Legacy Member Q&A: David Casteel
Friday, July 14, 2017
David Casteel of Mitchell’s Catering and Events is a 26-year member of ILEA and is a past chair of the ILEA International MARCOM Committee.A founding president of the original Carolinas Chapter of ILEA, he has also served as the president of the Greater Triangle Chapter NC of ILEA. He is also an active member of NACE, ICA, and past member of The Special Events Magazine Advisory Board. He has been a featured speaker/presenter at the ICA CaterArts Conference for several years and also has presented for CaterSource Conference and CaterSource/ICA Conference ‘The Art of Catered Food”. He and Mitchell’s Catering have been featured regularly over the past several years in Special Events Magazine and Event Solutions Magazine. Recognition to David and Mitchell’s Catering and Events include The Special Event Gala Award, ISES ESPRIT Award, Carolina EVIE Awards, Triangle NACE Awards, and ICA CATIE Award nominations.
ILEA: Looking back over the course of your career, what has been the most influential factor that has shaped the direction of the events industry?
Casteel: During the early part of my career, that being the first five years of ISES, the big influential factor was the human technology. The human technology being the likes of Dr. Joe Goldblatt, Michael Loshin, John Daly, Robert Graves, Craig Mitchell and so many other early ILEA members or founders who had a vision to move this industry out of the cottages and into the fore front of modern day businesses. Today we are influenced by mechanical technology from the software that assists in writing our proposals or producing 3-D layouts of future events for clients to view. Technology that lets our catering kitchens produce perfectly cooked medium-rare beef via Sous-vide for a dinner event for hundreds of guests. Technology that produces event entertainment never before imagined. I look forward to an event future where both our human technologies and mechanical technologies mesh together even more, so that we remain a truly LIVE events association.
ILEA: What is the one piece of advice you wish you had at the beginning of your career?
Casteel: Don’t get comfortable where you are. The industry is always changing and will continue to change. Even though we are highly creative people we tend to want to feel comfortable in our own box. The moment you start to, climb out of it, dance and on top of it and find another and then another. Being able to change and adapt to the ever changing trends and tempo of the industry is a must.
ILEA: Looking forward, what do you anticipate will be the most significant trend to shape the future direction of this industry?
Casteel: Our ever-changing technology will definitely have a great impact on future events. From ways that invitations are developed/sent, to new dimensions in entertainment and décor, to current and future culinary trends that allow guests to experience event dining in new and unique ways, and to how events are experienced by attendees.
ILEA: What does it mean to you to be considered a mentor or leader in this space?
Casteel: To be considered a mentor and leader in this professional organization means that I have had the opportunity to make a difference somewhere along the way. Whether as a source of inspiration or knowledge for a future events industry professional or as a resource or sounding board for an industry colleague.
ILEA: Please describe the value of being a member of ILEA and what this has meant to your career.
Casteel: Being an ILEA member has been invaluable to my events industry career. The ability to have had the opportunity to meet so many industry professionals, not just locally, but also nationally and internationally has offered me access to networking potentials and resources that have helped keep me and my company on the proverbial ‘cutting edge’. The professional relationships that were initially forged turned into life-long friendships, that while being supportive of my professional efforts, always challenged me to improve myself personally.