MEET THE GEMSTONE MEDIA TEAM

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KENT KIRBY
President

Kent has been in the video production industry for over 40 years. His passions are for video editing and producing a story that entertains and educates. A graduate from the UCF film program, Kent has worked for a number of different stations throughout Florida. In the 1980’s he worked with future business partner, George Birnbaum, on major corporate and broadcast events.  The two eventually teamed up to create Gemstone Media.

Outside of work, Kent plays music in his band as well as a solo act. You can catch him throughout Jacksonville rockin’ out!

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GEORGE BIRNBAUM
Vice President

George has been a force behind the scenes of broadcast television for more than 40 years. He specializes in engineering and management. George started his television career in the Air Force where he mastered his craft in electronics. After serving, George helped several television stations maintain and upgrade their broadcast equipment and personnel as both an engineer & senior manager. For nearly two decades, he and partner Kent Kirby have built Gemstone Media into the premiere live broadcast production company in the region.

Outside of work, George enjoys spending time with his wife and granddaughter as well as engaging with the community through his church.

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RAY HAYS
Executive Producer

4-time Emmy winner, Ray has worked in broadcasting since he was 15.  His work includes documentaries, commercials, corporate video and training.  He pioneered the development of Multimedia Job Performance Aids with the US Navy.  After running his own production company for 30 years, he chose Gemstone to expand opportunities to reach a broader, more digitally demanding audience.  Whether writing, producing, shooting, or directing, Ray is focused on telling your story in the most effective way on whatever media works best.

Outside of work, he turns wrenches on his classic cars and travels whenever possible. 

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CHRIS LINKE
Senior Editor & Pixel Pusher

It takes a creative eye and a craftsman’s skill to maximize the potential of post-production. Chris, our self-described “Pixel Pusher”, has the skills in editing,  graphic design, and music mixing to create a blend of images and sound that make your production sparkle. His editing skills contributed to the Emmy-winning documentary Kiss of Life. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of North Florida, he claims his Gator roots from attending UF. Chris was also a sergeant in the U.S. Army.

Outside of work, he enjoys a happy life with his wife, Lorena, and is on the lookout for grandchildren.  Go Gators!

 

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TRISTAN MORHOUS
Editor & Videographer

Tristan has been actively engaged in video production since 2011. A graduate of the University of North Florida, Tristan has worked on television shows, music videos, and sports broadcasts throughout the state. His passion is for video editing and live sports production.  With a keen sense of story, he directs multi-camera programs with the viewer in mind.  Tristan will fight compromising quality at every turn with results that speak for themselves.

Outside of work, Tristan plays rugby, enjoys time with his fiancee Emerald and roots for the Jacksonville Jaguars!

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RYAN SMOLKA
Editor & Videographer

Ryan is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University (Hoot Salute!) who started out to become an art teacher.  That eye for composition and color has turned his hobby of photography and video into a profession. Now, his artful work is displayed, not in a gallery but on television screens and social media.  With Gemstone Media, Ryan has painted with broad strokes and fine details that make every picture worth framing.

Outside of work, Ryan enjoys surfing, golfing, spending time with his Australian Cattle dog and working on vintage motorcycles.

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KELLI WELSER
Director of Finance & Administration

Since 2003, Kelli has worked with video production companies in various positions. In 2008, she found she had a real talent for the accounting side of the business.  She started by becoming a freelance bookkeeper who understood the ins and outs of production.  (Do you know what a C-47 is?)  While working with Gemstone Media, the owners soon realized what an incredible asset they had with her.  She now keeps the company afloat and freelancers across the South have come to appreciate her rapid response.  She is a member of the National Association of Certified Bookkeepers and a certified diamond in our office.

Outside of work, she enjoys kayak fishing with her husband Rich and going to festivals/sports events around Jacksonville with their girls Brynlee and Kassidy.

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MARK MARSHMAN
Director of Engineering

Mark began his career at a local station in 1982.  He worked in all facets of broadcast engineering, eventually becoming Chief Engineer.  During this time he also worked freelance, designing, building and rebuilding television and video facilities.  Since joining Gemstone Media in 2017, Mark has been responsible for maintaining all equipment, engineering productions and providing engineering services to our clients.

Outside of work, Mark enjoys spending time with his wife and family and working at his church.

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FRED NEMECEK
VP Sales of Media Advertising

Jacksonville and Beaches resident since 1973, Fred’s been an advertising salesperson for radio and television.  While serving as an account executive with Graham Media Group, (WJXT & WCWJ) he saw the work coming out of Gemstone Media.  Impressed with the creative staff and growth potential, he decided that joining the production side of the business was the next career step.

Outside of work, Fred enjoys family life, gardening, golf, traveling and being with friends.