Leo Bennett, Founder and CEO
Born and raised outside of Buffalo, NY, Leo attended private schools and served as Senior Class President before joining the Marine Corps in 1984. He graduated first in his platoon from Marine Corps boot camp and set sail on a four-year journey that took him around the world. After separating from the service, Leo embarked on a lifelong adventure that was centered around music. The vehicle that started and sustained the ride was the Grateful Dead. After six years on the road from coast to coast and hundreds of events attended, he received an invaluable education in the live event industry. After settling down, Leo found and supported local musical acts, most notably, the band Ekoostik Hookah from Columbus Ohio. The Band’s “Hookahville”, a semi-annual music festival, has been a staple in Central Ohio for over 25 years. Having been a part of Hookahville since its inception, he was able to digest the years of work that it took to create and evolve that festival into what it is today.
Leo is a member in good standing with I.A.T.S.E. Local 12, Columbus, Ohio’s stagehand union. In 2017, after years of work in the festival and music scene, he was asked to provide labor for the Lost Lands music festival at Legend Valley Concert Venue in Ohio. This production proved to be a juggernaut of epic proportions. Leo recruited and managed over 150 stagehands of all skill sets for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 6 weeks, and Pangaea Productions 360 was born. In the years since, he has assembled a team of industry professionals that have been involved in productions around the country. After decades on the other side of the barricade, Leo now helps to create experiences for other people enjoy and embrace.
Gretchen Orr, Founder, Strategy and Business Development
Gretchen resides in Columbus, Ohio and has spent most of her professional life in the Midwest. She has been a music lover all her life beginning with the Beatles, which her parents played on cassette tapes while they road-tripped all over Europe for many years. While in Europe one of her favorite musical experiences was seeing Led Zeppelin at the Frankfurt Festhalle and when she returned to the U.S., she was turned on to the Grateful Dead and never looked back.
Gretchen has 30 years of experience in Operations and Administration 20 years of which she was employed in key operations roles with Fortune 500 companies. She managed a $200 million operations transformation for Victoria’s Secret Stores, chaired the local United Way Campaign on behalf of a large hospital system in Columbus, and directed communications for multi-million dollar projects. She partnered with Leo in 2017 to bring her expertise in operations and strategic planning to Pangaea. Generally behind the scenes at Pangaea, Gretchen prioritizes the goals of Pangaea’s clients and cares deeply about the well-being of Pangaea’s hired contractors.
Alex Caplinger, Executive Director of Operations
Alex was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where music and entertainment have been a central part of her upbringing. Growing up with grandparents that were stage magicians, the energy behind putting on a show and the ability for entertainment to bring people together have always inspired and fascinated her.
Alex graduated from Ohio State University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy. Realizing quickly that she wasn’t cut out for a nine to five office job, Alex went back to school and gained her culinary degree from Columbus State Community College in 2017. She has since bounced around between several jobs, including working as a baker, teaching yoga, leading summer camps, and bartending. Alex joined the Pangaea team in 2018 to help manage the build of Lost Lands Music Festival and has been an integral part of Pangaea ever since.
In 2021, Alex shifted her focus away from her other endeavors to focus on Pangaea full time. In her role as Director of Operations, Alex takes the lead in directing the growth and structure of the company. As the primary point of contact for Pangaea’s clients and subcontractors, she is passionate about making sure that everyone is heard and supported. She is excited to continue to grow with her Pangaea family.
Brookelyn Steinbach, Director of Operations
Brookelyn Steinbach was born in upstate New York, where she grew up being told stories about a historic festival that happened there in the 60s. You guessed it, Woodstock. From those early days she always dreamed about being a part of such an experience. In college she had an interest in music and theater and thought she would be a star on Broadway, to her dismay she was not cut out for the red carpet and took another route. She graduated from Hudson Valley Community College with an associate degree in science.
After several years of exploring different jobs and careers, Brookelyn found her way into the festival scene and moved to Columbus where her story in the music industry truly began. She started a flow arts team which enabled her to learn the ins and outs of behind-the-scenes show production. She realized that she had found what she wanted to do and began networking with as many people as possible at each event. In 2016 she worked her first gig as a stagehand, this is where her love of hard work and showing up the boys began.
In 2021 she became a traveling stagehand full time. Brookelyn’s positive energy and work ethic gained the attention of several production companies, and in 2022 Pangaea asked her to become an integral part of the team. Her experience as a performer and insight as a stagehand gave her the skills she needed to move up the ladder and become part of the operations team with Pangaea. Brookelyn works alongside Alex to support the Pangaea crew and ensure everything runs seamlessly.