The Team

Sohail e. Najafi

Sohail e. Najafi

Principal Designer | Chief Creative Officer

Sohail e. Najafi began his career designing primarily for the stage, but in 2008 broadened his ambitions to include design for special events and concerts. In 2014 he added design for multi-camera television to his repertoire with his first full-length network special. In the time since, his designs have premiered on networks such as Comedy Central, Netflix, and Showtime.

Additionally, Sohail thoroughly enjoys designing rich and imaginative lighting designs for permanent installations ranging from performance venues to themed entertainment environments and high energy nightlife experiences.

 

Over the past twelve years, Sohail has developed a method that is based on individually tailored service coupled with strict attention to detail to create only the most exceptional of designs. Originating from Northern California, Sohail settled in Los Angeles after attending UCLA's School of Theater, Film, & Television, where he received a formal education in stage design and directing with specialties in both lighting and sound design.  IMDb

Joshua Cuellar

Joshua Cuellar

Principal Technical Producer | Chief Operating Officer

Joshua began his career in entertainment as a musician.  As a classically trained pianist, he found himself crossing over into the world of theatre by playing piano in the orchestra pit for many musicals in and around his community.  Although his passion for music quickly evolved into a broader passion for design, however Joshua still relies on his musical origins to create refined lighting designs with a uniquely dynamic flare.  A California native, Joshua received a formal education in theatrical design from UCLA’s school of Theater, Film, & Television. 

 

Prior to co-founding Stories Illuminated™, Joshua served as head of the Entertainment Production Services electrics department at Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas.  While tenured there, he learned to combine his artistic and technical knowledge with an unparalleled level of service.

 

Joshua’s specialization primarily focuses around large scale corporate and premium special events.  With a keen eye for details, Joshua enjoys the technical challenges involved with managing collaborations among teams. 

Derek Jones

Derek Jones

Designer

Derek’s journey into the arts began as an actor and musician.  As his interest in live performance grew, he transitioned into design, collaborating on works for fashion, museum, dance, and theater along the eastern seaboard including New York, Washington D.C., and Virginia.

 

Specializing in architectural lighting design for hospitality and themed environments, Derek supports our Architainment division with unending creative energy and technical prowess.

 

Derek holds adjunct professorships at three Southern California colleges including Glendale College, Long Beach City College, and Los Angeles City College.

He received both a BA in Theatre and BS in Physics from The George Washington University and his MFA in Lighting Design from Indiana University.

Alyssa Najafi
Vincent A. Sanchez

Alyssa Najafi

Operations & HR Manager

Alyssa first crossed paths with sie serving as Production Stage Manager on a project with one of our principal designers. Since then, her incredible talent for enabling organization, coordination, and collaboration among creatives and clients has become a core contributing force to the firm's continued success and growth. 

In addition to her daily responsibilities maintaining the firm's operational affairs, Alyssa manages sie 's staff of creative technology specialists & technicians. 

Vincent A. Sanchez

Systems & Technology Specialist | Programmer
Q-SYS Certification

From an early age, Vincent has always been fascinated with how things integrate together to create something greater. He serves the Stories Illuminated™ team as our resident technology specifier and programmer.

 

Always the tinkerer and technophile, with a background in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington, Vincent adds a thirst for discovering new technologies, tools, and methods for creative story-telling that never stops pushing the team towards new levels of creativity. 

Mi Young 'Mimi' Lograsso

Finance & Office Administrator

Before joining the sie team, Mimi served in the Finance Department of

The Rose Bowl Aquatics Center where she managed financial interactions with all visiting organizations, live events, as well as guests. At sie she oversees daily administration and finance.

Mimi is excited to work alongside the ever-growing sie team.

Matthew Bakken

Matthew Bakken

Master Electrician | Programmer 

ETCP Certification

Matthew Bakken brings over 22 years of lighting experience to sie as an ETCP Certified Entertainment Electrician. His expertise spans a wide range of projects including theater, concerts, weddings, special events, and corporate productions. Before joining our Las Vegas office, Matthew co-led the Wynn Entertainment Production Services Lighting Department.

 

Matt is proud to be a member of the sie team, supporting the ideals and standards set forth by our principal partners.

Dayton Turney

Dayton Turney

Video & Projection Specialist | Programmer

Resolume & TouchDesigner