Many women spend time as young girls planning out their dream weddings and the team at Roche Harbor Events is no exception. The difference is these women have turned that creativity into successful careers as the events department team, planning not only weddings but family gatherings, vacations, business meetings and marina events for Roche Harbor Resort and Marina.
The events team — led by Lodging and Event Operations Manager Alyssa Ostenrude; Event Production and Planning Manager Laura Flaum; Event Sales Coordinator Jessica Chaffee; Group Sales and Lodging Coordinator Ashley Sherlock; and Event Planner Stina Rhude — handle all aspects of their guests’ special events, from the initial meetings and resort tours with potential clients to helping guests navigate which services best fit their plans to actually coordinating the big day’s activities.
Though all of the women work independently in separate facets of the events department, they’re able to use their combined creativity, experience and talents to ensure their guests get exactly what they’re hoping for, whether it be their dream wedding, a family reunion or a business event.
Sherlock, who has been with the team for over a year, works directly with clients to plan small group events. She’s a client’s advocate for everything from helping them choose the services that best fit their event to managing the group’s actual reservations.
Her favorite part of working with the team is the team’s creative brainstorming.
“Everyone thinks of things differently,” she said. “All of us working together and bouncing ideas off each other helps create a customer service experience that everyone can feel good about.”
Chaffee, who specializes in event sales, was a seasonal employee for Roche Harbor since the early 2000s but has been a full-time events team member since 2013. Her focus is on wedding sales.
“A typical day for me is centered around corresponding with couples who are interested in getting married at Roche Harbor,” she said. “I love meeting and touring with potential clients in person and discussing the possibility of their wedding with us.”
Chaffee said she feels that part of what makes the team so successful is how their individual strengths are specific to their positions but all of the women have the same goal when it comes to their guests: providing the best experience possible.
Starting at Roche Harbor five years ago, Flaum oversees events such as rehearsal dinners, brunches and boat rendezvous while also managing front of house event staff and keeping up on administration duties. A usual workday for her has many moving parts but thanks to her manager Alyssa, the women have all been encouraged to learn about each other’s roles in order to help one another.
“I find myself brainstorming with Jessica, Ashley and Stina often,” she said. “We are all open to each other’s opinions and suggestions. “
The group holds weekly team meetings in order to stay up to date on upcoming events and what is going on in each other’s specific departments. “Our weekly team meetings help everyone share what they are working on and brainstorm solutions to problems that may arise,” Sherlock said.
Flaum added that although each team member has different areas of responsibility, everything they do affects the team as a whole and they rely on each other heavily to ensure that each event is a success.
“We all bring something unique to the table,” she said. “Our different backgrounds lend to a cohesive and balanced team. We are successful because we have a great level of respect for one another.”
Chaffee added that, though the women have all worked for the company for various amounts of time, they have been a cohesive team for about a year.
“We bounce ideas off each other constantly,” said Chaffee. “But most importantly, we build each other up, we respect and admire each other and we celebrate our successes!”
The team’s hard work and cohesive creativity is shown in their success: this year Roche Harbor Resort was named 2019’s “Best Northwest Destination Wedding” venue by Seattle Bride Magazine for the eighth consecutive year.
“Our goal is to always build on our success and to develop new and exciting ways to enhance the guest experience,” Flaum said.