planning

Meet John Wheeler

These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to brittany.trevick@tigeroak.com.

John Wheeler was recently hired as the director of event production for The RK Group—a hospitality and culinary service management company.

Meet Loris Menfi

These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to brittany.trevick@tigeroak.com.

Loris Menfi was recently hired as general manager of the Loews Regency San Francisco.

New Venue Spotlight: Blue Water Convention Center

Looking for a meeting venue that doubles as a waterfront escape? Head to the Blue Water Convention Center. The 34,000-square-foot venue, which opened in the spring, sits on the bank of the St. Clair River in Port Huron, a stone’s throw from the Blue Water Bridge, which connects the United States and Canada.

“I can go out the door and look right at it,” Kim Appel, the facility’s general manager, says of the bridge. “There’s no way to describe the beautiful view.”

Snack Delivery Services Make Meetings Healthy

Delivered snacks are a simple solution to time-crunched meetings. They are convenient, quick and allow everyone involved to continue working uninterrupted. The downfall? Delivery options are typically unhealthy, greasy and have the potential to hinder productivity, rather than jump-start it. That’s where these three companies come in.

Craft the Perfect Team

Changes occur every day in the hospitality industry, but one of the biggest is the high turnover of employees. Much of this can be attributed to the people who make up staff—students, part-time and those who work in seasonal locations. This can make building the perfect team difficult.

Signature Drink - Pantone 1595

Café 78 opened in the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit this winter, as a joint project between the museum and the restaurant Wright & Co. Café bartenders are trained by the craft-cocktail wizards at the Sugar House. Here’s a concoction from General Manager Chris Vanderginst, taken from the café’s Pantone-themed cocktail menu.

INGREDIENTS:
—1.5 oz. gin
—1 oz. carrot juice
—.5 oz. lemon juice
—.25 oz. ginger syrup
—.25 oz. Pedro Ximenez sherry

Meet Jessica Brooks, Juggling Expert

Jessica Brooks has lots of updates for her LinkedIn page. Now all she has to do is find the time to make them.

Brooks, vice president of operations for the Crystal Gardens Banquet Center, in Howell, was already overseeing general operations as well as advertising and marketing for five sister banquet centers when, in 2007, she launched a new offpremise catering service for the business. “I actually started that program as part of my master’s program,” says Brooks, who earned a Master of Science degree in general administration from Central Michigan University, also in 2007.

Event Snapshots: Showcase of Ideas at Eagle Eye Golf

Planners and suppliers gathered at East Lansing’s Eagle Eye Golf in November for the 2014 Showcase of Ideas. The event, a partnership between VIKTOR and Event Garde, featured sessions on branding, contract negotiations and the 2015 ASAE Annual Meeting.

Get Up Close with 16 Small Spaces that Pay off Big

When it comes to built-in ambiance and engaged attendees, intimate spaces can trump traditional meeting spots. Small venues often offer a cooler vibe, says Angela Butorac, founder of Butorac Events and co-founder of EventTrender.com. Attendees are more focused, and the spaces’ relaxed atmosphere can help people open up. “You’ll get some of those people who you never hear from who will probably get more engaged in the conversation,” she says.

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