Nolan began in business at eight-years-old, selling golf balls to golfers on the course where he grew up. Saving up for a bike and scouting activities, he worked many part time jobs most of which were entrepreneurial. He got his first professional job in the industry organizing and delivering Merchandising to local venues for Bill Graham's Winterland Productions, and at the same time started his own production company, That's Entertainment. He received a Canon AE-1 for his 17th Birthday and almost immediately began a career in Rock'n'Roll Photography. He eventually migrated into the family of Bill Graham Presents (BGP) as a production assistant for concerts. He also began working in Food & Beverage for Alioto's #8 on the Fishermans Wharf along with the company Fillmore Fingers the industries main Catering and Concessions company owned by Bill Graham.
His production company took off as well as his photography career – he began to plan many different types of events as well as photography assignments for radio stations, record labels, local talent and ad agencies. It wasn't until he planned his first major corporate event for IDG where he found his true passion. During this time he formed his organizational skills and “Producer's” Style to quickly allowed him to expand in his business and in the BGP organization it got him promoted to various go-to roles quickly becoming one of the few industry contractors to help local promoters and community producers in their events. His career lasted into the beginning of the 1990's when his business burnt down (Christmas morning 1990) in the largest fire in the history of the city of Burlingame.
He eventually ventured into the world of technology, planning and executing productions and events for companies such as Logitech, Apple, Sony, the Good Guys, HSC Software, MacWorld Expo, Online Expo, Internet World Magazine, SUN Microsystems, Mill Valley Film Festival, IDG and IDG West. He is the founder of innovative projects and festivals such as the Razzle Dazzle Show, Gold Country Art & Music Festival and the High Tech Arena, a “Venue within a Venue” presenting New Technology as an added showcase to many different types of community and special events such as Concerts, Community Expos, Conventions and Tradeshows, Fairs and Festivals, including the Concord Pavilion's EARTH DAY in the mid 90's, which he is also a co-founder of California's largest Earth Day celebration. He is the Founder of the ICD Online, the original online service for the Events, Meeting Planning, Hospitality and Entertainment industries. It was eventually sold to the Hollywood Creative Directory. He created the Event City Network, a platform originally launched on the Prodigy Platform and then on AOL (America Online). It specialized in the support of the Events & Creative Industries. He more recently, on several occasions sold pieces of the company's IP and Content that the company has been building since the mid 90's. He is currently waiting for a 3 year non-compete to expire to relaunch his new vision of Event City.
Nolan is currently working on a number of projects throughout Northern California and other areas of the country. His love for food has never left him as he continues to build the company's food & beverage division, Foodie Village. His most recent project has been one of the Co-producers of the CAMS Award Show (formerly the CAMMIES), an award recognition show celebrating those that create and perform music throughout the California Gold Country.
He's admired and has always maintained a small group of mentors who have played a significant role in his successes. He tips his hat and honors these who have shared their knowledge and wisdom with Nolan over the years:
Marvin Boyd – Nolan's original business mentor who taught him the importance of being frugal especially when you are in “Start up mode” and you have clients. Marvin walked him through the process of starting a business and transitioning into several different divisions including Entertainment and Beverage management. He was there for Nolan in more ways than one!!
Bill Graham – There were many learning opportunities and lessons working for “Uncle Bobo” and BGP Family. He gave Nolan the opportunities to be part of some of the largest shows ever in the history of Music and Show Production!
Ed DeMartini – The greatest Teacher one could ever ask for!! One of Ed's greatest traits was his love for his close friends and family. Besides his knowledge of making movies and his guidance and ability to help mold the skill of “Composition”, Ed was the perfect partner to help Nolan grow in his endeavors. Also his kindness and support were ever-flowing. “Mr D” was Nolan's film and photography mentor and lifelong friend!
Queenie Taylor (BGP) – The first person who invited Nolan into the business of music. He met Queenie at a class she was teaching for the Blue Bear School of Music. After a taste of what the industry was like through the eyes of one of Rock's greatest managers, he never looked back.
Nick Niccora– Rock'n'Roll Food and Beverage, Nick taught Nolan the how to's of the Concessions and Catering music shows since the late 70's. Nick streamlined the business for large scale activities such as Backstage at Music shows or managing over 70,000 attendees when the Pope visited Monterey California in October of 1987. There's lots of history and experience with Mentor Nick!
Patrick McGovern (Chairman of the Board and President of IDG Inc) – Uncle Pat, one of the greatest pioneers in the world of Technology publishing was always there to assist in helping Nolan gain a great deal of knowledge in the fast moving, ever changing world of computers and the world of electronics. Nolan always enjoyed seeing Pat at MacWorld Expo and walking with him through the shows. It was a great time to talk tech!
Dan Ravetti – The Art of fine tuning the Beverage Catering and Management system for intimate to large-scale operations like the Apple Computer parties at conventions to the Exotic Erotic Ball!
Dennis Erokan– The Founder and Creator of BAM magazine and the Bammies, Dennis taught Nolan how it was possible to be successful in the Music industry without being an jerk. Nolan has always referred to Dennis as “one of the nicest guys you'd ever meet from any industry, let alone the music industry”, and was always there to share his time and answer his questions while Nolan was moving up the ladder in the world of Music, Publishing, and Entertainment.
John Apostle - Nolan's Father – Nolan insists that his greater mentor of all time was his father, John Apostle, not just because he's his father, but because his father had a lot of great characteristics, many of which were some of the best of his other mentors. “He taught me to appreciate the simple things in life and and of course, people; to always appreciate those around you. Never be afraid to always learn and no matter what you do, listen to your heart!” His father was not a genius, but worked hard for his family and always made sure Nolan, his brothers and his mother always had what they needed. Nolan certainly got his entrepreneurial blood from both his Father (an importer of Italian shoes) but also his Mother (Orisita), who's family was from Leon Nicaragua, operated the largest Market on the Pacific Ocean side of the country in the largest Nicaraguan Seaport, the Port of Corinto. Helping in the family business is where Orisita learned to be organized, stern, protective a great money manager and to be extremely frugal. She also got her generosity from her father, Nolan's Grandfather, Alfonso Ansola.