Hundreds honor ReelChicago founder Ruth L Ratny

ReelChicago publisher Barbara Roche and Cerise Films executive producer Nancy Reid at Tuesday night’s Ruth L Ratny Memorial Event

Humorous stories, fond memories and sincere gratitude for Ruth L. Ratny were expressed by hundreds of guests who attended a memorial celebration in her honor at Untitled, the River North Supper Club, on Tuesday March 21.

In the course of her four-decade career, Ratny often boasted that she had “forged a community where none existed before.” The evening’s lineup of guest speakers proved those words to be true.

Optimus President Tom Duff spoke fondly of her knack for enhancing sales calls with a unique dose of personal charm and innovation.

The History Makers’ founder Julieanna Richardson described how Ratny inspired her to build “The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection.”

Producer and talent rep Val Gobos laughed about their first encounter, when Ratny implied that the future powerhouse owner of Gobos Advertising & Entertainment lacked a brain.

Seed Media Arts‘ executive producer Roy Skillicorn explained how she became the first — and hopefully only — individual to benefit from his impromptu, life-saving Heimlich maneuver abilities.

The evening was highlighted and memorialized with video tributes from Optimus and live production from Cutters Studios. It was made possible with financial support from AICE and AICP.

To view ReelChicago’s photo album from the event, click here.