Emmys 2013: Category 20-h Winner Maria Elena Ponticiello

Kathleen Virginia Photography

Maria Elena Ponticiello is a entertainment reporter for Telemundo Chicago. This year she won Emmys for Outstanding Crafts Achievement for On-Camera Talent — Program/Host/Moderator, and Outstanding Achievement for Special Event Coverage for her contributions to the Telemundo Chicago Auto Show 2012.

My mother often said to me: “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”. This quote made an impression on me, and luckily for the past 18 years, I have woken up every morning thanking destiny for allowing me to do exactly what I love the most. However, my perspective about my job took on a whole different meaning when I won my first Emmy back in 2008.  It became clear to me then that  not only was I fortunate  enough to have found my true passion, but that  other professionals in my field were acknowledging that passion and rewarding my efforts.

Onasis Odelmo Photography

To think that my work in their eyes was worth the most prestigious recognition there is in the television industry inspired me to become a better journalist, and a better mentor for those who wish to pursue this wonderful profession.

This year the Emmy Ceremony was particularly special; not only because I won the two statuettes that I was nominated for, but also because my daughters were old enough to be  very involved in the whole pre-ceremony process. They could not wait for the day to arrive, and when it finally did, the excitement in their faces was priceless. Their little hands helped me put bobby pins in my hair so that my up-do would stay in place, they helped me put my outfit together, and they gave me ideas of what to include in my speech.  Having their involvement reminds me of why I work the long hours and why every day I work to be an inspiration to them.

I hope that the eight Emmys that I have been blessed to win since 2008 — prominently displayed  at our home —  help to remind my girls that dreams do come true and that work can become pleasure when you do what you love. That is the message that my mother always taught me and that I am hoping to pass along to my lovely children.


Emmys 2013: Category 18a Winner Tracy Almeda-Singian

Credit: Kathleen Virginia Photography

“Did I put a sentence together?!”

That was the first question I asked my colleague and partner in crime Christian Robins, just after we walked off stage to accept the award for Outstanding Achievement for Commercials- Single Spot.

As I walked up to the podium that night, the only thing I could think of was just how many people we needed to thank. I think I mentioned it in my speech, but it takes an army to make good things happen and we were extremely fortunate to have the best team work on Brand Anthem.

Having a Brand Anthem is something my boss Jon Muir had wanted for a while and we were committed to make it happen.  We dove in right away… I wrote a script, started reviewing the footage that Robin Fenlon and I had shot over the past year and worked with our crew at Bridges: Christian, Chris Dilillo and Erica Hilbert. This was going to be our biggest project to date and I knew it was a going to go well when we hit the editing bay with a Bari meatball sandwich in hand! Haha J It is always a blast working with Bridges…they are amazingly insightful and sharp. Christian is a genius with the visual effects and came up with a super cool treatment for the piece. We are fortunate to have his talent every step of the way.

Wilson has been based in Chicago for almost 100 years, so we wanted to make sure that the music we chose had ties to the city. It was rad to get Chicago native Kaskade aka Ryan Raddon as part of this project. We chose Kaskade “Eyes”, which is one of the my favorite ‘get psyched’ songs of all time.

This spot really makes me smile because it is a culmination of a lot of hard work from our team and fun memories from on the road. Robin and I spent a crazy amount of time together trying to capture these great moments around Wilson in tennis. Robin is a former pro BMX’r that brings a unique look to our brand and he has been an important part of the Wilson team for a couple of years now. Most importantly, he is someone I can discuss my love of the fish eye lens with.

Credit: Onasis Odelmo Photography

My career as a WTA professional tennis player was cut short due to injury and there is no guide book on ‘how to transition from pro sports’ into a ‘normal’ job or life. If you ask any former pro athlete what they intend on doing after they play, most of the time they would not have a clear answer. I have been fortunate enough to have people that believed in me and my talent. Their support has led me to the some of my favorite moments in my life: coaching kids to receive a tennis scholarship to a Division 1 schools, directing a pro tennis tournament, raising over $350+k for a two children’s charities, starting Wilson social media, setting a Guinness Book of World Records and now WINNING AN EMMY! Tennis has given me so many unique experiences that I can never get enough of trying to put that passion on screen.

The Brand Anthem really represents everything Wilson Sporting Goods does in tennis. It is meant to inspire the next generation of tennis players. Wilson has been part of more winning moments in tennis than any other brand (with over 500+ Grand Slam titles won with a Wilson racket), but those results come from the hard work and dedication to our grassroots efforts at all levels of the sport: kids, coaches, players and partnerships. Roger Federer started playing Wilson when he was 6 and now owns almost every tennis record there is.. all playing with a Wilson racket. We wanted to have this spot represent that love and passion we have for tennis.

We would have never thought that we would win an Emmy, but it just shows that anything is possible with passion, determination and the right team in your corner.

It means a lot to us that Brand Anthem was recognized and that it resonated with our peers.

Thank you again.

Until later,

Tracy Almeda-Singian

PS And maybe I am biased now, but an Emmy sure beats a Wimbledon trophy! 😉


Emmys 2013: Category 14 Winner Sarah Moshman

Credit: Kathleen Virginia Photography

November 3rd, 2013 was a magical evening. To fully explain how special it was to win an Emmy that night I must start the story from the beginning.

For as long as I could form memories there have been Emmys all around my house. My Dad, Harvey Moshman won his first when I was 1 year old and over the course of his career in making quality television has won 26 of those beautiful golden statues. So when I say Emmys were everywhere – I mean in my living room, dining room, broken on the Christmas tree and one in my room so I could hold it in front of the mirror and practice my future acceptance speech. The Emmy has always been the symbol of excellence in my house and in my world. And although my humble father has never made it seem like an award was the mark of a good producer, I knew receiving that honor someday would somehow validate me and my career and put me in the same league as someone as talented and focused as him.

Credit: Onasis Odelmo Photography

That’s why on November 3rd, when our project was called as the winner of the Human Interest Category it was not only meaningful to the Girls on the Run organization, my family and friends, and to my amazing producing partner Dana Michelle Cook, it was a culmination of a dream I have had for myself for as long as I can remember. I will take this honor with me for the rest of my life and now I am seeing my old friend Emmy in a whole new way. I know now more than ever I am doing what I am meant to do I am so grateful to everyone involved in making this dream a reality.


Emmy’s 2013: Category 24a Winner Zach Christman

Zach Christman

Credit: Kathleen Virginia Photography

Zach Christman is a news editor for WMAQ-TV. He won two Emmys this year.

My Emmy experience has been one of change.  I’ve been working in the Chicago news scene since 2004, first primarily as an online journalist.  I was lucky enough to win several Emmys with that work, and I’m really proud of it.

A few years back, I started on a quest to become a better video editor.  It took some time, but I eventually worked my way into editing special reports and investigative stories at WMAQ.  This year was the first time I entered in the Craft-Editor category, and to win was really exciting.  If you watch my speech, I’m sure you can tell.  It’s a great feeling to have your peers recognize your work as worthy of an Emmy.  Especially when that work represents a new chapter in your career.