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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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. He has shown his work in New York, L.A., Sacramento, Minneapolis, and Seattle. He has been featured in Beautiful Decay and New Art Review magazine, and works as a freelance illustrator and muralist throughout Southern California. More recently Ryan became the first artist-in-residence for the Museum of Ventura County. 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.
GARF Global Manager & GARF Global Liaison, UK
Colin is from and based in the United Kingdom, and is the George A. Romero Foundation’s UK & European ambassador. A lifelong George A. Romero fan, Colin is very excited to be the voice of the Foundation in the UK. Colin will establish the presence of the Foundation, promote and attend events, and ensure George's legacy is well known in the UK. Furthermore, Colin will assist the Foundation in building a digital presence across the website and social media in addition to assisting with virtual and US-based events. Colin is an avid horror fan and convention-goer and holds key roles in organizing and arranging a dedicated George A. Romero Convention in the UK. When not enjoying George’s work, horror, or conventions, Colin is a keen runner, reader, and coffee table book collector.
GARF Global Liaison, Japan
Norman has been an avid follower of George’s work since the late 1960s. After moving to Japan in 1992 he became involved with domestic movie magazines, which led to his involvement with the Romero-directed TV spot for the Resident Evil 2 video game. Often, people are disappointed when working with their heroes; Norman is happy to report that George was every bit as incredible as he’d hoped. This production led to his involvement with Fangoria, where he covered the Japanese horror scene for over fifteen years. Today, England creates English subtitles for Japanese cinema, works as a still camera person on movie sets, and, when the mood strikes, directs his own films. England has released three books on George’s career; his latest one, George A. Romero’s Saga of the Dead, was a big seller in Japan. England is proud to join the GARF team as its ambassador to Japan.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
GARF Global Liaison, France
Julien Sévéon is a Breton writer based in Nantes who has been involved with genre cinema and Asian cinema for the past twenty-five years, and is the author of seven books. He spent fifteen years researching and writing his book George A. Romero, Révolutions, Zombies et Chevalerie, which was released to acclaim in France in 2017 and sold out in five months. An updated edition is on the way, slated for release in 2021.
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.
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.
GARF Global Liaison, Italy
Paolo Zelati is a journalist and film historian living in Mantova, Italy. A passionate expert in horror literature and cinema, Zelati founded the Italian monthly magazines Horrormania and Horror Time, and he’s collaborated with several Italian and international magazines and newspapers. In 2008, he published Prince of Darkness: The Fantastic Realistic in John Carpenter's Cinema, and in 2014, he published American Nightmares featuring thirty-three interviews with directors and screenwriters. For the last 10 years, Zelati has worked as an agent for the Italian masters of horror—Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava, Ruggero Deodato, Sergio Stivaletti, and Asia Argento—bringing them to conventions and festivals around the world. In 2016, he celebrated his twenty-year friendship with George by organizing a tribute/career award event at the Lucca Film Festival, where thousands of Italian fans were able to express their love for George.
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. Stephanie assists with the development of content for the Foundation's social media presence and website.
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.
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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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