28 Jun Behind the Brand: Meet Amanda Smith, Event Manager
At Robert Ryan Catering & Design, we really are one big, happy family. We’ve already introduced you to Danny Salazar, our executive chef who began his career at Robert Ryan as a dishwasher, and Madison Tupper, our training and staffing coordinator who started out as a server. Now we would love for you to get to know Amanda Smith, one of our fabulous event planners.
What is your job title? What do you do day-to-day?
Amanda Smith: I’m an event manager. Every day is different and there is no such thing as a typical day. I am often found communicating with brides, following up with clients, giving tours of the properties, helping to design menus, finalizing details and making sure that nothing falls through the cracks.
What is the coolest thing about your job?
It’s always fun because I’m always doing something different. I also really like interacting with clients and being face-to-face. I love meetings to design menus and choosing linens and other design elements. I love building a rapport with the client and helping the client become comfortable. There is nothing more rewarding than helping a client’s vision come to life.
How long have you worked for Robert Ryan?
It will be three years in November 2016. I was a teacher in the West Chester School District. Robert Ryan Catering & Design catered my wedding in 2012 and I just loved the whole process. I had worked in restaurants my whole life and decided that I wanted to go back to school for event planning. I reached out to Bob because I thought he was so great at what he does. He said, “Don’t go back to school, I’ll teach you everything I know!”
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a teacher. My Mom was a teacher her whole life. She taught elementary school for almost 40 years and it’s what I always envisioned. So, I left teaching children, but I’m still teaching couples about the planning process. They know what they like and don’t like and they look to me to guide them. It’s similar to teaching. You are the support for the clients.
How would you describe Robert Ryan Catering & Design to a potential client or employee?
Robert Ryan Catering & Design is a family-owned company and that translates to the employees. We are all very close. It’s a laid back and comfortable environment and we laugh a lot. It’s all about quality of life for Mark and Bob. They really try to make sure we are happy and acknowledge that we need time outside of office to be our best work selves. It’s especially important in this industry. We work hard, but they make sure we have time off to be with our families. It is a great working environment and I’m positive that it translates to our clients. If we are at our best, then we can really deliver great results.
Tell me something about yourself that no one would know just by looking at you.
I’m naturally very introverted. Most people don’t see that. My first reaction is to people watch and sit on the sideline. But get to know me and I become an extrovert!
If there was a movie about your life, what would be the title and who would play you?
It would be called Crazy Girl. My husband and friends call me that. I’m always up for something new. My mom couldn’t contain me and I always had my eye on something new to explore. I’m very independent and don’t let anyone make the rules for me. Maybe Cameron Diaz would play me. Everyone says I look like her and she’s quirky like me.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?
I’m an equestrian. I have a horse named Coco and that is where you can find me 90% of my free time. I started riding when I was 5 years old. A friend of my family had horses and I started taking lessons. I showed horses and traveled between Maine and Delaware. I didn’t ride in high school or college, but my husband got me lessons at a local barn for our first anniversary. I started riding again three summers ago and now it is a passion.
Ready to schedule a tour of The Columbia Station or Barn on Bridge with Amanda? Email her or call her at (610) 933-6336 to set up an appointment.
Robert Ryan Catering & Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a five-star rating on WeddingWire and has received WeddingWire’s Couple’s Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venues. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news and recipes from our executive chef.