Meet Our Event & Hospitality Experts

Meet Our Team

WE MAKE Hospitality F&B And EVENTS FEEL EASY!

WE DO EVERYTHING WITH OUR CORE VALUES OF SPEED, RESULTS, AND HAVING FUN!

THESE intrinsic CHARACTERISTICS INFLUENCE EVERYTHING WE DO. WE LOVE OUR WORK, AND OUR CLIENTS REAP THE BENEFITS.

Our Team's Got Heart!

 

Our team’s got heart

Our team means the world to us! They’re the reason for our success and the reason why we love creating spectacular events each and every day. The hospitality industry has a reputation for being hard – and it’s well deserved because spending hours on your feet serving drinks, or taking responsibility for every detail of a once-in-a-lifetime event isn’t easy. Happily for us, when we all work together we find the fun and it all feels worthwhile!
 
We’re characterized by our deep desire to help clients. We recognize that most of our customers only throw a few big events in their life, and it’s up to us to make it feel easy! We’re here to translate the industry jargon and love to explain capacity vs headcounts and covers. For other clients, they need a fuss-free option for monthly meetings or industry events. That’s where we shine. When people choose Wedgewood Events, they get continual access to professionals who care about making events feel flawless for the organizer and attendees.
 
Our venue teams are made up of strong, smart individuals with core skills. We’re on the same page and we work together across disciplines, venues, and regions to create the very best event experiences.
 

You can get to know our team and our family of vendors by reading the spotlight articles on our blog. We’ve shared a brief bio for our leadership team below so you can get a feel for the type of attitude and skills we embrace at Wedgwood Weddings and Events. If you’re interested in joining our awesome team – head over to our careers page to see our current vacancies and training programs.

 

Wedgewood Events


JOHN ZARUKA

FOUNDER

John Zaruka, Wedgewood Weddings & Events

John and his wife, Linda, have been married since 1974, and have two children, Bill and Stacy.

John began his hospitality experience at a Long Island beach concession owned by his parents. He fell in love with the industry and pursued this passion at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. John started his career in the hotel business in 1973 and within 10 years became a Regional Director, responsible for 1,700 rooms. Soon after, he became the Vice President of Operations for a Southern California hotel management company.

In the summer of 1986, John and Linda purchased the lease of the Wedgewood Restaurant and Buenaventura Golf Course Pub & Grille in Ventura. They immediately converted the failing restaurant to exclusive banquet use. Z-Golf Food & Beverage Services was a natural progression: an operations and consulting practice exclusively for the food and beverage departments of golf courses, banquet facilities, clubs, and resorts was a new concept. From the original 'Wedgewood Restaurant', the brand has grown to forty-three locations in six states hosting 8,000 events per year and 750,000 guests.

Since February 2020, John has made more time for golfing. His hospitality obsession continues to shine at all our venues in the form of exceptional standards and remarkable attention to detail.

 

BILL ZARUKA

CEO

Bill Zaruka

As a teenager, Bill was recruited to work every position at the family’s Bar & Grille. While pursuing a degree in Hotel Administration at Cornell, Bill displayed his leadership skills as President of his fraternity and Captain of the lightweight football team. He graduated in 1998 and then joined the food services division of Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA. As a multi-unit manager, he created budgets, wrote operating standards, implemented training programs, and led the adoption of several point-of-sale systems.

In 2001, Bill rejoined the family business and helped it expand to the East Coast. He leads a dynamic management team and supervises all restaurant operations. Under his leadership, sales now approach $50,000,000 with average profit percentages and customer service ratings far exceeding industry averages.

Bill lives in Southern California with his wife, Jenn, and their four children. 

Wedgewood Events - Meet the Founder

 

 

Wedgewood Events - Leadership team

 

DAN BYLUND

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
 
Dan Bylund - Wedgewood Weddings & EventsWith nearly 30 years of global finance, treasury, and accounting experience, including experience spanning IT, risk management, and human resources, along with key strengths in all aspects of corporate financial functions, including debt and equity financing, cash management and planning, and detailed financial forecasting, Dan keeps us on the right path. 
 
A graduate from Jacksonville University in Florida with a BS in Accounting, Dan decided the West Coast was the better place and now lives in Carlsbad, CA.


 

KEVIN LYONS

VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
 
Kevin Lyons - Wedgewood Weddings & EventsKevin supports all our landlord relationships and seeks out new partnership opportunities. As a new venue transition is imminent, he spearheads the opening so all matters are handled in a smooth and professional manner. 
 
Kevin has been instrumental in our company expansion. To better understand the business, he humbly stepped in as venue manager at a local Southern California venue to learn our processes from the ground up.
 
Prior to joining our team, Kevin was an integral member of the Callaway sales group for 18 years and handled $62,000,000 in sales to big box and e-commerce accounts. While in this position, Kevin was recognized for increasing sales and pushing the team to improve communications, efficiency, and “Best in Class Service.”


JEFF TUCCI

VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS 
 
Jeff Tucci - Wedgewood Weddings & EventsJeff leads our team of regional managers to oversee all our properties nationwide. He is a hospitality veteran with more than 25 years in the industry.
 
Prior to joining us, he served as Vice President of Hospitality at the Fairplex in Pomona, CA. Jeff has held leadership positions with some of the country’s finest hotels and resorts. He is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and the Culinary Institute of America.
 
Jeff is a native New Yorker, and he and his wife are proud parents of three. 


JULIA HENNING

VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES 
 
Julia Henning - Wedgewood Weddings & EventsJulia joined us in 2010. Her first project with the company was establishing the centralized call center. She then went on to manage three of our locations in the Inland Empire before transitioning into her role leading our sales activity and introducing all our training tools and metrics.
 
A native of West Los Angeles, she graduated with a BFA. in Theater from New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts and was an established comedian for several years. She started her career in the hospitality industry working as a cook in Los Angeles for several off-site catering companies, including Catering by Field.
 
In 2009, she entered Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and graduated with a Master of Management in Hospitality.

 


KATE PAULLEY

VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING
 
Kate Paulley - Wedgewood Weddings & EventsKate first began marketing during Y2K and enjoys the traditional process of grabbing attention and identifying need but really found her stride with content-rich websites, digital community building, and personalization across multiple touchpoints.
 
Now responsible for strengthening our wedding and event brands, Kate loves building strategies that resonate with customers, so they experience joy throughout their journey to married life. While always striving for customer delight, Kate’s is smitten with conversion rates, acquisition costs, and maximizing the impact of every dollar.
 
Kate is a certified member of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Marketing and has successfully improved awareness and driven sales across diverse verticals.


ANGELA SIRIOS

DIRECTOR OF PEOPLE & CULTURE
 
Angela Sirios - Wedgewood Weddings & EventsAngela began her career in Human Resources over 20 years ago. After graduating from Western Illinois University, Angela took her first HR role as an Interviewer in a high-volume call center. After finding her way to California, Angela spent 16 years in various roles with RadioShack Corporation in both Human Resources and Operations Management, while supporting store locations nationwide.
 
Most recently, Angela gained a deeper understanding of hospitality as the Human Resources Manager with the Ponte Family Estate, including Ponte Winery. She lives in Temecula, CA with her husband and two children.

 

Troy Stevens

DIRECTOR OF FACILITIES & CAPITAL PROJECTS

Troy Stevens - Wedgewood Weddings & EventsTroy managed the extensive remodel at University Club in 2017, and his attitude and construction knowledge was so impressive we asked him to join our team. Troy had seen that we really treat our team as family and was happy to come aboard. He says his favorite part of the company is how everyone watches out for each other and we all work as a team.

Motivating contractors and subcontractors to meet deadlines takes an incredible amount of organization and influence, and it’s plain to see that Troy’s experience pays off. All our venues benefit from his support on projects ranging from full renovations to small tweaks and improvements. Troy loves that his activity shapes each client’s experience when they choose one of our venues for their event.

It’s easy to see that Troy thrives when he’s tackling big tasks and he inspires everyone to do more. He is a huge influence in his community and is committed to making lives better. Recently, Troy opened a K-12 Charter School in less than 120-days! The school is going into its third year and is now a valuable neighborhood hub. He has also started a non-profit and raised over 500k to fund a research lab at Harvard Mass Eye and Ear to help a rare type of childhood blindness. Running all our venue modifications together with community building is a remarkable amount of work but Troy always makes plenty of time for his boys: Landon and Gavin. For 25 years, he’s been a committed soccer coach and enjoys stepping up as a role model in so many kid’s lives.

 

Wedgewood Events - Leadership team

 

 

Wedgewood Events

ROMAN COTA

CULINARY LEADER
 
Roman Cota - Wedgewood Weddings & EventsRoman’s passion for hospitality has pushed him to wear many hats in the foodservice industry and he found his sweet spot with catering and banquet services.
 
Today, he still loves serving food and seeing guests' reactions to a delicious menu. As a youngster, Roman did the rounds of local restaurants learning the good from each and, upon joining a catering team, he helped take covers from 1,000 a year to well over 100,000. He has worked for some of the largest contract foodservice companies in the world within the education and healthcare fields.
 
Roman joined us in 2011 as a regional manager and, for many years, held a dual role
developing our menu standards, culinary practices, securing purchasing contracts and developing chefs throughout the company. He believes: if you love what you do, it will be rewarding to you and your family.

 


JEROME CANSINO

REGIONAL MANAGER
 
Jerome Cansino - Wedgewood Weddings & EventsJerome joined our team in 2005 as a bartender then banquet captain and, within ten years, was promoted to regional manager looking after our coastal California venues from Marin County in the north down to Ventura County in the south.
 
Jerome is driven by client satisfaction, he still gets the most job satisfaction from seeing a perfectly executed event appreciated by a client. He’s also a tremendous coach and his proudest moment was encouraging one of his venue managers to step in as chef so that a huge event wouldn’t go hungry. She did such a great job, no one could believe it was her first time preparing a banquet.
 
Having grown up in the Philippines where family is everything, Jerome loves to unwind with his wife and children, and show off his wakeboarding skills.

 


MIKE FILLARI

REGIONAL MANAGER
 
Mike Fillari -Wedgewood Weddings and EventsOur Northern California venues wouldn’t be the same without Mike; he opened many and has been Regional Manager at most. His favorite task is motivating his team and he’s so inspirational that everyone trained by him continues to show their ‘Fillari education’ many years later.
 
Mike started in hospitality early and helped at his father’s successful restaurant where he would enjoy chatting with the crew and clients in Italian, his first language. Seeing happiness and food go hand in hand inspired Mike to study hospitality, and he sees it as his calling. We think he’s a natural although his family was certain he’d grow up to be in either law enforcement or a priest. Outside of work, he still finds time to help and supports his community as an usher in his neighborhood parish.
 
With a lifetime in the field, Mike can take the rough with the smooth. The most memorable
moment for him was an event where a wall speaker plummeted into the wedding cake, then a tablecloth caught fire and was swiftly joined by the carpet followed by his eyebrows. The reason he especially remembers the event? The client and their guests never noticed what happened or how he and his team fixed everything!

 

DAN PENNINGTON

REGIONAL MANAGER
 
Dan Pennington - Wedgewood Weddings and EventsDan takes pride in keeping our Southern California venues rolling with  first-rate standards. He has 20+ years experience managing restaurants such as Rock Bottom Brewery and Ignite Bistro in San Diego. His years of experience greatly benefit his team at Wedgewood Weddings & Events as he can be counted on to provide fresh ideas to help improve the overall experience for our clients and their guests.
 
Dan's team praise him for his calming attitude and ability to quickly see the heart of any issue. He's a natural teacher and holds the distinction of regional manager with the most venues.
 
Dan is a SoCal native and spent most of his life in San Diego. He enjoys watching football and woodworking. When not driving between properties, Dan likes to spend time with his wife and daughter. 

 

ANNA WORTHINGTON MINGS

REGIONAL MANAGER
 
Anna Worthington Mings - Wedgewood Weddings & Events

Anna joined our team direct from Cornell's School of Hotel Administration where she met with Julia, our VP Sales, at a careers fair. It was obviously a perfect match and Anna continues to be instrumental to building the friendly culture that first attracted her back in 2011. Initially based at venues in Ventura County, California, Anna has worked every role from call center agent through to catering manager, and was selected as the opening manager for Boulder Creek in October 2013. That role took her to Colorado, and she has now opened a venue per year in the Mile-high State.

Anna sees her current role as a combination of motivating, encouraging, and coaching her team to be their best. Some days are hard, but many more days are incredibly rewarding. She truly enjoys taking care of people and being there on the happiest day of a client’s life! Supporting her team at events keeps Anna on her toes, and there’s always something to do. A born romantic, she still takes photos at weddings to capture the beauty and the moment all the planning comes together!

From a summer job at SeaWorld, Anna realized that the service industry was the right place for her. She still approaches hospitality in the same way any artist or chef sees their passion: rewarding, creative, and with constant room for development. Anna is renowned for her happiness and, uniquely, her region has been recognized with our famed ‘Have Fun’ award. It’s typically given to an individual property, but the Colorado region was recognized for having fun as a team, which supports our company values and team spirit.

Anna is well-traveled, having lived in seven states but she’s glad to call Colorado home. Her heart is filled with her husband, son, and dog - and the beautiful everyday chaos of home life.



CHELSEA TAYLOR

REGIONAL MANAGER
 

Chelsea Taylor - Wedgewood Weddings & EventsWhen Chelsea joined our team in 2013, we had no idea that she would fall so deeply in love with weddings that she would get married exactly one year later, on her work anniversary! Initially a catering manager at our first venue in Arizona, Chelsea spent four years mastering every role at Palm Valley before her promotion to regional manager in 2017. Under her guidance, her region grew from one to five venues within four years.

Chelsea feels comfortable pushing her team to step out of their comfort zone – because they know they always have her full support. Whether she’s motivating a team member to apply for a promotion or help a challenging client, she sees these growth moments as the best part of her job! A people person, Chelsea chose hospitality for all the opportunities to meet people: when you’re supporting thousands of events each year, you meet so many amazing humans along the way.

Part of our tightknit leadership team, Chelsea is the first to tell people that she’s proud of her region’s growth. Being open to learning new skills every day has made her a better leader. Having two AZ venues nominated for our prestigious ‘Property of The Year’ award showcased how much her venues can achieve while overcoming immense challenges in terms of sales results, budgeting, customer service, recruitment, and training.

Chelsea and hard work are, by necessity, firm friends. She graduated summa cum laude from ASU while working full time and raising her oldest children. She has since welcomed her third child and somehow still makes time for extracurricular team activities. When she’s not at work you can find watching sports, cooking, and hanging by the pool. She says, “nothing beats the simple things in life”.

 

Wedgewood Events

 

 
Wedgewood Events
 

CLINT DOW

ONBOARDING TEAM
 
Clint Dow - Wedgewood Weddings & EventsClint joined our team as a server in 2014 and has successfully held every venue role in his progression to our Opening Team Venue Manager. Recruited by Roman in their hometown of Fresno, they share a fantastic working relationship and continue to learn from each other.
 
Having supported at least 20 of our properties through extended site visits, his happiest moment was when he stepped up to open The Carlsbad Windmill in 2020, a challenging rebuild and new geographical area for the entire team. His motivation is coaching that the impossible can be made possible if you have the right attitude. Clint loves that we all work together to make people’s happy occasions flawless. 
 
Clint’s the perfect all-rounder who loves his sleep after a long day running an event or hanging with his kids at the lake. And it’s no wonder he needs his rest, this man cannot keep still; in his down hours he also runs a craft clothing company and dabbles in real estate – in fact, his childhood dream was to be a realtor, but he now finds event service hold his heart.
 


ROXANNE MENZIES

ONBOARDING TEAM
 
Roxanne Menzies - Wedgewood Weddings & Events8/8/8 is a big deal for Roxanne, it’s a vanity date, and the day she joined our team as a Banquet Captain at our Eagle Ridge venue. She went on to help them win our prestigious ‘property of the year’ award. Roxanne is happiest when selling events and reducing event-related stress for clients by bringing their vision to life. She’s a natural leader and is our company culture personified, pushing herself and our company to always go above
and beyond.
 
Roxanne is a core member of our opening team because she loves problem solving and lives to help people. As General Manager at San Ramon Waters from 2017 to 2020, her venue became the regional training center for our sales team, and she says her happiest moment was hearing a client tell her: “You’re so good at this. You belong here, doing this.”
 
In her downtime, Roxanne loves a day on the water, and she can impress by flipping and catching stacks of quarters balanced on her elbow.

 

CHARISSE EDWARDS

CALL CENTER MANAGER
 
Charisse Edwards - Wedgewood Weddings & EventsHaving joined our call center in 2015, Charisse quickly rose through the ranks, moving from agent to co-manager, and then to her current role in four years. Her greatest accomplishment was dividing her team into three regions: Northern California, Southern California, and National. The National team look after all inquiries for our Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Texas venues. She split California into two areas as we currently have 28 event venues in this state.
 
Responsible for ensuring her team meets its goals, she drives a rigorous training program to make sure prospects get the very best service at all times. She enjoys getting to know each of her team members so she can be a better coach.
 
Charisse is a natural in her role because she came into the industry organically. When engaged, she was searching for a wedding venue and fell in love with what we do. She promptly left the casino where she was working, and paused her passion for fashion so that she could give every couple a better experience with their big day. She loves shopping with her daughter and applies everything she learned from her Fashion Merchandising education as she strolls the mall.
 
Wedgewood Events - Meet the team

 

Learn More about Wedgewood Events


learn more

We would love to chat if you are a venue owner or have an interest in a venue operation and would like to join our group of busy and beautiful properties. 

If you'd like to join a fun, friendly, and dedicated team of hospitality professionals, we want to hear from you! Check out our current vacancies and training programs. 

Hear From Our Team Directly

Meet our vendors

Our vendors are critical to our success and we view them as family for good reason! Each of our vendors is hand-selected. We think they offer great value, exceptional service, and a feel-good working style. They make any wedding and event idea shine. From DJs to photographers, signmakers, cake makers, florists, officiants, MCs, drapers, photo booth operators... we have relationships with experts in every area of event operations.

 

Click here for interviews with more of our team and our trusted vendors.

 

Wedgewood Events