Jeff Valdez (born January 31, 1956) is an American producer, writer, studio executive and entrepreneur. Valdez has been credited with creating the category of Latino Programming in English, which is a segment of the Hispanic market that had not been addressed or targeted by the media before. This block within the Latino community is formed of Americans with Latino heritage, who consume media in English, and live mostly a mainstream American life. Jeff Valdez has written, directed and produced TV shows and films targeting this segment within the Latino community during the last 20 years, and some of his shows have gone on to be syndicated in more than 35 countries. In 2003, Valdez founded a whole new national cable channel targeting Latinos in English called SiTV. The channel reaches 22 million homes nationwide, and has won many awards with the programming Valdez wrote, directed and produced for it. In 2007 Valdez extended his reach to the film industry and founded Maya Entertainment together with well-known producer Moctesuma Esparza. Maya is a company that produces and distributes more than 30 films a year, mostly in the Latino Programming in English category. Maya also distributes films in more than 30 countries.
1 Early Years,
2 Valdez Productions, Inc.,
3 Si TV,
4 Que Pasa Corp,
5 Maya Entertainment,
6 Awards and Recognitions
Jeff Valdez was born in Pueblo, Colorado, to a Mexican-American family with roots in New Mexico since the 1600s. His mother, Mary Garcia, and his father, Alfonso Valdez were blue collar workers, with Spanish, Mexican and Comanche blood. Jeff is the youngest on 9 children. Valdez worked hard since he was 7, cleaning the local Drive-in cinema every morning before going to school. Throughout his early teen years he played drums in his father's band, earning his first money and saving enough to move to Colorado Springs to found his own band called "the Giving Tree." After some years, and after having liked performing live in front of an audience, Jeff became a comedian, working on the road for more than 6 years, and finally owning his own comedy club, "The Comedy Corner" in Colorado Springs. It was then when he became a producer, and created a comedy show which aired live every Saturday in a Colorado Springs' local channel, right after "Saturday Night Live."
Valdez Productions, Inc.:
In 1993, Valdez moved to Los Angeles, and created the show "Comedy Compadres", for KTLA, channel 5. This show would be the first of many shows that he would create to engage the English speaking Latino community, and to develop Latino talent in front and behind the cameras. He then wrote scripts, produced and directed shows and films for Disney (My Favorite Mayan), Showtime (Latino Laugh Festival), NBC (The Valdez's), Galavision (Cafe Ole, Funny is Funny), and Nickelodeon (The Brothers Garcia.) Valdez Productions is the platform that Valdez always uses to do business, including consulting and developing of new projects.
In 2003, and based on the potential of this English-speaking market of the Latino population, Valdez paired with Bruce Barshop, a venture capitalist and founded Sí TV, the first Latino national channel for English-speaking Latinos in the United States. SiTV made history when it quickly became the leading producer of Latino themed English-language cable programming network, reaching 22 million homes in the first 3 years. After launching the channel, Valdez became the CEO of the channel for the first 2 years, and produced the original programming of SiTV. His programming has won a number of awards, and featured Latinos of all ethnicities entertaining all American audiences. During those first two years, sixty-five major advertisers from Fortune 500 companies became clients of SiTV. After Valdez created and developed SiTV, NBC created the national TV channel Mun2, and MTV created MTV3, both of them targeting English-speaking American Latinos nationwide. Valdez remained Chairman of the Board of SiTV until 2009.
Que Pasa Corp:
In 2007 Jeff Valdez was named Chairman of Quepasa Corp./Quepasa.com (NASDAQ-QPSA) a bi-lingual social network aimed at US and Latin American markets. Quepasa.com is a global social community for the Latino audience. It creates a social web of new friends, games, contests, flirting, pictures, communities, video, and much more. Valdez contributed to QuePasa's recovery in that period with an overall re-branding and creative vision. He also helped with a product called "Papacito", which increased the reach of the social network.
In 2007, together with Mr. Moctesuma Esparza, Valdez co-founded and created Maya Entertainment, to target the Latino market this time in the film industry. Maya Entertainment is the first and only Latino Global Film Distribution Company. The company produces, owns and distributes films and content, primarily in English for theatrical release, as well as syndication. Maya's films are carried in Video On Demand. PaperView, and venues like Wal-Mart, Target, Blockbuster, Netflix, Redbox, Amazon, iTunes and many others. Half of Maya Entertainment's revenue comes from the United States market, and the other half comes from its sales in more than 45 other countries around the world. Jeff Valdez is currently the Co-Chairman of the company, together with Moctesuma Esparza.
Awards and Recognitions:
Jeff is 100% self-taught, a true product of the school of life and has been featured in several books and articles about successful entrepreneurs whose success follows a similar story. His experience with the Latino market has brought him several notable speaking engagements for a variety of conferences, organizations and Fortune 500 companies. Jeff has received a number of accolades from the industry and was named on of CNN's "Top 50 People Who Matter." He has also received "The Racial Harmony Award" from the Center for Ethnic Understanding, and was included in the "Top 50 Minorities in Cable" by Multichannel News and the "Top 10 Players in the U.S. Hispanic Media Market" by Ad Age. Additionally, the NAMIC awarded him the "Quasar Award" for his groundbreaking success with SiTV and was also named one of the "Top 50 Marketers in America" by Advertising Age.
Jeff was appointed by US President Bill Clinton to the Advisory Committee on the Arts of the Kennedy Center (Washington DC, 1996-2000.) He has been a member of the Museum of the Moving Image Board of Directors (New York, 2000-2006), and of The Los Angeles School For The Performing Arts Board of Advisers (2006-2008.)
Without Men || Feature Film || Executive producer || 2010
Unacceptable Behavior || TV Series || Executive producer || 2006
Urban Jungle 2 || TV Series || Executive producer, Writer || 2005
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner || TV Series || Executive producer || 2004
Across the Hall || TV Series || Executive producer || 2004
The Drop || TV Series || Executive producer || 2004
The Rub || TV Series || Executive producer || 2004
Latino Laugh Festival: The Show || TV Series || Executive producer || 2004
Urban Jungle || TV Series || Writer, Executive Producer || 2004
The Brothers Garcia: Mysteries of the Maya || TV Movie || Writer, Director || 2003
The Brothers Garcia || TV Series || Co-Creator, Executive Producer, Writer, Director || 2000-2004
Café Ole' with Giselle Fernandez || TV Series || Writer, Producer || 1997
Latino Laugh Festival || TV Special || Producer || 1997, 1998, 1999
Funny is Funny || TV Series || Writer, Executive producer || 1997
Comedy Compadres || TV Series || Writer, Executive Producer || 1994
Almost Live From The Comedy Corner || TV Comedy Show || Writer, Producer, Director || 1992
Perry Mason: The Case of the Ruthless Reporter || TV Movie || Actor || 1991