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Our Leaders

Committed to Education

Coming together from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, our skilled team of professionals is the backbone of Truehart Productions. Their ideas help shape the direction and mission of our organization as it continues to develop. Read on to learn more about some of our incredible team members. 

Truehart Productions Board Members

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Karen Clark

Board Member

Past President and COO, Horizon NJ Health, Clark served as a board member for Medicaid Health Plans of America, Association of Community Health Plans, Mercer County American Cancer Society Board and Mercer County Workforce Investment Board; named "Amerca's Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare", and the Girl Scouts "Woman of Distinction."

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Rick Geffken

Board Member

Rick has written numerous articles on New Jersey’s history for publications and historical societies. He is a Trustee of the Shrewsbury Historical Society; past-President and a Trustee of the Jersey Coast Heritage Museum; and a member of the Monmouth County Historical Association. He recently published his book, “The Stories of Slavery in New Jersey.” Rick heads up the New Jersey Slavery Records Index for Monmouth University of West Long Branch, NJ.

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John S. Watson, Jr. 

Board Member

 “Jay” has been working to protect New Jersey’s landscape and environment for nearly 40 years. He is currently Sr. Director of Statewide Land Protection & Community Relations for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation. He recently served as Vice President for a Princeton based land conservancy where he worked on a variety of land preservation, land stewardship and other unique environmental projects. Prior to joining the nonprofit land conservancy sector, Jay spent nearly 30 years in various roles in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). Beginning his career as a Project Manager for the Green Acres Program, he worked his way up to ultimately become the Program’s Administrator. Prior to joining the nonprofit land conservancy sector, Jay spent nearly 30 years in various roles in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) where he worked his way up to ultimately become the Program’s Administrator.

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Ridgeley Hutchinson

President, CFO

Since Ridgeley first encountered the book, If These Stones Could Talk, and offered to use his vast network and experience to help spread the word and the notoriety of facts contained in the book, the project has blossomed. Ridgeley’s leadership skills have been a great value to the documentary project. He was formerly the Executive Director of the Northeast Carpenters Apprentice Training and Education Fund where he honed his grant writing skills. He now serves on the Community Advisory board of NJ PBS and is Vice-Chairman of the board of NJ's Educational Facilities Authority, a position he has held for 11 years.

The Documentary Team

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Andrew Schmertz

Director / Producer

Experienced multi-media producer and executive with large media companies. Major market on-air reporter. Started two successful small businesses in the media and aviation industries. A licensed pilot and CEO of Hopscotch Air, a FAA-certified air carrier and regional airline. Member of the New York State Bar Association.

WNET/NJTV/ New York Public Media Consultant for New Jersey-based PBS station, focusing on news division.


PBS Newshour Freelance Special Correspondent/Reporter. On-air reporter, covering business and economics for the nightly, flagship news program for PBS.

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Ed Nescot

Editor / Cameraman

Accomplished visual storyteller with network-level technical proficiency and solid journalistic skills.

18 years of professional experience as a DP & Editor, working on projects in Documentary, International News, Reality, Daytime Talk, Corporate, and Narrative Short. His work has appeared on major networks all over the world, including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, HGTV, A&E, Discovery, and BBC, among others.


Ed is also an FAA-licensed Drone Pilot who does aerial videography work, as well as a certified Scuba Diver with underwater videography experience.

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Linda J. Caldwell Epps, Ph.D.

Historical Consultant

President & CEO of 1804 Consultants

Linda Epps founded 1804 Consultants to advance educational and cultural organizations. She brings to clients more than 40 years of experience working with educational and cultural institutions, including the New Jersey Historical Society, a statewide museum, library, and educational facility, where she served as President and CEO, and New Jersey Network Television and Radio where she served as Vice President for Institutional Relations.

She held various positions at Bloomfield College, including Vice President for College Relations, Vice President for Student Affairs, and Dean of Students. Linda has earned the Most Distinguished Alumnae Award from Seton Hall University and induction into the Douglass Society, the highest honor accorded to Douglass College graduates. She has also served as a Ford Foundation-funded consultant to several institutions of higher learning. Linda holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers University’s Douglass College, a Master’s Degree in American Studies from Seton Hall University, and a Ph.D. from Drew University. 

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Kristal C. Langford

Associate Producer

Kristal is a New Jersey public historian and cofounder of Counternarratives, a New
Jersey based educational and historical interpretation consulting firm offering
interpretative strategies to overlooked histories of the marginalized. She is also a
lecturer in the Department of Psychology and Community Service and Social Justice
(formerly Africana World Studies) at William Paterson University, where she teaches
courses on the intersectionality of race, racism, and psychology; race and education,
and on occasion, gender studies with an emphasis on the Black and Caribbean
Women experience for undergraduate students. 


Currently, Kristal serves as a thought leader on the Revolution 250 New Jersey, a not-
for-profit partner of the New Jersey Historical Commission. She contributes her
knowledge and expertise to the creation of an online repository of educational materials
and resources for school districts and teachers – with a special emphasis on voices
from historically marginalized and disenfranchised communities. She's featured on the New York Emmy nominated PBS documentary two-part series, The Price of Silence: The Forgotten History of Slavery in New Jersey. In addition, she also coauthored the Lost Souls Public Memorial Project Teaching Guide. She’s completing her doctorate
at Rutgers New Brunswick Graduate School of Education. Broadly conceived, her
doctoral work, an historical inquiry, seeks to elucidate how the proliferation of Black
bodies in New Jersey’s public schools during the Great Migration agitated the
hegemony of whiteness in classroom practices, teaching and training materials.

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Theo M. Moore II

Archival Producer

Theo Moore II is a writer, historian, and documentarian living in Alabama. He currently serves as the Founding Executive Director of Hiztorical Vision Productions — where he creates historical short-film documentaries highlighting the untold-but-inspiring history of African Americans in the American South. While continuing the mission of Hiztorical Vision Productions, Moore offers a service to other filmmakers as an archival producer. Also, Moore provides information, resources, and workshops to assist communities with preserving their history and historical properties. Learn more at Theo the Hiztorian LLC. 

 

Theo obtained a B.S. in History and an M.S. in Post-Secondary Education-History from Troy University. Theo has over 10 years of experience in history-related fields. He established roots in the education, museum, film, and preservation industries. His goal is to be of service by sharing his expertise with others in efforts to preserve and celebrate African American history.

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