Paul Rockhill, technical specialist for Fiesta Convention Decorators in McAllen, has created "the look" for several important high-profile events at The University of Texas-Pan American, including preparations for the visits of President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore two years ago.
Rockhill and numerous others are preparing draping, carpeting, decorations, lighting, and video and audio connections for the three-day U.S.-Mexico Border Summit, Aug. 22-24 at UTPA. It will bring together high-ranking officials from both countries, representatives of major national foundations and corporate leaders to examine international trade, energy, telecommunications, utility infrastructure corridor development, border manufacturing opportunities, water, housing and health issues.
"I'm glad today is here because so much preparation and work has gone into doing this. In fact, I have been working on this (event) for the past two months," Rockhill said.
Rockhill has done numerous other political and entertainment events, including President Ronald Reagan's and Vice President George Bush's visit to McAllen in the '80s, and Jerry Lewis' stage show in McAllen.
For the Border Summit, Rockhill and his crew plan to drape the UTPA Fieldhouse in royal blue carpeting and drapery. They will also provide lighting and the technical support to guarantee the event runs smoothly.
"We've expanded into audio/visual services, and we will be coordinating a lot with the UTPA audio/visual staff," Rockhill said.
The Fieldhouse will feature big projection screens. Teleconferencing will be made possible between Washington, D.C., and Mexico, transmitted through the Internet. Rockhill has done convention decorating since 1978 and enjoys his work and meeting new people.
"It's an exciting adventure because you get to use your creativity to its fullest," Rockhill said. "When it's done, it's done, and it's nice to know you are a part of history."