The Inland Empire Media Academy Thanks
2014 Key Note Speaker
Garner L Holt founded the company that bears his name in July 1977, at age 16, in his hometown of San Bernardino, CA, where the company’s headquarters remains today. Two years earlier, a visit to Disneyland’s “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” Show, featuring an animatronic version of the 16th president, sparked Garner’s lifelong fascination with the art and technology of animatronics. Following his early teenage years of creating simple animated figures and moving props for backyard haunted houses and school projects, Garner started his own company while still in high school, a fledging business originally housed in his parent’s garage. Garner Holt Productions, Inc. (GHP) has since grown to over 60,000 Square feet of design and manufacturing space throughout a three building, multi-acre creative campus and employs dozen of engineers, artist and technicians. Garner is the world’s leading authority on animatronics history, technology, and emerging techniques.
After more than three decades of business, GHP is the internationally recognized leader in the design and manufacture of animatronic figures, show and ride systems, show action equipment, special effects, and sets and scenery. Under Garner’s creative direction, the company has built nearly 5,000 animatronic characters, from songbirds to dragons, giant horses to jelly fish, and pirates to president. Almost 500 of these figures were created or Disney theme parks around the world. GHP has created over 475 animatronic shows for Chuck E. Cheese restaurants. Through years of creative and technological developments, the company Garner founded as a teenager now stands at the forefront of entertainment, education, and scientific advances in its unique field. Clients include such prestigious names as The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, MGM, Knott’s Berry Farm, NASA, Lockheed Martin, Chuck E. Cheese, Coca-Cola, Mutual of Omaha, Nike, Mattel and McDonald’s restaurants, among hundreds of others.
Garner and GHP have received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Themed Entertainment Association’s 2013 Buzz Price Awards Recognizing a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements, the 2011 Inland Empire District Small Business Person of the Year Award, Ernst & Young Technology Entrepreneur Award of 2006 presented by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship, 2000 Cal State University San Bernardino Entrepreneur of the year, 2001 Leader of Distinction, and eighteen Thea Awards for outstanding theme park attractions, in addition to dozens more for both entrepreneurship and creative achievement. He currently serves on the Board of Governors and the Board of the College of Arts and Letters at California State University San Bernardino, and is president of G.D.H. Ministries, A California 501(c)3 organization.