SATURDAY, April 6, 2024
11 am - 1 pm

LOyola University chicago, Schreiber Center,
Wintrust Hall, 16 E. Pearson, Chicago

Speed Networking works a lot like ‘Speed Dating’ – just without the ‘Dating’.


This is a structured opportunity to meet accomplished professionals in the broadcasting, production or entertainment industries. It’s the perfect opportunity to network with both your peers, potential new mentors, and learn about the wide range of career paths in the media industry. Please know that this is not a job fair. Questions? Email rcowing@emmyonline.tv

professional PARTICiPANTS


Hope is an experienced DGA television director with 20+ years of broadcast television and media experience. Skills include live Studio Production, Field Production, Advertising Production Management, Production services and resourcing, writing and producing. B.A. in Journalism/Advertising from Marquette University with decades of experience in Chicago television production.


Julian Darnell is a Senior Feature Producer for Big Ten Network. He has won an Emmy for his work on The Journey. Before his 17 years at Big Ten, he spent nine years at NBA Entertainment. Prior to producing NBA stories, he worked at ESPN for nearly seven years.


Latoya Flowers has over 10 years of experience as a media producer in the museum industry. She’s currently a Senior Multimedia Creative at the Field Museum in Chicago where she collaborates with exhibit designers, exhibit developers, illustrators, motion graphic artists, lighting designers and music composers to create immersive multimedia installations for traveling, temporary and permanent exhibitions. Latoya formerly worked at the Adler Planetarium as a media producer and photographer, where she created video installations for temporary and permanent exhibitions. Latoya graduated from the School of Visual Arts and received an MFA in Social Documentary Film. She’s currently directing and producing her first feature-length documentary Still Searching, supported by the Hulu / Kartemquin Films Accelerator Program, Sisters in Cinema Documentary Fellowship and Chicago Digital Media Production Fund.

Melody Guernsey

Melody Guernsey is a reporter for Wake Up Wisconsin, and she also co-anchors Wake Up Wisconsin Weekend. Previously, Melody was as an associate producer at Big Ten Network in Chicago. Melody earned a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. At Medill she studied and researched with the Local News Initiative; covered primary education as a beat reporter; and was an MMJ for CAN-TV where she focused on telling community stories. Prior to Northwestern, she received her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Columbia College Chicago. Melody grew up in Bolingbrook and loves going to live events, especially games and music concerts. She is always looking for new restaurants and family-friendly activities she can experience with her husband and children.

Maggie Hradecky

Maggie Hradecky joined the 23 WIFR team as News Director in September 2017. This is her second stint at the station. From March 1994 to November 1996, she served as assignment editor. She has been in the news business for more than 30 years, working at stations in Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as Champaign and Chicago, Illinois.


Elyssa Kaufman is a Digital News Producer at CBS 2 Chicago. She covers breaking news for the CBS 2 website and app while working closely with the morning show producers. Aside from writing the articles you see online, Elyssa handles the station’s social media sites. Her claim to fame is managing the CBS Chicago TikTok account. She feels lucky to grow the digital and social platforms with her team. Elyssa earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism with a minor in Urban Planning at the University of Illinois. As a student, she served as a Daily Illini staff writer and interned for both WGN and NBC Chicago in the digital departments.


Simon Kaufman is a producer for Scripps News. He works on Scripps News Live and Main & Wall, Simon previously helped launch The Why and Morning Rush. Along with show producing, he has led field production for a number of major stories and specials including the trial of Derek Chauvin, the Colorado Springs Club Q shooting and "Uvalde: One Year Later." Before joining Scripps News, he worked for the Big Ten Network and NBC Sports. Simon is a Colorado native who is based in Chicago.


Jaisol Martinez joined ABC 7, Chicago's number one news station, as morning news weekend meteorologist in January 2023. Martinez comes to ABC 7 from WHDH-TV in Boston, MA where she spent four years as the weekend evening meteorologist tracking everything from nor'easters, tornadoes, snowstorms, and heatwaves. In 2021, she received the Mozart Leader in Stem Award for "Outstanding Work in the STEM Field" and being a role model to children. Martinez began her career at WMDT-TV in Salisbury, MD forecasting weather events impacting the coastal areas of Delmarva. She also launched a successful Spanish weather platform for the station. Martinez was born and raised in El Paso, TX. The wide range of climates and severe weather in Texas sparked her fascination in meteorology from a very young age. She is a Texas A&M graduate and proud Aggie, receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology. When she isn't forecasting, she and her husband like to go on walks with their dog, a Lab/German Shepherd Mix named Travis. She also likes exploring new restaurants and is excited to try all the delicious food in the Chicago area.

ERIC Matsumoto

Producer, NBC's Chicago Fire - Although Eric Matsumoto grew up an aspiring filmmaker in Indianapolis, IN, he moved to California and attended UCLA as a physics and communications major. He never lost his passion for filmmaking and perused a career in the industry upon graduation. He got his foot in the door as a Studio Page for Paramount Pictures Studio in Hollywood, and quickly landed his first Production Assistant job for a show on the lot, Star Trek: Enterprise in 2004. Eric continued to work on various Network television shows, primarily as a Production Coordinator for both scripted and reality series, in Los Angeles and internationally, until moving to Chicago for NBC Universal’s Chicago Fire in 2012. During this show's successful run of 12 seasons and counting, he has been promoted to Producer and currently works in that capacity today.

Laura Neuzil

Laura Neuzil is the Managing Editor for 23 WIFR. Laura grew up in the Rockford region and is proud to be back at the station she grew up watching. This is Laura's second time at WIFR. She served as the station's social media coordinator from 2012-2017 and then returned in 2021 as assignment editor.


Keith Purvis is a multi-talented media professional with over 20 years of experience in film direction, production, and editing. He has a keen eye for storytelling and visual design, as well as a proven track record of creating and distributing engaging and impactful multimedia content across various platforms and channels. As the Director of Multimedia at University of Chicago, he oversees and manages the award-winning UChicago Creative team that produces high-quality videos and video content for the university's academic, research, and outreach initiatives. He also co-founded Turquoise Media Group, a social media content creation and strategy company that helps clients craft media campaigns that resonate with their target audiences.


Mark Rivera came back to work in his hometown when he joined the ABC 7 Eyewitness News team as weekend morning news anchor and reporter in December, 2017. Upon his arrival to the station, News Vice President Jennifer Graves described Mark as a "skilled anchor and a versatile reporter adept at covering everything from big breaking news stories, to politics and feature stories." Rivera grew up in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The first major live story Rivera covered for ABC 7 Eyewitness News was the funeral and procession of slain police commander, Paul Bauer in 2018. He anchored ABC 7's on-air coverage for more than three hours as Commander Bauer was honored by the city and its residents. Rivera comes to ABC 7 from WTSP-TV in Tampa, Florida, where he served as the station's weekend morning news anchor and political reporter. While on the anchor desk there, he provided six hours of compelling non-stop coverage of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in nearby Orlando. As the station's political reporter, he covered Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton campaign rallies, questioned Vice President Mike Pence about Russian influence and co-moderated a heated congressional debate. In addition to the political beat, Rivera has reported on a wide range of stories from the hurricanes that devastated Florida to a family whose son is a 5-organ transplant survivor. Prior to WTSP, Rivera worked at WAND-TV in Decatur, Illinois where he anchored a two-hour daily newscast, reported breaking news and wrote, edited and reported a weekly feature piece focused on the local community. While at WAND, Rivera won a regional Associated Press Award. Rivera is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. He, his wife Alissa, and their dog Xena live in the city. They enjoy running and exploring all of the diners, coffee shops, and taco spots Chicago has to offer.