Cynthia López, Chief Executive Officer

Cynthia López is an award-winning media strategist, and former Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, where she implemented strategies to support film and TV production throughout the five boroughs. López is the recipient of many coveted industry awards including: 11 News and Documentary Emmy Awards, a Special Emmy Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking, three Peabody Awards, and two duPont-Columbia Awards. In addition, she received the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Award for Commitment to Corporate Diversity. Prior to working as Commissioner, López was Executive Vice President and co-Executive Producer of the award-winning PBS documentary series American Documentary | POV, and was involved in the organization’s strategic growth and creative development for 14 years. Her ability to forge strategic partnerships among corporate and public interest media has been a signature of her work. Notable partnerships include: New York Times, Reuters, Al-Jazeera Network, Discovery Communications, The Moth, Story Corps, Harpo Studios and ABC News, NIGHTLINE with Ted Koppel. López is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), and is proud to have spent her career collaborating with independent filmmakers across all portions of the film and television industry. She served on the Board of Trustees for the Paley Center, NYC & Company, Museum of the Moving Image and the Tribeca Film Institute Latin America Fund Advisory Board. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Latino Public Broadcasting, Manhattan Neighborhood Network and Hunter College IMA Program.

Browse the archive of Cynthia’s Letters from the CEO.



Katie Chambers, Senior Director, Community & Public Relations

Katie Chambers is a communications executive and event producer with a lifelong commitment to supporting artists and advocating for inclusion. She is currently the Senior Director of Community & Public Relations at NYWIFT, where she drives Communications and Membership strategy and co-produces Special Events including the Muse Awards for Women of Vision & Achievement. She received national recognition for her work at NYWIFT as one of Association Trends’ top “Young and Aspiring Executives” in 2021, and was recognized by New York Society of Association Executives with their “Rising Star” award in 2020. She is also currently the Communications Chair of one of New Jersey’s leading volunteer organizations, the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs, and a regular contributing writer for From Day One, a media outlet focused on innovations in corporate HR. Katie was previously a talent agent in the Youth & Young Adult Theatrical division at Abrams Artists Agency, and has worked for leading entertainment companies including Buchwald, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Scott Rudin Productions. She has served on the Next Generation Committee of the NY Television Festival, produced a critically acclaimed play at the NY Fringe Festival, and her writing has appeared in Huff Post, Honeysuckle Magazine, and several printed essay collections. Katie graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from Drew University with a double major in English and Theatre Arts.

Contact her at kchambers @

Easmanie Michel, Director, Artists Programs and Finance

Easmanie Michel manages NYWIFT’s fiscal sponsorship program; works closely with NYWIFT’s CEO and treasurer on the monthly profit and loss statement and annual budget; handles the day-to-day tasks of recording financial transactions; works with the Finance Controller on reconciliations and the yearly audit; co-produces the Muse Awards and Designing Women; coordinates the Animation Series; and curates the Immigrant Screening Series. Easmanie has worked continuously in the film and television industry since 2004. She worked in the production office for the feature films Transporter and Miami Vice. She worked as the location assistant on the film Hoot. She worked as the assistant production coordinator on TV Series Miami Ink. She also worked on TV show Burn Notice and CSI: Miami. Easmanie is currently producing the feature Caroline’s Wedding, which she co-wrote. The script was a finalist for the New York University Fusion Film Festival and it was also one of the scripts selected to participate in the Women at Sundance Financing and Strategy Intensive in 2016. In February of 2018 the script was the Grand Prize Winner of the American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest. The script was also a finalist for the New Renaissance London Film Festival in 2021. Easmanie also received the New York Council on the Arts Individual Artist grant for Caroline’s Wedding. She has MA in Cinema Studies from New York University and and she is currently completing a Certificate in Financial Accounting at NYU. A list of Easmanie’s production credits can be found at

Contact her at emichel @


Rashiek Smart, Manager of Operations and Special Projects

Rashiek Smart works closely with NYWIFT’s CEO and the Board of Directors to provide administrative and IT support. She serves as the primary contact managing board meetings and elections; serves as office manager coordinating closely with communications and programming groups; recruits, trains, and supervises interns and work-study students; coordinates NYWIFT’s grants and scholarship programs; and provides logistical support for special events and projects. Prior to NYWIFT, Rashiek worked in production for the Emmy nominated show Here & Now hosted by Eyewitness News Anchor, Sandra Bookman. She also was an award-winning video journalist for the Verizon Fios 1 show, My Long Island TV, covering news worthy stories all across Long Island. Rashiek graduated from SUNY College at Old Westbury with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications in Mass Media.

Contact her at rsmart @



Sara Tandoi, Membership Coordinator

Sara Tandoi currently serves as the Membership Coordinator at NYWIFT. She handles day-to-day membership duties, such as processing and reviewing membership applications, membership renewals and event registration, and providing admin support to the Senior Director, Community & Public Relations. She assists members with questions and concerns regarding their membership benefits, events, and resources. Outside of NYWIFT Sara is a filmmaker, writer, and production staff. Prior to joining NYWIFT she interned for The Chris Gethard Show, The Onion, and Nine Stories Productions. She has an extensive background in production, having worked on many studio and indie projects, including Manifest (NBC), Gotham (Fox), and Dietland (AMC). Sara graduated from Brooklyn College with a B.A. in Film Production. 

Questions about membership or looking to renew? Email


Maud Kersnowski-Sachs, Senior Content & Development Consultant

Maud Kersnowski-Sachs leads fundraising efforts and strategies for NYWIFT. Working closely with the Development Committee and the CEO, she directs corporate, philanthropic, and government partnerships. Maud also manages publications projects for the organization. Maud has led publications for the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and the Association on Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) and the editor-in-chief of The Independent Film & Video Monthly. She has covered arts, entertainment, and media for publications from Metropolis Magazine to IndieWIRE, where she also held the post of West Coast Editor. She consults on editorial and development projects for a variety of arts and culture organizations. Maud founded and manages a scholarship and engagement program at Bard College’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and is a member of the Bard College Board of Governors.  She holds a BA in Women’s Studies from Bard College and an MA in Cultural Reporting and Criticism from the NYU School of Journalism.

Contact maud @ 


Catherine Woo, Programming and Development Coordinator

Catherine Woo is a screenwriter, producer, and creative coordinator with an eye for detail and a heart for stories. She brings her organization and creative skills to NYWIFT as the Development and Programming Coordinator, providing support with corporate partnerships and special event development, including the Muse Awards, the FinanceHER Institute, and the STEM Summit. She holds a BFA in TV Writing with a minor in Art History from NYU Tisch. Her intern roster at Rattlestick Theater, Protozoa Pictures, Shortlist Agency, We Go High Productions and New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) has afforded her great hands-on experience that she brings to her projects and worlds of film, theater, photography, podcasts, and event planning. 

Contact development @



Contact NYWIFT