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  Tony N. Todaro, Executive Director

Tony N TodaroTony has been a writer since scribing a high school newspaper column that got him sent to the principal’s office. Since then, he’s worked extensively in the music business with the Guitar Center chain, then as a Brand Strategist for international companies from startup investments to Fortune 500, Hollywood unions, and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center / Department of Defense (SPAWAR/DOD).

He was a professional consultant/expert at Los Angeles Valley College, where he strategized and authored the branding and website for Los Angeles Valley College’s Media Arts, including Cinema, Screenplay and Broadcasting. He was also on staff to the Media Arts department, the Entertainment Industry Training Collaboration (EITC) that works with Hollywood unions and IDEAS to develop educational opportunities, and on the ICT/DM initiative.

Mr. Todaro is President and Co-Founder of the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society, one of the largest non-profit organizations on the west coast. The society offers peer-to-peer critique groups, monthly special speaker events, opportunities for published authors to promote their platforms and sell their books, as well as a wealth of educational and networking opportunities. Tony heads the programming committee for the popular GLAWS Special Speaker Events, which typically draw SRO crowds.

As Executive Director for West Coast Writers Conferences, Tony developed the methodology for WC2 popular "AAA" and multi track curriculums based on his years of programming experience. He personally manages and directs every event. He also consults to other events and has produced hundreds of workshops/panels with a faculty of speakers, industry experts, educators, publishers and literary agents.

In a previous life, Mr. Todaro was one of the original management team for Guitar Center Management, and opened and/or operated seven locations, and helped grow the chain more than 400% before joining one of the world's largest branding firms, Benchmark, the American branch of Interbrand then starting his own company as a marketing expert and brand strategist.

He has been a writer and strategic consultant for over thirty years with clients ranging from startups to Hollywood unions to Fortune 1000 companies, and has earned as much as $10,000 for a three-word marketing slogan, but is happiest as as an author of speculative fiction.

He is the author of  “True Light” and “Nexus Of Swords” in the Lightriders Saga, and the futuristic thrillers, “What Comes Around”, and “Eyes of God” in the Xander Hunt series. When not writing, Tony can be found at writer’s conferences, fine art shows, or snorkeling in Hawaii.

Dan Watanabe, Director

Dan Watanabe Mr. Watanabe is a professor in the Media Arts department of Los Angeles Valley College where he teaches courses in low budget film producing, the production process, screenwriting and the history of broadcasting. He also taught eight sessions of a five week seminar series, the Production Assistant Boot Camp, in conjunction with Workplace Hollywood and the Los Angeles Community College District. He has written a series of courses for Los Angeles City College exploring the world of below-the-line production and distribution, which most recently included a Technical Certificate.

Mr. Watanabe has extensive experience in development, production and distribution, both in the office and on the set. For eleven years, he served as a “current” and new program development executive in both scripted and unscripted programming at FremantleMedia (formerly Pearson Television, All American Communications and Scotti Bros. Pictures), the production company behind Baywatch, The Price is Right, Family Feud and the hit series American Idol (which began just as he was leaving). He also served as a consultant for CRC Entertainment, an independent production company that has just completed a feature film (Boilermaker) and worked on a horror anthology television series pilot starring Robert Forester. He was also a freelance report writer for recruited test screenings for OTX Research, whose clients included Fox, New Line, Warner Independent, and Regency, and served as a development consultant for MyNetworks’ telenovela series.