Jim Payne joined the WESH 2 News team in 2000. Jim is an experienced, award-winning journalist who believes in making a difference in his community.
Jim came to central Florida from WRAL-TV in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina. He also honed his skills at WRBL-TV in Columbus, Ga.; WKJG-TV (now WISE-TV) in Fort Wayne, Ind.; WTWO-TV in Terre Haute, Ind.; WFLI-TV in Lafayette, Ind.; and the NBC News Southwest Bureau in Houston, Tex.
Jim received journalism's most prestigious honor, the George Foster Peabody Award, for his work on the month-long investigative series "Building Homes: Building Problems." The reports detailed problems with new home construction in central Florida. He’s also been honored with an Alfred I. duPont Award for his work on the space shuttle Columbia disaster, the Edward R. Murrow award for his work on the WESH 2 News documentary "Code Blue: Crisis in the ER"; numerous awards from the Associated Press and Radio Television Digital News Association; the Jefferson Award for Public Service; The President’s Award for Volunteer Service; and numerous Emmys.
Jim has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Special Olympics Florida for more than a decade, and helps fundraise for the Edgewood Children's Ranch in Orlando. However, his most well-known community service effort takes place annually; the Jim Payne Fearless 5k for the Children raises money for Kids House, a non-profit organization assisting victims of abuse.
We are honored to have Jim join Dream Big’s inaugural Central Florida’s Talent Showcase Event.
Noah Schnacky (18) is a multi-talented teen (actor/ ASCAP singer/songwriter) who got his start in the entertainment industry at age 8 and continues to be cast in episodic, film, print, live performance, voice over and theatre throughout the United States.
His credits include How I Met Your Mother as Robin's son, "In 60" on Disney XD, EA Sports Gametime NBA AllStar Week, "Friedrich" in the National Tour of The Sound of Music, Showmobile’s Hitstreak Mobile TV Series and most recently as the lead (Calvin) in the soon to be released film, Turtle Tale.
Noah is represented by Abrams Artists Agency, Los Angeles, California. For more on Noah, find him on all social media as @NoahSchnacky!
Lance Schnacky, CEO of Recapture Entertainment, is a talented ASCAP singer/songwriter/musician and actor actively involved in "the Bizz" in the South Eastern United States since the age of 9. He has expanded his involvement in the industry mentoring local talent and assisting in mapping the course for their success.
Lance is thrilled at the opportunity to judge Central Florida's Talent Showcase and proud that the performing arts community is able to support the mission and the needs of those involved with Dream Big.
Tommy Williams is the brother of nationally syndicated daytime talk show host and producer, Wendy Williams of the "Wendy Williams Show". Tommy has serviced the youth within the New Jersey Public School system for 20 years and is a personal consultant for the "Wendy Williams show." For special guest appearance, hosting and promotions call 973.380.8089 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Growing up at the Jersey shore, Tommy developed a passion for the water. He began surfing as a youngster and in his teenage years he was introduced to the world of sailing. Overwhelmed with the impact many of his friends revealed by simply sailing with him on his boat (Miss Savannah), Tommy is currently working on his non-for-profit organization “City Sailors” to continue that exposure towards the "at risk youth", which will provide kids with the fundamentals of sailing as well as Harbor a mentor program.
As a personal Business Advisor and brother of Wendy Williams, Tommy frequently allocates his time toward public service events. Although he is continuously involved in “celebrity” engagements, Tommy works passionately to align himself with programs benefiting our youth.
Paco Lopez is an award winning 35 year media veteran, having done radio, television, film and voice over work. He has a winning ratings track record in New York City, Washington, DC, Houston, Miami, Tampa, Phoenix, and now Orlando, Florida. Currently Paco hosts the midday radio program on CBS Radio’s 1059 Sunny FM (WOCL) where his ratings consistently rank at the top of Central Florida listeners in the Nielsen Ratings of the Orlando radio market surveys.
He also is the owner/operator of Paco Lopez Media, an audio production company. He’s done voice over work for Johnson & Johnson, Walt Disney World, McDonald’s, All State Insurance, Universal Orlando Resort, Busch Gardens Tampa, YellowPages.com, Publix, Mercedes Benz of Orlando, Winn Dixie, and Rain-X, to name a few. He also has voiced e-books, IVR, web site landing pages, radio and television commercials in both English and Spanish.
Though Paco is a radio “talent”, he also has a penchant for finding talent. At one time, while working in Washington DC, Paco had a business acquiring recording contracts for unsigned groups and within a span of 18 months signed deals for five groups with Madonna’s Maverick Records, Columbia Records, MCA/Gasoline Alley, and others. Paco was the catalyst to launch the career of the multi-platinum R&B group “Shai” which had 4 top 10 singles and sold over 3 million copies of their debut song “If I Ever Fall In Love”. His keen ear also helped launch the careers of numerous radio on air personalities, to include MTV’s Ed Love & Doctor Dre of Hot 97, New York in 1993; as well as others from San Diego and New York, to Charlotte and Miami.
Paco has appeared in three films, and hosted and appeared on record breaking television programs in Houston, Phoenix, Tampa, and New York. He’s been seen on USA Network, NewYorkSportsChannel, MTV, The Bill Bellamy Show, and more.
Recently, Paco wrote a screenplay for the feature film “Washed Up”, which is currently in pre-production. Filming is slated to begin in September 2014, here in Central Florida.
He’s also done work for numerous charities during his career and is very involved in his Central Florida community of Oviedo where he lives with his wife and two step-sons.
Kevin is the Course Director of the Directing Program at Full Sail University where he’s been teaching in the BA program for the last ten years. Kevin teaches acting at a local acting school and has been writing and directing films for the last nine years of his life. Kevin has worked through his production company Olive Ranch Road Productions for the last thirty-years. His background in acting has made him a strong director with actors. He has written and directed the projects, “Clark”, “Captain Fin”, "The Trunk", "The Bout”, “Hunting Season”, “The Letter Carrier”, “Lean” and “Valse Mémoire.” He has also written several other scripts, which will go into production in the future. Those scripts are "Virtual Spin", "Passages", "Release", "The Brass Ring" and "Clarity". Kevin’s films have screened at The Florida Film Festival, The Lifetree Film Festival, The Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival and The Sonoma International Film Festival to name a few. Kevin wrapped principle photography on his short film “Undertaking” this past July where he cast Los Angeles Actor Eddie Jemison played the lead role. In 2014 Kevin won two Bronze Telly Awards for his role in Online How-To/Instructional and Internet/Online Education videos. Kevin has written and will be directing two feature films in Georgia in 2016, which are “50 Hours” and “Passages.” You can find out more about Kevin’s production company at www.oliveranchroadproductions.com.
Mark Renfrow is a Senior Show Director for Walt Disney Creative Entertainment. Prior to his 20 years as a full-time Show Director for The Walt Disney Company, Mark had a very colorful “Jack of all Trades” career. His passion for the stage landed him at a fine arts high school outside of Detroit. Graduating with a theater scholarship, he continued his theater and performance education in Michigan, NYC and Florida to achieve his background in Live Theater Design.
His professional career continued by juggling paths as professional actor, special effects make-up artist, and wannabe rock star. Driven to acquire an even broader bag of tricks, Mark auditioned for and graduated from Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Clown College. Possessing a very diverse entertainment vocabulary, he traveled across the country as an actor, writer, director, variety performer and co-owner of a theater company specializing in interactive, sight-specific and new vaudeville productions. Some of Mark’s other unique skills include: stunts, still walking and fire eating. These talents opened the doors to a number of TV, Music Video, and commercial opportunities and provided the avenue for Mark to initiate the stilt walking programs at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Over the last 20 years he has been blessed with working on an impressive list of entertainment-based companies including Cirque du Soleil, Disney Cruise Line, and Lucasfilm. At Walt Disney World, he is the creator and Show Director for a long list of productions including Jedi Training Academy, The American Idol Experience, and Star Wars Weekends. Currently is main focus is the new nighttime spectacular for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Rivers of Light, which opens next Spring.
Though this “Jack of all Trades” has performed a wide range of roles and held a number of titles, his two favorites are Husband and Dad to a “beautifully crazy circus” of his own.
As a doctor, mother, wife, columnist, and advocate, Stephanie strives to achieve just the right balance in life. She strongly believes in promoting preventative medicine and overall good health + wellness. She is a board certified family practitioner and has dedicated her life’s work, to helping others stay healthy by empowering them with knowledge.
Stephanie used her platform as First Lady of the Florida Senate (her husband Mike Haridopolos served as President of the Florida Senate in 2010-2012) to advocate for issues she is passionate about. Like serving on Florida’s statewide drug task force, supporting grant funding for the National Veterans Homeless support group, and serving on the board of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence Foundation.
She launched a weekly health column for Florida Today newspaper called “Your Health With Dr. Stephanie” and created educational health videos for each column since February 2012. Currently, she serves as President of the Brevard County Medical Society and Florida Medical Association delegate.
Stephanie ads balance in her life with a love of dancing! She competes as a ballroom dancer and has won First Place in Dancing With Brevard.
We are blessed to have Stephanie choose to support Dream Big’s mission and participate from the ground up in the launching of Central Florida’s Talent Showcase – as she is serving on the judging panel for the auditions and the main event!
Look for Great Names in the Industry to come!
Venue: Rosen Shingle Creek
Date: September 5, 2015
6:00pm: Silent Auction and Raffle Begins
7pm - 8pm: Reception Begins and Silent Auction/Raffle Continues
8pm: Show Time!