Paverd followed no straight lines to his success


Article by Linda Relyea

Laurence Paverd

A great story may be experienced like a poem, flowing from one stanza to the next, perhaps drifting from one thought to another without an obvious connection, yet leading to a gratifying completion. A writer with a poetic sense, Adams State University Alumnus Laurence Paverd '92 has led his life following his instincts and impulses.

Currently, he lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan for Drury Design Dynamics as an executive producer, working mostly on IBM projects. "I have felt the most fulfilled while working as a producer on large public-facing, arts-driven events."

The road to his present career was definitely the less traveled – by way of mining fields in Nevada, a Nashville coffee/book store, pausing for a few beats to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Naropa University, an accredited Tibetan Buddhist University in Boulder, Colo. Then a brief move to Australia and back as a barista in New York, where he also took jobs as a theater carpenter, lighting technician, and sound engineer until, "through a random introduction, I began touring internationally and nationally with a modern dance troupe as their projectionist and later, briefly, as production manager."

Eventually, through touring and working as a technician, Paverd was recruited to help open a performance venue in Brooklyn as their first technical director. "From here I moved increasingly into managing corporate events, while still dividing my time with the theatrical arts. I ultimately teamed up with an ex-Broadway performer, who had starred in Cats and Crazy for You, as his production manager overseeing high-end corporate events for Conde Nast, style and beauty brand launches."

KASF plays part in success

His success had its start in the Adams State radio station. "My most favorite memories are of the countless hours I spent on air at KASF 90.9FM manning 'the wheels of steel' for the World Beat Show, Sunday Morning Jazz, and hosting A Quiet Storm, a short lived talk show."

Those hours behind the KASF board paid off, while attending the Naropa University Paverd worked as "the sound guy" for the Naropa Writing and Poetics Department. His responsibilities included daily setup of microphones, mixing board, and speakers, as well as managing artist's content playback during presentations, performances, lectures and most importantly engineering the archival recordings. This led to work in the performing arts center doing lighting, electrics, staging, sound, videography, stage-management, all of which eventuating in a production manager position for the Dalai Lama's visit to Naropa University in 1997.

When positions in his current career were made available, Paverd had the knowledge and experience to accept them, including the position as managing director of Industria-Creative, a boutique Experiential Marketing Agency. While there he helped create, manage, and produce immersive events, experiences as well as design, rebrand, and relaunch campaigns for companies like American Express, Old Navy, Cle De Peau, Vanity Fair, Shutterfly, and most recently the flagship opening of Porcelanosa USA.

This expanding world of production and working with national brands, first bloomed at Adams State. "Adams State allowed me to explore a wide variety of subjects in a safe, spacious, affordable, and nurturing environment." The curriculum and support also "allowed for questioning, self-exploration, and foundation building, which I have continued to build upon."

Although Paverd enrolled to pursue a degree in biology, it soon became apparent he was a better fit in the humanities. "Dr. Cole Foster and Dr. Koos Daley (emeritus professors of English) soaked my hungry brain in Beowulf, Chaucer, Yeats, T.S. Eliot, John Donne, Sylvia Plath and so on … I can still vividly remember Dr. Daley reading Chaucer's text out loud in Middle English."

Pursuing a degree in English and photography, Paverd also appreciated other courses, including psychology with the late Dr. Marvin Motz emeritus professor of psychology; philosophy with the late Dr. Robert Buchanan; and sociology with Dr. Michael Martin, professor of sociology.

He remembers Grace Norman's, former professor of art, photography classes teaching him perspective, context, and the black-and-white zone system. "I have deep fond memories of the late nights and weekends I spent printing photographs in the art building's dark room, which allowed me endless possibility to explore my creative impulses eventuating in a greater sense of self-discovery."

Humanities and humanity

Adams State activities and clubs helped round out his college education. He became involved with the World Peace Organization, as well as the Foreign Students Club. "It was during my college years that my appetite for study and life-exploration caught fire. I spent my spring breaks working on a Native American Reservation in Arizona with the Hopi and Navajo, followed by working in a Mexican maquiladora shanty-town building roads by hand, and then a summer in Kenai, Alaska working in a fish-packing factory."

This comfort with exploring new destinations continues. "I feel most content when traveling I feel enriched by the stories of those I meet and have met."

He calls his career path "convoluted." He never set a plan, a life mentor, or a pre-established direction. "My heart, for the most part, has been my compass and as I look ahead, my ongoing professional desire is to focus on large-scale unconventional, public facing, arts driven events; ultimately with a historical or social justice end-result. My journey continues to unfold as with my potential, though perhaps never fully unpacked. The destination and journey are in flux, like the fast paced world we work in."