Syracuse International Film Festival

Meet The Board


Michelle DiBernardo
Jeff Meyer
Linda Osborne
Cody Slade

Advisory Board Members

David Tarleton
Adria Dawn
Derek Walter


Logan Beerman
PR/Social Media
Mandy Condes
Contributing Writer Newsletter Team
Carly Nicolai
Contributing Writer Newsletter Team
Alysah Pantorilla
Premiere Pro Editor
Kamilla Shahzad
Contributing Writer Newsletter Team
Yiyi Su

Ex Officio

Eric Vinal

Festival Photographer/Videographers

Michal Lepore
Kailee Stevenson
Michael Calobrisi
Malcolm Huey


Rick Nuzzo


Jon Seeber

Emeritus Board

Owen Shapiro
Christine Shapiro

2024 Judges

Brandon Brooks
Director, Screenwriter & Producer
Steph France
Award Winning Filmmaker & Screenwriter
Gulrukh Khan
Multi-awarded filmmaker, Holistic facilitator, Public Speaker, and Entrepreneur
Steph K
Community Supporter
Muhammad Fawad Noori
International Fashion Professional
Michele Powles
Author, Dancer & Producer
Community Supporter
Rosemary Reid
Producer, Director & Writer
Gina Stankivitz

**We Honor Bob Herz**

On Sunday, May 28, 2023, Bob Herz of LaFayette, NY, passed away at the age of 74, leaving behind so many people who will continue to love him and cherish his memory. Our loss is truly Heaven’s gain.
Bob was born June 16, 1948 in Syracuse, New York to Edwin and Beatrice (Oplinger) Herz, who pre-deceased him. He is survived by his wife, Sally Berry; his brothers, Richard (Nancy) Herz and Randall (Karen) Herz; a niece; several nephews and his beloved dogs, Mack and Gus.
Bob graduated in the Class of 71 from Hobart & William Smith Colleges and received his MFA from the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop. He began his professional career as editor of the Central New York Business Journal, followed by a short stint as Editor in Chief of the Syracuse New Times. He then spent 17 years as a legislative aide to NYS Senator Tarky Lombardi, Jr., where he developed legislation, policy and program. It was in that role that he met Sally Berry, then Executive Director of Vera House. This meeting eventually led to the enactment in 1987 of the New York State Domestic Violence Prevention Act to support services for victims of domestic violence and their children. This law required counties to provide shelter and services to victims of domestic violence and established mainstream funding mechanisms for these programs. Bob and Sally were married February 18, 1996 in Ithaca, NY.
After Senator Lombardi left the NYS Senate, Bob worked as a legislative aide in Albany for another ten years for NYS Senator Roy Goodman.
Since Bob left state government in 2002, he’s been a business owner, consultant, and a published poet. He was a publisher and editor, with his colleagues Steve Kuusisto and Andrea Scarpino, of the Nine Mile Magazine and Book Series. He developed major incubator, life sciences, digital game legislation & policy in New York. He ran an award-winning incubator (NBIA Incubator of the Year award, 2012). Bob had key roles in developing the NYS Elder Law and the Arts & Cultural Affairs laws. He consulted in Bioscience development in China and was developer for facilities projects for schools and libraries in New York. Since 2012, Bob has been operating his own business incubator, InSourcing. He thrived when helping other people succeed. He was an incredible mentor.
Bob had many talents and passions. He loved writing, people, poetry, his church, music, politics, and a good debate. He loved to create and build things. He also loved his home with Sally in LaFayette, regularly sharing photos of the views, the sunrises and sunsets. We expect to see some spectacular sunrises in the days ahead because Bob will no doubt volunteer to serve on the sunrise committee.