The Visual Effects Society has announced its 2022 Board of Directors officers, and in a historic first, the five-member executive committee is made up of all women.

The officers include Lisa Cooke, who was re-elected as board chair and is the first woman to hold this role since the Society’s inception.

“It is my honor and privilege to continue to chair this society of outstanding artists and innovators and I appreciate the trust placed in me,” Cooke said. “I’m proud to work amongst an exceptional group of impassioned and talented leaders, who are committed to advancing our mission and serving our members worldwide. As an all-women executive committee, I hope that this representation encourages other women to seek positions of leadership in our industry, and that organizations continue to lift up people from diverse backgrounds and experience to fully reflect our global community.”

Joining Cooke on the 2022 VES board are first vice chair Emma Clifton Perry, second vice chair Susan O’Neal, secretary Rita Cahill and treasurer Laurie Blavin.

It’s a significant move for the Visual Effects Society. Last year, the Women in Animation and USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative unveiled the “Invisible in Visual Effects” study which showed the current state of women representation in VFX — there were 3.6 men working in VFX for every one woman.

Cooke is a producer at Tippett Studio. She founded Green Ray Media, and for the last 10-plus years has been producing animation and VFX to create scientific, medical and environmental media for a broad audience. She served six years on the VES Bay Area board of managers executive committee before joining the VES board of directors, where she served as second vice chair, first vice chair and co-chair of the archives initiative before serving her second term as chair.

Perry has worked with VFX houses around the world including WETA Digital, Framestore, MPC, Rising Sun Pictures, DrD, Method Studios and The Mill. This is her third consecutive term on the executive committee, serving as second vice chair in 2020 and first vice chair in 2021. Perry has served for five consecutive years on the board of directors and nine cumulative years on the New Zealand board of managers. She was the second ever New Zealand section chair, serving as chair for three years and one year as secretary/treasurer.

O’Neal joined the VES in the late 1990s and has served as a member of its global board of directors since 2010 and on the executive committee since 2016. She started her career in visual effects at Digital Domain in 1993, where she worked in finance and operations before turning to production. O’Neal’s credits include “T2: 3D – Battle Across Time,” “Titanic,” “The Italian Job,” “West Wing” and “Deuce Bigalow 2: European Gigolo,” as well as a host of music videos, commercials and other works. O’Neal is the recipient of the 2019 VES Founder’s Award. For many years, she served as the chair for the legacy global education committee and currently co-chairs the membership committee. She has been instrumental in the work to grow the Society by leading the bi-annual membership review and approval process.

Cahill is an international business and marketing/PR consultant and has worked with a number of U.S., Canadian, U.K., EU and Chinese companies for visual effects and animation projects. Her current and former clients include companies in the feature film, television, VR and game industries, as well as government and educational entities. This is Cahill’s seventh term as secretary. Previously, she served as chair or co-chair of the VES Summit for eight years.

Blavin’s 20-year career spans the culture, creativity and technology of both Hollywood and Silicon Valley. She has worked at or for Dreamworks Animation, The Orphanage, Scanline VFX, MPC and Technicolor. Prior to focusing on VFX, she worked at AOL, vivid Studios, Walmart.com and Blurb. This is Blavin’s third term on the VES board of directors.