Our Team | McHale’s Catering & Events Skip to main content

Meet Our Team

Our people are the foundation of everything we do with and for our clients. What unites us all is our passion for serving others, which is what we do each and every day.

Administrative

  • Chuck McHale

    President

    Chuck began his career with the family grocery business when he was 13 years old as a bagger and clean-up person. He continued to work in many different areas and departments throughout high school and college. Chuck assumed management responsibilities after his father’s passing. Over the years, Chuck changed the focus of the family business from a retail food market to off-premise catering and ultimately to on- and off-premise catering, currently operating seven of the area’s finest wedding reception venues.

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    Fun facts
    Chuck and his wife of 31 years, Jan, have four children: three daughters and a son.
    He enjoys time on the beach, riding his tandem bike with Jan, taking his two dogs to the park and Sunday dinners on the deck with the whole family, dogs and granddogs.
    He and Jan are really excited about becoming real grandparents in May of 2020.
    Chuck loves UK basketball, boating, skiing (water & snow), scuba diving, music and attending concerts.
    His favorite band is Van Halen!
    He enjoys most ‘70s and ‘80s rock bands along with newer music like Train and Goo Goo Dolls.
  • Jeff Schachleiter

    General Manager

    Jeff was raised in the event and catering business. At the age of 13, he started setting rooms in the family event business. After his baseball career was cut short due to a shoulder injury, he started his full-time career. He had one goal in mind, which was to learn every job within the event business. He started as a kitchen manager, then moved into operations, disk jockeying weddings part time and then transitioned into the general manager role, acquiring 14 years of experience. He left the family business and started with McHale’s as the general manager in 2013. His wealth of knowledge and diverse skill set makes for a great leader in the company.

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    Fun facts
    Jeff was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 18th round of the 2000 draft.
    He played for the Billings Mustangs. Unfortunately, he hurt his arm and was unable to continue playing.
    Jeff loves to be on the water and really enjoys fishing, especially in his bass boat.
    He is a dog lover and has a Lab/Weimaraner mix named Cash. He is his best friend.
  • Millie Woolwine

    Personnel Manager

    Millie has been in the wedding industry for over 45 years! She started on organ and piano, which led to her love for flowers, making cakes and onto being a server/bartender part time at McHale’s. Millie was then asked to take over the role of hall manager at the Grand, and 1.5 years later, became personnel manager. She loves her staff and tries to do anything to make it the easiest possible work scenario they could ask for.

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    Fun facts
    Millie has been in the wedding industry since she was 14 years old.
    She is a pianist and organist and played for her first wedding on her church organ.
    Millie has two grandchildren; Jack is 11 years old and shares her trait of red hair, and Nora is two. They are the highlight of her life!
  • Jef Schachleiter

    Comptroller

    Jef spent the majority of his working life in retail in the shoe business. From there, he moved into the banquet business as partner at one of McHale’s competitors in the Greater Cincinnati area. That partnership dissolved, and he moved into a role as an operation manager for a mechanical contractor. When that job ended, he got back into the shoe business as a rep for Safety Shoe Vouchers, visiting manufacturing plants throughout the Midwest, trying to sign them up for a voucher program for a family shoe store chain.

    Through his many years of work, he has always kept focused on the “customers.” Without them, there would not have been work for him to do. His goal is to never lose sight of that fact.

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    Fun facts
    Jef played a very small part of the “Big Red Machine” from 1974 through 1976. He was the clubhouse helper and was given a quarter share of the World Series Share in 1975. He used the funds to purchase his first car.
    After spending 8 weeks in Florida in 1976 along with the Reds at spring training, Jef met and proposed to his wife of 44 years after knowing her for six weeks. He says you just know when it’s right.

Event Planners

  • Lindsay Morris

    Sales Manager, Event Planner at The Grand & Pinnacle

    Lindsay has been with McHale’s since November of 2015. She has been in the hospitality business for 15 years. Lindsay graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in theatre and dance. She started out in the business in food and beverage. Once she found her way in the event planning side of events, she fell in love with it. Lindsay loves getting to know her clients on a personal level to make their events more meaningful and memorable.

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    Fun facts
    Has two dogs: a 12-year-old Pitt and a three-year-old Boxer mix.
    Was once a ballet dancer.
  • Carly Ems

    Event Planner

    Carly joined the McHale’s team in April 2018. Born and raised in Cincinnati, she attended Bowling Green State University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in tourism, leisure and event planning. After graduating, she couldn’t think of a better place than Cincinnati to start her career! Carly enjoys getting to know her clients throughout the planning process and seeing their vision come to life. Seeing all of the little details coming together is her favorite part!

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    Fun facts
    She enjoys taking trips for concerts and has been to over 40 concerts in six different states!
    Her favorite artist to see live is Ed Sheeran. In 2013, Carly met Ed in Newport after his show at The Madison Theater in Covington.
  • Brittney Lyons

    Event Planner – The Cincinnati Club

    Britt started at the University of Kentucky following her love of the Kentucky Wildcats. After realizing her dreams of being in the food and hospitality industry, she transferred to Sullivan University, where she acquired her degrees in culinary arts and sciences as well as hospitality and management. Britt followed her passions all over the US and landed in Colorado, working at a five-diamond restaurant as a pastry and sous chef. Britt started with McHale’s in 2016 as a chef and quickly moved her way up to hall manager of the Cincinnati Club in 2018. From setup to working banquets as a manager, server and bartender, Britt has overseen all of the catering aspects. As of 2019, Britt is excited to be part of the sales team here at McHale’s at the Cincinnati Club. She is ready to answer any questions you may have about what McHale’s and the Cincinnati Club have to offer.

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    Fun facts
    Started at McHale’s as a chef.
    Has her culinary degree as well as her hospitality and management degree.
    Her five nieces have taught her the whole soundtrack to Frozen 1 and 2.
  • Julia Wilson

    Event Planner – Drees Pavilion, Devou

    Julia first joined the McHale’s team as a server and banquet manager. You can be confident she knows the ‘day-of’ side of any type of event! She was thrilled to transition to the planning team in 2018. Julia will be able to share all of her previous insight with you to help make every event great from the start. She graduated with a bachelor’s from University of Kentucky in 2012 and has always worked in customer service. Julia is ready to offer her organizational skills, support and creative inspiration to make your planning process easy and fun. She can’t wait to work with you!

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    Fun facts
    Julia is from a very musical family! She grew up singing at home around the piano with her parents and siblings (she is one of six kids).
    She played the clarinet and competed in choir competitions while in school. Lately, she likes to play her ukulele.
    Julia and her husband of two years just bought their home in 2019. They have already tackled the backyard garden, painting, kitchen tiles and now have the “DIY Fever.” Next on the list: finishing the basement!
  • Katie Sulek

    Event Planner – The Center at Fountain Square

    Katie’s infatuation with special events blossomed while pursuing a degree in hospitality management at the University of Kentucky. During her college career, Katie plunged herself into the event industry by collaborating with several event companies in the Greater Cincinnati area. She loves to help bring both clients’ and vendors’ visions to life. As a local, Katie was thrilled to move back to the Queen City and continue planning and executing celebrations.

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    Fun facts
    In her free time, Katie cheers on the Kentucky Wildcats in basketball and enjoys catching up on the latest celebrity gossip.
    She can admit that she is 100% obsessed with the British royal family.
    The Crown has been one of her favorite Netflix series.
  • Loren Wehrley

    Event Planner- The Gardens of Park Hills
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    Fun facts

Culinary Team

  • Chris Weist

    Executive Chef

    Chef Chris, a native of Cincinnati, cut his culinary teeth at age 16, learning to cook steaks to temperature at a local restaurant. He then went on to graduate from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York, worked under talented chefs from New York to California and spent time in Aspen and The Big Island of Hawaii.

    Chris has a great working knowledge of many types of cuisine and varied cooking techniques. Among his many accomplishments is cooking alongside Emeril Lagasse in Seymour, Indiana for his Food Network program “Kick your School Lunch Up a Notch.”

    Chris lived in Hawaii for two years, allowing him to get in touch with exotic ingredients that found their way to the back door on a daily basis, including fresh fruits and vegetables and, of course, the finest seafood, which he caught and cooked.

    For the last 18 years, Chris has been honing his skills on the road and delivering restaurant-quality food at varied locations, including catering in some of the finest homes for future presidents and many off-site events of various sizes.

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    Fun facts
    He likes to spend time with his children ages 15 and 12.
    He likens gardening fresh herbs and visiting farmers markets.
  • Brittany Clarke

    Sous Chef

    Brittany grew up in a military home moving around a lot; she lived in California, Washington, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Brittany attended Westmoreland Community College in Pennsylvania, and she is the mother of two and enjoys cooking for large groups of people.

    Fun facts
    She and her husband have “Date Night” at the shooting range.
    Brittany enjoys sewing, crocheting, carpentry and gardening.
  • James Huelsman

    Sous Chef

    James has cooked professionally for over 30 years. He has been in and around great kitchens his entire life. James has had a lifelong passion for great food. His family is full of great cooks.

    Fun facts
    James is an avid photographer who loves to photograph animals, outdoor scenes and still life shots.
    He loves to spend his free time cooking and creating great food, listening to music, playing music and spending time with friends, family and his wife Sarah.
  • Brian Warwick

    Sous Chef

    Brian graduated from the Cincinnati State Culinary Program in 2011. He worked in various downtown Cincinnati restaurants for about two years honing his skills to enable him to land his first executive chef position in 2013 at the Dearborn Country Club. He worked there for three years. In 2016, he decided to move into catering and has been active in that field ever since.

    Fun facts
    Brian met his wife in culinary school.
    He is a huge Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds fan.
  • Marley Fuller

    Sous Chef

    Marley has been with the McHale’s team since high school. She has had many different jobs, starting as a dishwasher, then moving to server, where the chefs would let her help with appetizers and salads. Her love for creating food made her make a promise to herself to be a chef at McHale’s one day. She went to study culinary arts at Sullivan University, and after 12 years, she still loves every minute of working as one of the chefs. What she loves most about her job is that there isn’t a better feeling than hearing from a client that you had a part in making the best day of their life possible.

    Fun facts
    Marley loves reptiles and tarantulas! She had a few dogs and cats in the past, but nothing can beat her cold-blooded friends. She finds them fascinating, and there is always something new to learn.
    Some people may think she has too many pets, but she says there’s always room to grow!
    Marley also loves tabletop games! Her perfect night is sitting around with close friends and showing her competitive side.
  • Jackie Newman

    Sous Chef

    Jackie was born in Chicago, but due to his dad’s job, he and his family moved to many different states, including Texas, Arizona and Washington. At 15, Jackie started as a dishwasher at a café in Illinois. Due to his hard work ethic and drive, he worked his way up through the ranks. During this journey, he was fortunate enough to work with and learn from many culinary mentors. Jackie became an executive chef of a boutique hotel in Kentucky, creating many delicious house dishes, and he met many exciting guests.

    In 2003, Jackie moved to Northern Kentucky and worked at various restaurants in and around Mainstrausse. Jackie became the executive chef and director of food and beverage full service for Holiday Inn. Jackie met his wife there, and the opportunity to come work for McHale’s opened. Since 2017, he has been happy to call McHale’s his home, and he loves that he can do what he loves to do every day.

    Fun facts
    For five years, Jackie worked on the American Queen Steamboat. She was a cruise ship that sailed up and down the Mississippi River. Jackie prepared meals for both passengers and crew members. This enabled Jackie to see and visit many historical sites.
    Jackie is a huge sports fan. He loves baseball, and his favorite team is the Chicago Cubs.
  • Lisa Carter

    Wedding Cake Designer

    My career with the McHale’s family began in 1986 while pursuing my degrees in business administration and marketing. In 1991, I accepted Chuck McHale’s challenge to help him expand the business into the wedding industry. I have developed a diverse background in the industry from both a business aspect and hands-on in the kitchen and with banquet venues. I have done it all! The creative aspect of the catering industry is my favorite by far. I enjoy everything from creating food displays and renovating and decorating the venues to transforming a couple’s vision into their perfect wedding cake.

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    Fun facts
    Lisa’s personal goal is to learn at least one new thing every day.
    She loves cake!

Hall Managers

  • Nancy Vagedes

    The Center & Gardens Hall Manager

    Nancy came to McHale’s in 2009 and has worked in all aspects of the event industry. She brings a wealth of creativity and knowledge to her position as hall manager of the The Center and Gardens, along with being a banquet manager, server, bartender and part of the set-up team. Nancy is also an accomplished fine artist and teaches sculpture classes at the university level.

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    Fun facts
    Nancy has a degree in sculpture and has taught classes at Cincinnati State for the past 18 years.
    She really loves using her creative abilities while setting up wedding decorations and seeing the brides’ visions come to life.
    Nancy loves to spend her time off with her two wonderful children and her three grandchildren.
    She also has a love for her pet rabbit and two cats, Ozzie and Zoee, the latter of whom is a very large Maine Coon cat.
  • Phyllis Davis

    Drees Hall Manager

    Phyllis has been catering to brides for over 30 years! As an original employee of the Town and Country Banquet Center, she was excited to join the McHale’s team in May 2002 when it became the Gardens of Park Hills. Phyllis has worn many hats throughout her career, filling many roles, from banquet manager to personnel manager to hall manager. Her current role as hall manager has proven to be a great asset to McHale’s, facilitating the smooth operation of flawless events.

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    Fun facts
    Phyllis has five brothers and five sisters.
    She loves to travel!
    She and her husband particularly like cruises.
  • Jeremy Emanuel

    General Hall Manager

    Jeremy started working with McHale’s on New Year’s Eve in 2015. He was a banquet manager at many facilities, mainly the Grand. Shortly after, he was offered the position to manage all of our off-premise venues. He created our systems for all off-premise events and coordinated every event that was not at a facility we own or operate for a couple years. He has worked at just about every venue McHale’s has the pleasure of serving, and has learned a lot throughout this process.

    After his time as off-premise catering manager, he was offered the position of hall manager at the Grand Facility. He managed the facility and all events there for another couple years. This allowed him to focus on client satisfaction while still managing staff and all facility needs. Most recently, he was offered a promotion to assistant general manager. He now manages both the Grand Facility and the Cincinnati Club, making sure all needs are met for clients and staff at both facilities.

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    Fun facts
    Jeremy has visited the entire continental United States.
    He had the distinct privilege of being the boss of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team.
  • Jeannie Wirth

    Cincinnati Club Hall Manager

    Jeannie started in the banquet and catering business when she was just 14 years old working for Davis Catering at The Cincinnati Club. When McHale’s acquired The Cincinnati Club, Jeannie decided to come to work for McHale’s. She has become a strong member of our staff and says she is extremely happy working for McHale’s.

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    Fun facts
    Jeannie has been an aerobic instructor for 33 years.
    She has been happily married for 35 years and has been blessed with four children.