WSU instructor pursues animation, marketing for DreamWorks

Angie Howard works on “Puss in Boots” marketing this fall



Angie Howard and her husband Chris Stover created a short film together at the Animation Dynamics studio.

JOSIE GOODRICH, Reporter/Copy Editor

By day, Angie Howard lives in a world of “Puss in Boots” and “Trolls.” By night, she is giving back to her alma mater as a WSU Global Campus instructor. 

After dipping her toes into the animation world, Howard said she fell in love with it.

Howard started her marketing career fresh out of college once she graduated from Portland State University with a marketing degree in advertising management, she said. 

“I decided to go out and start my own thing because I was really interested in being around creative agencies and creative people and so I started repping a bunch of different companies,” Howard said. “Some of them were website design and documentary footage and one was a small animation studio in Portland, Oregon, called Animation Dynamics.”

Her husband, Chris Stover, also worked at Animation Dynamics as a cinematographer, where they and people around Portland were able to come together and create a short film, she said. 

“We went to film festivals and Intel actually sponsored it,” Howard said. “So that was my next step into animation production, and really, from there, it just kind of grew.”

After being in Portland for a handful of years, Howard packed up her life and went to work for a company in Los Angeles on an animated short film. After that, she worked for PlayStation on the “God of War” franchise console game, she said.

Howard then went into visual effects and worked as a production manager at Rhythm and Hues Studios, she said. After bouncing around between Sony Pictures Imageworks and Disneytoon Studios, she has ended up at DreamWorks Animation, where she is now the vice president of custom animation. 

She oversees a group that helps market the animated film and television releases from DreamWorks, she said.

Angie Howard brands content as DreamWorks’ vice president of animation, like a short “Testing Soda and Plunger” video with the character Oh from “HOME.”

“We do commercial work where we might do a McDonald’s commercial or a Target commercial with our characters,” Howard said. “It could be in the environments from which the characters come from from the film, it could be a lot of different things.”

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” is set to release in December, and Howard is working closely with the producers and directors of the film to ensure she matches the look, the feel and the tone of the feature film within her marketing productions, she said. 

While at DreamWorks, Howard was also in the process of completing her MBA through WSU. She graduated in 2019 and immediately started teaching as a section instructor for the WSU online MBA classes, she said. 

“I try to kind of have classes at the beginning of the week at night and then I try to do a lot of my grading and things on the weekends or in the mornings. This is funny because this is kind of how I was doing my MBA also,” Howard said. 

After going to school in Portland together and then moving to Los Angeles 15 years ago, Howard and Stover have continued to work in the animation industry together and grow their careers, Stover said. 

“We both know what we’re going through career-wise and the challenges and the ups and downs, and so it’s great to have that support mechanism built into your life,” Stover said. “It’s good to go through that with someone that you know so well and you can support each other through the career challenges that everybody faces.”

Although the power couple works for a worldwide brand that can bring high pressure, the two work for a company that values a healthy work-life balance, Stover said. After 15 years of being with DreamWorks, Stover and Howard are still able to enjoy time outside of the studio with their daughter. 

“We also have an Airbnb business that we run on the side that are basically properties or places we enjoy going to,” Stover said. “Not only is it another business opportunity, but it facilitates us getting away from LA, kind of getting outside of our own bubble a little bit and just enjoying our downtime.”

Some might say it is too difficult to balance DreamWorks and synchronously teaching WSU Global Campus courses, but for Howard, it is nothing short of a representation of her professionalism and abilities, Stover said.

“When you work professionally I think you get to a point where you’re looking for an opportunity to give back and share some of the things that you’ve learned, and I think she thoroughly enjoys that aspect of it,” Stover said. “I think it is just an opportunity for her to kind of broaden her repertoire of things that she brings to the table and I think she enjoys giving back on top of the fact that it makes her a stronger leader with the ability to communicate concepts to very intelligent people.”