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    John Eric Henry of Pinnacle Drone Light Shows

    John Eric Henry is a trailblazer in the growing field of drone light shows. These spectacular displays, with unmanned lighted aerial vehicles flying in coordination, do not emit the noise and chemical pollution of traditional fireworks and they can generate more controlled imagery. Drone light shows can even take place indoors, leading to jaw-dropping three-dimensional effects either by themselves or in coordination with performers or other art displays. It is little wonder that Bay Area-based Pinnacle Drone Light Shows—one of only 6 companies producing such shows in the U.S.—is in high demand both state-wide and nationally.

    John Eric Henry
    Photos Courtesy of Pinnacle Drone Light Shows

    GGBA: Please tell us more about Pinnacle Drone Light Shows.

    John Eric Henry: Pinnacle Drone Light Shows creates stunning aerial light displays using advanced drone technology. The company delivers unique entertainment experiences for various events, such as festivals, corporate events, public celebrations, and private parties. We aim to revolutionize event entertainment through innovative drone technology, providing mesmerizing, eco-friendly, and safe aerial light displays that leave lasting impressions.

    Our core values are:

    • Innovation: Constantly pushing the boundaries of drone technology to create more spectacular and intricate light shows.
    • Safety: Prioritizing the protection of the audience and the environment in every show, adhering to strict safety protocols and regulations.
    • Sustainability: Committed to eco-friendly practices, using energy-efficient drones, and minimizing environmental impact.
    • Excellence: Striving for perfection in every performance, ensuring high quality, precision, and reliability.
    • Customer Satisfaction: Focused on exceeding customer expectations and delivering unforgettable experiences tailored to each event’s theme and audience.

    GGBA: Why did you decide to create Pinnacle?

    John Eric Henry: I was itching for a fresh challenge after having crafted hundreds of indoor and large festival spectacles. Then, in 2018, while watching the Winter Olympics in Beijing, I had my “eureka” moment! Mesmerized by the aerial display of light show drones, making a panda in the sky, I exclaimed, ‘That’s it!’ Inspired, I dove into three books: The Disney Way, The Story of P.T. Barnum, and The History of Cirque du Soleil. These books were my muses, sparking the birth of Pinnacle Drone Light Shows. It was like a sprinkle of fairy dust on my creative journey, and voilà, Pinnacle became one of the four elite organizations globally performing drone light shows. And just like that, a new chapter of magical history began!

    GGBA: Who are some of your role models, and especially those who helped to influence Pinnacle?

    John Eric Henry: P.T. Barnum of the Barnum Bailey Circus, Arthur Navlet of Children’s Fairyland in Oakland, Walt Disney, and Guy Laliberté of Cirque Du Soleil.

    GGBA: Why did you decide to join the Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA), and how long have you been a member?

    John Eric Henry: I joined the GGBA with a clear vision: to intertwine Pinnacle’s flair for spectacle with the art of brand storytelling, both for the GGBA and its clients. Recognizing a ripe market among event planners and business professionals, I saw an opportunity to help them captivate their audiences and vividly highlight their missions. In a world of endless blah-blah, Pinnacle aims to bring a “wow” factor, turning ordinary events into unforgettable narratives in the sky.

    GGBA: How has being a member of GGBA helped your business so far?

    John Eric Henry: Returning to the GGBA feels like hopping back on a familiar bike. As a past board member who spearheaded event development, networking, and East Bay meetups, I’m rekindling old flames. It takes a moment to regain that rhythm, but once I’m rolling, it’s like moving at lightning speed. I am here to reignite connections and create dazzling new paths, just like the old times—but faster and brighter!

    GGBA: Do you go to the GGBA monthly Make Contact networking events? Have they benefited you and your business, and would you recommend them to others?

    John Eric Henry: Stepping into my first Make Contact event in over six years felt like walking into a family reunion. Surrounded by many new faces and a handful of familiar ones from my earlier days, I thought the atmosphere blended fresh energy and nostalgic warmth. It reminded us how far we’ve come and how the GGBA continues to be a vibrant, ever-evolving community.”

    GGBA: What other advice would you give to someone who is thinking of starting their own business?

    John Eric Henry: Starting your own business? Here’s some advice, served with a side of humor:

    • Be like a duck: Stay calm on the surface but paddle like mad underneath. In business, as in duck ponds, it’s about appearing serene while navigating the crazy.
    • Coffee is your new best friend. Embrace caffeine. Coffee is not just a drink; it’s a survival juice. Remember, behind every successful entrepreneur is a substantial amount of coffee.
    • Plan for Plan B. Your first idea might not be your best. It’s like ordering at a restaurant—sometimes, the side dish is more delicious than the main course.
    • Embrace your inner squirrel. Save like one, especially for winter. Or in business terms, for the lean times. Acorns or dollars, it’s all about stashing.
    • Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons. Stand out, be bold, and occasionally stand on one leg if it helps (okay, maybe not the last part).
    • Expect the unexpected. Like a cat chasing its tail, in business, sometimes what you’re after can be right behind you.
    • Master the art of the nap. Power naps are power moves. Recharge yourself to recharge your business. I take my power nap religiously every day around 3 pm for only 20 minutes max.
    • Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. They were laying bricks every hour. Your empire will take time, too, so keep laying those bricks!
    • Finally, laugh often. It’s the best free investment you can make in your business and sanity.

    Remember, entrepreneurship is a wild ride—best enjoyed with a sense of humor and a willingness to roll with the punches!

    GGBA: You are on a roll here! All of this is helpful, well-earned advice. Anything else to share?

    John Eric Henry:

    • Embrace the Tech Tango. At Pinnacle Drone Light Shows, we dance with drones! My advice? Find your “drone” (aka your tech niche) and lead it in a tango of innovation. It’s like teaching a robot to salsa—tricky but spectacular!
    • Networking is not just schmoozing, but wooing. In the art of networking, I’ve learned it’s less about schmoozing and more about wooing. Treat every handshake like the start of a beautiful friendship or a sitcom-worthy partnership.
    • Sustainability is not just for tree huggers. Going green isn’t just for tree-huggers—even us drone-lovers do it! My mantra: If your drones can be eco-friendly, so can your coffee cups. Save the planet, one latte at a time!

    GGBA Member Spotlight
    Published on February 22, 2024