Jason Stephens spent nearly 20 years helping develop and promote emerging film talent in Chicago as an independent producer, non-profit entrepreneur and Columbia College Chicago professor. His passion for impact documentary led him to the Board of Directors for Chicago’s documentary powerhouse Kartemquin Films, on which he served the maximum 9 years, the last 4 of them as Chair of the Board. During his tenure the organization was nominated for 3 Academy Awards and was the recipient of an Institutional Peabody. Internally, he established the organization’s first reserve fund and successfully oversaw the hiring of two new Executive Directors, the first transitions of leadership in the organization’s 60-year history. In 2020 he returned to his homeland and now lives on the border of the Hoosier National Forest, in the hills of southern Indiana, where he continues to teach the next generation of impact producers through remote courses for Columbia and to produce stories that matter with emerging talent from the heartland.