About James Event
James Event Productions is a leading event production company in Southern California, providing a full range of event services for companies, non-profits, schools, and organizations.
James Event Productions was established in 1988 by brother/sister team Garrett and Candy James who have over 70 years of experience in the special events industry. The staff of highly talented and creative party professionals includes 35 full-time employees and over 500 part-time employees making James Event Productions one of the largest event management companies in California.
Many people believe they have three different lives. A work life, home life, and social life. We think you only have one. Many companies make the mistake of not integrating families into the work community so they can understand stresses and lend their support. Our job at James Event Productions is to bring everyone together to live, love, laugh and have the time of their lives!
Candy, Garry and first employee Daralin 30 years ago. My how time flies!
Our Amazing Team
Our team brings the combined experience of over 200 years of event planning to your special event.
Donna Steele, Senior Event Director
Donna has had the privilege of being in the event business with James Events for over 27 years. Good at wearing multiple hats, she is adept at responding quickly to changing circumstances, always maintaining an upbeat, can-do attitude while nurturing positive, productive relationships with both clients and associates. She uses her trademark skills of problem solving, creativity, and flexibility to help clients produce corporate events and meetings that run smoothly from concept to completion.
She has a love for traveling and enjoys learning about and experiencing new cultures. When she is not working an event, you can find her fly fishing on the river, snow skiing, hiking and spending time with family and friends. One of her favorite quotes is:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
Heather Schroeder, Senior Event Director
Heather has been with James Events for over 30 fun filled years. She joined us part-time in 1989 and, upon completing her degree from Otis Art Institute, joined us full time as an Account Executive. From the beginning, she focused on clients who were looking for a leader in event design with a strong creative and logistic blueprint. Heather is responsible for developing and expanding the capabilities of our company. She did so by pushing the boundaries of what kind of events we executed. With personalized attention and outstanding execution, Heather has nurtured a loyal client base with Fortune 500 companies, refined private clients and the nation’s top nonprofit organizations. Heather is an avid skier, traveler, and artist who is passionate about her family, friends, and career.
Jason Thibert, Senior Event Director
Jason joined the James Events team in 1995, working part-time while completing his education. During that time he quickly excelled up the chain from general picnic staff to rides operator, to event technician, and finally to event manager where he was in charge of running our highest impact event locations. Jason became our Staff Director in charge of recruiting, hiring, training and staffing our events. In 2004, Jason joined our Sales Team and working with a variety of corporate clients that include, Fandango, Mitsubishi, Google, Yamaha, and many large scale festivals. Jason’s “ground up” knowledge of the industry and specifically the company makes him an essential part of the team. From sales and planning to marketing and operations Jason focuses not only on his events but companywide logistics and execution.
Christine Martinez, Senior Event & Marketing Director
Christine graduated from the University of New Haven in CT with a BS in Management of Sports Industries and Communications. A proud New Yorker, Christine began her career in professional baseball executing events and player appearances for several Major League teams. After relocating to California, she continued her 20-year passion for producing events while working in City Government, Higher Education, and the Non-Profit sector. Utilizing her eye for design and creativity, Christine has produced exclusive events for celebrities and Fortune 500 companies to create a dynamic and unique experience. Christine believes in staying ahead of current trends to provide the best experience for her clients; completing education in floral design, graphic design, cake decorating and pastry school and modern calligraphy. She has a love for traveling and enjoys visiting unique and exciting places. When she is not working an event, you can find her working out, baking, painting and spending time with family.
Rob Hilburn, Entertainment Director
As Rob gets ready to celebrate his 30th year at James Productions, his event total is quickly approaching 4,000 with over 1,000 events on the microphone as the voice of James Events. As our entertainment director, he is actively exploring and designing the most fun and current entertainment packages. And his skills as an MC and entertainer make him an often requested commodity for many of our biggest clients. Rob’s many years of event logistics have given him integral roles in planning events for the likes of Walt Disney, New Balance, DreamWorks, the March of Dimes and hundreds more.
Christopher Brackett, Operations Manager
When both of your parents are owners of a company, there is a good chance you too will be drawn into the family business. So it was no surprise to us when we first saw Christopher backing up one of the company trucks…AT 5 YEARS OLD! (In dad’s lap of course).
Officially an employee at 15, and now running one of our most lucrative departments, the rides division, Chris now has 15 years vested in the company. With the perfect balance of his mom’s dry wit and customer attention, and his father’s mechanical abilities and entrepreneurship, he has helped change the face of the amusement ride industry to one of well-educated and qualified staff and impeccably well maintained and clean equipment.
He and his team had made our rides division one our most sought out services and have allowed us to expand into a field we never dreamed existed. For James Events, this means adding over 100 events annually for schools, churches, fundraisers, and festivals who want to stage carnivals for their guests while having the peace of mind that all is executed with professionalism and detail to safety.
With his commitment to this hectic schedule, Chris still gets some private life, as he is newly married and enjoys photography, outdoor activities and especially boating on the river in his favorite hangout.
Daniel Barrett, Operations Manager
When he started at James Event Productions, no one knew what to expect from this polite High School kid from Orange County. After 21 years, we can’t imagine what we would do without him. From an entry-level staff person making popcorn and running game booths to his current title as Manager of Operations, Daniel has grown into one the most well-liked and respected executives in the industry. During this time he not only developed his skills in the event industry, but he also earned his Bachelor’s degree from UC Riverside in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting. When he is not working, you can find him playing with his dogs, drinking craft beer, mountain biking or snowboarding.
Eric Lessley, Controller
Eric has been with James Events for 18 years. Before Joining our team, he worked for CPA firms and the US Army. Eric toured in Iraq during Desert Storm as part of the third Armor division. He has a degree in business administration, accounting, and finance and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Eric directs James Events accounting, financial, legal, insurance, and risk functions. He is part of the management team supporting the production of our client’s events and works with the Orange County Boy Scout Council and the Orange County Girl Scout Council to produce dozens of large events per year. In his off time, Eric enjoys coaching H.S. Wrestling and being a Scoutmaster, but his favorite thing to do is spend time with his family.
He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Boy Scouts of America. He was a three-time college all American, winning the NCAA II title in 1985. He has been involved with wrestling for 48 years and currently coaches Team California in the ORCA duals.