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Longtime Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation executive director Todd Vradenburg is exiting the top post. His next stop: he’ll become president and CEO of the California/Nevada chapter of the National Association of Theater Owners.
At NATO, Vradenburg will succeed well-known California/Nevada chapter chief Milton Moritz, who is retiring.
Vradenburg has been a part of the Will Rogers Pioneers organization for 25 years, and has been named to the foundation’s board of directors. He’ll be honored at the organization’s annual golf event, the Film Row Charity Golf Classic, in May at Moorpark Country Club.
A search to fill Vradenburg’s position is currently underway.
In a separate move, Will Rogers’ director of development Christina Blumer has been promoted to director of operations. In addition to overseeing development and donor relations, including planning and executing events and fundraising campaigns, her new role will include expanding industry relations and leading the ongoing operations of the charity.
During his tenure, Vradenburg has been instrumental in the success of the Pioneer of the Year Dinner, which has honored motion picture industry luminaries including Donna Langley, Dick Cook, Kathleen Kennedy, Jim Gianopulos, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Tom Cruise and most recently Elizabeth Banks.
“It’s been an extraordinary experience to work alongside the Will Rogers Pioneers board, as well as a dedicated staff and many remarkable volunteer leaders who are committed to caring for members of our motion picture community and their families in times of need,” Vradenburg said. “I’m so proud of the programs we’ve created and the many successful fundraising campaigns that have contributed to supporting our industry colleagues and peers.”
Added Pioneers president Heather Morgan: “Todd’s extraordinary leadership and vision have made a lasting impact in the lives of thousands of working and retired members of the motion picture distribution and exhibition community.”
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the crucial role that the Pioneers serves within the industry. Through its Pioneers Assistance Fund, Will Rogers provides financial assistance to members of the distribution and exhibition community in times of need. The need had never been greater than throughout the pandemic when film releases were halted, theaters were shuttered and employees were furloughed. The charity administered more than $3.5 million in aid and helped 10,000 people remain in their homes, buy basic necessities and navigate the hardship.
The charity is preparing to celebrate its 85th anniversary with the return of the Pioneer of the Year Dinner in September 2022.
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