Living the dream
If you ask Brittney, she’ll tell you The Madison team is her second family. If you ask us, we’ll say we’re super grateful for her because Brittney is the glue that holds this family together. As General Manager, she leads our team by example. “No matter the role, every person at The Madison Event Center has one goal in mind: to give our clients the best day ever. Every day, that’s our responsibility.” Brittney’s been hooked on hospitality management since college, when she worked as a bartender while earning her degree in marketing at Northern Kentucky University. Soon after, she launched a career in sales and events and is still living that dream. Those are her words, mind you. We couldn’t invent the kind of passion Brittney has for what we do.
When Brittney planned her own wedding (at The Madison, of course!), flowers barely made her list of priorities. But today, they’d be at the top. “Flowers, flowers everywhere!” she says of her favorite wedding trend. “I absolutely love a ceremony and reception covered in flowers.” A Cincinnati native, Brittney currently lives in Lawrenceburg—she swears it’s not that far—with her husband and their daughter, who makes her laugh every day and has taught her a new meaning of the word patience.
Favorite vacation spot
Around here, we say perfection is in our details, and Ashley couldn’t agree more. She strives to make every wedding celebration perfect for her clients and loves helping them customize every little detail to get there. “I’m most excited about being part of a couple’s journey and creating the special day they’ve always dreamed of,” she says. When it comes to capturing that special day, there’s always one photo she urges couples to nail: the reaction of the person waiting at the end of the aisle.
Ashley is a team player, a quality she picked up on the soccer field and brings to work with her every day. She played the sport as a kid and for four years at Campbell University in North Carolina, where she met her husband. The couple married in 2014 and celebrated their reception (where else?) at The Madison. When she’s not helping other couples plan their dream wedding, Ashley loves going to Reds games with her husband and their son and serving as a youth group leader at their church. We should also mention that if you hear her talking about “forced fun,” don't worry. She’s just referring to the game nights she likes to host for her family. Pictionary, anyone?
What she can’t live without
Faith, family and dark chocolate
Dogs or cats?
Dogs. She has two, Izzy and Gracie
Favorite reception trend
A custom dish that represents the couple’s heritage.
It's all in the details
When couples choose The Madison Event Center to host their celebration, they put their faith in dedicated Wedding Event Specialists like Candice, who has been in the hospitality business for more than 15 years. Rest assured, she doesn’t take that responsibility lightly. “They choose us because they trust us to handle the details of their special day,” she says. Candice loves finding new ways couples can incorporate personal details into their reception. A few of her favorites include naming each table after a city the couple has visited, offering guests a selection of the couple’s favorite candies, personalized selfie stations and creative hash tags.
From wine list to wedding checklist
Candice’s first taste of events management was served alongside a glass of wine. After earning a degree in meeting and event planning from the University of Cincinnati, she took a job at First Crush in California, where she organized private dinners, parties and winemaking experiences at the upscale restaurant and wine bar. There, she learned how to taste, critique and pair wines, a skill she continued to sharpen as a server and, ultimately, private dining manager at popular Cincinnati establishments Jag’s, Bravo and Stone Creek. Today, Candice is still passionate about food and drink. In her down time, you’ll likely find her dining at local, independently owned restaurants—A Tavola, Soto and Cozy’s Cottage are some of her favorites—and sipping on her go-to cocktail: a vodka gimlet, up, shaken extra hard.
Favorite wedding favor
A charitable donation in lieu of favors
What she can’t live without
Her family and friends
In Your Dreams, Every Detail Matters
Nicole lives for the excitement in planning an unforgettable wedding day. “I am just as excited as my couples!” Nicole has helped hundreds plan their special day, and we know she doesn’t miss a beat! Her enthusiasm and passion is unmatched and she loves playing such an important role in planning the “event of a lifetime” for her couples. “They’ve been dreaming of this for so long, and I don’t take that responsibility lightly,” she says. Her sole mission is to ensure that all her couples have the most perfect, stress-free wedding celebration.
Wedding décor that is! “My absolute favorite trend right now is metals—gold, rose gold, silver, copper and gunmetal! Metallic tones pair well with so many beautiful wedding colors,” Nicole says. We can tell you that Nicole herself has a sparkling personality, which will be evident as soon as you meet her! When it comes to décor suggestions, Nicole is full of inspiring ideas. “I love lanterns and bistro lights— on trend but always classic,” she says, “those romantic details create a dreamy feel for your wedding.”
The Real Housewives on Bravo with a glass of wine.
Nicole’s son. “He is my everything, my best buddy, and although I only have half of his energy and amazing imagination, he really inspires me to be the ‘best me’ I can be every day!”
Emily loves being a part of a business that revolves around passion, and at the Madison Event Center, she gets to enjoy both our clients’ enthusiasm as well as our dedication to exceeding their expectations. “Events are something I’ve been passionate about for a long time now,” Emily says, “and I am overwhelmed to be at a place in my career where I’m contributing to something others can enjoy so much. It’s an amazing way to give something back to people without even realizing!”
Can't Stop the Feeling
“I am inspired by any artistic outlet,” Emily says. “Outside of work, I am a dancer and performer, and whether it’s on a dance crew or just on my own, I never feel better than when I am surrounded by people, live music, and dance.” Emily is a huge fan of music festivals. “There is just nothing quite like being focused on an artist you love who is performing, surrounded by so many people with similar interests. My favorite festival memory is from a few years ago where thousands of people camped out for a summer weekend. It was such a large-scale public event, yet inside the crowd it still somehow felt so very personal. It gave me that carefree feeling I wish I could always have.”
Drawing people into conversation and making them laugh.
In Search of
Great, local craft beer.
A veteran of the hospitality industry (almost 30 years!), Cathy knows a thing or two about quality service, time management and patience. Just ask her about that last one when she tells you about her teenaged great-nephew, whom she is raising along with her son. Cathy cut her teeth in the fast-food industry before joining us at The Madison Event Center more than 15 years ago and she’s been running the show as our Operations Manager ever since. While her event-day focus is on flow and organization, the job comes with a few additional perks. Her favorite? Getting a behind-the-scenes look at each bride before the ceremony. “Seeing the bride with her father right before they walk down the aisle, fluffing her dress and making sure she has tissues—just sharing this special time with them is very rewarding,” she says.
Summer is her season. When the weather is warm, you’ll find Cathy outside pitching a tent, casting a line, soaking in the sun and relaxing with her friends and family. Can we add more here? She loves attending outdoor concerts at Riverbend; she will listen to absolutely anything!
What she can’t live without
Favorite Wedding tradition
The anniversary dance for all married couples
Her fun and friendly coworkers
Work hard, play hard
We think Jason might have been a magician in a past life, because he somehow manages to be in half a dozen places at once and still execute flawlessly. On any given day, you’ll find this hardworking Operations Manager in our ballrooms and behind the scenes ensuring everything runs smoothly, from the first toast to the last dance. Basically, he’s the guy who sweats the small stuff so you don’t have to. Jason is backed by a dedicated team, and he’s grateful for their positive attitudes and strong work ethic. “We have a team willing to work harder than they play,” he says.
If you ever have the opportunity to work with Jason, don’t be a stranger. He loves to hear from our guests, both about the things our team knocked out of the park and the areas in which they could improve. “We learn from our mistakes and always strive to give our clients the perfect event.” Jason is earning his degree in hospitality management at Cincinnati State, but when he has down time, he spends it with his girlfriend, his family and friends. He likes to play indoor soccer and volleyball, and enjoys the challenge of trying to “keep up with the young high school and college kids.” When he’s looking to unplug, he heads outside for a run with his dog or a night camping in the woods.
Favorite wedding trend
Doughnuts in lieu of a traditional wedding cake
The teachers and academic advisers who have pushed him to earn his degree
What he can’t live without
Peanut butter and chocolate
Farm to plate
Mitch has been passionate about food ever since his parents taught him to cook using fruits, vegetables and herbs from their garden, which he cultivated to prepare meals for their family of nine. As our Executive Chef, he maintains the philosophy that fresh, quality ingredients produce the best dishes. He makes almost everything we serve at The Madison Event Center from scratch, from house-made dressings, sauces and seasonings to fresh-baked bread. So, aside from dinner being cooked to perfection, what’s his idea of a perfect event? “I just want everyone to be happy,” he says. “Seeing all those smiles and knowing that I had a helping hand in making someone’s day special.”
If you would have asked him 10 years ago what he couldn’t live without, Mitch would have told you his weekly bowling league or listening to music while cruising in his car. And now? “My faith,” he says. When he’s not in our kitchen, you’ll find him cooking meals for his elderly neighbors, volunteering at his local food pantry and teaching weekly classes for Confirmation candidates at his Catholic parish. He also enjoys spending time with his longtime girlfriend (who he credits for supporting and inspiring him throughout his career), tending to his garden, backyard barbecues and camping. At some point in there, we presume he finds time to sleep.
Favorite wedding Trend
Charity registries, which encourage guests to make donations in lieu of gifts
Dogs or cats?
Trick question. Mitch has a three-legged Weimaraner, four cats and 15 chickens
From The Hobo Hut to haute cuisine
Eric has come a long way since his first gig flipping burgers at The Hobo Hut near his hometown of Batesville, Indiana, “making a whopping $3 an hour,” as he recalls. As a professional Chef, he’s worked in kitchens across the country, from Ohio and Indiana to Colorado, New York and Vermont. The number of people seated at his tables has varied through the years, too. He’s cooked for as few as two people at a time, as a family’s personal chef, to as many as a thousand, in the kitchen at Argosy Casino in Indiana. But the one thing that’s remained constant throughout his career is his passion for creating something other people really enjoy.
When he’s not preparing meals for our guests at The Madison Event Center, you’ll still find Eric in the kitchen cooking for friends and family at home. Other interests include rehabbing historic houses and cars (of the latter, he’s owned more than 50!) and greasing the wheels on his own vintage ride, a 1966 Mercedes 200 Diesel. With no power steering and no power brakes, it’s “built like a German tank.” He loves taking it for rides on sunny afternoons and showing it off at car shows. And we can’t forget his dog, Trudy, which brings us to Eric’s favorite wedding trend: including family pets in wedding-day celebrations.
Our executive chef, Mitch Weldishofer
Favorite dish at The Madison
Caramelized brussels sprouts with sautéed onions and crispy bacon
Wedding cakes toppling over (cue dramatic sound effect)