Ozzie Areu Of Areu Bros. Studios To Energize Graduates As Keynote Speaker At Art Institute of Atlanta Commencement

ATLANTA, June 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — On June 14, 2019, The Art Institute of Atlanta’s 350 newest graduates will receive an inspiring and motivating message by keynote speaker, Ozzie Areu, Founder and CEO of Areu Bros. Studios. The college will also honor Chef Jamika Pessoa (AA in Culinary Arts 2015) as its distinguished alumna while showcasing two distinguished graduate speakers, US Army Veteran Phaedra Williamson (BFA in Digital Photography 2019) and US Navy Veteran Kristopher Burris (BFA in Digital Photography 2019). The event will take place on Friday, June 14, 2019 at 11am at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre located at 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339.

Distinguished Speakers:
Cuban-American producer Ozzie Areu is the Founder & CEO of Areu Bros. Studios, the first Latino-owned and operated film and television studio in the United States. www.areubros.com. Ozzie’s introduction to the entertainment industry began with a security guard position at Warner Bros. His tireless work ethic led him to be the head of security for "Friends", which opened doors for him such as becoming a personal assistant to Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt for five years, followed by two years with Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi. He was then hired by Tyler Perry to be his Executive Assistant where he was quickly promoted to President and Executive Producer of Tyler Perry Studios. During his fruitful career, Ozzie has made over a dozen films and produced over 900 episodes of television dramas and sitcoms over nine different series. After 13 years of working for Tyler Perry he left his post as President to become the Owner and Founder of Areu Bros. Studios. Ozzie purchased Tyler Perry’s former studio complex in December 2018 in Southwest Atlanta with the aim of transforming it into a multifaceted media campus encompassing music, tech, short-form content, motion pictures and television operations.

Distinguished Alumna:
Jamika Pessoa is a classically trained chef and television personality. Since launching her television career as a contestant on The Food Network’s Next Food Network Star in 2009, she has appeared on a number of nationally acclaimed television shows, including Good Morning America, HLN Weekend Express, Unique Sweets, The Today Show, Guy’s Grocery Games, The Chew, Sister Circle, Best Thing I Ever Ate, and a weekly contributor to Dr. Oz’s new series The Dish on Oz. She is also the co-host for the Food Network’s Let’s Eat. From contestant, to guest judge, contributor, co-host, and host, she is seriously "stirring" up the food industry! Jamika officially became "Chef Jamika" after graduating with an Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts in 2015 from The Art Institute of Atlanta. She studied abroad in Italy and Austria, worked for the world-renowned Ritz Carlton Hotel, and in 2006 paired her business acumen with her love of cooking and entertaining and launched her catering business, Life of the Party Catering – becoming the celebrity chef for a high-profile roster of clients including rappers, athletes, and entertainers nationwide.

"We are honored to have someone with the vision and industry expertise of Ozzie Areu as this year’s keynote speaker. Our academic programs are formulated with industry input to ensure students are equipped with skills and competencies that are aligned with industry standards. Having Mr. Areu as the keynote speaker of our commencement ceremony will give our graduates insightful, hard-won knowledge that will propel them to success," says Newton I. Myvett, president of The Art Institute of Atlanta.

The Art Institute of Atlanta has a tradition of quality, career-focused education for the creative field. Founded in 1949 as Massey Business College, the college became The Art Institute of Atlanta in 1975 and is proud of its more than sixty-year legacy of education for creative professionals. It offers degree programs in the areas of Design, Fashion, Media Arts and Culinary. The Art Institute of Atlanta houses a gallery exhibition space, and is home to Creations, its student-run restaurant which is open to the public. The Art Institute of Atlanta is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404.679.4500 for questions about the accreditation of The Art Institute of Atlanta. For more information on The Art Institute of Atlanta, please visit www.artinstitutes.edu/atlanta.

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