Ryan Hill | Event Director for Modern Events
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY and how did you get the position you are in now?
I started at TGI Fridays as a busboy when I was 16 way back in 1997. And yes, I wore flair. I have worked as a server, bartender & manager in restaurants from Ohio to Miami and then into Sarasota. I started working events through Libby’s 10 years ago and developed a passion for the whole process. I was thinking of going back to school with a focus on the Event Industry, and at the same time we were opening a proper Events Department of the company...Steve Seidensticker being the amazing guy he is, told me to grab my bootstraps and learn in real life, real time. I worked my way up to taking over the Department at the end of 2016.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT THE HOSPITALITY FIELD and event planning field?
Getting the privilege to be a part of, both creatively & operationally, someone's big life moments. Working on a Wedding for example, with a couple for sometimes almost 2 years and then being able to see that orchestrated magic come to fruition is personally the most gratifying feeling to me. It really is a “love what you do & it won’t be work” kind of feeling at those times!
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO AS A MEMBER OF THE TABLESEIDE TEAM?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TABLESEIDE RESTAURANT GROUP DISH?
When I feel dumpy; the Philly Cheese-Steak Eggroll & when I feel healthy The Vegetable Chop Salad.
WHAT would a client say about you?
The best compliment I have received is “divine”, it’s just a favorite word of mine and when said in regards to something I have done professionally it makes me feel like a real 1920’s gentleman of hospitality.
How long have you lived and worked in the Sarasota area?
10 & ½ years but my family has been vacationing here since the 50’s...my grandpa has been on Siesta Key for what seems like millenia...it has always felt like home.
What has been your favorite event thus far?
No cheese here but it changes all the time, sometimes it’s the massive ones that take everything I have & sometime’s it’s the small ones that end up something really special.
Do you have any funny stories from events that you have planned?
One of the first off-sites we did, our vehicle for the night was a very small BMW (looking back I am not even sure why)...it was packed like a clown car with a banner sticking out of the sun roof and I had to sit on my boss’s lap...I mean literally it was like an episode of Hoarders Hits the Road.
What are you favorite types of events to plan?
I have to say Weddings because I am a Romeo & Juliet romantic at heart, but also...anything with a unique theme (valid excuses to play dress-up)!
WHAT has been your proudest event achievement?
Modern Events as a whole, it is what I assume giving birth is like (I’ll stick to being an uncle thank you very much).
What are your pro tips for planning a wedding?
“PLANS REALLY DO COME TRUE”...make a list of everything you want to accomplish in an order of importance and work through that list. Maybe I am a tad OCD but there is nothing more gratifying than crossing a task off a list, oh and have amazing food...all your guests have something in common and that is that they eat!!! #LOVEFOOD