Michael Winship: President
Michael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO, is the Emmy Award-winning senior writer of the public television series Moyers & Company and its website, BillMoyers.com. A senior writing fellow at the public policy and advocacy group Demos, he is a veteran public television writer and producer whose other credits include Bill Moyers Journal, NOVA, American Experience, Nature, Smithsonian World and Television, as well as many arts, documentary and public affairs specials. In addition to public television, Winship has worked for CBS, the Discovery and Learning Channels, A&E, Lifetime, Turner Broadcasting, the Disney Channel, the History Channel and National Geographic TV, and written for many national publications and websites, including The New York Times, Salon, Truthout, Alternet and Common Dreams. He is author of the book Television, published by Random House, and co-editor of the book Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues, published by The New Press. He has been nominated ten times for the Writers Guild Award for outstanding achievement in writing and received it three times. For his work as one of the leaders of the 100-day Writers Guild strike against the studios and networks in 2007–08, he received the Sidney Hillman Foundation Officers Award. Winship also has co-produced two plays in Los Angeles: The Arab-Israel Cookbook, by Robin Soans, and Charlotte: Life? Or Theatre? by Elise Thoron.
Jeremy Pikser: Vice President
Jeremy Pikser is the co-writer of the film Bulworth, for which he won the L.A. Critics Award, as well as Oscar, Golden Globe and Writers Guild nominations for best screenplay. His other credits include War, Inc. and The Lemon Sisters. He has recently completed script for WombMates, a feature comedy with co-writer Mark Leyner, and he is currently writing the web series Farmed And Dangerous. He began his work in film on Reds.
He has taught a graduate screenwriting workshop at NYU since 1999, and has been an advisor at the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab since 2005 and at the Laboratorio de Guionistas in Mexico since 2008. He has also advised at screenwriting labs in the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Jordan and Turkey.
A graduate of Oberlin College with an M.A. in History from Rutgers, he lives in Manhattan with his wife, psychotherapist Luise Eichenbaum. His daughter Gina is a nurse midwife, and his son Jake is doing graduate work in geophysics at Columbia University.
Bob Schneider: Secretary–Treasurer
John Auerbach is a lifetime member of the WGAE. He has written feature films for Columbia Pictures, Sony, TriStar, and Warners among other studios, and TV movies for HBO, Showtime and CBS. He is a recipient of the Richard B. Jablow Award for Devoted Service to the Guild and a trustee on the Writers Guild - Industry Health Fund and the Producers - Writers Guild of America Pension Plan.
Sue Brown McCann
Sue Brown McCann is proud to be serving her second term as a Council Member. She has worked as a Writer/Producer at WBBM-TV in Chicago for 13 years. Sue lives in Plainfield, IL, a suburb of Chicago, with her husband and son.
Gina Gionfriddo has written for the television dramas Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Cold Case, and The Borgias (forthcoming). She is also a playwright and a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her play, Becky Shaw, which had its Off Broadway premiere at Second Stage in 2009. The show will open in London in 2011. Her other plays include After Ashley (Off Broadway at The Vineyard) and U.S. Drag (Off-Broadway by the stageFARM). Gina has received an Obie Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, an Outer Critics Circle Award, The Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, and an American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg citation. She has contributed essays on rock music to the literary journal, The Believer, and short fiction to Canteen. Gina attended the MFA Playwriting Program at Brown University. She has taught writing at Brown, Providence College, and Rhode Island College. Currently she is working on new play commissions from Playwrights Horizons and Center Theatre Group.
Susan Kim has written for more than three dozen children’s TV series, including Wonder Pets!, Arthur, Martha Speaks!, Dragon Tales, PB&J Otter, Ni-Hao Kai-Lan, Handy Manny, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Speed Racer, Reading Rainbow, and Stanley; she has been nominated for an Emmy and Writers Guild Awards four times. She won a Writers Guild Award for the documentary Paving the Way, which aired on PBS. Her stage plays have been produced in LA and NYC and are published by Dramatists Play Service and Smith & Krauss. During the strike, she co-wrote the nonfiction book, Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation (St. Martin’s Griffin), which is currently on sale. With novelist and playwright Laurence Klavan, she wrote two graphic novels that are coming out this year from First Second Books: City of Spies and Brain Camp. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America, East, ASCAP, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Local 2322.
Writer and director Lara Shapiro recently won a Sloan Foundation Award for her screenplay Talking Book. She has directed and co-written the feature film Labor Pains, starring Lindsay Lohan, Cheryl Hines, Chris Parnell and Janeane Garofalo.
Lara is also an established commercial director. Credits include: one.org; The Global Fund, with Bono; NFL, with Don Cheadle; Independent Film Channel, with Matt Damon, Liev Schreiber and Edward Norton; I Love NY, with Marc Anthony; Disney, with James Earl Jones; and Stand Up to Cancer, with Marg Helgenberger.
Short narrative films and documentaries written and directed by Shapiro, including Crawl, Tripped, and Foreign Correspondent, have been shown at the Sundance and New York Film Festivals, among others.
Lara was a fellow at the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab, and she attended the MacDowell Colony. Lara has an M.F.A. in Filmmaking from Columbia University and a B.A. in English from Cornell University. Website: larashapiro.com.
In her 30 years as a professional writer, Courtney Simon has served on the writing teams of 11 soap operas. She has received seven Daytime Emmy awards and three Writers Guild awards for her work. First elected to the WGAE Council in 2007, she is chair of the Daytime Committee.
Duane Tollison has been a network newswriter for more than a decade. He is a proud member of CBS Radio News where he and his distinguished colleagues have been honored with broadcasting's most prestigious awards. Duane was recently recognized for his work, receiving his first Writers Guild Award nomination. Duane is also immensely grateful to be serving on the WGAE Council, fighting to protect writers and preserve the industry.
Richard Vetere is a Current and Lifetime Member of the Writers Guild of America, East. He wrote the novel The Third Miracle (Simon & Schuster), and he also co-wrote the screenplay adaptation that was produced by Francis Ford Coppola. The film, released by Sony Pictures Classics, starred Ed Harris and was directed by Agnieszka Holland. Richard’s other feature films are How to Go Out On a Date in Queens, the cult-classic Vigilante and the CBS TV movie The Marriage Fool, which starred Walter Matthau and Carol Burnett.
He is a member of Poets & Writers, NY Playwrights Lab, Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild. In 2005, the Frank Melville Library created the Richard Vetere Collection at Stony Brook University; and in 2006, he was a guest of the Chicago Humanities Festival.
He holds a master’s degree in comparative English Literature from Columbia University, and he has taught playwriting in the master’s class at NYU. He also teaches film writing at Queens College.
Richard was born and raised in NYC.