Each week, I am highlighting some of the incredible people who are in the Audio Video Industry. As this blog is mostly about AV insiders, today we are profiling Gina Sansivero .
Here is a brief intro about her.
Gina Sansivero has worked in the Audiovisual industry for over 12 years. As of this article being published, she is director of business development, education at FSR, Inc
Please drop your questions in the comments below and I will make sure that she sees them.
1.Describe your journey in the AV industry? How did it start?
I knew I wanted to help people, I knew I wanted to have that connection with people, I knew I wanted to make people feel comfortable in my presence, and I knew I wanted to relate to people and learn from them. While in college (where I was studying elementary education and then psychology) I was hired as a marketing assistant at a medical components company. When I finished my BA in psych they asked me to work full time for them. So I went from a part time marketing assistant to full-time marketing coordinator, then into product management, and then into product development. I kept moving up in the company until I felt like I had hit my plateau.
After 6 years at the company, I wanted a new challenge and found (seriously found on career builder) a position in marketing at a tech startup called Eele Laboratories, a R&D engineering optics firm on the periphery of AV. I worked really well with my boss. He took me under his wing and mentored me and really fostered my love for AV. He knew a lot of people (he was a well-respected industry veteran) and his way was that he just sort of threw you into the mix — but he knew I could handle it. He knew I had to sink or swim, but he gave me just enough support so that I could figure everything out for myself without feeling like I was alone.
A few years later, Eele Laboratories decided to shut down the department I was working in. A friend and colleague, Paul, who was at the time the director of engineering for Eele decided to take on the challenge of making that department its own company. Paul asked me to join him.
Together we morphed it into its own entity beginning with the clients, suppliers, and all the relationships we had built at Eele and expanding from there. I stayed with RelampIt for almost 10 years because it continued to further fuel my love for the AV industry and also my passion for green AV. In fact, in 2008 (and closing down in 2014), I started a company and forum called Project Green AV to serve as a resource for the AV industry.
In 2014, I left RelampIt to pursue a position as director of business development for education, with FSR. Having spent many years studying education, I love that many of my interests and passions are coming together now.
2.What do you think is the challenges that are facing a new person who wants to join the industry.
I think most people don’t know what this industry is about, so the challenge is to educate yourself about the facets of the industry from engineering to manufacturing, product design to project management, lighting, programming/ coding, acoustics, video, etc. So many pieces that I didn’t know existed when I started down this road over 12 years ago. What’s so fantastic is that there are hundreds of industry veterans willing to help you. You just have to do a bit of digging.
[RELATED] : If you have missed any of the previous interviews, please click here.
3.What are the positives of working in this industry?
I love that this industry is made up of people who truly care about what they do and the people they work with. This industry is friendly, generally kind and communicative. This industry is not afraid of discussing differing viewpoints over a drink. This industry is craving diversity and is trying to figure out its own way. Sometimes I think of this industry as an awkward teenager that has a lot to offer but hasn’t developed the self-confidence to articulate it in a way that makes sense to adults. It’s super endearing.
4.Describe your ideal client? What do you wish clients to know before hiring you.
It may sound corny, but I already work with my ideal client: Someone who is open to a discussion and is willing to share information honestly. Someone who respects me and my knowledge and from whom I learn and expand my experiences. I love to learn and I ask a lot of questions. Sometimes that can be challenging for others. But I truly believe that asking questions teaches both the student and the instructor in different and valuable ways.
5.If you were going to start over, what would you do differently ?
I don’t know that I would start over or do anything differently. All the mistakes I have made have taught me something. I know that sounds cliché but I am a bit more sentimental than maybe I let on. People, experiences, places all play into the person I am and the person I hope to become. I think I am on the right path for me, at this moment.
6.Describe a typical work day for you. What are your daily disciplines?
Each day is different, especially if I am traveling and doing campus tours (love campus tours). So I guess my daily discipline is taking a shower because everything else changes. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s not to say my days aren’t organized and structured and I am a complete mess- that’s not true. I adapt quickly but I don’t like sustained chaos. Actually, can chaos be sustained? Maybe not. So then I don’t really like chaos but sometimes it happens and you deal. Especially when flying…you have been paying attention the news about the airlines, right? Yipes!
7. How do you stay relevant and influential in this industry.
I don’t know that I am influential. But I stay involved by keeping communication open. This industry is too small and close knit to have competitors you can’t talk to or individuals from whom you think you can’t learn. I like being able to help when asked. I like being able to make connections for people. But I also like that I can count on others to do the same for me. And, as I mentioned above, I like to learn and ask questions. I am also intrigued by the challenge of a changing industry. I also try to stay involved with relevant organizations and associations (InfoComm, NSCA, CCUMC are a few) by volunteering and supporting them when and where I can.