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April 15
2024

ISSUE

Spring 2024

VES Elects 2024 Board of Directors Officers

By NAOMI GOLDMAN

Kim Davidson

Kim Davidson

Susan O’Neal

Susan O’Neal

Janet Muswell Hamilton, VES

Janet Muswell Hamilton, VES

Rita Cahill

Rita Cahill

Jeffrey A. Okun, VES

Jeffrey A. Okun, VES

The 2024 VES Board of Directors Officers, who comprise the VES Board Executive Committee, were elected at the January 2024 Board meeting. The Officers include Kim Davidson, who was elected Board Chair, and is the first Board member from outside the United States to hold this role since the Society’s inception.

“It is my privilege to serve as Chair of our worldwide community of visual effects artists and innovators,” said VES Chair Kim Davidson. “Since I joined the Society 18 years ago, I have seen the VES grow from a California-based organization to a global society with 16 regional Sections and members in 48 countries. As the first Chair elected from outside the U.S., I am representative of our thriving globalization, and I look forward to further championing our expansion. The leadership on our Board bring enormous commitment, expertise and enthusiasm to their volunteer service, and I’m excited about what we can achieve.”

“The Society is fortunate to have exceptional leadership on our Executive Committee,” said Nancy Ward, VES Executive Director. “This group of impassioned and venerated professionals has a strong vision for the Society’s future, especially amidst this time of dynamic change. We appreciate their commitment to serve the VES, and I look forward to working with the Committee to evolve the Society.”

The 2024 officers of the VES Board of Directors are:

  • Chair: Kim Davidson
  • 1st Vice Chair: Susan O’Neal
  • 2nd Vice Chair: Janet Muswell Hamilton, VES
  • Secretary: Rita Cahill
  • Treasurer: Jeffrey Okun, VES

Kim Davidson is the President and CEO of SideFX®, a company he co-founded in 1987. SideFX is a world-leading innovator of advanced 3D animation and special effects Houdini® software. He has received three Scientific and Technical Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Davidson was the first Chair of the VES Toronto Section and has served on the Toronto Section board for eight years. He has served on the global VES Board of Directors for seven years, on the Membership Committee for seven years, as well as a number of VES ad hoc committees.

Susan O’Neal, a VES Founders Award recipient, has served on the global Board of Directors as Treasurer and 2nd Vice Chair. For many years, she served as the Chair for the legacy global Education Committee and currently co-chairs the Membership Committee, playing an instrumental role in the Society’s growth. She is currently a recruiter for BLT Recruiting, Inc., and has worked as an Operations Manager at The Mill, Operations Director at Escape Studios in Los Angeles and as an Account Manager at SideFX.

Janet Muswell Hamilton, VES, is the Senior Vice President of Visual Effects for HBO. Janet is a VES Fellow and member of the Visual Effects Society global Board of Directors and Education Committee. With a career spanning several decades, she established her reputation as a VFX Producer and Supervisor for cutting-edge visual effects on a wide range of groundbreaking television series and theatrical features, as well as animation, IMAX, commercials and Stereoscopic Special Venue projects.

Rita Cahill is an international business and marketing/PR consultant and has worked with a number of U.S., Canadian, U.K., EU and Chinese companies for visual effects and animation projects. Previously, Cahill was the Vice President of Marketing for Cinesite and a founding Board member of the Mill Valley Film Festival/California Film Institute. A VES Lifetime Member and Founders Award recipient and Chair or Co-Chair of the VES Summit for eight years, this is Cahill’s ninth term as Secretary.

Jeffrey A. Okun, VES, is known for creating ‘organic’ and invisible effects, as well as spectacular ‘tent-pole’ visual effects that blend seamlessly into the storytelling aspect of the project. Okun is a VES Fellow and recipient of the VES Founders Award. He co-edited The VES Handbook of Visual Effects, an award-winning reference book on visual effects techniques, and acclaimed The VES Handbook of Virtual Production. He created and founded the VES Awards, now in its 22nd year, served as VES Chair for seven years and as Chair of the Los Angeles Section of the VES for two years.



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