SMG Celebrates Pat Gonzalez

On July 30, 2019 at SMG Monrovia, Studio Movie Grill presented its fourth annual Opening Hearts and Minds Award to the Senior Vice President of In-theatre Marketing for Paramount Pictures, Pat Gonzalez. The Opening Hearts and Minds Award is presented to innovative leaders on our team and in our communities who go above and beyond to create a positive wake in their neighborhoods.

Pat knows a thing or two about hard work and determination and how far that can take you. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Pat began her career at the age of 17 as a movie theater snack bar attendant. Over the next 16 years, she worked her way from the ground up, eventually being promoted to National Director of Film Marketing for the same company where she started out as a teen. Today, Pat is responsible for securing placement of a broad range of in-theatre materials and driving national film marketing and promotions in the U.S. and Canada, for the theatrical properties released under Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Animation, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Films. Her leadership encompasses a wide range of areas including the programming of trailers, on-screen custom and special content, circuit-specific online and social media strategies, movie fan events, value-add movie offers, and collaborating on studio life-cycle marketing initiatives within the cinema space.

Surely Pat’s experiences as a hard-working kid who made her own way are why her philanthropic work has always been so connected to building up children and nurturing their potential. She's committed to and passionate about shaping the futures of young individuals, and that is reflected in every aspect of the work she does for her community. Pat has been involved with Variety, The Children’s Charity for over 20 years and helped launch the first ever chapter of its youth group: Jr. Variety. She joined the executive board of Variety, The Children’s Charity of Southern California in 2002 and currently serves as co-chairperson for Variety’s Kids, the charity’s online and silent auction philanthropic endeavors, which has raised more than $2 million to support Variety’s children’s causes since its launch in November 2005. Pat also chairs the charity’s annual Poker Night Tournament, which has raised over $1 million in support for Variety in Southern California since its inception eight years ago.

Most recently, Pat joined the Board of Directors of the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Boyle Heights in 2017. Since 1949, the Variety Boys and Girls Club has responded to the needs of children in the Boyle Heights/East Los Angeles community offering academic and leadership development programs, tutoring and mentoring, sports and aquatics programs, arts and crafts, a computer learning center and library, social recreation, college scholarships, and special events to award members’ achievements.

Thanks and congratulations, Pat!

Previous Winners


Lisa Schmidt  |  Dallas  Founder and Project Director of Creative Solutions

2018’s honoree, educator Lisa Schmidt, has worked to make a positive impact on the lives of young people in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for over 30 years. She is founder of the award-winning Creative Solutions program, a Big Thought partnership with the Dallas County Juvenile Department and Southern Methodist University. The program provides job and life skills training for youth on probation.

Currently, Lisa serves as Director of Learning and Professional Development at Big Thought, where she trains instructors and designs programming. Since 1993, the Southern Methodist University theater program graduate has created, designed, and taught theater, dance, storytelling, and creative writing workshops throughout Dallas. Studio Movie Grill is proud to partner with Lisa and Big Thought, hosting and sponsoring impactful facilitated screenings to support Big Thought programs with films like Wonder Woman, Wonder, and A Wrinkle in Time.


Twelve 'Real Life Women Superheroes' were selected from over 700 nominations based on their dedication to helping others, resiliency in the face of tough circumstances, and professional achievements.

Beauty Baldwin  |  Atlanta  Georgia’s first female African American school superintendent who has devoted her life to education

Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown  |  Charlotte  A physician with a busy practice who still directs a free clinic and is a beloved community volunteer

Tamar Manasseh  |  Chicago  A mother who puts her life on the line to keep her neighborhood safe, and ignited a growing anti-violence movement among mothers across the country

Paige Litterer  |  Dallas/Fort Worth  A youth advocate who helped to launch Café Momentum, one of the only nonprofit restaurants that employ at-risk youth in the country

Monique Rodriguez  |  Houston  An Army veteran who fights to make sure her fellow servicemen and women receive support and assistance as they transition

Lindsay Stawick  |  Indianapolis  A mentor dedicated to educating the youth in her community about the warning signs and fallout of domestic violence

Melanie Hudson  |  Philadelphia  A single mother who, despite struggling herself, has worked to put herself through college and volunteers with area hunger relief organization

Pastel Corbett  |  Rocklin/Sacramento  A young artist who uses her talents to shine a light on the homeless population in her community

Mary Hadsell  |  Scottsdale/Phoenix  The director of nonprofit Camelot, who seeks to aid those with physical disabilities with equine therapy

Sandra Young  |  Simi Valley/Los Angeles  A nurse practitioner who created an organization to help the underrepresented immigrants in her area

Robyn Mellin  |  Tampa  A woman who traded a lucrative career in the spotlight for the opportunity to serve her community’s homeless youth

Thea Jorgensen  |  Bismarck  A business owner and National Guard member focused on mentoring young women who suffer from bullying


Brian Schultz  |  Dallas  Founder and owner of Studio Movie Grill

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