Two Kodak favorites to retire Jan. 31

TWO KODAK VETERANS have taken advantage of Kodak’s tempting early retirement package and will leave the company Jan. 31.

Regional marketing and sales manager J.J. Johnston had spent 33 years at Kodak, while regional account manager Ben Stone was close behind with 27 years.

In early January, Kodak will announce its reorganization of personnel placement and how territories will be divided as it moves deeper ito digital imaging.

Speculation is that the reorganization will not call for replacing the two Chicago veterans. Instead, instead managers based in L.A. and New York will extend their respective territories east and westward to the 20 combined states serviced by Johnston and Stone.

With these expected changes Erica Frederick, Kodak’s regional account manager for features, will be able to concentrate more on the Chicago area and not travel as extensively she has in the past.

Stone’s phone number is 630/653-5779 until Jan. 31.

AN ONLINE CASTING SERVICE called — think of it as a “My Space” for actors and crew — has been launched by Christian Barnes and James Derby.

TheBizBox is partnered with a division of Hollywood giant Mandalay Entertainment and will host some of Mandalay’s casting calls. More than 200 actors are already on the site.

A FULL HOUSE last week for the Kodak-Fletcher screening of the acclaimed feature doc “Cinematographer Style” and guest of honr Steven Poster. despite the dreary rain, every AMC 21 theatre seat was filled and the Fletcher post party was packed.

Encouraged by the enthusiastic turnout Tom Fletcher said he’ll take the show on the road to Milwaukee, and repeat it later this year with another high-powered cinema shooter for benefit of agency producers.

TV NEWSCASTER CHARLES GIBSON will be inducted in the Illinois Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame by virtue of his being an Evanston native and thus qualifying as an inductee. Ceremony takes place Feb. 12 at the Renaissance Hotel. Tickets are $150. Call Debra Gray at 618/942-2139 or Email,

ILLINOIS’ SUNDANCE PRESENCE will be highlighted by movie reviewer Richard Roeper, who’ll spend five days there talking up film production here, and John Cusack who stars in “Grace is Gone,” a locally-shot feature screening at the festival.

A special party co-hosted by the IFO’s Brenda Sexton and Axium, the big L.A.-based payroll services company opening a branch here, will feature all Chicago food faves.

A DOCUMENTARY covering the opening and the details of Oprah’s African school for girls is in the works. A Chicago crew was dispatched twice to Africa to cover all aspects of the recent opening.

COMBINING ART AND COMMERCE. Munro Campagna Artists Representatives celebrates its 20th anniversary of creating custom, pro-bono calendars featuring original art for Chicago institutions. The Museum of Contemporary Art 2007 calendar is also a fund-raiser and coincides with the museum’s 40th anniversary celebration.

IN MEMORIAM. Veteran screen, stage and voiceover actor, teacher and mentor James Andelin, 89, died Dec. 27 following a long illness. His career began as a child actor on many Golden Age Chicago radio shows and one of the first members of AFTRA. His scores of movie roles include “Grumpier Old Men,” “Babe,” and most recently in the upcoming “Madison.”

For details of a memorial service the end of January, .

Former Streeterville Studios owner Jim Dolan, cofounder of creative boutique Shield Productions and a nationally known voiceover, died Dec. 13 in his Boynton Beach, Florida home.

Mr. Dolan was a writer, actor and producer of national commercials during the Shield days and his Streeterville Studios was one of the biggest and busiest recording studios for more than 20 years.

COMMENTS APPRECIATED! Global game design company EA’s head Peter Nguyen reports that the number of job applicants “increased dramatically” after ReelChicago ran the story about EA opening here.

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