Executive Director

James Staten is a digital media executive with over 15 years of experience leading award-winning creative teams in the digital space, specializing in app/content development, production of digital aspects of live events and video, strategic brand initiative execution and creative direction. In his most recent role as the Director of Operations and Strategy ONTV, Mr. Staten has been both executive and supervising producer for countless digital video projects. James’ led the team that was responsible for over 2.4 million downloads of the BET 106&Park app within the first 6 months of offering. He used his previous experience in the music business to create several initiatives supporting artists like Aaliyah, Usher and Jay-Z which contributed to an increase in overall engagement on the website from 8MM views/day to 16MM views/day from 2002 to 2004. Before joining BET and managing and directing the development and marketing of mobile applications for the #1 African-American entertainment portal, James spent the first 10 years of his working life in the entertainment industry and in the non profit space.

James joined the workforce at in 1987 at A&M Records as a Y.E.S. To Jobs intern. The experience forever colored James’ view of the entertainment industry, career pathing and the importance of creating opportunity. When the music industry began to change, James began to investigate how he could give back while looking for the next position in his career. A conversation with the Executive Director of Y.E.S. To Jobs resulted in James returning to the non-profit, this time as the program coordinator. He developed skills as a recruiter, manager, and fundraiser and subsequently became the assistant director of the national organization geared toward exposing youth to careers behind the scenes in entertainment. He also began to shape the program by creating seminars and workshops and identifying new employers that would give interns more information and an introduction to potential careers for over 3000 young people during his tenure.

After Y.E.S. To Jobs, James left and moved on to New York and answered the call to direct an after school program, called the Beacon. The New York Department of Community and Youth Development partner with non-profit organizations to take over schools in different communities and become centers for community involvement and recreation. James became the director of the program in Southeast Queens, NY and hit the ground running. He was responsible for a $500,000 operating budget and increased enrollment and participation 20% across all programs in the first quarter. James added arts and STEM programming with the help of co-located organizations and staff. He also designed a staff development program to help them better respond to the needs of youth and community

Mr. Staten has returned to Los Angeles and is becoming active in the non-profit community. The Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Board, Council of Urban Professionals, and Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center have all benefited from his volunteer time and efforts. James is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara.