Chris Lowenstein on "With Hope and Help," a series funded by the United Nations examining unique and positive responses to HIV/AIDS in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and China.
"Kicking," Lindstrom's cinema-verite account of three addicts going through medically-supervised detoxification at Portland'sHooper Center, was broadcast on Oregon Public Broadcasting (August, 2001) and is distributed by Pyramid Media. "Heart ofHarlem," a ten minute profile of mentor Holcombe Rucker, is distributed by Third World Newsreel.
Jody Santos, Field Producer
Jody is an award-winning author, journalist and documentary filmmaker. Her book, Daring to Feel: Violence, the News Media, and Their Emotions, was released by Rowman & Littlefield in December 2009. Jody has reported for television and print news for the last 20 years, and has been producing and directing documentaries for PBS and cable networks like Discovery Health and the Hallmark Channel since 2000. She has traveled to more than a dozen countries across five continents, documenting everything from the trafficking of girls in Nepal to the reproductive rights of women in Ghana.
Regardless of the medium, her goal has remained the same: to shed light on the social injustices of the day. Her reports often focus on the issue of violence against women and children and ways to prevent violence in our communities. As a special projects producer for Boston’s NBC news affiliate, she was nominated for an Emmy for a special report on an effort to rid the city’s streets of black market guns. In 2003, she won a Telly for a public television documentary on the rights of women in developing countries.
Over the years, she has appeared on National Public Radio, Unsolved Mysteries and other news outlets to defend her writings and weigh in on important current events. She teaches journalism, media ethics, and documentary film at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Isabel Shaffer, Associate Producer
Isabel began working for Visionaries in 2013 as an assistant editor to Executive Producer Bill Mosher, who trained her in editing as well as acting as a mentor. In 2015, Isabel traveled to Mexico City with Visionaries and an organization called Disability Rights International, where she worked as a Personal Assistant to Producer Jody Santos. Through her field experience in Mexico recording cases of abuse and neglect of those with disabilities, she gained a new passion and eagerness to spread the word through documentary filmmaking. Soon after, she was made Associate Producer and has since been working diligently on organizing and developing new shows that will illustrate the efforts of organizations who strive to do the greater good. Isabel is a student of Digital Media at Greenfield Community College and likes to spend time with her three cats- Red, Kai, and PeanutButter Wolf.
Barbara Seidl, Field Producer
Barbara first picked up a video camera in an elective course at Cornell graduate school - and suddenly realized what she wanted to do when she grew up. She made up for lost time by immediately embarking on a freelance career as a one-woman crew traveling from Honduras to Arab Israel committing her limited expertise and loaned camera to nonprofit organizations who were struggling to make a difference in the world. Four years after she first picked up that camera, Barbara received the prestigious Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship granting her a full year of support to study documentary video production in India - an experience which inexorably altered her view of media and of the world.
Upon returning to the United States, Barbara worked on a ten-part PBS series for the Annenberg Foundation and produced promotions/special live programs for a major CBS affiliate. Since joining Visionaries, Inc. in October of 1997, Barbara's favorite phrase has become " I can't believe I get paid to do this".
Barbara holds a masters degree from Cornell University, a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison (her hometown !!), and when not at work, can be found on the soccer/ultimate frisbee field, in a theater, or torturing friends with the latest pictures of her nephew.
Mary Steele, Field Producer
Mary Steele produces television under some of the most challenging circumstances in the world. She has directed professional crews and instructed graduate students inside desperate squatter settlements in Calcutta, in the poorest slums of Nairobi, and throughout the tattered favelas of Brazil. Remarkably, what emerges from these cross-cultural experiences are stories of beauty and hope, documentaries that find a receptive audience as part of the Visionaries public television series.
Steele began her career in television shortly after graduating with honors from Mount Holyoke College. She has worked in markets as small as Rhode Island and as large as New York City as a producer in news, special projects and politics. Her documentary, "Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Vote" won the New England Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary and the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Documentary. Steele has also received Emmy nominations for program writing, news writing, and special program producing. She produced one of President Clinton's memorable Town Meetings for live television and has received three consecutive Associated Press Awards for Best Newscast. She received a Genesis Award for Best PBS Documentary for "Beyond Shelter", a Visionaries episode.
Mary Steele is a member of Big Sisters and the National Organization for Women.
Kelly Doran, Audio Engineer
Kelly's love of music led her to a career in the recording arts. She has a Bachelor's Degree from Berklee College of Music in Music Production & Engineering and an Associate's Degree from New England Institute of Technology in Video & Radio Production.
Kelly has worked as sound utility, boom operator, and audio mixer in the sound department of documentaries, commercials, and films since 1993. Her two most recent movies were both nominated for Academy Awards for Best Production Sound. She received an award from CAS (Cinematic Audio Society) for her work on the sound department team of Walk The Line.
Kelly considers herself fortunate to have started a relationship with the Visionaries in 1999. Since she began working with them, she's had the opportunity to travel around the world and experience many varied cultures. She enjoys the unique recording challenges that this type of work entails and the chance to be involved in the good work of the Visionaries. Kelly always looks forward to the next experience in which the Visionaries will bring her.
Joel Reidy, Audio Engineer
Joel Reidy has a BA in Broadcasting from the University of Maine. Number nine of ten children, he grew up on two islands off the coast of Maine. A Visionaries veteran of more than eight years, he has met some of the most interesting people around the world. Working with Visionaries has given him a better understanding of some of our cultural differences. The future to those in the western world can mean years, whereas to others in countries like Nicaragua and Zambia it may go no further than simply being able to eat tomorrow.
Joel is a proud father of two children and husband to a wonderful wife who holds down the fort while he is away on these travels. Visionaries jobs take him to far off lands telling stories about people doing good things and helping people in need. He also does documentary, commercial and feature film work. He recently completed filming on a gritty episodic program for Showtime called "Brotherhood", Disneys' version of "Underdog", and is currently working on "Evening" which stars Claire Danes and Vanessa Redgrave.
Ruby Wells, Sound Technician/Assistant Editor
Ruby Wells was raised among a family of artists and musicians in Uncasville, Connecticut. Her backyard was a prehistoric sculpture exhibit created and run by her parents. She has always been a student of art, music, and dance, and she is most proud of having learned to write and record music and to play drums, guitar, and bass. She has performed many times in cities around New England and is currently playing bass guitar in a group called Wishing Wells. She attended Connecticut College and later transfered to Rhode Island School of Design, where she earned a BFA in Film, Animation, and Video. Her short films at RISD explored abstract narrative, performing arts documentary, musical scoring, and nature videography. Since graduation she has worked as a sound technician, a house-builder, and a fashion photography assistant, before joining the Visionaries team on their projects in 2006. Among her many other interests are birding, taking road trips, and listening to old records.
Anastasia Ledwon, Development Associate
Anastasia Ledwon was introduced to Visionaries in 1998 when she met Bill Mosher while working as a geologist aboard a scientific research vessel. With a copy of Bill's book, 'Visionaries,' in hand, she left geology, moved to northern British Columbia, and embarked on a free-lance writing career, focusing on regional stories for local publications. For two years her interests led her to working for two non-profit environmental groups, expanding her interest in and knowledge of the philanthropic world. In 2005 she was invited to work with Visionaries.
Her off-the-grid house on a rural farm has been the subject of numerous articles and will be a training facility for the future Northern Centre for Alternative Energy in Houston, B.C. Her city-girl farming practices include adopting just about every farm animal that comes her way, including horses, goats, and llamas. She plans to try actually raising chickens and turkeys for food in the near future, but may just end up with more animal friends. Strongly involved in the local music scene, she volunteers with the Bulkley Valley Folk Music Society, bringing a variety of sounds to the surrounding communities. A Search and Rescue volunteer, avid hiker and camper, lover of books, and eternal optimist in human compassion, Anastasia is busy renovating her previously-abandoned home and land while anxiously awaiting her first Visionaries shoot.
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