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Work experience

May 19982008

Operations Manager & Catering Sales

Celebrations & Events Unlimited
  • Owned & operated catering & event management company
  • Coordinated  the content, quality and presentation of menus, physical environment, & overall theme so as to meet client expectations and budget (done jointly with the Chef's team)
  • Assisted in weekly event meetings with the executive chef's team and hosting and administering staff meetings to address ongoing training needs, policy updates, and company news
  • Generated sales by identifying and developing partnerships with both internal and external corporate and community organizations designed to provide sources of revenue and high image building event opportunities
  • Coordinated customer requests through the development & preparation of the BEO for the kitchen staff and completion of billing forms as necessary to support the administrative assistant
  •  Hired, terminated, trained, & developed catering event captains and all on-call service staff 
  • Generated and utilized all available food cost and payroll reports to ensure the achievement of monthly performance goals
  • Major clients include Capital One (various branches & depts at Richmond OPS center), Owens & Minor, Comcast Cable, State Farm, Fire-X Corporation, 2002 VA Governor's Inaugural Ball, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens (out-sourced by Bull & Bear Club F&B operation)

* Full-time & then part-time til 2006 when I officially closed doors to operation (see listing near end of resume on right-hand side column)

* Continuing today as Independent Contractor, catering & event planning by request only  2007 - 2010

Oct 19972008

Banquet Captain

Westwood Club
  • Coordinated the banquet room's physical hard set-up, the F&B table setting, servicing of the function, and the breakdown of (often working along side with staff - a hands-on manager)
  • No banquet manager position existed at club while employed there full-time & part-time
  • Met with event contact prior to event reviewing the banquet event order for any changes, issues and/or problems to ensure delivery of a quality product and then initiating those changes & addressing any concerns
  • Walked through club banquet facilities inspecting for cleanliness, neat linen, attractive tables, polished equipment, proper room set-up etc. and following up with staff members not meeting the club's expectations with coaching & counseling
  • Established, prepared, & implemented banquet guides, manuals, & checklists improving "front-of-house" ambiance to include table sets, service, mood/theme - setting the standards
  • Defined performance requirements and developed action plans for achievement of those standards and goals 
  • Responsible for interviewing, recommending hire & termination of banquet staff
  • Training, developed, and constantly evaluated performance of all banquet staff in the execution of room sets and the finer points of upscale service in accordance with the club standards - illustrating the proper techniques and etiquette for American, French, Family, Military, buffet, types of service
  • Prepare banquet checks with all back-up for collection at the end of functions
  • Assisted clubhouse manager/ F&B manager in weekly event meetings with executive chef team and hosted and administered banquet staff meetings to address on-going training needs, policy updates, and club news 
  • Teamed up with Dining Room Maitre' D to help with member dining (buffet or la carte) family nights 
  • Club's special event's creative designer & decorator - F&B, banquets

 *  Full-time from 10/97 - 1/99; Part-time 2001 - 2005; Independent Contractor status 2005 - 2008

Aug 2005Dec 2007

Banquet Manager for Catering Operations

Hospitality Management Services
  • Detailed incoming F&B correspondence from initial inquiry and proposal to finalizing all admin & payment facets -- acting as catering detailer/ & sales manager
  • Oversaw & managed the day-to-day banquet/ catering needs (set-up, service, & breakdown) for various corporations, colleges, businesses -- company specializes in cafeteria management & distinct catering
  • Very hands-on management style
  • Met with clients to develop appropriate budgets and comprehensive proposals that meet their specific needs
  • Trained, evaluated, & scheduled service colleagues in accordance with the standards of the company policies and guidelines
  • Company's creative events consultant, designer, & decorator -- being constantly aware of current lifestyle and food trends
  • Major clients included Anheuser-Busch, Surry Nuclear Power Plant, Thomas Nelson Community College, Canon, Nextel, Tele-Tech

 *Full-time from 8/05-10/06; Part-time from 10/06-12/07; Independent Contractor status 2008


Banquet Manager, HI Hampton Hotel & Conference Center, Hampton, VA Sept 2004 - July 2005

  • Recruited to stabilize department and implement a higher standard of service & professionalism 
  • Oversaw all facets of set-up, service, & breakdown of events
  • Hired, trained, terminated staff
  • Established & implemented new SOPs to position hotel’s banquet department at the higher end of the event spectrum
  • Purchased & maintained BQT supplies
  • Controlled & brought down labor costs in line with actual revenues, maintained monthly budget expenditures
  • Provided the leadership, vision, and direction to bring together and prioritize the departmental goals in a way that is efficient and effective
  • Acted as MOD in monthly rotation schedule as well as the Lobby Ambassador program

* The GM at Holiday Inn Hampton Hotel & Conf Center, left hotel, became President of Operations HMS

* He asked me to join his team, left hotel



… AT THE SAME TIME, held these secondary jobs & positions -- concurrently – mostly asked to help rebuild departments & properties – to name a few …

Food & Beverage Manager&Events Coordinator, The Landing At Fort Harrison, Terre Haute, IN11/08-05/09

  • Opened new property; main focus on restaurant & banquet daily operations as well as overseeing kitchen staff – working manager
  • Negotiated vendor agreements & contracts
  • Developed catering & dining menus and packages
  • Met with clients to coordinate food and services
  • Recruited and trained staffin the skilled art of causal and fine dining
  • Maintained daily reservation / log book

*Hired by the initial nine investor/owners; by my fifth month, four additional investors became owners and decided to enhance the resortwith an ethnic flare and process started by letting the GM, Chef, and myself go – at ending of 6-month of employment

Banquet Manager, Renaissance Boca Raton, Boca Raton, FL  Winter (starting 2/04) 

  • Recruited by the local corporate company, Trident Hosp. Mgmt, to continue to raise level of service and professionalism to 4-diamond levels (a boutique hotel) & establish overall consistency in the department
  • stayed in the Ft. Lauderdale Marriott North and in Spring 04 continued to do same for that hotel

*  Hotels have sense been sold to TPG (Procaccianti)

Banquet Manager, Doubletree Hotel & Convention Center, Charlottesville, VA04/03 - 10/03

  • Recruited to manage and direct the banquet department (including captains, servers, bartenders and housepersons), coached and counseled to resolve problems, disciplined and terminated as appropriate, provided a regular forum for improving open communication within the department and with other departments, recommended and conducted performance reviews, conducted regular departmental meetings, redefined SOPs & performance requirements and developed action plans for achievement of goals 
  • Provided the leadership, vision, and direction to bring together and prioritize the departmental goals in a way that is efficient and effective

Banquets, Acting Captain, Willow Oaks Country Club, Richmond, VA10/01 to 11/02

  • Responsible for maintaining a consistently smooth running operation as the "go-to" person for the clubhouse manager & dining room manager 

Interim Assistant F&B Manager, Richmond Hotel & Conf Center, Richmond, VAWinter '99

  •  Hotel up for sale, offers in works to buy property

Interim Director of Catering, Richmond Hotel & Conference Center, Richmond, VASpring ‘99

  •  Hotel sold, closing for major renovations 

Banquet Manager, Richmond Airport Hilton, Sandston, VA10/97 to 2/98 & picks up under primary jobs

  • Managed the daily operations of the banquet department - directed the staff and the execution of events from set up to break down ensuring that all client needs and requests are met

  • Reviewed resumes, daily/weekly BEOs to determine appropriate staffing levels for set up, buffet functions or plated events while ensuring that budgets are maintained

  • Hands-on approach - working manager 

*  Transferred to Restaurant Operations

(Fine) Dining Room Captain, JW Steakhouse, Richmond Marriott,Richmond, VA3/96 to 1/97

  • Assisted the restaurant manager in supervising the staff in a hands-on approach ensuring that guests have a wonderful dining experience - led, assisted training, and motivating the dedicated team towards excellence
  • Ensured pre and post side work is completed to standard
  • Responsible for line checks to ensure food-timing standards are maintained
  • Performed at times all line functions including dispatcher, (expeditor) food server, server assistant
  • Mastery of wine knowledge & service

*    Hotel has sense been sold twice

*1  First time to TPG mgmt company

*2  Then this year to White Lodging Corp. 

Jan 1999Oct 2002

Banquet Captain

Holiday Inn West Broad
  • Supervised the daily operation of the banquet arena to include inspection of set-up of meeting rooms, F&B service, and breakdown of functions, both room sets & F&B, to ensure compliance with SOPs, banquet event orders, safety regulations and procedures; and, to ensure an optimal level of service, quality and hospitality
  • Assisted in the initial & on-going training of staff
  • Coached & counseled individual staff as needed resolving problems
  • Acted as liaison between Catering department and the group contact
  • Sought out opportunities to increase revenues, decrease expenses, & maximize departmental productively without compromising guest satisfaction
  • Calculated and reviewed the banquet checks ensuring accuracy and presenting check to the event contact for signature to ensure payment
  • Monitored the maintenance/sanitation of the banquet areas and equipment to protect hotel's assets and ensure quality service
  • Assisted banquet manager in conducting regularly departmental meetings and to provide a regular forum for improving departmental communication
  • Assisted with other hotel operations as needed as well as Banquets

*1  Locally owned & managed hotel sold to regional management company

*2  Changed name to Richmond Hotel & Conference Center

*3  Hotel sold to national management company (Columbia Sussex Corporation)

*4  Changed name back to Holiday Inn

*5  Now name changed to Crowne Plaza

Jan 1998May 2000

Service/ Beverage Supervisor

Custom Catering & Special Events
  • Responsible for all staff on the floor - supervising service received by the guests throughout event/function (often working along side with staff)
  • Organized and orchestrated any last minute changes or details to functions 
  • Creatively solved "unusual" customer requests
  • Assisted with the initial and ongoing training of service staff
  • Responsible for maintaining inventory control systems of catering supplies (linens, decor, props, silverware, china, etc.)  and BQT beverage purchasing and par levels

* The catering company has sense been sold to another catering company which incorporated all of its assets & clientale

Oct 1997Dec 1999

Restaurant & Bar Manager

Richmond Airport Hilton
  • Managed the daily operations of the restaurant, room service, bar & lounge, coffee snack c-store
  • Ensured compliance with all Hilton food & beverage policies, standards and procedures by training, supervising, & follow-up of staff in a hands-on management style
  • Forecasted, implemented, monitored, controlled, and reported on the various outlet budgets with respect to labor costs, food costs, beverage costs, supplies, equipment, etc. in order to maximize revenue and minimize expenses
  • Created, recommended, and implemented promotions, displays, buffet presentations and ideas to capture more in-house guests and a larger share of the local market
  • Developed and implemented creative strategies to increase revenues and average checks
  • Monitored and critiqued food quality and service levels
  • Forecasted and scheduled staff according to occupancy levels with daily tracking of payroll and revenue
  • Responsible for beverage ordering, storage, & liquor controls
  • Monitored all current inventories and produced end of the month inventory reports
  • Met with guests on an informal basis during meals or upon departure to obtain feedback on quality of food and beverage, service levels and overall satisfaction
  • Assisted with other hotel operations as needed as well as Banquets
  • Recruited, hired, & continued training practices to maintain a pipeline of qualified employees to meet the needs of the operation; provide all new employees with proper training on policies & procedures for both front and back-of-house; trained supervisors & assistant managers to successfully handle service issues and intervene when necessary; performed administrative duties to include payroll, scheduling, &inventory; directed marketing and public relations aspects for restaurant & outlet operations; analyzed financial data to build on strengths, support weak areas and note any unusual occurrences & trained shift supervisors in recognizing and influencing their business by understanding financial reports and acting on that knowledge; monitored the profitability of the operation & provided solutions to improve areas of concern by implementing corrective measures
  • Assumed MOD responsibilities when assigned                                                                                       

*  Hotel has sense been sold, I believe twice, now a Doubletree

Apr 1996Sep 1997

Banquet Server & Coffee Break Supervisor

Hyatt Richmond
  • Mostly consisted of setting-up F&B service tables following Hyatt policies, practices, & standards - including draping tables, setting silverware, folding napkins, preparing drinks, etc., serving and clearing food from tables, breaking down – clearing tables, putting away table compliments, dirty linen, centerpieces, etc
  • Set-up creative and professional looking buffets
  • Cleaned and organized banquet storerooms
  • Followed all guest check and money-handling procedures when serving a la carte and beverage (cash bar) orders
  • Explained to guests as requested the menu, major ingredients and preparation methods for each item to be served
  • Observed guests' needs without being obtrusive - to anticipate guests' needs

 *  Hotel sold to TPG management company

 *  Hotel has sense been taken over & managed by a local bank

Feb 1995Mar 1996

Banquet Server

Crystal City & Tyson's Corner Marriott
Mar 1985Oct 1989

VARIOUS-- see below

Internal Revenue Service, National Office
  • Started as Office (Exempt Organization Technical Branch, Rulings Group 4) Clerk-typist
  • Promoted to Office Secretary, Rulings Group 1
  • Detailed to EACS Operator- computer data entry into business master file
  • Acting Office Manager
  • Acting Office Secretary, Rulings Group 5







Stanford Page

former F&B Director, Richmond Marriott West

Ray Vilches

former F&B Manager, Holiday Inn Hotel, Hampton, VA

Howard Sheldon

Missy Ayra

former F&B supervisor, Holiday Inn West Broad St., Richmond, VA

Chris Park

former GM, Westwood Club, Richmond, VA


Sample Looks & Designs

Hospitality PLEDGE




Independent Contractor ... AYS

Former Catering Co. Listing

Company Logo

The Beginning ..... Westwood


Request for Services




“In being creative, since design is mostly & sometimes purely inspirational, there is no such thing as making a mistake(s), just opportunities for embellishment”

References SUMMED UP

"And to ‘the-man-behind-the-scenes' the gentleman who truly made the Promenade Room into the surreal autumn evening of our dreams, Wendell your ideas never ceased to amaze us.No detail was left unattended, no table undecorated, no tree unlit.One of our guests commented that it was, without a doubt, ‘the most amazingly beautiful they had ever seen a hotel banquet room look’ and we both concur.” – Bart & Crissa Neumann, Charlottesville, VA10/03

Continuing Education & Training

*Dale Carnegie Course graduate, Hampton, VA*  Membership in the International Special Events Society (ISES)*  Candidate for Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) distinction by ISES*  Membership in National Association of Catering Executives (NACE)*  Charter member in the Event Solutions Institute (ESI, George Washington University, Wash. D.C.)*  Event Management certified by ESI*  Interior Design certified by Academic School For Interior Design & educ at V.C.U., Richmond*  Restaurant management training, workshops, seminars by Customer First/ Bob Brown Seminars Div.

*Candidate for certification by National Restaurant Association in Restaurant/ Hotel Sales & Marketing


To obtain a position with an organization which will utilize my extensive experience and success in the F&B field while offering professional and personal growth opportunities.

And, to work for one company for the rest of my F&B career and strive for a better personal life.

wish objective #2:  to guide / teach co-workers/  in creativity -- believing in yourself and your abilities and not being afraid to try something different, & to take chances

wish objective #3:  to organize & direct promotional booths at area hospitality trade shows, including theme conceptualization, customized marketing, & menu creation for hotel/club/company's event(s) - { I own the materials necessary to make it happen}

Early on, my objective was to gain as much varied experience within  the F&B field in order to become a more well-rounded professional.

"Being open to learning new experiences is the best part of growing in this profession"

Presentation of Qualifications


* Holding staff accountable to SOPs

* Receptive to learning from each other

* Developing & implementing standards to four-star status

* Stepping out of the box to look at things differently

* Demonstrated competencies in:  comprehensive event budgeting, developing a portfolio of proven vendors, strong aesthetics, team building, 4-star dining service in banquets, dining room, & restaurant


* Known for consistently delivering upscale meetings & events regardless of scope or venue

* Supervising & developing up to 18 full-time, 37 part-time co-workers, three managers, & numerous contract employees

* Resource contractor for catered event design & decor- Visual Designer


* Reduced overhead 25% by implementing a menu concept targeted to client's meal preferences, which featured a limited selection, & changed weekly to create variety

* Established procedures for forecasting sales to regulate inventory, resulting in decreased waste & increased quality of product

* Designed & implemented training program for service staff to 55, improving turnover rate & consistency of service to clients

* Upselling !    Upselling !    Upselling !


* Assisted corporate meeting planners in orchestrating annual conventions, board meetings, social events, HOLIDAY EVENTS, seminars for guest lists to 900 participants* Provided catering services for internal & external events, including menu development, purchasing, planning, & supervision* Taught monthly training seminars to 40+ co-workers on BQT re-training & pertinent job-related topics including time management, job safety, team building

Sample Pictures ..... to the left

Click on picture to see slightly bigger image.  I can e-mail a larger version on request as the larger files when down-sized to this length tends to lose clarity.


Banquets*Catering Sales*Event Planning*  Fine Dining  *  Restaurant & Outlet Mgmt

  • Designed new & creative banquet menus for competitiveness in local market
  • Overhauled environment & amenities through new centerpieces, linens, etc. on the BQT side
  • Revamped surroundings & amenities- trees, curtains, pictures, sculptures, wallpaper, chandeliers, chairs, blotters, etc. for a more pleasant inviting environment for catered events
  • Aligned hotel with a successful launch of an annual charity event
  • Organized event logistics - encompassing food & decor, delivery-set-up-breakdown, as well as transportation & valet parking
  • Increased guest satisfaction in VIP skyboxes & suites by designing a standardized system for handling hospitality including timelines, checklists, guest surveys, guest information packets and suite attendant training
  • Generated new business through cold canvassing, setting up consortiums, and local & national networking

Coordinated all aspects of a food & beverage operation in a hands-on approach with full responsibility for the admin & operational functions of a full-service banquet & dining room operation, managing from 3 to 47 personsEstablished, prepared, & implemented restaurant and banquet / catering guides, manuals, & checklists improving "front-of-house" ambiance including setting, service, mood/theme, and menu & its presentationDetermined degrees of creativity desired for individual catered/banquet events ranging from simple yet themed picnics to formal black-tie dinner, specialized cocktail parties to elegant wedding receptions, and small committee/board meetings to multi-day conferences & workshopsProven track record of successful events including 525+ wedding receptions; 68+ anniversaries; 112+ multi-day conferences/workshops; 85+ golf & tennis tournaments/outings; 47+ fund-raiser/charity events; as well as planning & executing holiday festivities at Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, & Omni HotelsInterior design knowledge & skills that include "thinking outside the box" to attract, plan, & execute special events and to promote & market F&B outlets

Own over $81,000 of banquet/catering enhancements including specialty linens, skirting, napkins, props, & special effects to highlight food display 

  • Improved GSS & ESS scores from 82 to mid 90s in F&B & to 100 in BQTS;  SALT scores to 9 & 10s across the board   
  • Containing banquet food & beverage cost between 18 and 28.6%   
  • Well-rounded Food and Beverage professional   

Main Motto - Do the SIMPLE things RIGHT !

Motto 2 - The difficult immediately, the impossible takes a little longer

Click on Sample Pictures

Click on picture to see slightly bigger image.  I can e-mail a larger version on request as the larger files when down-sized to this length tends to lose clarity.