Hi. We're Jack and Seth.

We're two normal guys with one big idea.

Jack C. Newell is an award winning filmmaker, commercial director, and public art enthusiast.  He is the writer, producer, and director of films that have screened across the United States and abroad, including the Montreal World Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, and Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.

Close Quarters, his first feature length film, can be seen on iTunes and Amazon VOD. His second feature length film, Open Tables, was shot in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants as well as in Paris, France, is now available on iTunes. His feature length documentary, How to Build a School in Haiti, is currently in post-production. Courses, a feature length documentary about Chicago Chef Jake Bickelhaupt is set to come out in 2017.

He is the Program Director of the Harold Ramis Film School at The Second City Training Center.

Jack uses his background in film to inform his public art projects. His ability to use light and color to tell stories and elicit emotion from the audience is at the heart of his work in both film and in the public space.

jackcnewell.com
jack@thewabashlights.com

Seth Unger is a design and creative strategist, new media expert, and brand consultant. He currently works for Herman Miller's global marketing team as the audience lead for Architecture and Design. He previously worked at Gensler as a Design Strategist. While at Gensler, Seth worked with numerous clients including, Motorola, Discover, Caterpillar, co-created the placemaking intervention Neon City, and helped develop the iPhone app PoppySeed.

His fine arts training and experience as a non-profit theater founder, director and producer give him a unique take on the performative aspects of human interaction, space, and creativity. He guides teams - internal and client - toward rich, interactive and memorable experiences that accelerate learning and enable deep and productive communication.

Seth's collaborations have helped facilitate, design, and implement innovative brand, workplace, and creative strategy across diverse areas of focus. 

He is a graduate of DePaul University.

sethunger.net
seth@thewabashlights.com


Board of Directors

Charles Adler is a Kickstarter co-founder, founder of the online arts journal Subsystence and Source-ID, an independent interaction design studio. Kickstarter has seen tens of thousands of projects raise over $1B since launching on April 28th, 2009. His work as a designer and entrepreneur is driven by a simple desire – to produce work that connects people to their ambitions and passions in life.

In 2013 Charles was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s Top 12 Most Disruptive Figures in Business and was invited to judge the 2013 National Design Awards, and Architizer’s A+ Awards for Architecture. Charles is an Executive Board member of the Chicago Design Museum.

Hailing from Cincinnati, Jenni Button is a curator, project manager, marketing specialist and all-around conduit of creativity. After Graduating from Ohio University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts, Jenni has worked in design and creative agencies, galleries and public arts programs throughout the midwest. She currently resides in Chicago, where she works as Gallery Director at Matthew Rachman Gallery, and as Creative Director for Chicago-based audial and visual artists’ collective, Thēarē Group. 

Maria Demopoulos, Athe Consulting

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A Chicago resident and Iowa native, Rebecca Fons is the Programming Director at FilmScene, Iowa City's premiere art house theater, and also serves as the Development and Programming Director for the recently re-opened Iowa Theater - a multi-disciplinary film and performance center in her hometown of Winterset, IA. Prior to her return to the Iowa cinema scene, Rebecca was the Education Director for The Chicago International Film Festival for nearly a decade, growing their Education Program to include yearly education screenings that welcomed over 10,000 students to the movies each year, and embraced emerging cinephiles through initiatives like the Festival's Student Film Council and CineYouth Festival. Rebecca serves on a number of screening committees for film festivals around the country. Rebecca received a Masters Degree in Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in Cinema and Comparative Literature Studies from the University of Iowa. Rebecca is a Steppenwolf Theatre Associate, a member of the Gene Siskel Film Center's Community Council and the Junior League of Chicago, performs with the improv ensemble Spitfire, is a former roller derby referee for The Windy City Rollers and lives in Chicago.

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Matt Getz is an accomplished marketing and communications leader with over a decade of experience providing both creative advertising and business leadership. He built his career by crafting unique voices, identities, and campaigns for some of the world’s best-known brands including Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Proctor & Gamble, Boeing, and the United States Postal Service.

Beyond his business accomplishments, Matt is an expert griller, Scrabble player and amateur painter (very amateur).

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Josh Golden is a digital business strategist and serial entrepreneur who combines a penchant for big-picture strategic thinking with the digital know-how to get things done.

He currently serves as Founder and Principal of Table XI, a fifteen-year-old digital strategy, UX design, and custom software development company with thirty-five employees. Clients include Tronc, HCSC, Tyson Foods, Discover, Chicago Ideas, RogerEbert.com, Pecha Kucha, Chicago Ideas, and Northwestern University.

Josh has also backed numerous startups, either as an equity investor, conception-stage service provider, or mentor, including MaxMyInterest, Ebert Digital, m2057 by Maria Pinto, PUSH for Wellness, Pegmo, and many others.

Josh has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago. He lives in Chicago’s Fulton River District with his wife, Erin, where he enjoys great restaurants and good wine, skis a ton, travels the world, avidly (but sporadically) plays poker, listens to jazz, and dreams about moving to a small town in the mountains.

Jordan Ho is a product focused entrepreneur who has founded and led multiple startups. With a broad set of abilities ranging from team management to product vision & delivery, Jordan has spent his career starting companies so that he could avoid ever actually having a real job. He is currently VP of Product at Label Insight, a data company focused on the transparency of information in the food industry, where he is responsible for vision, product design, and customer experience. 

His perspective on the intersection of technology & art is influenced by his art background and time spent as an apprentice to renowned artist Ed Paschke. He has now spent the majority of his life in Chicago, but cannot shake his loyalty to those unfortunate Minnesota sports teams.

Edwin Linker, PNT Financial

Professor Bruce Sheridan has been Chair of Cinema Art + Science since 2001, and is currently Chair of the North American region of CILECT, the world organization of film schools, and Industry Relations Vice President for UFVF/UFVA. He is a musician, writer and filmmaker with 30 years experience directing and producing documentary and drama for the screen. 

In 1999 Professor Sheridan won the New Zealand Best Drama Award for the tele-feature Lawless, and in 2012 produced the highly acclaimed documentary on sports concussion, Head Games. He is currently directing Children First, a project on children of divorce that includes dramatic and documentary elements, producing a feature documentary on the renaissance of winemaking in the Republic of Georgia, and writing The Infinity of Ghosts, a multi-media meditation on fathers and sons.

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Rebecca Ussai Henderson is a Principal Interaction Designer at IA Collaborative, a global design and innovation consultancy, where she is responsible for user driven research, strategy, and design. She was previously an Experience Design Director at R/GA, a global digital agency working at the intersection of technology and design. Her range of work includes a number of digital platform redesigns, commerce, strategy, service design, digital campaigns, and personalized experiences across industries such as healthcare, logistics, entertainment, and emerging technology. She concentrates on developing meaningful and relevant connections between brands and users with experiences that are intuitive and enjoyable.

Rebecca is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon’s Communication Design program. While there, she found an interest in motion design. After starting a career in UX, she is finding ways to combine the techniques of motion design into the most relevant areas of user experience in order to craft more intuitive, engaging, and delightful experiences. Over the past few yeas, she collaborated together with Disney Legend, Glen Keane, on what she calls “The Principles of UX Choreography” and has given talks SXSW Interactive, Google HQ, UX London, and CreativeMornings.


It takes a village.

Meet the rest of the squad.

Justin Wardell (TWL Technical Director) is a 10-year veteran of the lighting industry who holds a degree in Theatrical Lighting from Washington University in St. Louis. Justin’s career began designing for theater and dance, which evolved into larger and more divergent projects. For the past 8 years, Justin has been working as an Account Executive for lighting firms that specialize in the entertainment and architainment markets. Justin was recently hired as Sr. Account Director for Axxis Inc. in Louisville, where he collaborates with his clients  to produce large scale public and private events across the country. He uses his experience as a lighting designer, along with design teams to develop unique solutions utilizing the latest in lighting, video, and audio technology. Past projects Justin has been involved in include lighting for casinos, museums, building facades, theaters, houses of worship, and public spaces.

 

Intelligent Lighting Creations (ILC) is an industry leader in lighting for permanent installations, concerts, events, and rental equipment.  ILC’s team is comprised of experienced and highly skilled experts in the lighting industry that come from a variety of backgrounds.  ILC’s lighting integration team works with designers to find innovative solutions for a wide range of projects, and our close relationship with over 100 manufacturers in the lighting industry gives our customers access to resources that otherwise wouldn’t be available to them.  Our experience with a broad range of installations means that our team has an extensive history to pull from, and our commitment to projects ensures exceptional outcomes for our customers.

Recent  projects include Science Storms at The Museum of Science & Industry, Fantasea and Jellies at the Shedd Aquarium, Pacific Science Center in Seattle, the Great Hall at Chicago’s Union Station, Roosevelt Collection in Chicago, and as of November 2013, Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL.

 

Anna Romano (PR Director) is an Account Executive on the consumer relations team at Weber Shandwick, Los Angeles. Anna has worked across multiple categories including technology, healthcare, automotive and quick service restaurant.

Anna’s media relations work focuses on leveraging her strong relationships with national and regional media to tell client stories that drive a call to action and structuring social media support to strengthen those efforts.

While part of the Weber Shandwick team, Anna completed her Masters in Strategic Public Relations from the University of Southern California and previously received her undergraduate degree from Miami University, in Ohio.