About Us

Roads End Entertainment (REE) designs, produces and distributes unique entertainment products in the genre of family entertainment. The company also provides production and development services and distributes licensed independently produced, family film and television products. REE was organized as a limited liability company in 2003.

 

Acts of Creation (AC), a division of Roads End Entertainment, continues to operate as a creative design, development and production company ‘for-hire’. Clients typically hire AC to develop intellectual property, conceptualize and develop children’s storybooks, location-based entertainment projects and/or to write, direct and produce live, animated or filmed entertainment.

AC specializes in brand concepting and the turning of original entertainment or product ideas into profitable business.

Mission Statement

Acts of Creation ensures that the creation of each product/service be original, of high-quality, fun and essential to the client’s goals and needs. With each project, AC is committed to a sense of integrity, teamwork and success. We demand the very best from our efforts and by working closely with each client, we are dedicated to project success and client satisfaction.

The Team

Chris Shoemaker (President/Chief Creative Officer)
Christopher Welch (Executive Vice-President/Chief Financial Officer)
Dr. Suzanne Shoemaker (Executive Vice-President/Chief Marketing Officer)
Aaron Levy (Program Development Consultant)
Nancy Troxell (Sales/Business Development & Investor Relations)
Janet Gates (Educational Expert/Consultant)
Patte Dee McKee (Administration & Film Festival Programming)
Adrienne DeVine (Program Development Consultant)

 


Chris Shoemaker
President
Chief Creative Officer

Beginning his entertainment career as a child actor, Chris formally trained and graduated from The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) with a BFA acting degree. Upon graduation, he literally “ran off to the circus” to train with the internationally acclaimed clown Anna Fratellini at L’Ecole Internationale Du Cirque (The International Circus School) in Paris. There he learned comedy techniques and an external approach to building a character and interpreting drama.

After a year of study, he enrolled with the world famous master teacher, Jacques Le Coq at L’Cole Jacques Le Coq Theatre Institute in Paris. While studying and living in Paris, Chris produced several plays at La Gallerie 55 including Athol Fugard’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Master Harold…and the boys, acted in two Robert Altman films (Beyond Therapy, Aria) and produced the play Seahorse at The Fringe during the 1987 Edinburgh Festival.

Following an opportunity to work with Mainland Chinese theaters, Chris left for central China, living in Wuhan (Hubei Province) for nearly two years. In addition to working with theater directors, Chris presented an English language film festival, arranged logistics for visiting Ohio Governor Richard “Dick” Celeste in order to set up Sino-Ohio business relations and widely toured the country.

Upon leaving China, Chris moved to Honolulu and began post-graduate studies in Asian Theater at the University of Hawaii (Manoa). While there, he also taught acting classes and married Suzanne, his wife and business partner. He managed The Danny Kaleikini Show, a live Polynesian Revue at the prestigious Kahala Hilton Hotel and founded/directed The Cultural Transitions Project for Catholic Charities, a youth gang prevention program using the performing arts. This project serviced children from the Native Hawaiian, Vietnamese, Filipino, Tongan, Samoan and Laotian cultures.

In Hawaii, Chris and Suzanne teamed up in 1990 to co-found Acts of Creation. The company serviced it’s first international project with the State of Hawaii (Dept. of Business and Economic Development) to showcase 44 Hawaiian performers at the 1992 Universal Exposition, Seville, Spain. For two weeks, the Hawaiian performers presented “The Spirit of Aloha” at the American Pavilion to an enthusiastic worldwide audience.

In 1993, Chris moved to Los Angeles and settled the company in Burbank, California. Since then, he has led the company into live show production, film/television production, theme park/leisure project design & development as well as writing and developing original intellectual property.

Since 1993, Chris co-founded and continues to Executive Direct the International Family Film Festival (IFFF), a non-profit organization now in its 11th year. The IFFF is the first and foremost film festival specifically targeting the family film market.

Expanding the festival to the Jersey Shore to create a bi-coastal family film festival, he was instrumental in the formation of a “sister-festival” presented by Algonquin Arts at Manasquan, NJ.

First and foremost, Chris is a creator, inventor and writer of original intellectual property and entertainment projects. Coupled with strong experience in Sponsorship relations and Entertainment management, Chris adeptly balances the creative and administrative duties that abound with each and every entertainment project.

Chris speaks some Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese. He lives in Southern California with Suzanne near their three sons and grandchildren.

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Christopher Welch
Executive Vice-President
Chief Financial Officer

Chris has over 12 years of experience as an entrepreneur having developed and operated two groups of retail food concepts. He also acquired a group of Jiffy Lube franchises in Texas, in which he is still an investor.

Chris’ background includes eight years working in corporate finance and business development for Raleigh Enterprises, a company with holdings in real estate, hotels, an independent film studio in Los Angeles and other businesses. He also worked for 4 years as CFO to Baruk Petroleum, a company which has owned dozens of automotive-service franchises across the country (Jiffy Lube, Midas Muffler and Q-Lube).

Chris has also served as a consultant and business advisor to Hollywood Rentals, a large film and TV equipment rental company, with operations in Los Angeles, Orlando, New York, and North Carolina.

He has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations which have built affordable housing in Los Angeles and an AIDS memorial in Lincoln Park.

Chris has a BA in architecture from the University of California – Berkeley and an MBA from the Anderson School of Business at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Dr. Suzanne Shoemaker
Executive Vice-President
Chief Marketing Officer

Dr. Suzanne Shoemaker has worked for the past thirty-three years in theater, film and television as a professional director, writer and producer. She has taught on the Graduate level at such prestigious universities as The Ohio State University and Northern Michigan University and founded one repertory theater, one touring children’s theater and one national playwrighting competition. All of these organizations have endured over twenty years and served as the cornerstones for larger art’s endeavors.

Suzanne’s lifelong love affair with culture and the arts began at a young age. Her father was an engineer and her mother was one of the first women hired by Walt Disney as an artist for the newly formed animation studio in Los Angeles.

At a young age, Suzanne’s parents left the United States to work overseas. Her mother worked in the design industry and her father worked on foreign contracts building and rebuilding the world’s infrastructure following the world war. Suzanne lived as child in Madrid, Spain , moved to Ankara, Turkey in her teens and graduated from the Taipei American High School in Taiwan in 1966. As a senior she was the lead in the class play and also won the Voice of America’s essay contest.

She returned to the United States to attend the University of California at Berkeley where she studied International Relations and Drama. The late 1960’s was a century-defining time to be a student at Cal and Suzanne reveled in the great minds teaching in the areas of Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science and Art. She had the opportunity to intern at ACT in San Francisco and help build the Magic Theater in her spare time.

She left Cal-Berkeley to join George McGovern’s campaign in South Dakota and continued her studies at South Dakota State University with a Masters Degree in Communications and Social Theory. Her dissertation was an Analysis of the Defense in the Sirhan Bishara Sirhan Trial. Following the spectacular defeat of George McGovern, she took a graduate assistantship position in Drama at the University of Missouri in Columbia where she studied Film, Scriptwriting and Directing. Her advisor was the well-respected playwrighting instructor, Dr. Sam Smiley.

Dr. Shoemaker always kept one foot in the arts and one in politics. For her Ph.D she minored in Law attending the University of Missouri Law School. Her Ph.D. dissertation is an Analysis of Scripts Written and Produced During War Years Throughout American History. She continued her studies with Post-doctoral work at Oxford, Yale, and in Paris where she trained with the world acclaimed Jacques LeCoq, the mentor of Cirque de Soleil, Mummenchantz, and a host of some of the worlds most celebrated contemporary performers and directors.

Her professional career has taken her from the university where she chaired programs in Acting and Directing, to the professional stage at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and Stratford, Canada, to the life of an independent producer in France, China and Art Administration in Hawaii. In 1990 she co-founded Acts of Creation with her husband, Chris Shoemaker, and they have been self-employed ever since. She and her husband have owned their own development and production companies for the past thirteen years and continue to work independently as creative artists.

She began financing projects with grants, government subsidies, foundations and corporate sponsorship monies over twenty-six years ago and she has successfully financed creative projects that have taken her to the Amazon, China, Iceland, Scandinavia, France, and around the world. She has financed film projects with government grants, television projects with corporate sponsorship, and festivals with foundation money.

She has received a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts grant twice, was awarded the Outstanding Educator in America Award twice from the Office of the President, and has originated and passed three bills through the Hawaii legislature to fund youth-centered, creative arts projects.

Dr. Shoemaker has lived life entwined with the adventures of her career. She lives near her three wonderful sons and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren.

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Aaron U. Levy
Executive Business Advisor

Mr. Levy brings to REE an extensive background in business organization, corporate management and commitment to the film and entertainment industry. He was involved with REE since 2004, in several capacities and continues to assist the REE in business development.

Mr. Levy is currently the CEO and founder of Etech Ventures International, Inc. an organizational and strategic management firm that services global private and publicly traded firms with turn-around strategies, organizational development, Venture Capital resources, strategic sales & marketing, M&A, Human Resources and executive training.

A corporate organizational leader/CEO, Mr. Levy has a successful track record in the global communication, commercial, retail, printing, computer animation and manufacturing markets in a wide range of industries. Serving as Chairman, CEO, President, COO, and Director of several publicly traded companies, Mr. Levy has developed a reputation as a fast-paced, results-oriented leader who has successfully implemented turnaround organizational growth strategies. 

Mr. Levy is a published author, an inventor, and elected Young Presidents Organization (YPO) member.  His business expertise is complemented by a strong educational background that includes a Bachelors Degree and a Master of Science in Engineering and a PhD. Doctoral degree in Leadership and Organizational Psychology, currently being completed.  Mr. Levy has managed firms from start-up to going public.

Among several other companies he served as the U.S President of Luminent, Inc. a publicly-traded, fiber-optic communication firm with design and manufacturing facilities in the U.S, Taiwan and China, with over 2,000 employees’ worldwide and annual sales of $126 million.

Mr. Levy’s commitment to film, entertainment and storytelling is evident since his days in high school where he wrote, directed and produced a short film.  He has been involved with Atara publishing, a firm that developed children books and in computer animation.

Active in several professional and civic organizations, Mr. Levy is also an FAA commercial pilot and Certified Flight Instructor for Private, Instrument and Multi-Engines aircrafts.

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Nancy Troxell
Sales
Business Development & Investor Relations

Nancy earned her Bachelors of Arts in Radio Television and Film from The California State University Northridge in 1988. She has worked in the business side of entertainment as well post-production for television and film. Her experience includes assisting with casting and talent management. In postproduction, Nancy worked on “Freddy's Nightmares” which included supervising telecine sessions. Her credits also include “The Judge” a courtroom TV show and “The Lady Forgets” a TV movie of the week starring Donna Mills, on which Nancy was an apprentice editor.

In addition to her entertainment experience, Nancy has spent the past fifteen years establishing a successful Real Estate business and was recognized in 2003 by the San Fernando Business Journal “The Best in Residential Real Estate” - the only recipient in the Santa Clarita Valley, a rapidly growing business based suburb of North Los Angeles County.

Nancy's networking and leadership ability has led her to her service as President and Governmental Affairs Chair of her local trade association of over 13,000 members as well as key leadership position for her State Association of over 120,000 members. She has developed personal relationships with many elected politicians on the local, state and federal levels. She has served on numerous committees including The Executive Advisory Committee (City of Santa Clarita), City Manager selection Committee appointed by the Santa Clarita City Council, and the Citizen Advisory Committee appointed by Los Angeles County Assessor Rick Auerbach.

Nancy continues to work with a diverse and sophisticated group of potential investors and prides herself on her ability to service the needs of her investor clients while further assisting the Company with sales, distribution and marketing conferences.

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Janet Gates
Management
Educational Expert/Consultant

Janet Gates is a highly accomplished technical education professional with a proven track record of successes in bringing technology into the classroom to meet standards and curriculum and make teaching and learning engaging. A popular speaker and workshop leader, she has presented at many educational conferences, including NECC, ASDE, and NCCE.

In recent years, Janet has been a technology trainer for the Teaching with Technology program for the J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation. The following year she worked as the Educational Sales Account Executive for the award winning world leader in video media creation, Pinnacle Systems, where she was responsible for educational sales and training in the Western half of the United States . She implemented a digital video education curriculum and trained more than 300 educators, technology coordinators, and administrators to use Pinnacle software to create digital stories, documentaries, student portfolios, video yearbooks, and broadcast school news.

Janet Gates holds a bachelor's degree in education and a master's degree in educational leadership from Idaho State University . She has over 15 years experience in education and educational technology, working with schools and educational organizations to integrate technology into the curriculum. She is currently an independent educational consultant

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Patte Dee McKee
Administration & Film Festival Programming

Ms. McKee has a long history in the entertainment industry. She has been an actress, model and singer for RKO Pictures/Howard Hughes and then a Costume Designer for independent feature films for more than ten years including Lighting in a Bottle (1993), Deadly Delusions (1999), Social Suicide (1991) and I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore (1992) .

She helped found the International Family Film Festival in 1993 and has served as a director and Programmer for the festival since that time. She was also the Program Director for the Burbank Children's Film Festival from 2000 to 2002 and worked as a Leasing Agent for Newhall Land & Farming (4 years).

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Adrienne DeVine
Program Development Consultant

Adrienne DeVine is a Southern California native, born and raised in Pasadena, CA. She received a Bachelors degree in Art with a minor in Journalism from California State University Long Beach.  Adrienne spent 14 years in the graphic arts industry as a production artist and production editor.  She also worked briefly as a freelance journalist before beginning a career in nonprofit administration working in academic, philanthropic, and human services environments. 

Adrienne started her administrative career at Pacific Oaks College and Children’s School where she began honing her diverse skill set.  She provided executive support to the President and the Board of Trustees of the College, handled faculty, staff, student and parent relations, assisted with grant writing, wrote press releases, coordinated publication production, negotiated contracts with film companies, and handled media inquiries.  Recognition of her leadership capacity led to her appointment as Interim Director of Information Systems for two years, during which time she oversaw the conversion of a decision support system and network installation project across four campus sites.

As the West Region Administrator for Casey Family Programs, Adrienne facilitated positioning the organization in advocacy, philanthropy, and systems reform at local, state and national levels.  She participated in planning and development of annual budget and business plans, and coordinated local work unit involvement in community projects.   Most recently, she was Director of Program Development at AIDS Service Center, where she brought new private resources to the agency to fund support services for people living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County. 

Adrienne’s community involvement includes serving on the boards of Women At Work, the Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents, and activism in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the African American community.  She is an independent consultant, but describes herself first and foremost as a visual artist who enjoys drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, pottery, and weaving.  She also enjoys listening to jazz, stock car racing and spending time with family and friends.  

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