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

{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)
{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.

Event Sales Managers, Katie Swain and Chere VelazqueZ

L-Katie Swain, R-Chere Velazquez

Event Sales Managers:
These talented ladies are the "go-to-gals" for our clients needs. On any given day, you can find our Event Sales Managers responding to new client inquiries, guiding venue tours, responding to emails, or helping our client's make the numerous decisions related to the venue, floor plan/setup, catering selections, etc. Of course, both ladies can be contracted as a Day-Of Coordinator for an event, but that's just a small part of what they do. Chere and Katie certainly have their hands on the "pulse" of the events. Million-dollar smiles aside, what you will find about our team is a seriously proficient, veteran crew of event day problem-solvers who work to ensure our clients events are seamless successes.

{Katie Swain}
A wife and mother of three boys, Katie was one of our first employees in 2010. She started her career with us as Event Staff and has since worked her way up to her position as Event Sales Manager. (Needless to say this girl has done it all.) 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.”
{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!”

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 John DeSarno and Sous Chef Charlie Rizzo, 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.

Culinary Team, John DeSarno and Charlie Rizzo

L- John DeSarno, R- Charlie Rizzo

{John DeSarno}
Executive Chef John DeSarno joined our team 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 leadership of our Culinary Team has made for a very talented, professional, and enthusiastic crew in the kitchen.
{Charlie Rizzo}
Sous Chef Charlie Rizzo has 13 years of culinary experience including both fine dining and catering. Given Wilmington’s proximity to the coast (as in we live near the beach), it seems only fitting that Charlie’s culinary specialties involve seafood. His favorite dishes to prepare include anything with risotto or tuna (rare). In his free time, Charlie enjoys golfing, going for runs, and bike riding on the local bike trails. And, of course, who doesn’t love a good book on the beach.