The Soiree team includes the most dedicated and talented group of experts in the field of catering and events, from dishwashers to chefs to the executive director, everyone has a love for food and the art of entertaining.
Mary Hataway Owner/Chef
Prior to starting Soiree Catering and Events in the spring of 2004, Chef Mary Hataway owned Atlanta restaurant The Patio By The River (now Canoe) for twenty years. Mary has been honored by many top tier publications including Vogue, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and Wine Spectator as one of America’s top female chefs; and she has had numerous appearances on ABC’s Good Morning America. Mary has catered events for luminaries such as Julia Child, the Emperor of Japan – Akihito, Bo Derek, Whitney Houston, Andrew Young, and so many more. Mary was recently named the 2019 recipient of the esteemed Industry Icon Award by Modern Luxury Weddings.
Office Manager & Sales Representative
A graduate of Auburn University with a degree in public relations, Sarah’s career began in management and real estate, where she honed her strong people skills and customer service. Sarah soon realized that her talents could translate well to the event industry. Since joining Soiree in 2015, she has assisted in planning large-scale events including Andrew Young’s 90th Birthday Celebration, The Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Garden of Eden Ball, the Super Bowl VIP Tailgate, Athens Botanical Garden’s Gardens of the World Event, as well as intimate weddings, family dinners, and many other social events. Sarah’s clients have complemented her excellent communication abilities, creative menu planning, and detailed, professional approach to each event, large or small, as her greatest assets. Sarah most enjoys seeing Soiree’s clients’ visions of their special events come to life.
Mary Louise Smith
Mary Louise Smith started as an apprentice to Mary Boyle Hataway at The Patio restaurant in 1976. For almost 50 years, Mary Louise’s taste, ability, good will, incredible work ethic, and humor have guided her seamlessly through Atlanta’s finest rest kitchens, including Bones, and The Patio by the River, and now at helm of the pre-eminent catering company in the Southeast.
Senior Sales Executive
Rich Liblang joined Soiree in early 2009 and has an extensive 20 year background in food service management and event planning. With a degree in hospitality administration, Rich started his career in Atlanta in the event industry planning corporate functions, followed by 10 years as a restaurant operator of a café in Decatur before returning to the excitement of the industry. Having planned intimate dinners for President Carter to orchestrating 500 plus guest receptions in the middle of a National Golf Tournament, Rich has the ability to reassure that every event will be perfect.
In his free time, Rich loves to travel to new cities exploring architecture and trying unique foods.
Operating Manager & Sales Representative
Mike Gerry joined Soiree as an Event Manager in the summer of 2014 while between companies in the software industry. While his background, including an MIS Business Degree from Auburn University, is in sales in the tech world, Mike’s previous bartending experience and customer service shined through as a valuable team member. The plan may have been to return to the tech world, but instead Mike really enjoyed the “every day is a new day” of the event industry and saw an opportunity to make an impact for Soiree by taking over marketing. Now Mike has also brought his Raving Fans mentality that was embedded into him at his first software job, to Soiree’s sales and event planning where he has executed events of all kinds and sizes.
When Mike isn’t at an event, you can probably find Mike at a show enjoying his true passion where he moonlights as a live music photographer in his spare time.