While at the University of Houston in the early 1990s, Eric Balderas was busy preparing for his future position with Premier Store Fixtures, even if he wasn’t aware of it yet. He was already working in the graphic communications industry while earning his degree, honing the talents he began developing at Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. His thirst for knowledge would soon lead him in a northwesterly direction.
Upon his graduation, he decided to further his studies, seeking out the renowned Gordon Gilkey, who just happened to be teaching at Pacific Northwest College of Art, which coincidentally is located in Portland, OR. Two years of art and design led to the completion of his thesis, and the landing of a full-time position as Digital General Manager at Big Graphics. Roughly 730 days later, he moved to Infinity Images. Now, after nearly a dozen years there as an art director, designer, production manager, senior project manager, and director of business development, that preparation which began in Houston has reached fruition with Eric joining Premier Store Fixtures as its Director of Business Development.
“I’m very happy to be here and add my experience to the Premier creative team,” he says. “There’s tremendous talent here, and a number of people I’ve worked with in the past, so when this position became available, I couldn’t turn it down. To be part of such an amazing group is extremely exciting.”
There were other factors that made joining the Premier team attractive to Eric, as well. “I’m a process-oriented person,” he notes; “I like working ‘hands-on’ with brands, being part of the process. Working at an agency wouldn’t allow me to be involved with the broad assortment of brands available, helping them achieve goals from concept through completion. I’ve spent many years on projects involving POP, fixturing, apparel and signs for retail/graphic communications, and permanent display environments, so I’m really looking forward to what I’ll be doing as part of the Premier team.”
Another major reason Eric was eager to bring his talent and experience to Premier was a shared dedication to “sustainability”. A long-time advocate of sustainable philosophies, this is a way of thinking that Eric was on the forefront of increasing awareness and utilization of, not only in Oregon but all along the West Coast. In fact, he spearheaded an industry committee on behalf of his former employer that led to them becoming the first third-party certified company in Portland. As a result of his and others’ efforts, these philosophies are now a mandate for every company on the industry’s supply side. He also sits on the advisory committee of the world renown, “The Natural Step Network”, a non-profit organization started in the 80’s to help transform business and community awareness and practices.
“A sustainable philosophy is one where we realize that every decision we make has an effect on both our workplace and external environment,” he explains. “It forces us to develop solutions that not only protect these environments, but make good sense for the company’s bottom line, as well. In this way, when we make decisions about issues like standardization and work flow, we’re careful about how money is spent, and make sure we also account for the long-term effects of what we’re doing.
“Premier Store Fixtures enjoys a reputation for employing sustainable philosophies to deliver creative excellence and unsurpassed reliability,” Balderas continues. “This, along with their dedication to working closely with retailers and brands to create innovative, highly-functional retail environments that dazzle the senses and move merchandise, make them a company with a proud past and an exciting future. Which makes me very excited to be their new Director of Business Development.”