Our Team

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Stephanie Manesis


I’m Stephanie Manesis. I have 20 years of experience marketing brands and companies around the world. I began my marketing career at Procter & Gamble where I was on a team that marketed and managed brands in excess of $175 million, including Oil of Olay and Clearasil.

As CEO and owner of an advertising agency, I created, wrote and directed advertising campaigns across the United States, including for clients, Rolodex, Radisson Seven Seas, Lego Toys, American Express Financial Advisors, and Saturday Evening Post.

I have taught marketing, advertising, international relations and English as a Second Language at six post-secondary institutions, including University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, I have a B.A. in French. I also have a M.A. in French Studies and a M.B.A. (graduating with distinction) in marketing and international business from New York University. I spent two semesters abroad in France and later lived in Costa Rica for a year.

My grandfather was a World War II veteran and my father served at Camp Pendleton, CA during the Vietnam War. I have interviewed 43 veterans, 36 of whom have served in WWII, and these interviews are being preserved in historical archives.

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Jim Ledoux

Director of Photography (first locations)

My name is Jim Ledoux. I’m pleased that I could bring my 25-plus years of photography experience to “Compassion on the Battlefield in WWII” so that Stephanie’s vision could be brought to life on film.

As a hands-on Production Manager and Director, I have a wide background in broadcast, corporate and nonprofit projects ranging from live, multi-camera, television programs to webcasts, sports features, reality shows, feature films and documentaries.

I graduated in Film Studies from Temple University in Philadelphia. For four years, I directed live studio television in New York City as the Director/Studio Manager of Financial News Network and CNBC Wall Street Facilities.

Later, I began freelance work as a Producer/Director/Director of Photography. Some of my recent projects include a series of short documentaries for Microsoft and principal photography for HGTV’s series, My First Place.

In addition to Microsoft and HGTV, I also have worked with: The Food Network, KingWorld Productions, ESPN, HDNet, CBS Sports/News, CNN, CNBC, CSPAN, ABC Sports/News, Home Depot, Discovery Channel, Harpo Productions and National Geographic. I currently live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Michael Hartzel

Director of Photography (second locations)

I’m Michael Hartzel from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I co-own Blackice Productions with my spouse who is also a producer. I’ve had the great privilege to work alongside some of the most accomplished cinematographers in the film industry over the past 20 years.

I’ve brought my acute awareness of lighting and composition to film many projects, establishing myself as an award winning Director of Photography. My accomplishments include independent films, commercials and broadcast work. I have filmed at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the London Olympics in 2012 and Brazil Olympics in 2016.

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Matt McGregor

Camera Operation/ Production Assistant

Hello! My name is Matt McGregor and I work for Rush Street Productions in Fargo, ND on the TV show “Poker Night in America.” Prior to this, I owned my own production company making websites and videos.

Previously, I worked for Heartland Poker Tour as an editor and as a technical director. I also have 9 years of production and creative services experience at TV stations KVLY and KXJB of Fargo, ND.

I have been a part of many independent films, both narrative and documentary, and participated in many award-winning teams for Fargo’s 48 Hour film contest. I studied Mass Communications at North Dakota State University with a minor in Speech Communications with an emphasis in film. I’m originally from Jamestown, North Dakota and currently live in Fargo.

When Stephanie told me about her vision for this short documentary film, I was excited to be given the opportunity to hear some of the stories she was seeking first hand – stories that would soon be forgotten if not documented. I am happy to be part of Stephanie’s team.

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Paula Maddox

Associate Producer

Hi! My name is Paula Maddox. I’m a nonprofit business professional, currently working as a grant proposal writer in Georgia. I have known Stephanie for 20 years and when she approached me about working on this project, I was thrilled!

Stephanie’s passion for this short documentary “Compassion on the Battlefield in WWII” was immediately evident. Her conviction and determination to share these heartwarming stories of compassion through film offers viewers an alternative lens with which to consider the humanity that exists in all of us, even in the midst of the most horrific of circumstances.

Having worked on a previous historical video project – the Veterans’ History Project – while I was employed at an Alabama archival facility, I was eager to be a part of Stephanie’s venture. The Alabama project allowed me to interview veterans and active service military so their personal military histories could be preserved for future generations. The 45 interviews I conducted (29 of whom were World War II veterans) are now housed in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Personally, I have a long family lineage of military history. My great-great grandfather joined the Confederacy as a reservist at the age of 46 and my great-grandfather served in the Confederacy. My grandfather was a World War I veteran. My father was a World War II Purple Heart recipient and my uncle died at Omaha Beach. My husband is also a veteran who served during the Vietnam era.

Academically, I hold a B.S. in Marketing and a M.B.A from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. I have worked in for-profit and non-profit capacities in Georgia, Alabama, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska. I currently live in Alabama.

a man with glasses is smiling for the camera

Kellan Weyer

(Concordia College)

I’m Kellan Weyer and am a recent graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. While at Concordia, I was an intern on this film. I am currently enrolled in Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN.

I enjoy the craft of filmmaking and am interested in all things war-related. I believe in the importance of helping veterans and allowing them to share their stories to promote understanding and compassion in the wider culture.