As Cheshire’s General Manager, Jamie oversees the entire company, from long-range business planning to developing client contracts. He also cultivates a well-trained, fulfilled staff—from employee training to making sure everyone has the resources they need to do their best work.
One of the company founder’s sons, Jamie began working for the family business in 1994. A Rochester, N.Y. native, Jamie holds an Associate Degree in Communications from Monroe Community College in Rochester, where he graduated in 1997. Since then, he and his brother have taken over the reins at Cheshire—and he’s learned a great deal about running a busy A/V company in the process.
“As an owner, I’ve learned that it’s crucial to have the best qualified, most passionate employees possible,” Jamie says.
In the two decades he’s worked for the family business, he’s seen a lot of change in the industry.
“When I started with my father more than 20 years ago, video display technology was just moving from slide film media to CRT projection,” Jamie says. “Now everything in the medium of video is rapidly changing as digital has taken over. And it’s still evolving. So, staying current with technology is key to our success whether it’s audio, video or lighting.”
Today, customers are looking for an A/V partner that can help them both with logistics and creativity.
“Cheshire is a good fit for any organization that’s looking for a dedicated team adept at bringing together creativity and technology,” Jamie says.
Over the years, Jamie has worked on countless projects that have provided a wide range of fresh challenges for the company. They’ve fueled his creativity, inspired him to reach higher, and made him a better business person
Justin also works on strategy for reaching new markets for Cheshire—and spends a fair amount of time studying the competitive landscape and coming up with new product ideas. And his job as Director of Marketing & Business Development is also the culmination of years of living and breathing the business. Even as a kid.
Born and raised in Rochester, N.Y., Justin started working for his family’s business while still in high school. Today, he’s taken over the reins alongside his brother, Jamie. As Director of Business Development & Marketing, he’s responsible for seeking out new global business opportunities for the company.
“I pair the right client with the right solution at Cheshire,” Justin says. “I work closely with our Account and Production Managers to get the best results for each of our client’s important events.”
An active member of his community, Justin leads and support numerous causes and activities in the Rochester metro region, from hosting an annual fundraising golf tournament for Golisano Children’s Hospital and the Wilmot Cancer Center for 11 years, to rallying support for the annual Stroll for Strong Kids charitable fundraiser, to leading communications efforts for MPI Eastern Great Lakes Chapter.
Having worked for the family business for over 20 years, Justin understands what it takes to keep the company fresh, dynamic, and well respected.
“Continuing a tradition of excellent customer service being job number one,” he says. “We have a strong sense of pride in what we do here—and why we are different than the competition.”
“We have a great foundation of people and loyal customers who wouldn’t do an event without us,” Justin adds. “It’s not about being the biggest company. It’s about bringing integrity to the conversation. That’s the real value.”
Gina comes to us with more than 20 years of experience in diverse areas of Financial and Office Management. For the past 18 of those years, she has enjoyed working with Paley Studios. We were fortunate that when CPA Ken Dell learned the great sculptor had plans to “cut back” on working, he referred Gina to us.
“I look forward to organizing office functions and putting new procedures into accounting, so we’ll have stronger long-term prognostication abilities,” Gina shared.
“With more streamlined processes, everyone’s attention can be where it should be…on their individual projects and clients, and not on the day-to-day financial and office operations.”
I’m so happy to be here,” Gina confided. “Everyone has made me feel incredibly welcome, and it’s great to be part of this team.”
A Gasport, N.Y., native who holds Associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in theatre and music, Chad brings a long resume of experience to his work at Cheshire, where he’s been part of the team since June 2015. Before joining our team, he served as a Lighting Director, a Rigger, a Pyrotechnician, Production Manager, Scenic Designer, and Live Events Producer at multiple firms, and for national conferences and events.
Chad entered the A/V business in 1990, and he’s seen plenty of change since then. And his flexibility and range of skills has served him well.
As an Account/Production Manager for Cheshire, Chad takes care of new and existing clients, often those who represent national associations—an important category of the company’s client base. And he wears several hats.
“Our focus is on service first,” he says. “Our great hands-on customer service is what separates us. Anyone can provide equipment. Our attention to detail and spirit of collaboration on ideas raise the bar. We are a true partner, not just a vendor.
As an Account Manager at Cheshire, Chuck has a wide-ranging workweek. From taking calls and inquiries to business development, he interacts with several Rochester-based small business clients as well as large accounts around the country.
“I do a majority of the local meetings,” he says. “I have a lot of interaction of smaller local clients and big local galas. Great projects. And, of course, I have relationships with many of the Rochester-area hotels.”
Raised in Rochester, he returned here to build a career after a few years living out of state, Chuck cut his teeth in the business as a union stage hand in 1991.
“I did a lot of rigging. We did the convention center in Rochester. Auto shows. Corporate events.”
And in 2009, Chuck began freelancing for Cheshire, eventually joining the company full time.
With more than 25 years of industry, Chuck has learned a thing or two about how to succeed by adapting and growing as the world changes. And the fact that the world is more connected today than it was in the 1990s is a plus.
Still, some business values never change. One that remains a constant mark of distinction for Chuck—and for Cheshire—is the personal touch we offer.
“We let people know that we have a vested interest in them,” he says. “Listening is the most important part of the job. I try to pay attention to what meeting planners and event organizers are looking for. When you’re in this business, you have to make sure everything goes right. Hey, this is a very honest company. We’re not trying to sell you bells and whistles you don’t need. We want you to have just what you need so you can have the best possible show.”
Focusing on what really matters. That’s a value Chuck takes to heart—especially as a cancer survivor. Diagnosed a few years ago, he faced two years of chemo and recovery. It made work difficult. The last project he was fully involved in before his diagnosis was the American Advertising Federation Addy Awards show in Rochester. And, four years later, that was the first event he was fully engaged in post-recovery.
“I found out I had cancer the Monday before the Addy’s in 2012,” Chuck says. “So this was the first show I took over when I came back. It was full circle for me. And the show came off amazing. It was just like, ‘I’m back.’”
He sure is. And Cheshire’s better for it.
As Account/Production Manager at Cheshire, Jesse is a busy guy. Bringing orders through the planning phase. Scheduling and project management. Along with on-site support.
A Rochester, N.Y., native, Jesse earned a B.S. in communications and has his CTS certification through Infocomm International. He moved to Indiana in 2000 to work as a tech for a performing arts center, and returned to Rochester in 2003, going to work for Cheshire.
Jesse has grown accustomed to the fast-paced, quickly changing industry. At Cheshire, he’s found a professional home that embraces change.
“Technology changes by the minute,” he says. “Things that were impressive a few years ago are standard now. I try to learn as much as I can to stay on top of it.”
But there’s more about working at Cheshire to admire for Jesse.
“Cheshire offers more than just technology, we offer the service and partnership to be a part of the overall team. The culture and philosophy at Cheshire is a good fit for me because as a group we have created it. If there’s something about the culture that we don’t like as a group, we have the ability to change it.”
One of the best parts of his job is positive feedback from happy clients.
“I always enjoy receiving cards and emails with appreciation for a job well done,” Jesse says, “but the best feedback I can get is hearing whoever I’m working for being praised for putting together a great event. If I can help make someone look good within their own organization, that means a lot to me.”
Born in San Diego, Dave Eggers and his family moved to Rochester when his dad took a job with Kodak. He grew up in Gates and attended school in the Gates-Chili school district.
Dave became interested in Audio Visual productions while working at RIT and taking night classes part time. Attending multi-image festivals (sophisticated slide shows) cemented his interest in the AV field. He committed to full-time AV technology study at MCC, then continued at RIT, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in AV Communications.
He went to work in the field as Assistant AV Producer at the Rochester Museum & Science Center and worked at another regional AV company prior to coming on board with Cheshire in 2005. His started his career with Cheshire as part of the in-house Kodak team providing AV support. Eventually, he went on the road gaining valuable front-line experience until Cheshire created the position of Warehouse Manager for him, to take advantage of his strong organizational skills.
Dave developed a set of standards to maintain the tight physical space and to maintain inventory consistency. A challenge then was maximizing limited space for large quantities of equipment. “In the beginning, we were using spreadsheets, then we switched to a basic computerized system. Now we use robust rental software, scanners and barcoding to improve efficiency and help eliminate errors.” All of the equipment is checked upon return to inventory. “We want to be sure the gear we use on shows and rent out to clients is the highest quality.”
“Whether it’s a show we do or a rental for a client, I try to anticipate what might be needed and add it to the order if need be. It always nice to have backup options as well. In the end, the goal is to provide the best possible client experience!”
Tim Peterson attended college for computer science, then leveraged his involvement in on-campus organizations that held events to develop skills in the audio-visual arena.
Two years ago, he began freelancing for a number of AV companies in between his work with theater companies as a touring Sound Engineer, then as Assistant Master Electrician.
“I’ve done quite a bit of work with a variety of theater companies including the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in Auburn. I also handled the lighting and sound for the Dorset Theatre Festival in Vermont,” Tim said.
These days, since Tim was hired full-time as a member of the Cheshire Team, he doesn’t have as much time for theatrical production.
“My job at Cheshire is the kind of job I’ve been trying to get into, and it’s great to be doing something I’ve always wanted to do,” he asserted.
When asked about his biggest challenges and rewards, he responded, “I think my biggest challenge is solving the problems that are not part of the original plan, and the biggest reward is seeing that plan come together, from vision to successful execution.”
With regard to his personal customer service philosophy, Tim shared. “My policy is to give customers what they want, and then surprise them with more. When a customer asks, ‘Do you think we could do that?’ I want to be able to say “Yes, we can.”
Ben Allen has always enjoyed the planning and execution of events. He began his career at Wegmans, working part-time, while attending Monroe Community College. At Wegmans, he began as AV Houseman, and was promoted to handling internal corporate events. Leveraging that strong foundation, he went on to handle AV at the RIT Inn and Conference Center and at Rochester Museum & Science Center.
“I was looking for a new opportunity, and my resume was forwarded to Cheshire. Even though they didn’t really have a position at the time, Jamie said he didn’t want me to get away, so I started with Cheshire soon after that.
“I like that Cheshire is a small, down-to-earth company, that is both family-owned and -oriented. I get to make my own decisions, and I’m not just a number.
“I also enjoy that I get to work with the client from immediately after the sale through to the event, so I’m involved in the full spectrum.”
Ben likes variety, and especially the challenge of doing the larger galas and events. He has also recently become involved in trade shows. He appreciates Cheshire’s orientation toward exceptional customer service, noting that no matter the size of the event, all clients are given preferential service.
“I’m really customer service-driven,” he shares. “My goal, when I work with a client is to execute the client’s vision, and then try to exceed their expectations. There’s nothing as fulfilling as when a client, or that client’s senior management, walks into a room and is completely blown away by the results.”