President and CEO, Edmonds Entertainment Group Inc.
President and COO, Our Stories Films
Tracey Edmonds, a 15-year veteran of the entertainment industry, has established herself as an award-winning producer, savvy business mogul and accomplished studio executive. She has created and produced groundbreaking projects for television, music and film both independently and with major studios. She currently serves as the CEO of her own production company, Edmonds Entertainment, and COO and President of Our Stories Films where she oversees the development and production of projects for urban audiences.
Our Stories Films, created by BET Founder Robert L Johnson, became the first African-American owned film studio where feature projects are given the greenlight by people of color. In July, 2010, Our Stories Films is scheduled to go into production on its next film, Jumping the Broom, which Salim Akil will be directing for Sony, starring Angela Bassett. Edmonds’ most recent film, the romantic comedy New In Town starring Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr., was released January 30, 2009. In 2007, she released Good Luck Chuck for Lionsgate, starring Jessica Alba and Dane Cook.
After graduating from Stanford University with a major in psychobiology at age 20 she decided to develop her skills as an entrepreneur by running a successful mortgage and real estate business. Edmonds made her formal entry into the entertainment industry in 1993, with the creation of Edmonds Entertainment Group, a multi-million dollar enterprise actively involved in all aspects of the entertainment business. Edmonds Entertainment quickly succeeded with the critically acclaimed hit film Soul Food, whichearned five NAACP Image Awards. Additionally, the LaFace soundtrack for the movie, of which Edmonds served as Soundtrack Executive Producer, was a multi-platinum bestseller. Signing an overall first-look deal with 20th Century Fox, Edmonds continued to forge her way through the film world, developing and producing Light It Up for Fox 2000 in 1999.
Some of today’s beloved actors and actresses such as Rosario Dawson, Kimberly Elise, Mekhi Phifer, Donald Faison, and Tracee Ellis Ross can attribute the launch of their successful careers to their start at Edmonds Management (a division of Edmonds Entertainment) and the vision of its CEO, Tracey Edmonds, who recognized their budding star power.
The overwhelming success of Edmonds Entertainment set the stage for the formation of an independent film production company, e2 filmworks. Edmonds produced two highly regarded independent films under this banner: Hav Plenty, which was released by Miramax in 1998 - on which she again served as Soundtrack Executive Producer; and PUNKS, which was released through Urbanworld Films in 2001.
In addition to film, Edmonds has also achieved success in television production. Edmonds executive produced the groundbreaking reality show College Hill, the first African American reality program on BET. The show debuted in January 2004 and set a network record as ‘BET’s highest rated series premiere in the network’s 25-year history’. In addition, the spinoff series College Hill Interns, shot in Chicago in the Summer, debuted October 2007.
Edmonds also produced the highly acclaimed series Lil’ Kim: Countdown to Lockdown, as well as DMX: Soul of a Man—both airing on BET in 2006 and setting new ratings benchmarks for the network. Also noteworthy was her 2007 TV-One production David E. Talbert presents Stage Black, starring David E. Talbert and Blair Underwood. This eight-episode competition show was the recent recipient of a NAMIC nomination for Best Reality Series.
In the scripted arena, Edmonds produced the serialized version of her hit movie Soul Food, an hour-long dramedy for Showtime Networks Inc, which ran for five seasons and won multiple NAACP Image Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series three years in a row.
Edmonds has won numerous awards for her achievements in the industry, including Turner Broadcasting System’s prestigious Tower of Power Award (2000), The Ebony Magazine Outstanding Women In Marketing & Communications Entrepreneur Award (2002), an award from Girls, Inc. (2004) in recognition of her efforts to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold, an honorary doctorate in Business from Southern University (2004), the National Organization for Women’s Excellence in Media Award (2005), and most recently, The Caucus for Television Producers, Writers and Directors Diversity Award (2006). Always looking to give back, Edmonds serves on the Board of Governors for the Producers Guild of America (PGA), where she chaired the Guild’s annual Celebration of Diversity gala for three years in a row. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for the American Film Institute (AFI), on the Executive Committee for NAACP, and on the Board of Directors for Children Uniting Nations (CUN), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality mentoring relationships for at-risk and foster youth. Edmonds also serves as a Global Ambassador for CARE, a leading humanitarian organization that works to fight global poverty. In her role as Ambassador, she is focused on improving global maternal health, with a specific focus on Sierra Leone.
Tracey Edmonds resides in Beverly Hills, California with her two sons, Brandon and Dylan.
As Senior Vice President, Sheila Ducksworth runs all creative for Edmonds Entertainment.
This is a return to Edmonds Entertainment for Sheila, who, in 2003, served as VP of Television. In this new capacity, she serves as head of both television and film, packaging and selling projects for President and CEO Tracey E. Edmonds.
“Sheila is an extremely talented executive. She’s great at what she does, and more important, she knows how to make things happen. We make a great team.”
Prior to returning to Edmonds, Sheila most recently wrapped up a current executive stint at UPN. Before that, she was Senior Vice Presdient of Television for Susanne Daniels and her First Move Television, based at 20th Century Fox. Her first development jobs were at Disney and Big Ticket Television.
Sheila received her B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Yale University, and is a Native New Yorker.