The Society of Voice Arts and Sciences (SOVAS™) was established on August 26, 2013 under the New York State Department of State Division of Corporations, pursuant to the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law. The founding members, Rudy Gaskins and Joan Baker, created the SOVAS™ in direct response to a growing need to provide education, training and job opportunities in support of working voice actors and those people seeking to establish gainful careers as voice actors. At its core, SOVAS™ was first conceived in the year 2005 as a book written by Joan Baker, called Secrets of Voiceover Success. This was the first book ever the chronicled the career journeys of America’s top voice actors, unveiling practical career guidance as it primary theme. Traditional book signings followed and gradually grew into ticketed community events and workshop offerings for the public.  These events evolved into an annual career expo named That’s Voiceover!™and the Voice Arts® Awards which are the two primary components of SOVAS™.

 

Mission Statement:

The mission of Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™ (SOVAS™ ) is to connect job seekers to the consummate sources of training, education, mentoring and employment opportunities required to create and sustain a successful career in the voiceover industry.
Our mission is accomplished through the ongoing development and administration of programs featuring educational events, financial scholarships, job placement, meaningful networking opportunities and awards recognition through the Voice Arts® Award program.

Program 1: That’s Voiceover! Career Expo

The program That’s Voiceover! is an annual career expo that brings together the key agents of the voiceover industry with the voiceover newcomers and working professionals to engage in gainful networking, employment opportunities, training, education, and auditions for voiceover jobs with major brands. In the past, these brands have included NBC, CBS, Sennheiser, Neumann Microphone Company, Audible.com, CBS, SAG-AFTRA, Backstage Magazine, Sennheiser Electronics, Alzheimer’s Association and others.
The purpose of the program is to turn a white hot focus to the integrated means by which all the tentacles of the industry are best brought together for meaningful and measurable results through education, training and employment. Further, the program’s purpose is to create an inspired forum of learning that is regenerative, relevant and energizing for all concerned – Inspiring interested parties to take on the challenges of succeeding with informed, vigorous action Finally, the purpose of this program is to show participants how the disparate parts of this complex industry can work together to elevate the skills, craft and artistry through best-in-class education, training and career networking that promotes and expands gainful career opportunities.
The program has been successfully implemented in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles and is currently produced on an annual basis. The next event is tentatively scheduled for November 2016.
Program Administrator: Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™ Officers, Board of Directors and Volunteers
Implementation Date: This program is in progress. The organization spends 40% percent of the time ensuring the successful outcome of this program and planned activities. This program is funded with ward entries, award purchases, sponsorship and charitable donations.

Program 2: The Voice Arts® Awards

This program is similar to the Oscars, Emmys, Tonys and other award franchises. The Voice Arts® Awards is an open competition voted upon by experts within the various fields that constitute the entry category. Two votes: one to determine the initial nominees and a second to determine the nominee to be designated the winner in each entry category. Several special awards (lifetime achievement etc.), may also be awarded. The awards show will have its own unique time and place with separate ticket sales.
The purpose of the Voice Arts® Awards is to provide an international acknowledgement of the extraordinary skill and artistry that goes into the voiceover acting and to hold up an evolving best-in-class standard of achievement to which the voiceover industry can continually aspire.

The inaugural presentation of the Voice Arts® Award was made to Keith David on August 17, 2013 at the Directors Guild of America as part of That’s Voiceover! The award was designed in partnership with R.S. Owens Company (the same manufacturers of the Oscar, Emmy and MTV Music Awards, among many others).

Program Administrator: Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™ Officers, Board of Directors and Volunteers
Implementation Date: This program is in progress. The organization spends 40% percent of the time ensuring the successful outcome of this program and planned activities. This program is funded with ward entries, award purchases, sponsorship and charitable donations.

Part IV, Narrative Description of Activities:

Program 3: That’s Voiceover! Scholarship

Like any career pursuit, education and training are tantamount. However, because voiceover industry stems from a behind-the-scenes and culture of anonymity, finding quality training and career guidance is an area fraught with misunderstandings from where to find legitimate teachers to what it should cost to how long it should take and what a quality curriculum should entail. The uninformed can waste a great deal of money and time trying to figure out how the process works. In a nutshell, out SOVAS™ ’ Scholarships are designed to bring people into the educational process and empower them to navigate a process that will give them a real chance for success.
Free admission to That’s Voiceover! and the Voice Arts® Awards Gala.
Training with celebrated coaches
Registrations with Trade Associations and Publications.
Speech and Diction Analysis
Traditional acting classes
Demo Reel Production
TV Network Tour
Advertising Agency Tour
Volunteerism

While some of these opportunities are priceless in the sense that they strictly provide educational and networking value, others range in monetary value from $600 to $5000 dollars.
The purpose of this program is to provide that financially underprivileged individuals have an opportunity to access the extraordinary bank of knowledge and education provided by SOVAS™ . The scholarship program was introduced in 2010 through free admission for local students to attend the annual That’s Voiceover! event.
Program Administrator: Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™ Officers, Board of Directors and Volunteers.
Implementation Date: This program is in progress. The organization spends 20% percent of the time ensuring the successful outcome of this program and planned activities. This program is funded with donations from individuals, national and local businesses.

OFFICER BIOGRAPHIES

Rudy Gaskins
CEO/President
For many professional years, Rudy Gaskins has led teams of branding strategists, designers, and web developers in the development and execution of branding and advertising campaigns for television networks and corporations. Clients include American Express, Spike TV, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, Food Network, NBC Sports, Sentient Publications, Costco, BET, TV One and Little Baby Face Foundation
Mr. Gaskins began his professional career after graduating from NYU’s Film and Television program. He directed and produced several award-winning short films before signing on as an apprentice film editor on Francis Coppola’s The Cotton Club. From there he went on to work with some of the most influential filmmakers of our time, including Jonathan Demme, Brian DePalma, Milos Forman, Spike Lee, and Alan Pakula. He then joined PBS as producer/director/writer and produced 12 hours of documentary programming.The PBS journalistic tradition was an ideal training ground and a perfect complement for his next challenge as writer/producer with ABC News advertising and promotion. At ABC he oversaw the writing and production of advertising messages for World News Tonight featuring the legendary Peter Jennings, 20/20 with Barbara Walters and Primetime Live with Diane Sawyer.
Specialties: TV/Film Director, Content Development for TV and Online, Brand Strategy and Identity, Creative Director, Copywriter, Project Management, Art director.

Duties with Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™

  • Create policies pertaining to the activities of the daily operations.
  • Serve on committees or task forces and offer to take on special assignments.
  • Inform others about the organization.
  • Be informed about the organization’s mission, services, policies, and programs.
  • Evaluates annually the performance of the organization in achieving its mission.
  • To increase community partnerships.
  • Engage new audiences to promote and support our mission.
  • Seek new ways to improve and promote the core mission of giving back to serve the community through leveraging relationships with other like-minded 501(c) (3) organizations.

Steve Ulrich
Executive Director

Steve Ulrich brings more than five years of experience as the Executive Director of the Sports Emmy® Awards, as well as the Daytime Emmys® and New Emmys®. While joining the SOVAS™ team to establish an entirely new awards franchise in the Voice Arts™ Awards, he will continue to oversee the entire Sports Emmy process, from rules making, to entry collection, to judging and the announcement of nominees as well as produce the live awards ceremony, work with the CEOs of all the major sports networks on the organization of the awards and the production of the ceremony.
Steve Ulrich is also an 5-time Emmy® Award-Winning Marketing Professional with extensive experience promoting a wide variety of sports-entertainment television programming including seven Olympic Games, six Super Bowls and 12 NBA Finals. Expert in producing multi-layered advertising campaigns including TV, print, radio and internet to target specialized markets. Proven track record of resource optimization, leadership skills and exceeding corporate goals. Skilled in multi-million dollar media planning and budget management. Unique blend of hands-on entertainment production experience and executive management skill used to develop strategic business and product plans.

Duties with Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™

  • Member of the Board.
  • Will direct and consult with regard to rules making, entry collection and judging and the announcement of nominees. He will also produce or co-produce the live awards ceremony, work with the CEOs of all the major sponsors and networks on the organization of the awards and the production of the ceremony.
  • Suggest possible nominees to the board who can make significant contributions to the work of the board and the organization.

Joan Baker
Executive Producer

Joan Baker is the author of Secrets of Voice-Over Success and co-founder/producer of That’s Voiceover! She has performed hundreds of promos and commercials for TV, film and radio throughout her highly regarded career – including work for ABC News, American Express, ESPN, BLOOMBERG TV and radio, Showtime, HBO, NBA Entertainment, Olay, Lens Express, Sony Music, JP Morgan Chase, Costco, and The New York Times. You could even say that Joan’s talents reach the highest levels of American royalty and deep into the political power structure: She voiced a TV ad campaign for The Muhammad Ali Center and narrated a documentary about the founding of the William Jefferson Clinton Library, now a part of the library’s permanent display.
Joan is also a founding partner of Push Creative Advertising, where she has been an incalculable force as a executive producer and client development specialist.

Duties with Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™

  • Member of the Board.
  • Identify and establish educational Volunteer Programs, Community Partnerships & Community Events with other 501(c) (3) like-minded organizations.
  • Create policies pertaining to the activities of the daily operations.
  • Serve on committees or task forces and offer to take on special assignments.
  • Inform others about the organization.
  • Be informed about the organization’s mission, services, policies, and programs.
  • Seek new ways to improve and promote the core mission of giving back to underprivileged individuals and opportunity to access the extraordinary bank of knowledge and education provided by SOVAS™ by leveraging relationships with other like-minded 501(c) (3) organizations.

Part VI,
In carrying out the exempt purpose of Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™, the organization is dedicated to provide that financially underprivileged individuals have an opportunity to access the extraordinary bank of knowledge and education provided by its endeavors.

To further the exempt purposes the Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™, we continue to serve and support other 501(c)(3) organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association.

Personal Solicitations: Make a full presentation to individuals and corporations outlining the benefits to be achieved for everyone involved and make a request that they participate.
Email Solicitations: We will periodically send emails to individuals, corporations and other entities to support our cause and mission.
Mail Solicitations: Make a full presentation to individuals and corporations outlining the benefits to be achieved for everyone involved and make a request that they participate.
Foundation Grant Solicitations: Make a full presentation to individuals and corporations outlining the benefits to be achieved for everyone involved and make a request that they participate.
Government Grant Solicitations: Make a full presentation to individuals and corporations outlining the benefits to be achieved for everyone involved and make a request that they participate.
Accept Donations on our Website: Our website will be set-up through Pay-Pal to receive donations directly to our corporation account. We encourage anyone who believes in our mission statement to make donations online.
Vehicle or Similar Donations: We will make full presentations to individuals and corporations outlining the benefit to be achieved for everyone involved and make a request that they participate.
Phone Solicitations: Make a full presentation to individuals and corporations outlining the benefits to be achieved for everyone involved and make a request that they participate.

Fundraising

Fundraising is to be conducted by Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™ Board of Directors, Officers and Volunteers in the State of New York. We will be fundraising for our own organization.
Additional fundraising activities include:

  • Ticket Sales for Annual That’s Voiceover! Career Expo
  • Submission Fees for Voice Arts® Awards
  • Fees for purchase of duplicate Awards
  • Ticket Sales to Voice Arts® Awards Gala
  • Direct solicitation for sponsor involvement
  • Online Donation Option

Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™ has submitted a trademark application for Voice Arts®, which is the name of the award to be given out on an annual basis. The trademark will be owned exclusively by the nonprofit corporation.
For donations of real property such as works of music, art, royalties, trademarks or copyrights vehicles, no specific terms or conditions will be offered or made applicable to a donation and, no obligations will be required on the part of the donor or, Society Of Voice Art And Sciences™ .
Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™ intends to comply with IRS guidelines and directives as described in Publications 4302, 1771 and 526, and will issue Form 1098-C should a vehicle be donated. The acknowledgment will include a statement regarding the specific intervening use of the said vehicle to further the charitable purpose Society Of Voice Art And Sciences™. Upon disposal of said vehicle, Form 8282 will be filed with 125 days after disposal. Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™ does not intend to initiate or operate a vehicle donation program.

Scholarships and Awards
1a. Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™. will partner with educational institutions (acting schools and private coaches) to provide Educational Scholarships based on merit and financial need. Winners are awarded paid admission for a variety of courses, private coaching, books and digital learning tools.

The purpose is to provide job training and preparedness for individuals who demonstrate potential for high skill achievement and financial need. Value from $500 to $5000 per scholarship.

Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™ will offer Expo Attendance Student Scholarships allowing free entry and backstage privileges to the That’s Voiceover! Career Expo. The purpose is to provide financially underprivileged students an opportunity to attend the career expo free of charge. Valued at $1200 per award.

From tickets sales coming from That’s Voiceover! Career Expo, SOVAS will continue to donate 5% of ticket sales to a charity of its choosing.

We will continue to offer a Charity Scholarship comprised of giving a charitable entity (Muhammad Ali Center, for example) an honorary Sponsorship position during the That’s Voiceover! Career Expo and the Voice ARts® Awards Gala. This scholarship includes on-site signage, stage presentation, inclusion in all marketing materials promoting the event and a discount code for its membership to attend the events. The purpose is to highlight and build public awareness for a worthy charity.

We partner with Backstage Magazine to provide online Backstage subscriptions to 5 expo attendees. The purpose is to provide a professional tool that inspires and encourages recipients to continue the pursuit of their career dreams through professional trade outlets. Valued at $125 each.

We partner with production facilities to provide scholarships to produce professional demo reels for applicants who demonstrate the necessary desire, talent and financial need.

The purpose is to insure that deserving candidates, who are financially challenged, can acquire a professionally produced demo reel – easily the single most relevant tool for securing work as a voice actor.

Educational Scholarships
1b. The purpose and amount of our Educational Scholarships that we award are to
provide job training and preparedness for individuals who demonstrate potential for high skill achievement and financial need. Value from $500 to $5000 per scholarship. To further our exempt purposes we provide financially underprivileged students an opportunity to attend the That’s Voiceover! Career Expo free of charge. Valued at $300 per award

1c. The Society Of Voice Art And Sciences™ does not issue loans.

1d. To publicize our programs throughout the year we will formulate ongoing public relations tactics and campaigns based on developing stories, special events and celebrity involvement. We advertise in local print publications (AM New York, LA Weekly, local TV, have a dedicated corporation website, integrated social media campaign that includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In, word of mouth. Industry blogs, Facebook Groups and Linked In groups will be leveraged for ongoing publicity. We also publicize through the web sites of our sponsors and our sponsors’ social media outlets. Going forward, all of the above will specifically promote our educational scholarship programs.

1e. The Society Of Voice Art And Sciences™ does not have announcement materials at this time.

1f. A formal application process is being created for 2016 applicants who will receive scholarships in September 2016.

Scholarships and Awards
The organization will maintain case histories showing recipients of educational scholarships and awards including names, addresses, purposes of awards, amounts issued and manner of selection. Once the program is implemented, The Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™ will keep a file for each applicant including all pertinent information.

The description for specific criteria to determine eligibility for the programs is listed below for scholarships to Recipients.

Criteria for Scholarships to Individuals:

  • Notarized Letter of financial hardship, one professional letter of reference (can be a teacher), resume, audition tape, general contact information, most recent tax return.
  • The potential recipient must be in attendance at That’s Voiceover! Career Expo to receive the award.

Criteria as follows for Nonprofit Support Awards:

  • There must be a clear and convincing public awareness of the charity as a forthright and vital resource meeting the challenges of its mission.
  • Charity must have a national scope and ability to employ local assets in the states where we hold events.
  • Charity must be willing to promote the events and programs of Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™ to the charity’s constituency via the charity’s local affiliate web sites, social media and other appropriate means.
  • Willingness to provide a full, on-site exhibit display (staffed by charity experts) at the That’s Voiceover! Career Expo.
  • Charity must provide national or local CEO or celebrity spokesperson to speak on behalf of the charity.
  • Charity must provide relevant information to accommodate attendees and a means for event attendees to contribute to the charity.
  • Charity must be willing to introduce (SOVAS™ ) to its business contacts/service providers where such partnerships may potentially lower various costs (venue rental, catering, beverages, production equipment, parking, etc.) involved in the mounting of events in which the charity is included.
  • The Alzheimer’s Association is our charity of choice.

Society Of Voice Art And Sciences™ does not issue or make grants.

The amount of educational scholarships that will be issued annually will depend on the total amount in dollars, which The Society Of Voice Art And Sciences™ receives from donors and the number of referred or qualified applicants.

Regarding Scholarships, the payment will be made directly to the schools and private coaches unless the service is provided in-kind. We will request and obtain grades, progress reports and a final disposition of the recipient’s participation. If the terms of the award are violated by the student with regard to misrepresentation on his or her application, the scholarship will be forfeited and offered to the next vetted applicant on our list. If the scholarship is voided as determined by the school or service provider, the recipient’s financial obligation will be at the sole discretion of the school or service provider.

Society Of Voice Art And Sciences™ officers and board members make up the selection committee. In addition, the provider of the scholarship (school, private coach, corporation) will be included in the final voting process if they so choose.

Officers, directors, contributors or committee members of Society Of Voice Art And Sciences™ are not eligible for scholarship or awards in our programs.

Family members of officers, directors, contributors, or committee members of the Society Of Voice Art And Sciences™ are not eligible for scholarships or awards.