Alumnus Joe Champelli ’90 will be inducted into the College of Fine Arts Hall of Fame at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 15, in the Center for Performing Arts Theatre. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on the stage, immediately prior to the opening production of Alice in Wonderland.
Champelli is director of mechanical design for Entertainment Project Services LLC (EPS), where he uses his 25 years of experience in machinery design, operations, and project management to provide clients with comprehensive mechanical designs. In this position, Champelli enjoys tackling new and unique challenges, coordinating efforts on projects both large and small, from temporary events to permanent installations for theme parks and hotel/casinos.
Champelli began his career in Las Vegas working on large special projects including the Pirate Battle at Treasure Island and the Cirque Du Soleil O showroom. As head of automated rigging for the Siegfried and Roy show, Champelli developed his appreciation for robust machine design.
For 11 years, Champelli served as chief operations officer and mechanical designer for Fisher Technical Services Inc. (FTSI) During his tenure, FTSI grew from two to 100+ employees and completed major new construction projects such as the Le Rêve showroom and front feature at Wynn Resorts, as well as the 600-foot long nightly flight of Tinkerbell at Disneyland.
Prior to joining EPS, Champelli spent five years as the general manager and lead mechanical designer for ZFX Inc., where he helped grow the business and refine operations. In 2004 he joined the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) and has volunteered with the Rigging Working Group to help create ANSI standards that promote safety in the theatre/entertainment industry. The most recent of these standards, ANSI E1.43, which covers performer flying, was published in February 2016.
Champelli holds an M.F.A. in technical production from Penn State University and a B.S. in design from Illinois State University. In his free time Champelli enjoys playing board games and throwing hatchets with his wife of 20 years and their three children.
Tickets for the Friday night production of Alice in Wonderland are required for the Hall of Fame event and can be purchased by calling the Center for the Performing Arts Box Office at (309) 438-2535.
From the novels by Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland is written by Eva Le Gallienne and Florida Friebus, and directed by Jessika Malone. This production is suitable for audiences of all ages.