Ann Brinkmann, Executive Director/Founder

Ann Brinkmann is an experienced educator in higher and secondary education, developing and teaching curriculum in Film Studies, Electronic Media, Digital Media, Technical Communications, Digital Literacy, Reading/Study Skills, and Journalism. Ann founded the Golden Lion Awards High School Film Festival in 2007 at the prompting of former student, Katie Price. Together, the two planned and launched the event at Ursuline Academy to an intimate audience with a handful of participating schools. In 2017, Ann founded Golden Lion Awards, Inc., an Ohio 501(c)3 based in Cincinnati that focuses on film/media/broadcast education and award recognition for youth residing in and around the Midwest states.

In Ann’s Words

Growing up, I believed that nothing was impossible. Like The Field of Dreams, I believed that if “you built it, they would come.” I have approached each step on my journey as another lesson learned, another obstacle conquered, and another challenge waiting to confront. My students would tell you that I am passionate about film and media and that I push them to find their stories, develop characters, and produce films that inspire. I would tell you that I am passionate about life—the ups, the downs, the twists, the turns, and the faith that has led me on incredible journeys and taught me the true gift of each individual’s story.

In my early years, I worked in industry and discovered the importance of defining an audience, identifying needs, and creating media that helped clients gain knowledge and achieve goals. After a career change, I discovered a love for teaching. Feeling compelled to make an impact in students’ lives, I found energy and passion in listening to their stories, watching them discover a vision, and helping to guide them through the production process.

As part of the Golden Lion Awards, I have the distinct pleasure of working with students and teachers from throughout the Midwest. As part of this larger film community, I gain inspiration from the frames and compositions that students capture to visually tell their stories. I embrace their visions, celebrate their successes, and believe that their best work is yet to come!

Tess White, Associate Director

A former Golden Lion Award winner, Tess White is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a BFA in Electronic Media and a BBA in International Business.

As the Associate Director, Tess manages the judging panel, oversees student submissions, works with marketing and communications, and manages social media. In her third year with the Golden Lion Awards, Tess brings a breadth of experience, energy, and passion to the team.

In Tess’s Words

Ever since I was a kid, I had a video camera in my hand – always eager to capture the world around me in a way that showed others how I interpreted things. As I’ve grown older, my perspectives and goals have changed, but I have never stopped believing in the power of a great story.

As a student, I was lucky to share that passion with my fellow classmates. There is nothing more empowering than a group of like-minded individuals working to achieve a common goal. It’s a beautiful thing to see a project brought to life by a team who is there to support and inspire each other.

I am thrilled to be a part of the Golden Lion Awards team. I hope the work we do gives students across the Midwest the confidence to chase their own passions. Lots of kids don’t see the opportunities right in front of them because they never get the chance to try and fail and grow. The world is full of dreamers and doers, and it’s up to us to tap their potential. If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.

Board of Directors

  • Gregory Ullman
  • Ann Brinkmann
  • Jerry Rowley
  • Neal Ryan
  • Ben Hazlebeck
  • Christina Beer
  • Dan Brinkmann