An Auto Theme Thank You
On Thursday, April 26, 2018, Ari Fleet said thank you to their employees with an unforgettable garage party featuring Jay Leno. Our team was proud to “join the ride” providing professional planning and event management as well as CARefully planned catering.
ARI provides exceptional fleet account management. Recently, they were named one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the fifth consecutive year. It is not hard to see why. With employees that strive to “devote themselves to ensuring our clients are not just happy customers, but rather become raving fans of our organization” and leadership that celebrates its people’s drive and passion, ARI has a work culture any employee would be proud to be a part of.
In fact, it is events like this appreciation party, that help makes them a global leader in their industry. By showing appreciation for their incredible group of employees, leadership keeps relationships connected even when they are miles apart.
About the Event Center
Highway 39 Event Center features an incredible collection of over 50 museum-quality automobiles. This 18,000 square foot facility is entirely air-conditioned making events on hot days a breeze. Its state-of-the-art sound, lighting and raised stage with impressive screens makes it one of our favorite OC venues.
The Day Of the Event
Pre-arranged shuttle transportation picked employees up from Hilton and Marriott before dropping them off at Highway 39 Event Center in Anaheim, CA.
Guests entered the fully air-conditioned facility and were transported back in time to a 1950s auto shop. With memorabilia from Sinclair Gas, Coke-Cola Classic, Bob’s Big Boys and even an antique jukebox.
Guests collected their name lanyards at registration before heading off to one of two fully-stocked bars. With a drink in one hand and cell phone in the other, guests were free to admire the classic cars.
Conversation buzzed with high octane excitement. Some employees were even dressed in their very own custom-made Garage Party shirts with their names embroidered on the front.
Our catering staff, dressed in crisp black attire, turned the entrance of the kitchen into a revolving door. Beautifully presented trays of Baklava Chicken Lollipops with pesto, honey and pistachios came back as clean white china- not a crumb left to claim. Carrot Sliders with brie cheese, truffle honey, bacon-fig jam, roasted garlic aioli and caramelized apples made mouths water before they even made it out of the kitchen! Guests also enjoyed other hand-passed hors d’oeuvres such as the Asian Braised Pork Belly Crostini and Mini Brie Grilled Cheese.
As Ari Fleet employees enjoyed great conversation, cold drinks, and some hot rods, the buffets were being laid out. Staff had prepared the dinner and buffet tables with freshly ironed linens. Our event manager even matched the blue from Ari’s logo for the dinner tables linens. The spotless glasses and ice water pitcher glistened under the lights like crystals. Shined silverware, bright white coffee cups with saucers, and pressed napkins highlighted the Ari blue. And for an exciting pop of color, the centerpieces featured a beautiful arrangement of complimentary flowers and greenery.
Two dinner buffets were set up to limit lines (and hungry bellies!). The butter lettuce salad with caramel roasted pears, aged white cheddar, dried fruits and drizzled with maple apple cider vinaigrette was so popular; additional trays had to be brought in. Sides included steaming trays of potato gratin dauphinoise, seasonal vegetable medley, rolls and fresh clipped herbs and greens salad.
The Main Entrees
Three alternative entrees were provided for guests (besides a specially made plate for a guest with dietary restrictions). There was nothing traditional about these fish, chicken and beef dishes. The Mediterranean Chicken Breast spent hours marinating with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, garlic, kalamata olives, and capers. The fresh Roasted Sea Bass was hand selected by our professional chef for the evening. But it was the Roasted Garlic and Herb Marinated Beef Tri-Tip that had our action stations CARving away.
After dinner was served, the buffet tables were transformed with new decor and fresh china. The mini gourmet desserts were almost too pretty to eat!
As guests settled in with their dinner plates, heads turned to the raised stage for the highlight of the evening.
Jay Leno’s Thank You
Movie star, talk show host, comedian, and automobile enthusiastic, Jay Leno was a natural choice for Ari’s employee appreciation event.
A few lucky guests got a chance to get a photo with Jay Leno himself during a meet and greet before his set began.
His hilarious comedy set was both faithful to the automobile theme as well as the logistics of modern transportation, making it a perfect line up for ARI Fleet.
Jay Leno proved to be the highlight of the evening, filling the 18,000 square foot facility with laughter.
Following Jay Leno’s stand up routine, our DJ kept the engines running with some fresh tracks and remixes. Lights dimmed, bars filled up, and the smiling faces, clasping shoulders and handshakes were all the proof we needed this evening was worth the trip.
Everyone had a great time, including our staff for the evening. “This event hit the ground running. It was like that perfect moment when every red light turns green,” one staff member commented. Though we are exhausted, this auto theme event was worth every mile. Thank you, Ari Fleet, Highway 39, Jay Leno and the supportive staff/vendors who helped drive this event into the record books.
We love working appreciation events like these. If you have the drive to show your employees how much they are valued, we can help. Contact us using the form below or call 1.800.366.0603 to have an event manager provide you with a free, custom proposal.
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