Bishop J.E. Watkins
Founder, CEO of Overcomers With Hope (OWH) Studios, Inc.
Bishop J.E. Watkins has provided vision, leadership and guidance to the OWH Studios since 1999, where his vision was to establish a community-based television training in production and broadcasting for youth 16 -24 and returning veterans. He now serves on Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center Community Board. His areas of expertise include Training and Development, Performance Management, Mentoring At Risk Youth (Gang Intervention), Music Director, Audio and Video Training, as well as Printing, Marketing and Advertising, all of which he employs in his vision, development and direction of Overcomers With Hope Studios.
After retiring as a Senior IT/Project Manager, in 2012, Faye joined Overcomers with Hope Studio as Executive Director, where duties include, but are not limited to: fundraising, grant writing, board member development, administrative support for OWH classes, teachers and mentors. Positions during corporate years included a Senior Information Technology Project Manager for Safeway Inc. Lucky Stores, Crown Zellerbach and Met Life Insurance. In addition, she also served on the Boy Scouts of America Committee assisting young men to the rank of Eagle Scout, and last, provided support to Women’s shelters Welfare-to-Work Program. She is a graduate of Berkeley High School, Merritt College (AA Degree in Psychology) and Cal State Hayward(BA).
Studio General Manager
For more than 30 years, William Hammons has been an independent Media Producer, creating various TV and Radio programs. In 1979, under the name “Third World Video Communication”, Mr. Hammons produced the TWVC Awards Special, featuring Marvin Gaye and presenting him with the Positive Image Role Model Award for his contributions to the world through his music. In 1980 Mr. Hammons was the first Bay Area Journalist compelled to travel to Georgia to probe into the case of the missing and murdered Black children of Atlanta, which led to his first entry in the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame competition. In 1993, William joined KMTP TV where he has continued to produce and direct, a series of programs including: Public Affairs, Documentaries, Special Reports; additionally, he has created and produced daily news and weekly sports programming for KMTP. He is currently Producer and Host (a.k.a LBD) of the weekly radio program “Lover’s Lounge” on KPOO 89.5 FM in San Francisco.
V.P. Sales & Marketing Editware/Director of Acquisitions & Training
Mr. Lefcovich has been working with OWH Studios since 2010 and now gives continuing technical support, as well as help procuring equipment for the studio. Bob has 50+ years in the TV Industry, beginning 1966 at WRBL TV, Columbus, GA. as cameraman, technical director, video tape operator and editor, graduating to senior staff director, working on non-studio sports coverage and car commercials. From 1979 – 1985 at MTI, NYC, Bob was senior editor for hundreds of commercials and TV shows such as; “Stand by, Lights, Camera, Action” with Leonard Nimoy, and movies; Woody Allen’s “Purple Rose of Cairo,” and “Power,” with Gene Hackman and Richard Gere. In 1985 He joined the Grass Valley Group as senior applications specialist for Edit Systems; developed those systems and trained thousands of users, globally. In 1996, with co-workers, he purchased the edit products and started Editware, which still makes and sells edit systems worldwide.
Chief Engineer, Instructor Sound & Video
Bill Gillice has been associated with OWH Studios for 12 years, as the procurer and builder of the technical facilities of the OWH Studios. Since 2014 Mr. Gillice has been the Chief Engineer of the Studio and has donated many hours to bring the OWH Television Studio into the reality that it is today, a fully equipped, functioning, broadcast TV studio. Bill is COO of Largent Video, Inc., which services television broadcasting companies globally with technical advice, expert repairs of equipment and a source of pre-owned broadcast instruments. His professional training was from Sierra College, Rocklin, CA in Electronics, and at Northrup Institute of Technology, Inglewood, CA he studied Airframe & Powerplant design.
Charles “CB Sound” Brown
Charles ‘CB’ Brown is a native of San Francisco, holding degrees from Galileo High School, San Francisco City College and Healds Engineering and Technology Institute with classes focusing on Home Entertainment . In 2014 “CB” started volunteering with OWH Studios and has been a key part in developing and training in Sound Classes, theory and technique. As a lifelong member of The Electrical Workers Minority Caucus, “CB” was instrumental in their donation of time, equipment and services to re-wire the OWH Studios. This service and dedication to the Community made it possible to upgrade OWH Studios to state-of-the-art HD.
Charles “CB Video” Brown
Engineer- Computer, Video
CB was introduced to OWH Studio in 2013 through association with OWH staff member Marcia Kimmell’s WINdows of Opportunity. He currently volunteer’s video/computer support to OWH Studio. CB received degrees in Engineering from Laney College and UC Berkeley. He was a prime contributor in establishing Berkeley Community Media. CB is currently employed by UC Berkeley as Computer Support Engineer.
Advisory Board, Guest Instructor
Four-time Emmy Award winner, Hugh Grew joined OWH Studios as an advisory board member, training our professional staff and students on our new Xpressions Graphic Generator, which was donated to us recently by Ross Video, a Canadian company. Hugh does freelance training as a graphics design instructor. He is a also a “live graphics” system operator/designer/trainer/consultant. Since 1986 he has worked on sports and entertainment remotes ranging from the Olympics to the Super Bowl, and from the Grammy’s to the Academy Awards. Currently Hugh works with three Xpressions systems while he simultaneously operates the graphics controls on “The Voice”. In addition to network and cable shows, Hugh also works with companies such as Oracle, Twitter, and DirecTV.
Minister Brenda Dennis
Min. Brenda is a graduate of Oakland Tech and Contra Costa College, receiving her AA and Certificate in Business Banking. She is currently retired after 35 years in banking, serving as a fraud investigator with Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Min. Dennis volunteered 25+ years with God Squad working with the youth of Alameda County Probation Department. She has compassion for our youth in the community. She takes the responsibility in motivating the youth at a young age; taking them from the street to a college, or a Job Interview. She was instrumental in the OWH Studios 2015 -2016 Training Program for the residents of Camp Sweeney through the Alameda County Probation Department. Minister Dennis serves on the Board of OWH Studio and is laser-focused on the vision for training multi-cultural youth ages 16-24 in Television/Broadcast Digital Arts Media.
Director – The Veterans Community Media Network
Diane Williamson was born in Pittsburgh, PA and went to Edinboro State College in Erie, PA. She joined the Army in 1976, becoming a Nuclear Weapons Maintenance Specialist. Upon return, Diane completed her A. S. in Graphic Design. Continuing her education, Diane received a certificate of completion from Silicon Valley College in Computer Graphic Design and three certificates from City College of San Francisco in Video Production and Broadcasting. In 2014 she graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts. The Veterans Community Media Network, which she founded, is a 501c3 non-profit housed in the Liberty Hall Building in West Oakland. Diane serves on the staff of OWH Studios and assists other veterans with connection to resources available to them, to get further education and inspires them to live by the guidelines To finish. To persevere. To accomplish a dream.
Vanessa Nava, Founder, CEO of Xiquihuitl Media
Vanessa Nava is a video documentarian since the age of eight documenting the native culture, tradition and art practices of her parent’s hometown, Tonalapa del Río in Guerrero, Mexico. Her documentary work have been presented in Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area. Her poetry have been featured in After Words: Texts on Voice (2011), The Guide to the New Universe (2011) and Dress Codes (2015). She received a B.A. from Loyola University Chicago and a M.F.A. from California College of the Arts. She continues to visit Tonalapa del Río in hopes to establish a hometown center. She participates with OWH Studios as a Social Media Coordinator.
Advisory Board Members
Wedrell James II, Local #16 Audio Visual Tech
Wedrell brings Audiovisual (AV) skills to OWH Studios Inc with professional level skills to teach students, support at the highest professional level. As an AV, duties include setting up, running & maintaining the sound and video equipment used to conduct live events such as meetings, sports games, business conventions, and concerts. They mix soundboards, play video recordings, enhance lighting, and coordinate graphics. Wedrell will be key in developing the training syllabus for OWH Studios Inc.
Kumi Rauf, Founder- CEO, I Love Being Black
Creator of the I Love Being Black Apparel Line and Cultural Movement, Kumi Rauf is the creative mind behind a series of social networking seminars and webinars, which help build one’s brand in an increasingly competitive online environment.
Joseph “Jah Jah” Jones, CEO, Black Star Kitchen
Black Star Kitchen will be housed in the newly renovated commercial kitchen facilities of the historic Liberty Hall Building. This kitchen will consist of areas for food prep, cooking stations (indoor kitchen and outdoor grilling, training, a classroom area and a herb/vegetable garden. Black Star Kitchen will provide our Oakland community kitchen with inspiration to create future chefs, caterers, culinary entrepreneurs, ultimately creating more jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities bringing revenue to our community. Future plans include the establishment of community food bank programs, cooking instructions, culinary training programs, cultural events, and pop-up food programs. Black Star Kitchen thru partnership with OWH Studios Inc., will live stream food prep, cooking instructions and healthy eating to the immediate Community and beyond.
Brent Turner – Advisory Board Member
Brent earned both his B.A in communications & broadcasting and masters in Sports Management from Western Illinois. He is an Oakland native attending McClymond’s high school where, after graduating, he returned as coach to help win their first state championship. He is a well-rounded individual with work experience in the private sector, government and non-profit. He is a small business owner and C.E.O of Rize Nation LLC, a start-up multimedia sports management company. Brent serves as an Advisory Board member for OWH Studios Inc. He also assists with partnerships and studio productions.