Annual Dinner Speakers
Heidi Gardner is currently in her 4th season as a cast member on SNL, where she has brought to life such characters as Weekend Update correspondents Baskin Johns, the freshly-trained GOOP sales rep; Bailey Gismert, a teenage YouTube film critic; and Angel, "Every Boxer's Girlfriend from Every Movie About Boxing Ever." She appeared opposite Melissa McCarthy in the comedy feature Life of the Party and is in the Netflix feature Otherhood with Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette, and Felicity Huffman. She also guest starred on the final season of HBO’s Veep, NBC’s Superstore, and appeared on the Comedy Central series from SNL’s Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, The Other Two. She can currently be seen in the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt interactive special on Netflix. She voiced Tuva Von Void in SYFY’s animated series Alien News Desk, and Cooch in the Crackle series SuperMansion, opposite Bryan Cranston.”
Aaron Rahsaan Thomas grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, developing a love for storytelling after completing a fifth-grade assignment to create his own original Greek myth from scratch. Aaron attended Morehouse College, and would matriculate through the University of Kansas, earning honors in English Literature. He attended the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts for graduate school. After graduating from USC, Aaron was selected for the prestigious CBS Writers Mentoring Program. Aaron began his professional career as a writer’s assistant on Soul Food: The Series and went on to work on the staff of such TV series as NBC’s Friday Night Lights, for which he received a Peabody Award, as well as CBS procedurals, such as Numb3rs and CSI: NY. Aaron has also served as a Co-Executive Producer on TNT’s SouthLAnd, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow and Netflix's The Get Down. He directed an ESPN 30 for 30 film about the USC football team during the Pete Carroll era, entitled, Trojan War. Aaron is currently co-creator and executive producer of the procedural series reboot of S.W.A.T., which airs on CBS.