The Team - Directors & Producers
- Randa S. Safady
- Executive Producer
Randa Safady is Vice Chancellor for External Relations at The University of
Texas System, overseeing the UT System Administration's offices of
Development and Gift Planning Services, Public Affairs, Communications,
Community and Business Relations, and Special Services. She has been
involved in higher education development and strategic communications
for 25 years, most recently having served as Associate Vice President
for Resource Development at UT Austin and playing a leadership role
in its capital campaign, in which more than $1.62 billion was realized.
She received a Ph.D. from UT Austin and provides fundraising and communication
counsel to many nonprofit and educational organizations.
- Mat Hames
- Series Director
Mat Hames is an award-winning independent filmmaker who has directed and
written a variety of documentary projects, short films, and commercials.
He wrote and directed the documentary feature
Best Hope, about an
airman harbored by the Belgian Resistance during World War II. The film
received film festival accolades in the U.S. and Canada before airing
in 2006 and 2007, and will air across Europe in 2007.
Mat has earned numerous awards in his career, including Telly Awards and
Addy Awards for his commercial work, PSA campaigns for the Lance
Armstrong Foundation and others. He is co-founder and President of
Alpheus Media, Inc.
- The University of Texas Foundation
The University of Texas Foundation is a nonprofit corporation established in 1967 to
accept and manage gifts in support of the UT System and its institutions. The Foundation
functions independently under its own Board of Directors and pursues its own investment
policies in the management of its portfolios.
- Alpheus Media
Alpheus Media, Inc.
is an independent film production company based in
Austin, Texas, whose work has aired on PBS and the Discovery Channel.
In addition to producing documentaries like
Last Best Hope
and Making More,
Alpheus has a client roster that includes AMD, Emory University,
Capital Sports and Entertainment, the University of Texas, Kolar
Advertising, and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
- Anne Nagelkirk
Anne Nagelkirk has 11 years of experience in strategy, planning, and
marketing. Before joining Alpheus in 2005, she served as an account
manager for an award-winning creative agency where she managed its largest
accounts, including the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF). Her work
for the LAF resulted in a Gold Addy. Across million dollar and pro bono
accounts, she works closely with her clients to meet their business
and creative objectives. Recent projects include Share Your Story for
the LAF and Papi's Kitchen, a children's cooking show pilot for PBS.
- George Sledge
- Director and Producer
For the past three years, George Sledge has produced and directed
documentary television on series such as Downtown for the Austin PBS
affiliate KLRU and American Made for CNBC. He also co-produced and
co-directed Lubbock Lights, a feature-length documentary on West Texas
music. His previous producing and production experience includes
commercials, feature films, and network television series including
Roller Girls (A&E), Austin Stories (MTV),
Seinfeld (NBC), and Mad TV (Fox).
- Ruth Pennebaker
Ruth Pennebaker is former assistant director of communications for The University of
Texas System, where she has written website articles, helped produce
presentations for System conferences, and helped to create a speaker's
series. For several years, she wrote a biweekly column for the Dallas
Morning News' Sunday editorial page and her work has appeared in nationwide
publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post,
Redbook and other venues. She's the author of three prize-winning young-adult
novels and is a regular commentator for KUT Public Radio in Austin.
- Cile Spelce Elley
Cile Spelce Elley is the director of Chancellor's Council programs and
communications for The University of Texas System. She has spearheaded
program content for multiple events held for the 6000 members of the
Chancellor's Council and its executive committee. In her past life, Cile was an
award-winning broadcast journalist working in Dallas, New Orleans,
Austin and Waco. Her favorite TV accomplishment? Anchoring the evening
news for two years with her father at Austin station KEYE-TV. In her
spare time, Cile makes documentary films with her husband, Chris.
- Beth Hames
- Supervising Producer
Beth Hames, who has 13 years of industry experience, began as a
producer and editor in Dallas, where she produced a monthly
magazine-style series for General Motors. She continues to manage
projects for Alpheus, with a focus on writing and producing short
documentaries. Beth's work has regularly been recognized for
excellence, including a New York Festivals International World
Medal for I Had a Friend Named Hope and Telly awards for Live Music
Capital of the World and Faces of Survivorship.
- Rod Caspers
- Supervising Producer
Rod Caspers, director of Creative Services at The University of
Texas System, has taught and directed at the University of Northern
Iowa, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Texas at
Austin. At UT, he also served as the artistic director for the Office
of University Relations. Rod conducts directing workshops nationwide
and has often been a guest artist/instructor for the Facing History
and Ourselves Program in Europe. In New York, he served as associate
director for GreenPlays, creating and directing several new musicals
and cabarets. He has directed over 80 productions. Recently, Rod
stage managed the Rockettes' Radio City Christmas Spectacular for four
- Cara Carney
- Associate Producer
Cara Carney's career has taken her from television to the creative
services industry and back again. She has produced packages for a
talk television program, published books and DVDs for celebrities,
and produced integrated marketing campaigns for some of America's
most prolific entertainment properties. Her diverse background in
news, sales, and branding has given her a unique perspective for
production. After spending several years in Chicago, Cara has
returned to her Texas roots.
- Parke Gregg
- Associate Producer
Originally a student of architecture, Parke Gregg has used his
design background to head up a multimedia lab at Texas A&M
University, producing educational CD-ROMs and videos. From there,
he joined Tivoli Systems as Manager of New Media where he
received international Summit and Monitor awards as well as an
Addy and four Telly awards for his video and interactive work.
Recently, Parke combined his technical knowledge, design
background, and project management experience as the post
production supervisor on the CNBC series American Made.
- Dacia Saenz
- Archive Coordinator