“My job is to coordinate all the different elements of an event and to make sure they come together in a way that achieves my client’s vision and goals. It can be a lot of work, but it is so rewarding and definitely keeps me on my toes, keeps things interesting and lets me stretch to the limits of my creativity.”
Growing up near Sacramento, Heather found herself drawn to event planning and service activities as far back as she can recall, her first project management memory stemming all the way to elementary school when she was tasked with organizing her fourth grade Halloween Carnival.
“I guess this really was always in me. It was small scale, obviously, but it was an introduction.”
Throughout middle school and high school, the student government served as an outlet to continue exercising her event planning and leadership muscle, and a place where her skills could be utilized to create a stronger, nurturing, and more enjoyable community for her peers.
While she’d always viewed her dedication to event planning as little more than a fun hobby, Heather found an opportunity to turn her passion into a career while studying at Sonoma State, realizing that her skills and interests fit perfectly into a communications major. Once she realized that this area of study could be used to secure job opportunities in the event planning and management sector, she knew her path was set.
Laser-focused on her new goal, Heather began supplementing her core classes with electives in public relations, accounting, and other subjects that would become critical to achieving her dream job. As she studied, Heather soon realized that she would be able to secure more opportunities in her industry by relocating to Los Angeles and transferred to California State, Northridge to finish her communications degree.
As she completed her studies, Heather began to work as an assistant to a major Los Angeles event planner and accepted several internships that would help her further learn the details of the industry, building crucial connections within the event planning community all the while. In 2008, while working with LASEC (the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission), Heather made a considerable impression on her supervisor and was referred to Cheryl Cecchetto, Founder and President of Sequoia Productions, for a job opportunity. A few short days later, Heather would begin her new career with Sequoia Productions.
Heather first began her tenure with Sequoia Productions serving as executive assistant to Cheryl Cecchetto, quickly moving up the ranks as an associate producer, and finally taking on her current position as a full-time producer and event manager.
While Heather likes to joke that her greatest attribute is that she is a bona fide “Excel nerd”, her long-standing experience in the event planning industry and her cultivated specializations have made her an invaluable part of the Sequoia Productions team, helping the firm pull off high-end events such as the Emmys® Governors Ball, the Academy Awards® Governors Ball, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Annual Gala and the G’Day USA Gala.
For nearly all events, Heather’s talents can be seen on full display as she oversees timelines, manages budgets, communicates with clients and vendors, and ensures that every aspect of the production, from technical specificities to aesthetic considerations, falls in line with the project’s vision and scope.
While the work can certainly sometimes be intense, for Heather the payoff is always there waiting for her the moment her guests arrive.
“That moment when the guests enter the room and stop in their tracks to take in everything. That’s the big payoff because that’s really what our client has hired us to create. We really don’t see ourselves as planning events so much as creating experiences, and that first moment of their experience means the world to me, to all of us…”
Outside of her responsibilities at Sequoia Productions, Heather enjoys spending time with her husband Matt, visiting their large extended family, or taking a trip to the beach with the newest member of the Kenny clan, their baby son Jaxon.
Always the entertainer, Heather doesn’t need a special occasion to have some fun – she finds it everywhere she can. In fact, Heather has earned a reputation at Sequoia as a pop culture trivia master, the office-wide hula hoop champion, and the go-to entertainer for the entire staff. Her love of games and her penchant for puzzles make for an endless spring of fun for the whole team, and her seemingly endless energy shows why she is one of the best in her business.
“I’ve always loved a good game or a puzzle, even if the puzzle isn’t supposed to be ‘fun’. I can put together Ikea furniture like nobody’s business! So much of the work we do is a puzzle just waiting to be solved, and you have to try different approaches and think through complicated scenarios to find what works. Perhaps, that’s why I love this business so much!”
Heather’s enthusiasm, commitment to her craft, and endless passion for the event management industry have quickly skyrocketed her to the top of her field. As a producer with Sequoia Productions, she has found a role where her personal interests and her career ambitions can intertwine, resulting in consistently high output and superior results for Sequoia’s clients.
Ultimately for Heather, her work all comes down to that moment when the event begins to solidify, and the vision starts to take shape; that’s when she knows that her client’s wishes are being realized at the highest level.
“Sometimes for an event like the Oscars® or the Emmys®, we load in for two weeks straight before we even get close to a finished product. But I’ll come in after week one, and I’ll see the ceiling is up, or maybe they’re dropping linens and I realize ‘holy cow, I saw this on paper and now it’s real. That’s always the best part.”