CEO and Excecutive Producer
Avis Gold Richards is the founder and CEO of Birds Nest Foundation™, a 501(c)3 non-profit creative group that produces television shows, documentaries, and short films for charitable organizations. Started in 2005, the goal of Birds Nest Foundation is to provide the media to educate and promote important causes and issues that enable non-profits and other foundations to tell their stories.
Avis has been nominated for three New York Emmy Awards and has won numerous Stevie, W3, Telly, Davey, Pixie and Aurora Awards for producing non-profit films and videos. The charities that benefit from Avis' work include a host of worthy causes dedicated to improving healthcare and education, serving inner-city youth, protecting against domestic violence, promoting human rights, and defending the environment. Avis also launched "The Ground Up Campaign," a national effort that has provided indoor edible academic gardens and curriculum to over 300 classrooms nationwide since 2011.
Avis is on the Board of Directors for HELP USA, Sophie's Voice, Fans for the Cure , Earth Day Network, and the R Baby Foundation. Avis is a member of the Advisory Board of Joe Torre’s Safe At Home Foundation, Cancer Schmancer , Reach To Film, Greenbeetz and Street Soccer USA. She also serves on the Board of Trustees at the University of Maryland, the University of Pennsylvania Parent Leadership Advisory Board, and the Board of Overseers for the School of Social and Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. Avis is a "Game Ball" recipient for the Boomer Esiason Foundation (Cystic Fibrosis) and served as an Excalibur award member for the American Cancer Society for which she was also the Gala Event Chair. Avis was also a founding member of Gilda's Club. In 2010, Avis was also awarded with the Artivist Award for Advocacy and Leadership, 2011 Ambassador Award by Voices Against Brain Cancer, 2012 R Baby Hero Award, 2012 United Way Womens' Leadership Council Philanthropist Award and Help USA Tribute Award. The University of Maryland in 2010 was honored Avis with the Non-Profit Industry Impact Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award for the College of Education in 2012.
After the successful launch of her short documentary LUNCH, Avis produced a public television series entitled "LunchNYC" for NYC Media, part of the City of New York Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting. The documentary screened and won several awards at film festivals across the United States and in Whole Foods Markets Educational Libraries. The film exposes unhealthy foods being served in the public school system across the country and highlights the efforts of individuals actively seeking alternatives to promote nutrition and health. Following these successes, she also produced over 40 episodes for the television show “Dylan’s Lunchbox”, which aired on NYC Media and Taxi TV.
Avis is a graduate of the University of Maryland where she earned her B.S. degree. She pursued her post-graduate studies at George Washington University and Bank Street College of Education. Avis lives with her husband, two children, and two dogs in New York City.
Cathie Hartnett is a non-profit entrepreneur. She serves as Executive Director of Birds Nest Foundation and brings her 30 years of experience in leading roles for non-profit organizations, 10 years of experience as a radio talk show host and TV commentator. She is passionate about the need for non-profits to tell their story beyond their immediate circle of supporters and donors and reachboth a national and international audience. Her volunteer work in Board service and paid consulting has reflected her passion for entrepreneurial work in the non profit sector in mental health, women, disability, and LGBT rights, the arts and education.
Hartnett was chosen as an American Council of Young Political Leaders – Mexico Delegation, MS Magazine – 80 Women to Watch in the 80”,U of M Alumni Magazine – “40 graduates under 40”, President’s Leadership Award – Spina Bifida Association of America and Distinguished CLA Graduate of University of Minnesota. She has always been a fundraiser and advocate for philanthropy, often speaking to groups about engaging your children in philanthropy and breaking down the cultural barriers of talking about money as well as learning how to ask for funds to support the causes you love. Hartnett lives with her husband, John Monto, an artist and writer. She raised two stepsons with the help of many!
Israel Bonequi is a creative director with over 12 years of experience in visual communications and video production. So far in his career, he has produced, directed and collaborated in countless projects for print, web design, e-commerce and interactive CD and DVD productions and installations.
In 1998, Bonequi started working as a freelance graphic artist and creative director and has since continuously lead successful projects for diverse clients such as BNP PARIBAS, Public Works Canada and Itsus's Cirque du Soleil’s clothing line (retail) among others.
Bonequi is a member of IDA (International Documentary Association) and currently serves as a judge for the Emmy awards, New York Chapter and as preliminary-round judge in The American Business Awards.
His work has earned many Davey, W3, Stevie, Aurora and Telly awards.