Since her early teens, Jessica Montri has always been deeply immersed in the event planning world. During high school, she became a permanent fixture in her school program’s various planning committees; organizing, and executing concerts, rallies, and other extensive social functions. To those around her, it was more than evident that production organizing and planning came naturally to Jessica and that she had a bright future in the events industry.
While studying psychology and social behavior with a minor in business at the University of California, Irvine, Jessica once again became involved with her school’s student government, spending her undergraduate years planning campus-wide concerts and events. Now producing events on a higher level with substantially more scope, Jessica began to see what was required to organize and execute projects on a larger scale. But that challenge fueled her, and she soon decided to set her sights and ambitions on a future career in the events management industry.
During her summers, Jessica continued following her professional aspirations, interning at various companies where she would gain valuable experience working at fashion shows, celebrity galas, and high-end events.
After graduation, Jessica began work with a Los Angeles based event company, GBK, further developing her planning and production skills while gaining the experience, and contacts required to move up in her industry.
Following a year spent traveling the world and spending time with her family in Thailand, Jessica returned to Los Angeles to begin work with NVE, a burgeoning experiential production company focusing on nightlife event coordination and production. There, she was able to experience what working in the high-end events management industry was like, reaffirming her passions and solidifying her professional ambitions. After a year with NVE, Jessica began looking for the next place to continue growing her career.
In 2012, Jessica interviewed with Sequoia Productions and quickly accepted a position as assistant to Executive Vice President Gary Levitt. She seized the opportunity to learn from a seasoned industry professional such as Gary and took on more and more responsibilities throughout her tenure. But all the while, she kept her sights set on her ultimate goal of one day becoming a producer with Sequoia.
“At the very beginning, I was a coordinator; in essence, an assistant producer with Gary, which I appreciated immensely. I jumped into the thick of things from the start, and I got enveloped with everything that Gary was doing, which was honestly a lot. It was a bit like an intense boot camp, but it was something that I enjoyed. Because I was interested in the production aspect, I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed with just the admin perspective of events.”
A brief three years later, and Jessica would achieve her goal, becoming the younger producer in Sequoia Production’s 20-year history. With five years of production success now under her belt, her ability to immediately decipher and address a client’s needs, and her nuanced understanding of the event production industry quickly made her an invaluable member of the Sequoia production staff as she assisted in the production of some of the firm’s most high profile events.
“It’s very rewarding to know clients trust my vision. I frequently help our clients with layout, flow, and guest experience issues. I also advise on décor and help clients visualize their likes and dislikes when it isn’t clear to them–we might put together décor decks and have even gone down the route of hosting a ‘furniture show and tell’ when needed. There really isn’t anything we won’t do to ensure our clients have successful events that accomplish all of their goals and exceed their expectations.”
Today, Jessica feels like her career has come full circle and a dream that began in high school has been finally fulfilled; working professionally executing events, engineering authentically individual experiences, and serving clients on what for some would become the most exciting evening of their lives.
“I enjoy contributing to something and seeing it come together for the ultimate goal of benefiting others and their enjoyment. When we had concerts at school, instead of watching the entertainment, I would observe the audience and take in their reactions. I would make it a point at each event to stop and bask in the moment, to watch the guests –it recharges me and really makes it all worth it.”
In addition to her work experience and continuing education, Jessica has made travel a consistent part of her life as a means of continually expanding her horizons and nurturing her creativity, planning one large international trip per year and sprinkling in smaller domestic trips when she can.
“It’s an opportunity for me to experience new cultures, and of course enjoying a vast range of foods helps me come up with new ideas for my job. It keeps me up to date with trends, it helps me stay relevant and educated in the world. That’s extremely important in my line of work.”
Throughout her life, Jessica has traveled to nearly all corners of the globe; the UK, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Spain, Thailand, Mexico, and she is committed to undergoing even more travel and more adventures in the coming years.
Jessica is an avid baker and recently had the opportunity to put her skills into professional use when Sequoia Productions Founder and President Cheryl Cecchetto hired Jessica to bake for a Sequoia event.
Jessica is a proud new homeowner, and you can often find her and her boyfriend working on a myriad of home improvement tasks; landscaping, interior decorating, building additions, and tackling any other project that challenges her creativity and utilizes her strong sense of design,
For Jessica, her position at Sequoia Productions is the fulfillment of a lifetime spent entertaining, learning the specifics and intricacies of the event planning industry, and dedicating herself to serving the needs, wishes, and vision of a client.
“There is always that moment when I catch someone enjoying a piece of the event. It could be very small. It could be something where they simply remark on the ambiance or a floral arrangement. That’s when I know we’ve done our work. That’s what this is all about for me.”