meet the team
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James J. Callanan
President and CEO

James “Jimmy” Callanan, founder of JCALPRO, has over 30 years experience in the entertainment industry, and currently serves as head rigger at the TD Banknorth Garden (formerly the Boston Garden and Fleet Center), where he has rigged hundreds of rock shows and special events including: Billy Joel; The Rolling Stones; U2; Donna Summer; Elton John; Kiss; The Red Hot Chili Peppers; James Taylor; and Madonna. He has served as head rigger and head carpenter for the Boston Ballet, as well as the Technical Director for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston POPS Orchestra, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. With his many years of experience, James has been able to head up rigging initiatives in many major motion pictures, TV shows, and commercials, including: Meet Joe Black; Me Myself and Irene; The Firm; Good Will Hunting; and Celtic Pride. James has also rigged hundreds of convention trade show booths at the Rhode Island Convention Center, Chicago Pier, Philadelphia Convention Center, The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), and the Hynes Convention Center, to name a few. With a proven track record in the selection and management of staff and production assistants, James holds a pivotal role in creating harmonious relations between various unions on location at venue sites.

Russell Jones
Vice President of Production

Russell comes to JCALPRO with extensive knowledge of staging design and techniques. He has been a member of the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Local #11 for over 30 years. Since its conception, Russell has planned, developed, and directed rigging and production at BCEC. By interpreting needs and objectives, he plans and develops rigging and production specifications to support BCEC and Hynes Convention Center events. Russell also has experience in various industrial productions including Ford and IBM shows, and has helped rig on film productions, as well as over 80 concerts. Gaining theatrical experience, Russell was production electrician/ sound engineer at the Wilbur Theater, and handled all aspects of production for the Citi Performing Arts Center (formerly the Wang Center) for 12 years. Working with the Boston Ballet for 10 years, Russell has also helped develop eight new premiere ballets. With an exceptional reputation in developing and managing relationships, Russell is dedicated to providing direction, coordination and management resulting in the safe production of events and the exceeding of client expectations. Russell is an ETCP Certified Arena Rigger.

Elise M. Bechard
Vice President of Operations/Client Relations

With over seven years sales and marketing experience under her belt, Elise has owned and operated a sales franchise in several counties in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts while generating over $1.5 million in personal and office sales. Elise has worked at the BCEC and Hynes Convention Center since 2005. She currently sits on the board of directors and holds memberships for the New England chapter of the International Special Event Society (ISES), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) and Massachusetts Chamber of Business and Industry (MassCBI). With a proven track record in hiring, training, and managing over 200 sales reps and employees, Elise has proven to be an integral member of the JCALPRO Operations team.

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Support Staff:

Kristina R. Bechard
Exhibits and Operations Manager

Kristina has over seven years of customer service experience, and is talented in graphic design and creation. She has worked at the BCEC and Hynes Convention Center since 2007, and with three years experience as a department lead overseeing customer satisfaction, Kristina is the perfect person to keep things at JCALPRO operating smoothly.

Evan Bartus
Event Account Coordinator

Evan graduated from Western New England College (now Western New England University), studying sport management and business information systems. He brings over two years of operations and event management experience, playing a significant role in the coordination of regional events for an international client as well as operation roles within college and professional athletics. In addition to operations and labor related support for General Sessions at the BCEC and the Hynes Convention Center, he will be facilitating the growth of JCALPRO’s social media initiatives. He is a passionate New York Giants football fan who enjoys fall weather and backyard barbecues.

Robert Fitch
ESTA Safety and Training Manager

As a Northeastern University graduate, earning a degree in the music industry, Robert worked at Great Woods/ Tweeter Center for six years, and has financial experience working at a software company. Robert is ETCP Arena Rigging certified, and has a 1C license to operate fork lifts, booms, and various hydraulic lifts. With 11 years of stagehand experience, and eight years of rigging experience, Robert has dedicated himself to making sure all JCALPRO employees operate and remain safe.

Steve Olean

Having worked at over 500 venues across the country and outside of the United States including Russia, all of Europe, India, Romania, and the Philippines, Steve brings 30 years of experience in the rigging/ traveling rigging business. Steve was head rigger with Billy Joel for 15 years, head rigger with Elton John and Cher for 8 years, and with The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, and Journey.

Pat Ryan

With over 28 years experience in rigging and stagehand, grip, lighting, stage and production management, Pat has acted as head production rigger at hundreds of convention centers across the country, and traveled as a touring production rigger at hundreds of arenas and stadiums in America and Europe; including eight years in Grammy awards production, Major League Baseball All- Star games, and concerts such as, ACDC, White Snake, Guns and Roses, Cinderella, The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Dave Matthews Band, Billy Joel, and Aerosmith. Pat is a business agent for The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees’ (IATSE) Local 23. He holds a Harry Donovan certification, fork lift certification, 481 aerial lift certification, Nation’s Rent aerial lift certification, and United Staging equipment certifications.

Brendan Murray
Lighting Director

Brendan joined JCALPRO in 2012 and brings over 15 years of lighting and event experience. He earned his BA in lighting design at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and spent two years as the Master Electrician for the Williamstown Theater Festival. Brendan went on to 11 years as a Project Manager and later Production Manager for a Boston-based lighting firm. Brendan is an avid draftsperson, programmer, and is ETCP certified. He has a long background in theater, live events, trade shows, and live television and has spent his last four summers on tour with the Antiques Roadshow, as their Master Electrician. He is an adjunct professor at Boston University, where he teaches a course on lighting and electrics. He has many leather bound books, and it is kind of a big deal.

Kristin Merritt

Kristin has over seven years of all- around experience, including stagehand, electric, sound, video, and rigging. She has a license for the 481 aerial rigging lift, and her 1C stage license for other various aerial lifts. Kristin has worked at Meadow Brook Farm in New Hampshire, Comcast/Tweeter Center, Dunkin Donuts Arena, Orpheum Theatre, Manchester Verizon Wireless Arena, State Theater in Portland, Maine, Colonial Theatres in Keene, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Boston Garden, The Boston Opera House, the Providence Performance Arts Center, Gillette Stadium, Fenway Park, Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee, Camp Jeep in Virginia, Bayside Exposition Center, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Agganis Arena, Harvard, Tufts, Brown University, the Boston Marathon, Boston College, The Avalon, and The Roxy.

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“This event allowed me to work with JCALPRO for the first time and that turned out to be a benefit far exceeding whatever expectations I had coming into the Hynes…. The hand selected crews that were organized were first rate…The show was installed and ran ahead of schedules and under budget the whole way… They [JCALPRO] are a great asset to the MCCA.”

Steve Botkin
Technical Director
The Kenwood Group
Hewlett Packard Event