Carnegie Mellon University

Master of Entertainment Industry Management

The Next Chapter

MEIM Advisory Committee Member John Gresch Looks to the Future

written by
Gabrielle Lossia & Dan Green

It’s time for John Gresch to enjoy a new phase of his life: Spending time with loved ones
and focusing on personal creative interests. John, a Carnegie Mellon Master of Entertainment Industry Management Advisory Committee member and School of Drama alumnus, recently celebrated his retirement from ARRI Lighting and Camera. There, he was senior vice president of sales and marketing, and he spent more than 36 years providing the best lighting and camera equipment to the motion picture and television industries.

“Leading teams with creativity, innovation and emotional intelligence, Gresch provided outstanding customer service and fostered genuine relationships with colleagues and clients alike."

Daniel Green
Director, Master of Entertainment Industry Management

“During his time at ARRI, he had the honor of accepting an Engineering Emmy on behalf of
the company, but his illustrious career started in a place familiar to many of us — high
school theatre. And that eventually led him to CMU’s School of Drama,” Green said.

After graduating from CMU with a degree in lighting design, Gresch moved to Los Angeles
and worked at Berkey Colortran, a manufacturer of lighting products. He and two fellow CMU
alumni then started a venture called Excalibur Cases — specializing in equipment cases.
Although it was a great learning experience, the business was not what Gresch had
envisioned, and he transitioned to become a regional sales manager at ARRI.

He spent the next three decades growing as a leader at ARRI through his execution of
business planning, sales strategy and production management, helping to grow the brand
recognition of ARRI Lighting. He also became involved as a board member and eventual
president of CMU's West Coast Drama Alumni Clan (WCDAC). Gresch was a bridge for recent
School of Drama grads making their way into the entertainment industry.

“John is a natural leader and mentor. He loves helping others reach their goals and excels at building lasting relationships. John’s legacy of mentorship will be honored by a new ARRI internship program coming this fall, which will bear his name.”

Daniel Green
Director, Master of Entertainment Industry Management

Mentoring through the MEIM program, even indirectly, came naturally to Gresch, who
served as a MEIM Advisory Committee member. Through WCDAC, Gresch met Dan Martin, a CMU faculty member and eventual dean of the College of Fine Arts, who was developing a master's program that included a year of practical work in Los Angeles for those looking to receive an education in the management of screen-based media. Martin invited Gresch to be a part of the newly formed MEIM Advisory Committee before the program even had a home space in L.A. His guidance, together with many diverse industry professionals, helped to develop the MEIM curriculum, its internships, and ways to market the program to the industry.

“We at MEIM are grateful that John said ‘yes’ all those years ago to serving as an advisor
to the MEIM program,” Green said. “We wish John the best of luck in this new chapter,
and we’re excited for him to take some time to focus on someone who has always taken a
back seat until now — himself.”

Now, as he looks forward to his personal journey for the future, Gresch provided one last
mentoring exercise to MEIM students and recent alumni:

“Find a balance between your professional and personal passions,” he said. “It can be
devastating when things go awry, but having mentorships and people to turn to when
things seem overwhelming will be extremely valuable. As for me, I had wonderful mentors, many who were Carnegie Mellon alumni.”

featuring the following:

photo (left to right): Emanuel ‘Manny’ Treeson*, Cassidy Pearsall*, Andrew Schmedake*, Drew Findley*, Dan Efros*, Kristen Merlino*, Juliet Brown*, Jeff Ravitz, Chris Werner*, John Gresch*, Ryan Fletcher, Cindy Limauro**, Christopher Popovich, Laura Tetlow, Jim Tetlow*, Stephen Gresch (son), Dan Green*

* Carnegie Mellon Alumni
** Carnegie Mellon Professor