Jason Merrell, Audio Director: After receiving an AA in Video Production from The American College in London, England and a BFA in Video Production from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), Jason returned to his native Pacific Northwest as a film editor where he worked on several independent productions. His editing work eventually brought him to Los Angeles where he worked at New World Films. Switching gears, Jason joined the team at Talent Group, Inc. as an assistant and was quickly promoted to Audio Director and stayed with the crew when Wes Stevens formed Vox, Inc. where he continues to guide the Agency's competitive reads.
When not directing actors by phone, e-mail or in the booth, attending Client's films, plays and sessions or networking at Industry conventions, workshops and Soirees, Jason can most likely be found on a trendy dance floor, in a dive karaoke bar or any number of Repertory Movie theatres around town.
Originally from Scranton, PA, Matthew Weiss took interest in the entertainment industry at a very early age. Having graduated from Boston University’s College of Communications, he departed his home on the east coast and much like Horatio Alger before him, went west. For the last six years he has worked a multitude of different positions in various corridors around the industry. A lover of all things movie related, Matt enjoys partaking in vigorous discussion on a variety of topics, Hollywood trivia most of all. He looks forward to fully immersing himself in Voice Over now that he has been hired by VOX, Inc.
Growing up in Virginia, Annie knew she wanted to work in entertainment from a young age, singing Mariah Carey covers into her recordable tape player and staging short plays for her family and neighbors. She finally got her chance to move to Southern California when she graduated from William & Mary and moved to San Diego, where she had begun doing stand-up comedy during her internship at a law firm the previous summer. To her parents’ delight, Annie decided not to go to law school, but rather to pursue the elusive entertainment career – every parent’s dream come true. Over the next six years, she gradually transitioned into production and writing, and finally, by the hands of providence, landed at VOX. She didn’t know it until it smacked her in the face, but VOX was exactly what she’d been wishing on all of her eyelashes and 11:11s for over the past year, and she is happy and proud to be a member of the VOX family. With a background in production, acting and writing, Annie comes to VOX with diverse experience from which she has developed a unique and well-rounded insight that is surely be an asset to the agency, clients and buyers.
Philosopher, poet, agent extraordinaire. Jeff might be a couple of these things. Jeff chased the dream of becoming an NBA superstar while attending the University of Puget Sound only to be lured away by the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Jeff knew the agency life was for him, and more specifically voice over because of the involvement that agents can have in artist's creative process. Soon he found himself specializing in On-Air Promotions and Trailers, and found greener pastures and finally a sense of home at Vox, Inc. Enjoying the challenge of the new frontiers of media, Jeff started the first ever Motion Capture division.
Jeff attributes his negotiation skills to his mother, who was the chief negotiator for her local teachers union. She was a shark, but always remembered that her clients were people, not commodities. Jeff Growing up watching this philosophy, Jeff considers it tantamount to successful negotiation. In his spare time, Jeff can be found surfing along the PCH and wants desperately to find a way to get back into rock climbing.
Wes Stevens has advocated for talent for 17 years. He started in Columbus, Ohio at a small agency booking Ginsu Knife commercials in Tagalog and various other exotic tongues, while also marshalling elves and Sammy Davis, Jr. impersonators to gigs at malls and Shriner rallies. In 1995 Wes joined Talent Group, Inc. (TGI) in Los Angeles as an assistant. Seven years later, he acquired TGI's voice-over department and launched VOX, Inc. His first booking of note was placing David Hyde Pierce in "A Bugs Life" and the journey took him back to Pixar in 2009, placing Ed Asner in "Up". Along that road there have been many campaigns, series, films, fond memories and fun. Wes loves his staff and is excited for the ever growing future of VOX, Inc.
Wes is an Army Brat, growing up in eight States and Karlsruhe, Germany. Wes is an Eagle Scout. His alma mater is The University of Virginia. Mr. Jefferson is one of his heroes. He has completed seven marathons, raising over $60,000 for charities. He lives in West Hollywood with his two dogs, Ms. Penny Fontaine and Mr. Franc N Cents. Wes has a Shaman, a Medicine Woman, an Acupuncturist, a Feng Shui Master and various other interesting folks in his life, and a cape on the back of his office door. He has a penchant for the mystical, whimsical and jazz hands. He likes the color orange and has 38 days worth of music on his computer.
Tom Lawless graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Finance back in 1998. He started out as an assistant in the voice over department at TGI (Talent Group Inc.) in 1999. He worked his way up to an agent late in 2000 and helped start up Vox, Inc. in 2002 with owner Wes Stevens. Over the years he's help build and strengthen Vox in the areas of commercials, animation and video games. Over the last year he's expanded on the success in the video game world by starting a motion capture division at the agency with fellow agent Jeff Jones. Tom is now President of Vox, and a partner.
Tom grew up in Duxbury, MA and has lived in Los Angeles since he moved there in 1999. He has however kept his Boston sports allegiances along the way. If he's not in the office you can probably find him at his local Boston pub catching one of his teams in action (except for football where he's a Giants fan he'll explain once he gets to know you better).
Jerry Ryba was born to be in the business. After high school in Bath Ohio, the gateway to Cleveland, Jerry headed to college, then Hollywood. After securing a bad apartment in Beverly Hills adjacent, Jerry landed his first gig at "The Agency" in 1987. He was an assistant, and then, lickety-split, an agent. The buzz spread about town and Jerry was lured away by Dolores Robinson to try his hand at management. While there he advised oodles of celebrities on their careers, and Wesley Snipes on tax laws. Constantly looking for the next challenging opportunity for himself and for his clients, he's booked theatrical talent at the Gersh Agency, AVO talent at CESD, promo talent at SBV, and now is VP of Endorsement and new Business Development at VOX.
An undying loyalty, an engaging laugh, a never-ending energy, and open ended bar tab, that's what Jerry's friends appreciate about Jerry. He's also got a nun in the family, and a priest, most-likely to cancel out his bad behavior when he checks in with St. Peter. An avid adventurer Jerry's been cross-country seven times, across the globe three times, and can secure a good meal, wherever life finds him. Bottom line, he's more than a good guy, he's an exceptional guy. Known to many as "Rybawitz" and others as "Jelly."
At the young age of 14, Marna Palmer knew she wanted to be an agent because it combined two of her favorite things: entertainment and arguing. After a brief stint working in public affairs in her hometown of Washington, DC, Marna hightailed it out west to pursue her dream. In E! True Hollywood story fashion, she started her agency career in the mailroom and quickly worked her way up to on-camera commercial agent at Abrams Artists. She then moved to Paradigm where she worked in the branding and endorsement division placing celebrity clients in high profile campaigns with popular consumer brands. Preferring the boutique agency environment to the corporate machine she moved to Vox to help expand their celebrity endorsement division.
When not sitting still at her desk Marna advocates for healthy lifestyles by instructing pilates and cycling classes. She also writes a blog called “Imperfectly Fit.”
Nicholas Owen Sweeney received his Bachelor of Arts from DePauw University in Greencastle Indiana. There he focused on writing and completed his first feature length screenplay. A businessman at heart Nick worked for a medical supplies manufacturer and distributor in Chicago managing his own line of products after college. Having obtained invaluable experience Nick decided to apply his skills in pursuit of his dreams. Leaving the Midwest behind Nick joins the Vox Team with eyes locked on becoming an agent in Los Angeles.
Jonathan Todd is an internationally recognized entertainment marketing, branding and licensing expert, as well as a personal and artistic manager for numerous Hollywood luminaries. Jonathan was executive producer on the 2010 Grammy nominated record Mick Fleetwood: Blue Again. He has produced Billboard Charting artists and albums. In 2011 The National Association of Recording Industry Professionals named Jonathan as one of America's five top "Best Marketing and Branding Professionals". Jonathan was honored with the Keynote Speech at the NAMM Convention (North American Music Marketing) the largest of it's kind in the world. His flagship client, Mick Fleetwood, is co-founder and namesake of Fleetwood Mac. During the past 14 years Jonathan has exclusively handled Mick's marketing, branding and licensing. Jonathan currently co-manages the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band and the Mick Fleetwood Island Rumours Band. Jonathan Todd was President of Sabre Entertainment, LLC, a globally recognized blended arts management, marketing, branding and licensing firm. He is also director of the music licensing firm Speed Dial Music. Jonathan Todd was president & CEO of SabreMark, Inc. During the 1980's and '90's, he personally handled or directed marketing for hundreds of firms. Jonathan has been recognized and retained by the government of the United States through The Small Business Administration, foreign governments, a Ministry of Trade & Economics, a National Ministry of Education and FDIC Insured Banks as well as by small businesses and individual entrepreneurs.
Jonathan was an NCAA ranked fencing champion during college. Some think this training accounts for his somewhat aggressive style in business negotiations, but nobody says it out loud for fear of being run through. Beginning at age eight, he trained as a classical guitarist and continued for a decade before realizing there wasn't much of a market for classical guitarists. He spent a summer studying Flamenco guitar with gypsies in Spain. As a child his favorite relative was a "magical" grandfather who taught him the fundamentals of legerdemain which remains a hobby for Jonathan to this day.