Team Member Spotlight | Meet Erica Fredericks
Meet the Team | Erica Fredericks
It takes someone with a keen attention to detail, a deep love of hospitality, excellent organization and an appetite for problem solving to survive and thrive as an event planner (and that was before Covid). Enter Erica Fredericks, Account Executive for Design Cuisine. Erica embodies not only these characteristics of a successful planner, but so many more and continues to raise the bar by delighting our clients, building long standing relationships and transforming ideas into reality.
Erica’s passion for events started in childhood. She grew up cooking with her mom, entertaining friends and family and understood very young that every great party needs great food and memorable details. Back in high school, Erica’s plan for a weekend fete while her folks were out of town was foiled when her mom discovered her very details floor plan of the event.
After graduating from George Washington University, Erica honed her trouble-shooting skills working in the Public Relations space for education non-profits in the DC area. Public Relations turned to marketing with a job for local boutique construction company. Feeling it was time to try something new, Erica took a recommendation from a friend to combine her love for food & entertaining with her marketing and relationship building skills and landed an Account Associate position at Design Cuisine.
She jumped right into the deep end- Erica’s first day on the job was a 300-person gala at the Udvar-Hazy Center! For 2.5 years Erica learned the business from the ground up, coordinating a myriad of events ranging from government contracts to weddings at local estates and receptions at iconic venues. It was during this time that Erica polished her creative process and embraced the entrepreneurial spirit that guides a successful Account Executive.
In 2010 Erica became an Account Executive and cut her teeth in the social space starting her sales career with a book of weddings. Erica’s clear communication style and desire to not only deliver on client expectations but to also help guide and educate them in the process served her well. Her relationships and repeat client base grew, and she “built” her business turning one event into two and gaining referrals.
Life and work have collided in the pandemic and the planning skills that serve her well professionally have become a lifeline in coordinating the chaos of zoom calls, kid’s schedules and the “to do” lists of a busy household. There are of course lots of silver linings to be found in quarantine. Family dinners have become the norm and 4-year-old Henry and 2-year-old Wellesley have loved having mom home to make brownies on a whim!
Erica has spent more time in the kitchen recreating dishes for her children that evoke the memories of her own childhood. You can often find her digging through her recipe box for her mom’s Morning Glory Muffin recipe or the classic Silver Palate favorite, French onion soup. Henry still prefers a PB&J but Wellesley is happy to taste test and clearly takes after mom’s more adventurous palate.
Although free time is hard to come by with two toddlers, Erica has stayed connected to her friends in quarantine by making time for socially distanced backyard conversations and a glass of wine whenever possible.
Currently, Erica’s portfolio includes an exciting mix of corporate clients, social business and non-profit galas. Busiest in the fall, Erica is already working on a big return to entertaining in 2021!
Erica’s Favorite Morning Glory Muffin Recipe:
- 4 cups flour
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- 4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 apples, grated
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 4 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift dry ingredients together. Stir in carrots, raisins, nuts, coconuts and apples. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture until blended. Spoon batter into well-greased muffin cups or liners. Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool in tins on rack for 5 minutes. Makes 30 muffins