A pioneer on the digital frontier :: content creator and social media strategy consultant.
Catherine Clinch began her industry career at the age of 24 as a signed client at the William Morris Agency, writing for hit television series. Of 18 produced credits, the network green-lit her first drafts nine times. Her produced credits include HUNTER, JAKE & THE FATMAN, KNIGHT RIDER, LOVE BOAT, HART TO HART, FOUL PLAY, TRUE CONFESSIONS, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW and, most recently, RESCUE BOTS. After her first son was injured at birth and left with multiple disabilities, she became a stay at home mom (SAHM), had two more sons and then pivoted from screenwriting into writing about the craft and business of screenwriting for CREATIVE SCREENWRITING, a fledgling magazine that was being published out of someone’s kitchen in Van Nuys. Writing about her industry forced her to examine it at a granular level that exposed the ugly truth – it was hard to find women and minority screenwriters who were being produced on a level that made them “story-worthy.” As she rose in the ranks to Associate Publisher (the only girl among the six top positions) The Los Angeles Times dubbed CREATIVE SCREENWRITING as “the best magazine in its niche.”
Working on flex time during the school hours, Catherine would shift back into the mom biz role at 3pm. Gradually, she realized that there was an acceptable level of discrimination against special education students. She was horrified to discover that sometimes “the short bus bully” was a teacher or school administrator that didn’t want to deal with “those kids.” She attended and spoke at school board meetings to shed light on the problem and the school district appointed Catherine to a series of positions including Commissioner of Special Education, the California State Community Advisory Board on Special Education and the Communications Committee of the Chanda Smith Consent Decree, a class action suit that dramatically improved special education in Los Angeles and, subsequently, across the country.
As her sons grew more independent, Catherine pivoted again – this time, into technology. Her entre as a “reporter” of tech news for screenwriters quickly shifted perspective. She saw the opportunity to take all of these tech tools and use them to transform the way stories were told on screen. She quickly noticed that most of the time the only other women at these conferences were “the booth babes” or the sales reps. It didn’t take long for her to also realize that nobody else from the creative side of the entertainment industry ever showed up at these conferences. So, she started making notes on what the next forms of entertainment would look like. When it all made sense on paper, she found the right patent attorney and got to work on a story delivery system and method of mobile entertainment. She has been awarded a full US Patent on the initial design, with two completion patents.
In her spare time, Catherine stumbled into a hackathon and thought it looked like a fun way to spend the occasional weekend. Again, the male / female / minority ratio was appalling. Within two years, Catherine had won prizes at five hackathons, including the top prize at the AT&T regional hack two years in a row. Still, she was dismayed by the realization that once the event is over there is no follow up on the winning ideas because everybody’s attention shifts to the next hackathon.
Ultimately, Catherine is devoted to furthering the role of women and the disabled in both community and industry. She has recently immersed herself in the element of messaging as a success factor in social media and social marketing. She created, designed the curriculum and teaches a certificate program (for working professionals) in Social Media Strategy & Content Creation at California State University Dominguez Hills. She currently consults with companies that need to refine their corporate message in order to spread it across the social platforms more effectively.