Diane Strand, the Founder and Executive Director of JDS Creative Academy, began her career as a producer for theater productions. She later moved into main stream entertainment television on such shows as General Hospital, Friends, and Veronica’s Closet. Diane was also an in-house staff producer for The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, and the Staples Center
where she produced for HBO, the Lakers, Kings, and Avengers. Finally, before escaping the Hollywood scene, Diane spent 11 months working in reality television.
Diane found her ultimate passion in creating corporate videos and launched
JDS Video & Media Productions, Inc. which was soon followed by the creation of JDS Actors Studio. JDS Video & Media Productions, Inc. is an award winning video production multimedia company and produces the Show Good Day Temecula for the City, and works with Abbott, the school districts, chambers and several other local businesses and organizations. JDS Actors Studio has assisted in the launching of several mainstream acting careers in Film, TV Commercials, and Stage.
Robert Steinhauer has been a member of the Directors Guild of America for
the past 35 years. During his years in the movie business he produced many shows including The Incredible Hulk, Bionic Woman, numerous Hallmark movies including Sara Plain and Tall, and many movies of the week including Streetcar Named Desire with Jessica Lange.
Prior to the DGA affiliation he received his Master Degree from Goodman Theatre in Chicago where he directed many of their children’s theatre productions as well as dinner theatre. His initial training was at the High
School of Performing Arts in New York majoring in Acting
Since his graduation from California Institute of the Arts, Don has enjoyed a varied career producing visuals for the entertainment industry.
As a senior designer for Digital Productions and Whitney-Demos, Don helped
to create over 50 commercials for such clients as TRW, Rockwell, Mercedes
Benz and Samsung. Don also worked on a Mick Jagger music video and feature films such as Lorimar’s ‘The Last Starfighter’, MGM/UA’s ‘2010’ and Tri-Star’s ‘Labyrinth’. While at Digital Productions, the company received a Special Achievement Academy Award for its work in Special Effects and his work received numerous film festival awards and a Clio for Outstanding Commercial.
In his twenty-six year career, Don has been an animator, art director, fine artist, scenic designer and playwright. For the last sixteen years, he has also been a teacher of animation and multimedia at many Southern California colleges, before settling down as a full-time instructor and department Chair of Multimedia at Mt. San Jacinto College.
Johanna Lack is an award-winning television producer and writer who has worked on shows for HGTV, DIY, CBS, ABC, and Discovery Channel, which include House Hunters, Designed to Sell, Renovation Realities, Designers’ Challenge, Landscapers’ Challenge, Weekend Warriors, Color Correction, Designing for the Sexes, Rescue 911, and The Insider’s Garden (just to name a few).
As a freelance communications specialist her work ranges from writing video scripts for JDS Video & Media Productions, to building online course pages for
a leading online-education company, to writing articles that appear in local publications. Johanna is an active member of JDSCA’s Board of Directors and enjoys teaching writing to the Academy’s very creative students.
Tom Merritt has over 45 years of communications experience which includes working as a Producer/Consultant/Instructor at Mount San Jacinto college, Four Square’s Vice President and General Manager, and as Executive Producer for World Video and Western Video & Film. As the industry moved from non-linear to digital, Tom kept on the bleeding edge, balancing creativity with technology.
Regarding his career, Tom says “I’ve landed and shot on an aircraft carrier, shot on jetliners, in basements apartments, penthouses, coal mines and mountain tops. I’ve worked with Movie & TV stars, Athletes, Admirals, and CEO’s of Fortune 100 companies. Everyday was exiting and new, I wouldn’t have changed any of it for another career.”
Dana Long currently is Global Head of Digital at JAFRA Cosmetics International. She helps bring brands into the digital marketing arena and has led digital marketing divisions at a variety of Fortune 500 companies such as Universal Studios, Disney and Mattel, among others. She has also helped a variety of internet start-ups with an emphasis in the youth arena.