Rich Gentile began his career in network television as an NBC Page. He was a production assistant for the launch of the original David Letterman Show as well as serving several seasons with Saturday Night Live. His work landed him a slot with NBC Sports. He went on to log ten years with CBS Sports as a producer and director, where he earned nine national Emmy Awards, including four individual producer/director honors. His work became known for storytelling and made him the recipient of the Miller Lite National Women’s Sport Journalism Award, as well as awards from the New York Film Festival, the American Film Festival, and the Eclipse Awards.
He has produced venue coverage for 2 Olympic Games, produced lead-in and promotion pieces for 3 Super Bowls, 2 World Series, and 4 NBA Championships among others. He has been recognized for bringing creative flair and brand depth to network on-air promotions, setting a trend still evident today. Applying wit, prose and player interaction to this new promotional approach, Rich has shown an innate talent for directing light humor dialogue.
Having demonstrated this skill, Rich then took the director’s chair, making commercials, Prime-Time programming and/or promos for The Coca-Cola Company, The National Football League, ESPN, ESPN Original Entertainment, ESPN The Magazine, Anheuser-Busch, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, The Big Ten Network, Versus and Sports Illustrated Television (SITV) among others.
Rich recently founded Black Sheep Stew, a NY/LA based digital production company with a focus on reality programming and longer format storytelling. But we also build on-line games, apps and consult a number of clients on the blurred line between sports, entertainment and technology… hence our last name, “Stew”.
A Chicago native, with four children, Rich currently coaches soccer and baseball.
Noel Childs is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary Digital Creative Director who’s worked in the Chicago creative industry for twenty years. He has a diverse background in broadcast, digital design, user experience, branding and design thinking, Noel is a passionate champion of the creative process, a connector of ideas and a brand storyteller. Last year, he founded 9INE, a digital design consultancy.
He has lead and worked on creative projects for clients as diverse as Anheuser-Busch, BCBS of Michigan, Chrysler, Drifire, Effen, ESPN, Expedia, Fotobom, Fox, GE, HanesBrands, MSNBC, NewLine Cinema and Orbitz.
Noel can often be found having a pint and watching his favorite team Arsenal FC sometimes win. In addition, he only drinks five things – coffee, tea, water, guiness & scotch–which we think is a bit odd, but at least he knows what he likes. Noel lives outside of Chicago with his wife and three daughters.
After contributing his talents to various freelance projects over the last five years, Black Sheep Stew finally made an honest man out of him. Phil Ridarelli now serves as Creative Director. This role allows him to contribute to the development and production of various undertakings and he gets to meet really famous people sometimes and gets good seats at Wrigley.
Phil’s background is in theatre. He holds a B.F.A. in Acting from DePaul University and has appeared in numerous commercials and feature films. (Except for “What Women Want.” They cut him out of that movie.) He has performed with many notable local and regional theatres including Victory Gardens, Northlight and Madison Repertory. For over ten years, Phil has written and performed for Chicago’s acclaimed performance group the Neo-Futurists and now takes classes in improvisation with the nationally recognized ImprovOlympic.
Phil translated his theatrical experience to the world of technology and production when he joined Jellyvision in 1996 and contributed to the development of the popular series “You Don’t Know Jack.” In addition to serving as a writer and editor for the game’s content, Phil provided the voice of the virtual gameshow host Schmitty. During his time at Jellyvision, Phil took on the extremely pretentious-sounding role of Chief Mentor; a position designed to bridge the gap between human resources, management and production staff. In this role Phil oversaw all staffing, hiring and training and led the development of new projects including Jellyvision’s ventures into televised gameshows.