The word “crisis” was not invented in 2020. Emergencies have hit meeting and catering professionals since the first ballroom was constructed. That is why in 1997, the nonprofit Special Event Assistance, Relief & Crisis Help (SEARCH) Foundation was established to help when a neighborhood is hit with flood or wildfire, a routine check-up results in a difficult phone call or a car accident leaves an event professional unable to work.

Unfortunately, the need has only increased in the last 24 years. The role of the board of directors is to plan and execute fundraising events, facilitate partnerships and raise funds and awareness so the group can continue its important work. Because the board is volunteer, all proceeds raised go to the fund.

The 2022 SEARCH Foundation Board of Directors is being announced this week.

Read more: How the hospitality industry gave back during the pause. 

“We look forward to expanding the reach of the organization with this strong and capable team, including the addition of nine Ambassadors,” said board chair, Kate Patay, CPCE of Patay Consulting. “Our ability to assist those in need will benefit immensely from the joint influence of this board and our supporters within the industry.”

2022 Board of Directors
Chairwoman: Kate Patay, owner, Patay Consulting
Vice Chair: Patrick McMichael, director of business development, Denon & Doyle
Treasurer: Larry Green, owner, International Event Products
Secretary: David Lombardo, owner, Lombardo’s
Immediate Past Chair: Rick Turner,  event consultant, Forward Hospitality Group
Executive Advisor: Joann Roth-Oseary, president, Someone’s in the Kitchen
Directors: Nick Borelli, director of marketing growth, AllSeated; Judy Brillhart, director of catering and event management, Sheraton Commander; Evan Carbotti, designer and concept development partner, Carbotti Experiences; Mark Catuogno, CEO, MC Event Consulting; Thuy Diep, senior experience designer, Haute; Bobby Dutton, director, GBM6; Stephanie Jayko, president and CEO, Knockout Productions; Jolie Oree-Bailey, executive chef, Low Country Quisine; Michele Polci, director of citywide catering sales, Caesar’s Entertainment; Frank Puleo, owner, Framboise Catering; India Rhodes, partner, Wilkinson Rhodes; Thomas Whelan, director of banquets, Levy Convention Centers; JC York, president and COO, Classic Entertainment.
“SEARCH is pleased to have such dedicated leadership that represents many facets of our industry
overall,” says Patay.

The first regional SEARCH event is being planned in Boston on January 25, 2022.