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Our Trustees


We are lucky to have a Board dedicated to supporting our mission and helping guide the development of Cinema Ed.

Richard Stephen Bell

Richard Stephen Bell is an actor, producer, screenwriter and educator. His feature length scripts have placed in such prestigious competitions as the Austin Film Festival, Nicholl Fellowships for Screenwriting (run by the Academy Awards), Final Draft Big Break, BlueCat Screenplay Contest, Creative World Awards and Coppola’s Zoetrope. He has also written and starred in an award-winning short film, "Bartleby 2013", based on Herman Melville's short story, and was on the production team of “Shy Guys” a hilarious short film that has appeared in over 100 film festivals. Written and directed by veteran actor Fredric Lehne (Tallulah, Zero Dark Thirty, Men in Black, among many others) it stars Tony Winner Reed Birney (The Humans, House of Cards and many more). Richard’s acting exploits can be seen on television, in film, on stage and on the internet. In addition, Richard is also a father of three talented children, a member of the local Environmental Commission and President of the Farrell Field Park Conservancy. Although he has many irons in the fire, Richard is most passionate about his work with student filmmakers, who are the future creative leaders in our society, and who will make this world a better place for all.

Deborah Davis Ford

Deborah Davis Ford brings an impressive 20-year record of corporate experience in the field of personnel training/development and client management to her civic engagements. She was elected to the Board of Trustees of South Orange Village in May 2007 and was appointed Clerk of the Board of Essex County Chosen Freeholders in 2009. Deborah is also a past member of the Newark Rotary Club (where she served as the first female president from 1993-1994), served on the Executive Board of North Jersey Jack and Jill,, and is a past member of the Regional Business Partnership, the NJ Transit Advisory Board, the Cancer Care Advisory Board, as well as a past President of the Greater Newark Chamber Small Business Council and Past Chairperson of Partners in Education and Quality. She attended Northeastern University and Rutgers University and is most proud of her family. She is married to her high school sweetheart and is the mother of a recent college graduate.

Robert Messick

Robert Messick leverages an extensive career as a business executive with 30+ years in Sales, Marketing and Finance at Ricoh USA, Inc., and currently leads Marketing & Sales Operations generating $800 million in revenue annually. He has a strong commitment to community service; serving for 10 years as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Frost Valley YMCA, leading their Audit Committee for three years and currently participating in the Development, Finance, Investment & Audit Committees.  Bob, a west coast native and long-time resident of New Jersey, has also served for many years in leadership roles at his local church. He holds MBA and BBA degrees in Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson and National University, respectively, and enjoys travel, fishing, biking and spending time with his wife of 30+ years and his college-age daughter and son.

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Rachel Ford

Rachel is a graduate of Georgetown University, with a Masters in Public Health from Rutgers University. While at Rutgers she was Vice-President of the New Brunswick SPH Student Government Association and a Public Health Student Ambassador.  Rachel’s primary field of interest is Infectious Disease Epidemiology. She sees a gap between the wealth of information produced by scientists and researchers and how that information is communicated to individuals, companies and organizations. She enjoys the process of taking complex scientific information and simplifying it so that the necessary data can be used to influence policy making decisions and educate the public at large. Rachel was also a Legislative Aide for Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake, where she handled outreach and marketing, and for Essex County Freeholder Janine Bauer where she handled scheduling and researched legislative issues.

Meredith Rush-Bell

Meredith is a professional actor who has performed on stage and in film.  She attended Florida School of the Arts and then studied in New York City with Wynn Handman, Ada Brown Mather and at HB Studios.  In addition to roles in independent films, she has performed several stage roles, including the lead role in Georges Feydeau’s “Before Her Time” on Theater Row in Manhattan, which was produced with the help of Olympia Dukakis and directed by Tom Brennan.  Also, as the mother to three grown children, she has been Registered Nurse for over 20 years, working in a Cardio-Thoracic ICU for over 10 years. She currently is on the Radiation Oncology staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs. She has received a Certificate of Clinical Excellence as well as the Spirit of Caring Award. She participated on the Ethics Committee and the Hospice Volunteer Training Program. Meredith brings to the board a background of compassionate and creative energy and a strong desire to move Cinema Ed forward toward reaching its short term and long term goals. Her passion is for helping others use independent film and storytelling as a gateway to learning and success.

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Shauna Arnette

Shauna received her Bachelor’s Degree in English with a Concentration in Television and Screenwriting from Montclair State University. A proud South Orange Business Owner of seven years, she opened and co-ran Elitist Coffee shop during her last two years of Undergraduate Studies. She continues to operate the business with a philanthropic vision through partnerships with local organizations such as Jespy House. Shauna has a background in amateur stage production and has worked under actors programs such as BIH Studios in Manhattan as a teen. Her long-held passion for writing and reading has carried into her love of film and screenwriting workshops, which she also hopes to inspire in the many young and creative minds that CinemaEd seeks to touch.

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