Nick Wilson, Director of Operations
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 in the front lines 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? Building memories with their clients and 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.
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 with a side degree in accounting, 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. Need a conversation starter when you meet him? Ask him about his three kids, specifically his youngest – the only girl – who’s got him wrapped around her pinky.
Gwen Annese, Director of Sales
California native. Animal lover. Organization aficionado. OnLocation’s Marie Kondo-approved sales manager Gwen Annese admits a slight obsession with containers, boxes and storage bins. Her mantra – a place for everything and everything in its place! With a background in hospitality sales, accounting and wedding planning, Gwen credits organizational skills as key to her success.
Gwen began her career at 1618 in August of 2021, after working as Sales and Banquet Manager for San Diego’s best Mexican restaurants and a boutique hotel in the area’s Old Town district. There, she developed a passion for direct client sales, all things Dia de los Muertos, and of course, tacos!
Gwen now enjoys the seasons of N.C. with her husband, daughter and 16-year-old cat. Were money no object, she would volunteer full-time and work on craft projects with her daughter. She currently pitches in at the SPCA and Backpack Beginnings, both causes near and dear to her heart.
Aaron Tyler, Director of Operations
What’s Aaron Tyler’s favorite part of his job? The Staffing and Event Manager of 1618 OnLocation loves basking in the afterglow of an unforgettable event. To Aaron, looking back on the joy and magic his team brings to clients is confirmation of a job well done.
He grew up in the restaurant industry—his father was the food/beverage director at the local country club and Aaron began flipping burgers and serving beers (yes, beers) in the halfway house at age 14. He honed his skills in event services working with his dad to cater weddings receptions, private parties and corporate events.
Aaron compares himself to the POP of opening a bottle of bubbly—he brings a touch of excitement and sparkle wherever he goes. A man of many hidden talents, he can rap all of Salt-N-Pepa’s “Shoop” from memory, and does a mean rendition of the final dance sequence from “Miss Congeniality.” His fridge contains leftovers, cold brew, oatmilk, and, of course, sparkling seltzer.
Maddie Barbour, Coordination Manager
Maddie Barbour knows there’s no place like home. The Greensboro native started in restaurant work as a food runner at Lindley Park Filling Station when she was only 16. Now, following a career as a preschool teacher and a move to San Diego, she’s returned to her roots—both in N.C. and the restaurant business—as a Coordination Manager for 1618 OnLocation.
Maddie’s naturally inviting personality partnered with her love for entertaining and intimate knowledge of the Triad make her a perfect fit as OnLocation’s Coordination Manager. She describes her food personality as a sour gummy worm—like this sweet and sour treat, she strives for an even balance in all aspects of her life.
Her fridge contents reflect her love of balance and diversity, full of fruits and veggies from the farmers’ market, limes for fresh margaritas, and lots of ice cream. In her down time, Maddie loves to bake, travel, and discover new hiking trails with her dog, Blue.
Lauren King Donohue, Sales Manager
Sometimes a career path is determined early in life, as it was for On Location’s 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 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.”
Lindsey Grace, Beverage Manager
If Lindsey Grace, beverage manager at 1618 OnLocation, could be any flavor, she would identify as limes—zesty alone, yet blends seamlessly into flavorful combinations. Much like the versatile lime, Lindsey has a variety of skills and applications – including graphic design, apparel construction, interior architecture, supply chain management. And, of course, providing exceptional catering and culinary experiences.
This Jill-of-all-trades has thrived at 1618 since 2017, carrying her love of fresh ingredients into her beverage production and daily operations. Lindsey adores the ease and authenticity of working with local vendors, from planners and florists to breweries and farms.
Today, Lindsey lives in Greensboro with her 8-year-old son, Grey. In her spare time, she plays on a billiards league and spends time with local friends and family. Her fridge contains fruits and vegetables for her fresh-food-fiend son, along with a surplus of 20+ sauces.
Rachael Revell, Operations Coordinator
Operations Coordinator Rachael Revell has come full circle in her career as part of 1618 OnLocation. A native of Roxboro who attended UNCG, Rachael started catering as a college student and worked in the industry for 12 years. (We would be remiss, however, if we didn’t mention that her initial passion for the restaurant biz was ignited during her debut role as a teenage salad bar attendant at her hometown steakhouse.) After getting married and starting a family, she became a special education teacher and worked at her children’s elementary school.
But a second career in catering beckoned to her, and she joined the staff of 1618 OnLocation in 2022. Rachael enjoys the fast pace of the job, including the time-pressed rush of pulling an event off without a hitch. She appreciates the unique talents of the 1618 team and how everyone brings something to the table (literally and figuratively) to ensure events run smoothly.
In her off hours, Rachael spends time with her husband and three daughters, plays pickleball, tap dances (an essential American art form) and enjoys hot yoga. While her fridge is filled with IPAs, Chardonnay, proteins, fruits and veggies, she most closely identifies with the warm and welcoming scent of freshly baked banana bread.
Savannah Edmondson, Event Coordination Manager
Born and raised in Peachtree City, GA, with a sincere love for the stone fruit, 1618 OnLocation’s Event Coordination Manager Savannah Edmondson honestly describes herself as a sweet Georgia peach. Savannah’s family roots also run deep in North Carolina, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from East Carolina University before finding her way to the Greensboro area to work as a wedding coordinator.
Savannah first came to know 1618 OnLocation as a favorite caterer for the weddings she was coordinating. Having already spent 12 years in the food and bartending industries, when the opportunity to work with 1618 OnLocation came along, she jumped at the chance. She loves seeing how 1618 OnLocation events come together and enjoys being a part of the company’s tight-knit team of experts.
Her favorite hobby is the gym. If she’s not working, she’s working out. And Savannah’s fridge is fit as well. It’s stocked with healthy fruits and vegetables.
Ellen Moore, Special Projects
Ellen Moore 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.