Russ Patrick has headed Patrick Communications for 20 years. He has directed the publicity/promotion campaigns for nearly 100 original Hallmark Hall of Fame network presentations. Sonar Entertainment became a client in 1995; the Betty Ford Center became a client in 1996 — and both still are. He has served as public relations counsel and/or speechwriter for the heads of several networks and studios, including Fox, NBC, Paramount Television and Warner Bros. Entertainment. A native of Vancouver, Canada, Patrick was a reporter, anchor and producer for the CBC radio and television networks and professor of journalism at New York University before moving to Los Angeles and entering the public relations business in 1985. He served twice as chairman of the Television Publicity Executives Committee (TPEC), and in 2004 was elected to the Television Academy Board of Governors. He has been co-chair of the Governors Ball Committee and the Public Relations Advisory Committee. He serves on the Activities Committee and is editorial advisor to Emmy magazine.
Sharon Liggins is an accomplished entertainment executive with extensive experience covering television network, production studio and agency public relations. In her current position as director, publicity, for Universal Cable Productions, a division of NBC-Universal, she oversees all public relations activities for the studio, which creates innovative and critically acclaimed original scripted and digital content across multiple media platforms and outlets for domestic and international distribution. The studio’s productions include Covert Affairs, Psych, Royal Pains and Suits for USA and Alphas, Defiance and Warehouse 13 for Syfy. Liggins, who earned a B.A. in Communications at California State University, Fullerton, has held positions at some of the most globally recognized brands in the industry, including PBS, Creative Artists Agency, Hallmark Channel and the Walt Disney Company/ABC. She also acquired agency experience at DVG Communications. For the Television Academy, Liggins has served as co-chair of the Diversity Committee, developing and coordinating events with the mandate of bringing awareness of diverse voices and experiences to Academy members and the industry. During her tenure, she has produced and coordinated panels, screenings and workshops in collaboration with Lifetime, ABC Family, Independent Television Service (ITVS), NAACP, NALIP, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and the LGBT community. Liggins is a passionate viewer of an eclectic assortment of television series and feature films. Mentoring aspiring communications executives and promoting diversity within the industry are her major priorities.