Reel Grrls Staff

Development Associate

Amanda Dessert first came to Reel Grrls in 2012 as a grant-writing intern and fell in love the moment she walked in the door. As Administrative Director, Amanda performs a wide variety of office management and development duties. She handles all the miscellaneous office tasks that inevitably accompany a small nonprofit, and she performs a number of grant writing, grant reporting, and fund development duties. She particularly loves her role at Reel Grrls because it allows her to participate in many different arenas of the organization.

Amanda graduated from the University of Washington Honors Program in 2010 with a double major in Drama and Economics. She has a background in drawing, photography, and theater, and is passionate about arts education. She has recently begun training Jiu Jitsu, which is outside her comfort zone in just about every way but is also a seriously awesome physical and mental challenge.

Some of the women Amanda admires the most are those who consistently make her laugh until she cries, including: Lucille Ball, Kristen Wiig, and her sister, Annabel.

Dorothee Leesing
Program CoOrdinator

Dorothee's role will be making sure our programs and instructors are top notch! She comes from Germany, and founded the video-branch of Missy Magazine, a feminist magazine in Berlin ( and worked for a museum on an interview-series about Patty Smith fans. Most recently she has worked as a video- instructor for Archiv der Jugendkulturen e.V. ( in Berlin, a traveling program that goes to schools to work in a political (antisemitism, discrimination, gender) context on video-projects.

Contact Dorothee Leesing at dleesing [at] reelgrrls [dot] org.

Harper Grieve
Events & Outreach CoOrdinator

Harper has come through programs in the last few years, and is excited to join Reel Grrls in our new chapter.  She will be building our mobile programs, and coming up with fun events and activities for us to do.

Harper  has been involved with Reel Grrls since the age of 15. After completing her first program at Reel Grrls summer of 2009, Introduction to DSLR Filmmaking, she not only discovered her love for film, but a strong sense of belonging in the Reel Grrls community.

She has completed dozens of RG workshops, several RG apprenticeships, and worked on several independent films.

In her free time she loves taking film photos, black & white darkroom printing, longboarding, joy-riding her motorcycle, trying strange foods, and hardcore cat-cuddling sessions. If she’s not doing any of those things, she’s probably watching her favorite film Big Fish directed by Tim Burton.

Contact Harper Grieve at hrgieve [at] reelgrrls [dot] org.

Laura Jean Cronin
Lead Producer, Reel Grrls Productions

Before coming to Reel Grrls Laura Jean Cronin was on the set the award winning PBS television show, Biz Kid$ for five season where she filled the role of Production Manager and First Assistant Director. Biz Kid$ was a program on financial literacy for kids and young adults. Laura Jean has also produced numerous community conscious, client driven videos under the banner Pound Pictures. Some of the clients Pound Pictures has served are City of Seattle, Center on Linguistic and Cultural Democracy, Early Childhood Equity Alliance, Artpatch and Independence Guide Dogs.

Cronin earned her PhD, ABD, in Comparative Literature at the University of Washington with a focus on Film Studies and Cultural Criticism. She received her BFA in Printmaking and BA in Italian Literature also from the University of Washington.  She has operated Pound Arts, an artist working space with a community darkroom and digital lab, for over 2 decades.

Laura Jean Cronin is an award winning filmmaker in her own right and an accomplished artist. Her short films, Leave It (2002), Free Parking (2006) and One Night (2009), have earned national attention and serve as a canvas for her artistic viewpoint. In 2009, she was chosen as one of four directors to take part in the Seattle International Film Festival’s Fly Film Challenge. Her feature length screenplay, Princess and Buddha, has won honors at the Key West Indie Fest, Telluride Indie Fest, Washington State Screenplay Competition and was a semi-finalist for the prestigious Sundance Screenwriters Lab. 

Contact Laura Jean at lcronin [at] reelgrrls [dot] org.
Check out Reel Grrls Productions, and view some of our client videos here.

Nancy Chang
Executive Director

Nancy is excited to be part of the Reel Grrls community and work to bring programs to more Grrls! She believes that media is an important tool for everyone to learn to use in order for more voices to share their stories. She holds an MPA and a BFA from the University of Washington. She loves girl centric communities and co-founded Skate Like a Girl as a non-profit. She sits on various boards including Skate Like a Girl, Artist Trust, Water 1st, and a variety of community groups. During her free time she enjoys the company of her dog Lady, traveling and learning about new things.

Contact Nancy Chang at nchang [at] reelgrrls [dot] org.