Meet Our Team

Brittney Lee

Brittney Lee

Brittney Lee Photo

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.

Flower fever

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.

Guilty pleasure

Reality TV

Favorite vacation spot

Hawaii

Biggest inspiration

Her husband

Ashley Bangi

Ashley Bangi Photo

Mission: Perfection

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.

Team Spirit

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.

Amanda Lukawski

Amanda Lukawski Photo

A passion for people

This industry is all about making people happy, and Amanda can’t get enough of it. She lives for the joy her clients experience when their dream event becomes reality, and she says helping them reach that moment is “the best feeling in the world.” Before she joined us at The Madison Event Center, Amanda followed her passion for people from Purdue University, where she earned a degree in hospitality management, to Chicago, where she got a lesson in customer service managing the front desk at The Peninsula Hotel. From there, she earned her stripes in food service, at Petite Chou Bistro & Champagne Bar in Indianapolis. Her breadth of experience makes her a treasured asset to our team. As anyone around here will tell you, this girl knows how to plan a party.

Bring on the bars

Amanda is obsessed with bars—no, not those bars! We’re talking about event-friendly dessert bars, mimosa bars, bourbon bars and taco bars, just to name a few. But The Craft Beer Station at The Madison is her all-time favorite add-on for events. “It’s a great way to showcase your favorite local beers and breweries to your guests,” she says. When she’s not working to organize corporate and social events for our clients, you’ll find Amanda traveling with her fiancé or spending time with their Aussie-doodle, Mackey. Oh, and she’s a Cubs fan, but we love her anyway.

Biggest inspiration

Her hard-working parents

Fuel

Five (believe it) cups of coffee every morning

Most Memorable event

Helping a husband surprise his wife with a 60th birthday party

Candice Rains

Candice Rains Photo

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

Biggest  inspiration

Her mom

What she can’t live without 

Her family and friends

Lindsay Rogers

Lindsay Rogers Photo

Happily Ever After

College brought this Dayton native to the Cincinnati-area, but love made her stay. Lindsay met her husband when she was a student at the University of Cincinnati and they tied the knot at The Madison in 2016. So she knows just how perfect a Madison wedding can be, and that makes her one fabulous Wedding Event Specialist, if we do say so ourselves. She speaks from experience and appreciates how little details help to make an event feel personal. “Every couple imagines their wedding day differently,” she says. “I love working with them to make their special day the best day ever.” And even though every couple she works with is different from the last, she knows that they all have one thing in common: “to live happily ever after with their one true love.”

Sweet Tooth

If you’re looking for a recommendation to set your reception apart, Lindsay is quick to share her favorite. The S’mores Station, complete with an assortment of chocolates, graham crackers and marshmallows, is her go-to. Lindsay loves s’mores so much; she shared them with her guests as party favors at her own wedding. You’ll even find the pantry in her home fully stocked with the fixings at all times. Well, we know where we’re holding our next team bonfire.

Wedding-related anxiety

Mother Nature acting awry

Most memorable events

A Harry Potter-themed and a Halloween-themed wedding

Biggest inspiration

Her grandparents, who have been married for 70 years

Cathy Sillett

Cathy Sillett Photo

Keeping order

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.

Sweet  summertime

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

Chocolate

Favorite Wedding tradition

The anniversary dance for all married couples

Biggest inspiration

Her fun and friendly coworkers

Jason Patty

Jason Patty Photo

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.

Always Improving

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

Biggest Inspiration

The teachers and academic advisers who have pushed him to earn his degree

What he can’t live without

Peanut butter and chocolate

Mitch Weldishofer

Mitch Weldishofer Photo

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.”

Giving back

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.

Biggest Inspiration

His father

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

Eric Schene

Eric Schene Photo

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.

Hot Rod

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.

Biggest  inspiration

Our executive chef, Mitch Weldishofer

Favorite dish at The Madison

Caramelized brussels sprouts with sautéed onions and crispy bacon

Wedding-related anxiety

Wedding cakes toppling over (cue dramatic sound effect)

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