Off to Work - Birmingham Operations
Off to Work’s office team is drawn together to bring an expert understanding of the needs of the events industry. The management structure has been brought together not from a recruitment background but all from an event and catering background to ensure that we understand your needs and provide you with the product and service you want.
I graduated in 2001 from the Birmingham College of Food with a Hospitality Management degree and I have since worked in 4 star hotels in both Dublin and Birmingham. In 2003 I joined the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham as a Staffing Officer to gain a ‘back of house’ perspective on event operations and in 2004 was promoted to Recruitment & Deployment Manager for the NEC Group’s city centre venues comprising of The ICC, The NIA, Symphony Hall and Wine Republic.
In August 2007 I joined Off to Work as General Manager for the Birmingham Office with my aim being to ensure that the growing database of clients within the Midlands region receives the best possible hospitality professionals. 2009 saw OTW expand even further with me overseeing the development of more Midlands contacts in Manchester and the North-West. I enjoy working out on events as an events manager or hostess whenever possible, my favourite being a recent ‘Style in the City’ event.
Please do not hesitate to contact me for support or advice for your staffing or events management requirements in the West Midlands.
Darren has a wealth of experience predominantly as an Account Manager and Field Sales Manager with both House of Fraser and Selfridges. He joined Off To Work in the Midlands in January 2010 after nearly 2 years working as a Recruitment Consultant where he developed his training, sales and client relationship skills.
He also gained further experience in Event Management working alongside high profile caterers where he had the opportunity to work on prestigious events for the likes of Ask Jeeves, Jaguar, Louis Vuitton and Peroni. His favourite event so far with Off to Work has been at the Brit Awards where he had the opportunity to work alongside both the London and Birmingham teams.
Darren is very excited to be assisting Katie in building up both our Birmingham and Manchester staff and client bases and if you have any queries regarding quotes or events in the Midlands please do not hesitate to contact him.
“Let me take you back to the mid-Eighties, my late teens, when chefs started to get a bit of a profile on TV. There was a series of shows called Take Six Cooks which featured heroes of mine like Raymond Blanc, Anton Mosimann, Nico Ladenis. For me it was a big move on from Fanny Craddock – I could relate to these guys, they were cool, they wore chefs' whites – they were like the rock stars of the kitchen and I wanted to be just like them…”
I cut my teeth, as a trainee and working chef, doing regular, less glamorous shifts of 8am to midnight with the odd 15 minute break, if I was lucky!
Eventually, after a few years perfecting my craft and spending all my spare time researching new recipes and ingredients it paid off and I was made the head chef of a smart French restaurant at just 21. Still not satisfied and hungry for yet more foodie knowledge and experience I set off round-the-world with the goal of working in the top kitchens in Australia, India, Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia.
On my return I was noticed by the prestigious London caterers, Alison Price & Company who hired me to create hip menus for the hottest parties in town. I progressed to director and executive chef overseeing the catering for a Royal Wedding, celebrities and blue chip clients and planning and organising events for up to 10,000 people.
Since then, I have run my own event catering business, a specialist food-store and deli and most recently, developed a range of healthy eating snack bars, The Jackson Bar, for the family business.
My experience in the event catering industry has given me huge insight into what goes into creating successful events and the pivotal importance of the team hired for the job. My expertise as a Chef and my experience working with some of the top ‘back of house’ professionals has prepared me to find the right people with the skills and the right attitude for the job. I still keep my hand in and can often be found, in my whites, demonstrating the hard work necessary to succeed and promoting the Off to Work approach and culture. No surprises therefore that our team are the cream of the crop when it comes to catering and hospitality.
As Off to Work Birmingham’s Head of Back of House my job is to recruit, train and place our skilled chefs, kitchen & event porters to work on events for our clients.
I have been in the Events and Marketing industry for nearly 10 years complemented with a degree in Marketing with Events Management. My experience in events comes from various angles – as a musician whilst studying at Music College, as a promotions girl and hostess for various consumer brands and venues, as supervisor in catering and hospitality across The NEC Group venues as well as working for an events company managing Christmas booking packages and organising front of house service.
I have been with Off To Work Birmingham since September 2010 taking care of the Recruitment & Training of the new Off To Work stars, managing niche client accounts and regularly working out in the field managing events for our clients.
I am also in charge of staff communications so if there is anything that you would like us to feedback to the team please do get in touch!
I originally joined Off to Work on a placement year as an Operations Assistant. Following my graduation in Business and Event Management at the University of Gloucestershire, I did not hesitate in returning to this fast paced environment with such a fantastic team. After working in London for two and a half years as Operations Manager, I took the personal and professional decision to join the Birmingham team in January 2013.
As Operations Manager in London I looked after a variety of high profile events and venues and I still enjoy working out at events. Some of my highlights so far have been working at the annual BRIT Awards and managing our staff at 5 star hotels such as Coworth Park Hotel in Ascot, a role which I continue to fulfil in Birmingham.
I joined the front of house team in 2010 and started my events experience with the JP Morgan Chase Challenge. It has been an amazing journey since then building my hospitality portfolio working at five star hotels and leading football stadiums even though I am really more keen on basketball!
I graduated from Aston University in 2012 with a degree in Public Policy Management and Business. Now joining the Birmingham office team, I love working with such bright, hardworking Off to Workers and hope to bring a fresh view of the industry with me.
I joined the Off to Work casual team in 2011, working at a variety of events from British Formula 1 events to party political conferences. In 2012 I graduated with a degree in Criminology from Cardiff University, and have since become a full time member of staff with Off to Work. During my time as a part time employee, it became clear that the company is outstanding in its' field. Due to this, my passion is to ensure all our clients receive a first class hospitality experience.