MEET THE TEAM BEHIND THE FOUNDATION
Founder and President
A theater graduate and history buff, I met George A. Romero in 2005 when he was doing post-production for Land of the Dead. I had no idea who he was nor had I seen any of his films, not even Night of the Living Dead! (I am more of a Shakespeare and a Daphne Du Maurier fan; as it turns out, so was he.) My relationship with George blossomed into a rare simpatico.
Tina Romero, daughter of George A. Romero, is a filmmaker, professor, and DJ based in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated as a Cinema Studies major from Wellesley College in 2006 before attending the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts graduate film program. While at NYU, Tina received the Warner Bros. Film Award and the Steven J. Ross Scholarship for her accomplishments in filmmaking.
Chief Operations Officer
By day, Jeff works in higher education. By night, he is an avid horror screenwriter. Some of Jeff's fondest childhood memories are of sleepovers that included classic horror movies, role playing games (RPGs), comic books, and junk food. George's work always featured prominently, and Jeff cannot remember when such an occasion did not screen Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, or Day of the Dead. Jeff is honored for the opportunity to give back to the legacy by assisting with the website and operations for the GARF. By doing so, Jeff hopes to help George and his work have an impact for a very long time to come.
Secretary & Treasurer
Ramona is honored to be part of the George A. Romero Foundation team, bringing her unique creative energy to the task of helping to preserve George’s work and legacy. Born in Germany, Ramona has forged a place for herself in the local creative community. Ramona oversees the GARF's social media in addition to her status as an officer. She is also working on a series of children’s books and is collaborating on a screenplay. High on Ramona’s list of interests are travel (especially Paris and Scotland), digital art, charitable work, and her four cats.
Christian was fortunate enough to have been “grandfathered” into the Romero film family by his brother Taso, who worked on several of George’s productions. The creative influence of Taso, Tom Savini, and George himself proved irresistible, and Christian grew up steeped in cinema culture and lore. He gravitated towards the arts from an early age, particularly sculpture, painting, and (of course) film. The memorial bust of George Romero on display at Monroeville Mall is his work, and his locally produced 2013 film Mortal Remains has been inducted into the University of Pittsburgh Horror Studies collection.
Managing Editor & Content Developer
Laura Kemmerer, a content developer with over a decade of experience, made a home for herself in horror within the last few years. She is the one of the founders of indie horror zine What Sleeps Beneath, and she also started the Women in Horror meetup with WSB cofounder Theresa Baughman shortly before the pandemic started. She has served as an editor and copywriter for business-to-business publications, previously edited fiction, and worked as the managing editor for Tattooed Heroine magazine. Outside of horror, Laura is most interested in film theory, folklore, and hauntology. Laura aims to use her skill set to boost the voice and mission of the GARF, as well as assist in developing and creating content that engages supporters and the curious alike.
Artist in Residence
Ryan Carr earned his BFA in Illustration from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Ryan’s artistic interests lean to more figurative and anatomical subjects with an emphasis on drawing and fine line detail. Ryan is delighted to join the GARF as its artist-in-residence. He provides original artwork for the GARF newsletter and is currently working on several future projects for fans to enjoy.
M.A. has loved horror as far back as she can remember. She has been studying the genre for several years and is excited to be able to work with the horror community. She brings her vast technical knowledge to the GARF to help keep George's legacy alive for many generations to come.
Chelsea Bennington is a nonprofit digital marketing specialist with experience developing in digital communications strategies and content marketing campaigns. She works with GARF on digital marketing and fundraising campaigns, as well as managing content and engagement on the GARF Patreon. Chelsea also co-leads two horror-inspired improv troupes in New York City, “Final Girl” and “Spooky Doings” (and produces the podcast of the same name). She loves horror films and is excited to bring that passion into amplifying GARF’s presence within the horror community.
Kay Lynch is the founder and director of Salem Horror Fest. She has produced and promoted hundreds of events in the art, Queer, and horror communities all over the world. Headquartered in Salem, Massachusetts, she has launched numerous businesses, organizations and projects including a creative co-working space, midnight rock horror show, city council campaign, recycling PSAs, teen media program and property photography. She was the director of marketing for Manhunt, Jack’d and various adult entertainment platforms and has worked with hundreds of notable personalities including Elvira, John Waters, Joe Dante, Elizabeth Warren, Barney Frank, DeRay Mckesson, and Sharon Needles.
Video Production Specalist & IT Coordinator
Pete is a video production specialist and award winning filmmaker with more than seven years experience in film and video production and more than 15 years experience in other technology fields.
Matt Croyle is an award-nominated creator and is the Founder and Festival Director of the Oil Valley Film Festival in Venango County, Pennsylvania. He is a director of both stage and screen, a playwright and screenwriter, an award-winning cinematographer, and an award-nominated actor. His feature film directorial debut was 'Potential Inertia' in 2014, which he also wrote and served as executive producer, cinematographer, and editor. He is a graduate of Clarion University of Pennsylvania (00') with a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Communication and Theater with a focus on interpersonal communication.
GARF Network Host
Matt Blazi is a life-long horror movie and independent film admirer who has been attending conventions for over 20 years. Being a fan of George Romero’s films helped open the door to discovering the world of horror and expose him to the filmmaking process. That love of independent filmmaking led him to want to know everything about the making of 1999’s The Blair Witch Project. In 2013, Matt established The Blair Witch Experience, an annual event celebrating the Blair Witch Project by taking fans on in-depth tours of all the locations used in the film. He published his first book, 8 Days in the Woods: The Making of the Blair Witch Project, in 2019.
GARF Network Host
A long-term fan of George’s work, Eric Kent has been involved in the online Romero community for the past twenty years. After serving as a forum moderator at Homepage of the Dead, the Internet’s number-one destination for Romero’s original “Dead Trilogy,” Eric created three websites dedicated to Night of the Living Dead, Martin, and Dawn of the Dead. In 2003, Eric made his first trek to the Monroeville Mall, and can be seen in tour video footage that was featured in the documentary The Dead Will Walk, which has been included on every major release of Dawn of the Dead since that time.
Guest Relations Manager
Steve Barton – also known as “Uncle Creepy” – has built an illustrious career in the horror industry. He is a WGA writer, live event host, television and radio personality, tastemaker and critic, and award winning film producer and editor-in-chief. Steve is perhaps best known for forming one of the industry’s largest and most well-respected media outlets, Dread Central. Steve has crafted dozens of DVD commentary tracks including one for Survival of the Dead with George. He has also appeared on numerous home video special features, and he has acted in several feature films, including Survival of the Dead. Steve is honored to be joining the GARF as he cites George as one of his primary influences and a career-driver. He brings along an abundance of experience, and he hopes to contribute high-quality guests for the GARF’s programming.
Lara is honored to be part of the George A. Romero Foundation team. She brings her knowledge of working with conventions for over 30 years. In addition to her work with the GARF, she actively supports films and actors in the horror industry. She is also an experienced fused glass artist.
Among the Pittsburgh film community, Russ Streiner is best known as a film producer/director who is also at the center of film community leadership. Russ is the founder and chair of the Pittsburgh Film Office (PFO). That leadership has enabled Pittsburgh to have one of the most effective film office operations in the United States. Among horror movie fans, Russ is best known for his role as “Johnny” in the 1968 George A. Romero classic Night of the Living Dead. Russ was also the producer of that film. In educational circles, Russ is a frequent mentor of young entrepreneurs and filmmakers in both classroom and online environments.
Stephanie Zombies was born and raised in Denver, CO. She has been a Romero fan since she was 6 years old and has had the honor of meeting George multiple times while going to horror conventions. Stephanie is also an avid horror collector. Her favorite movie is Dawn of the Dead.
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The GARF is dedicated to honoring the life work and cultural influence of George A. Romero, and supporting a new generation of filmmakers and artists inspired by his legacy.
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