• Meet Anthony Larrisey, Born to Create

    FROM THE Fall 2018 ISSUE

    Larrisey shifted from ad agency exec to buzzworthy events expert.

Anthony Larrisey is no stranger to the creative world. He cut his teeth in advertising, working for big brands on traditional print and broadcast media campaigns. “I worked on the big classic TV ad,” he says. Whether he was creating a television commercial featuring Whitney Houston or handling marketing for Kraft foods, Larrisey was the office go-to when it came to event planning. “I was always the guy planning the town hall meetings, the holiday parties, etc.,” he says. 

After a successful career in global advertising, Larrisey felt he had exhausted his opportunities with bigger, global shops and eventually hung his shingle as a brand consultant. He recognized a divide between the “sexy stuff, the bells and whistles that small creative shops could deliver” and the “best practices of the big agencies,” and he knew he could bridge the divide. He founded Industria Creative, which celebrated its seventh year in January 2018. 

From product launches and brand positioning to pop-up shops, he and his team of 12 employees (plus a trusted network of expert consultants) craft experiential events that deliver a branded bang. Known for its creativity, Industria Creative is no stranger to challenges; it once trucked in 40 tons of snow to create a winter wonderland to spotlight Old Navy’s scarf collection—in the middle of Los Angeles, no less!

“Our clients are so diverse and represent a number of industries including cosmetics, spirits [they launched Jay-Z’s cognac and rebranded the Barclay Center for eight nightly concerts] and entertainment [past clients have included F/X’s Marvel series and HBO and Harpo Productions’ premiere of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”].” Larrisey and his team typically spend three to four months planning an experiential marketing event and work on three to five projects at a time, but the creative process keeps him both engaged and excited. “I love what I do,” he says. 

While he’s worked with everyone from Oprah to Patti LaBelle (he served as her handler in his early years), one upcoming event has his heart: The World Pride Celebration 2019. “The opportunity to create something where our clients/ brands are involved … that’s a dream project.” 

A lifelon New Yorker, Emily Schmalholz was a TV producer at VH1 before moving into the events industry and landing at Westchester’s The Capitol Theatre. As director of special events at the historic space and its bar, Garcia’s, she says creating events and working in television have lots in common. “The ultimate goal for both is to tell a great story and create memorable moments.” Schmalholz, a self-described “event therapist,” had more to say about her work.

What’s the biggest difference between producing for television and producing events?


From Baltimore to Boston to brainstorming, Ralph Weaver has never been one to say “no” to trying something new. After studying communications and marketing at Boston University, the Baltimore native made his way to New York City where he worked with a public relations agency, allowing him to dip his toes in the world of event planning.  

And he hasn’t looked back since.


Matthew Hurlburt talks staying organized, walking the walk and what it means to be part of the Kimpton Family.