Hi there! Thanks so much for looking at my little blog! I am the fun-loving Events Director, Kathi Skillman here at Historic El Cortez!

I’ve always loved parties, decorating, entertaining, flowers and most of all wine! When I received a call in 2000 that my friends had restored this beautiful old building and that they wanted me to come to represent their gorgeous ballroom I thought “wow this is my opportunity to help everyone in San Diego put on fabulous events!

I can remember my first day on the job, all I had was a pad of paper, a telephone and my words, words I’d hope would not fail in conveying all the wonderful history as I had learned it and how (if our clients would trust me) that I just knew I could help make their party or wedding the very best expression of them, their personalities to honor whatever it was they had in mind to the best of my and our vendors abilities. Everyone has such different styles that to just suggest the same colors, tastes, themes over and over would miss the nuances of each couple or group so that has always been a real no no.

I have been married to my husband Joe for 20 years (we married when we were babies!) and we share so many commonalities and most of all good times. As with my husband, my goal then and now is to never let anyone down, and for the past 14 years I don’t think I have looked at any event as trivial or one more important than another. Couples come through our doors with love and hope and many times very small budgets so it is fun helping to make their weddings and events look like a million bucks sometimes on a real shoestring. I assist with events for sometimes a full year or more so I usually can hardly wait for their collective “big days” to arrive. I sometimes “pop into work” to sneak a peek and a smile, standing by the ballroom door to see the culmination of their loving efforts, and in the case of weddings, watch our couples bond solid for a lifetime.

Doing so much on my own without assistance, I needed some downtime here and there and figured out a way to take off for a bit of time off to spend in France. From Paris to the South, food, Chefs, memoirs, technical manuals and tales became my passion. I was honored to spend time learning in the kitchen of the 2000 Meilleur Ouvrier de France (One of the Best Craftsmen of France) in Provence, and while it would take too much time and space to delve further into this particular obsession here, I learned a lot and today proud to say I have moved on to the wonderful world of wine!

When I returned from France to El Cortez, my feelers were fine-tuned and I was always on the lookout for Chefs to cater our events who really care about preparing our clients’ favorite foods, responsible farming, cutting down carbon footprints and honoring ingredients. Today we have a small group of companies catering El Cortez who know our site well and do not disappoint.

After working on my own here for eight years, a “temp” was hired to file paperwork for the day named Jessica Beiriger. I was particularly swamped that day and could finally admit that I needed assistance. With a smile I exclaimed “I need some help!” and I heard a little voice from around the corner say “I’ll help you”. I said “who are you and do you know anything about events?” and she said “no but I can learn”. Since then we have made a great team and the rest is history!

Today, we are busy with such a varied list of client events (just check out my partial client list!) and Jessica is working with our beautiful couples to help make their weddings the best ever.
I am doing a bit of weddings and corporate (instead of all of them!) and we are producing some amazing events, including one with an upcoming Iron Chef!

Thank you for choosing us (or strongly considering us, come on give us a chance!), and please look around our website at some of the cool aspects of this unique and
Historic Landmark, El Cortez!