Hollywood’s New Leaders: 10 Assistants to Watch

Variety Hollywoods New Leaders ASSISTANTS
Ramona Rosales

1. Trevor Burkins, 26
Communications coordinator, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment Group

Previously an NBC page, with stints at “SNL” and assignments at NBC News and NBC Entertainment, Burkins got his start with Oprah Winfrey, pitching segment ideas; two made it to air. At NBCU, he reports to exec VP of communications Cory Shield. He instituted weekly meetings for all coordinators of all brands to review processes, delivers a weekly report on all efforts, and a monthly ratings snapshot and message points for each network.

2. Dorey Poder, 24
Casting Coordinator, CBS Entertainment

Joining CBS straight out of college, Poder’s already been promoted to casting coordinator in under two years and assumed the role of casting associate and associate producer on the CBS Diversity Institute’s annual Sketch Comedy Showcase. He also assists casting veeps Fern Orenstein and Karen Church with coverage on 11 scripted comedies, including hits “The Big Bang Theory” and “How I Met Your Mother.”

3. Martin To, 30
Assistant to partner Dan Erlij, United Talent Agency

The NYU grad started in the UTA mailroom in 2009 and rose rapidly, working for then-TV talent agent Ruthanne Secunda before moving to the independent film group to work for indie agent Bec Smith. After some stints in both talent and film, To decided that his true passion was television, and went on to work for TV lit agent James Degus and then top agent Dan Erlij. He now works closely with UTA’s entire television literary department.

SEE ALSO: Hollywood’s New Leaders: Agents, Creatives, Digital, Execs, Assistants, More

4. Kaylon Hunt, 28
Assistant to Viola Davis, JuVee Prods.

The Texas actor and filmmaker joined Davis and her husband/producing partner Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions in 2011. Duties range from administrative tasks and attending executive meetings to brainstorming on development projects. The latter includes an HBO series written by Dee Rees, a Barbara Jordan biopic penned by Tony Kushner, and a movie adaptation of award-winning novel “The Personal History of Rachel DuPree.” His first directorial effort, the short film “Hero Story,” bowed at ComicCon.

5. Louise Abnee Keshaviah, 26
Assistant to senior managing partner Leslie Siebert, the Gersh Agency

After stints at the Goodman Theater and TP&R Casting in Chicago, the USC theater grad cut her teeth assisting Wendi Green at Abrams and joined Gersh in 2011 as assistant to Nick Collins, working with him in building the careers of his TV clients. Within a year she was promoted to work for Siebert and is now a contributing team member for Siebert’s established clientele, which includes Allison Janney, Catherine Keener, Kyle Chandler and Winona Ryder.

6. Colin Davis, 23
Executive assistant to Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly

Immediately following his graduation from UCLA film school last year, Davis got a lucky break and began a six-month, full-time apprenticeship to Kevin Reilly in Fox Networks Group’s inaugural apprentice program. He turned that break into a career opportunity when in just three months he managed to impress Fox’s programming team enough for the network chairman to offer him a permanent position in his office. He now appears to be on the fast track.

7. Jason Lubin, 26
Assistant to Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer

The USC grad joined Lionsgate in 2009 as a floater and was promoted to an assistant in TV production, where he played an integral role in the department’s growth from a handful of shows to a full-fledged 30 programs on 20 networks. Lubin was hired as assistant by Feltheimer in 2012. In addition to maintaining the executive office and assisting the CEO, he helps coordinate board meetings for Lionsgate and its joint ventures.

8. Kate Lupo, 24
Agent Trainee, ICM Partners

The former Westport Youth Film Festival director and co-founder of Silent Dog Pictures started in ICM’s mailroom in 2011. Within two months she landed her first desk as an assistant to TV literary agent Sean Freidin, and then with fellow assistant Allie Berkowitz founded Cult-ure, a program that creates opportunities for the agency’s assistants. Lupo is one of three assistants selected to serve on the ICM Community Partners Foundation Board and was accepted into the agent trainee program in July.

SEE ALSO: Hollywood’s New Leaders: Agents, Creatives, Digital, Execs, Assistants, More

9. Dean Fluker, 28
Assistant to Joey Stanton, Talent Agent, Resolution

Starting in college as talent buyer and promoter for the U. of Iowa, Fluker worked for President Obama’s 2008 campaign and then in his administration. He moved back to entertainment as an ICM floater, worked for partner Chuck James, and became a trainee. He joined Resolution in February and now works with clients and pitches talent to casting directors and producers on indie projects. Currently he’s helping to create and establish the company’s Urban Film Department.

10. Jared Berenholz, 26
First assistant to co-CEO Asif Satchu, Media Rights Capital

Promoted twice since joining in 2011, Berenholz was heavily involved in MRC’s $175 million capital raise and the closing of its $350 million credit facility. He’s also responsible for organizing board meetings. Berenholz shepherded “Ted,” “Elysium” and “House of Cards.” Alongside CFO Erika Hindle and senior VP/head of film business and legal affairs Jonathan Golfman, he now runs the executive trainee program at MRC.

(Profiles by Andrew Barker, Iain Blair, Peter Caranicas, Randee Dawn, Marc Graser, Carole Horst, Maane Khatchatourian, AJ Marechal, Alex Stedman, Allegra Tepper)

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  1. Ed says:

    If these are the assistants “to watch”…I fear for the future of Hollywood.

  2. Curious Network Representative says:

    How did you determine the folks on this list as top 10?

  3. Janee Trotman says:

    You need to add Steven Fulcher to the list!! He’s the assistant to Howard Gould, the showrunner of the #1 show on Nickelodeon, Instant Mom. He’s a definite up-and-comer you need to put on your radar!

  4. A Female Asst says:

    8 guys, 2 girls? Really?! Come onnn.

  5. Gerre Attrick says:

    Women make up more than 50% of assistants in Hollywood, but only 20% on this list. Disappointing for a trade with two female editor-in-chiefs! Once again, a trade bowed to agent pressure and threatening calls just like THR’s Next Gen annual issue. Do assistants have publicists that push and politic for them just like their boss? That must be where they learn it. Congratulations Top !0 . . . Now, can you get me another Venti, soy latte, double shot, extra hot, double cup, extra foam? HURRY!! We need to roll calls.

  6. Walter says:

    Those are the exact traits that make someone successful in the entertainment industry. He’ll definitely be the next big thing!

  7. Jordan says:

    Excited for Variety’s upcoming 10 Zygotes To Watch…

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