future shack TEAM

Innovators in the media industry.
Combining diverse mindsets to reinvent content creation.

Meet our team

Jeff Wachtel

Co-Founder, CEO

Managed the largest cable network in the U.S., USA Network, launching over a dozen successful series during his tenure. As Chief Content Officer for the NBCU Cable Group of networks, supervised all creative programming for the Group’s networks, including Bravo, Syfy, E! and Oxygen.  

As a studio head, built a major new studio with Universal Content Productions. Previously, ran Columbia Pictures Television, launching shows like Party of Five and Dawson’s Creek.

As President of NBCUniversal International Studios, built out new approaches to content production, acquisition and sales with a “local for global” approach to finding the greatest international value in locally-sourced programming.  

His unique expertise in both creative and commercial sides of the business has led to significant success in asset creation, with shows ranging from Monk and Psych to Mr. Robot and The Sinner.

Sam Michaels

Co-Founder, Business Operations

Led strategy and business development for NBCUniversal entertainment portfolio and studios. Championed various organic and inorganic growth initiatives, including acquisition and integration of various digital media businesses. Led alternative talent partnerships, critical cross-portfolio rights negotiations, and development partnerships with innovative digital platforms. Developed algorithmic frameworks for content discovery and windowing.

Prior to NBCUniversal was a media investment banker in Credit Suisse First Boston’s Media & Telecom group.

Yusik Choi

Co-Founder, Strategy & Finance

A 20 year veteran technology, media and telecom investment banker, with experience advising leading companies in the TMT space on some of their biggest and most important strategic transactions. Helped raise billions of dollars in debt and equity financings and provided M&A and strategic advice to global corporate leaders including Intel, American Airlines, Level 3 Communications, Audible, Sony Music, Nielsen, and Viacom.

Most recently was Managing Director at Rothschild & Co and previously at Credit Suisse in Media & Telecom investment banking.

Jared Berenholz

SVP, Head of Creative

Jared is a seasoned executive with years of experience in domestic and international television development and production. Prior to joining Future Shack, Jared was VP of Scripted Development at eOne, overseeing series in the US and UK, including upcoming limited series A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW (Paramount+ with Showtime).

Previously, Jared was Director of Original Series at Netflix where he worked on the Drama Series, UK Original Series, and International Co-Productions teams. He was involved in the commissioning, development, and production of shows including SEX EDUCATION, GIRI/HAJI, THE SPY, PINE GAP, THE IRREGULARS, ANNE WITH AN E, and LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS, among others.

Jared came to Netflix from independent studio MRC, where he developed and oversaw series including HOUSE OF CARDS (Netflix), OZARK (Netflix), and COUNTERPART (Starz). He began his career in the NBCUniversal Page Program.

Pamela Parker

Head of Business Affairs

More than 20 years as a business and legal affairs executive with Sony Pictures Television Networks group and most recently Sony's US television studio. Led key talent and rights negotiations, acquisitions, programming & production deals, for cable and digital broadcast networks in the US and abroad.

Frances Manfredi

Board Advisor, Content Development & Distribution

8+ years as President of NBC Universal Cable & New Media Distribution, pioneering various strategic content monetization deals on digital and traditional linear platforms.  Managed domestic distribution business for film & television worth over $1 billion annually.

Spearheaded the first-ever major studio deal with Netflix in 2006, concluded 2014’s multi-year licensing agreement with Hulu Plus for multiple series including Brooklyn Nine-Nine & Parks and Recreation, and conducted the 2020 domestic streaming rights auction for The Office.  Distribution executive for over 20 years at NBC Universal innovating content windowing and monetization strategy in a rapidly changing landscape and successfully maximizing content values.  Also oversaw off-network marketing and sales of shows including 30 Rock, The Office, House, & all Law & Order’s and forged groundbreaking deals including the strategic partnership between NBCUniversal & American Airlines, the first-run sale of NBC series Friday Night Lights to DirectTV, and Universal Pictures deals with HBO.

As President of Content Acquisitions and Strategy at Peacock, oversaw the curation, negotiation, and acquisition of a 15,000+ hour film & television series offering designed to serve broad audience segments for platform launch. In addition, managed the curation and acquisition of Black Voices content portfolio from black creators and actors, creating a more diverse content offering, including original series Noughts & Crosses, original documentaries such as A Most Beautiful Thing, The Sit-In, Black Boys, and Freedia Got a Gun, feature film Anthony, in addition to hundreds of hours of diverse film and television content.

Emily Rasenick

Vice President, Creative

Emily Rasenick is currently the Vice President, Creative at Future Shack. Previously, she worked at Aline Brosh McKenna's Lean Machine, after serving as Creative Executive for Footprint Features. An alumna of USC's Peter Stark Producing Program and Wesleyan University, Emily is a Chicagoland native who began her career in documentaries at Disarming Films.

Olivia Ratinoff

Development Coordinator

Olivia Ratinoff is the Development Coordinator at Future Shack. Prior to Future Shack, she worked as the Development Assistant and then as the Development Coordinator at New Form.

An LA native, Olivia graduated from Washington University in St. Louis.

Emma Berry

Coordinator, Development & Operations

Emma Berry is currently the Development and Operations Coordinator at Future Shack. Previously, she worked at 3Arts and CAA.

She is a California native, hailing from Sacramento and graduated from UCLA.

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Storytellers welcome.