Celebrate the A100, the most impactful Asian Pacific Leaders.

Rosemary Palacios, Yinan Shentu, TJ & Bobby Pontillas

Director of Talent Outreach, Inclusion, and Creative Development, Puppeteer, Muppet & Animation Director, Sesame Street

Rosemary Palacios is Director of Talent Outreach, Inclusion and Creative Development for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street. In this role, she further infuses the Workshop’s company-wide diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy into all areas of show development and production, including ideation, scripting, creator and voice over talent, and visual development. As part of that role, she also worked very closely to bring authentic representation to the development of TJ, Sesame Street’s first Filipino American muppet, as well as Ji-Young, the first Korean American muppet. She additionally directs the Sesame Workshop pipeline programs, including the Sesame Writers’ Room, acting as a mentor and coach to all fellowship participants, as well as the new Sesame Directors’ Program which launched earlier this year. Palacios previously held production roles at NBCUniversal and Nickelodeon, and earned a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University.

Yinan Shentu was born in Beijing, China and moved to the US at the age of four, where he tossed many a coin into fountains wishing he’d one day be on TV. He made his acting debut putting on a straight face through years of extra math lessons, Chinese school, and endless studying for standardized exams, but could never shake that little boy’s wish; years later as a Cast Member at Walt Disney World, he snuck into a puppetry workshop and fell head over heels in love with the craft, eventually performing in shows like Muppet Vision 3D, Muppets Present Great Moments in (American) History, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and Fantasmic!. His fledgling journey in TV and film began with none other than the Jim Henson Company and their puppetry intensive training program in 2021, quickly followed by workshops with Disney and Sesame Workshop, where he was selected for Sesame’s Mentorship program, designed to train the bench of future puppeteers. Yinan performs the GolfNow Gopher, which golf fans may recognize as GolfNow’s newest, furriest spokesperson for the company, and has also appeared with the cast of Puppet Up! Uncensored at Knott’s Scary Farm. He is also a very enthusiastic participant in the world of voiceover, having voiced Lord Chunshen in the third season of Kingdom on Funimation and several characters in the award-winning total immersion mod Enderal: The Shards of Order.

TJ (Age 4) – TJ is a second generation Filipino-American boy, and a proud kuya (older brother) to his baby sister. He’s a natural entertainer for her, and always makes her laugh with a funny voice, song, or dance. His grandparents live on the ground floor of their building, and he loves to help them in their garden. He’s learning to speak Tagalog with his grandparents, and he is so proud when he gets to put it to use when his family comes to visit from California, where his parents are from. He loves it when they all get together so he can help his mom make lumpia with all the veggies he picked, and so he can play basketball and have a dance off with his cousins.

Bobby Pontillas is an Oscar-nominated animation director who is passionate about bringing Filipino-American stories to animation.

He has been an animator, designer, and art director on such films as Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Moana, and designed Sesame Street‘s first Filipino muppet, TJ.

Bobby is a co-founder of Rise Up Animation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing studio resources to BIPOC artists around the world.