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St. Louis Filmworks co-founders, Mary Kay Sheets and Shad Schoenke, have an impressive veteran track record in the business and content development. Together, the co-founder brings over 50+ years of experience in the fields of creative development in the advertising, entertainment, marketing and civic development. Their core leadership team is comprised of a group of experienced individuals in the St. Louis film and creative industries.

Shad Schoenke

Shad Schoenke Co-Founder/Creative Director

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A creative designer ane writher with 30+ experience in advertising and marketing across numerous industries including beverage, financial, healthcare, pet food, automotive agriculture, CPG and B2B products. Area of focus also includes consumer experience and brand interaction from the customer/consumer point of view. Project and campaign experience includes sponsorship of entities including NASCAR, NFL, NCAA and the Olympics.


Shad’s experience with Coca-Colas’ sponsorship of the 2008 and 2010 Olympic Games, forged a relationship with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee that lead to the creation of the St. Louis Olympic Legacy Committee with the St. Louis Sports Commission. The Legacy Committee worked with the IOC  to erect the Olympic Rings spectacular at Washington University.

Mary Kay Sheets

Mary Kay Sheets Co-Founder/Fractional C-Suite Executive, Executive Producer

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Mary Kay Sheets has more than twenty-five years of experience as an award-winning “Go-To - Get-it-Done” serial entrepreneur having founded five companies, two non-profits and advised hundreds of business owners as a fractional c-suite executive in all aspects of starting and growing a business. She specializes in company-wide gap analysis, foundational business development, emerging trend planning and integration as well as industry-side initiative leadership. Mary Kay is also an author, speaker and a catalyst for pioneers in their field who seek to bring forth change for the greater good. 

Monica Butler

Monica R. Butler Owner, The Butler Group & Archview Media

Monica R. Butler, owner of The Butler Group and founder of Archview Media,
has been a part of television, theatre and film production for over 25
years. With passion and compassion, she has produced for Black Entertainment
Television working with Bobby Jones Gospel, Tyler Perry stage play
production and served as producer at The Word Television Network. Ms. Butler
has worked on many notable films such as Jurassic World and John Wick, and
has produced her own projects through The Butler Group and just completed a
successful summer preparing the next generation of young creatives with
"Film Camp USA," where they showcased their student-made film at the
historic Chase Park Plaza Cinema. A passionate fan of gospel music, she is
developing the Gospel Music Hall of Fame of Missouri in partnership with the
Lawrence Group and the Inspired Lives Foundation, of which she is
co-founder. She serves on the Board of Directors of MOMMA and St. Louis
Filmworks, and is a proud member of IATSE 493 Studio Mechanics.

Alison Nierman

Alison Niermann Actress/Producer/Business Development

Alison Niermann has over twenty years of experience partnering with business owners, and C-suite leaders, translating business vision into scalable strategies. Alison launched the area's first digital parenting publication directing all staff, editorial, sales, and media partnerships. She grew up acting and had multiple albums recorded by her teen years. As an adult, she has worked with productions including Gone Girl and NBC's America's Got Talent. Blending her success in business operations and passion for storytelling, Alison believes in its impact on people's lives, economy, and communities. 


Alison holds a bachelor's with continued education from Cambridge University.  She and her husband spend time volunteering, coaching, and working with her three children to create fundraising events benefiting other kids.

Jessica Ambuehl

Jessica Ambuehl Producer/Owner Under the Tree Productions

Jessica Ambuehl is a professional storytelling with decades of experience on both sides of the camera. She has countless projects under her belt involving producing, directing, and casting for film, television, and nonprofit needs. As an actor/model, Jessica has representation in six states across the Midwest with over 100 jobs on her resume. But, one of her favorite story forms and passions is photojournalism which she does pro bono for nonprofits around the world, giving her the honor of visiting countless countries and experiencing diverse cultures. Jessica believes “the difference you make for one can impact the future for many.” She was born and raised in the Midwest and lives with her husband of over twenty years raising their two boys in the St. Louis area.

Bart Baker Screenwriter

Bart Baker Screenwriter


playwright and novelist, Bart Baker has been a fixture in the entertainment industry for over 35 years. With 13 movies produced, including the Pierce Brosnan action flick, Live Wire, Supercross,the CBS Television Bride Trilogy (Children Of The Bride, Baby Of The Bride and Mother Of The Bride) and most recently the Hallmark Channel hit, Love And Sunshine. Baker has written on four series, including DIRT, on the FX Network. Presently writing two more network movies, Summer House and Destined for Love, Baker recently set up a television pilot, Faith, with Zero Gravity Entertainment. The author of five novels, his first, Honeymoon With Harry, is in development as a feature film at New Line Cinema. His next novel, The Wedding Gift, will be published later this year. Baker also co-wrote his first graphic novel, The Sacred Band Of Thebes, is also scheduled to be published in 2020 as well.

Michael D Francis

Michael D. Francis Founder Michael D. Francis Presents (MDFP)


St. Louis-based TV/content development and packaging company MDFP focuses on finding unique and diverse talent and stories to package for sale to production companies, networks, studios, and streaming platforms. Michael has worked for networks such as A&E, MTV, CBS, NBC, BET, TLC, Lifetime, PBS, ESPN, and Animal Planet. Michael is very active and passionate about creating opportunities to bring more film and television production to the Midwest region using local talent and crew.

Peter Davidson

Peter Davidson CPA


Peter is a senior financial executive with extensive experience in corporate planning across a broad range of industries. He has an exceptionally strong experience in financial statement analysis, budgeting, forecasting cash flows, creating pro forma financial statements, and maximizing financial return across operations. He is experienced in leadership positions in various corporate environments, from Fortune 500 companies to startups. He is an entrepreneurial executive who is used to entering challenging situations and delivering results. He has run his own consulting practice since 2000.

Dan Parris

Dan Parris Filmmaker


Dan Parris is an award-winning filmmaker, speaker and entrepreneur. He’s the founder of Speak Up Productions and the director of the feature length documentaries When the Saints, Show Me Democracy and the award-winning film What Matters? His "day job" is directing videos for nonprofits with his company Speak Up Studios. Dan was awarded Biola University's 2012 Distinguished Young Alumni of the Year Award for his work in film and activism and is a regular speaker at universities and community venues across the country including a closing speaker at TEDx in St. Louis. Most recently, Dan co-founded the non-profit, Continuity, whose mission is to expand diversity in media production as well as the In Motion Conference, the midwest's premiere filmmaking conference. Dan lives in South St. Louis with his wife and 4 kids. 

Dan Steadman

Dan Steadman Writer/Director


Writer/director of over a dozen films including the St. Louis-based films The Mutts, The Racket and Belleville. In Los Angeles, he co-wrote and produced the comedies, The Captain & Jesus People, with his writing partner Rajeev Sigamoney; co-starring Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer. He has been represented by literary agents APA and Endeavor. His Christmas films Red Lodge and Expect Delays have distribution in international TV markets and play during the holidays all over the world. He now runs circa 87 in St. Louis, a school that has trained over 100 people in film/TV acting and he continues to mentor up and coming screenwriters and directors.

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