Edmonton – As of April 1st, the Edmonton Screen Industries Office (ESIO) will have a new CEO. Formerly the Co-founder and CEO of AlignVR, Tom Viinikka is a lifelong entrepreneur who has spent significant time in the tech sector.
“This is an incredible time of opportunity for Edmonton’s screen industries, and our board is thrilled to have Tom Viinikka join us as our new CEO,” says Peggy Garritty, ESIO Board Chair. “Tom brings a rich blend of entrepreneurial experience in virtual reality, gaming, investing, leading and mentoring potential entrepreneurs. He’s a committed Edmontonian who is excited to lead the ESIO staff as they assist the screen industries in pursuing the next level.”
The University of Alberta alum will be helping ESIO take the step from start-up to scale up. Viinikka’s passion lies in the idea of “social VR” where people can connect with others, and he sees technology as a way to bring people together.
“Tom’s first priority will be to connect with as many people as possible in the industry not only to learn about the potential opportunities they see and the challenges their unique industry faces, but also to promote the ESIO and the work our organization does,” says Garritty.
Other priorities Viinikka has for ESIO include accelerating the growth and sustainability of the Edmonton Screen Media Fund (ESMF) and promoting Edmonton as not only a hub of creative talent in the screen industries, but showing what Edmonton is capable of. “I’m excited to immerse myself in the community and to welcome new people to the screen industry as well.” Viinikka continues, “We have an abundance of talent and we’re excited to promote not only the city, but the people themselves.” Expansion of the screen industries within Edmonton Metro and job growth are also top priorities.
When Viinikka isn’t working, he enjoys running and biking, playing music (he even played the cello in the Edmonton Youth Symphony Orchestra), and is currently learning French – he is also fluent in Spanish. Viinikka is a father of five, with a sixth child on the way.
About the ESIO:
The ESIO was established in 2017. It is a non-profit society that serves all of the Edmonton Metro region screen media inclusive of film, television and interactive digital media. Its mission is to catalyze the development, growth and sustainability of companies, entrepreneurs and craftspeople in the Edmonton Metro region screen media industries.
For further information, or to book an interview with Tom Viinikka, please contact: