JOHN M. BEST
Producer of Parades, Entertainment Spectaculars, Large-scale events, Television Productions, Corporate Shows, Special Events, Pageants
5-time EMMY winner and multiple nominee – John M. Best received his early start when he was chosen from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst to participate in the Walt Disney World College Program. This opportunity gave him valuable experience coordinating various presentations, special events, and public relations projects for Disney’s College Relations Department. Moving to Magic Kingdom Entertainment, John served as a coordinator and performer in the Main Street Electrical Light Parade, ABC’s “Walt Disney World’s Very Merry Christmas Parade,” various holiday and special event shows, and the SuperBowl XVIII Half-time show.
While attending Adelphi University in New York, John further distinguished himself by producing and directing a magazine show that won him the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Frank O’Connor Memorial Award for the Northeast region. Pursuing an interest in variety television, he produced and directed regional talent shows for both American Express and Crystal Light.
Joining NBC in New York upon graduation, John assisted the producers of variety specials on such shows as the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” and the “Tournament of Roses Parade.” For NBC News, he worked on the “News 4 New York Weekend Report” and the “Decision ’84 Election Coverage.” He then went to ABC to help coordinate the “Liberty Weekend Opening and Closing Ceremonies.”
Moving to California, John assisted the Executive Producer at NBC Productions on a number of television movies of the week including “CONVICTED: A Mother’s Story,” “The Abduction of Kari Swenson,” and “The Little Match Girl.” While at NBC Productions he also developed Olympic and children’s programming. For four years in a row, John was selected as one of the producers for NBC’s Movies, Mini-Series, and Specials Presentation in which the network announces its new Fall programming schedule.
John freelanced in various capacities from Producer to Production Supervisor on various specials and award shows including: the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, the Emmy, Daytime Emmy, Grammy, Screen Actor’s Guild, National CableACE, Clio, MTV Video Music, World Music from Monte Carlo, Jim Thorpe Pro Sports Awards, Stellar Gospel Music, Victory, and The Peoples Choice Award Shows, “Funny Women of Television: A Museum of Television and Radio Tribute,” “The 1992 Republican National Convention,” “Unsolved Mysteries LIVE,” “The Judds Farewell Concert,” “SuperBowl XXVII Half-time Show with Michael Jackson,” “The SuperBowl XXXI Half-time Show – Blues Bash,” “The Grand Ole Opry’s 65th
Anniversary Celebration,” various Disney TV specials such as “Walt Disney World’s 4th of July Spectacular,” “Walt Disney World’s 25th Anniversary Special,” “The Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade & Happy Easter Parades,” “For Our Children,” “The American Film Institute Salute to Sidney Poitier,” “The Kennedy Center Honors,” “HBO Comedy Hour – A New York Night LIVE!,” “Rosie O’Donnell’s Comedy Special for HBO,” “The Miss USA, Universe, Collegiate, and Miss Teen USA Pageants,” “The Wizard of Oz: In Concert,” “Supermodel of the World,” “The Pillsbury Bake-Off,” “Grammy Living Legends,” various MTV Specials, and “Season’s Greetings with the John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra.”
His television producing and/or directing credits include the “Show Us Your Shoes Parade” for the Miss America Organization on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, Magnificent Mile Lights Festival from Chicago, the National Independence Day 4th of July Parade in Washington D.C., the Miss Florida USA Pageant, The 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America Parade in Washington, DC, “The 2002 Olympic Winter Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies” in Salt Lake City,” “The 74th Annual Academy Awards,” “ several “Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parades” for ABC, “T’was the Night Before Christmas” for Disney and ABC, a segment for “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” for ABC, Philadelphia’s 4th of July and Thanksgiving Day Parades, “Summer Jam Concert Special” for ABC, “The Show for the NBA All-Star Weekend in San Francisco,” “The Grammy Awards Preview Show hosted by Gloria Estefan,” “Philadelphia’s Millennium 24 Hour Party Celebration for 6ABC and the City, “Merle Haggard: For the Record,” “The CMA Awards Backstage Pass,” “Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas and Happy Easter Parades” for ABC, two 1-hour NASCAR Rocks music specials for TNN, the video segments for CeCe Winans’ World Tour, the Closing Ceremony of the “Goodwill Games” in New York City and “Alabama: For The Record – 41 Number One Hits” which aired as a pay-per-view special, a 3 Hour TNN Special and is currently on the market as a video and DVD.
John has also produced and directed various industrial, corporate, live event and live stage productions including The Mohawk Flooring Solutions National Sales Meeting, The Pineapple Awards, a product launch for Samsung Electronics at the new Jazz at Lincoln Center Rose Theatre in New York City, The Queens of Hearts Ball for New Year’s Eve at the Atlantis Casino in the Bahamas, a show called “Elements” for Hardrive Productions which was produced in Shenzhen, China, the Major League Soccer Gala Awards, Liz Claiborne, Town and Country Magazine, Cyndi Lauper, the “D’Arcy Uprising International Conference in Puerto Rico,” “Mercedes Benz “A” Class Launch at the Geneva Auto Show in Switzerland, “The Earth, Wind and Fire Water Spectacular for Mercedes Benz in Las Vegas,” “24 Hour Millennium Party” for the City of Philadelphia, “1999 ShoWest Awards” for the National Association of Theatre Owners, 7 “Headdress Balls” benefiting the Hope & Help Center of Central Florida, “Philadelphia’s Marian Anderson Award Honoring Harry Belafonte and Gregory Peck,” The Porsche Boxter launch, “The Harris Corporation’s Rock ‘n Jock Jam,” “The Show at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden for the NBA and TNT,” 6 National Sales Meetings for Karastan Carpets, “The Friday Night Celebration Show for the National CableACE Awards,” “The Walt Disney World College Program 10 and 15 Year Reunion Celebrations,” “Partners for the Long Run,” “Celebrate LA,” the “EFFIE Awards” for the American Marketing Association, “The Icon Awards” for Adweek Magazine and Disney College Program Alumni regional events which are held all over the country. He received the Spot Light Award for Event Professional of the Year by Event Solutions.
John has produced many Gala and Benefit Shows including The U.S. Dream Academy Gala in Washington, DC (6 years) , The Miss America Organization Gala in Las Vegas (4 years) and The Headdress Ball benefiting the Hope & Help Center of Central Florida (14 years).
When it comes to pageants, John has been a part of the production team for The Miss USA, Miss Universe, Miss Collegiate, Miss Teen USA and Super Model of the World Competition. He has produced and directed the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition (little sister to the Miss America Competition) and America’s Miss World Pageant.
John produced and directed all of the materials for the Video Screens for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. He has had the honor and the opportunity of working on both Opening and Closing Ceremonies for a Summer and Winter Olympic Games. Other notable credits include being an Associate Director on the “74th Annual Academy Awards” from Hollywood on ABC of which he received a Director’s Guild of America Award nomination.
For 7 years, John produced The Pre-Race Show at the Daytona 500 for the Daytona International Speedway and FOX Television. Over the years, the show featured country superstar Tim McGraw, Chubby Checker, Michael McDonald, Kool & the Gang, Brooks and Dunn, Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, Bon Jovi, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Greenwood, Clint Black, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, Five for Fighting and Vanessa Williams plus casts of more than 3,000 performers.
He also worked internationally in Manaus, Brazil for 3 years producing and directing Glorioso! – a large scale international Christmas spectacular. This holiday spectacle featured a cast of more than 4,000 performances at the Teatro Amazonas.
When it was time to welcome Pope Francis to Philadelphia and open the World Meeting of Families, John teamed with Access Philadelphia and long-time producing partner Maria DiBenedetto to produce that historical event. The team also produced the opening Kick- off Event for over 7,000 Volunteers for the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016.
Projects for 2018 include: The Chicago Auto Show, The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, the National Memorial Day Parade, the National Independence Day 4th of July Parade all in Washington D.C., American Valor: A Salute to our Heroes, Philadelphia’s 4th of July Parade, Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition which will mark his 14th time producing the event,, Chicago’s Lighting of the Magnificent Mile Holiday Special for national television syndication and WLS-TV, Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Day Parade which will make this the 20th year he has produced and written the show for 6ABC TV in Philadelphia and syndication and The Nashville Christmas Parade & Nashville Holiday Music Special benefitting the Monroe Carell, Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt for ABC-TV in Nashville and national syndication.
John received a Daytime EMMY AWARD for Best Special Class Special for the Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade. He has been nominated six times in this category. He won his second EMMY AWARD for producing the 2008 Magnificent Mile Lights Festival which aired in national syndication around the country during the holiday season. His third EMMY was awarded for the 2016 ABC7 Presents the CHICAGO AUTO SHOW and his forth was for the Special Event coverage for the 2016 Magnificent Mile Lights Festival for WLS-TV. John and his team recently won the EMMY AWARD for Best Special Event for the 2016 Piedmont Natural Gas 63rd Annual Nashville Christmas Parade presented by Tootsies.
His company, JM Best Entertainment was awarded the Chuck Hummer Humanitarian Award from the Hope and Help Center in Central Florida for their support of the agency. John and his team have helped raise over $6 million for the agency. They also produced the Carnavalia Gala for the Assistance Fund in Orlando for 2 years.
John is developing several special projects and benefits for network and cable outlets, as well as working with corporations producing industrial entertainment shows. John is a member of the Director’s Guild of America and the founder and President of JM BEST ENTERTAINMENT.