Ryan Kaatz

Ryan Kaatz joins us as Director of Special Events, and will be overseeing our Boat Show operations in Florida. Ryan began his career in food and beverage at 15 years old and has worked in a variety of environments. Being a huge hockey fan, Ryan joined Levy in 2009 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Shortly after, Ryan found his niche in the outdoor event space, and to date he has been involved in more than 40 PGA events and 25 outdoor concerts/festivals. In his spare time Ryan enjoys hiking, fishing and traveling. Ryan can be reached at rkaatz@proofpudding.com and is currently stationed at our corporate office in Atlanta.

Jennifer Paul

Chef Jennifer Paul has also joined Proof of the Pudding as another wonderful new addition to our Off Premise Pastry Department. Jennifer is no stranger to the Atlanta culinary scene. Hailing from Tucker, Ga., Chef Paul began her culinary career at the iconic Bistro Niko, where she spent two years developing her skills before joining Alon’s Bakery and most recently the restaurant, Canoe. Chef Paul appreciates traditional pastry recipes, but enjoys reinventing them and putting a new twist on the past classics. Under Chef Paul, many of Canoe’s dessert classics, such as the Popcorn Ice Cream Sundae, have remained fan favorites, but her touch was evident in the new dessert items and have been regarded by the Food Network. Chef Paul was trained at Johnson & Wales University where she received degrees in Baking and Pastry Arts and Food Service Management. Jennifer is looking forward to joining the Proof team! Jennifer can be reached at jenniferm.paul@yahoo.com

Paulette Hopkins

Paulette Hopkins joins us as Catering and Event Sales Specialist, designing exclusive catered events with the vendors participating in the five Florida Boat Show events. Paulette began her hospitality career as a meeting and event planner with one of the three preferred vendors for Coca-Cola and later the World of Coca-Cola. Upon her employer’s retirement, she inherited the company, oversaw the team, while being the front person for new sales and assisting with the event operations of meetings while she continued her food and beverage development.  She counts her 14 years coordinating customer events for a major sponsor of the ATT Pebble Beach Pro Am, as well as additional customer events, for same client in Napa, CA. At the World of Coca-Cola, as the event manager, and, later as the external event sales manager, Paulette became increasingly impressed with the inspiring evolution of Proof of the Pudding and is looking forward to learning more about Proof and thrilled to be a part of the Proof family! Paulette can be reached at phopkins@proofpudding.com and is currently stationed at our corporate office in Atlanta.

Lauren Manners

Lauren Manners has also joined the Proof team as Catering Sales Manager for Off Premise. Lauren was born and raised in Alabama and is a big Auburn fan. After graduating from Auburn, she moved to New York City where she began her career in fashion. While pursuing her fashion career, she found a side job with an event staffing company called Cutting Edge Elite (CEE). Through this company, she found her true love for events! She decided to switch directions and commit her time fully with the event industry. She soon learned that CEE had a sister company called Alice Perry Events that does full service planning. After being trained under the New York owners of both sister companies, she proposed to them to move down to the South and open the Southern branch of the company. She is now so glad that Atlanta is the city that she chose. She took on the role of Sales Manager for Cutting Edge Elite as well as Alice Perry Events. In the meantime, she also produced and executed all of events for Atlanta and New York. Lauren recently started a networking event and organization called LinkedIn Local. The group has coffee get-togethers once a month as well as a large networking event once per quarter. This event is to help people learn about LinkedIn, how they can use it to their advantage to help grow their business and to really take the time to come out from behind the computer and meet people in the city.

In her free time, Lauren loves spending time with her adorable 1-year-old golden doodle named Tatum. Lauren also loves going to concerts and shows. Her favorite, lesser known band is Coasts Band. Lauren is currently training to be the interim sales catering manager at Douglasville Conference Center to replace Ike Lee as she moves on from Proof of the Pudding. Lauren can be reached at lmanners@proofpudding.com

by Dina Biondo in Team, Media