• Friday, Sep. 9, 2022
People on the Move
Kristen Bedard Johnson partners up at Sanctuary Content
Preston Lee (l) and Kristen Bedard Johnson
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Kristen Bedard Johnson has been promoted to partner at Sanctuary Content. Sharing the mantle with founder and managing director Preston Lee, Bedard Johnson has served as the production company’s Brooklyn-based executive producer since January of 2019. Lee operates out of Sanctuary Content’s L.A. headquarters.

Bedard Johnson and Lee recalled a conversation they had early on in what evolved into their relationship at Sanctuary. She shared, “I remember telling Preston upfront, ‘I’m going to share a few things about myself and if there are any red flags we can shake hands, finish our coffee, and call it a day. I’m a mom with two young kids, I have a point of view, I don’t have much of a filter, and my values are important to me.” Lee responded, “That sounds great!” During the contract negotiation that followed, Lee told Bedard Johnson, “And in three years, I hope you tell me, ‘It’s time we’re partners.’”

Throughout that span of time, Sanctuary has earned assorted awards, including AICP’s Advertising Excellence honor. The company’s roster is also rapidly expanding with new talent, as seen with recent signings Aisha Ford, who jumped out of the gate directing the award-winning “As Early As Five” for Dove, and Goh Iromoto, who directed the powerful Procter & Gamble spot “The Name” for AAPI month.

Bedard Johnson said, “Since my first day at Sanctuary, Preston has treated me like a partner and equal. We constantly learn from our collective experience from each other. I’m incredibly proud of what we’re building.”

Lee remarked, “Sanctuary was always this utopian idea to create a work-life environment where everyone felt valued and respected: a safe place for smart, kind and compassionate people to come together. Kristen epitomizes that dream and, in so many ways, her arrival kickstarted the transition of Sanctuary to become the space that it was meant to be. I knew from the first meeting that she would be my partner. It was tough to keep a lid on that for three years, but so worth the wait.”

Sanctuary is actively pursuing phase two of Lee’s initial vision for the company as he builds the film division with several projects currently in development and production. Bedard Johnson will continue to manage and support the roster within the commercial and brand space with a focused eye on talent development, supported by the recent promotion of Noah Thomason to staff exec producer.

Thomason started his journey at Sanctuary first as a freelance production manager and has since supported the company in several roles as a producer, staff producer, head of production and now as EP.

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