J. David Riva was born into an entertainment family. His Father was a Scenic Designer, his Mother a star of Early Television, his Grandmother was Marlene Dietrich. Throughout his childhood his family lived in six countries, finally returning to the United States in 1973. After attending Dalton High school in Manhattan, David went into the family business. He began by becoming an associate producer on Broadway, working on both Television and stage productions. Shortly after, he got a job in the Mailroom of one of the country’s top Talent Agencies, “International Creative Management” (ICM). After attending and graduating from Antioch College with a BA in Film, he returned to ICM where he worked his way up in the company and eventually became a full agent, representing a variety of musical groups, actors, producers and writers. He made the move to Los Angeles while Head of Talent for the prestigious talent agency “The Lantz Office.” There, he began packaging Film and Television and helping Production companies formulate Branding, Advertising and resource outreach programs. His Celebrity Clients included Bette Davis, The Tennessee Williams Estate, Michael Jackson and many others. He was instrumental in forming “Film Polski”. His career as an agent spanned 32 years.
Finally concentrating on Branding and International Licensing, David started his own company “Associated Producers Group, Inc.”. Under this banner, David produced seven films, directed two, wrote five, and generally became a creative and business force in Los Angeles. His Biographical Book on Marlene Dietrich, “A Woman at War” won the 2010 Hoffner Prize for Literature.
David also acted as a creative director, consultant, designer, and producer of some of the most expansive themed Traveling Exhibitions, Museum Tours, and Theme Park elements ever mounted. Beginning as the Co-Producer for “Titanic: Official Movie Tour” he then was the Producer and Creative Director for two immense “Star Trek” touring exhibitions under license from Paramount Studios - one beginning in London’s Hyde Park and one at the “Dome” in Long Beach, California. These exhibitions were truly massive at over 100,000 sq. ft. and toured throughout Europe and the Americas. In this process, David was a pioneer in forming co-production opportunities with China.
In the field of Emerging Media, Riva has worked extensively as a consultant, creative director, designer, and producer of some of the most anticipated Computer and On-Line games and Applications in the industry. David was responsible for the procurement, maintenance, and implementation of over 100 licenses from virtually every major studio and Production Company, both domestic and international for a variety of Projects, Exhibitions, Consumer Products, and Cross-promotional opportunities. These partially included “Terminator”, “Men in Black”, “Star Trek”, “Titanic”, “Avatar” and “Lord of the Rings”. Riva has also had extensive experience as a Licensor, managing Licensees, supervising projects from T-shirts to Toyota Limited Edition Cars.
Being a life-long foodie and cook, in 2015, David was asked by a friend to assist a major corporation involved in the restaurant business in Los Angeles. As many of David’s past celebrity clients over the years had owned or opened restaurants, and as he had assisted them with Branding, New Media, and advertising, he happily agreed. Since then, the various restaurants within the portfolio have expanded and more than tripled their revenue. The Company has now been fully branded, compartmentalized into corporate divisions, and fully converted to better comply with the Standards and Practices required in the restaurant industry and to be fully prepared for further expansion. Working closely with the Company’s CFO and Legal team, David continues to consult on the business side of the company with an eye to regulation and corporate compliance. He also approves the Advertising and expansion plans of the company, including budgeting, consumer research, and Legal compliance. David is the principal business contact with the various groups to which the Company belongs, including the National Restaurant Association, The California Restaurant Association, National Grocers Association, The Black Enterprise Organization, The Fast-Casual Summit Group, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.
David continues to enjoy consulting on a wide variety of projects – as long as they are interesting. David Lives in Los Angeles, California.