Meet Our Board


Sonia Bar

Sonia is a freelance production professional, working in commercials, TV shows, and independent films. She also writes, directs, and produces her own projects, and has formed "The Hollywood Dream Crew,” a team of production assistants working together to bring new voices and create content in Hollywood. 

Carol Biondi

Carol has been an advocate for children and youth in the foster care and delinquency systems for 40 years and has served on numerous non-profit boards and on several government boards.  Currently, she is a Commissioner on the L.A. County Commission for Children and Families and the California Governor’s Advisory Committee for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. She is also on the board of the Children’s Defense Fund, The United Friends of the Children and The Anti Recidivism Coalition. She is married, and has two daughters and six grandchildren.

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Alex Cohn

Alex Cohn is a partner and the head of content at advertising agency, Zambezi. Alex got his start as a PA and worked on feature films like Philadelphia, Men in Black, and Sleepers. Alex has written, directed, and produced content for Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, Super Deluxe, TruTv, and others and has been involved with ManifestWorks from the very beginning, regularly hosting ManifestWorks' classes, mentoring participants and putting them on jobs.

Brendan Countee

Brendan Countee is Vice President of Development and Production at Showtime Networks. He helped launch original programming at Hulu with shows like CASUAL, THE MINDY PROJECT and DIFFICULT PEOPLE. Before that he was a comedy writer and performer for Handsome Donkey. Before joining the board at ManifestWorks, Brendan spent a decade volunteering as a mentor for incarcerated children in Los Angeles County. 

Grant DeVaul

Grant is a Private Wealth Advisor and co-founder of The Core Group at RBC Wealth Management. Grant and his wife Virginia are committed to supporting the most needy communities in Los Angeles.



Lucy Firestone

Lucy is the co-founder of Wild Precious Life, a lifestyle company that produces and curates experiences and products designed to catalyze transformation and inspire freedom. With a background in film industry, she continues to develop projects that she is passionate about. She also serves on the board of InsideOut Writers and has spent many Saturdays with incarcerated youth in a mentoring/life skills program that seeded ManifestWorks.


Art Gonzales

Art works as Assistant Location Manager in television, commercials, and music videos. Art is also a writer and story consultant with the goal of becoming a producer. Additionally, Art volunteers his time mentoring others and in advocacy for social justice reforms.


Jan Levine

Formerly a juvenile court judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court, Jan continues to work with under-served and incarcerated youth.  She is a member of the county Probation Commission and also volunteers as a writing teacher within the county’s detention facilities. She is the mother of three adult children, an amateur photographer and struggles in pursuit of French fluency. 

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Michele Mulroney

Michele is an LA-based screenwriter and director, and a graduate of London’s Central School of Speech & Drama.  In the UK, she spent several years working with reentry programs for the formerly incarcerated, and was a residential social worker at East London’s Mill Grove Children’s Home. She mentors at several writers labs, including Sundance and Outfest, and teaches at the American Film Institute.  She is a board member of the Writers Guild of America.  

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 Ross Pollack

As the Chief Human Resources Officer at Lionsgate, Ross Pollack oversees all aspects of Human Resources and administration for Lionsgate’s global operations, including its joint ventures. He joined the company in 2014 and has developed and expanded the Company’s employee diversity initiatives, revamped its total reward programs, and launched a series of successful health and wellness offerings to enhance employee well-being and productivity. Ross is fluent in Japanese and lives with his family in Santa Monica.   

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Dan Seaver

A former journalist and advertising copywriter, Dan is one of the founders of ManifestWorks.  He spent more than a decade as a volunteer in a Los Angeles youth incarceration facility, and is currently a Commissioner for the Los Angeles County Probation Department. He is married and has a daughter. 


Shelly Townshend

Shelly has worked as a Commercial Production Executive for 20 years, representing many internationally acclaimed directors, and overseeing projects shooting all over the world. She is a member of the AICP Negotiating Committee, and has most recently become deeply involved in diversity issues as they relate to the film industry. She is a member of the Ghetto Film School Advisory Board, and a member of the Commercial Director Diversity Program Committee.



Chip Warren

A founding member of ManifestWorks, Chip is a storyteller at heart and has applied his passion to projects that inform, persuade, and enlighten, with a keen interest in social justice issues. Now a screenwriter, Chip has also produced and directed documentaries for film and television.


Alonzo Van Wilson

Formerly a costume designer for thirty-two years, Alonzo Van Wilson now works as a writer/ producer.  Alonzo manifests his dedication to underrepresented voices in film and television through his company, Spirit Medicine Productions, which nurtures emerging writers and brings their stories to market.