Hollywood Producer Paula Wagner To Deliver Keynote
Address for Tepper School of Business Diploma Ceremony
Event Recognizing Graduate Students To Be Held
Saturday, May 15 at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall
PITTSBURGH—Paula Wagner, renowned Hollywood producer and former top talent agent and studio executive, will be the keynote speaker at this year's diploma ceremony for the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. The event, which will recognize students receiving their master's and doctoral degrees, will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 15 at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland.
A graduate of Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama and a member of the university's Board of Trustees, Wagner is among the elite of the entertainment industry. Her current efforts are as founder of Chestnut Ridge Productions, a film production company that is developing motion picture, theater, television and new media projects.
"Today, there are great similarities between the entertainment business and other industries," Wagner said. "Just as in the global marketplace, increasing competition requires entertainment companies to deploy what many would consider 'traditional' business strategies such as maximizing operational efficiencies and developing strategic marketing plans. Achieving success and staying on top requires business managers that excel at analyzing data and at addressing complex problems. I am looking forward to speaking to and with future business leaders during the Tepper School's graduation proceedings."
Wagner began her career at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), where she spent 15 years representing some of Hollywood's greatest talents, including actors, directors and writers. In 1993, she launched Cruise/Wagner Productions (C/W) with her former CAA client Tom Cruise. For the next 13 years, C/W Productions produced a wide range of pictures that earned numerous awards, widespread critical praise and global box office success. C/W's first film, "Mission: Impossible," was an international hit that brought the company the 1997 Nova Award for Most Promising Producers. Wagner went on to produce such critically acclaimed films as "Without Limits," "Shattered Glass," "Narc," "The Others," "Vanilla Sky," and "The Last Samurai," as well as the international blockbusters "Mission: Impossible II," "Mission: Impossible III," and Steven Spielberg's "War Of The Worlds" for which she was the executive producer.
Paula Wagner was co-owner and CEO of United Artists Entertainment, LLC from 2006 to 2008. She is a member of the American Cinematheque's Board of Directors and sits on the board of the National Film Preservation Foundation through the Library of Congress.
Wagner has received numerous awards and recognitions for her contributions to entertainment and individual film societies. She was honored in 2001 with Premiere magazine's "Women in Hollywood Icon Award" and has been featured in Bravo's "Women on Top" documentary, which profiles exceptional women in entertainment. In 2004, she received the UCLA/Producers Guild of America Visionary Award. She is a recipient of the Excellence in Producing Award at the Sarasota Film Festival, was president of the First-Time Directors Jury at the Venice International Film Festival, co-chaired the Hollywood Film Festival from 2002-2006 and was honored by the Costume Designers Guild with its Swarovski President's Award. Most recently, she was honored with the Sherry Lansing Award from the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization. In 2007, she and her husband Rick Nicita were awarded the ACLU Bill of Rights Award for championing numerous film projects that highlight civil rights and civil liberty issues.
Pictured above is Paula Wagner, renowned Hollywood producer.