Operations Team:
Our General Manager, J. Rueger Houck, and Operations Manager, Pablo Velazquez, oversee all aspects of the business including: administration, logistics, event staffing, ordering, event setup, event management, and whatever else might need to get done. The most important task on their list, however, is always the successful and seamless event execution for each of our Clients' corporate, bridal or social functions. Sound easy? Trust us when we say, these guys have very full plates completing the not-so-glamorous, but absolutely necessary tasks required to execute a wedding ceremony and reception from beginning to end.

Operations team 128 South/Bakery 105

L-Pablo-Velazquez & R-Rueger-Houck

{J. Rueger Houck}

Rueger has been with 128 South since the Spring of 2012 when he began as event staff.  By the end of that first year, he was promoted to the Operations Manager and now holds the position of General Manager.  As General Manager, he sees to the day to day business duties that need to be taken care of including oversight of the Sales, Operations, Event Planning, and Culinary teams. He still gets to work events…just not all of them.  When asked what he does for a living, his response is always "I am in the business of providing unforgettable memories".  It’s the truth.

{Pablo Velazquez}
Pablo joined the 128 South/ Bakery 105 team in 2015. He came to us with a stellar background and experience in food and beverage management. His daily activities include: ordering, inventory, event set up, event break down, event execution and all staffing. He will be the first to tell you, he has some of the best catering staff in town. The position requires a lot of long hours but also comes with great reward in the form of seamless events and happy clients. (Added bonus, he gets to work with his wife, Chere, one of our fantastic coordinators)
Meredith Swicegood

Our Sales Manager Meredith Swicegood is often the first step in the booking process. She responds to inquiries, answers questions, leads site tours, negotiates contract details, and participates in community and networking events.

{Meredith Swicegood}
Meredith graduated from UNCW in 1998. Throughout her years in college, she worked steadily in the service industry. After graduating, she went on to work as a Banquet Manager for Shell Island Resort and after a year of setting up, breaking down, and working all the events she transitioned into the Catering Sales Manager position. Over the next 6 years she was responsible for all of the Weddings, Reunions, Association & Corporate events, and room sales for the resort. Throughout this time she was able to get a clear understanding of what it takes (both front & back of the house) to operate events at a standard that puts you above & beyond the competitors. She accepted the job as Sales Manager at 128 South events in July 2015 and could not be happier representing such a high quality organization.

Event Planning Team:
This group of talented staff certainly spends the most time with our clients. The "heartbeat" of the planning process is made possible by our Event Coordinators/Day-Of Coordinators, Jordan Miller and Chere Velazquez, and Office Admin/Day-Of Coordinator, Katie Swain. This team of ladies (no discrimination here fellas, they just all happen to be female) help each of our client's make the numerous decisions related to the venue, floor plan/setup, catering selections, etc. All of the ladies can be contracted as a Day-Of Coordinator for an event, but you are also likely to find them in the office during the week answering client questions and emails. Million-dollar smiles aside, what you will find about our entire team is a seriously proficient, veteran crew of event day problem-solvers who help make the event a seamless success.

128 South/Bakery 105 Events Staff

L-Jordan Miller, C-Katie-Swain, R-Chere-Velazquez

{Chere Velazquez}
Chere has been with 128 South and Bakery 105 since 2012. She will be the first to tell you that time really does fly when you love what you do! Chere came to our company with a background in food and beverage management, event planning, and non-profit fundraising. She enjoys the planning process, meeting with our clients, and helping them work through the details of their day. Her favorite part of the job is “the moment they walk into the venue and they see everything for the first time. T the look on their face is priceless!” In her own words, “I am truly honored to be trusted with such an important and beautiful day in their lives!”
{Jordan Miller}
Jordan began her career with 128 South in 2013 working in the office part time as a office admin while going to school for her degree in Hospitality Management. Following her May 2016 graduation, we added her to the team full time as an Event Coordinator and Day-Of Coordinator. Her favorite part about the job is “the joy I receive in helping our clients create an event that is truly memorable and then seeing that event come to life.”
{Katie Swain}
A wife and mother of three boys, Katie started with 128 South in 2010 as event staff. Over the last six years, she worked her way up through the ranks from event staff to catering coordinator and most recently to the Day-Of Coordinator team and Office Admin. Katie comes with a wealth of hospitality and food & beverage experience. Her very detail-oriented nature helps focus on even the smallest aspects (that sometimes turn out to be the most important). In Katie’s words, “I love that I get to develop a personal relationship with each client - I feel that it is truly the key to making each event a unique and special affair to remember.”
L-John DeSarno & R-Steven Powell

L-John DeSarno & R-Steven Powell

Culinary Team:
Since the inception of 128 South and Bakery 105, providing an exceptional culinary experience has been a big focus for our company. (Read: We love great food!) Finding the right team to execute our Client's menus on a level that exceeds expectations is no easy task. As you might imagine, the Culinary Team, Executive Chef Steven Powell and Chef John DeSarno, are responsible for the preparation and execution of all dining-related items for each and every one of our company's events. They help brainstorm custom menu requests and ensure the dining experience for our events - whether bridal, social, or corporate - leaves our guests more than pleased.

{Steven Powell}
Our Executive Chef, Steven Powell, is a Wilmington native. His real passions are food, surfing, and my family. Steven graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an Honors Degree and comes to 128 South with 20 years of fine dining/catering experience including 12 years at Jerry’s (a staple of fine dining and catering to Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach area locals).
{John DeSarno}
Chef John DeSarno comes to us with 15+ years of Catering experience in the Film & TV industry. Originally from New Jersey, this father of two and his wife have called Wilmington home for more than 20 years. A UNC-Greensboro graduate, John made his way to the coast following his love for cooking, surfing, golf, and fishing. John’s addition to our Culinary Team has made for a talented and professional crew in the kitchen.