Moms With Issues® Production Company

The Young Leaders Film Festival™ is produced by Moms With Issues® a production company founded by three close friends Kathryn Brinton, Pat Hughes, and Carol Tager.

Here, in their own words, is a profile of each MWI partner.

Kathryn Irene Brinton

As a 7-year veteran of The Sundance Film Festival, and a documentary film enthusiast, I have witnessed movies powerfully engage their audience with the stories they tell. These films of love, despair, hope, loss, and redemption are time-worn tales of our humanity. Yet still, they easily manage to surprise, horrify, and delight.

As an MBA, former financier, and successful investor, I possess a rational business side. Formerly Executive Vice-President, Director of Marketing for Planned Investments Inc., in San Francisco, I managed the raising of $150 million per year in investment capital. Yet I love stories well-told, whether in great art, literature, onstage, or in the stimulating films we bring to our community.

When I’m not movie-going in the mountains, I am skiing. I love to travel and experience different cultures. I also have a passion for animals, which helps feed my prevalent interest in rescuing things; struggling insects, homeless pets, endangered species, kids and the like. I am aided and abetted by my saintly husband, Charles, who, despite his best intentions to remain a cultured and humorless ex-Manhattanite, is now an expert in attachment therapy, root beer floats, canine massage, and spot carpet cleaning.

Our rottie, Shiva (coming soon on FaceBook), doesn’t watch movies much. She prefers to drown out the soundtrack with her squeeky toy. But our terrier, Eddy, is enthralled by whatever is on the screen. It provides him respite from his exhausting retinue of alternately biting the hand that feeds him and attempting to do his business wherever it pleases him. Audrey, our 10-year daughter, has a curators eye. With the exception of most any film by Alfred Hitchcock (we cover her eyes and mine at the really scary parts), she particularly appreciates intensely personal independent and foreign films. I’m delighted as I watch her become curious, engaged, and transported beyond her comfort zone. It is my hope and expectation that the Young Leaders Film Festival experience will do the same for you. 



It may have been the monthly trips to D.C. Village for abandoned infants as an 11 year old volunteer “candy striper” that was the defining moment. I saw broken down children in broken down cottages crying for a better life. Maybe it was my much earlier memories of “for whites only” drinking fountains and restrooms in Maryland, where I grew up, that informed me. Or perhaps it was in my early twenties, when I finally comprehended the sheer number of human beings who die needlessly of chronic persistent hunger, that ultimately led me to the choices I’ve made.

Intuitively, I’ve understood that feeling sorry or guilty, or trying to “fix” things was not the answer. Getting to the root cause of a problem, and empowering people and communities from the ground up to take meaningful action always made sense to me.  I experience humanity and a certain dignity in individuals, even when they behave badly and do harm, because I see what’s possible. And I know how important forgiveness is.  And joy. And celebration. I believe, that even in the most horrific circumstances, transformation can happen. With everything I’ve pursued, I’ve tried to apply that sensibility, whether it’s been a for profit business or an NGO.

In many ways, I’ve had a completely ordinary life, which is a privilege really, because I’ve had so few obstacles.  I have two amazing daughters, a wonderful son-in-law and Wyatt, my grandson, who has had to fight too many battles in his very young life, and shows us all what resilience is. My husband, Robert, is simply the best and he believes in me. I’ve never taken what I’ve been given for granted.

I graduated from the UW-Madison, and have a Masters from George Washington University with a specialty in organizational development. I now have more than 35 years experience as an executive and business owner in industries as diverse as radio broadcasting, gourmet bakeries, event planning, education, and  business consulting. 

Early in my career, as a consultant in Washington, D.C. I worked on a lot of interesting projects.  One of my favorite and most challenging was managing the computerization of the West Virginia State Unemployment Insurance System under Governor Jay Rockefeller. After I left that world, for four years, I was Executive Vice President of one of the largest chains of hair salons in the country, with over 1500 employees and 250 salons. Imagine not having to pay for color or styling – one of the best perks ever!

Prior to joining my husband and his partner in creating Compass Radio Group, I tried my own entrepreneurial effort, The Reunion Company. We had the first networked computers, one of the first fax machines, no world wide web or cell phones. Thirty-five women worked from home researching addresses with (literally) tons of phone books from around the country, helping to produce 200 high school reunions annually. Unknowingly, we had developed a cottage industry, enabling many families to pay bills while taking care of their young ones.

Social change has always been important to me. From the early 80’s through the mid-90’s, I produced over 20 events for local, national, and international organizations working to end global hunger. I was invited to the White House three times under different administrations, both Democratic and Republican. It was thrilling to be part of a team recognized by ABC News and Peter Jennings in his “Person of the Week” special for the 2000/LOVE tennis exhibition in which top ten tennis professionals played to raise money and awareness for the end of hunger.

In Washington, D.C., I served as Chair of the Advisory Board of Trees For The City, a non-profit environmental organization. I was also privileged to serve six years on the UW-Madison School of Education Board of Visitors.

Lastly, from 2001-201I, I was on the the Board of Voices for Children here in San Diego, two years as its Chair, serving the nearly 6000 foster children in San Diego County. 2013 will be my ninth and final year as a Trustee of La Jolla Country Day School. I’m so proud to be working with the school to make Young Leaders Film Festival™ a reality.

I think every generation has its grand scheme to make this world a better place. We each have a choice. Life can use you or you can use it. I’m gratified to realize that so far my life has meant something. That’s what I wanted to happen.


As one of the trio of moms, I must first list that I am, indeed, a mother of two. Marissa is currently a Marketing and Event Specialist at Mercedes Benz, USA. James is a recent recipient of the Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship from Harvard for travel to/study in Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

I sincerely believe that their interest in civic duty stems from my work with the Junior League of Portland. I developed a museum for young children that celebrated diversity. It was called the Children’s Cultural Center. Our first exhibit was a Yoruba village. It introduced children to the stories, language, culture, and life of Nigeria. I have also worked with various foundations and charities.

I have a strong arts background, having graduated with an art degree. I was a teacher for District U-46 in Elgin, IL for  eleven years and I  worked several years in Interior Design. My dedication to youth and vision toward world citizenry keeps me engrossed and absorbed in the possibilities and potential of the Young Leaders Film Festival.