Katie Elmore Mota
Katie Elmore Mota is an Emmy-nominated showrunner, producer, and director who was recently named one of the National Diversity Council’s Top 50 Women in Entertainment. She served as executive producer, co-showrunner and director of East Los High, nominated for 6 Emmy awards including one for directing the finale event. The series ran for five seasons and comprised more than 60 episodes, making it Hulu's longest-running original.
She currently serves as executive producer on Shine On With Reese (Witherspoon), a hit docuseries featuring the stories of trailblazing women now airing on DirecTV and DirecTV Now. She also has TV shows in development with Super Deluxe and Lionsgate and has been commissioned to adapt two very successful YA novels for the television market. Katie serves on the advisory board of Hollywood Health and Society through the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center. Katie recently penned a piece for Time Magazine’s Motto called ‘Diversity is About More Than Checking Boxes.’
Prior to Wise Entertainment, Katie produced the 70-episode telenovela Último Año with MTV Latin America. After working for seven years as a producer on global and domestic productions for countries such as Egypt, Papa New Guinea, Jamaica, Mexico, Turkey and Ethiopia, Katie naturally transitioned into writing and directing. She has a Master in Media Studies from The New School and a BA in History and Sociology from the University of Vermont.
Co-President and Executive Producer
Recently awarded with an Innovation and Inclusion Award by the Digital Diversity Network, Maurício serves as executive producer of East Los High, an award-winning drama series that has earned six Emmy nominations since its debut on Hulu in 2013 for its realistic portrayal of Latino high school students.The series ran for five seasons and comprised more than 60 episodes, making it Hulu's longest-running original.
Mota began his career as an entrepreneur at the age of 15 when he developed a storytelling board game with writer Sonia Rodrigues, which he sold door-to-door all over Brazil and where it is now present in over 5,000 schools. It later became a YA book collection and has been used by many Forbes 500 companies and the United Nations to foster creativity and innovation among their leaders. The patent of the game was used as the foundation for a literacy social network employed by 700,000 kids in public schools in Rio.
Later, Mota became a serial entrepreneur pioneering in mult-iplatform content by designing and creating products and IPs for TV channels, movie studios and advertisers globally.
Mauricio was the first Latin American to speak at the Futures of Entertainment conference at MIT. He has been a judge on many international juries, such as Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Festival of Media, The Emmys and the One Show.
Mota represents the 4th generation of one of the most important Latin American storytelling legacies, and has helped his mother re-shape the estate created by his grandfather, Nelson Rodrigues, who is considered the Brazilian Shakespeare. Most recently, he designed the School of Series, a TV series/IP development Incubator that will shape the next generation of showrunners and content creators in Brazil , and trains 800 writers and producers a year.
He sits on the boards of Scriptd (an online marketplace for screenwriters), Young Storytellers (a non-profit focused on mentoring low-income students through storytelling), A Call To Men (non-profit focused on reshaping manhood in society), the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and the Center for Third Space at the Annenberg School (an Institute focused on shaping the next generation of business leaders). Mauricio also has spoken for national and international audiences including the World Bank, The White House Fellowship and the State Department.
Executive Producer, Programming & New Media
Kathleen is a writer, television producer and programming executive with a pioneering career in the Latino entertainment market. She has worked at television networks such as HBO, FOX, Telemundo and MTV Tr3s. Bedoya was a founding member of Galan Entertainment, a leading Latino production company, where she developed TV and film properties and oversaw marketing and on-air branding for cable networks in the U.S. and Latin America. While at Telemundo, she served as Vice President of Alternative Programming and was Co-Executive Producer of the network's landmark original sitcom, Los Beltrán. At MTV Tr3s, Bedoya served as Executive in Charge of Production, overseeing original programming for the Latino network when it was newly launched.
At Wise Entertainment, Bedoya is Co-Creator, Co-Executive Producer, and Transmedia Producer on East Los High, an original and critically acclaimed hit drama series about Latino teens living in East LA, which is entering its third season on Hulu. She served as Story Producer on MTV Latin America's original telenovela, Último Año, where she also supervised the development and maintenance of Sexysex, an innovative educational website for the show.
A graduate of Vassar College, Bedoya is Colombian-American and resides in the New York tri-state area.
Kathy Le Backes
VICE PRESIDENT, reSEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Kathy has been working with TV and film writers on social issues since 2006 and has worked closely with writers and producers from shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Breaking Bad, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Desperate Housewives, CSI, and ER that span all broadcast and cable networks including HBO, AMC, Disney, Showtime and A&E. She is passionate about promoting social change through entertainment and new media.
Prior to joining Wise Entertainment, Kathy served as the Digital Campaign Manager for the Entertainment Industry Foundation's Stand Up To Cancer program. In that role, she oversaw, produced and executed multi-platform digital and social media campaigns to help raise cancer awareness and to help raise millions of dollars for collaborative cancer research. In addition to producing campaigns and behind-the-scenes videos for the 2012 Stand Up To Cancer national telecast, she also ran digital philanthropy campaigns for brands such as Lucasfilm, Major League Baseball, Safeway and MasterCard.
Before her role at the Entertainment Industry Foundation, Kathy served as a Program Manager at the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center's Hollywood, Health & Society program, where she bridged partnerships between the entertainment industry and non-profit organizations, foundations and federal health agencies to facilitate TV storylines that educate viewers on social issues and encourage them to make positive behavioral change. At the Norman Lear Center, she also produced events at the Writers Guild of America, West, spearheaded a workshop on storytelling for the CDC, and participated in numerous evaluations measuring the impact of television storylines.
Kathy has also published articles in peer-reviewed journals, presented at national conferences and is a frequent guest lecturer at USC and UCLA on entertainment education and health communications. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Prior to obtaining her master's degree, Kathy conducted infectious disease and cancer research at Novartis, Inc. (formerly Chiron Corporation). Kathy also holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Davis.
Manager of RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Born in California and raised in Atlanta, Sonja has always been drawn to all forms of entertainment. She graduated with honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in drama, and went on to perform in numerous critically acclaimed theater productions throughout New York City. After working as an actress, teaching artist, and workshop facilitator for almost ten years, Sonja felt a call to do more to improve the health and well being of families in her community. She began working as a bilingual youth and family health educator in South Los Angeles, where she used the power of storytelling to engage community members in health education programming.
Sonja received a Masters in Public Health in Community Health Sciences from UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health in 2015, and recently worked with the Fielding School’s Diversity Committee, where she conducted research and helped plan numerous school-wide diversity initiatives. She now works in development and research for Wise Entertainment, where she is thrilled to combine what she loves most: storytelling and research. She continues to work as a workshop facilitator, and is currently collaborating on a multi-city project that will creatively engage diverse communities disproportionality affected by gentrification.