tolmanDrew Tolman, Animation Associate Producer at 20th Century Fox

Animation Producer Drew Tolman has over 15 years of experience making family blockbusters in both development and production for Fox, Disney, Universal and Warner Bros.  She has helped build three animation studios and has managed nearly every department at one point or another.   Currently, she is the Animation Associate Producer for 20th Century Fox’s 2015 Christmas release “Alvin and the Chipmunks – Road Chip!” Ms. Tolman began her career as a Development Assistant at 20th Century Fox Animation and worked there for three years, where many family movies were developed including Titan AE (2000) and Ice Age (2002).  From there, she worked in production on Pooh’s Heffalump Movie (2005) for The Walt Disney Company, Curious George (2006) for Universal Studios and Imagine Entertainment, Everyone’s Hero (2006) for Fox and Starz Media and Alvin and the Chipmunks II, the Squeakquel (2009) for Fox 2000 and Hop (2011) for Universal Studios.  She was also the Production Manager at Warner Bros. for a series of CG animated shorts distributed in Kenya as part of the U.S. Pepfar initiative (2008).  She supervised Post Production on several Disney shows including Phineas and Ferb, Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Star Versus the Forces of Evil for Disney Television Animation.  A big believer in mentoring and creating opportunities for next-gen talent, she is on the Board of Directors for Miami International Animation Conference and Festival, held annually on Miami Beach, and she teaches and guest lectures at various colleges.  Ms. Tolman is an avid writer, a poet, awarded screenwriter and aspiring children’s book author.  Her screenwriting has placed in several contests and has been endorsed by the prestigious KIDS FIRST! Coalition for Quality Children’s Media.  She founded the family entertainment company, Beach Plum Media, to grow and produce her own ideas. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Ms. Tolman received her Master’s degree in Film Studies with a concentration in children’s films from the University of Miami, Coral Gables and her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

See also: Board of Directors, Pitch to the Industry



Leah Hoyer, Director of Narrative Design at Arena.net

Leah Hoyer is a former attorney who left that field to pursue her passion for cartoons. After completing her MFA coursework at UCLA’s Animation Workshop in 2001, Leah began working at Disney Television Animation, where she was the Director of Development for Disney Channel Animated Series. During her tenure at Disney, Leah worked on numerous series, including “Recess,” “Kim Possible” and “Phineas & Ferb.”  Ms. Hoyer is now Narrative Design Director at Microsoft Studios, where she oversees a team of story and transmedia professionals who develop and shepherd stories for video games, television series, books, and other properties.  She also looks for innovative ways to tell stories across platforms and using new technologies.




See also: Board of Directors, Pitch to the Industry, Game On



JoAnna Almasude is an internationally exhibited professional fine artist with over 30 years of experience. Her professional artwork has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States, Japan, Italy, England, Spain, Morocco and Oman. Her work includes figure drawing and illustration, painting (oil) and sculpture (bronze). She has also worked as a web designer and web animator for various schools and universities.

After 15 years as a professional artist and 4 years as a web designer and web animation artist, JoAnna joined the teaching faculty at the Art institute of Pittsburgh’s online division in 2002. As an educator and expert in drawing the human figure, JoAnna is especially interested in promoting the importance of traditional figure drawing for animators and game art designers.

JoAnna has served in various academic and administrative positions at several universities, including: Ohio University’s school of Fine Art, Francis Marion University, Capella University, Dhofar University in Salalah, Oman, as well as, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s online division. Currently, she is Professor and Department Director of the Game Art & Design and Media Arts & Animation at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s Online Division. JoAnna earner her B.F.A. and M.F.A. from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

A sample selection of JoAnna’s artwork may be viewed at joannaalmasude.com.

See also: Portfolio Review


mittnerMartin Mittner, Full Time Faculty @ MAGIC, Game Development Design

Martin Mittner specializes in systems design and new IP development. He is currently the newest addition to the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex, and is helping to guide the development of Miami Dade College’s gaming program. Martin has eclectic experience working on mobile, console, and location based entertainment projects for companies like Electronic Arts, WMS Gaming, and Shiver Entertainment. Prior to working in games Martin was a successful web designer and developer.






erwin1Erwin Santacruz, Motion Designer & Developer

Based out of sunny South Florida, Erwin brings a wealth of experience havingworked in broadcast, film, web, and interactive for well over a decade. His design & aesthetic sensibilities as a motion designer is supported by strong technical savvy. Able to balance creative thinking with logical design ideas, Erwin enjoys the opportunity to develop solutions to challenging problems.
In addition to working full-time for the one of the largest networks in the country, he is an adjunct professor at Miami Dade College’s Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex (MAGIC). He also finds the time to manage a freelance career which includes working on campaigns for Nike, ExxonMobil, Adidas, & Coca Cola.
Most recently, Erwin has been exploring the depths of Side Effects’ procedural 3D application Houdini and has a website called houdinitricks.com dedicated to sharing tips and tricks on the application. When not designing or animating pixels, Erwin exercises the left hemisphere of his brain by applying his programming skills to develop applications for Web, desktop and mobile platforms as well as plugins & scripts for Cinema 4D and After Effects. If all else fails, he watches some Twilight Zone, I Love Lucy, or Three’s Company reruns.



alexisAlexis Centeno, 2D/3D Artist

Alexis M. Centeno is a published 2D/3D artist with a BFA in Computer Animation and spends her days as a Lab Assistant & Tutor at Miami Dade College’s MAGIC.
In 2014, she won the MIA Animation Conference &Festival “Pitch to the Industry” Competition for her original series “Grandpa.” Grandpa is a desperate vampire who turns rain soaked, neon world upside down when he reawakens his short-tempered, fire-breathing granddaughter to save him an Alzheimer’s curse.
The winning concept is now a bi-weekly webcomic series on NAVER’s Webtoon: “Grandpa”
In the summer of 2015, Alexis started ZBrush UZR Group, a biweekly workshop supporting the growing community of 3D artists at MAGIC by performing living demos and giving Q&A sessions to help students troubleshoot their personal or portfolio projects.