Dana Hatjakes began her career as a performer, touring internationally in critically-acclaimed stage shows as a classically-trained dancer. She brought that quality in front of the camera as a host on several television shows and film. This passion for performance has enabled Dana to have keen insight on both viewer trends and viewer engagement. Dana Hatjakes has over 15 years of experience in marketing brands both offline and online. Serving as the Internet Sales Director of FOX11, Hatjakes was able to hone this online skill in building online brands and increasing engagement using social media. Hatjakes adds to this skillset a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Marketing and is a Certified Facilitator in Idea Generation from the Center for Sales Strategy. Dana is the co-founder and President of SoSu.TV, a video production and marketing firm based in Reno, NV. Her drive and passion as an entrepreneur is fueled by the desire to make a difference. This desire has led her to be active in the entrepreneurial network in northern Nevada and serve as a judge on several business plan competitions. Hatjakes was honored to emcee TEDxReno 2013 and is delighted to be back in 2014. She is a believer in the Biggest Little City and is proud to see the community grow and prosper.
Mark Hatjakes is co-founder of SoSu.TV, a visual storytelling advertising agency headquartered in northern Nevada. His firm is focused on video production and emotional branding with an emphasis on social media distribution. Mark began his career in web design and development during the dotcom era and shifted gears into television and film production for major players in network broadcast. In combining these various areas of expertise, Mark honed the ability to elicit key value propositions and communicate them into an engaging storyline for small and large businesses alike. Earning degrees in graphic/digital communications and television, film and new media from San Diego State University, Hatjakes has both the formal and ground-level experience to navigate the ever-changing waters of brand storytelling. Mark is a 5th-generation Nevadan and lives in Reno with his wonderful wife and partner Dana and his two children, David and Anna. He is an outdoor enthusiast and loves the natural beauty and terrain of Northern Nevada.
Cooper is 24 years old and originally from Gardnerville, Nevada. He moved to Reno in 2008 and initially attended the University of Nevada, Reno for Computer Science with an emphasis in Digital Media. After realizing he actually wanted to do video production and graphic design, he transferred to TMCC and will officially graduate this year with graphic communications and fine arts. After getting a visit in one of his classes from Mark and Dana Hatjakes, Cooper decided he wanted to work at SoSu TV. Not unfamiliar with the video scene, he also works for Reno Tahoe Studios as a Production Assistant and has worked for the show Yard Crashers when they came to Reno, as well as a pilot for a TV show in Lake Tahoe. He enjoys being creative and is glad he found a job that allows him to.
“I didn’t really expect to find anything like this in Reno, honestly. Especially full-scale production which is really cool,” said Cooper.
He was also surprised by the reality of working after college. He initially thought everyone would have a set schedule and know what they were doing at all times, but after working different jobs, he realized that’s not always the case and he likes it that way. He enjoys having knowledge to help others while at the same time learning something new each day. Impressed with the opportunities he has found here, he plans to stay in Reno and enjoy watching the city evolve. As for the future of his career, he sees himself continuing to work at SoSu TV because it’s already his dream job. But outside of the web design world, he has a personal bucket list he wants to explore which includes: being an extra in as many movies as possible, opening his own french fry food truck and getting involved in politics because of his natural curiosity for it.
Ryan McGinnis is a Reynold’s School of Journalism graduate who first delved into videography when he worked for the University of Nevada, Reno Marketing and Communications Department as a creative intern. But his love for the craft emerged mostly outside of the classroom and the office.
“I guess I knew I was obsessed about filmmaking, movies, and storytelling in general when a few friends and I climbed to the top of Mount Doom in New Zealand to destroy the one ring of our own, “ Ryan said. “The entire time I couldn’t help thinking ‘man, I wish I could have gotten this in 4k.’
When he’s not climbing mountains or runnin’ and gunin’, he’s usually in front of a computer editing videos. Though, admittedly, he could just daydreaming of what places and people to document next. Nevertheless, visual storytelling is what drives him throughout his professional career.
Austin, 20 years old, was born and raised in Reno. He initially started college at the University of Nevada, Reno but six months ago he transferred to Truckee Meadows Community College to pursue a graphic communications degree. His love for video initially grew from photography class. Once he began making videos for classes, it inspired him to learn more about the different elements of movies and filmmaking. New to the film scene and unsure how to get involved in Reno, he was grateful to meet Steven Dickson through a mutual friend and bond over their passion for film. Steven told Austin about his job at SoSu TV and within three months Austin was apart of the team. “I love the atmosphere and the scope of productions SoSu does. From live tv broadcasts, to local government, art interviews, to full studio productions. I haven’t been here very long, but I know I’m going to learn the in’s and out’s of production very quickly,” he said. He is glad this job is teaching him so much about the film and television industry. While he is still learning about all the terms and equipment, he is also catching on quickly. He hopes working here can help him one day sit in the director’s chair for his own TV show.