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Event planners entertain Masters Week guests in Augusta

Event coordinators work throughout year to prepare for Masters

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Wesley Cadle has planned events for Masters Week for 20 years.

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Jay Norton, the business operations director of Executive Marketing Services, said his company provides daily hospitality for 5,000 to 6,000 guests during Masters Week, in addition to private dinner parties in the evenings.  JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
Jay Norton, the business operations director of Executive Marketing Services, said his company provides daily hospitality for 5,000 to 6,000 guests during Masters Week, in addition to private dinner parties in the evenings.

The owner of Augusta-based Wesley Cadle Inc. on Monte Sano Avenue and his sister, Suzanne Hamilton, offer event planning and interior design work for corporate clients in town for the Masters Tournament.

“She was a florist and I was an interior designer, so the combination of both allowed us to start doing events in a way that people didn’t have the ability to do here in Augusta 20 years ago,” Cadle said.

Over the years, they have planned dinners and cocktail parties at lodges and pavilions for corporate clients, including ExxonMobil Corp., Sprint, IBM and Mercedes-Benz.

“We started getting clients, and it turned into bigger and bigger jobs as it went along,” Cadle said.

Several other Augusta-area businesses are event planners for guests coming to town for Masters Week, but many corporations hire out-of-town agencies to plan their events, he said.

“We’re able to plan an entire event here in town, and there aren’t many people that actually do that from in town,” he said.

Wesley Cadle Inc. creates a “complete environment,” including flowers, utensils, glassware, linen, flooring, furniture, ceiling treatments and menu cards. Cadle and his sister work with chefs hired by the corporations to create menus for multi-course meals, and they sometimes handle lighting and audio. The corporations sometimes book their own entertainment, which has included big acts such as John Mayer and Lady Antebellum, he said.

During the week, Cadle and his sister might hold several parties for a corporation, so they strive to make sure that clients “don’t experience the same party twice.” They hire about 35 people for the week, including floral, lighting and audio designers, technicians and general labor, he said.

“I’ve already started thinking about next year. We pick out linens, fabrics and art throughout the year,” he said.

Executive Marketing Services on Azalea Drive has planned events for corporate clients during Masters Week for years, said Jay Norton, the director of business and operations. The company also works with the Super Bowl, Kentucky Derby, Final Four and U.S. Open.

Executive Marketing Services operates two hospitality facilities, Executive Club and Foundation Club, on Azalea Drive across from Augusta National Golf Club. In addition to providing daily hospitality for 5,000 to 6,000 guests throughout the week, Executive Marketing Services plays host to private, gourmet dinner parties at homes or the clubs on Azalea Drive in the evenings.

During Masters Week, the company employs 150 workers, including a head chef, food and beverage coordinator, bartenders, servers, concierge staff, catering staff and valet parking staff. Events at the hospitality clubs might include live, acoustic music on the patio.

Corporate clients plan their events six to 12 months in advance, Horton said.

“Our planning for Masters is year-round. Immediately after the tournament ends, we start moving towards the 2013 event,” Horton said.

Corporate Quarters on Baston Road does catering and event planning for Masters Week, in addition to renting homes to guests in town for the tournament, company President Diane Starr said.

In January, Starr starts making arrangements for events, usually upscale, but casual, cocktail and dinner parties. Most of her clients are corporations from around the world, including Australia, London and Japan.

“The Masters is all about golf, and it’s all about casual. It’s steak and lobster, but everything has a nice casual feel because it’s usually done in the homes, in the beautiful yards that people have,” she said.

Corporate Quarters employs more than 100 people during Masters Week, including servers, chefs and hostesses, she said.


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