COMPANY NAME: Kennedy Collection
Current Job Title: Kennedy Collection Manager
Current Job Description:
- Artistic Event Installation
- Lounge and Décor Rentals
- Centerpiece Design
- Interior Design
- Event Production
How long have you been at your current job? I started at Kennedy in the middle of May. New to Austin!
Please list some previous experience you feel has helped you prepare for a career in the events industry? I have been working in evens for the past eight years. I don’t know if there were specific experiences that helped prepare me but anytime I had to make quick decisions, work hard hour after hour and think outside the box helped prepare me.
BIO: Chris Strbjak brings a wealth of industry experience to his role on the Kennedy team thanks to a steep background in sports and entertainment event management in Illinois and Colorado. As Kennedy Collection manager, he heads up the brand’s boutique rental division, providing sales support and logistical care. As the point of contact for event rentals, he builds quotes and contracts, provides layout options, sources new pieces, and oversees details from load-in to strike. He moved to Austin in 2018 with his wife, a UT grad (hook ‘em!) and their son. Although opportunities for winter sports are few in the Lone Star State, he and his family quickly took to the local trails and lakes, where they spend much of their free time. Forever feeling the need for speed, the former racing team employee is currently working on a project motorcycle, so keep an eye out for Chris on the road!
What’s your favorite thing about the event industry? The challenge of making something new, unique and mobile is always fun.
Why did you join ILEA? Being new to the area I need to build my network and support to see who I can work with to accomplish client goals.
What have you enjoyed the most about ILEA? Everyone I have met has been extremely friendly and helpful.
Best advice you have for others or have been given? You’re never too important to get your hands dirty and jump in.
Favorite thing to do when you are not working? Hike with my family.
Most Recent Vacation Spot? San Diego- The zoo and beach were amazing
Favorite Austin Experience? The ILEA Gala has set the bar high.
Favorite Austin Restaurant/Hang out spot? Favorite food? One of the first meals I had here is still my favorite. At Leroy and Lewis Barbecue with their Beef Cheeks.
Any mentors or people who inspire you, you look up to – industry or non-industry? Scott Bluhm is an event manager with new equal. It was amazing to work with him at VVF.
NOW FOR THE FUN QUESTIONS –
What is the neatest place you have ever visited? Huashan Cliffside Path or Ha Long bay is a toss up.
If you won a million dollars, what is the first thing you would buy? I love to work on engines, cars or anything that moves. I’d buy a garage.
Who / What is your dream client or event? I’d like to work back to my action sports roots and work with a company doing something new and exciting.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? I’d like to go see the Jungles of South America and spend some time around Patagonia.
What is a unique fact about you? If I forget someone’s name I can tell you how many letters it has in it for some weird reason.
What is the weirdest place / person you have ever done an event or request for? Burton US Open we created a hangout spot for athletes and VIP’s in a very expensive hotel suite in Vail CO. We had to put temporary carpet over the hotels carpet and hardwood and move and protect all of the breakable objects for their party.