A veteran filmmaker, teacher, speaker, and industry thought leader, Vern Oakley’s mission is to help institutions and business leaders authentically connect to and mobilize their tribes by crafting great stories that speak to the people who matter most.
Vern is the founder, CEO, and Creative Director of Tribe Pictures. For more than three decades, Tribe and Vern have worked with dozens of Fortune 500 Companies, CEOs, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions. His films and videos have helped launch some of the industry’s largest public offerings, and the world’s biggest brands, and have been credited with raising billions of dollars for colleges, universities, and philanthropies.
Vern has directed feature films, documentaries, television programs, and commercials that have that garnered over five hundred international industry awards. He’s worked with some of the world’s biggest industry figures and cultural icons – from Ken Chenault and Arthur Penn to Andy Warhol.
He’s led Tribe Pictures through decades of technological change, cultural and financial upheavals, 9/11, and a pandemic. In fast-changing, tumultuous times, he’s learned that the power of story, the need for authenticity, and the desire for connection is more important than ever.
A client of Vern’s once bestowed on him the unofficial title “Business Artist.” Vern believes this perfectly captures his point of view; he is able to translate the left-brain business strategy needs of his clients to the right-brain execution of the storytelling team. A natural ‘systems thinker,’ Vern both understands the big picture and consistently finds a way to convey it to others.