Katie Ford – Partner at Ford Cassella Productions
Katie Ford is a writer and producer for both film and television, best known for co-writing and co-producing the hit film, Miss Congeniality. More recently, she wrote the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated movie, Prayers for Bobby starring Sigourney Weaver, and was Co-Creator/Showrunner of Working The Engels starring Andrea Martin that was summer series on NBC in 2014. She has written for both comedy and drama with credits as diverse as Writer/Producer of ABC’s Desperate Housewives and Story Editor and Writer for the international TV hit Transporter.
Katie started as a standup comic before switching to writing full time. Her first play, By Your Side was performed in Toronto and starred Keanu Reeves, her next play Out in America was performed in LA. The LA Times rated it as one of the best plays of the year. At age 21, Katie was hired for the NBC sitcom Family Ties, where she wrote 10 episodes of the series the Writers Guild of America recently voted one of the 101 best written television series.
Additionally, she penned the teleplay and Co-Executive Produced the critically- acclaimed miniseries, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie for DISNEY/ABC. On the action side, she was writer and producer for Brett Ratner’s CBS’ action comedy, Chaos and co-wrote (with Hope Royaltey) The Mules, has done script punch up and script doctoring for every major studio. She has developed pilots for Anjelica Huston, and Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy. Ford is also presently developing the digital media startup FlagshipTV. FlagshipTV is backed by AOL and is an interactive entertainment platform.
Maggie Cassella – Partner at Ford Cassella Productions
Maggie Cassella has tackled nearly every aspect of the business of show. From hosting and producing her own nationally televised talk show (‘Because I Said So’ airing on CityTV/Star) to her own drive-time radio show (Proud FM) to appearing on every major Canadian network as a current events commentator. She has also executive produced and produced both live and broadcast events.
Maggie most recently wrote and performed on the 2016 Obie Awards with Lea DeLaria and Kate Rigg. Some of her producing credits include producing for Extra, The Vent (a six part series she co-created, wrote, and produced for OUTTV), and In The Pink (a special of the were funny that way® comedy festival for The Comedy Network). Maggie co-wrote a book with Lea DeLaria (Lea’s Book of Rules for the World) published by Random House, and has written with Lea for TV (Showtime, CBC, WNED) and of course the stage.
Maggie produced seven live shows a week at The Flying Beaver Pubaret a venue she created and co-owned until it’s untimely demise by fire in February 2015. The Pubaret was rated amongst the Top Five Restaurants for Live Music in Toronto by BlogTO and amongst the Top Ten Places to Visit When You Come to Toronto by Canadian Living.
But her most proud achievement in live producing was creating and producing the we’re funny that way comedy festival® from in 1997. we’re funny that way® was the world’s first queer comedy festival. It now exists as a performance festival for all types of queer performance. Besides being a showcase for queer talent the festival also acts as a vehicle for fundraising for queer charities through the We’re Funny That Way Foundation.
Maggie’s is thrilled too be partnering with the ever-brilliant Katie Ford to create web hubs for underserved/niche audiences worldwide. Their first currently projects in development is the We’re Funny That Way Web Hub.
Ian Hembery – CTO Ford Cassella Productions
Ian started his first business at age 28 building the first ad agency to focus on the emerging Ottawa technology.
In 1978 Ian saw ‘Telidon,’ an interactive system developed by the Canadian Government that he knew would change the world. He founded Hemton Corp and developed a terminal for use in home and business. With their traditional agency expertise, the company went digital and created many of the first e-commerce sites.
Fast forward to the early 90’s, when Ian became VP of Sales and Marketing with InContext Corporation, developing some of the very first HTML web page creation software. When America Online (AOL) launched in Canada in 1995, Ian joined the startup team of 2 as VP of Marketing, PR, and Government Relations. They brought over 300,000 people all across Canada online with unique Canadian content and services (in French as well as English).
Ian became involved with Artez Interactive, an online fundraising software service for charities, during the time he was helping John Manley, Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, with his campaign for the Liberal Party leadership in 2002. He developed and launched one of the first political e-fundraising campaigns, and used Artez as the fundraising platform.
Ian joined Artez as the first member of their Advisory Board in 2007 and came on board in 2008 for a 6-month engagement and stayed for 6 years. He was responsible for marketing, technology development and client success. They grew the company from a handful of people to over 75 in offices in Toronto, Boston, London, England and Melbourne, Australia raising over $750 million for worthy causes through the system. They sold the company to a New York based private equity firm in 2013.
Since then Ian has acted as an advisor to several Toronto-based digital firms, including Ford Cassella Productions