Wendy Winks, MBA, was a marketing executive at Universal Studios, and became a Literary Manager and TV/Film producer in 2000. One of her clients wrote “Camp Rock” for the Disney Channel, launching the careers of the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato. She also produced “Santa Jr.” for Hallmark (Lauren Holly, Judd Nelson), and DVD family favorite “Dog Gone” (French Stewart, Luke Benward). Currently, she is a Partner at Project Legacy LLC and Executive Producer of the biography series “Self Made” about the lives and careers of business leaders, entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
During the screenwriter’s strike in late 2007, Winks accepted a temporary position overseeing the Schools of Rock in Southern California, and was blown away by the student transformations that she witnessed. When the crash of 2008 further devastated the already crippled LA economy, many families lost their jobs and their homes, and they came to her to see if anything could be done so that their child could stay in music school. To help them, she and music director Carl Restivo formed the Rock School Scholarship Fund (RSSF), a 501(c)(3) to provide scholarship assistance to families in financial need. The RSSF grew by word of mouth, initially working with five rock music schools in So Cal, to becoming a nationwide program serving hundreds of families and helping low income children attend over 120 rock music schools in 28 states.
In 2016 the RSSF changed its name to Ovation Music Fund, and expanded to provide scholarships to qualified after-school music programs that teach any genre of music – not just rock n’ roll.