Partner & Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President Gary Levitt has always possessed a keen aesthetic eye for style and a deep love of the event management industry. Whether he’s perfecting color palettes to enhance the energy of a production, or specifying every last culinary selection to match the precise tone of an event, Gary sees his work with Sequoia Productions as less of a job and more of an artistic expression. For nearly two decades, Gary has worked at the top echelon of his profession and has risen to become both a trendsetter and a leader in the field.
For Levitt, whether he is designing a sweeping gala or producing a smaller, intimate affair or boutique wedding, each production comes down to two core ingredients; beauty and originality.
“The best part is I get to collaborate with amazing people,” he says. “It’s an adventure every day. No two events are the same.”
Levitt began his career growing up in his home country of South Africa, studying at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and eventually transitioning into the professional hospitality industry.
“I studied hotel management at a South African company called Southern Sun,” Levitt recalls. “Part of the program was at a hotel school, and the rest was training on location in eight hotels across South Africa,”
Levitt’s training included work throughout all departments of the hotel, front desk, accounting, and any service included in the wide breadth of hotel operations and management. Eventually, his education led him to his favorite position within the hospitality industry, training and working as a chef at several of the group’s hotels.
I soon realized my passion was not hotels or the hotel industry, but I loved the food and entertainment aspects. I decided that I would start a catering company and shortly after that, became the resident caterer at a country club, which I pursued for almost four years.”
In 1986, Levitt moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a chef with some of the city’s finest catering companies. By 1991, he knew he had gathered the skills and experience necessary to start his own enterprise, launching Event Kings; a California based full-service catering company serving the greater Los Angeles area.
“I had originally come to L.A. with the intention of eventually ending up in Italy,” says Levitt. “However, after I’d been in L.A for more than ten years, I realized I’d put down roots.
After 10 years catering, Levitt began to shift his interests towards the production and entertainment side of the industry. He soon realized that not only did he find more artistic satisfaction in production work, but he also discovered that he had a considerable talent for management and a sharp vision that allowed him to build successful, unique events from the ground up.
Shortly after committing to this career shift and communicating his new ambitions to his contacts, Levitt was faced with a near-impossible choice; join the production team of famous celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, or join Sequoia Productions, a reputable events production company founded and run by long-time friend and colleague Cheryl Cecchetto.
Eventually, Levitt chose the latter, and in 2000 he officially joined Sequoia Productions as a producer, ushering the company into a crucial second chapter in their history.
“Imagine”, says Levitt, “having to choose between Wolfgang Puck and joining a full-time production company run by a trusted friend. My husband wouldn’t give me any help in making the decision; he said I had to do that for myself. I chose Sequoia. It’s the best decision I ever made – I would have loved working with Wolfgang Puck, but Sequoia has allowed me to grow into my best self and do what I really love doing – production.”
By 2002, Levitt was promoted to the title of executive vice president, a position he currently occupies and officially became a full-time partner of Sequoia Productions.
Throughout his tenure as executive vice president, Levitt has built a reputation not only as a producer but as an artist, always finding the cross-section between the needs of a client and his own creative impulses.
“I love producing events. I find it incredibly rewarding to be able to help someone bring their vision for an event to life. Since it is a means through which I get to express my creativity, I welcome the opportunities to come up with new concepts and materials for events.”
Now, with more than a thousand events under his belt and an international reputation built off his immense dedication to his craft, his innovation throughout the field and his consistency of results, Levitt has quickly risen to become a top tier leader in his industry. His experience and wisdom in the field makes him a frequently sought after speaker and presenter on world renowned Crystal Cruises and is often tapped by engineers and architects to consult on new and renovated building construction where a need for integrated event technology and infrastructure is part of the design.
Today, as Levitt nears the conclusion of his second decade with Sequoia Productions, he knows that at the heart of all of his many successes has always been the trust and understanding he’s built amongst his teammates and his clients.