Alphy, a tech startup bringing AI communication tools and original learning to companies, welcomes Cathy Schulman and Christopher Smith to its advisory board.
Alphy, a dynamic new AI-based communication company and talent management solution, announced that Oscar-winning producer Cathy Schulman and esteemed USC communications professor Christopher H. Smith will be joining the company’s advisory board.
I believe Alphy will provide a much needed avenue for strengthening the potential of enterprising and diverse individuals worldwide.”— Cathy Schulman
“These are two of the brightest minds anywhere in using storytelling as activism,” said Alphy CEO and Founder Julian Guthrie. “Chris and Cathy both understand the power of our words in shaping our lives, changing culture, launching companies, and even finding that competitive advantage.”
The two industry leaders, who have a long history of making the playing field more equitable for everyone, will bring decades of leadership and storytelling experience to Alphy, whose core mission is to improve economic and career opportunities for women by advancing corporate inclusion.
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Schulman is the president and CEO of Welle Entertainment, and she is a producer of the current female-facing action epic “The Woman King,” and the executive producer and showrunner of Showtime’s “The First Lady.” She earned the Best Picture Oscar as producer of “Crash.” A longtime proponent of independent film and TV projects as well as content by and for diverse audiences, women and girls, she has an eye on worldwide social causes.
As a leader on gender equality in the film industry, Schulman served as president of the nonprofit Women in Film for over a decade. During that time, she launched ReFrame, a systemic change coalition focused on increasing the number of women working at all levels in the screen industries. She also brought Unconscious Bias Training to Hollywood, helped develop the USC Annenberg School gender data project, and created a Women in Film hotline for victims of sexual harassment and abuse.
Schulman said, “I’m thrilled to support Julian’s effort to connect emerging and professional women across multiple disciplines, and I believe Alphy will provide a much needed avenue for strengthening the potential of enterprising and diverse individuals worldwide.”
Christopher Smith, a professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, is founder of the school’s Media Economics and Entrepreneurship program. He also founded the school’s first Women’s Leadership Society, a university-wide community dedicated to accelerating female advancement and entrepreneurship.
At Annenberg, Smith has been a leader in the school’s efforts to design innovative EdTech platforms, and he brings real-world experience to his academic focus, studying the relationship between economic forces and social formations. He has also served as an advisor for a range of seed stage ventures and multinational entertainment groups, from the National Football League to NBC Entertainment.
He is a sought-after commentator, appearing on NBC Nightly News, NPR, the BBC, CBC-Radio Canada and TV4 Sweden, among others. His stories on the entertainment business have appeared in BlackEnterprise.com, Interview and The Washington Post.
“I am very pleased to join Alphy’s Board of Advisors,” Smith said. “I share the company’s deep commitment to closing the gaps of opportunity and participation in the 21st Century economy for women and historically disadvantaged groups. Alphy is rapidly assembling the elements necessary to make a real difference in the world, and I am thrilled to join Julian and her accomplished leadership team.”
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