Proprietor, Misha Hart
Misha has managed the magic behind some of Tampa Bay's most high-profile events since she was hand-selected by Outback Steakhouse, Inc. executives to join A La Carte Event Pavilion as Proprietor in November 2004.
From celebrating the accomplishments of this community's great endeavors to organizing parties for prominent political figures and celebrities, she has orchestrated a wide array of events to create unforgettable affairs each time her staff is called upon. Misha's sixteen years of service to Outback Steakhouse prepared her to guide A La Carte Event Pavilion. She served as Proprietor of Outback Catering from August 2001 – November 2004 where she oversaw all retail catering operations and organized charity events along the West Coast of Florida. During her tenor as a managing partner, she has been recognized four times as "Proprietor of the Year" and has recently celebrated her 20 year anniversary with OSI, A La Carte's parent company.
Born in Tampa and committed to its advancement, Misha is involved in the community through work with various non-profit organizations. She is also an active member of Tampa Bay & Company and graduated from the Leadership Tampa program offered through the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor's degree in economics. Misha married Cy Hart in November 2002. They currently reside in South Tampa.
Executive Chef, Jim Rice
Food, music and art have always been Jim's passions. Although he began cooking professionally at age 16, his life took a dramatic detour when he was offered an opportunity to audition for Motown records in 1984. Soon he was appearing on MTV and working as a touring musician. Traveling the world exposed him to a vast array of cooking styles and cuisine. He always looked forward to time spent at home where he could create new dishes. His career path eventually led him back to the hospitality industry where he worked in cafes, bistros, fine dining restaurants and catering.
When he came to A La Carte in 2002, his performance quickly elevated him to Sous Chef, then Chef de Cuisine and, in 2007, Executive Chef. Jim's custom menu creations, commitment to quality and friendly personality have made him invaluable to A La Carte. Jim still enjoys writing and recording music, but spends much of his spare time with his wife, daughter and son. He aspires to continue honing his skills as a chef, husband and father.
Floral Designer, Pat Harris
After owning a floral shop in South Tampa for ten years, Pat decided to make a career change in 2005 and join the A La Carte family. Her unique perspective is driven by years of experience in both the wholesale and retail areas of the floral industry. She has also been inspired by creative collaborations with other designers. To Pat, the challenge of creating one-of-a-kind arrangements is fun. When she has spare time, she loves to travel and makes a point of visiting local floral shops along the way. Pat's commitment to excellence also reaches into the community as she serves on the board of the Muscular Dystrophy Association each year.
Chef de Cuisine, Jonathan Wolf
Jonathan played an integral role in opening A La Carte Event Pavilion in 2000, but his experience in the hospitality industry dates back to his first restaurant position in 1985. He then pursued a Culinary Arts degree from Kendall College in Chicago and gained experience working in a number of fine dining establishments.
Since joining the A La Carte team, Jonathan has proven himself as an innovator and natural leader. He was quickly promoted from Sous Chef to Pastry Chef and now resides as Chef de Cuisine. Outside of the kitchen, he is often found playing roller or ice hockey and loves to travel when his schedule allows.
Wedding Cake Designer/Assistant Pastry Chef, Maritza Abreau
In order to provide clients with a full range of services, A La Carte began searching for a staff wedding cake designer in 2006. As a graduate of Llaque del Norte in the Dominican Republic with a degree in baking and pastry, Maritza was the perfect candidate. She had honed her talents over three decades with pastry and cake decorating experience. By 2006, she had become a Wilton Method instructor and was teaching classes throughout Tampa Bay.
Maritza's cakes are known not just for their beauty but for their delectable flavors. In addition to wedding cake creations, she is also responsible for the production of all pastry items at the Pavilion. Outside of work, Maritza loves to enjoy the Florida outdoors by fishing, walking the Gandy Bridge and spending time with her daughters at the beach.
Director Of Sales, Amy Osgood
From her first job as a restaurant host, Amy felt drawn to the fast-paced and exciting hospitality industry. After moving to Florida in 1997, she landed a position with one of her favorite restaurants, Outback Steakhouse, and also spent time working in their catering department. In 2000, she was invited to join Outback's newest venture, A La Carte Event Pavilion. She was intrigued by its unique concept and excited to play a part in planning special events.
As one of the Pavilion's first Event Coordinators, Amy played a key role in opening the fledgling venue. In addition to planning events, she helped to define procedures and to establish the standards of excellence that remain today. She was soon promoted to the position of Sales Manager where she excelled at growing the business and developing client relationships. Her experience in these areas made her the ideal candidate for the Director of Sales position which became available in 2004. Since then, Amy has become the backbone of her department, managing the sales staff and working with clients to, "bring their dreams to life." In her spare time, she loves to read, bike ride and take trips to the beach with her husband and two children. She is also a volunteer committee member for Moffitt Cancer Center's Key to the Cure.
Director Of Operations, Megan Dingle
Megan's career in hospitality began with an interest in cooking. She began working at an Outback Steakhouse in Wappingers Falls, New York at age 16. Although hired as a hostess, she was promoted through the restaurant's various positions including cook, server, bartender, trainer and manager. She graduated from Johnson and Wales University with an associate's degree in food and beverage management which combined her love of culinary arts and restaurant operations.
When Megan moved to Tampa, she decided to break into the catering industry. Fortunately, Outback offered two local opportunities through Outback Catering and A La Carte Event Pavilion. She worked for both companies until 2003 when she was offered an Event Manager position at the Pavilion. After only one year, she moved into the sales department by accepting an Event Coordinator position. This gave her the opportunity to work with clients and to gain insight into event planning.
By 2007, Megan had well-rounded experience in all aspects of hospitality and catering. When the Director of Operations position became available, she was considered the perfect fit. Megan exemplifies A La Carte's customer focus and relentless pursuit of perfection.
In her spare time, Megan likes to munch on her favorite cereal, Lucky Charms, but indulges in ravioli on all special occasions. She lives with her firefighter husband and daughter in Tampa with their purebred Rottweiler, Stella.
Wedding and Event Coordinator, Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca’s career in the event world started when she was just 15, with her very first job as a waitress in a local hotel back in her home town in England. She quickly worked her way through the departments due to her thirst for knowledge and experience. She loved the fast paced environment and meeting new people. Leaving England, she boarded The Disney Wonder cruise liner gaining experience and confidence as she traveled around the Bahamas. In 2004 she moved to America to pursue a college degree, where she majored in Art and Psychology. Sophomore year she was awarded the position of Vice-President of Foundations in her sorority; she took great pride in organizing fundraisers and setting up voluntary jobs throughout the community. She worked closely with the Lions club, Lowry Park Zoo and The Ronald McDonald House to name a few.
Rebecca joined the A La Carte Family in January 2010, after Misha Hart discovered her creative abilities and offered her a position on the Design and Décor Team. Her attention to detail and organization skills shone through, and she soon discovered that she wanted to delve deeper into the planning process behind the events. Her friendly personality and love of a new challenge, made being an event coordinator the perfect job for her. So with Disney in her past and the desire to make everyone's 'event' dreams come true, Rebecca is a great fit at A La Carte.
In her spare time, Rebecca can be found either near the water roller-blading, walking her dog or sat with her nose in a good book. On a windy day she'll more likely be on the water sailing. Her most recent venture is to learn how to paddle board. She also continues to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House whenever she can.
Wedding and Event Coordinator, Jade Futhey
Since high school Jade knew she wanted to be a wedding planner. Jade graduated from Florida State University and the University of Florida. She set a record at FSU for completing three bachelor degrees in two years. Her degrees from FSU include Hospitality Management with a concentration in Events and Conventions, Marketing, and Human Resources. A year later Jade obtained a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from UF. She will graduate with her MBA from UF in April 2014. Jade brings a wide background to A La Carte, but her true passion remains in event planning, specifically weddings!
Jade’s post college career started with A La Carte. She started as a bridal intern at A La Carte in 2010. She was thrilled when the opportunity arose to be a wedding coordinator. “I absolutely LOVE getting to know my couples and planning their weddings. My job is to help make dreams come true and be part of the happiest day of a couple’s life. I love my job!”
Jade is very active in her community. She likes spending her free time volunteering at Hospice, American Cancer Society, and many other nonprofit organizations. She has received numerous awards in the Tampa Bay area for her dedication to helping the community. Jade and her sweetheart, Kyle, love attending sporting events, going to the movies, and visiting the zoo.
Wedding Coordinator, Alexis Machin
Planning parties has always been a passion for Alexis. Over the years, family and friends have always turned to her to organize their events, such as birthday parties, bridal showers and baby showers. After graduating from The International Academy of Design with her Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising & Design, she began her career in the hospitality business working as an assistant to both Corporate and Bridal Event Managers in the hotel industry. It was there that she found her love for weddings. She soon became a Bridal Event Producer, designing weddings and social events for a local Décor company. During that time, Alexis was honored to receive Event Solutions Nationwide Magazine’s “Rising Star-Female “Award in 2010.
As much as she loved designing and producing weddings, her love was always in planning the details. When the opportunity presented itself and the Wedding Coordinating position became available at A La Carte Event Pavilion, she knew it was a perfect place for her to utilize her experience and grow in this industry. Alexis truly enjoys what she does and it shows in the relationships she builds with each and every couple. Every wedding is different and unique in their own way, and she loves the personal touch that goes in to each and every one. Although Alexis’ background is mostly in weddings, A la Carte has also given her the chance to expand her talents and coordinate for Corporate and Social events, which she is finding to be just as exciting.
When Alexis isn’t living in “Event World”, she enjoys spending quality time with her friends and family. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart, Paul and they are very excited to be expecting their first child, a baby boy!
Sales Manager, Jill Mitchell
Jill began her career in hospitality at the age of 16 as a hostess at Cozymel’s and continued to work in the restaurant business, including Outback Steakhouse, while obtaining a B.A. in psychology from the University of Tennessee. During college she began working at Gettysvue Country Club, where she really developed her passion for weddings and special events.
In 2006 when Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar opened in Knoxville, Jill was hired to be the Private Dining Director and greatly enjoyed the opportunity to enhance her interest in fine dining and hospitality.
Most recently Jill was the Director of Catering and Events at Feather Sound Country Club and is very excited to become the newest member of the A La Carte team.
She is an active member of the Junior League of Clearwater-Dunedin and is involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County.
In her spare time, Jill enjoys the beach, aerobics, and spending time with her favorite boys, her two dogs Max and Bigos, and her husband Ryan.
Event Coordinator, Heidi Sedlmayr
Heidi’s love for the hospitality industry began at the age of 18 when she started her first serving job at Circles in South Tampa. While receiving her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida she worked at a popular Gainesville restaurant. Out of college she took a job as a manager at Abercrombie & Fitch. She quickly assumed the position of hiring/recruiting manager. She not only loved working in customer service but enjoyed meeting and working with new people. She decided that it was time to look for a career that would focus more on these 2 aspects of the job. Her search brought her to A La Carte where she was given the opportunity to be an event coordinator.
Heidi has always been involved with many non-profit groups such as The ARC center and The Olivia Lives Foundation. Volunteering is very important to Heidi and she hopes to expand by volunteering with many of the non-profits that A La Carte is involved with.
In her spare time she enjoys going to the beach, gym, traveling and spending time with her cat Toby.
Event Specialist, Trish Seegobin
In Trinidad, Trish and her husband owned and managed their own Supermarket, Meat Shop and Market Place for several years. However, in 1998, they made a bold decision to move to the United States. After settling in Tampa, Trish decided to work part-time as a banquet server. She worked with several local catering companies including A La Carte. She was most impressed by the Pavilion's food quality, service standards and absolute attention to detail. By 2002, she was asked to become a Lead Banquet Server and only a year later she was promoted again to Event Manager. In her new position, Trish managed back-of-house event operations, as well as a sizeable wait staff.
When an Event Coordinator position became available in 2007, Trish was the natural choice. She moved into the sales office and began working directly with clients. Since then, she has mainly focused on corporate event planning and has received many accolades including this comment from Lynda with Primerica, "Trish is absolutely wonderful. She is so very professional and ready to help make our event a true success in all areas."
Trish is married and has three children whom she considers her "pride and joy." She always looks forward to time spent relaxing at the beach with them. She also loves to work with her children's church ministry when time allows.