“Charla has done such a wonderful job. She is close to getting her film commission credentials so I know we made the right choice in hiring her,” Carrillo says.
When Carrillo was still doing the volunteer yeoman’s job of keeping the Film Commission afloat, well, those were crazy days.
“I would get calls at night and have to go out to the filming site. Or, if they needed something ... I remember I was called out because one of their water trucks was stolen during the night. So we had to call the sheriff, and luckily it was found a few miles out of town. I wasn’t getting paid, but I got to learn about the film industry and how they put a production together. When you see them filming, you’re wondering why they are there. Then when you see the video, you understand. It was fun.”
Carrillo got to meet her share of celebrities, including country music singer Gary Allen and former professional wrestler and current action film hero The Rock.
“I wasn’t into wrestling, and everybody was saying ‘You met The Rock?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah,’” Carrillo laughs. “I didn’t even know he was who we were going to go see. It was funny to find out how many women were upset that I didn’t invite them out.”
If there’s a sensitive side of this driven woman, it involves her only child, son Michael, a federal employee. “While I can’t divulge his location publicly, I say, ‘Don’t tell me anything. But if I text you, you better answer. No stories. Just text me back,’” Carrillo says. “We have a very close relationship and, believe me, there is truth to the saying ‘no matter how old your children get, they are still your babies.’”
With Michael coming up for a transfer in January, she is relieved that he has decided to move closer to home. “I won’t worry as much.”
Her immediate future will continue to be busy. She has just returned from a geothermal conference in Sacramento, and alternative energy companies are lining up to do business in Imperial County.
“I hope this all brings in more jobs,” she adds.
Taking a moment, Carrillo mulls what retirement might be like some day, and it seems she just cannot envision it.
“I’m the type that can’t just sit there,” she concludes about her life. “I enjoy the things I do. I don’t do them for the credit or for thanks. I do it because I enjoy it.”
Forward Thinkers: Susie Carrillo - The Modern Professional Woman