By Erin Alvarado
Dina (Mekawi) DePina ’03 is the senior vice president of creative studios & digital operations for Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG Entertainment) in New York City.
In this role, DePina oversees a wide range of studio and digital operations across the MSG family of companies, which also includes Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. and Sphere Entertainment Co. Her teams are responsible for creating, producing and archiving content across multiple media and digital platforms for brands and properties that include iconic venues (Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre, The Theater at MSG, The Chicago Theatre and Sphere); legendary sports franchises (New York Knicks and New York Rangers); and original productions (“Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes”).
“One day, I could be working on a commercial for the Knicks, the next day, prepping for the Christmas season with the Radio City Rockettes, and then the day after that, helping create content for our newest venue, Sphere, that’s opening in Las Vegas,” DePina says. “I’m constantly learning and switching gears to figure out how to move from one thing to the next.”
Growing up in New York City, DePina longed to go to college somewhere sunny with a beach but that also had a great basketball program. After researching NCAA Division II schools, DePina toured Florida Tech and fell in love with the campus.
“We still keep in touch to this day. He kept me on track throughout my collegiate experience,” DePina says. “He took a chance by putting me on the team and really helped build my athletic career at Florida Tech.”
DePina and the Florida Tech women’s basketball team made school history in 2002 as the first team to advance to the Elite Eight. She was inducted into the Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame with the rest of her teammates in 2014.
DePina’s love for production started during her summer internship with the launch of Teen Vogue magazine. The credits she received from the internship helped her graduate a semester early and sparked her interest in the magazine industry.
After graduation, DePina moved back to New York City and spent the next few years freelancing for different magazines. Her goal was to find the segment of the industry into which she wanted to dive deeper.
She went on to work in the Allure magazine production offices for six years.
After her time with Allure, DePina continued to work for over 10 years in the fashion industry with brands such as Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, but her ultimate goal was to break into the sports industry.
“If there’s something that you’re really passionate about, just stick with it, keep applying, keep interviewing and keep meeting people. It’s always important to not give up,” DePina says.
In March 2017, DePina accomplished her goal when MSG hired her to build its in-house production department. This meant working on campaigns for brands including the New York Knicks and New York Rangers and content for the company’s entertainment venues.
Her campaign work with these teams has earned DePina an Emmy nomination and multiple Clio Awards.
Her role has continued to expand over the last six years, and today, she not only manages production for the portfolio of brands but also oversees the websites, apps and archives.
“I’m fortunate to work at a company where my job has evolved almost every single year, whether it’s working on new brands or new functions. I’m constantly learning, and that helps me be happy and passionate about my job and what I do.”
FLORIDA TECH CONNECTION: ’03 B.S. communication
FAVORITE WEEKEND ACTIVITY: Watching my son play basketball and traveling to his games
HIDDEN TALENT: I played basketball in college; nobody ever expects it, since I’m really short!
FAVORITE MUSICIANS: Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran and Burna Boy
BUCKET LIST: Take my son to visit my home country of Egypt and travel the world as a family
FAVORITE FLORIDA TECH MEMORY: Traveling to the Elite Eight women’s basketball tournament with my teammates and witnessing some of them see snow for the first time
This piece was featured in the fall 2023 edition of Florida Tech Magazine.