Reception: A Series Of Interviews On The Heart Of Hospitality (Featuring Patricia Williams)

Do you love hosting? Or, do you wish you loved hosting? I am so excited to share with you this final post for my hospitality series titled: Reception. Reception is a social gathering for the purpose of extending welcome. Over the years, I have loved welcoming people into my home or hosting an event, but hospitality is more than that, read on to see what incredibly BIG things can be done by those who have a heart to care for others.

This week I am sharing with you my interview with Patricia Williams.

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When it comes to capacity, Patricia Williams is HIGH-capacity. She is a full-time working mom who can create something from nothing, and her interview shows us just that. She says, “I host because I enjoy pulling together creative ideas that end in beautiful results. Events are like a crazy, scattered puzzle…you work on different pieces of areas for the event, sometimes not in any specific order, building piece by piece until it comes together. I’ve always had a knack for puzzles and putting them together in an organized way. Its very gratifying.”

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Patricia realized in high school, when she was the student class president, that she loved organizing events. The assemblies, dances and fundraisers always ended up on her plate. (Pun intended. 😉 ) Since then, Patricia has hosted many events from kids birthday parties, to weddings, to large fundraising events raising millions of dollars.

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“Hospitality is providing an opportunity and experience for guests to feel served, entertained and valued,” and to make that happen, she uses the good ‘ole notebook and pen! Patricia says “Every party must have someone designated to take good pictures and capture special moments -and- a coordinator.” When she is planning a gathering of any kind, choosing the menu “depends a lot on the time of day, location, theme and guests of the party…those factors plays a part on if you do hot or cold, finger or flatware, catered or potluck. Knowing a budget also helps decided on what to serve.”

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When things get stressful, she finds it is easier to do the task herself. “In stressful moments, I don’t like to stop the momentum and explain to someone how to do it. However, the perfect “go to” person, would be someone I can share an idea or problem and the desired outcome and they would have the knowledge, stamina and courage to take it all without me having to micromanage or give step by step instructions.” Regardless of the stress level, Patricia knows the event was successful when she has a moment to let out a sigh of relief and finally have time to enjoy a cupcake.

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“The heart of hospitality is one that loves people,” and she says a tip for the any host is to “remember the party thrown is not about you, but it’s for the person you are throwing it for. They (their needs, wants & feelings) should always be your focus.” I love her words here and agree that whether we are hosting the in-laws or gathering our department together for a work party, or working to raise funds for those in need, thinking of our guests and hard work will ensure an incredible experience for all.

Are you inspired to get involved in your community? Click the link below to find out how you can care for others in your community this holiday season!!! https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1916914665022663&id=106908326023315

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Patricia married with two children and works at Self Enhancement, Inc. as the Special Events and Communication Manager for 16 years. All of the photos throughout this post are from three annual events she hosts: Gospel Brunch, Quartet of Chefs, a private dinner of 100 guests featuring four top chefs from PDX, and Soul of the City Gala & Auction, her signature fundraiser for over 500 guests, she manages three committees, with 26 board members and 80+ volunteers and this year raised over $1.1 million. (And that’s AFTER covering event expenses! WOW! Talk about those hosting skills!!!)

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