Tess Cacciatore: Co-Founder & Co-Chair Person
Tess is an award-winning producer for the past 20+ years in the areas of entertainment, technology and philanthropy.
Tess has dedicated her life to advocating for peace, justice, and equality around the globe. She has traveled the United States and abroad as a humanitarian documentary producer and activist, while conducting empowerment and mentorship programs to empower people and to eradicate unjust systems that are a plight to humans, animals and the environment. Tess uses her voice as a vehicle to bring awareness and activate people to take a stand for making changes in the world.
Tess’s career as a producer in the entertainment and technology industries drives the global productions of GWEN and now her 20 year vision of a global online television network of empowerment has launched under the umbrella of GWEN. Check out GWENNetwork TV.
Throughout her life, Tess has spoken regularly at international platforms on behalf of children and the imperative use of media and technology to bridge cultures of the world. She has addressed thousands of people through conferences, workshops, and festivals, and millions through radio and TV appearances. Cacciatore’s media appearances include: “The Today Show”, “Prime Time with John Stossel”, The Manny Alvarez Show (FOX) and local TV news in cities such as: Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Dallas, Austin, New York. Tess has appeared as a guest on numerous global radio programs, as well as hosted her own radio show (now webseries GWEN Talks).
Tess has brought her story to many publications such as: Family Circle, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Des Moines Register, and Parenting Magazine. In 2003 Cacciatore was awarded the Fete d’Excellence from Sub-Commission for Human Rights at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland for her work in educational entertainment and continues to use her voice to speak out and produce events in conjunction with the United Nations from 2000 to present day. Her passion is to reach the “powers that be” to change local and international laws to protect women and children globally.
Some of her more notable efforts include raising funds to feed 1.3 million children annually through social media and micro donations (FEED 333 from 2004-2007) building 38 homes in Sri Lanka after the 2005 Tsunami, creating the YOUR VOICE YOUR CHOICE global campaign to assist young leaders in Africa, along with humanitarian collaborations that include delivering safe drinking water filters, music instruments for students, beds and nets to protect children from malaria, and humanitarian relief in United States, Thailand, Vietnam, El Salvador, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Congo, South Africa, and more.
Prior to co-founding the Global Women’s Empowerment Network, Cacciatore was founder and executive director of the World Trust Foundation, an organization mentoring youth to become future leaders working together towards a sustainable world. Over the past decade, Cacciatore has traveled the globe connecting youth-focused nonprofit organizations and inspiring youth to take action towards positive changes in their lives, local communities, and global community.
Michael Littenberg: Co-Founder & Co-Chair Person
Michael is a successful entrepreneur with a commitment to civil rights and social justice and passion for creative expression. For three decades, Littenberg was active in real estate, but more recently has focused on his creative talents – writing and composing music. Littenberg’s love for music and composing, combined with his dedication to social good, inspired him to collaborate with friend and musician, Sterling Smith, to write the song “A Call to the Women of the World” — a passionate and powerful call to action to stop the violent atrocities plaguing women worldwide. The song forms the foundation of GWEN’s mission to inspire women to speak out against violence. Through his years in business, Littenberg learned that success in business takes more than just a good idea; it requires a great team and platform to become a reality. Littenberg is intent on demonstrating that a corporation can be financially successful while simultaneously improving the lives of women. Littenberg maintains his long-term family ties to Cedars-Sinai and with the success of GWEN, looks to continue his family’s legacy of philanthropy.
Cindy Garay: Director of Special Projects
Cindy first became civically engaged at the young age of 4, when she and her father protested the closure of a mom and pop shop to a well-known grocery store chain. Cindy’s desire to live in a just and equal world extended into her young adulthood – she participated in a 12-hour sit-in protest for the Iraq War. She then attended UCLA, where she majored in Political Science and Global Studies. She has worked extensively in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Her goal is to positively impact the world and thus, found a home at GWEN.
Terrah Bennett Smith: Youth Director
Terrah made her feature film directorial debut with the independent feature film “Flip The Script,” starring Robin Givens and Miguel Nunez. The film was selected as a featured film at the Black Filmmakers/BMW 2005 filmmaker series and aired on the big screen as well as Network Television. Terrah recently completed the film, The Descent, which will hit the festival circuit later 2013. She has also produced the feature film entitled, “Contradictions Of The Heart”, which starred, Vanessa Williams, Lisa Raye, Clifton Powell and Michael De Lorenzo,” and is scheduled to direct the feature film/romantic comedy, ”Basic Ingredients. Currently Terrah is Executive Producer, and director of “The Remington Show”, a teen talk show coming to the GWENNetwork, as well as, Co-exec. producer & director of the teen musical web series, “The Garage”. Terrah has directed two pilot presentations, a documentary on women comedians, several music videos as well as an HIV-AIDS commercial featuring African American celebrities.
Terrah has over fifteen stage directing & producing credits in including such the critically lauded musical, “Dick and Don’s Fabulous 60’s Rock and Soul Spectacular,” which she also created, the riveting musical, “This Is My Story, This Is My Song,” a semi-autobiographical musical based on the life of recording artist Brenda Lee Eager, and Miss Eager’s one woman show entitled, “Grace”.
As an actress, Terrah has performed on Broadway, in such musicals as “Runaways,” as well as the Los Angeles premiere of “Signature,” by Pulitzer Prize winning writer Beth Henley. A few of her television acting credits include E.R., a talk show pilot for Fox Television entitled, “All About You”, & “recurring roles on “General Hospital. Terrah is also an accomplished singer/songwriter having toured as one of three singers in the pop group “Altitude for RCA records. Also an ASCAP songwriter, several of Terrah’s songs have been recorded by celebrity music artists, as well as, featured on sound tracks for both film and television.” Terrah is also CEO of Royal One Entertainment, LLC, a management/production company, which handles actors and music artists, as well as producing film, TV, new media, and stage projects
Terrah recently partnered with Janis A Powell, of Wild Orchid Industries, LLC., to form LeMilan Industries, producing empowering seminars for parents with children in the entertainment industry.