Sheila R. Brown is the new Vice President of Equity & Inclusion for the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP). She will drive AICP’s initiatives with the E&I Committee, represent AICP in related industry forums and assist members with their own company initiatives as well as their compliance with ever growing agency/client requirements.
Sheila is the former Executive Director of the CineCares Division of Cinespace Film Studios. There, she developed the Mirkopoulos Inclusion Program (MIP). That job training program allows young adults from traditionally underserved communities (with little to no production experience) obtain paid job training opportunities on network television shows. The MIP maintained a 90% success rate with trainees completing the program year after year. Trainees have worked in the Camera, Grip, Electric, Props, Sound, Locations, Art, Wardrobe and On-Set Dresser departments. Over 80% of former trainees are working full-time in TV and film and more than 50% went on to become members of IATSE Locals 600, 476 and 769 representing the International Cinematographers Guild, Studio Mechanics and Theatrical Wardrobe respectively.
The premier job training program developed by Sheila greatly impacted the increase in diversity in the Illinois workforce from 14% to 31%. In addition, the program inspired legislation in the State of Illinois to strengthen the Film Tax Credit. Recent amendments to the Film Tax Credit included the establishment of the Illinois Production Workforce Fund, which strives to increase training and/or employment of underrepresented groups in the Illinois TV and film workforce.
Sheila began her career in broadcast television in 1991. She had impeccable timing as this allowed her to work alongside the Chicago Bulls during their six championship seasons. At age 26, Sheila became the youngest person ever appointed to the broadcast advisory board for a professional sporting league - the NBA. A year later, she founded Freedom Entertainment, Inc. and enjoyed a diverse list of clients in broadcast television, event management, and marketing/public relations. Her clients included some of the world's most recognizable brands, including the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), TNT, ESPN, MSNBC, Lifetime Television, The Oprah Winfrey Show, People Magazine, Proctor and Gamble/Gillette, and the M.K. and J.B. Pritzker Family Foundation.