It’s that time of year again. For the third year in a row, HelloBeautiful presents our annual “25 Women To Know” list. This year we are highlighting dynamic women who are influencing the world of media. On this list you’ll find women from every facet of the business: super publicists, digital divas, rising television stars and more. The women were selected based on rising star power, business momentum and industry buzz. This year’s ’25’ are truly changing the industry with their innovative thinking, creative branding and fearless leadership. Congratulations to the 2013 “25 Women To Know” Honorees!
Check out seven media mavens making moves in TV and film!
Robyn Greene Arrington, Senior Director of Programming of Production
Robyn Greene Arrington admittedly has an amazing job but that isn’t by chance and without faith.
“My career in itself is a highlight. I set out to work in TV/Film with the love of words and images as my impetuses,” is her response when asked what the biggest moment in her successful career has been thus far. “However I have always been flexible about the opportunities that manifest. Thus I excelled in my career from a freelancer to an executive—from the big screen to the little screen, without ever having to sell my soul or compromise sacred values.”
And that is how a media maven was born. Arrington has over 20 years of creative experience in the world of media (primarily TV and Film) but consumers may be most familiar with popular TV One shows like Celebrity Crime Files, Life After, Save My Son with Dr. Steve Perry and more.
Her secret to success is integrity.
“Everyday I am mastering being the best human I can be as on my purpose driven journey,” she tells Hello Beautiful. “I want to continue to edutain and empower my fellow citizens of the universe with TV, film and online projects, as well as a screenwriter and [eventually] a college professor.
Alicia Lynnette Quarles
Alicia Lynnette Quarles appears on TV everyday but she emphasizes that she is a well-rounded journalist.
“I am a multi-format journalist, meaning, I write, produce, can edit, shoot, do radio. I credit learning and honing all of these skills to the University of Southern California,” says the E! News correspondent.
Quarles worked at The Associated Press as Global Entertainment Editor for nearly 10 years before joining the E! News team and over the course of her career, she has covered the Oscars, the Grammys, the Cannes Film Festival and much more. “You have to be more than just a pretty face. Beautiful people come a dime a dozen. If I could tell you how many people say they want my job because they want to be on TV,” she explains about how much work really goes into her position. “Some of the best on-air reporters started out as producers or text reporters. They know what elements to get.”
Quarles maintains that working with E! keeps her on her toes but she always finds time for charity work and using her platform to help other people.
“Being a diva is so 2008,” she tells Hello Beautiful. “No matter how high up your star rises, humility goes a long way.”
“I want to become the behind-the-scenes Beyonce of films, transcending race to be a global content producer,” says Amber Rasberry about where she wants to take her career.
She’s on the right path thus far. Rasberry, who is currently the director of development at 34th St. Films, got her start in music video production when music videos reigned supreme on TV. After getting a crash course in production from Hype Williams, Rasberry knew she was on to something. From there, she learned the ins and outs of film development and has helped the movie Barbershop come to fruition, worked with Simmons Lathan Media Group, New Line Cinema, took some time off after a lay off to live in Spain and when she returned Stateside, Tyler Perry came a’knocking.
One of her primary duties is finding projects—whether they’re from scripts, agents, managers, or an idea—and pushing them to production. A major career highlight for Rasberry is identifying and acquiring Precious from Sundance.
“It was a film that absolutely moved me, and I would have gone to the edges of the Earth for others to see it, if I was involved or not,” she says.
Rasberry is hard at work finding her next project but says that 34th St Films has good things in the works, from Peeples (in theaters now) to suspense thrillers and sci-fi. Stay tuned.
Janell Snowden is VH1’s Chief News Correspondent, a correspondent on VH1’s daily morning show, Big Morning Buzz Live, host of several VH1 specials, and a frequent pop culture commentator on CNN, HLN, MTV, and Sirius/XM radio. The New York City based television journalist has reported breaking news and covered red carpets where she has interviewed some of the entertainment industry’s biggest names like, Madonna, Bono, Beyoncé, and more.
Snowden describes her job as “delivering news about a fuffly world,” but her work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Also under her belt is an Edward R. Murrow Award nomination for a five-part investigative report she wrote, produced and anchored on Jam Master Jay’s unsolved murder, which she filed for BET Nightly News.
Snowden is still working and appearing on TV screens around the country on a daily basis. Stay tuned.
Bevy Smith is doing quite well for herself considering that she’s a self-described “accidental entrepreneur.” The style maven and host of Bravo’s Fashion Queens also owns Dinner With Bevy, a culinary experience where Smith curates a one-of-a-kind networking experience for movers and shakers in art, entertainment, sports, media, fashion, philanthropy and more.
Smith, who has worked as a fashion-advertising executive and a fashion editor-at-large over the course of her career, quit her day job on a whim to pursue TV but when things got tougher than she expected, she fought back against life’s punches.
“When my savings ran out I realized I needed a revenue stream and I created Dinner With Bevy,” she tells Hello Beautiful about how she used her career contacts to leverage her new venture. “Please believe I never gave a thought to being an entrepreneur before DWB took off.”
A few years after its start, Dinner With Bevy is still booming, having connected some of the biggest names in the world. Today, Smith’s schedule remains full with TV hosting, dinner parties, travel and being a citizen of the world.
“To kick off my summer I’m heading to Australia for vacation before my insane summer of speaking/hosting gigs,” she said. “I have standing gigs at ABFF, NABJ, Russell Simmon’s Art For Life and Essence Music Festival, suffice to say I’m a Busy Bevy!”
But the trick to Bevy’s success is simple: “DO THE WORK,” she says with emphasis. “My advice is don’t get ahead of yourself, shine in the here and now, excel where you’re at and wait for them to come to you because they will if the work is good.”
Tiffany Lea Williams
When Tiffany Lea Williams initially began her TV career, she worked in production management doing mostly budget and logistics stuff, and never imagined that she’d make a major shift to the creative side.
Today, she is the Development Executive/Executive Producer and currently VP of Series Development at MTV, and still in awe that she gets to mastermind many of the hit TV shows that viewers have fallen in love with over the years.
“I never expected to make the creative jump, it’s actually pretty tough to do, but I did. Making that leap has been pretty remarkable and spectacular,” said Williams, whose personal work mantra is, “Jesus take the wheel.”
In addition to keeping the faith, Williams also knows how to make the most of her resources and opportunities and shares this bit of advice: “No job is ever beneath you. Don’t always look ‘up’ for a job. Look to your left and right. That’s the person that will probably recommend you for your first/next job. With that said, always play nice in the sandbox.”
Ashley Madekwe is half blogger and half actress–a combination that equals the best of both worlds. When the Revenge star isn’t gracing TV and film screens, she’s busy updating her style blog,Ring My Bell. While most celebrities are getting caught up in Twitter beefs and addressing gossip with their blogs, Madekwe uses social media to share her style with fans and build her profile as an authority on style.
“I started my blog as an online diary. I moved to New York for a job and I kind of wanted to keep my pictures all in one place. Also, I just love style blogs and wanted to join in on the fun!” she toldCosmopolitan.
Ashley’s hubby snaps all the shots she posts on her site, making it a family affair. When she’s not documenting her style, she’s Instagramming, Tweeting and blogging photos of the behind-the-scenes goings on of her life as an actress. This is how celebrities should really do social media.