How Alford’s Project Managers Create the Big Picture

How Alford’s Project Managers Create the Big Picture

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Project Manager on Show SiteBackground and Experience

Alford is well-known for its Burgundy Culture; values that foster exceptional service and support and welcomes collaboration, challenges, and diversity. We ensure that our entire staff is trained and prepared for any show site situation by having road staff gain substantial experience, often beginning in operations, and building their way up. This results in a well-rounded depth of experience. Best exemplifying that growth and experience is our dedicated team of Project Managers. Each member of this team has taken a unique and personal path to find their creative niche within this dynamic role.

“It’s never the same show twice,” stated Pat Reed, who has over 20 years in the industry with the past decade directly in project management. All our project managers are highly skilled across a continuum of design, development, and execution. But each tends to have an area where they feel they truly excel. “I have an eye for detail that helps me anticipate potential issues and stay calm and focused when the unexpected happens,” said Reed. While Robert Bennett, another member of Alford’s project management team, specializes in logistics and pre-planning.

“The ability to readily adapt is vital for project managers.”

Other project managers have spent less time directly in the role, but have experience in other aspects of event production and audio-visual work, acquiring a breadth of knowledge that can be beneficial when developing plans, troubleshooting and executing on the day of an event. For example, Chris Hollis while newer to project management has an extensive background in the industry, with work as a master electrician at Christie Lights and touring with the rock band Linkin Park. He got his start at Alford in operations and moved up as a lighting designer before becoming a project manager. Hollis described the PM’s need to, “Be psychic, seeing the problems before the client knows about it.” Similarly, others such as Jamie Haygood began in operations, moving up to lighting, general AV, and currently project management. Also notable is Eric Hagstrom who came to Alford with a great deal of experience as a technical director, manager of AV services, certified rigger, and project manager.

This culminating knowledge base is particularly valuable as it allows Alford to assign the best project manager to each event based on specific needs and permits them to create innovative solutions for the clients they work with.

Project managers with backgrounds in specific areas of AV may find those aspects of planning and executing a show to be especially enthralling. Like Michael Cegelski who brings a background of lighting, rigging, and scenery into his unique expertise. “In my eight years at Alford, a project manager has been one of many hats I have worn,” said Cegelski.

These diverse backgrounds can then be helpful in planning and carrying out the intricate, technical work necessary to make a show look its best, while also giving the needed attention to the logistical aspects of successful event production.

Project Managers

Our Team of Project Managers Collaborate for an Innovative Future

Collaborating is one of the most essential aspects of project management, and our team members are always ready and willing to support each other throughout the inevitable questions and decision-making process. Cegelski noted that “The ability to confer with fellow staff members is a major asset, one that results in a better final product.” Reed agreed, stating, “There are many opportunities for teaching and mentoring in the group, as well as sharing information.”

Bennett said the persistence of his fellow staff members and their refusal to accept failure is a major asset. Equally, a shared love for what they do makes working with his fellow project managers a positive experience. Bennett assured, “There’s truly no monotony when it comes to working as a project manager at Alford.”

Having a forward-thinking outlook and understanding of the changes within the AV industry is highly important for Alford’s project managers team. As they further develop their department they know that evolving with the industry is vital to maintain relevance and assist our clients in producing great shows. In addition, adaptation on the personal and professional levels is critical, as is doing so practically when working onsite. Lastly, staying up to date on technology and general professional development are both critical for long-term progress.

Alford’s project managers are available in any capacity needed. Whether that’s to create your vision from the ground-up, or as support to technical directors and in-house teams. They strive to create a cohesive relationship to exact superior solutions. Because of that, they consistently set themselves apart as specialists who thrive in challenging and ever-changing environments. And as a measure, our project managers will be the first on site and the last to leave.

Alford Media