Location: Columbia, Greenville
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Location: Columbia, Greenville
I was born and raised in Columbia, SC where I grew up in the hospitality industry. My parents started Southern Way 40 years ago and I have enjoyed being in the family business full time for about ten years now. I started as event staff when I was a teenager then came on full time in sales. I served as the General Manager for a few years and have now been the Vice President of Operations for 2 years.
I am very passionate about the hospitality industry because I grew up in the business. As a young girl, I would come to the office and help my dad cook whole hogs. We would have to spend the night because the process is intense. It is a memory that always makes me smile. It made me really appreciate my parents’ hard work.
I have a connection to the people and the events. My true passion is what you would call behind the scenes. I love to help create menus and figure out how to make things logistically work for catered events.
There are so many things I love about Southern Way. Every day is different! I love our awesome staff and working with them to make our clients as happy as can be. Being in the position I am, I have learned so many things from this company that have helped me grow as an employer and as a person.
When I am not working, I enjoy vacationing with husband and my two girls, Phe and Olivia to the beach or the mountains! We live in the country with lots of animals, so we love spending time outside and entertaining guests! I also enjoy researching new food trends with my husband, our chef! We love working together so we can continue to modernize our menus at Southern Way Catering.
Location: Columbia, Greenville
I grew up on the coast in Morehead City, NC. Then, went to Highschool in Florence. I moved to Columbia to attend the University of South Carolina and have been here ever since.
I graduated from the Moore School of Business with a double major in real estate, and entrepreneurial management. I minored in HRTM. During my senior year, I had to create a business plan in order to graduate. I started with the Southern Way part time when I was in school, and primarily worked events. After working nearly every position, including cook, carver, passer, busser, and captain, I fell in love with the business.
After starting a few other businesses of my own, I went to Jimmy Stevenson, founder of Southern Way looking for a partner. Instead of pursuing the original concept and starting my own company, I made the decision to join him to help grow Southern Way. What a great decision.
I have been Vice President of Business and Partner of Southern Way since 2013. I love working with the company, because it’s a brand that I can be proud of. If the 40-year reputation doesn’t already speak for itself, just meet anyone in our organization. We are a team of hardworking, dedicated, people of character who are passionate about what we do, and genuinely care for the clients we serve. I am passionate about the people. Both our clients and employees. The best part of my job is connectivity. It is incredibly rewarding to be able to find growth opportunities for our company, find great people to help us achieve our goals, and serve incredible clients during the most important occasions of their lifetime. At the end of the process, we’ve made new friends, and everlasting memories.
The bigger the event, the better! Of course, small intimate wine dinners are fun too…. But I’m an adrenaline junky, and our team is very good at executing large scale events. We make the seemingly impossible look easy, and nothing in the world makes me happier. My favorite, best, and worst memory at Southern Way was catering the Democratic National Convention. It wasn’t my favorite because we were able to serve a President, celebrities, or people of influence, and it certainly wasn’t the politics. It was my favorite because we worked 20-hour days, for 5 days straight. We found success in the most challenging conditions imaginable. I even slept on a cardboard box one night, making me forever appreciate my bed and a soft pillow.
I love spending time with my wife and two kids, fishing, hunting, woodworking, golf, or pretty much anything outdoors. Unfortunately, I don’t do near as much of any of those things as I’d like, because what I enjoy more than anything (except for family of course) is my work!
I enjoy being on the move. In my role, I often find myself on the road between meetings, venue visits, or our office in Greenville. Every day is different, and every day presents new challenges. I try to stay active and find joy in giving back to a community that has given so much to me. Service above self will always be a priority. Some of these include: Member at Union United Methodist Church; Board Member, Friends of Epworth Children’s Home; Member, Columbia Rotary Club; President, Columbia Bridal Associates; Board Member, Leadership Columbia; Board Member, American Heart Association; Past Member, City of Columbia Hospitality Tax Commission; Member, Executives Association of Greater Columbia.
I’ve spent my entire life living and playing in the Upstate. I studied Graphic Design at USC Upstate, but have always been in the hospitality industry. The growth of the dining scene in Greenville has allowed me so many great opportunities to work on every side of this business. I joined the Southern Way team the summer of 2019 and helped open the Upstate division.
I love surrounding myself with people that have very high expectations of their life and work. Southern Way provides that opportunity for our clients, guests, and staff. We work in a very demanding field where success is mandatory. But it makes it so much better when you get to do it with a group of Southern “Hospitalians.”
I can’t choose just one favorite type of event. Truly, all of them are my favorite. Getting to see large groups of family and friends get together to spend much needed quality time together never gets old. From weddings, rehearsal dinners, and birthday parties to large corporate galas and fundraisers, we get to bring all of the details together to make for a wonderful evening.
SWC knows how to throw a party. Which is probably why our Christmas parties are always a blast! They are as fun as you would expect them to be. But, on a more serious note, watching our team come together in 2020 when everything else was falling apart around us was nothing short of amazing. This was a very challenging year for a company that specializes in large gatherings of people. But, to watch us pivot from wedding and parties to producing 50,000 meals a week to support Meals on Wheels all across South Carolina was incredibly meaningful.
I love spending time with my wife, Mary, and chasing three beautiful, talented daughters around the world. I also enjoy spending time on a bicycle or with a guitar, all of which I own way too many of.
“There’s always less traffic on the extra mile.”
- John C. Maxwell
“Hospitality is almost impossible to teach. It’s all about hiring the right people.”
- Danny Meyer
I am originally from Sebastian, Florida. I attended the University of Florida (Go Gators!) where I received a Bachelors in Recreation and Event Management. I worked my way through college as an Assistant Tennis Pro at a country club in Gainesville, FL. From there I threw a pin at a map and it landed on Greenville, SC and have been here for just over 12 years working in the hospitality industry.
I have been with SW since October of 2019. I do all the things! I can sell events, venues, staff events, captain and be a cook if need be! What originally attracted me to SW was the potential to grow with a very established company. Although we were new in the Greenville market, the Columbia division has been in business and thriving for over 35years. After meeting the team in Columbia, I knew I it was a perfect fit for me.
My favorite events are the ones that want their personalities to be reflected in their event and where the little details are intentional. Being a part of making these little moments possible is so rewarding!
I love the challenges and the creative thinking that comes in play when collaborating with other vendors on events. When we are able to all come together and see the client’s dreams come to life, it is something truly special. My favorite memory from SW was our very first staff meeting in Greenville. For the longest time, it was just the three of us. At that first meeting, we had a table full of ambitious new faces. I was anxious and looking forward to the continued growth!
SW has taught me so many things! It has taught me that I need to have patience and grace for myself. It has also reassured confidence that I have professionally.
I love spending time with my husband and children. We love to play tennis and be outdoors as much as possible. I also have the best puppy ever! He is a Boston Terrier named Buffalo. He has been the perfect addition to our family.
I joined the Southern Way team in 2020. Since I can remember, I’ve always been interested in the hospitality industry and when an open position came up, I jumped on the opportunity and I haven’t looked back since! I love every event but, my most favorite events are Clemson Basketball and weddings! I love meeting new people and being able to take part in their special day.
On days that I am not working, you can find me doing something crafty like sign making, wood burning, and calligraphy. I also enjoy entertaining my 8 siblings and hikes with my dog, Camper!
I’m from Laurens, SC and I went to USC in Columbia for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I earned a BS in Exercise Science in 2013 and a Masters in Sport and Entertainment Management in 2018. I moved back to the Upstate in 2019 and most of my prior event experience (hiring, staffing, event managing) has been focused on college athletic events. I started working with Southern Way in my current role as the Staffing Coordinator of our Upstate location in June of 2021.
My favorite thing about working at Southern Way is the team, in both our Upstate and Columbia locations. From day one, everyone has been so awesome to work with and I have felt very comfortable and appreciated working here.
While I don’t work as many events as most of our staff, I gravitate toward the athletic events. Most of my experience prior to working with Southern Way has been in event management and marketing with college athletics. The opportunity to be a part of the gameday experience with Clemson University athletics was something I was very excited about continuing when I was hired with Southern Way.
My favorite memory from Southern Way is high kicking to Copperhead Road at the company Christmas party. Honestly though, working events is a completely different beast. The long hours and the blood, sweat, and tears that we all put into making our events run smoothly, so that the clients have a wonderful event to look back on, brings us all so close together as a team and our bonds as co-workers are stronger than in most other industries. I would say my true favorite memory is finishing our last game of our first season with Clemson football and taking time to breathe and reflect with our team, knowing that we made it through and put in our all to make the season a success.
I am a people person to my core and, in my position, I have the opportunity to spend a great deal of time interacting with lots of different people. I work with our employees from start to finish with the interview and hiring process, and I’m their main contact for scheduling, payroll, and a long list of other questions or concerns they may have. I really enjoy getting to know our staff, helping them on a day-to-day basis, and watching them progress and grow with the company.
I’m a lot more boring in my old age (31), so my free time revolves mostly around spending time with my black lab/beagle mix, Mac, my kitten, Luna, and my boyfriend, John, at home. When I’m not working, you can usually find me binge-watching The Office, but when I get a wild hair, you can find me hitting the town with Sara, Tori and Cassandra, attempting to learn line dances at the Blind Horse Saloon.
Working at Southern Way has cultured me in the world of catering and cuisine. I had very little (aka no) catering experience and I had never even heard of some of our dishes before working here (panna cotta, for example, but it’s delicious). Southern Way has taught me that a healthy, enjoyable work environment is so important, and I didn’t realize what I was missing before I started here and joined this team.
“I am Beyonce, always.” – Michael Scott
I was born in Huntsville, AL. and graduated from Auburn University in 2001. I started working in the kitchen in 2004 as a prep/line cook and worked my way up to where I am now. I have been with Southern Way since October 2019 and I haven’t looked back.
I like that each week is different with regards to menus, venues, and the varying occasions we are able to celebrate with people. Everyone here takes pride in exceptional food and unforgettable service. Weddings are my favorite. They are all so different and it’s a new experience every time. Catering can be tough but when you work with a crew that supports each other, it definitely helps lighten the load.
My most memorable experience with Southern Way was being able to be a part of Iron Caterer and showing what SWC can do. This experience helped in growing our brand in the upstate and was an opportunity I am truly grateful for! I love creating food that people enjoy
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, playing guitar, and the occasional golf outing.
I am originally From Charleston, SC. I’ve been with SW since September 2021. I’ve been in the food and beverage industry since I was 15 and I fell in love with it. I briefly attended the Culinary Institute of Charleston until I met some teachers who offered me jobs at their restaurants. I always felt I could learn more working with great chefs and cooks then in a classroom. I spent what felt like an eternity climbing the ranks in Charleston kitchens while trying to learn different cuisines, and styles of service.
SW has some of the best people that work for them. I love my co-workers and I really enjoy the fun work environment. My favorite type of event is a small, private dinner. But my most favorite memory so far has been working the Clemson football games, it was a pretty cool experience.
The best part of my job is the prep. Coming up with a plan then executing it efficiently to make sure you are set up for success at each event is something I consider fun and enjoyable.
When I’m not working, I can be found doing something fun with my family (wife, daughter 11, son 6).