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.
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.
Her name is Imani Murphy. She recently graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s in Communications. Imani have always had a passion for writing and being an overall content creator. In her free time she writes and creates beauty, fashion and lifestyle content for her social media platforms. In a few years Imani would love to be an author with her own book series and to continue her journey of being a content creator.
Hector Laguna is a University of Florida graduate with a degree in journalism. Growing up playing in punk bands and skateboarding in Bolivia, he became interested in the creative process for multiple media forms. He also worked as a line cook for a few restaurants during his college years in Gainesville, Florida. He likes spending his free time going to rock n’ roll shows, reading, and watching 80s B-movies. He would love to go to Barcelona one day to skate all their spots and eat all their food.
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.
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!
Malachi Mitchell is a recent graduate from Binghamton University with a degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He has a passion for writing and creating things that inspire him and others. Malachi was born and raised in Queens, NYC and has deep pride for his city that he loves so much. He loves music, movies, television, basketball and analyzing all of them. He is growing a brand of his own and plans to become a visionary creative that the world has not seen yet.
Rachel Craddock is a student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her majors are English and Communication Studies and she hopes to have a focus in News Writing. In addition to interest in news, she enjoys creative writing, listening to music, and spending time with her family.
Saschael Carter is a recent graduate from Howard University with a degree in English and a concentration in creative writing. She was born and raised in NYC and is a New Yorker to the core. She spends her free time writing short stories, novels, and poetry, having picnics in the
park, and practicing Muay Thai and Jiu-jitsu. Her goal is to be a best-selling author and live in at least six other countries.
Shelby Zunker is a recent graduate from Cardinal Stritch University with a degree in English and concentration on film studies. Originally from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, she loves all things creative including painting, drawing, reading, and writing. Specifically, she enjoys writing fiction and analyzing film and tv. Shelby hopes to one day publish her own novel and have written her own screenplay.
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