Board Members

Board of Directors

Robyn Kress


Robyn is the Executive Vice President of Campaign Readiness at August Jackson, a national creative agency co-located in Baltimore and Chicago. Robyn leads the Campaign Readiness practice that helps universities, hospital systems, and large non profit organizations prepare for multi-year fundraising campaigns. She has led projects for a broad range of institutions such as the Smithsonian Institution, Northwell Health, Rice University, Harvard Business School, and Duke University. She is a regular speaker at philanthropy conferences around the country discussing the modern tools needed to engage today’s donor-investors. Robyn has held leadership positions at major research universities and national nonprofit organizations, guiding staff and cultivating and closing multimillion-dollar gifts. Robyn has previously served on the boards of Baltimore Museum of Art, The Baltimore Women’s Giving Circle, and The Pride of Baltimore. In 2013 the Maryland Daily Record named her to its 40 under 40 Success List. She holds a B.S. in finance from Penn State University and a professional certificate in fundraising management from Goucher College.

Winship Wheatley


Winship combines private legal practice experience as an associate attorney at Hillman Brown and Darrow, P.A. with more than 30 years of management experience in the student
transportation industry. In 2007, Winship retired from the Anne Arundel County Public Schools after 30 service years, with the latest 18 years as the school system transportation director, servicing 75,000 public school students while responsible for management of a $50M budget and over 600 employees. He joined the Annapolis Festival Board of Directors in October 2020. Since retirement with the Anne Arundel County Public Schools, and when not otherwise golfing or sailing Chesapeake Bay, Winship has been Of Counsel for Hillman Brown and Darrow, P.A of Annapolis, a member of the professional development committee for the Maryland chapter of the Association of School Business Officials, engaged in the consulting services and business development arena for the student transportation industry and active as a speaker and presenter at national conferences. Further, Winship, in 2019, completed an eight-year term on the Board of Directors of Providence Center, Inc., a non-profit private agency servicing over 500 developmentally disabled adults in the Anne Arundel County community. And let’s not forget about bingeing films during Annapolis Film Festival events! Winship received his Bachelor of Science, with a major in economics, from the University of Maryland and his Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore. Winship and his wife, Susan, reside in Annapolis, Maryland.

Michael P. Darrow

Vice President

Michael is a Senior Partner in the Law Firm of Hillman, Brown & Darrow, P.A., the oldest existing law firm in the city of Annapolis, dating back to the 1930’s. Michael has practiced law in Maryland for 42 years and has obtained “Super Lawyer” status by Baltimore Magazine and “Best Attorney” by the Capital Gazette. Michael has served on numerous Boards including local businesses in Anne Arundel County, such as Johnson Lumber; Reliable Contracting and Associated Builders & Contractors. He has been on the Advisory Council for St. Joseph University and served on the Board of Directors for St. Mary’s High School, Spaulding High School and also the Providence Center. Michael resides with his family in Davidsonville, Maryland and has always been involved in many aspects of the Annapolis and surrounding communities.

Regina Novotny


Regina has demonstrated strong support of the arts in her community. With her family she created The Regina and Joseph Hladky Foundation, a charitable foundation to support local causes such as The Annapolis Film Festival and Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and The Maryland Food Bank. During a groundbreaking 30 year career at Bell Atlantic and then Verizon, Regina held positions of ever-increasing leadership responsibility ending as Group President for the Small and Medium Business Market. She exhibited success in a broad range of areas including sales and marketing, operations and labor relations in both line and staff position. Ms. Novotny is a graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Business Senior Executive Program. In addition to her broad experience in the business world, she brings a love for music and a belief in the power of education. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame of Maryland she taught music the Baltimore City Public School System for several years.

Festival Directors and Co-Founders

Lee Anderson

Director and Co-Founder

A television producer and filmmaker for three decades, K. Lee Anderson began her career first as a commercial producer, then later — as a news producer, capturing true stories for broadcast in Maryland. Since that time, she has been a FILMSTERS principal. FILMSTERS, LLC is a production and development company that develops stories, characters and produces documentaries, reality TV, independent films and digital content creation.

Anderson’s credits have appeared on ABC, CBS, Lifetime, Discovery, Turner, Discovery Health and others. She has produced everything from wildlife shows to wedding series, reality TV to hard-hitting issue driven, human-interest indie docs. An award-winning filmmaker, Lee is the recipient of two Telly Awards, a Christopher Columbus Award and a CINE Golden Eagle award. She has also been nominated for a CableACE Award for (TBS’s – Survival of the Yellowstone Wolves) and has won several numerous film festival awards at top tier festivals.

As one of the former producers on ABC primetime show Extreme Makeover, Anderson handled field logistics and production for three seasons producing over 52 weekly episodes a season. She was also the Executive Producer on documentary short, REVOLVING DOORS, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017 (where it won Honorable Mention); it explores the cycles of incarceration and re-offending for non-violent convicted felons in Baltimore. Anderson’s other notable credits include producing the multiple award-winning feature-length documentary, IF I COULD, narrated by Sally Field. The production follows an at-risk teen featured in the CBS Reports film, THE WAGON TRAIN TRIAL, twenty years later. FILMSTERS production company credits include the 2013 indie feature, JAMESY BOY, starring James Woods, Mary Louise Parker and Ving Rhames, based on James Burns, the subject of the award-winning feature doc, IF I COULD. Anderson was also a producer on a LIFETIME reality TV pilot, THE BIG SECRET in 2010.

She is currently an Executive Producer of YAWYE (You Are What You Eat) the new digital Millennial platform, she just completed producing a national PSA campaign for the National Crime Prevention Council, the U.S. Patent and Trade Office about counterfeit products aimed at teens. She oversees all aspects of production management and assists in development for potential feature films, documentaries, scripted programming and reality TV series.

In 2002, Anderson created and co-founded FILMSTERS Academy, a hands-on experiential summer program for youth between the ages of 11-18 that teaches the art of filmmaking. This summer will be its 19th year in existence.

In 2012-2013, she co-founded the Annapolis Film Festival with her longtime producing partner, Patti White where she still serves as one of two Festival Directors and as a member of the Board of Directors.

Patti White

Director and Co-Founder

Patti O. White is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and television producer. Cutting her teeth at CBS News in New York, White produced for CBS Reports and 60 Minutes, earning three national Emmy awards, three Emmy nominations and a George Foster Peabody Award. Subsequently White’s credits have appeared on CBS, ABC, Lifetime, Discovery, Turner and others, producing everything from hard-hitting documentaries to wildlife films to docu-reality series. White’s work earned her three Cine Golden Eagles and a Cable Ace award as well. As one of ABC’s Extreme Makeover’s producers, White was promoted to Senior Producer in the final season. She was also the Producer and Senior Producer on a LIFETIME reality TV pilot, THE BIG SECRET in 2010.

FILMSTERS, LLC, in which White is a principal, is a production and development company for documentaries, docu-reality TV, and digital content for the web. FILMSTERS also creates concepts for scripted TV and true stories to film. FILMSTERS production company credits include the 2013 indie feature, JAMESY BOY, starring James Woods, Mary Louise Parker and Ving Rhames. Corporate clients for FILMSTERS include Google, Synergics, Pfizer and AT&T and the non-profit, National Crime Prevention Council.

White is an Executive Producer of YAWYE the Millennial content platform, completed a PSA for the National Crime Prevention Council and was the EP on the 2016 feature-length documentary, REVOLVING DOORS, which explores the cycles of incarceration and re-offending for non-violent convicted felons. White’s other notable credits include writing, producing and directing the award-winning feature-length documentary, IF I COULD, narrated by Sally Field. The production follows an at-risk teen featured in White’s “CBS Reports” film, THE WAGON TRAIN TRIAL, twenty years later.

White has earned a reputation for dealing thoughtfully with current event-driven issues concerning the human predicament. White wrote and produced AMERICA AT RISK: SEEDS OF HOPE for Turner Broadcasting and the Tribune Co., focusing on an abandoned generation of youth, drug and alcohol abuse, and the breakdown of the American family.

In 2002, White created and co-founded FILMSTERS Academy, a hands-on experiential summer program for youth between the ages of 11-18 that teaches the art of filmmaking.

In 2012-2013, she co-founded the Annapolis Film Festival with producing partner, Lee Anderson, where she still serves as one of the two Festival/Artistic Directors and as a member of the Board of Directors.


Pamela J. Gentry

Board Member

Pamela is the Senior Advisor to the Office of Minority Health (OMH) for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, at the Department of Health and Human Services. Gentry’s primary responsibility is to focus on outreach and education for minority communities. Prior to joining the office, Gentry was the Director of the Strategic Marketing Group where she was responsible for the development and execution of national education and outreach campaigns for Medicare, Medicaid, Healthcare Marketplace and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. A former Senior Political Analyst for CNN, National Public Radio and BET Network, she was responsible for daily coverage of the White House and Capitol Hill. In her political blog, “Pamela on Politics” she was widely followed on In addition to her blog, Gentry was the Washing to Bureau Chief and Senior Political Producer for BET Networks. As a political producer for C-SPAN in the early 2000’s she covered national and statewide political races across the country and was known for her razor sharp knowledge of the political scene.

Mandisa Henry

Board Member

Mandisa is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, where she majored in Psychology, with a Minor in Human Development. She is the Studio Manager at Studio Unknown, a post-production sound studio with offices in Catonsville, MD, Los Angeles, CA, and Burbank, CA. She is also a freelance Music Supervisor, and Voice Over artist.In the past, Mandisa has spent seven summers working with FILMSTERS Academy as supervising staff and assisting with music supervision. She also volunteers with the Family Crisis Center of Prince George’s County, a Domestic Violence Shelter, and has been a Volunteer Coordinator for Hospice of the Chesapeake. Mandisa’s passion for film and the arts brought her to AFF and she is very excited to help develop the Annapolis Film Festival as a signature community arts event. Mandisa has served on the Board since 2013. She also chairs the Screening Committee for Programming.

Cheryl Miller

Board Member

Cheryl is a businesswoman, volunteer and homemaker who has spent a lifetime contributing to the affairs of her native Anne Arundel County and other communities, where she has lived. She has been a sales and marketing executive in the healthcare and financial services sectors, managed her own Events Planning business and developed a commercial real estate portfolio in partnership with her husband of 36 years. A political activist, Cheryl co-founded Anne Arundel County for Obama in 2007; served as an elected Delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention; and stood for office as a Maryland State Delegate in the 2014 Democratic Primary. Cheryl is the founder of Project H.O.P.E., an innovative community nutrition and outreach program organized under the auspices of Historic Annapolis, where she formerly served as a member of the Board of Directors.

Lynn Ohman

Board Member

Lynn Ohman joined AFF in 2020.  She has a long-standing record of supporting the communities in which she resides and a dedication to advancing the work lives of public service employees, particularly public-school teachers.  Now retired, her career has included directing collective bargaining and advocacy services for the National Education Association for 25 years, running and chairing the boards of several non-profit advocacy organizations, and consulting with non-profits on resource development and management.  Most recently she served on the boards of a national organization representing cooperative housing, the DC Cooperative Housing Coalition and as president of the Shoreham West Cooperative in Washington, DC.  She is also very proud of her 10 years of volunteer work with the US Naval Academy, training Midshipmen in offshore sailing and small group leadership.   She is a graduate of Scripps College and Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs.

Parabh K. Gill, MD, MBA

Board Member

Parabh joined the AFF Board in July 2017 and has served as its Treasurer since August 2017. Dr. Gill is a physician and surgeon at Annapolis OB-GYN, having joined that practice in November 2001 when she moved to Annapolis. Prior to moving to Maryland, Dr Gill was an assistant professor at University of Virginia in the Department of Ob/Gyn. She has received accolades for Best Surgical Hands and Outstanding Teacher to Physicians in training. Presently, she is on the faculty for Anne Arundel Medical Center, helping to train the next generation of physicians. Dr. Gill has always been interested in the arts and enjoyed watching her children perform in school theatre, at local theatres, and at the Kennedy Center. When she experienced how the Festival was thought provoking and inclusive, she was inspired to bring her MBA training to lead the Festival’s budgetary and development needs. Dr. Gill went to Severna Park High School and considers Maryland her home. She enjoys learning about the film industry, engaging in social entrepreneurship with her kids to empower women, skiing, and cooking with her husband.

Mary Ellen Iwata

Board Member

Mary Ellen is an Emmy Award winning television executive who has held senior positions across broadcast and cable industries and has been instrumental in growing such esteemed brands as Discovery Channel, TLC, HGTV, Scripps Networks International, and The Weather Channel. As vice president, original content development for The Weather Channel, Iwata was responsible for the day-to-day oversight of development and production of non-scripted series and specials. Before joining The Weather Channel, Iwata served as vice president of programming and development for Scripps Networks International, where she oversaw original program development and production, acquisitions, and program scheduling. She was a key player in launching Food Network in the UK, EMEA and Asia, and continued to oversee the networks’ content after launch. Prior to working in Scripps’ International division, Iwata was vice president of program and talent development for HGTV, a Scripps-owned network. Iwata joined HGTV from TLC, where she was an executive producer, vice president of production, and ultimately vice president of development. Prior to working at TLC, Iwata was an executive producer at Discovery Channel. A Baltimore native, Iwata began her career at Maryland Public Broadcasting and then WJZ – TV (CBS) in Baltimore as Executive Producer of Evening Magazine. She holds a degree in fine arts from Towson University.

Elizabeth A. Liechty

Board Member

Elizabeth A. Liechty, ChFC®, CLU®, ADPA® is a senior partner at Charter Financial Group (CFG), a private financial advisory firm located in Annapolis, Maryland. Elizabeth is registered with Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a division of Lincoln Financial Group, a Fortune 500 registered investment advisement company that has been a leader in financial planning in the United States for over 50 years. Elizabeth’s clientele ranges from nationally respected thought leaders and business executives to small business owners and non-profit organizations. Steadfast in her commitment to empowering others, Elizabeth is a charter board member of Lincoln’s WISE (Women Inspiring, Supporting and Educating) Group, an active member of Lincoln’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, a member of The Resource Group (TRG), an elite group of financial planners within Lincoln Financial Advisors, serving as part of the group’s Compliance Committee, as well as a long-standing member of Premier Partners. Outside of her professional sphere, Elizabeth serves as the chair of the audit committee for the Middle East Investment Initiative, a non-profit organization aimed at creating peace through localized economic development in the Middle East and North Africa. She also serves as the Co-Chair of Hospice of the Chesapeake’s children’s programs under Chesapeake Kids. Acknowledged for both her leadership and volunteer efforts, in 2008 Elizabeth proudly accepted the Legacy Award from Lincoln Financial Advisors for her humanitarian efforts. In 2014 she received the Elite Award for Community Outreach from the National Life and Health Underwriters; and, in 2014 and 2019 acknowledged by her peers statewide as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women. In 2018 she received the Invest In Others Global Community Impact Award for the Blue Elephant Canvas Project that supports children in the hospice system, both locally and in South Africa. The Blue Elephant Project has expanded to now include a children’s book, “The Blue Elephant,” written by Elizabeth, and the animated film of the Blue Elephant that debuted at the Annapolis Film Festival in March 2018. Elizabeth A Liechty is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (Member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name of Lincoln National Corporation and its affiliates. Charter Financial Group is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. CRN-2496289-040919

Susan Hicks Walker

Board Member

Susan is an attorney who practiced commercial real estate law in Florida and Colorado. Moving with her family to Annapolis in 2000, she enthusiastically became involved in the local community. She is an Emeritus Board Member of Friends of the Light House Shelter, has served on the Steering Committee of Anne Arundel Women Giving Together, the Hospice of the Chesapeake Foundation Board, the We Honor Veterans Committee of Hospice of the Chesapeake, and the Gilchrist We Honor Veterans Task Force. Susan was a member of the Founding Board of the Annapolis Film Festival and rejoined the Board in 2015. She has enjoyed learning about the production end of filmmaking through her work as Production Coordinator for FILMSTERS Academy, specializing in costumes and props.

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