Member Profile: ATL Events

Written By: Brytann Busick
Published: November 2, 2018

Member Profile
ATL Events

Who doesn’t love a party or event? There is no doubt that ATL Events does.

ATL Events is a family owned and operated full service production company that has been doing business in Sonoma County for over 28 years.

Sylvia Parkinson has worked for her family’s company for 13 years and said that not a day goes by that she isn’t thankful for what she does.

“I love what I do,” Parkinson said. “There are a lot of moving parts and pieces to our full-service production company and we are always busy, but I enjoy it.”

In 1982 Parkinson’s father, Russ Mitchell started ATL. The company’s official name is Academy Theatrical of Lighting. Mitchell said he got the idea for the name and the company’s logo from the 1982 Academy Awards when the iconic gold statue was introduced.

“When I started the company, it was kind of a quirk. Someone approached me and said that I should get some follow spots around here,” Mitchell said. “So, I bought a couple of those to use at events and people in the community kept suggesting what else I should buy. It all kind of went from there.”

He said his first event was Junior Miss. At that time, he was working out of his garage. He then started doing telethons in schools and worked for the modeling company Julie Nation. Mitchell has done many elements of event production for almost 30 years now.

“We are the biggest inventory for rental in the North Bay, aside from San Francisco,” Mitchell said. “I was I was dreaming big, but never thought we’d get this big.”

Today, ATL serves the North Bay, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, Napa, and the Wine Country.

Now that Mitchell is semi-retired, Parkinson runs the daily operations of the company and said that no two days are the same for her.

“I do the day-to-day sales, all the scheduling, orders, intakes and invoicing, and I attends all events,” Parkinson said.

Parkinson said that she works with a great staff and that there is longevity with her team players.

“My father still comes in three days a week, one of our employees has been here for 27 years and another for 12,” Parkinson said.

The main services ATL provides are lighting, sound, stage, audio visual, pipe and drape convention services, and trade show services. The company offers custom and specialty lighting, sound systems, video & computer projection, snow & bubble machines, stage design & various décor items, vienna full spectrum gold crystal chandeliers, Italian party lights, paper lanterns in various colors & sizes, LED and color changing lighting.

ATL also provides repair services. They currently have a contract with the Sonoma County Office of Education to help with schools’ PA systems and theaters where they repair and replace equipment.

Parkinson said that her favorite thing about working for ATL is seeing the end result come together.

“I love seeing an event succeed in part because what we were able to do for our client,” Parkinson said. “Every time I work with a bride, for example, I love when we really pull all of the details together and they say that it was better than they dreamed of.”

Parkinson said that those moments are what make the long hours, stress, and hard work all worth it.

“Sometimes I lay awake at night thinking about whether the linens matched or whether a certain light came on,” Parkinson said. “I really care about our clients and creating the best outcome for them. It’s great knowing our client’s events were successful because we were there to help.”

Parkinson said that although it is her most labor-intensive event the Sweetheart Ball is her favorite event to work on.

Over the years ATL has put on very diverse and grand events. The company planned John Madden’s son’s wedding, Christina Aguilera’s rehearsal dinner, and has worked with Sonoma County Farm Bureau on several events including Love of the Land, Crab Feed and Ag Days. She said her favorite Farm Bureau event is the Crab Feed because it provides a great opportunity to catch up with people and has a huge silent auction.

“I’ve bought some interesting items in the silent auction,” Parkinson laughed. “One year I came home with a quart of wood.”

Parkinson said that ATL Events is a Farm Bureau member because they support businesses that support them.

“I grew up on a small farm and we are a family business,” Parkinson said. “We are pretty choosy about who we sponsor and who we support. The Sonoma County Farm Bureau has done business with us for a while, so I feel it is a natural partnership for us.”

Parkinson said that she would like people to know that ATL is there for many different types of clients and that they provide services aside from event production.

“People don’t really think about lighting when they are having a backyard BBQ or a sound system for their child’s graduation, or a move night on a hot summer evening but we can clients create great experiences,” Parkinson said. “We are also a will call and customer service counter in addition to a full-service production company.”

She said that ATL is there for clients for every type of event or celebration. ATL’s team produces each event with maximum creativity, energy and dedication to provide clients with unique events no matter how big or small the affair.

“People get married and die every day,” Parkinson said. “ATL has helped put projection screens and sound systems together to play memories and slideshows of loved ones at funerals and we have put on weddings. We are strive to help our customers put together many different kinds of events.”
Are you planning an event? If so, contact ATL events at (707) 528-3557 or visit their website

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