President, The Event Group Catering
I graduated from the University of Arkansas with a journalism degree. Then I went to work for the Center for Continuing Education at the university. I did marketing and public relations for the center and was promoted to conference coordinator.
Through that position I started planning events and doing a lot of design work. I did that for a couple of years, and really liked it, but knew that I wanted to advance and I couldn’t do that at the university.
David Malone suggested that I start my own event coordinating business.
I looked into it and decided to take his advice and start my own company.
My first office was on the square in Fayetteville. I coordinated a couple of events but because so many events are booked years in advance I had a lot of down time.
After my first year I decided to start coordinating weddings as well. I booked five weddings at my first bridal show.
The wedding coordinating part of my businesses grew really fast. I noticed that a lot of people were asking about food, so a year later we added a catering staff. I hired Jay Fennel as my head chef and he is now co-owner of the business. He makes all of the food decisions. We get the most requests for our hors d’oeuvres and garlic mashed potatoes. We cater every meal to our clients.
We moved to our current location on Gregg Street five years ago. I have three full-time employees and about 20 part-time employees. We coordinated and catered more than 400 events last year.
This business involves a lot of weekend work but we try to not work on Sundays and I always take Wednesdays off to spend the day with my daughter.
We really found a niche in our food and catering, and our business is now focused on that sector.
I’m always trying new things and always educating myself on new trends to better serve my clients.