Get to Know IBG – Danielle!
1. Describe the many different responsibilities you perform for IBG.
I am IBG, Inc.’s CEO as well as Publicity Coordinator. Primarily as Publicity Coordinator, my job entails media outreach: preparing promotional materials, working with various outlets for coverage of our events and fundraising efforts, and coordinating interview opportunities. As CEO, I am also responsible for customer service and correspondence, as well as a number of internal duties that come with being a board member.
2. Can you pick a favorite moment or memory from all the fundraising events IBG has organized thus far?
For me, our “Conversation with Life Unexpected” held in December 2009 was a particular high point for a number of reasons. The people we worked with on the event, from showrunner Liz Tigelaar to actor Kristoffer Polaha, are some of my favorites working in the industry today, and I was very involved in the show’s run as a blogger. To be able to bring them in front of a number of their fans for really the first and only time, since the show wasn’t getting a renewal, was a big deal. The stories they told were both heartfelt and poignant on the backdrop of knowing they’d all be going their separate ways. Add on top of it the fact that we got to raise money not only for such a worthy cause but also a domestic one — Portland Boys & Girls Aid — meant that much more to me. I really believe there is something to the phrase “charity starts at home,” and there are still so many areas and organizations right here in the U.S. that need help — a light shone on them, a little extra seed money, positive press, etc. Whenever I can, I like to draw attention to them.
3. What inspires you on a daily basis?
Working in the entertainment business can be really eye-opening. So much of it is a business, and often money and image are placed in front of the importance of artistry. There are so many who “make it” only to use their excessive fame and fortune for ridiculous, meaningless, superfluous things. There are so many who are big talkers and like to spout off about what they could do, or what they want to do, but they don’t actually do anything past posturing. But then there are those who not only still embody the artistic spirit but also follow up good intentions with action, using their names and recognizability to give back to those less fortunate. Those people are some of my biggest inspirations; always have been. I was a kid who grew up with the TV as my babysitter, teacher, and role model, and seeing so many of the very real people behind the larger-than-life personas actually caring to make a difference inspires me to, also. The people we have partnered with for events and fundraisers in the past fit this build, but there are so many others out there (that maybe someday we will partner with) that fit, too — people like Zachary Levi or Maggie Q or Bianca Kajlich.
4. In the next five years, what do you believe IBG can accomplish?
There is still a laundry list of causes for which I hope IBG can throw beneficiary events, including a few (like the PKD Foundation, The Oral Cancer Society, and A Dog’s Life Rescue) we’ve already talked about doing in the past but which, at this point in the business, are not yet feasible for a number of reasons: time, cost, and celebrity involvement all included. Over the next five years, I really want to see IBG continuously growing, throwing bigger and better events, getting more and more known for our name and what we do on our own, instead of simply associated with a particular fandom because of an event we are throwing. I want to get us to a point as a business where we can take on more staff, so that we have enough hands to plan even more events per quarter than we currently do — expanding to throw events outside of L.A. on occasion, as well.
5. What is one item or moment someone has given to you that you will never forget?
I’ve told this story before, in my pop culture memoir (not so subtle plug), but it was still the first thing that came to mind with this question, so I think it’s worth repeating. There was a moment when I was eight or nine and was asked to stay after school for a minute. I can’t remember exactly what the scenario was surrounding the event, but I know the gist was a friend of mine had gotten in trouble for something and ratted me out as the mastermind. Whatever it was, I had convinced my friend to do the dirty work so I wouldn’t be the one to get in trouble. My third grade teacher basically pulled me aside, and without really judging me, told me I had to be really careful about what I said and did because other kids were looking to me as a leader and would be influenced by me. It was the first time I really considered the idea that someone other than me was paying attention to me, and it really stuck with me (clearly). I decided I liked the idea of being a leader; I just had to decide what kind of leader I wanted to be.
6. And for fun…Who wins in a battle: Superman or a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?
I’m not afraid to admit I was never really into comic books as a kid, but I WAS into Saturday morning cartoons. So to this day I have way more knowledge about the TMNT than I do Superman, and I’m going to have to give them the edge, even if it’s only wishful thinking. Superman is supposed to be about saving innocent people, so as much as he can be stronger than most, I see him more as a pacifist (again, I haven’t actually read the comics, so please don’t send me angry mythology emails; this is just an impression I get from the imagery and from Smallville, if I’m being completely honest). The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles battle for a living, and they come equipped with their own battle tools, while Superman does not. And the TMNT live in the sewers. That alone makes them more hardcore than most. …Oh, and I know you didn’t ask, but for the record my favorite was always Leonardo.
Be sure to check our blog next Friday for another round of Q&A’s!