Two Industry Assistants Team to Launch Private Membership Club Gatekeepers

Jess Zobler Michael Torbiak Split - H 2016
Courtesy of Subject

Los Angeles is about to get another exclusive private membership club — but this one is for assistants only.

Onetime industry assistants Michael Torbiak and Jess Zobler have teamed up to launch Gatekeepers, which aims to offer high-end access to brands, events and products to low-level staffers who often have the power of influence over their high-ranking bosses.

Torbiak worked as a coordinator in the NBCUniversal communications department under executive vp Richard Licata, while Zobler spent years toiling as a celebrity personal assistant. (She declined to name her famous bosses, offering only that they were both name actors). The duo worked with L.A. digital and creative firm Brand Knew to create a website and branding campaign.

The site, located at, is now accepting applications from assistants and coordinators in the business. Torbiak and Zobler will cap the first round of Gatekeepers members at 100 with an eye on closing the application process on June 1. But they hope that is just the beginning.

Torbiak says they plan to expand globally and the infrastructure is there to include industries such as finance, Silicon Valley and even fashion. Accepted applicants stand to gain what the company touts as "exclusive access to coveted and unique experiences, products, events and other special offerings."

Torbiak explains that they got the idea after realizing how much their respective bosses relied on them for information both personally and professionally. "From travel and restaurant reservations to gift ideas, wellness, technology and everything in between, we were the ones doing research, providing suggestions and making final decisions in many cases," he says, adding that they will host events and hope to offer perks including reservations, movie screenings and concert tickets. "This is a niche, targeted group and there is nothing out there targeting these millennial assistants and leveraging their influence for the greater good of brands and products and services. We've done market research and brands are interested in reaching these individuals."

Adds Zobler: “Most valuable of all, becoming a Gatekeeper member gains you entrance to a select circle of top-tier assistants. The networking potential is huge for our members, who are all like-minded, driven individuals poised to become the next generation of creatives, executives and industry leaders."