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SCN's 2018 Hall of Fame: Gisela Torino

SCN's 2018 Hall of Fame: Gisela Torino

“I used to play in a band.” It’s a phrase we hear often in the audiovisual industry, and one that lights up Gisela Torino’s face. Like many others, her love of music catapulted her into the AV business.

Hailing from the Mendoza province of Argentina, Torino’s first “gig” in the U.S. was live sound; she kept that job for 10 years. “It was a lot of fun,” she said. “I got to hear a lot of really good music while using awesome equipment.”

While doing live sound, Torino, a musician at heart, played guitar on the side. A natural tinkerer, she began to take her effect pedals and modify them to create different sounds. It was then and there that she decided to pursue her passion for sound and electrical engineering.

Currently, Torino is the lead AV technician—among many other roles—at Audio Visual Resources (AVR), where she handles design reviews and all of the programming. She’s been with the company since 2010 and really seems to enjoy it there; working for a small company like AVR, she wears many hats, which suits her well. “You don’t get rusty doing one single thing; I get to do all these different things,” she said.

Torino prefers working solo, but says it’s crucial to every single installation that she has a team that is knowledgeable, reliable, and trustworthy. Part of having a knowledgeable team means continuing education, something Torino is passionate about. Luckily, AVR supports that passion.

“Anyone that knows Mario Maltese, our owner, knows that Mario is pro-education and strives for constant improvement,” she said. “I’m in the perfect place. If I go to a jobsite and feel like there’s something that I’m missing or need better training on, I look for the certification, and I can take the day to do that.”

Torino has clearly taken a lot of time to study the pro AV industry. She holds multiple certifications, including AVIXA’s highly regarded CTS-I and AQAV’s CQT and CQD. “Our industry is a constant puzzle—you have to be troubleshooting and finding different answers, and different ways of doing the same thing all the time,” she said.

With her perpetual pursuit of knowledge to complete that puzzle, Torino has some aspirations outlined. “My goal is to take the CTS-D, which I’ve been pushing aside to take Dante 3 and other certifications; it’s my next step,” she stated.

It takes a community and Torino loves to help others learn. Her advice is to join a study group, and she’s more than happy to have a one-on-one chat with her fellow industry professionals to push them forward. She recently spoke to the AVIXA Women’s NYC Chapter to share her knowledge on her newly adopted “hobby”—projection mapping.

How does one acquire projection mapping as a hobby? It started one day when a band of local musicians wanted to do projections on a circular screen. So, Torino did what she does best: she figured it out. “I got a software, and I started playing with it, and I really fell in love with it,” Torino said.

Since then, Torino has used her experience in AV to create sound triggers, assign the spaces, ensure the correct brightness, create video content, etc. “All this knowledge I have from the AV industry,” she commented, “can be applied to projection mapping to create more artistic installations.”

It’s Torino’s love of the artistic and the technical that makes her a unique, standout individual who will be a part of the AV revolution, drawing in new crowds of people and helping to educate them on the technology that drives novel, exciting experiences.

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.