By Jessica Mize
Of all the places Shannon Church’s work has taken her, Houston is definitely her favorite.
Originally from a small suburb outside of Philadelphia, the new director of Catering on Cullen lived in Detroit and Baltimore before heading to Texas in 2009.
“I came here for a position with Aramark at the George R. Brown Convention Center,” said Church. “I started as a banquet manager and was then promoted to director of catering.”
During her time at the convention center, the Temple University alumna planned, managed and coordinated numerous large-scale banquets, receptions and more for big-name companies like Starbucks and Microsoft. Most of these events attracted nearly 10,000 attendees, including the 2011 Mary Kay convention, which to this day is still one of her proudest accomplishments.
“About a month before the convention, the only other in-house catering manager left the company,” said Church. “Even though I was the only contact for four out-of-town managers, more than 200 hourly staff members and our client, the event went very well.”
Although she loved what she did at the convention center, Church was ready for a change of pace. She missed having the chance to really connect with customers before, during and after events—something she is already doing in her role with Catering on Cullen.
“I want Catering on Cullen to be the first caterer this campus thinks of when they need great food or amazing service for their meetings or events,” she said. “I want the relationships we have with our customers and the service we provide to outshine our competitors.”
Her schedule varies daily, but usually consists of conference calls, events, operational meetings, client meetings and more. Although she’s been on campus for just four months, she’s already helped oversee, plan and manage several events including Finals Mania, where nearly 1,600 students received a free plate of pancakes and turkey sausage.
With nearly a decade of experience under her belt, Church is excited about her role here at the University.
“My day is a different kind of busy from the convention center world, and I enjoy it,” she said. “This is the best decision I have made for my career, I love coming to work every day.”