August 11, 2022 – Los Angeles, CA – RatPac Controls has teamed with non-profit Women in Media and the MBS Illumination Training Program, part of a 2-weekend training, where RatPac’s own rigging gaffer Bobby Dechellis presented a special Lunch & Learn on July 30 at Radford Studio Center. “Finding the opportunity to partner with such dynamic organizations as Women in Media and The MBS Group allows RatPac to not only give back to the community, but to nurture new relationships,” said VP of Sales and Marketing Nick Stabile. “We recognize the dedication of Women in Media to support and launch sustainable careers in non-traditional roles and are happy to be a part of it.”
Dechellis’ presentation was engaging and informative, with requests for resources to learn more about data management and lighting protocols. “We know better than anyone that there is not enough power and data distribution education out there, and as a result, there are not enough people to take the electrical department to a new level,” added Stabile. “Our company’s mission is to create smarter ways for crew to rig and light sets in every part of the world. That’s why we have decided to develop a training program of our own dedicated to data management to help foster new talent.” Marketing Manager Xenia Lappo added, “I was excited to see the enthusiasm for our presentation during Bobby’s training. It was proof that we are going in the right direction, and we need to act now and develop the program because there is clearly a demand for classes like these.”
Women in Media began as an informal networking group, but quickly outgrew its mission. In 2017, the non-profit expanded services to include more networking, education and initiatives such as the MBS Illumination Training. The mission of Women in Media has long been to encourage a more balanced and inclusive workplace for all genders. “Our goal is 40% – 60% women on every crew, every show. It’s so important to have more women in the electrics department, and RatPac gets that. We were thrilled they could participate in a Lunch & Learn during this year’s Illumination Training,” said Tema Stagg, Founder and CEO of Women in Media.
Started during the pandemic by Irene Phan, SVP of Global Operations and Finance, The MBS Group, the MBS Illumination Training Program was in response to a need for enhancing members’ skills in grip, electric and carpentry/scenic art. Trainees worked side-by-side with highly skilled gaffers, grips, best person and rigging assistant chief lighting technicians, as well as carpenters and scenic artists.
Phan approached Stagg to be a key partnership of these trainings. Phan had already begun her own research into what the industry lacked and WIM was exactly the kind of partnership she needed. Tasked with managing the growth of operations and finance, “our bread and butter were grip and electric. As I looked more broadly at the industry, I realized there weren’t a lot females in this sector.” Phan began to get curious and her questions surfaced outdated ideals of a labor-intensive job not being a great fit for a female. “We are at a point in time when females can decide for themselves if lighting and grip is what they are interested in,” she said. “We create relationships. We all know how important those relationships are. We have working professionals teaching classes. To have their contact information and to be able to reach out and ask questions is a great success story. It helps students get on sets and get union hours, and I know some previous participants have gone through that process.”
Stagg agreed. “Our members are gaining sustainable careers in grip and electric, in no small part because of the hands-on training with the gear. I see RatPac Controls as a valuable partner for future events, training, and our signature initiatives. We look forward to continuing that trajectory with all our vendor partners, and are happy that The MBS Group helped lead this initiative.”
“Given the nature of our business, our goal is to continue to foster relationships like this worldwide, and this is a great first start for us,” said Stabile. Phan’s goals are aligned with raising the bar for the next generation. “We will continue to partner with non-profits that are aligned with our values and goals globally. We want to make sure we have presence wherever our locations are. For the industry, in 3, 5 or 10 years from now, I would like to see these members walking through our stages, our warehouses and renting our equipment and facilities.”
If you are interested in information about RatPac’s data management class, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/t4C1i2zdt524MEyp7
About Ratpac Controls:
Established in Los Angeles in 2011 with locations nationwide, RatPac Controls designs, manufactures, sells, and rents power and data distribution equipment for lighting in the Motion Picture, Television, and Broadcast Media industries. Our product developments are focused on making the jobs of lighting and rigging easier and more efficient. Our products have been used on major motion picture and television shows around the world for over a decade. These product portfolios include whisper-quiet dimming solutions for all varieties of HMI, LED, and tungsten lights. We also lead the way in wireless lighting controls systems, designing and manufacturing transmitters and receivers compatible with all varieties of lighting fixtures commonly used on production sets.