(written from a Production point of view)
Chris Avilla is a Star Trek fan whose love of propmaking took him from personal pieces to creating screen items for the Trek movies and exhibits.
Working as a staffer for Vulkon Conventions, Avilla was approached by Penny Juday in October 1995. She had seen his props on display at the show, and asked if he'd be interested in making light-up badges for another Paramount Pictures pilot project called The Osiris Chronicles, which he did. The pilot didn't sell, but was aired in 1998 as The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy. Later on, Juday contacted Avilla to make some PADDs for Star Trek: First Contact. He eventually produced some 30 pieces for the movie, including a pair of dermal regenerators and several tricorders.
Since then, Avilla has produced props for use in Star Trek: Insurrection and for the displays at Star Trek: The Experience and several of the traveling Trek exhibits. He and his wife Susan staffed the Vulkon shows until 2006. He has also written an article on making PADDs for Star Trek: The Magazine, and was later interviewed in his own right by the periodical.