B.A.S.S. EVENT DIRECTOR ON TOP OF GAME
Like the roadies in Jackson Browne’s song “The Load-Out,” Eric Lopez and his team are the “first to come and the last to leave” at Bassmaster events.
Unlike the roadies, Lopez ain’t “working for that minimum wage.” He’s the director of event operations at B.A.S.S. and literally runs the shows.
And like roadies, his efforts often go unnoticed by fans, yet those he works for sure appreciate them.
Lopez is a major asset at B.A.S.S. as his experience and knowledge putting on large events has helped the Classic and Elite Series events run smoothly for the past 17 years.
“People always ask me how a guy from inner city Chicago ended up in charge of B.A.S.S. events,” he said, adding that’s a long story weaved through major international events. “I ended up here because I was willing to take a risk.”
“I was following the safe path, the same path everyone around me was following. I was going to school for a business degree. The end result would be working in a bank in a big city somewhere. I knew the money was there, but that path seemed very boring. I got the degree but figured out a way to put it to use in another industry that seemed a lot more interesting.”
Lopez had compiled an impressive resume in event coordination before a chance meeting with JM Associates people in Lake Placid, N.Y. One of them, Angie Thompson, is now B.A.S.S. VP of events and sponsorship activation, and she has Lopez to thank for keeping her stress levels down.
“What he brings is the experience from so many big venues, and he’s really unflappable,” she said. “Five years ago when I started working the event side, that first Classic I was very, very nervous … second Classic I was kind of nervous.
“Now I don’t worry about it because Eric is so good. No matter what goes wrong, he always figures out a solution. He’s unflappable. Never stresses out. I can’t speak highly enough about him.”