Complete Crewing New Teammates









Complete Crewing would like to introduce Eric Eaton, our new Labor Coordinator, and Jessica Sutton, our new Payroll Administrator.  We’re excited to add these two highly qualified and talented individuals to our team. We know their knowledge and experience will further solidify Complete Crewing as the leader in the Event Production and Payroll industries throughout Chicago and the United States.

Eric “Sluggo” has been in the industry for twenty-plus years, and his background has him ready to tackle just about any challenge out there.  In his own words, he’ll be working as an account representative, and helping to staff and budget shows appropriately. After so many years in the events and entertainment industry, he’s built a great group of contacts.  He’s excited to take all his accumulated skills and those contacts to succeed in his new role as Labor Coordinator.  

Eric has worked with top-level talent, including Top Rank Boxing, OzzFest, Prince, John Mellencamp, Julio Iglesias, Marilyn Manson, James Taylor, David Gray, U2, Pearl Jam, Kid Rock, and many others.  He has vast experience with indoor and outdoor concert builds all across North America, and has worked in every state except Alaska. He is familiar with venues such as MGM Grand Garden Arena, Madison Square Garden, Mandalay Bay, Atlantic City, and the AT&T Stadium, to name just a few; not to mention multiple amphitheatres and outdoor festivals.

No matter the location or the performance, Eric oversaw all of the lighting and video set-up, as well as the break-down.  He knows how to design for the best show possible no matter the unique requirements from the client or the venue. He’s worked through the elements, whether excessive heat in Texas or pouring rain in North Carolina; and designed sets from the ground up for arenas with 360 degree seating, venues with a stage at one end, and venues with no walls.  Through it all, he’s maintained that the important thing is good communication, and treating everyone with fairness and respect. According to Eric, that’s the best way to ensure all the details are taken care of and the show is a success. 

Before jumping into the staging and events industry, Eric worked as a clown on stilts out on the ice with Disney on Ice’s production of Hercules.  After that experience, he joined the lighting and transport company Upstaging, Inc. He started out in the warehouse, and eventually joined the road crew and worked his way up to Crew Chief for Lighting and Video.  After traveling and touring for a few years, he transitioned to Shop Foreman, where he managed around 200 people.

Eric’s career eventually took him to Christie Lites Chicago, VER, Solotech, and Legacy Production Group.  He’s worked as an Operations Manager, a Senior Lead Branch-Lighting Department Manager, Operations Director, and Shop Manager.  Eric’s built several rigging and lighting departments from the ground up, and proved that he has what it takes to adapt and overcome – no matter the challenge.  It’s great to have him at Complete Crewing. 

Jessica is excited to join Complete Crewing as a Payroll Administrator, and help out the team while learning valuable skills that will help her achieve her goal of one day being a Comptroller or CFO.

“I’m thrilled to have Jess on the team. Her inquisitiveness, accuracy, and wonderful attitude are qualities that will help fortify the corporate infrastructure, preparing us to grow further nationally.” – Dan Kantor “President”

Jess holds an M.S. in Taxation from DePaul University and a B.A. in Accounting from Robert Morris University. She has a professional background in data entry, tax preparation, analyzing and auditing, and, of course, payroll.  With those skills, it’s no surprise that she is skilled in paying close attention to detail and managing a lot of moving parts. 

Eric and Jess, welcome to the team!

The Kids Are Back at School – Why Aren’t You?

Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

For most of us, school eventually ends.  We stop riding the school bus, we stop meeting friends at lockers, and we stop planning out study schedules and extra credit opportunities.  That can be a relief, honestly, but we should never let ourselves stop learning. We can listen to podcasts, read books, chat with colleagues and friends about different fields and experiences, and sign up for professional courses and certificates.  If there’s one thing that’s true across every industry, it’s that the world is not the same as it was when you started your job. Integrating new skills into your repertoire isn’t only good for keeping you young, it helps you transform yourself and your business. 

At Complete Crewing, we know a key way to sustain our creativity and passion for all AV, labor, and production services is through continuous training.  Learning new skills keeps us on our toes, and refreshing old skills keeps us at the top of our game. This is especially important when it comes to safety training.  We’re a team and our team stays strong by staying safe. We continuously make sure our crew are aware of the types of hazards in our industry, and training in Health and Safety through OSHA, ETCP, and the Event Safety Alliance is an important standard of our company.

If you’d like to challenge yourself and learn something new, check out the following resources:

Training Opportunities through AVIXA

AVIXA™ is the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, and Complete Crewing is a member.  AVIXA combines resources for AV certifications, trainings, market intelligence, and thought leadership, and works with professionals from more than 80 countries.  They provide training for teams and individuals on the topics of: General Knowledge, Installation, Design, Technology Management, Live Events, Networking and Technology, and Project Management and Business Development.  Their offered certifications include CTS, CTS-I, and CTS-D.  

Some upcoming classes include:

  • September 18th Webinar: Hearing What Isn’t Said – Better Communication for Greater Success
  • October 9th Webinar: Experiential Content for Any Display Technology

Courses and Certifications through PCMA

PCMA was founded in Philadelphia, PA, as the Professional Convention Management Association.  It is a leader in professional and personal development, and business growth and success. It has 7,000 members (we are one of them), and is active in 30 countries.  It offers multiple educational opportunities, including:

  • CMP Online Prep
  • DES Certification
  • Conference and Event Professional Certificate Course
  • CMP Convene Series
  • PCMA Business Event Bootcamp

OSHA Education Center

At Complete Crewing, all of our labor coordinators are OSHA Card holders, which is achieved upon successful completion of the 10-hour or 30-hour OSHA Outreach courses.  The OSHA Education Center offers OSHA training to construction and general industry workers nationwide. They offer group rates for corporate accounts, and online courses.

Choose Chicago

If you’re looking for some tools to help you learn more about hosting an event in Chicago, this is a great resource.  Choose Chicago offers a bimonthly Meeting Professionals newsletter; a venue search tool; and a Meetings Marketing Toolkit.  

As always, if you need a personalized touch and desire in-depth information on hosting an event, reach out to our team.  We are a single source for all your local labor and production crew needs, and offer detailed crew budgets and schedules with no surprises. We combine decades of experience with continuous learning, and that helps us bring our clients successful shows and complete satisfaction every day.