Politics and religion usually don’t mix, except in Christina Wong’s world. In less than 12 months, Wong, vice president at ESM Productions, has helped produce both the pope’s historical visit to Philadelphia as well as events surrounding the Democratic National Convention. Only 10 years ago, she started out as a production intern at ESM Productions, a full-service production and corporate events company in the City of Brotherly Love.
Wong flew up the ladder at ESM, going from production assistant to production coordinator and then production manager, and recently accepted a promotion to VP with the company. Along the way, she has worked on large-scale local events, such as the Phillies World Series Championship Parade & Celebration in 2008 and Philly 4th of July Jam, as well as programs all over the country.
“I always hear it’s unusual for a millennial to be at one company for so long,” says the now-30-year-old, who admits she saw a lot of people come and go in her first few years with ESM. “The job sounds cool at first, but production and planning is tough. It’s a lot of hours, and you have to be flexible. I’m one of the ones who geeked out over all of it.”
When PIDC (Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation) announced ESM had the exclusive opportunity to manage private events at The Navy Yard during the 2016 DNC, we rang up Wong to see what her team had planned for the coveted space. After all, it’s one of the largest and closest venues to the convention floor that can be rented publicly. Oh, and we asked her about being a double minority, working with unions and Mark Wahlberg too.