People/Biz

John Ford to step down as GM of NPACT

Veteran media industry exec John Ford is stepping down as general manager of the producers’ association NPACT. Ford (pictured, left) has been general manager of NPACT since 2015, joining when the organization ...
July 18, 2019

Veteran media industry exec John Ford is stepping down as general manager of the producers’ association NPACT.

Ford (pictured, left) has been general manager of NPACT since 2015, joining when the organization was called the Nonfiction Producers Association (NPA). It later merged with PactUS.

He is stepping down to avoid a potential conflict of interest stemming from the recent sale of Justice Network and Quest Network, where he was head of programming. His new, expanded role would see him engaging producers, so managing a producers’ association could create conflict.

NPACT’s head of policy and development Michelle Van Kempen (right) will step in as interim general manager during the search of Ford’s replacement.

“John has been a peerless leader, helping transform a nascent organization with big dreams – and many strong, rowdy opinions – into a mature powerhouse association,” said the NPACT executive committee in a statement.

“With some exciting opportunities on the horizon, John made the difficult decision to step down; he has our immense gratitude and best wishes for the future. During the transition, we know NPACT will be in great hands with Michelle Van Kempen whose contributions have encompassed not just outreach to the community and expanding our membership, but creating opportunities and access to innovative companies and services from which we all benefit.”

Said Ford: “It has been an honor to work with the creative entrepreneurs who literally built the unscripted business from scratch. The challenges of independent production are unrelenting, and to see the fellowship among NPACT members is truly humbling. I couldn’t be prouder of my time with NPACT and know Michelle and the team will continue moving the association forward with great energy and innovation.”

“In five short years, the organization’s roster has grown from the eight founding members of the NPA to the force it is today, with more than 100 NPACT member companies,” added Van Kempen. “John brought invaluable leadership and insights to NPACT through this period of tremendous growth. We’re bullish on the future as we build on John’s accomplishments by continuing to expand our services and to welcome new creators and entrepreneurs into the fold.”

(Photo courtesy of NPACT)

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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