Women's Impact Report 2011: Sonya Rosenfeld
In a year that yielded some great professional success stories, CAA agent Sonya Rosenfeld is most proud of helping pull together a project that honors the memory of her beloved mother.
Her mother died of breast cancer 16 years ago, and the Lifetime anthology “Five” dramatizes the stories of women battling the disease.
“I immediately got (CAA clients) Jennifer Aniston to executive produce and Paula Wagner to be her partner,” Rosenfeld says. “We then brought other clients on board like Demi Moore. It made a good fit at Lifetime, because it could reach the most women throughout the country. It’s a signature piece for Lifetime that sends a message of hope and support.”
Within the past year Rosenfeld has been instrumental in putting numerous shows on air, including AMC’s phenomenon “The Killing,” CBS’ “Unforgettable” and “A Gifted Man,” and ABC’s “Revenge.”
“I often tell people that this is a hard business and you have to celebrate every good thing that happens,” says Rosenfeld, “because too often bad things happen when you try to put everything together and it just doesn’t work out.”
On “The Killing,” Rosenfeld introduced the project and concept to client Veena Sud, who became the executive producer/writer for the much-discussed series.
“I felt she was the right person with the right material to make this work,” Rosenfeld says. “Then I got Patty Jenkins to direct the pilot.”
Both Sud and Jenkins, who also directed one of the “Five” anthologies, were Emmy-nommed for writing and directing, respectively.
Rosenfeld admits she didn’t know much about getting into the biz but was encouraged by producer Doug Wick, who told her not to move home after she graduated from UCLA.
“He told me I should work at a talent agency because it’s a fun business and (I’d) enjoy it,” says Rosenfeld, who has been with CAA for 25 years. “He was right. There are always obstacles to overcome, but even those bring opportunities, and they make the wins so much sweeter.”
Title: Agent, CAA
Role model: “My mother, Karen Weibel”
Career mantra: “Work hard. Be honest. And get the job done.”
Leisure pursuits: “My husband (CAA agent) Michael and I watch our sons Casey, 17, and Willy, 14, play sports.”
Philanthropic passion: A longstanding member and mentor of the Step Up organization, she also supports Luminaries and breast cancer research.