This month we’re sitting down with Gary Villegas, our newest Account Manager and Technical Director, to learn about how he weaves courage and passion into his daily work. He joined our team late last year but still has the enthusiasm of a kid in the candy store, which he brings to the office every time he walks through the doors.
Gary discovered his passion for creating experiences while studying Theater and Art Studio at the University of California at Santa Barbara. After graduating, he spent time working in technical publications while pursuing acting on the side. He moved to Los Angeles shortly after and worked as a video engineer for Burbank-based rentals and production house. Gary then spent 12 years as Event Technology Director in the San Francisco Bay Area’s hospitality industry. He joined the Riverview family in September 2019. In his spare time, Gary enjoys playing guitar with his kids and fabricating wooden furniture and toys for them.
Q. How long have you been at Riverview, and tell us about your current role?
GV: I am a newer team member of the Riverview family and have been with the company for a little over a year. As an Account Manager & Technical Director, I enjoy taking clients through the discovery process and helping them craft memorable experiences using event technology, which has always been a passion of mine. I also love setting up my technical team members for operational success, ensuring they have all the information they need to execute a show for our clients flawlessly.
Q. What is the one thing you have seen at Riverview that stands out above the rest in the world of AV Production and Events?
GV: I believe what stands out above the rest is the exceptionally talented creative team, our technical support & repair team, and the extreme detail level that goes into every Riverview event. My background was hospitality event technology—I was used to a much faster and frenetic event cycle. It has been exciting to see what is possible when clients are given an elevated level of care and support that is characteristic of ALL Riverview events. The result is an award-winning company that has been in the business for over 30 years.
Q. How have you seen Riverview pivot during the pandemic?
GV: “Pivot” has become a popular word in our industry due to the pandemic — I hesitated using the term early on as I explored what pivoting truly meant. Where are we pivoting? We know what happens when pivoting fails — longtime business partners and friends shutter their doors and leave our beloved industry behind, either temporarily or permanently.
At Riverview, I am so proud to be part of such an innovative team. Seeing how our company has evolved during the pandemic, embracing the challenge, and quickly finding creative solutions has truly been inspiring. For example, our team transformed sections of our 70,000 square foot headquarters into a full broadcast and production studio facility. We also adopted new tools and workflows around virtual events. As such, I now use the word pivot with so much more confidence as we guide our clients through our new virtual world.
Q. Tell us something we might be surprised to know about you?
GV: I used to love acting, theatre, and singing in choruses. I once briefly was a certified tax preparer and real estate agent/loan officer way back.
Q. What is one of your favorite vacation memories?
GV: One of my favorite vacation memories is when I took my family to Ireland to visit a good friend. He was a former public relations specialist in Corporate America. He ditched it all and bought a farmhouse in County Cork with beautiful, breathtaking landscapes and hillsides with horses running around!Watch for our next chat coming in December, highlighting another member of the Riverview family. You won’t want to miss it! Stay safe out there.