To any small business owner interested in doing business in Georgia’s growing entertainment industry, listen in! Learn all you need to know about how to get involved and thrive in the “Hollywood of the South” from special guests Lee Thomas, deputy commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office and LaRonda Sutton, director of City of Atlanta – Office of Entertainment. This is the first installment of a 3-part interview series that you don’t want to miss!
Lee Thomas serves as Deputy Commissioner, Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment, Georgia Department of Economic Development.
A native Atlantan, Lee graduated from Marist School and then went into the Radio -TV -Film program at the University of Georgia. She returned to Atlanta to earn Master’s Degree in Film Studies from Georgia State University. In 1992, she entered the Tisch School of the Arts Doctoral Program in Cinema Studies at New York University, then began a job at the Brooklyn Arts Council. She returned to Atlanta in 1996 to work for the Georgia Film and Videotape Office as a project manager, and then became a location specialist for the office in 1998. After finding locations for film and television projects for 12 years, Lee became Director of Film, Music & Digital Entertainment in 2010, and Deputy Commissioner in 2014.
LaRonda Sutton currently serves as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Entertainment for the City of Atlanta, opened in July 2013. Her duties include streamlining the film permitting process, liaising between neighborhoods and production companies, safeguarding the interests of residents and businesses from the impact of filming, and promoting Atlanta as a national and international entertainment capital. Prior to heading the office, Sutton was Vice President, Music Development and Production for Foxx/King Entertainment, as well as Senior Vice President, Urban Creative, for Universal Music Publishing and General Manager of Atlanta-based Hitco Music Publishing. She established Hitco with LA Reid, paving the way for Atlanta’s flourishing music community.