Michelle Byrd has been named to the newly created position of managing director, PGA East, the Producers Guild of America announced Friday. When she steps into the new post on May 8, she will oversee East Coast operations from the PGA's New York office and will report to Vance Van Petten, national executive director and COO, and Susan Sprung, associate national executive director and COO.
Byrd previously served for 12 years, from 1997 to 2009, as executive director of IFP, the Independent Filmmaker Project, where she relocated IFP's annual Gotham Awards to the start of awards season. From 2010 to 2013, Byrd was co-president, with Asi Burak, of Games for Change and oversaw the Games for Change Festival, serving as an executive producer on Half the Sky games, based on Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's best-selling book.
Most recently, she ran her own consulting practice providing strategic planning, program and partnership development, and management advisory services for Ghetto Film School, Green Beetz, Museum of the Moving Image, New York State Commission on National and Community Service, and the Governor's Office of Motion Picture & Television Development, among others.
Byrd is a recipient of the "Made in New York Award" from NYC's Mayor and the "Good Egg Award" from Chicken & Egg Pictures, and sits on the Board of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation and the Advisory Boards of Chicken & Egg Pictures and STREB Lab for Action Mechanics.
The exec search that identified Byrd was led by PGA East chairs William Horberg and Kay Rothman, with the support of PGA Presidents Gary Lucchesi and Lori McCreary, Van Petten and Sprung.