Our Team

CEO

John “Gungie” Rivera

John “Gungie” Rivera

Bio:

John “Gungie” Rivera is considered one of the finest “conductors” in the music and nightlife space.   His journey began in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx while witnessing the way music always brought his family together.

Gungie, the first word that was ever uttered out of his mouth, became his moniker early on.  The name also became synonymous with introducing various venues to the masses so they could enjoy new genres of music in hip-hop and freestyle.

John “Gungie” Rivera started his career as a DJ, introducing the world to the classics we enjoy today.  His passion for music and bringing people together quickly led him to becoming one of the most sought-after nightclub promoters in New York City history.

Beginning his journey in the late 1980’s, Gungie would dominate the nightclub scene for three decades.  That path would place him as the “Go-To” if you needed your record played, your band put on a stage, or wanted the best entertainment experience New York had to offer.

Gungie, never satisfied with complacency, transitioned over to becoming a well-respected Music Industry executive, producing hits and eventually landing his own recording label, “Prestigio”, under the Sony Discos umbrella.  Gungie struck immediate gold as label CEO when his first artist introduced under the “Prestigio” title became the fastest selling independent artist in Sony Discos Distributed Label history to go Gold.

Gungie tied all of his contributions together when he formed Prestige Productions, which boasted industry-leading clients from television, radio, and Corporate America.  Prestige Productions also became one of the largest concert promoters in the Latin and urban genres in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Japan.

Despite all the success and accolades that Gungie has achieved, his most rewarding achievement is to give back to the community and youth.

When the political world approached Gungie’s company to engage a younger demographic to vote and understand the issues that are impacting our youth, he leveraged the power of music and created “Salsa the Vote”.  The campaign empowered our youth and involved them in decisions that affected their future.  Gungie also organized marketing and fundraising campaigns for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, produced the annual galas for Promesa Foundation, and was part of a Latino division for the charitable organization LIFEBeat.

Out of his love for the arts and cultural engagement, Gungie has done work for the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater and co-produced plays for Teatro SEA, a bilingual non-profit organization founded in Puerto Rico that produces socially conscious and educational productions for children and young adults. Some of the company’s famous plays include The Roberto Clemente DC-7 playas well as La Gloria, a play honoring the life of Celia Cruz and other iconic Latin singers.

Creative Director

Bryan Vallejo

Bryan Vallejo

Bio:
Bryan Vallejo is an instrumental member of the Cristian Rivera Foundation. Bryan attended the Borough of Manhattan Community College where he received his Associate’s in multimedia programming. He continued his education at the Institute of Pittsburgh for animation. Bryan has always had a passion for drawing and creating images so that they can come to life. One of his biggest accomplishments was the opportunity to illustrate “Cristian’s Journey” written by CRF Founder, John “Gungie” Rivera. Bryan is grateful for the potential that John saw in him, as well as his role in CRF.

 

Senior Editor

Leslie Williams

Leslie Williams

Bio:
Leslie Williams is a student of Political Science and Geography, as well as a lifelong writer.  She lives in California with her sister, two cats, and a dog.  She is deeply passionate about political issues, especially in regards to human rights and civil liberties.  When she isn’t working on school, writing articles, or working on essays, Leslie enjoys reading and writing fiction.

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Junior Editors

Amanda M. Castro

Amanda M. Castro

Bio:
Amanda M. Castro is a fourth-year journalism major with minors in English and political science at the University of New Haven in West Haven, CT. Originally from Puerto Rico and currently living in New York, Amanda is a well-rounded and focused writer with a desire to write and inform. After graduating in December, she hopes to continue working passionately in the field of journalism to inspire and help people around the world feel represented and informed. In her free time, Amanda writes, reads, and listens to music.

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David Wilderotter

David Wilderotter

Bio:
David Wilderotter is originally from northern New Jersey and has lived there his whole life. He is currently a rising senior at Monmouth University  in West Long Branch, New Jersey majoring in Communications, with a concentration in Media Studies and Production. His main interests are music, television, and sports. He is a big fan of TV sitcoms, and loves watching them any chance he can. He also loves basketball, and prides himself as a Knicks fan. He also enjoys writing about a wide range of topics, and hopes to be able to continue to write in some capacity upon graduating. In his free time, David enjoys going on walks, playing basketball, listening to music, and spending time with his family. 

 

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Team

Jimmy Lu

Jimmy Lu

Bio:
Jimmy Lu is a recent graduate from Penn State University with a Telecommunications degree. He’s originally from Taiwan and enjoys traveling, watching movies, TV shows, and listening to music. Jimmy has a passion for film and TV, and he hopes that he can be working in the industry in the future where he can get to create diverse stories.

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Madison Clark

Madison Clark

Bio:
Madison Clark is from Southern California. She is originally from Connecticut but is currently a college student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Her major is business, but she hopes to move into a concentration of marketing, fashion design, and advertising. Madison has always enjoyed being a writer and learning all about the fashion industry. She also has a passion for writing book reviews, bringing awareness to various political issues, and being an advocate for the body positivity movement. She is excited to not only develop as a person but as a writer and student!

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Melanie Kessinger

Melanie Kessinger

Bio: 
Melanie Kessinger is a third-year English major with a minor in Italian at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Melanie grew up in Marin County, California and her passions for nature and horseback riding often inspire her writing. After graduating from college, she hopes to become a teacher and inspire young children with her love of journalism and reading. Melanie also enjoys spending time with her dog, Mocha, and wandering the aisles of Barnes & Noble. 

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Melody Smith

Melody Smith

Bio:
Melody Smith is a second year Media Studies major at Emerson College. She is from New Jersey where she spent a lot of time with her friends and family. She loves learning, and spends a lot of time analyzing film, television. She loves exploring the world of entertainment and how it connects to people. Aside from her schoolwork, she writes in her freetime– mostly creatively. In the future, she would like to explore PR and Marketing. She is looking forward to learning even more, and growing as a writer.

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Priscilla Saerang

Priscilla Saerang

Bio:
Priscilla Saerang is from Northridge, California. She is a freshman and the student body Director of Public Relations at Moorpark College, hoping to transfer to a four-year university by Fall 2022. She is also part of the honors program and is majoring in Communications. Outside of school, Priscilla is a part-time barista. Additionally, she exercises consistently and values all-around health and fitness. She is hoping to pursue a lifestyle of marketing and public relations and leaning towards an interest in film or fitness.