Board of Directors

Carole Dean PicCarole Dean, President

Carole Dean is the founder and force behind From the Heart Productions.  She created the short-end film business in 1970 which helped spawn the independent film revolution by giving filmmakers affordable film. In the 1980s, she produced 120 Health Styles Shows that were sold to Oasis Cable and 30 Filmmaker shows, now in the National Archives.

After seeing how difficult it was for filmmakers to raise money for important works, she created the Roy W. Dean film grants in 1992 in honor of her father.  The grant has given over two million dollars in donations to date. She is Executive Producer on Women behind the Camera; BAM 6.6; American Chain Gang; Step Away From the Stone; and now in production, a new documentary entitled, Achievers. She is the author of The Art of Funding: Alternative Financing Concepts, and The Art of Manifesting: Creating Your Future, which describe financial resources and tools for filmmakers. She also teaches these financing methods in her Intentional Filmmaking Class.

Click here to read Carole Dean’s Full Bio.


Lori Pye, Ph.D., Secretary/Treasurer

Bachelor of Science – Texas A& M University, M.A and Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, California.

Dr. Pye’s background consists of NPO and NGO environmental & marine conservation management (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Terra Azul, Jean-Michel Cousteau) and academic instruction. As an environmentalist, Dr. Pye worked with international NGO’s to co-develop the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape Corridor with the Ministers of the Environment from Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador. She has led international conferences on diverse issues as Nature and Human Nature, The Mythology of Violence, and The Aesthetic Nature of Change. Dr. Pye teaches Ecopsychology at the University of California in Santa Barbara (UCSB), Ecology Concepts and Applications for Ecopsychology at Naropa University (Boulder, Colorado), Human Ecology and Sustainable Global Management & Community Psychology & Social Change at Antioch University Santa Barbara and Myth, Literature & Religious Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is on the Editorial Board for Ecopsychology Journal. Dr. Pye is the Founder and Director for the Institute for Cultural Change and The Center for Ecopsychology. Website: http://www.instituteforculturalchange.org/



Margarita Sweet - From the Heart ProductionsMargarita Sweet

Margarita Sweet is a writer and entrepreneur who loves the art and business of production. She believes without effective production a project idea remains just that “a project idea”. With this understanding, her creative vision and knowledge she plays a role in producing innovative projects. She believes in the power of the filmmaker to become more than a story teller; but, an entrepreneur. Along with being an active board member, she is creator and owner of Visit My Child and the Exhibits Manager for the Creative Talent Network Expo (CTNx) and serves as a founding board member of Chocolate Chix. She has worked on a variety of published works as a story consultant helping authors complete their works on time and on budget. Margarita believes the art of film and storytelling have the ability to create culture. It is this belief that inspires her to be an active part of From The Heart.




Carole Joyce – Vice President

Carole Joyce, The creator of the Win a Casino™ concept, Carole Joyce is a graduate of the Brooks Institute of Photography and an award-winning documentary film producer. Carole began her entertainment career working in development for Saban/Scherick Entertainment discovering talents such as Dennis Leary and Mario Joiner while developing pilot television series for Joy Behar and Rita Rudner. Carole also developed projects for young filmmakers David Fincher and Jessie Dylan while with the Garamella/Fitzgerald Advertising Agency. As a television producer, Carole oversaw the production of over 150 shows for cable television including “Healthstyles”, which were used as a concept on “Oprah Winfrey.” Guests included Deepak Chopra and Dr. Andrew Weil. She also produced “Filmmakers” which is now in the national archives.


Jacqueline Feather, Ph.D.

Dr. Feather, a native New Zealander, is an award-winning screenwriter in film, television and animated feature films. A sampling of her work includes: The Quest for Camelot, A Time to Say Goodbye, Dawn’s Early Light and My Father, My Son, both of which she was nominated for the Writer’s Guild Award and Onassis-The Richest Man in the World, for which she won the Writer’s Guild Award.

Jacqui has guest lectured at the University of Milan, the N.Z. Writers’ Foundation, and leads an ongoing personal writing group. Her Master and Doctorate degrees are in Mythological Studies with Emphasis in Depth Psychology and she holds a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Jacqui is currently in Jungian Analyst Training at the Jungian Study Center of Southern California.




Richard Kaufman

Richard developed his love of films as the son of screenwriter Robert Kaufman, who wrote “Love at First Bite” and “Freebie and the Bean”.  He considered following in his father’s footsteps, but he met Carole Joyce and began a career of selling motion picture film to independent productions.  First, for Carole Dean’s Studio Film & Tape and then for Media Distributors.

Now, as a Senior Account Executive with Filmtools, Richard assists independent filmmakers, commercial producers, and content creators with hard drives, SSD’s as well as cameras, lighting, and expendables.  



Naheed Ismail

Naheed Ismail, IT Consultant

A graduate of Mombasa’s Technical University, Naheed Ismail has been in the IT industry for over 20 years as an electronics engineer, architecting high performance solutions for customers. He is well known as a relationship builder and problem solver with a commitment to excellence in design and its execution.

As an Engineering professional and IT consultant, he has organized and lead teams and established strategic partnerships to deliver quality business solutions to customers with a variety of needs. Most recently, he worked with Remixloops, providing technical expertise for commercials related to Haagen-Dazs and NBCUniversal.