We had the good fortune of connecting with Giovanna Tomiotto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Giovanna, what do you attribute your success to?
Always pushing above and beyond my comfort zone. Nowadays, and especially in the land of opportunity, the United States of America, it is easy to get comfortable.
So instead… I learned to embrace discomfort.
From leaving my home country and all my family behind at a young age to immerse myself in a new environment and culture, to being constantly challenged by being a woman in a highly male dominated field, I choose to work hard and to challenge the norm daily.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Born and raised in a small town in Brazil, I started playing tennis when I was very young. Being an athlete really helped shape who I am today: the discipline, the physical and mental challenges, the independence.
I have also known from a young age that I wanted to be an engineer! I loved the subject of space exploration and wanted to build spaceships. In Brazil, we do not play sports as part of school activities like in the United States, so when one finishes high school, they must choose to either continue their education or try and go pro in their sport. I took a different route, and I moved from Brazil to the land of opportunity, to pursue both my passions: tennis and engineering. I had an athletic scholarship playing tennis for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – the largest aeronautical and aerospace university in the world, where I learned valuable skills and discipline by having to balance sport, education, and having to work two jobs to support myself. Upon graduating, I became the first member of my family to earn a college degree. From aerospace to control systems, my career took an incredibly fortunate turn, as I took my first job working for a hydro turbine governor control company. Being in a small company doing innovative things, I ended up wearing a lot of hats through which I learned a great deal. I quickly became the lead engineer for multiple projects at a time.
I am extremely proud to say I was the first woman to ever commission a hydro-turbine governor in South America, and the youngest woman to do so in the USA!
From the hydro industry to oil and gas, and most recently to my favorite job, today I get to marry art with logic to control the artistic spectacle of flowing water with shooting fire as a Controls Engineer for WET Design. In my role, I am responsible for designing, programming, and installing automated control systems, and the associated interfaces for features including water, fire, and air.
As far as hobbies and fun facts, when I finished my tennis collegiate career and started my professional career, my life changed focus completely. Although I was succeeding greatly professionally, I was still missing physical challenges, the adrenaline a sport and competing brought to my life. This is when I became a bodybuilder! Even with the field work and traveling a lot, I was still always able to find a gym to workout, or even bring bands and use bodyweight to get my training in! I stepped on stage for the first time on August 2018, where I placed 4th in both Novice and Overall categories of the National Physique Committee Figure division. The gym is now my healthy addiction, and it drives me to strive to be better each day!
On a different note, as I mentioned earlier, art is one of my big passions!
I am fortunate to live in a city, Los Angeles, where there is an abundance of it!
Music – Rock and roll and heavy metal more specifically! – I love going to live shows! It is such a magical experience, and I get to see bands that I probably would never have the chance to if I were still living in Brazil. Also, my husband is an incredibly talented fine art painter, so not only I get to see first-hand the beautiful pieces coming to life, we also often go to galleries and get exposed to some of the best artwork in the world!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Funny enough, my best friend Maria just came from Nashville to visit LA! As a metalhead at heart, the first night I had to take her to The Rainbow Bar and Grill! She loved seeing all the rock and roll memorabilia, the local (and visitor) metalheads dressed up walking around, and to hear about the history behind that place! I love it there! The food was great as always.
Since the pandemic still adds restrictions to what we can and can’t do, we ended up doing a lot of outdoors activities.
The first day, we hiked to the Hollywood sign – we ended up taking a wrong turn when going back to our cars, and it turned into a 4 hour hike! Beautiful day, but we were definitely exhausted by the end!
The following day, we drove along PCH to Malibu and hiked the Escondido trail. Delicious dinner at Fin Asian Tapas in Culver City!
Next we spend the day around the museums… The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art!
Last day we rented bikes and rode from Venice to Santa Monica piers. We got to see the skate boarders in Venice, and even a Drag Queen putting on a wonderful show at the pier!
A wonderful visit, but she definitely needs to come back soon so we can keep on exploring!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents always encourage me. Whatever it was that I wanted to do… that being a Doctor, a rock star, a garbage woman, anything… as long as I gave 110%, that’s all that mattered! They are greatly responsible for who I am today, and – even with the roughly 6,000 miles of distance – they know I love them so much!