Lauren King Donohue, Catering Director
Sometimes a career path is determined early in life, as it was for On Location’s Catering Director Lauren King Donohue, who worked her first catering job while still in high school. That early taste of events and excitement set the stage for a lifetime of adventure in the hospitality industry.
After working in restaurants, bars and catering companies for more than a decade, it’s fitting that she met her husband, 1618 Seafood Grille’s Sous Chef Adam Donohue, at the 1618 Midtown, which eventually became the location of their wedding reception.
Lauren loves to bake and entertain in her off hours, and always keeps a bottle of Champagne in the fridge. It’s the kind of habit you want in someone charged with making great events. Says Lauren, “Every single day has the opportunity to be amazing if you have the right bubbles.”
Harrison Simpson, Executive Chef
Executive Chef Harrison Simpson’s skill set is as diverse as his hot sauce collection. A near-architect turned engineer turned executive chef, Simpson was also a carpenter at one point in his life.
Constructing palette-pleasing menus is his true passion, however. Simpson is industry trained and developed a deep love of flavor-driven cooking and a passion for growing his knowledge base, spending his free time watching cooking shows and researching recipes. His menus portray overt simplicity set against underlying complexity, and are often inspired by whatever ethnic-driven foods he’s recently eaten.
Angela Slabaugh, Events Manager
Fayetteville, North Carolina native Angela Slabaugh broke her 10-year “restaurant sabbatical” in April 2016 by joining 1618 On Location as Events Manager. “Coming to 1618 reminded me how much I love the restaurant industry,” says Angela. It didn’t hurt that her first project was working an Eric Church event, a far cry from her start in the business – a burger joint – at age 16.
The celebration business comes naturally to Angela. She’s a gifted musician who plays piano and violin, but also a talented cook, ready to entertain. To wit, there’s always Brut rose in her fridge.
Ellen Moore, Beverage & Events Manager
Ellen Moore, the On Location Beverage and Events Manager, is a peripatetic soul who made it to Greensboro by way of Miami, Alaska, Slovakia and the Florida Keys. Maybe that’s why she enjoys the tight-knit atmosphere she’s found at 1618, which she describes as mafia-like. “Once you’re in, you’re family.”
She arrived in the gate city via U-Haul in 2013 to attend UNCG’s Sign Language Interpreting Program, a fitting curriculum since she always talks with her hands. Shortly thereafter, she joined 1618 and is proud to say she’s done nearly every job in the restaurant – backwaiting, hosting, serving, bartending and working events – except for cooking. After hours, she can be found crafting with fellow 1618 family member Katy Bromley.
Fashion fiend. Record collector. Spicy food lover. On Location Service and Events Manager Allison Sharpe claims all these titles plus one more – boomerang employee.
Sharpe began her 1618 career back in 2008 after studying clothing design at UNCG, working at 1618 West. But eventually the siren call of NYC lured this fashionista away. After a six-year stint in the Big Apple Sharpe returned to Greensboro, much to the delight of her 1618 family, and joined the On Location team.
Outside of work Sharpe spends her time cooking, crafting, record collecting and sipping seltzer. And if she ever wins the lottery, you can visit her boutique in some sleepy beach town where she’ll be keeping the locals well dressed.
How can you call something work when it excites you every morning? Nick Wilson does work at 1618 — he’s the Proprietor after all — but spending time at his Greensboro locations is more fun than anything else. OK, fun would be checking in via FaceTime from a cabin in the mountains, but you get the point. His favorite part of the job? Walking the line of trendy and traditional while assisting with the creation of a high-end beverage program with the latest and greatest beers, wines, bubbles and high-quality cocktails.
Nick landed in Greensboro for college and loved it so much he never left, finding a permanent home here with his tenured, erudite husband Holt, who deserves endless praise — and probably presents — for allowing Nick to ply his trade during the odd hours of a restauranteur. His belief in community change through philanthropy have earned him the Triad Business Journal 40 Under 40 award, an Action Greensboro Made in Greensboro honoree and the Greensboro Chamber Small Business Person of the Year award.
George Neal, Proprietor
A native of Greensboro, George Neal literally grew up in city’s restaurant community, getting his start washing dishes while finishing at Page High School. He worked his way up the chain (dishes begot pantry which begot grille which begot executive chef) before starting off on his own with the original 1618 location in 2004.
George experienced two schools of culinary education: he learned through on the job training but also classically trained through his work at one of Greensboro’s former premiere French restaurants, Madison Park. George was the winner of the inaugural Fire in the Triad competition. In his free time, he can be found playing tennis, snowboarding and trying to avoid bogeys at Starmount.