SAG Hires Deborah Skelly as Executive Director of Industry Relations and Organizing

The former industry executive has worked as a producer, entertainment attorney and agent.

In a move that a source close to SAG described as a “refinement of the guild’s focus” on organizing, the union has hired Deborah Skelly as Executive Director of Industry Relations and Organizing. That’s a new position; a National Director of Organizing, Todd Amorde, left in 2009 but his portfolio was more specifically member-focused.

Skelly’s duties, in contrast, will encompass both member-focused organizing, but also outreach to employers in such areas as television, industrials, commercials, new media, and interactive media. The source indicated that SAG is signing new media productions at three times the rate of last year. In addition, although the guild’s revised interactive agreement with five video game producers was not ratified last year, the guild has been able to sign other producers to the existing version of that contract.

Skelly has a diverse background. Most recently, she was vice president of business and legal affairs at from Fusion Film Group. Prior to that, she held a similar position at American Entertainment Holding Company. Earlier, she served as CEO of Shoppingtheworld.com and was a feature film agent at William Morris in New York and was a production and development executive at comedy management firm Rollins Joffee, Morra Brezner.

SAG Deputy National Executive Director for Contracts Ray Rodriguez told THR that Skelly’s background “will help the Guild develop a more productive relationship with the producer community while better communicating our members’ perspective to their employers.”

Skelly has a BA from Smith College and a JD from Pepperdine University and is the author of “The Misadventures of Maria O’Mara,” a book about a female talent agent.

Skelly, who started Monday, reports to Rodriguez and oversees a staff of five people nationwide. She is based in Los Angeles.

Email: jhandel@att.net

Twitter: @jhandel

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