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Industry Star of the Month

Wes French, Regional Program Manager for the General Services Administration

Wes French July 2, 2008 - What is Wesley French���s favorite part of his job? When it���s finally ���Game Day.��� Game Day, as he described it, ���is a remarkable happening��� after several weeks of planning, meeting with location scouts, and negotiating with film productions, where he finally gets to see the energy and excitement of a set���s creation���start to finish���at a Federal Building.

French, who serves as the Regional Program Manager of Outleasing, Side Acquisitions, and Urban Development for the General Services Administration is in charge of all film shoots at Federal Buildings in New York City, and can be seen on set anytime there is a shoot on federal property. ���My job is to make sure everything goes right,��� says French. However, as his job title suggests, French is in charge of far more at the GSA.

Around a year ago when French took the job of Regional Program Manager at the GSA, the position had just recently been created as part of a good-neighborhood policy, to bring the community into Federal Buildings and Federal Buildings into the community. ���We didn���t want these buildings sitting like fortresses in neighborhoods,��� said French. In federal buildings upstate, French has organized free concerts and farmers markets in and around federal buildings to bring the community together. But the diversity and grandeur of New York City���s federal buildings begged French for a different type of community involvement: the film industry.

French quickly became the contact person for any film or photo crew interested in shooting at a federal building and strengthened the relationship between the GSA and the Mayor���s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting. Bringing film crews into federal buildings provides more opportunities for the industry, and it also provides film audiences with a chance to see inside these historic buildings, suggested French.

Additionally, the money generated from film shoots at federal buildings goes straight into funding the historic preservation of federal buildings like the U.S. Customs House that was built in 1907. Plus, he added, ���The employees here love it. They all go home and brag about who they got to see filming while they were at work.���

Despite French���s passion for bringing the film industry and audiences into Federal Buildings, his first loyalty will always be to the public function of federal buildings. ���These are public buildings and our largest houses anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 employees and visitors every day.���

Balancing between filmmakers��� requests and the demands of a federal building���s daily functions can be a challenge, yet French maintains ���It���s an honor to go through the process of welcoming the film industry into our buildings.���

Industry Star

Margarita Acevedo, Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting
John Battista, Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting
Tom Reidy, Madison Square Park
Steven Holtzman, Canal Creatures Productions

Jennifer Lenihan, Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting
Lynne Meadow, Manhattan Theatre Club
Thomas O'Donnell, Local 817
Katy Finch, Brooklyn Workforce Innovations
Meredith Conti, Grand Central Terminal

Gino Lucci, Picture Cars East
Habibah Ali-Love, OFTB
McCord Fitzsimmons, Former OFTB Intern
Lis Pearson, New York Public Library
Veronica Miles, EcoSet
Lisa Rubin, Hudson River Park Trust
Mari Jo Winkler, PGA Green
Michael Super, Coney Island, Parks and Recreational Manager
Caroline Stephenson, NYC Economic Development Corporation
Lisa Lucas, Tribeca Film Institute

Harriet Taub, Material for the Arts
David Moy, OFTB
Fred Cerullo, Grand Central Partnership
Marge Feinberg, DOE
Nate Grove, Marinas
Frank Gribbon, FDNY
Jeffrey Sangrund, Brooklyn Bridge Park
Javonne Parker, Staten Island Ferry
Justin Green, Build It Green! NYC
Tom Ross, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"
Eric Peterson, Randall's Island
Connie Fitzgerald, Department of Environmental Protection

Joey Violante, Technicolor
Stephanie Argamaso, OFTB
Vito Turso, DSNY
Elizabeth Rapuano, Governor's Island
Estelle Cooper, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Alvah Holmes, Former MOFTB Intern
Dana Kuznetzkoff, Line Producer
Eva Radke, Film Biz Recycling
Karen Meyerhoff, Guggenheim
Meredith Rothstein, Roseland Ballroom
Charlotte St. Martin, The Broadway League

The Artists Company
Celina Sze, OFTB
Sharon Jensen, The Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts
Terence Gray, New York Television Festival
Sam Levy, Summer Play Festival
Wes French, General Services Administration
Tom Maiorano, Brooklyn Navy Yard
Joan Cooney, South Street Seaport
Jeannine Marotta, Staten Island Economic Development Corporation
Brooke Smy, Tishman Speyer
Elliott Kerman, Tax Credit Accountant

Matthew Kania, Assistant Location Manager
Lieutenant Joe Lassen, Movie/TV Unit
In Memoriam - Nancy Littlefield
Ivory Henderson-Robb, Department of Transportation
Jack Powers, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Robin Forst, Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center
Kitty Preston, CUNY Locations
Liz Carollo, Greenmarket
Donna Masly, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation
Sean Jones, New York City Department of Corrections
Sheila Greene, NYCHA

Ralph Musolino, Parks and Recreation
Rick Cotton, NBC Universal
Joe Fontao, Location Manager
Gretchen McGowan, HDNet Films/Open City Films
Tim Tompkins, Times Square Alliance
Erika Feldman, Theatre Row
Vin Lenza, Staten Island Development Corporation
Tristan Assent, "Made in NY" PA
Denise Motta, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Terry Lawler, New York Women in Film and Television
Monty Ross, 40 Acres and a Mule

Pat White, Local 764
Michelle Byrd, Independent Feature Project
Matt Miller, AICP
Kyle McCarthy, MTA Metro-North
Jeannette Pinero, Department of Correction
Bambi Brook, Dawn Animal Agency
Andy Nagy, NYCHA
Juan Rosario, HPD
James J. Claffey, Jr., IATSE Local One
Mac Brown, Producer
Cheryl Hodge, VTU
Llewellyn Wells, Executive Producer
Lawrence Major, Parks and Recreation

Ken Konfong, Economic Development Corporation
Whoopi Goldberg, Actress/Producer
Caroline Baron, FilmAid International
Thomas O'Donnell Sr., Local 817
Drew Jiritano, Special Effects Coordinator
Carla Rajj, Location Manager
Al Cerullo, Film Pilot
James Lauer, FDNY
Dan Mercado, Parks and Recreation
Rebecca Seale, DCAS
Alberteen Anderson, MTA
Joseph Ellis, NYPD
Peter Basich, DOT
Richie Silverman, NYPD