This month we are featuring ATL Events, a SCFB member since 2017, and a family business. The ownership has just transitioned from father to daughter, so we talked to Sylvia Parkinson, CEO.  

1)  ATL Events has been a super supporter of Sonoma County Farm Bureau for many years, and we appreciate that. Can you tell us what is new and exciting at ATL? 

We just celebrated 40 years in May 2023 doing business in Sonoma County. We survived through the worst natural events in Sonoma County and are glad to be able to say that we are here to stay. I have been working alongside my father for over 20 years and it was just an easy progression to take over the company from him the July. 

2)  What have you found to be your biggest challenges as you transition into the CEO role? 

Being CEO isn’t really new, just a new title.  

However, it feels good to be the first female CEO in my family and to be in control of my future. As a Rental & Production Co. I have become keenly aware of the need to grow and the potential to do so with the latest technology. I am one of maybe two or three women that are owners of an A/V company from San Francisco to Seattle that hold a higher position or that have been in this hospitality field for over 30 years so that excites me.  

3)  ATL is a family business. What is your origin story? 

My father Russ Mitchell started and founded Academy Theatrical Lighting Inc in 1982 with 2 spotlights in his garage to fulfill the need to spotlight The Junior Miss Pageant of Sonoma County.  

He then partnered with my grandfather Don Okeson in 1983, took out a loan for 30k and invested in more equipment to start the company. We incorporated in 1990 and we updated the name to ATL Events in the early 2000s to shorten the length.  My father started this business when the Academy Awards were huge, and our logo was the Golden Statue. In secret he told me he wanted to be in the phone directory as A so he could be listed first with Academy Theatrical Lighting Inc. 

4)  What do you want our readers to know about you and/or ATL Events? 

ATL Events is smaller than most people realize but we are reliable, honest and will always show up for you, we also carry more items than most people know.   

  • sound systems 
  • stage 
  • theatrical lighting 
  • stages,  
  • drapery
  • convention services 
  • Bubble Machines, haze bubble machines, snow machines
  • Flame Lights, and so much more 

What we don’t have we can get.  We also repair equipment; we sell new equipment, and we service lighting systems and more.  

We sell special tapes and lamps, trick line and Black foil, Roscoe color media for theaters or stage performers. One call really can do it all and if we can’t we certainly can refer you to someone that can. We also run full production on festivals and large-scale events where needed.