BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Shirley Maxwell did not follow the usual and customary path in the entertainment community. She graduated from Jane Addams College of Social Work/University of Illinois Circle Campus with a Master’s Degree in Social Welfare. She acquired a Bachelor of Sociology from the University of Arkansas, a Grant Writing Certificate from the University of Michigan’s Continuing Education Department, and a Management Certificate from the Human Service Institute in Chicago, Illinois. In further preparation for her business ventures, she successfully completed entrepreneurial training through CHARO, a small business development center in East Los Angeles California and the Vermont Slauson Economic Development Center.
Her diverse education, Social Work employment, and entertainment experience in: Casting, Artist Development, Film Financing, Film Packaging, Distribution, and Marketing and Sales have proven to be a great asset when working with the personality complexities she encounters. She particularly enjoyed working with the successful movie Producer/Director Michael Mann and the late Jimmy Sphinx (also a film Producer). Her first assisted casting project was “The Color Money” starring Tom Cruise and the late Paul Newman, filmed by the phenomenal Martin Scorsese (Film Director, Producer, Writer, Actor and Film Historian). Shirley expanded to Film Financing for independent producers and later to Film Packaging and Distribution. Shirley collaborated with screenwriter Yougnesse Williams to co-write her screenplay “Step or Play”. She also worked as a consultant with Nandar Studios as the Vice President of Marketing and Sales.
Shirley later formed Concerts For Humanity Inc. an IRS approved 501 (C) (3) entertainment based social service driven non-profit organization/charity. Concerts For Humanity primarily utilizes the combined power of music/concert events, as well as the celebrity and talents of award winning recording artists and others to garner financial support for selected charities which address adversities such as, but not limited to: clean water, homelessness, hunger, military families and veterans, natural disaster driven problems, heart, cancer, and health issues.
Marusya McGinnes is an Executive Assistant to the CEO of Macfarlane Group. As a lead administrative professional Marusya provides also assistance to all C-level executives. Her position with the company requires from her to play multiple roles, serve as liaison between departments and coordinator between all office locations. Some of her responsibilities are calendar maintenance, preparation of correspondence and technical presentations, coordination of travel arrangements, charity events, private parties, company Her skills in researching and negotiating helped her save MacFarlane Group $100,000 during 2014. She has over 5 years of office management experience and over 6 years as an executive assistant.
Marusya graduated from the Technical University of Sofia in Bulgaria with a bachelor degree in Management in 2004. She has earned multiple professional certificates, and currently is enrolled in Accounting, Project Management and Administration Database courses. Marusya also studies Theology. During her college years Marusya enrolled in a student exchange program, thus giving her the opportunity to travel and explore new territories, countries and people. Marusya gained the unique experience to work and communicate with people from all cultural and national backgrounds.
Marusya is highly competent, motivated and enthusiastic. Very well organized, proactive and efficient. She is a person with big hopes and visions. Her biggest dream is to be able to help others, to give hope, spread love and peace and show the suffering generations that there are people who care and who will do as promised. She has a true passion to make a difference in today’s World and believes that there is enough strength within us to make it.
Lauren Cantrelle originally started her career in Fashion working at the historic and prestigious Bullocks Wilshire. She also attended The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) where she majored in Fashion Design. A few years later, she moved up within the company as Assistant Manager at sister store Bullocks Woman. In the ’90s and beyond, Lauren became a Freelance Designer in the Entertainment industry working with celebrities such as legendary actress/singer Della Reese (Touched By An Angel), Kim Wayans (InLiving Color) and Lisa Raye (All Of Us).
She has also worked on the sets of music video for Chicago-based rapper Ms. Toi. In between Fashion gigs, Lauren worked for these corporations to enhance her business and marketing skills: Dysonna Hair Salon, IATSE Local 33, Nordstrom, St. Regis Hotel, and NBC Universal.
Cassius Vernon Weathersby’s career in Motion Pictures, Television and Music Video production spans more than five decades with over 80 feature motion pictures, 18 television productions and producer of 69 music video projects. Hard work, tenacity and attention to detail have been his formula for success. In addition to his expertise as Casting Director, Location Manager, Assistant Director, Editor, Production Manager, Post-Production Supervisor, Line Producer for a number of box-office hits including “Uptight”, “Tic…Tic… Tic…” “The Great White Hope”, “Cleopatra Jones”, “The Spook Who Sat by the “Wattstax”, “Watermelon Man”, “The Photographer”, “Perfume”, “Disco 9000”, “Pacific Inferno”, “Getting Over”, “Penitentiary II & III”, and TV programs such as the Emmy nominated “Bitter Harvest”, “The Dating Game,” “The Newlywed Game”, “CampRunamuck” and TV pilot of “What’s Happening”, derived from “Cooley High”. Cassius is Producer of numerous feature films, including such films as “You Got Served”, “D.C. Cab”, “House Party 4”, and “Pacific Inferno” to name a few. Cassius just completed Executive Producing two Indie feature films for Lionsgate: “Battle” aka “Step Off” & “House Arrest,” with Stacey Dash and The Game. He is familiar with all aspects of theatrical film, TV and Music Video production and is well capable of taking full charge of a typical low, medium or high budget project. Cassius has had feature film development deals with four major studios and has excellent contacts with independent producers and crew personnel. Cassius Vernon Weathersby is well known throughout the entertainment community. Mr. Weathersby is still working and going strong doing everything from feature films to TV Sitcoms and even popular Music Videos. His passion, ambition and drive makes him one of the busiest Production guys in Hollywood. Cassius Vernon Weathersby and Marvin Williams are currently in development of numerous Feature Film and TV projects.
James M. Harden, Jr. is a goal-driven and dedicated professional with extensive experience in fundraising and grant writing. His exceptional organizational skills are coupled with a strong competence in developing, designing,and impl