The Leopard USA team is made up of passionate, creative people from all over the world. Our people are brilliant, imaginative, and fun! We love creating shows, and using our experience to make the best, most entertaining programs possible. Meet the Leopard USA team:
James is a forward-thinking leader. He is passionate about ideas and talent. He trained as a journalist, then showrunner. As Executive Producer, his scripted and non-scripted credits include Mormon Love for Facebook, award-winning movie An Englishman in New York starring John Hurt and Cynthia Nixon and the daily hit House Hunters International on HGTV. He studied at the universities of Bristol and Oxford in the UK and Stanford in California. He speaks five languages and is learning Mandarin.
Chief Operating Officer
Shirley is an Emmy nominated producer who has worked across most genres of production. She was Production Executive for BBC Horizon and Time-watch documentary strands, as well as working in the UK independent sector making series for all UK broadcasters. Whilst at RDF she opened their NY production office and then went on to run the BBC NY office for four years before joining Stephen David Entertainment where she produced hybrid drama/docs for AMC, Netflix, Amazon, History and Nat Geo.
Matthew joined the Leopard team in early 2016 assuming the role of Corporate Controller. Matthew brings over eleven years of experience in accounting & management from multiple industries. Matthew’s analytic skills and high attention to detail has helped him manage his career through multiple complex accounting fields within the corporate world including Sarbanes Oxley compliance and acquisitions. Prior to joining Leopard, Matthew had managed a full accounting team overseeing monthly and annual reporting as well as quarterly and annual audits.
Executive VP of Programming
John is an award-winning producer with a consistent record of success in production and content development, encompassing a diverse career. With over 20 years in the business and direct oversight of nearly 1500 hours of programming, he is a team-builder with applied development, creative, technical, and leadership skills across a broad range of TV genres. Prior to joining Leopard in 2008, a showrunning stint at UK-based Lion Television netted successful runs of Discovery’s It Takes A Thief and adaptation of the UK hit Cash Cab which earned him an Emmy in 2009. He has also served as showrunner and supervising producer on multiple projects for Oxygen and FOX Syndication where he cut his teeth in high-volume content generation and delivery. John is currently overseeing House Hunters International for Leopard, and has served as EVP Programming, VP Programming and Executive Producer for the company on multiple series for A&E, HGTV and Travel Channel.
SVP of Development
Jillian has developed scripted and non-scripted programming for Lifetime, MTV, History, Discovery, Oxygen and more. She has worked for various production companies throughout New York and has a strong passion for finding and developing great characters and unique worlds. She loves a good marathon, whether it be running or binge watching TV on a quest for the next big idea.
VP Post / Social Media
VP of Post /Social Media, Ilene Merenstein is responsible for over-seeing Post Production and creating Social Media content for various series including House Hunters International (HGTV) and Mormon Love (Facebook) She served as Co-EP on Digital Series for Genevieve's Renovation(HGTV), Big Beach Build’s (DIY) and has had creative roles on HGTV’s Mom Caves and Dear Genevieve series. An award winning editor, Ilene has written, produced and edited for Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. And as VP of Post of Original Media, she was EP- LA Ink (TLC), SP-Rachel Zoe (Bravo) and had creative roles on pilots including Storm Chasers (Discovery) and Swamp People(History).
Wendy is Leopard USA’s longest serving employee. She is Production Manager at Leopard's New York offices. She has worked on all of the company projects since she moved to the US in late 2007. She has also managed shows for HGTV, A&E, TLC and Food Network and oversees production for all of Leopard’s development projects. Before joining the New York team, Wendy was based in Leopard’s London office, managing episodes of Car Booty for BBC1 and numerous factual and drama development projects, as well as coordinating the observational documentary series' Crash Scene Investigators for ITV and BBC’s Missing, and ITV documentaries Body Building Pensioners and Me and My Face. Wendy also worked as Post Production Coordinator on Leopardrama's Mysterious Creatures for ITV starring Brenda Blethyn and Timothy Spall, and Production Coordinator on The Grey Man for BBC1 with Olivia Colman.
Ina Wahl Hamilton
Human Resources/Payroll Manager
Ina joined Leopard in mid-2018 building the Human Resources Department and taking over Payroll.
With her passion for customer service and a diverse industry background (hospitality, real estate investment, consumer packaged goods and television news production), Ina supports both the Company and her colleagues with care. Working at Leopard has given Ina an appreciation for, and filled her DVR with, Reality Television programs.
Director of Development
Brandy Crawford is a TV development vet who’s worked in the industry for over a decade. From reality to scripted to commercials, she’s produced a wide range of diverse content on both the network and production company sides of the business. As a development and programming producer at History, she worked on hits that include Pawn Stars, Swamp People, and Counting Cars while also being a part of the network’s first scripted team which brought the critically acclaimed Vikings to life as well as the epic miniseries The Bible. When she’s not out finding the next big TV hit, you can find her bringing down the house anywhere there’s karaoke.
Christina loves a great story so it’s no surprise that her greatest passion is storytelling. She enjoys diving into unique worlds so that she can bring authentic stories to a larger audience. Christina brings first-rate experience from both her time at top networks and production companies. Before coming to Leopard she worked on a variety of shows including, History’s Alone, AMC’s Comic Book Men, FYI’s Tiny House Hunting, MTV’s 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom. She specializes in diverse casting and has worked to bring the most memorable casts to the biggest networks today.
Steve joined the Leopard USA team in the fall of 2015, where he began working alongside the development team to explore new talent, evolve new ideas, and formulate prospective shows to become TV's next big hit. Prior to Leopard, Steve worked for various production companies throughout the tri-state area. Just prior to joining Leopard, Steve worked on four back to back seasons of Spike TV's "Ink Master" starting as a tech assistant in the camera department, then transitioning into a role as Casting AP. Since joining the team, Steve has become instrumental in the development process, utilizing his technical background to shoot, produce, and edit the teams pitch materials.
Executive Assistant and Office Manager
Samantha joined Leopard USA in 2017 as an Executive Assistant. Prior to joining the team, she worked on film and television sets around the globe. Samantha’s credits include “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Rough Night,” “Elementary,” and “Seven Seconds.” Samantha is very proud of her Midwestern roots, having grown up in Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism and Film.