Age 32. President and Owner, Zasco Productions
Michael Zaskey’s career began at age 11, when his father brought home a camcorder, and Zaskey immediately dove into the box.
After learning his way around the camera, he devoted much of his time to amateur filming, until one of his dad’s co-workers gave Zaskey his first break that same year. He taped her wedding, and later, one of the bridesmaids asked him to tape hers, as well. A business was born.
“By the time I got to high school, I was videotaping about 40 weddings a year,” he said, adding that he and his father officially established Zasco Productions when he was 15.
Many years later, Zaskey hasn’t changed his habits much — he still loves new technology and still takes the time to learn how to use every new piece of equipment he procures. But what has changed are the trappings. Zaskey, who began his enterprise in his parents’ basement, has recently moved from a small office into a new, larger space on McKinstry Avenue in Chicopee.
The business has also shifted, from video production to live events, for which Zasco provides audio-visual, multi-media, and lighting services. The current client list includes Springfield Technical Community College, Baystate Health, Big Y, LEGO, the Sisters of Providence Health System, and dozens of others.
“I love my job even at the most stressful times,” Zaskey said. “It continues to be a hobby for me — if I don’t have anything I have to be doing on a Saturday, there’s still a good chance I’m in the office, playing with equipment.”
That passion has led to some unique business practices, such as weekly training sessions with his employees, and it has earned Zaskey some accolades, including being named the Chicopee Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year for 2007.
Moving forward, Zaskey said he’s focused on controlled growth for his company, aiming to progress without losing the ability to take an active role at clients’ events. He also credits his team, some who’ve been with him since the basement days, and his parents, and hopes to give back to friends, family, and community.
He also never wants to lose the joy his job brings. As a child, he said he was more amazed by the lighting displays at Disney World than the characters. Today, he’s an avid concert-goer, but still often looks away from the band — to check out the production pit.