Kevin Walsh is the radio/television productions instructor at Southfield High School for the Arts and Technology and author of Video Direct, a nationally-selling text for secondary video production and created the blog MyMediaDiary.com featured regularly in Huffington Post. He co-produces Digging Detroit., an historical documentary series. His freelance production company, MMD Productions, LLC, specializes in professional, corporate and event video and photography. Previously, Kevin taught language arts and video productions in Royal Oak and West Bloomfield.
Brian received a BS in Education with a Speech and Dramatic Arts Major with a focus on Broadcasting at Central Michigan University and a Masters in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College. Since 1999, he has taught TV Production in the Grosse Pointe Public School District. He has also worked for various companies as a camera operator, scriptwriter, and editor.
Annette Frank is an arts educator and advocate who has worked in the classroom and beyond for over 35 years. She has been part of DAFT since 1980, serving as board president for 14 years and is currently DAFT treasurer. She is the grants administrator for Michigan Youth Arts.
Jennifer began her media career in the television industry working at several stations across Michigan. She spent the majority of her time at WXYZ in Southfield. After completing her study of Communications at the University of Michigan and Television Production at Specs Howard School of Media Arts, she decided to pursue a teaching career and obtain her teaching degree from Wayne State University and later on, her Masters in Media Arts from Wayne State. She began teaching digital media arts in 2008 at GASC Technology Center in Genesee County. Currently, she teaches media at West Bloomfield High School and is the co-producer of the Orchard Lake Film Festival.
Paul is an experienced fundraising and marketing professional who currently serves as Associate Director of Grants at the Detroit Institute of Arts. He also prepares and writes grant proposals to corporations, foundations and government entities, as well as prepare budgets, conduct prospect research, and take part in donor cultivation. Paul has given presentations at DAFT’s symposia and given similar talks at the Michigan Council for Cultural Affairs events.
Board Member / Focal Point Instructor
Mike Conrad is a teacher of Video and Television Production at Royal Oak High School, Royal Oak, Michigan. Prior to the classroom, Conrad served 20 years in the Broadcast industry, earning the ABC Radio Circle of Excellence Award in 2002. He holds a BFA in Broadcast Communications and a MAT in Career Technical Education, both from Wayne State University. In 2012, Conrad guided his students to the grand prize of Ford Motor Company's Drive One 4UR Schools national video competition.
Board Member / Focal Point Instructor
Joe Elliott is a Digital Media Production teacher at Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights, Michigan. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Western Michigan University in Art Education, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Saginaw Valley State University.
Joe has taught student Film Making for over 20 years and has guided his students to national awards in Film Making at Scholastic Arts, SkillsUSA , and the “Grand Prize” Award for Volkswagen of America’s Buckle Up and Go Far” Campaign. His students have won numerous DAFT Best of show awards over the last fifteen years and have gone on to directing, producing, and editing in both the film and television industries.
Joe has additionally served as an Adjunct Professor at Macomb Community College in television production as well as basic and advanced Film Making.
Stephany is Romeo High School's Video Production teacher and joined the DAFT board in the Fall of 2016. She loves films and love encouraging her students to follow their passion of filmmaking. Her program began as a club and quickly grew into a highly sought after elective. She became interested in DAFT because it had been so helpful to her students and for its programs, training and overall hard work!
Board Member / Community Outreach
Ted Houser is a Detroit-based filmmaker and video editor. After graduating the University of Michigan in 2005, he moved to Los Angeles, working as an editor. He returned to Michigan in 2013 to focus on making films in Detroit.
Jennifer Leonard is a graphic designer and production artist at Northern Sign Co. in Pontiac (www.northernsignco.com), and freelances as Cat's Eye Graphics in Holly (www.catseyegraphix.com). Jennifer studied photography, cinematography and animated filmmaking under the instruction of John Prusak. She also studied illustration and graphic design at Kendall College of Art. Her film, "Flea Funk" was an award winner at the 1985 Michigan Student Film and Video Festival. Jennifer has been on the DAFT board since 2005.
Kurt is a founding member of Motion Picture Institute. He has worked professionally in the film industry for over thirty years working numerous positions from production assistant in the mid 1980s, to a camera tech at Victor Duncan the largest renter of Panavision cameras in the midwest to producer. His producing credits include the independent features films Hellmaster (1992), Dark Heaven (2004), Dark Fields (2011), Mimesis Night of the Living Dead (2013), The Dogs’ Fighter (2014), The Dark Below (2015), he produced the Where’s God music video for the Insane Clowne Posse (2012), he executive produced the documentary 313 Techno (2004) bout the Detroit Electronic Music Festival (also known as Movement) and he produced the nationally Syndicated TV show Chiller Drive-In (2010). He is currently writing and producing a TV Pilot for the comedy The Monster Show. Kurt is a graduate from the University of Michigan and is acting CFO of Motion Picture Institute. Kurt is also president of The Michigan Association of Career Colleges and Schools and is a board member of DAFT (Digital, Animation, Film and Television) and is the 1985 Best of Show winner of the Michigan Student Film Festival.
CTE Digital Media instructor at Gibraltar School District. 35 Years in Broadcast Television. Freelancer for 20 years as
a broadcast cameraman for Pass Sports, Fox, Channel 4 Baseball.
Board Member Emeritus
John Prusak, DAFT board member for more than 40 years, was an art and media teacher at Wayne-Westland Community Schools. He has taught at U of M, Cranbrook, OCC, CCS and WSU. Many of his former students have careers in media production and have gained national recognition. Currently John is a board member for Friends of the Detroit Film Theatre at the DIA.
Jason Roche is an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Detroit Mercy. A documentary film director, writer, and producer, his most recent documentary Stealing Home has won multiple awards and was selected as an official entry at the 2014 Baseball Film Festival at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY. Before moving to Michigan in 2009, Prof. Roche taught at several colleges in NY and PA, and worked as a reporter and news anchor at WSYR in Syracuse.
Illya Tolbert has been teaching art to elementary students in Detroit Public Schools since 1997.
Kathy Vander is an award-winning independent filmmaker with numerous documentary directorial credits produced by Vander Films. She has also been active with DAFT for over 20 years as a participant and instructor in workshops, a past president, current DAFT board member and Michigan Student Film & Video Festival Director. She also works at LearnCom on Broadway (in Detroit!) as a Project Manager and Video Producer for web-based training and video projects.
Bill has been teaching creative arts since 2003, and is currently the Media Communications instructor at the Careerline Tech Center in Holland, MI. Bill received two B.S. Degrees from Ferris State University, one in Printing Management and one in Technical Education; and also has is Masters in Career and Technical Education from Ferris State University. Bill was the 2014 recipient of the Courageous Leader Award, as a part of the Courageous Persuaders video competition the award was sponsored by Wall Street Journal, and advocates to his students the importance of creativity and competition.