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On Six Month Anniversary Of Her Passing, Industry Continues To Mourn Andrea Felicitas Leminske
- Friday, Jun. 23, 2017
Beloved Veteran Producer Succumbs To Cancer On Christmas Day 2016 Following Brave Fight
On the six-month anniversary of her death following a courageous battle with cancer, the industry continues to mourn Andrea Felicitas Leminske, the long-time agency producer renowned for her warm, infectious sense of humor, sheer competence and grace under pressure, which she expertly used in the service of producing some of the most memorable ads in the last two decades. Leminske passed away on Christmas Day 2016. She was 50.
“Andrea had such an amazing spirit and love of life,” Danielle Bodil Chocron, EVP, Group Account Director, Publicis, New York, remembered. “She was so passionate about her work as a producer because of her ability and desire to work with wonderfully creative people. She loved connecting talents and friends and got immense joy and energy from all of those relationships. I have no words to express how much she is missed by all, and how wonderful a friend and sister she was.”
Julie Stahl, Founder of creative content studio Blonde + Co, said, “Andrea touched my life in so many ways. She was a very dear friend to me and my whole family, and a regular presence in our home during holidays and milestones. Professionally, she was someone whom I relied on to manage our most challenging productions, and was a supreme networker who brought talented people together. Her experience and confidence were greatly appreciated by everyone at Blonde + Co, as well as our clients. She leaves behind a deep hole in the hearts’ of everyone in the Blonde family and our industry at large.”
Originally from Hamm, Germany, Andrea first moved to New York City in the mid-1990s to study commercial production at the School of Visual Arts. Additionally, she got her Filmmaker Certificate in Film Production from New York Film Academy.
Following graduation from film school, Andrea embarked on a professional career first as an Agency Production Assistant at DDB New York. Following a year there she began a fruitful career as a freelance producer (never an easy career path) that would be her calling card for the rest of her professional life.
Her peripatetic, intellectually curious nature would first lead her to produce commercials for some of the industry’s most respected production companies, including PYTKA, Palomar Pictures, Chelsea Films, Crossroad Films, Highway 61 and Flying Tiger Films; then with such top creative agencies as R/GA, Digitas, Sub Rosa, Campfire, TBWA Digital Arts Lab, JWT, Draft FCB, HUGE, Inc., McGarry Bowen, Mother and numerous others.
Gravitating toward work in the fashion and beauty world, Andrea’s career took her to exotic locations across the globe, working with such high profile celebrities as Beyonce, Kate Hudson, Mila Jovovich, Diane Keaton, Andie Mac Dowell, Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington, as well as many high profile fashion and beauty experts.
Doug LeClaire, Director of the Asbury Shorts USA film festival, recalls first hiring Andrea when he was a producer at PYTKA. The two became close friends with Andrea becoming an essential part of the Asbury film festival.
“I started to hire Andrea as a production assistant on various commercial shoots after that we would work and hang out after jobs becoming tight friends,” LeClaire says. “As the years went along Andrea worked as a production manager for me on commercials and corporate videos and also volunteered her time as a supporter, sales rep and producer of the Asbury Short Film Show, which I run that exhibits award-winning short films annually in New York and at tour stops across the US. Her determination, advice and support pushed me to improve the show each year. One of the most important shows we have ever produced in Asbury Shorts 35 year history was when Andrea was responsible for booking the show in Berlin for the first time ever. She produced the event and co-directed it with me. It was a huge hit and an important addition to the Asbury show resume.”
Adds Michael Ventura, Founder & CEO of agency Sub Rosa, New York, “Andrea was more than a producer -- sure, she kept timelines on track and budgets managed, but more importantly, she was a guardian for creatives, a therapist for clients, a caretaker for the crew and most importantly, a friend. She always knew how to make you feel like you were the only person in the room. She cared. She cared about her work, the industry and her peers. While I miss working with her, more to the point, I simply miss talking to her. But in my quiet moments I know she's still with us -- keeping things on track from the great production suite in the sky.”
Andrea is survived by her mother Karin; her two sisters Petra and Gabi; her nephew Daniel and beloved Dana; niece Johanna; grandnephews and nieces Henry, Oscar and Ella; and countless loving friends. If you wish to support Andrea’s memory, donations can be made to United Nations Refugee Agency (http://www.unhcr.org), a cause close to her heart.