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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Kameryn Richardson

Lead Project Researcher

Kameryn Richardson is a recent graduate of The College of New Jersey’s Honors Program with a major in International Studies and a minor in African American Studies with extensive experience in Independent Research. Under Dr. Piper Kendrix Williams of the African American Studies Department at TCNJ Kameryn analyzed theoretical pieces centralized around the concept of Afrofuturism alongside neo-slave narratives to understand the role Black female protagonists play as agents of change. She also engaged with literary and visual content to understand the intersectional degradation experienced by Black women. And she analyzed work crafted by Black creators to highlight the ways in which the intersectional oppression endured by Black women manifests itself. Among her many other achievements, she wrote her thesis regarding the relationship between the absence of Black women in creative spaces and the combination of external oppressive forces that uniquely challenge African American women.

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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.

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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Bill Jersey

Consultant

President, Quest Productions

Wheaton College, B.A.


University of Southern California, M.A. Cinema

THE RISE AND FALL OF JIM CROW
Four-hour documentary series for PBS covers the history of “Jim Crow” in America. Produced in conjunction with Videoline Inc. and WNET, New York. George Foster Peabody Award. 2 Emmy Nominations. IDA Best Limited Series. Houston Gold Jury Award.

Filmography List

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