Steven Richard Gatena (born December 15, 1985) is an American Entrepreneur and award winning Executive Producer with an Honorable Discharge from the United States Air Force.[1] [2]He is the acting CEO of REP Interactive, a digital media company, and VideoFort, a media licensing firm.[3] In addition to founding REP Interactive and VideoFort, Gatena created Sellap, a business intelligence software as a service company. [4] To date, Gatena has co-authored one book and regularly guest lectures at the University of Southern California.

Steve is a former American Football Tight End, Defensive End, and Offensive Tackle. He earned his Master’s degree from the University of Southern California while playing Division 1 football for the USC Trojans.[5] As a Trojan, Steve earned several accolades including two NCAA Scholar Athlete awards, the 2008 Service Team Player of the Year, and the 2009 Rose Bowl Championship.[6]

Westlake High School

Gatena prepped at Westlake High School in Westlake Village, where he teamed with Rudy Carpenter, record holding Arizona State University Sun Devils and NFL Quarterback to go 14-0 winning the 2003 California Interscholastic Federation Division II State Football Title. That year, nine Westlake football players signed letters of intent to play college football including some of Gatena’s college teammates Ryan Ruel (Air Force), David Winer (UC Davis), and Jimmy Miller (USC).[7] While at Westlake, Gatena was a honored as a National Football Foundation Hall of Fame inductee, Wendy’s H.S. Heisman Nominee, National Youth Leadership Foundation selection, Westlake High School Hall of Fame inductee, CBS Sportsline All West Team, first team All-C.I.F. and All-C.I.F. Academic, Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Daily News first team, first team All-Marmonte League, 4 time consecutive Scholar Athlete award, and Lineman of the Year.[8] Additionally, in high school Steve participated as a student in the Westlake Information and Technology Academy. The W.I.T. Academy is a California Partnership Academy intended to teach students various technical skills such as computer programming, web design, and video editing. Although a highly recruited offensive lineman, Gatena was considered “the runt” of his offensive line because he was 40lbs lighter (Gatena was 245lbs) than the next smallest lineman on the front five.[9]

United States Air Force

After graduating high school in 2004, Gatena accepted a congressional nomination to attend the United States Air Force Academy.[10] Gatena and fellow high school teammate Ryan Ruel entered the Academy with the graduating class of 2008. While at the Academy, Steve majored in Operations Research. Additionally, Gatena played Division 1 college football for the Air Force Falcons Football Team. Gatena played Defensive End for the Falcons in 2004. However, Gatena’s 2004 collegiate season was cut short due to illness and injury. In 2005, after suffering from pneumonia, two dislocated shoulders, a collapsed lung, and a broken right hand, Gatena received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and accepted a football scholarship, enrolling at UC Davis.[11]

Cal Davis

At UC Davis, Gatena pursued a bachelors degree in Law & Society while playing football for the Aggies. Steve started as a Left Tackle for the UC Davis Aggies, who won the Great West Football Conference Championship in 2005.[12] During his career at UC Davis, Gatena overcame multiple injuries to see playing time. Some of these injuries include a torn MCL, two labral tears in his right and left shoulders, a broken nose, and a torn hamstring.[13] Despite these setbacks, Gatena still earned a spot as the starting Left Tackle. While a University of California student, Gatena filmed a short documentary that was featured on CNN’s Headline News and also won College Humor’s “Viral Video of the Month” award. The documentary depicted the annual “Epic Quad Battle” event held on campus each June. Steve’s video was one of the first ever CNN iReports featured on national television.[14] Prior to earning his bachelors degree in 2008, Steve worked for John Garamendi, the 46th Lieutenant Governor of California, at his main office in Sacramento.[15]

USC Trojans Football

In the summer of 2008, Gatena moved to an apartment in Los Angeles with Trojan teammates Clay Matthews III and Kaluka Maiava where he began working on his Master’s degree in Strategic Public Relations at the USC Annenberg School for Communication.[16] As a graduate student, Gatena continued his football career, playing for the 2008 USC Trojans football team as a Left Tackle and Center. After the 2008 season Gatena was awarded USC’s Service Team Offensive Player of the Year as well as earning the title of Scholar Athlete. On January 1, 2009 Gatena along with the rest of the 2008 USC Trojans football team won the 2009 Rose Bowl Game. After the Rose Bowl game, Gatena thanked one of the pilot’s that flew the B-2 Stealth Bomber for his service to our country by giving him his “Rose Bowl Champions” T-Shirt.[17] During his tenure at USC, Coach Pete Carroll noted Gatena as “the Trojans’ biggest political pundit.”[18]

A rare case, Gatena enrolled in and transferred to three different Division 1 football schools while never serving penalty of ineligibility by the NCAA. A 2007 NCAA waiver/rule change granting graduate students immediate eligibility enabled Gatena to play as the 2nd string left offensive tackle for the 2008 USC Trojans football team in their season opener against the University of Virginia.[19] Typically, first year transfer students are forced to sit out one season, forfeiting one year of eligibility. Gatena had also been granted an NCAA clock extension, thus allowing him to play a sixth year of college football. Teammate Jeff Byers who was also granted a sixth year was the only other graduate student on the 2008 USC Trojans football team.[20]

Due to a string of injuries, Gatena was moved to Tight End in the Spring of 2009.[21] Wearing number 90 Steve served mainly as a blocking Tight End. At that time, Steve Gatena and Jeff Byers were the oldest and most academically advanced players on the 2009 USC Trojans Football Team. Both players graduated from USC with their Masters degree following the 2009 season, however, Gatena went on to build his first Startup Company REP Interactive.[22]

REP Interactive, LLC

While in school, Gatena came up with the concept for REP Interactive, LLC.[23] REP Interactive is a full service video agency that creates online and broadcast media for some of the worlds biggest brands. REP Interactive has created content for companies like Coldwell Banker, the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, GE Healthcare, the Los Angeles Dodgers, OK! Magazine, Sony, and Marriott Hotels. REP Interactive’s mission is to strengthen communication through media and they strive to motivate viewers by creating experiences that engage, entertain, inform and influence viewers.[24] To date REP Interactive has produced animated stories, television commercials, tv pilots, branded entertainment, and reality style web series episodes.[25] Stars such as Tom Selleck, Clay Matthews III, Deadmau5, Ed Begley Jr, Macy Gray, Guy Kawasaki, and Snoop Dogg have all appeared in REP Interactive videos.[26][27]


After being selected into the USC Marshall School of Business first ever Accelerator program, Steve incubated his latest concept “VideoFort”.[28] VideoFort is a media licensing firm that owns and licenses some of the worlds rarest and most exclusive cinematography and photography. VideoFort’s assets include footage from programs like Discovery Planet Earth, the NBA on TNT, and Worlds Most Expensive Homes in addition to never before seen footage from the Himalayas and the Arctic Circle.[29] After launching VideoFort in 2013, Gatena was chosen to speak at the International Academy of Web Television Awards at the Consumer Electronics Show hosted in Las Vegas.[30] Prior to speaking at CES, Gatena was named as one of CSQ Magazines “NextGen10” entrepreneurs. CSQ Magazine has featured notable personalities such as Eli Broad, Tom Gores, Bruce Jenner, Steve Hilton, Alan Purwin, & Russell Simmons.[31]

  1. Giordano, Tony (2011). The Social Agent. Amazon. ISBN 1466317272. 
  2. Choo. Most Expensive Homes Viral Video. REP Interactive.
  3. Demos. Idea to Reality. Annenberg School for Communication.
  4. Schneider. Sellap.
  5. Tessalone, Tim. Steve Gatena. USC Sports Information Department.
  6. Maya, Adam. "USC Football". OC Register. 
  7. Harrison, Wayne. "Area Football Players". The Acorn. 
  8. Rosales, Mike. Steve Gatena. UC Davis.
  9. Cocoles, Chris. "The Runt". Daily News.'S+OFFENSE+ROLLS+BEHIND+OFFENSIVE+LINE.-a0109420759. 
  10. Williams, Scott. "Serving in Uniform". The Acorn. 
  11. Biggs, Bob. "Aggies Announce Recruiting Class". Great West Conference. 
  12. Loberstein, Adam. "King of the Mountain part 1". The UC Davis Aggie. 
  13. Loberstein, Adam. "King of the Mountain part 2". The Cal Aggie. 
  14. Wiki, Davis. Epic Quad Battle Facts. City of Davis.
  15. California. Garamendi & Gatena. Steve Gatena.
  16. Banman, Christina. Clay Matthews. REP Interactive.
  17. Daily News. "2009 Rose Bowl". The Daily News. 
  18. Carroll, Pete. "USC Football Election". Daily Trojan. 
  19. Virginia, University of. 2008 USC vs Virginia Football. Virginia Sports.
  20. Trojans, USC. Thinking Green. University of Southern California.
  21. Wolf, Scott. "USC Notebook". Los Angeles Times. 
  22. Football Alumni, Trojan. USC Blog. USC.
  23. DeMos, Jackson. "Launch Entrepreneurial Videos". Annenberg News. 
  24. Horton, Ashle. "Hopeful Outlier". Minneapolis. 
  25. Carter, Chris. Home Page.
  26. Kawasaki, Guy. Enchantment. Portfolio Hardcover. ISBN 1591843790. 
  27. McNeil, Andy. Motivation: Clay Matthews. REP Interactive.
  28. Marshall School, USC. Summer of StartUps.
  29. Purwin, Alan. VideoFort. VideoFort.
  30. Marquez, Melanie. IAWTV Awards. International Academy of Web Television.
  31. Wurth, David. C-Suite Quarterly. CSQ Magazine.
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