team

Our Rocky Top Catering team takes a tailored approach to each and every client we serve. Our professional and friendly staff make your event unforgettable — from planning to execution and every step in between. We work seamlessly with vendor partners to ensure that your event is everything you want it to be and more. To best serve our clients, our team members specialize in certain areas — corporate, weddings, social events, venue management and so forth — to ensure you get the expert attention you deserve.

MEET OUR TEAM

DEAN OGAN

OWNER

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
22.5 years

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
Picking a favorite menu item is like picking my favorite child! Impossible.

Fun personal fact:
My favorite food is fresh roasted pumpkin seeds. I dream about them.

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
I love my teammates. People make this company great!

Enneagram type:
Type 3

ALISON PURDEE GANGWAY

CEO

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
9 years

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
Shrimp & Grits

Fun personal fact:
My husband and I met on a blind date, just like my parents!

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
The people!!! We are so lucky to have such an amazing team that I can also call friends.

Enneagram type:
Type 2: The Helper

KEVIN DEHIMER

DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SALES

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
15 years

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
1. Seared tuna 2. Pork belly tostada

Fun personal fact:
I have been to 14 countries, and 24 states.

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
The family of staff & the people/vendor partners I get to meet along the way.

Enneagram type:
6

JEFF BESSELMAN

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & LARGE SCALE EVENTS

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
2.5 years

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
Shrimp and Grits or Korean Taco Station, it’s a toss up!

Fun personal fact:
I lived in New York City for 12.5 years and had the opportunity to meet Tom Hanks.

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
The opportunity to collaborate with some brilliant minds in this industry and gain the trust of some of the top rated wedding planners in the state along with vendor partners and clients to ensure their vision and expectations are met. Having worked in the Production and Catering industry for well over a decade, I take great pride in being a senior leader with Rocky Top to witness the incredible growth and development that takes place on a daily basis.

Enneagram type:
Type 1

CAROL SASSEEN

DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE SALES

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
5 years

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
Street Tacos

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
Teamwork

Enneagram type:
2: The Helper

R. ADAM JONES

DIRECTOR OF FOOD & BEVERAGE

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
12.5 years

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
Current menu item….Hot Chicken Popper. All time favorite menu item…Tribeca Nachos

Fun personal fact:
I don’t know what an Enneagram is… FACT!

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
The people I work with!!

Enneagram type:
Again….??? (5)

ELIZABETH HAMAN

PROJECT MANAGER

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
6 years

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
Shrimp & Grits

Fun personal fact:
I am one of the few people working in the industry I went to school for! I graduated from UNCG with a degree in Commercial Recreation and Event Management. I fell in love with the event world, and I haven’t ever left!

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
I absolutely love being a part of something that helps celebrate people during some of the best times of their lives. Whether it’s their wedding day or their family party, what is the best part of any anything? FOOD?!

Enneagram type:
2: The Helper

CRISTIN NGUYEN

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
9 years

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
Pan Seared Scallops with mascarpone-brie risotto, asparagus, cranberry, pistachio, and charred scallions, YUM!!! ?

Fun personal fact:
I LOVE fashion ?

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
Getting to work with such amazing clients!

Enneagram type:
6

COLLEEN VIVENZIO

CORPORATE OFFICE & FINANCIAL MANAGER

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
9 years

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
Roy’s Grits & Crab Cake Sliders

Fun personal fact:
I secretly love & am very good at archery. I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have an 18 month old.

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
Introduced me to lifelong/best friends

Enneagram type:
6

LIZ LOPEZ

EVENT COORDINATOR

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
Since April of 2018

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
This question is not fair. Petite Desserts…all of them. But my legit answer is probably Korean Short Ribs!

Fun personal fact:
Art is my passion. I can draw, paint or make just about anything!

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
As crazy as it sounds, the HUGE events and making them happen. The teamwork and dedication from everyone to ensure close to perfect execution of our events, is pretty great. We always make it happen.

Enneagram type:
Type 1

CRYSTAL BUTLER

WAREHOUSE MANAGER

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
1 year 9 months

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
Taco Bar (chicken & shrimp & all the toppings)

Fun personal fact:
I love to cook Creole and Cajun foods.

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
(The family dynamics). Here at Rocky it’s my second family. I love each and every one that I work with.

Enneagram type:
Type 2

JEFFREY RUSSELL

EXECUTIVE CHEF

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
14 months

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
Pork Belly Steam Buns

Fun personal fact:
Avid Dart Thrower

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
The silence of hearing restaurant printers in my sleep!

Enneagram type:
8: The Challenger

TAYLOR BENNETT

VENUE MANAGER – CROSS + MAIN / CATERING SALES MANAGER – ROCKY TOP CATERING

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
September 2019

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
Sundried tomato and asiago stuffed airline chicken. It is so delicious!

Fun personal fact:
I trained for and ran my first half marathon this year, which was Raleigh’s hometown race, the City of Oaks!

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
I enjoy working with a collaborative, passionate and supportive team to execute amazing events and make our clients visions come to life.

Enneagram type:
2- The Helper, 1- The Reformer, 8- The Challenger

QUANN BRADLEY

EVENT COORDINATOR

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
1.5 years

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
Sorghum Fried Chicken Breast and Shrimp and Grits

Fun personal fact:
I love to dance, workout (boxing), UNC fanatic

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
My coworkers, different event types, and the thrill of seeing happy and satisfied guests.

Enneagram type:
1) Type 8: The Challenger 2) Type 1: The Reformer 3) Type 5: The Investigator

TAYLOR CLARK

CATERING SALES MANAGER

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
3 months

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
Korean Street Taco Station

Fun personal fact:
I just moved to Raleigh in August and love exploring the food scene in the city! I have a growing list of over 100 restaurants that I am ready to check off!

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
Planning, creating, and watching events come to life all around the city!

Enneagram type:
6

GLORIA FRY

EVENT COORDINATOR

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
On and off for 7 years and sales assistant for 3 months

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs

Fun personal fact:
Rocky Top was one of my first jobs when I was 16

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
Getting to be a part of people’s events and special days

Enneagram type:
Type 7

KAYLA MILES

CATERING SALES MANAGER & VENUE MANAGER FOR 1705 EAST

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
2 years

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
Seared Pepper-Crusted Tuna Nacho with Wasabi Crema

Fun personal fact:
I am always finding new bands to listen to and try go to as many concerts/shows as possible. Live music is my favorite!

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
Always meeting new people and working with the sweetest clients and vendors! And the food is amazing!

Enneagram type:
9

VICKI TONG

SENIOR CATERING SALES MANAGER

BIO

How long have you been with Rocky Top:
10.5 years

Favorite Rocky Top menu item:
The Green Chili Braised Pork Shoulder. It doesn’t get enough credit for its deliciousness and genius flavor pairings.

Fun personal fact:
I am a die hard Carolina Panthers fan, lover of puns and dad jokes, an avid fun seeker, and mama to 3 fur babies!

Favorite thing about working at Rocky Top:
The relationships that are created. With our clients, fellow vendors, and especially within the team. We work hard together and we have a lot of fun together. RTC really does have the best work family.

Enneagram type:
Type 2, Wing 3… it’s wildly accurate!

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