THE FRIENDS THAT MAKE IT HAPPEN
Beau Menetre, Co-Founder, Planning and Tech
Beau Menetre is a co-founder of the Tryon International Film Festival and Technical Director / Partner with Blue Dog Productions. Beau is one of those lucky individuals who knew exactly what career to pursue – Live Event Production and Show Technology. This includes TV and Film Production and Corporate Event Management. For example, he has been Technical Director / Producer of more than 30 Live Show Events for the United States Marine Corps. He has also been the Project Manager / Stage Manager for many Fortune 500 companies such as American Express, Mack Trucks and Lockheed Martin. Beau, his wife Ashley, and their son, Myles, live in Tryon, NC.
Ashley Crane, Director of Education
Ashley, a Spartanburg, SC native, is thrilled to be back on the Tryon International Film Festival after a few years in NYC! After graduating from Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Cinema/TV program and working with the Polk County Film Initiative to launch the first Tryon International Film Festival, she moved to NYC to work behind the scenes in Film, TV, and Commercial, and with Industry Leading Acting Coaches Denise Simon, Penny Templeton, Bob Marks, T. Schreiber, and ReelArc. Her clients have worked on- and off- Broadway, gone on National Tours, and worked on shows like John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch, Saturday Night Live, I Am Frankie, Victorious, and more. At home in front of the camera, behind the camera, and on stage, Ashley has acted up and down the east coast, and written for film, TV, and theater. When not performing, coaching, attending a class or writing, she loves hanging out with her Shih Tzu Maddie and rock climbing.
Becky Collins, Director Entertainment
Becky enlisted in the US Army, graduated from Army Airborne Parachute school and was a participant of Operation Desert Storm. After leaving the Army, Becky launched an Interior Design and Decorative painting company and was highly regarded as the premier faux finisher in the MidWest before discovering her current passion Encaustic art. After moving to the Foothills with her family 7 years ago, Becky volunteers with Hospice, the Friendship Circle, Tryon Fine Arts Center, Polk County Schools, Tryon International Film Festival, Steps to Hope and Warming the View
Cher Brown, Outreach
Along with her husband Terry, Cher Brown co-founded Keva Creative, an award-winning documentary film and video production company. As filmmakers their historical, educational, and environmental films, including Tryon International Film Festival Short Documentary Winner Tidal Alert, draws attention to and provides solutions to problems facing our world. Cher has been an aerial cinematographer since 2017, when she obtained her FAA Drone Pilot Certification and has flown more than 1,000 missions with over 250 flight hours. Cher developed and taught drone curriculum at Carteret Community College, was a personal drone flight instructor for UAV Coach, and is a Brand Ambassador for Women Who Drone. As a professional photographer, Cher was a photojournalist for the Florida Times Union and covered special events and concerts for TotallyStAugustine.com. As a self-professed ‘nature girl’, her fine art and nature photography is curated in galleries, healthcare facilities and in private collections around the country.
Debra Torrence, Director of Operations and Outreach
Debra has over 30 years of experience in nonprofit administration, university research and fund development. She has successfully administered multiple nonprofit organizations in the arts and education. She has secured dozens of grants for a variety of arts, community, research, education and human services efforts for nonprofits to support their missions, organizational and fund development needs.
Marty Kirchhof Outreach
Marty has lived in Tryon now for six years. After teaching In Sydney, Australia for 14 years, she finished up her education career in Connecticut before retiring and moving south. As an avid film goer, she has volunteered multiple times at the Tribeca Film Festival, attended the Dallas International Film Festival, and was recently asked to be on the board of Tryon International Film Festival.
Emerge Multimedia, LLC, Digital Marketing
Emerge Multimedia, LLC “Connecting You Where it Counts” is a woman-owned business passionate about helping businesses thrive. Janet Sciacca, Nadine Naujoks and Amy Carroll bring more than 3 decades of web & graphic design, social media management, digital marketing, public relations, special events and promotion skills focused on improving the economic strength of the community by connecting businesses with each other and their target market.
Nadine has worked with TRIFF since its inception in 2015. Emerge Multimedia, LLC, since forming back in 2018, has been an ardent supporter serving as both sponsor and digital marketing support.
Kirk Gollwitzer, Co-Founder, Content and Judging
Kirk is a co-founder of the Tryon International Film Festival. Kirk is a real estate broker with New View Realty and a active member of the Tryon community. He has a degree in Finance from the University of South Carolina. For more than 25 years Kirk devoted his life to computer science, culminating to owning and operating a successful software development company in Greenville which sold in 2009 and is still in operation today. After moving to the Tryon area Kirk began exploring the arts as a photographer, writer, author, videographer and musician. Kirk has been a reporter and feature writer for the Tryon Daily Bulletin and other media platforms, but it has been his novel “Illegitimate Advantage”, that he claims as his largest artistic accomplishment. Kirk has a deep love for Western North Carolina, where he lives and breathes on a horse farm in Mill Spring.
Ashley Menetre, Entertainment
Ashley is The Queen of Competence, the woman in charge of Everything Festival Fun.
From conceiving, designing, organizing, decorating, and executing front and back of house with grace, there is no event Ashley doesn’t have her hands in and take a higher level. Fundraisers, the Festival itself, after-parties (before parties!)and hospitalities. This amazing event would not be possible without her!
Carri Bass, Director of Photography
Carri has been photographing with passion and style for several years in the Pacific NW, South West, Upstate of SC and Western NC. She has traveled and photographed internationally for much of the past five years and has brought her experience to Tryon with a full service studio and art gallery… 158 N Trade St. carribass.com. A highlight of her career has been her involvement with the Tryon International Film Festival, being a part of a great team and having the opportunity to photo journal this unique venture.
Debbie Pardal, Director of Volunteers
My husband and I moved to Tryon in 2022 and soon after, I joined the staff at the Tryon Theatre. I have always loved movies and was immediately intrigued by all the buzz about the film festival here. Becoming a volunteer felt like the perfect way to get involved, meet people and discover more about this unique event.
I quickly became acquainted with many wonderful people in the area and was asked to take on a bigger role with TRIFF. I have a background in volunteer service and organization which includes coordinating the Reading Is Fundamental program in Southern Pines, NC, serving on the Friends of the Southern Pines Public Library for 10 years, leading a Girl Scout troop for 6 years, various church committees, VBS programs, PTA board positions and fundraisers. I’m excited to be a part of the TRIFF planning team as the Director of Volunteers and look forward to meeting new folks who want to be a part of this very unique and special festival we have here in Tryon.
Diane Ballard, Outreach
Diane is so excited to be with the festival as business partner development outreach. This is her passion. She has worked in marketing and advertising in a multitude of positions over the last 40 years. It all began with the public relations at Georgia Southern University. Working for Radio Chattanooga as account sales executive and as an independent media consultant; teaching the buying and selling of all forms of media including TV, Radio, Print, Billboards. Her company Media Basics was also located in Chattanooga TN. Diane was a teaching faculty member for the Urgent Care Association of America teaching “Marketing 101” and “Marketing on a Shoestring Budget” at both Pre-Conference and National Conferences in 2008 and 2009. As an experienced national speaker her passion is helping small business and non-profits to thrive. Eight years as senior sales consultant and on-air personality with WTZQ. She also worked with the Russian Relief Foundation in Hendersonville ministering to women and children in Russia, Ukraine and now here in the United States.
Tom Trobaugh, PCFI Board President
With his leadership experience, knowledge of sales and marketing, his passion for the community and willingness to be colorful to get the job done, Tom Trobaugh is now leading PCFI as its new board president.
“I gratefully accepted the position of president of PCFI in hopes that my 40 years of experience in global sales, marketing and operations will be of assistance in growing PCFI and turning TRIFF into a world class festival. I love movies and I love Tryon. Joining PCFI allows me to be surrounded by like-minded individuals and to be able to enjoy first line movies including world premieres,” Trobaugh says.