DISTRICT PROFILE: Zach Overton
May 29, 2016
Name: Zach Overton
Title: VP Experiential/GM 837
Organization/Business: Samsung Electronics America
What do you do, and how did you get here?
I run experiential marketing for Samsung Electronics America and am General Manager of their new flagship cultural center, Samsung 837, right here in the Meatpacking District. I started my career in the entertainment industry, primarily in theater. I had several different roles at Broadway.com, including a two year stint across the pond launching a sister company, Theatre.com, in London. I was also one of the founding team members of Gilt City, the local experiences and services arm of Gilt Group, where I built an entertainment division. I then joined Bono’s iconic AIDS organization, (RED), where I was COO and Head of Business Development for almost 4 years. That was a really special time of my life, partnering with brands to create innovative activations that raised millions of dollars for people living with HIV in Africa and traveling the continent to see the impact of our work. But when Samsung approached me to lead the 837 project, I had to accept!
What do you love about Meatpacking?
This neighborhood holds such a special place in my heart. I worked here in the mid 90’s while going to NYU, when Florent was the only place of note, later followed by my favorite bar at that time, Hell. Watching the neighborhood evolve over the years has been such a journey, sometimes bittersweet but always exciting. I was thrilled when I heard that the Whitney was relocating here as it truly anchored Meatpacking as THE intersection of culture, fashion, art, nightlife, culinary and design in NYC. It has it all.
If you had 15 minutes, how will you spend it in the neighborhood?
If you had a few hours, how would you ideally spend the day?
That’s a bit easier. In addition to the High Line, I’d have to indulge in some retail therapy (I much prefer shopping in Meatpacking to Soho or 5th Avenue), a walk around the latest exhibition at the Whitney, a bite at Santina and of course a virtual reality roller coaster ride at Samsung 837.
Where do you go to escape the crowds? People watch?
I love to people watch whether it be on the pier, riding a CitiBike around the neighborhood, catching some sun on the High Line, or having a beer at the Biergarten. You’ll usually find me brunching outdoors on Sundays when weather permits, or just having an iced coffee at one of the public plazas in the neighborhood. I also love all the rooftops in the area…the Whitney, The Standard, SoHo House and now the terrace at 837!
Where will you recommend for a great cocktail or bite?
As I mentioned, I love Santina, but other favorites are Bubby’s for brunch, Barbuto for dinner, or if it’s been a long night, you might find me indulging at Bill’s Burger. But nothing beats sunset cocktails on the rooftop at SoHo House or on the terrace of Le Bain…gazing at the skyline and catching up with friends.
What’s your most memorable moment or experience in Meatpacking?
I’m aging myself here, but I’d have to say meeting my future husband, Nick, at The Roxy just after the millennium. The energy in the city (and especially in Meatpacking which was really starting to transition) in ’99 and 2000 was simply electric. The possibilities were endless and the future felt imminent in such a unique way. And the nightlife was incredible. I spotted him across the dance floor and instantly knew that I had to meet him. It was practically love at first sight, and we’re still having a blast together 16 years later.
Of all the personalities you can think of (whether you know the person or not), whom would you want to grab a drink with?
I have to admit that I recently spent some time with living legend Diane von Furstenberg which was a real thrill for me. She came by 837 to have a look around our new space and graciously invited me and a few colleagues to an intimate lunch in her office above DVF.
I was seriously swooning. I am such an admirer of her life and work, and her commitment to this neighborhood.
What should we know about you outside of work. Hobbies, life, that sort of thing?
Well, I’m kind of a workaholic and I also live in the neighborhood, so I sometimes struggle to leave this 10 block radius. I really love to travel when I can get away and am excited for my summer holiday this year in Japan and Greece, but in general I’m a textbook New Yorker. I never cook, so love eating at great restaurants; visiting galleries and museums, shopping, grabbing a cocktail with friends and just walking around and people watching!