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People

OUR TEAM

AbelCine’s leadership brings a wealth of expertise in production, post-production, engineering and business to the company.

Executives

Pete Abel President / CEO and Co-Founder

Pete AbelAs President, CEO and Co-Founder of AbelCine, Pete Abel has guided the company’s strategic and business development since AbelCine’s inception in 1989. He has brought the company from a small, family-run camera service operation to today’s multi-channel organization.

Pete also serves as the company’s Marketing Director and continues to work closely with all departments, nurturing key strategic relationships and identifying growth opportunities.
 
In 2013 Pete was named an associate member of the ASC, in recognition of AbelCine’s many contributions to the development and representation of significant motion picture technologies.

Pete has been in the film industry since 1979, when he worked as camera and optical technician.


Rich Abel Vice President / COO and Co-Founder

Rich Abel As Vice President, COO and Co-Founder, Rich Abel has been directing the company’s operations and guiding the development of AbelCine’s service, product development and research related departments since 1989. Rich is the driving force behind the company’s IT and systems strategies, facility development, inventory and fulfillment development, and administrative operations.

Rich also served as the company’s Rental Director until 2002 and the Service Manager until 2007, and continues to work closely with these management teams on development and growth.

Rich became an associate member of the ASC in 2013, in recognition of AbelCine’s many contributions to the development and representation of significant motion picture technologies.

Rich’s industry experience began on the bench, as a camera technician, in 1983.


Henry JiangChief Financial Officer

henry-jiangHenry Jiang, Chief Financial Officer, has over 15 years of experience in corporate accounting and finance management, and manages the financial strategies of the organization.

Prior to joining AbelCine in 2004, Henry gained a broad range of experience in the corporate finance field working for multi-national corporations, particularly in budgeting, asset management, internal auditing and financial reporting. He has a background in engineering and experience overseeing performance management teams and engineering projects.
 
Henry received his MBA in Finance and International Business Management from Stern School of Business, New York University. He is a Certified Public Accountant, registered in the State of New York.


Andy Shipsides Chief Technology Officer

andy-shipsides As Chief Technology Officer, Andy Shipsides guides AbelCine’s development in the areas of technology, technological innovation and digital communication platforms.

Andy also serves as Director of Education, overseeing the development of AbelCine’s Training Department, which he helped establish in 2011. He continues to teach specialized camera workshops.

Andy joined AbelCine in 2007 as a service tech. In 2009, he co-founded AbelCine’s blog, of which he is the lead technical editor. He also wrote a popular "Help Desk" column for HDVideoPro magazine from 2011–2015.

Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, Andy received his Bachelors of Science in Digital Arts & Sciences from the University of Florida and his MFA in Film & Television from the Savannah College of Art and Design.


 

Directors

Jonathan EpnerDirector of Market Development

jonathan-epnerAs Director of Market Development, Jonathan Epner develops business relationships with key clients and helps them take advantage of AbelCine’s integrated service offerings.

Prior to joining AbelCine in 2006 as Director of Production Sales, Jonathan served as Director of Operations for Mega Playground. Previously, he was the Director of Operations for New York Times Television and supported the production of over 250 hours of documentary television as their Production Manager.

Jonathan has worked on various other television projects including the Genesis series with Bill Moyers, Idols of the Game for Turner Original Productions, and Turning Point for ABC. Prior to starting in television, he served as the editor of Physicians’ GenRx, a comprehensive pharmaceutical reference book and database.

Jonathan attended The Johns Hopkins University and the State University of New York at Albany.


Joe FacchiniDirector of Product Strategies

joe-facchiniAs AbelCine’s Director of Product Strategies, Joe Facchini develops national sales and product strategies that are relevant to AbelCine’s expanding customer base.

Prior to joining AbelCine, Joe worked at Panasonic for over 25 years. Most recently, he served as their Vice President of Sales and Product Management for professional video products.

Joe is a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, the Society of Broadcast Engineers and the International Television Association.

Joe holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and worked as a Systems Engineer at Panasonic before moving into sales and marketing.


Jerrod Haarstad Director of Order Execution

jerrod-haarstad
As Director of Order Execution, Jerrod Haarstad oversees the efficiency of the sales process from the initial order through fulfillment.

Jerrod joined AbelCine in 2004 and held a number of sales positions before being named the Director of West Coast Sales in early 2012.

Prior to coming to work at AbelCine, Jerrod worked for a number of years in the entertainment industry as a producer and cinematographer.

Previously, Jerrod served in the US Air Force for four years. After leaving the Air Force, he attended Oregon State University where he concentrated in Computer Science and Communications. After college, Jerrod managed a small retail business and worked as a Budget Analyst for the County Government in Texas before relocating to Los Angeles.


Jesse RosenDirector of Technical Development

jesse-rosen
As Director of Technical Development, Jesse Rosen heads up AbelCine’s Engineering Department and in-house product development projects. He and his team are responsible for developing products and technologies that enable existing gear to work more effectively for our clients.

Jesse’s work at AbelCine combines his background in computer science with his love of filmmaking. Prior coming to work at AbelCine, Jesse was a client, purchasing the Aaton Super 16 camera.

On this camera, he then shot the acclaimed independent film Trans. The film was shown at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Reader’s Jury prize for best film.

Since then Jesse has worked on many film and television projects, including Martin Scorsese’s blues documentary, Lightning in a Bottle, as video engineer, and several documentary projects as cinematographer.


Dawn TerranovaDirector of East Coast Sales

dawn-terranovaAs Director of East Coast Sales, Dawn Terranova oversees the overall strategy and direction of AbelCine sales, as well as engaging with and supervising key sales accounts.

Before joining AbelCine, Dawn spent over 20 years at Sony Electronics, managing some of Sony’s top accounts and developing key initiatives for Sony’s overall channel sales strategy. Dawn is also a recipient of Sony’s highest honor, the Samurai Award, reserved for those who demonstrate exceptional leadership, inspire others, and show an ongoing commitment to positively influencing their surroundings.

Dawn attended the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, with a degree in Business/Marketing.


 

Managers

Brian ByrneWestern Regional Sales Manager / Burbank

brian-byrneAs Western Regional Sales Manager, Brian Byrne oversees strategic business development, contributing to AbelCine’s sales plan locally, as well as nationally. He also manages the operation of the sales team in Los Angeles.

Prior to AbelCine, Brian spent over four years at RED Digital Cinema – first as an Account Manager and then as the Service and Support Department lead. In this capacity, he focused on the planning and organization of RED’s repair, upgrade, and trade-in programs. He has also worked as a sales manager in the metals industry.

Brian majored in Communications at Saddleback and City College of San Francisco, where he also focused much of his time on photography and production.


Girvan Calder II Service Department Manager / Burbank

girvan
Girvan Calder has been a member of the AbelCine Service Department since 1996. He began as an Aaton camera electronics technician and was named the NY Service Manager in 2003.

Girvan was born and raised in New York and moved west in 2007 to head up the service department of the newly expanded AbelCine LA Office.

Girvan holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (1995) from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. He has served a technician and consultant on Scrubs, Sex in the City and NFL Films productions.


Megan Donnelly Training Manager / Chicago

megan-donnelly Megan Donnelly joined the AbelCine team in 2015 as the first Camera Technology Specialist based out of the company’s Chicago location. Prior to joining AbelCine, Megan was the Technical Manager at Fletcher Camera and Lenses / CineVerse in Chicago, where she provided technical and workflow support for multiple features and television series. She also developed the curriculum for the International Cinematographer’s Guild Digital Loader Workshops, which she taught nationwide.

Megan is an accomplished Director of Photography for commercials, music videos, and narratives. One of her television pilots was a finalist in the New York Television Festival in 2013, while another television pilot won the Chicago Television Pilot Competition in 2014. Most recently one of her commercials won a Midwest Emmy in 2014. View her work at www.megandonnelly.net.

Originally from Mesa, Arizona, Megan Donnelly graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Media Arts with a concentration in Cinematography.


Juan GomezProcurement Manager

juan-gomez As AbelCine’s Procurement Manager, Juan Gomez serves as the strategic lead in the company’s relationships with manufacturers and suppliers. He maintains appropriate sales inventory levels for AbelCine’s locations nationwide by monitoring sales forecasts, industry trends, and economic conditions in order to anticipate customer buying patterns. Juan also negotiates the contracts for distributors and resellers of AbelCine’s exclusive products.

Before joining AbelCine in 2014, Juan worked at Band Pro Film & Digital for seven years, serving as their purchasing and warehouse manager. Prior to that he was in the aerospace industry as material pricing coordinator, handling U.S Government contracts for the Army and Navy.

Juan is a film fan, especially historical documentaries. He enjoys spending time outdoors, playing baseball and riding ATV’s. He was born in Teocaltiche, Jalisco, Mexico and grew up in California’s San Fernando Valley.


Kari HessHead of Production Sales / Chicago

kari-hess Kari Hess heads up AbelCine’s Midwestern Production Sales from their regional location in Chicago. She is a former news photographer turned sales associate with 20 years of experience in the acquisition side of our industry.

Approaching her job from a solid base of practical experience, Kari has taught industry seminars and private classes on subjects ranging from “ENG Field Lighting” to “Choosing The Proper HD Camera Package” to groups small and large.

Kari is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s Communication, Broadcasting and Film program.


Alex Kurze General Manager – Rental / New York

alex-kurze As General Manager, Alex Kurze oversees the day-to-day activity of the New York rental department in order to offer the best customer experience possible.

Prior to joining the AbelCine rental team in 2011, Alex worked as a freelance producer. He continues to freelance as a creative and production consultant. His work has screened successfully at high profile festivals such as Cannes and Tribeca. Most notably, one project was qualified, yet not nominated, for an Academy Award in the Live Action Short Film category for 2014.

Alex holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Video from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Although born and raised in Germany, Alex considers himself a true New Yorker at heart.


Jeff Lee National Training Manager / New York

jeff-lee
Jeff Lee joined the AbelCine team in 2009 as a Camera Technology Specialist and Trainer. He was most recently promoted to his current role as National Training Manager where he leads specialized classes and workshops in AbelCine’s NY training center. He also serves as a Technical Editor on AbelCine’s blog.

Additionally, Jeff is an accomplished still photographer who has traveled extensively working on documentary projects. His work has appeared in publications such as Shutterbug and he has been a featured Gawker Artist. His photo blog can be found here.

Born and raised in NYC, Jeff Lee attended Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of Arts where he concentrated in both photography and filmmaking.


Gabriel Mays – Rental Department Manager / Burbank

Gabriel MaysAs Rental Manager, Gabriel Mays works with producers, cinematographers, and assistant camera operators to provide the highest level of customer service. He ensures that all their equipment needs are met on budget.

Before coming to AbelCine in 2015, Gabriel previously worked as a Communications Instructor and Electronic Media Engineer at a private university. He taught various courses in electronic media, including film, broadcasting, and digital arts.

Gabriel is an award-winning cinematographer, director, producer, and editor known for his innovative research and implementation of new film techniques. He was also one of the first to implement HDSLR cameras into filmmaking. He has been the cinematographer on dozens of independent films, documentaries, and music videos.


Gala Napakh Human Resources Manager

gala-napakh Gala Napakh joined AbelCine as the Human Resources Manager in June of 2007. Gala comes from a diverse professional background that includes finance and music management.

With over a decade of experience in the HR field, Gala previously held HR positions at Vibe Magazine, Spin Magazine and Register.com.

Gala attended CUNY Baruch, majoring in Finance, and is a member of SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management).

 


Mike Nichols Business Development Manager

mike-nichols As Business Development Manager, Mike Nichols oversees new and existing rental business in New York and Los Angeles, as well as identifying opportunities for all departments.

Before joining AbelCine’s rental department in June of 2008, Mike was the head of production for a NY-based commercial production company, Zooma Zooma, whose clients included Nike, McDonald’s, Sony and Kodak.

In 2000, he was invited to the Cannes Film Festival as part of Kodak’s Emerging Filmmakers Program. In 2011, Mike’s first feature film, BreadCrumbs was released worldwide. Recent co-producing credits include A Woman, A Part and 11:55 Holyoke, which was Executive Produced by John Leguizamo.

Mike earned his B.A. in Film Production at Brooklyn College, where he was the president of the Film Society. His first professional job was as a production assistant on the Robert De Niro film, A Bronx Tale.


Toni RiosPartner – AbelCine Finance Services

toni-rios
Toni Rios has been providing financing to AbelCine clients for 15 years, initially through Prolease, a company she founded in 1987 that served all levels of a national clientele.

In 2006 she left Prolease, to join AbelCine and help launch AbelCine Finance Services. Toni’s role at AbelCine expanded in 2009 to include business development. In this capacity, she nurtures strategic relationships with clients and vendors nationwide.

Toni attended San Francisco State University, where she studied Music and Linguistics. She then opened Rios Fine Art, which published prints and represented artists across the country.


David Robin Educational Business Development Manager / Burbank

david-robin As Educational Business Development Manager, David Robin serves as the main liaison with institutional customers, with a focus on educational partnerships. He also helps drive business development strategies and identify new opportunities in the areas of training, consultation, education, and educational marketing.

Before joining AbelCine in 2016, David worked as an adjunct professor at the Art Center College of Design, the School of Visual Arts, and the Academy of Art University. He is also a commercial photographer and has been on the Board of Directors of the American Photographic Artists (APA) since 2014. He has won several awards for photography, including the AP28 award, the Communication Arts Magazine Award of Excellence, the Western Art Directors Club Award, the Art Direction Magazine Award, and the New York Art Directors Club Award.

David earned his BA in Photography from the Brooks Institute, along with an AA from the College of San Mateo in Graphic Design and Marketing.


James Van AllenCustomer Service Manager

james-van-allen
As Customer Service Manager, James Van Allen helps provide the best possible experience for AbelCine’s customers nationwide, and facilitates the most efficient solutions.

Prior to joining AbelCine in 2016, James interned at the District Attorney’s office in Cortland, New York. He also worked as a technician at Apple, providing technical support and repair for all Apple hardware and software, and facilitating workshops and training for customers and employees alike.

James has a B.A. in Political Science and is an Apple Certified Mac Technician (ACMT), as well as being Apple Small Device Certified (ASDC).


Jason ZapataService Department Manager / New York

jason-zapataBefore joining the AbelCine team, Jason Zapata was the Media Arts Equipment Cage Manager at the Art Institute of Philadelphia for six years. During his time there, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Filmmaking and Video Production.

Jason has worked on various film and television crews, including the documentary feature film The Anderson Monarchs about the first all-black girls’ competitive soccer team in the USA. This piece won the 2010 Sundance Institute Documentary Fund grant.

Jason was also a videographer and editor for Personify Productions, and freelanced as a Master Control Operator for both WWSI Telemundo and The Comcast Network.