Meet The Team

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Mariela Gomez de Ell

Associate Board Member

Mariela Gomez de Ell, originally from Morelia Michoacan, worked from a very young age in children's theater at the Casa de la Cultura and later joined the National Theater Company. Her career in journalism began at the age of 14 when she was a pioneer of the Michoacan radio and television system later she worked as a news presenter for Telemundo in Tucson and Phoenix later a news producer for Univision manager of the television channel salam TV, manager General of Latina TV Network, she is Ceo of dreamline creative media entre radio Show conéctate con la noticia

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Rene Lopez

Board Member

Councilmember René Lopez has lived and worked in Chandler for more than seven years. He began his first term on the Chandler City Council in 2015. He is a third generation Arizona native, born and raised in the East Valley. René graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering, with a minor in Direct Energy Conversion.  René is also a third generation U.S. Navy seaman. René has an extensive career in Project Management, with more than 14 years of experience working in telecommunications, energy, and currently in information technology. He currently serves as an advisor on Congressman Matt Salmon’s Hispanic Community Affairs Advisory Council.

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Christine Wenger

Board Member

Christine Wenger is an Arizona Native born in Flagstaff.  She has a love and passion for helping people and animals alike.  Has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Animal Science from CSU with a concentration in large animals.  Was a judge with Block and Bridal and judged many state fairs in the South West. Now, the Sales Manager for Nations Lending in which she helps people get into their dream home.  She has been in the mortgage industry for 20 years and truly enjoys what she does. Everyone matters. She is also very active Ambassador for the Chandler Chamber of Commerce and Director of the Ahwatukee Chapter of Power Networking Team. 

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Rebecca Landers

Festival Coordinator

Rebecca Landers relocated to Chandler in 2014 from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  She is a delegate for Mrs. Elite Woman of Purpose Chandler and an active member in several community groups including: Fortis Femina, Chandler Business Alliance, and the Chandler Chamber. She has had long standing passion for philanthropy, serving her communities while in Ohio, Michigan, and now Arizona.  She has actively supported, volunteered, and assisted with several non-profits and local businesses.  She began her career of helping others in Ohio, working in community mental health.  Providing drug and alcohol counseling and case management services to the SMD population.  

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Tyler Muench

Volunteer Coordinator

Tyler Muench is a 22 year old videographer from Chandler, Arizona. From the writing process to post production, Tyler has always enjoyed every aspect of filmmaking. During his time at Arizona College Preparatory, Tyler was a part of the film class every year. He helped write, direct, shoot, and edit numerous student films during his time in high school. After graduating from Arizona State University in 2021 with a Bachelor's Degree in History, Tyler began his own videography business, Muench Media LLC. Since the launch of his business, Tyler has worked on various projects including real estate videos, music videos, and commercials. Currently, Tyler is working on several documentary projects, a travel series, and writing his own screenplay for a short film he hopes to direct and produce.

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Martha Llamas

Associate Board Member

Martha purchased a Jani-King, commercial cleaning franchise in 2002. Today, her company is recognized as one of the most successful in Jani-King’s history, performing in the top 5% for annual revenue, in a field of over 9500 Jani-King franchises in the United States. She has earned the esteemed, “Presidents Club Award” for generating over 1 million dollars in business, every year since 2003, as well as a host of accolades for her contributions to the community. She currently employs over 70 people and her story has been featured on international television shows, in newspapers and magazines, on radio shows and podcasts. In 2021 Martha was presented with the NRSC Champion for Freedom Award. This award is presented to conservative leaders who have worked tirelessly to create good jobs and protect the values that make our country great.

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Mitesh Patel

President/Festival Director

Mitesh Patel graduated from S.P University (India) with a Bachelor in Fine Arts (Applied Arts) in 1997, with the highest distinction of  earning the Best Design Award. In 2008, Patel made his first low budget feature film "The man in the maze" which received 12 awards from various film festivals and theatrical distribution. It wasn’t long before Patel started acquiring film rights for theatrical re-release in North America. One of these films, "Delhi Safari", was shortlisted in the Oscar race of 2012. Patel has directed two feature films and has produced/distributed over 10 feature films in the past 10 years, balancing his time between Hollywood and Bollywood. Patel is also a part of PGA, the Producers Guild of America. Today, he plans to keep creating art by producing one film every year.

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Betty Ramirez

Vice President

Betty Ramirez is a president and a social media marketing director for the Chandler International Film Festival. Working with colleagues on the creative and technical elements, she has expanded CIFF’s social media presence to reach across multiple channels. Her track record of winning results for clients in the local and political online space includes Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke and City Council Members Terry Roe, Jesus Rene Lopez and Mark Stewart. She has helped with online media promotions for Mix 96.9’s Battle of the Burbs, promoted an online writing course for cancer survivors by local author Lynne Hartke, does video and social media promotions for Zerimar Medical Equipment Services which she co-owns with her husband Paul Ramirez, and currently serves as social media vice-president for local non-profit CRW.

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Mark Stewart

Board Member

Vice Mayor Mark Stewart has been a resident of Chandler since 2001 and began his first term on the City Council in January 2017. He has spent more than 20 years with Fortune50 organizations and now owns a marketing and brand company, Concept2Completion. As a serial entrepreneur, he is involved with two additional startup companies as a founding partner. He works to foster a community that embraces inclusion, innovation and spirit on entrepreneurial development. Vice Mayor Stewart has a Bachelor of Science degree from Missouri State University. Within the community, he volunteers and supports local non-profits and maintains an active faith.

 

 

 

 

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Dave Waltzer

Treasurer

Dave Waltzer was born in Wakefield, MA(Near Boston) in 1974 to Roman Catholic parents.  He comes from a hard working family whose Dad was Mailman and Mom was a homemaker. They divorced when he was 14 and that's when he started working and helping to raise his younger brother and sister along with attending High School.  He was accepted and started attending Babson College in Wellesley, MA after High School. He wanted to be an International Business & Marketing major but was not disciplined enough at that point to complete college. In 1994 he decided to join the United States Air Force. He served 4 1/2 years and was stationed in such exotic places as Misssissppi, Texas, & South Korea where he scheduled and dispatched flights as well as maintained flight records. He was Honorably discharged in 1998.