These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to brittany.trevick@tigeroak.com.

John Wheeler was recently hired as the director of event production for The RK Group—a hospitality and culinary service management company.

1. What are you most looking forward to in your new role as director of event production and design for The RK Group?

What I’m most looking forward to in my new role is bringing a fresh, new and contemporary style to The RK Group. I truly believe this new role, along with the launching of RKD Studio, will take us to the next level in the event industry. With cutting-edge ideas and new twists and turns on classic-meets-modern décor, I feel The RK Group will be the leading décor/DMC company in the industry.

 

2. How do you think your past industry experience has prepared you for this role?

First, I’m very grateful to be a part of this amazing team of professionals. I feel all my various roles in the industry—from 20-plus years as operations and sales management to producing talent, sketching new ideas to choreographing and staging events—have led me to this great opportunity.

3.What goals do you have in mind for the company for this year and farther down the line?

My goals are to bring a new way of thinking outside the box to the team and gently challenging everyone to think bigger and better. My long-term goal is to have a new arsenal of interactive and sophisticated designs for our leading sales team; to empower them so The RK stays among the leading companies in the event industry.

4. How did you get into the event-planning industry?

At an early age in college, I worked for a theatrical dance company who also did décor. I was fascinated with design and textures. I attribute a lot of my experience to theater design and performance capabilities. Having both of these gave me the confidence and ability to be a unique team member in events.

5. What do you enjoy most about the organization?

I enjoy the people I have the pleasure of working with every day and the open-minded attitude I’ve experienced with the team. I love the support I’ve received and the support I try to offer to my fellow team members, including creating and brain storming. I also love the fact that it’s a family-run company with a big heart. It’s infectious!

6. Any additional comments?

I try to show by example rather than words. To live in gratitude versus entitlement has brought me very far in life’s journey.Always be open to learning and keep your eyes open for new inspirations. You never know where the next one will come from!

What trends are you seeing on your event menus?

 

Robert Watson celebrates 30 years with Hilton, but his résumé in hospitality goes way back.

 

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