Team BarthaNovember 16, 2015

Be Ready: Jeffrey McMahon

We’ve got your back.

Anyone who knows Jeff McMahon knows he loves to tell a good story – and he has an arsenal of them. That’s because he’s been in the event industry for 48 years. Jeff’s own story is one of the best he has to tell – full of laughs and a love of theater.

Jeff McMahon caricatureAt 5 years old Jeff went to see Pinocchio and, even though it was an early moment in his life, it turned out to be pivotal. It sounds like a magical performance and he says he was “so fascinated by the fact that they were inside the belly of a whale and was just totally overwhelmed by it.” Afterwards he was taken backstage and as he looked at all the ropes and lights and mechanisms, he thought, “this is where I want to be all my life.”

Jeff spent the rest of his younger years in the theater eventually ending up with an acting and directing scholarship at West Virginia University. At 19 he started working professionally as a stagehand and projectionist doing road shows for a local union. However, despite his great love for the business, Jeff took a slight sabbatical after that because, as he says, “I didn’t know anything else.” He spent a year and half selling furniture here in Columbus, then clothes at a clothing company in Pennsylvania. But of course, he couldn’t stay away. After returning to the business, and to West Virginia University for a BS in business administration, Jeff ended up at the Mershon Auditorium, at what is now The Wexner Center for the Arts, for 10 years.

Jeff then took a job as the Director of Development Events at The Ohio State University, staging events for donors across the country and on campus. Sometimes he’d have big plans and Jeff says people used to tell him

“you can’t do a show in here and I’d just find a way to make it work.”

Jeff retired in 2009 and sat at home for a while – his words – but three months was all he could take being away from events and he came to work for Bartha. He has lots of experience taking an event from concept to reality and his expertise helps us to produce many amazing events every year with our partners.

Being a partner to Jeff means that

“you take your client’s best interest to heart. You make sure that whatever your client’s wishes are can be accomplished on time and on budget. You don’t let your clients make mistakes.”

Honesty is the best policy to Jeff and we couldn’t agree more.

Jeff says that experience teaches you to “be ready for anything” and that being “fluid enough to make changes on the job is the key to success.” When you partner with us, you’re getting that attention to detail for every event we plan with you. Our team will work with you to anticipate every need – from unique location concerns to bold set designs, we’re here to help. The most important part of planning an event is “good communication between all parties involved.” And Jeff would know.

Jeff’s parting words of wisdom were: “every day is an education – there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new.” We get excited by the new technology in the industry and by the new ideas our team has every day. So click here so we can learn all about your needs and share some of our ideas with you!