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Gene Jeffers

Pasadena, CA 91101

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Writer/researcher currently focused on creative historical fiction and creative nonfiction projects of varying lengths. Highly adaptable, award winning nonprofit change agent, leadership and relationship builder, communications professional with over 45 years experience, special talents in communications, public, press, community and government relations, board support and relations, consensus building, turnarounds and crisis management. Heavily experienced in overcoming serious constraints and challenges in a wide range of crisis conditions. Specific strengths in developing strategic positions and tactical actions.




Writer/Researcher, Pasadena, CA, 2014 – Present


Executive Director, Themed Entertainment Association, Burbank, CA, 2001 – 2013

  • Position required substantial efforts to implement deep cultural, organizational and operational changes to survive and to better reflect the needs of members and the industry.

  • Guided Association in shifting its focus from social to emphasizing business development and marketing of its member firms; increased membership by more than 300%, converted publications and communications efforts to a virtual environment, expanded and recovered relationships with key client groups, assisted board development of multiyear strategic plan, significantly reduced a stifling debt load, cut operating costs dramatically while increasing and expanding visible and tangible member benefits. Oversaw development of two new major annual conferences, TEA Summit (industry business focus) and TEA’s SATE (Story, Architecture, Technology and Experience – the creative side of the business), and initiated the TEA’s Asia Forum mini-conference series.

  • Expanded existing divisions to include the Middle East, and created a new division for Asia Pacific region.

  • Received Industry Changemaker Award for role in preserving association and setting a new direction for both the TEA and its membership (2003).

  • Received TEA’s first ever annual Outstanding Service Award (2012).


Executive Director, American Red Cross, Inland Valley Chapter, Ontario, CA, 1996 - 2001

  • Recruited for CEO role at collapsed Red Cross Chapter serving 600,000 people in West San Bernardino County, California.

  • Required solid and unrelenting public and community relations skills and efforts, flexibility, decision-making, consensus-building, willingness to accept responsibility and set goals.

  • Responsibilities included public/media/community relations, marketing Red Cross brand, crisis response, oversight of internal staff and volunteers, disaster relief direction and responsibilities.

  • Activities included quarterly newsletters for chapter; State Red Cross newsletter; production and delivery of annual report; development of PowerPoint presentations for speakers and board members; local cable video productions; design of State Red Cross website, and development of Red Cross Graphics Library on CD-ROM .

  • In five years, chapter doubled service delivery, increased chapter-generated public support by 400%, diversified the board of directors, increased special event income by 600%, restored and improved relations with local United Way and communities, and restored a sense of confidence and fulfillment to the chapter's volunteers.


Executive Director, Western Insurance Information Service, Los Angeles/Denver/San Francisco/Portland, 1994 – 1996

  • Recruited immediately following Northridge Earthquake to CEO role at casualty and property insurance supported consumer information association with four regional offices (Los Angeles, Denver, Portland, San Ramon) covering 10 western states.

  • Primary source of consumer information on property casualty insurance.

  • Responsibilities included media/press/community relations, often under hostile conditions; speaker and presentation training, and material development; membership development; fund solicitation; budget development and tracking; and staff management; Board and Annual Reports, Annual Reporter’s Guide to Insurance, Weekly Newsletter.

  • Oversight of ten person staff, 5,800+ member speakers bureau.

  • Instrumental in setting a cooperative tone and bringing a number of disparate groups together to discuss mutual interests in a number of states.

  • Crisis intervention included bringing together angry homeowners in Laguna Beach and insurers to work together to prevent future brush fires, and soliciting insurer donations to support disaster prevention and mitigation efforts region wide


VP, Public Affairs and Communications, National Association of Broadcasters, Washington, DC, 1988-1994

  • Recruited to key communication role at nation's largest and most respected broadcast lobbying organization representing 1,000 television and 5,000 radio stations..

  • Responsibilities included oversight of VP, Media Relations; Senior Director, Production and Graphics; Senior Director, Member Communications; and Director, Convention Marketing.

  • Responsible for content oversight and conversion of 6,000 weekly newsletters to broadcast fax (annual savings of $75,000); marketing NAB convention worldwide (resulting in growth from 11,000 to over 45,000 in international attendance at convention and nearly $2,000,000 in increased revenues); annual report and executive speechwriting and presentations.


American National Red Cross, Washington, DC, 1978 – 1988

Manager, Media Relations and National Spokesperson, 1984 – 1988

Assistant Director, Public Affairs, 1983 – 1984

Special Projects Specialist, Public Affairs, 1982 – 1983

Corporate Photographer, 1978 – 1982

  • National spokesperson for organization.

  • Spearheaded corporate communication efforts on African famine, AIDS/HIV education and safety of blood supply, national and local disaster, and other key issues.

  • Responsible for annual report, executive speeches and reports, and all “delicate” PR issues.

  • Interviewed by media more than 2,000 times, including all major TV, radio networks.


Photojournalist Covering White House, Capitol Hill, 1972 – 1978

  • Events covered and published include Watergate Hearings, Carter inauguration, Saudi Arabia Arms Sales, other highly visible proceedings.

  • Publications included Newsweek, Washington Post, Time, Business Week, US News & World Report, Playboy, The New York Times, and others notable magazines and periodicals.


Early Work Experiences, 1965 - 1972

Variety of summer, evening and permanent positions, including Top Value Stamp Pink Elephant; Summer Intern at CIA HQ, Langley, VA; retail positions in appliance sales, garden center, photo studio; Pinkerton security guard; studio photographer, etc.



MBA with Honors, Management, California State University, Los Angeles (2004)

MA with Honors, Journalism/PR, University of Maryland (1983)

BA, Psychology, University of Maryland (1971)

Kabulonga High School, Lusaka, Zambia – 6th Form Certificate (1967)



Montgomery County, MD. Health Planning Commission, 1983-88

Dean, American National Red Cross Public Support Institute (3 years)

Member, National Poison Prevention Week Council, 1990-93

Member, National Just Say No PR Council, 1990-93

Member, Electromagnetic Energy Policy Alliance, 1989-93

BMI Honor Awardee

Beta Gamma Sigma Lifetime Member

Member, City of Hope Insurance Council Board, 1995-6

Rotary Club of Upland, Board member, 2000-1

Foothill Family Shelter Event Planner, 2000

President, Southern California Red Cross Executives Assn. 2000-1

Member, California State Red Cross Technology Committee, 1998-2001

Sublead, CA State Red Cross Public Relations Committee, 1996-2001

Red Cross CA 2000 State Conference:

Technology Track Leader, Instructor,

Public/Media Relations, Instructor

Effective Use of Internet and Websites, Instructor

President, Mt. Baldy United Way Council of Executives, 2000-1

San Gabriel Valley Chapter American Red Cross, Public Affairs Committee, 2001-2, 2006-10

San Gabriel Valley Chapter American Red Cross Board Director, 2014 - present

Telling Tales Theatre Creative Advisory Board, 2001-4

Member, Entertainment Technician Certification Council, 2002-2013

Themed Entertainment Sustainability Conference Committee, 2008-2010



International Red Cross Photography Contest, 2nd Prize, 1983

National Tiffany Award, American Red Cross, 1987

Certificate of Appreciation, ARC National Disaster Services, 1988

Certificate of Appreciation, Women in Art Education, 1998

International Changemaker Award (shared with Keith James, JRA), 2002

Themed Entertainment Association’s Outstanding Service Award, 2012



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