J. Leigh Events wants you to meet our amazing planners! Starting off our “Meet the Team” series is Brittney Derrick. Learn more about Brittney and her experience and why we love having her as part of our team.
Brittney, how did you find out about J. Leigh Events and what made you decide to join?
I was introduced to Jennifer and J. Leigh Events by my good friend and industry colleague, Tara West. I left my position at The Duke Mansion in October and decided to go full time as a freelance / contract planner in 2022. Jennifer and I hit it off right away with so many commonalities, both personal and professional. It’s been a joy to grow with her and to have the opportunity to work with so many new clients!
Tell us about your event planning experience.
I graduated from JWU Charlotte with a BS in International Hotel & Tourism Management with a concentration in Event Management. After a short stint in hotel operations, I knew it wasn’t for me.
I have worked in the food and beverage industry since college so I knew catering and events was where my heart was. I started my event career at Charlotte City Club where I managed private events, mostly corporate and non-profit, for 4 years. I worked at Harris Conference Center for a year before transitioning to The Duke Mansion. I called the Mansion home for over 4 years as the Director of Sales & Events where I had the honor of working with so many wonderful clients on a variety of events ranging from weddings, social celebrations, non-profits, corporate retreats as well as community and internal events.
What is your favorite thing about working with the J. Leigh Events team?
At this point in my career, what I love most about working with J. Leigh Events is the diversity. I love working with a variety of different clients, different venues and locations and the new team of colleagues. I also appreciate the flexibility and trust that Jen has for the work that I do.
What are some trends in the event industry that you are most excited about?
The post-COVID event industry looks and feels much different but I have embraced it fully! I love that clients are focusing much more on the quality of their gathering. Investing more in food/beverage, functional decor, photo-worthy moments and the overall experience for their guests. People definitely missed being in person so they are excited to gather again but we are still seeing intimate gatherings instead of massive guest lists.
There is also a continued demand for more sustainable events with less of a carbon footprint. We are seeing digital ticketing systems to reduce paper waste, replacing plastic bottles and cutlery with biodegradable alternatives, working with caterers who use local farmers and seasonal produce and especially the cut down on food waste and/or donating leftover food to local charities.
Where are you from? Share more about your background and some of your favorite things!
I am a New Yorker through and through! I grew up about an hour outside of the city and moved to Charlotte for college in 2004. No matter how long I am away, New York will always be “home”.
I have a love for traveling; exploring and experiencing new destinations, cultures and food. I’ve been vegan for about 5 years now so I love exploring new vegan foods - I will travel for food. And coffee, I love a good coffee shop with a dope playlist and lots of plants and art.
For the past year I’ve been busy planning my own wedding! My fiancée Carl and I will be eloping in Albuquerque, NM with our closest friends and parents at the end of August.
The remainder of my “spare” time is spent chauffeuring my daughter Brylie to dance rehearsal and competitions or hanging’ with my two pups, Liam and Arizona.
To hire the J. Leigh Events team, email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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The J. Leigh Events team is expanding! This month we welcomed two new additions, both of whom happen to be named Sam. Head here to learn more about our new project manager, Sam Kimball, and our new event planner, Sam Poler.