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Meet The Team: Charlene Hendricks, ONE15 Catering Sales Assistant Director

Meet The Team: Charlene Hendricks, ONE15 Catering Sales Assistant Director

Mar 9, 2021

I fell in love with the first job I ever had,” says Charlene Hendricks, Assistant Director – Catering Sales at ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove.

Few of us are that lucky. The job was at the coffee house of Grand Hyatt Singapore—Charlene was then waiting for her O-Level results. “It was a really fun environment and mix of customers,” recalls the vivacious 36-yearold. That she had to wake up at the crack of dawn to get to work didn’t bother her that much. That gig solidified her decision to pursue hospitality management, and set her career path rolling for the next 15 years—and counting.

Charlene started as a corporate coordinator and has since moved to where she is now, coordinating weddings and social events. It was in fact a wedding show at her first job, after graduating, that steered her away from the corporate life to social events. The personalised vibe, she felt, boded well with her own cheery disposition. “In the case of weddings, you build a more personal relationship with the client as compared to a more professional relationship when you’re doing a corporate event—the interactions with clients feel more real,” says Charlene. Sure enough, a number of clients have become her good friends. “My first three couples have kids who are of school-going age,” she adds with pride. And in a club set-up such as ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove, these interactions get more personal.

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SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL

Charlene recalls the day she first set foot in the marina. “I liked the whole interview process. They took the effort to explain the culture here and how different it is from a big hotel. “I was working across from the marina—she was then at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove—and I didn’t even know that they had a ballroom here,” she says. It was a welcome change of pace for Charlene. The smaller set-up also meant that things were a lot more close knit—the entire team, including sales, banquet and catering, coordinates over WhatsApp. As we speak, Charlene gets message notifications on her work group—“we have an event tomorrow”, she says, apologising for the interruption, as she clarifies the doubts of the banquet staff.

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“Communication is key for the success of an event. We have to make sure that all of us are on the same page,” says Charlene. A big part of that involves staying on top of the details in the Event Order— their “Bible”—which outlines the job scope of each department per event. Charlene makes it her personal responsibility to keep up on all the updates. “Tensions do run high and last-minute hiccups invariably happen. But we never forget that we are all in it together,” she says. “In that respect, the team has become a second family to me.”
Beautiful NOVA set up on a sunny day

PLAYING THE PART

Managing expectations on all fronts is one of the hardest aspects of her job. At any given time, aside from being the numbers person, she is playing coordinator, mediator, friend, and even, bringer of bad news. More so now, with safety regulations, guest restrictions and other protocols in place due to COVID-19, Charlene finds herself playing the role of a party pooper more often. “It is sometimes hard for couples to understand these rules. I have to patiently explain to them that not all things on their wish list may be possible to execute. I also have to remind them that I am just the messenger,” she laughs. But she takes all the demands, arguments and meltdowns in her stride. “It is the biggest day of their life (the bridal couple) and I am a part of that—I think that’s amazing,” she gushes, preferring to look at the larger scheme of things.

In that sense, there is truly no aspect of her job that Charlene dislikes. Even when it means missing a holiday or two.

The oldest of three children, Charlene comes from a closeknit Eurasian family set-up. So, one can understand her initial disappointment having to work on Christmas Day for a wedding. But at the end of the wedding, which she admits turned out to be loads of fun, she found herself saying: “this isn’t too bad. This Christmas was just a bit different.” “This kind of job, you have to really have a love for it—you cannot love your weekends or public holidays,” Charlene laughs. Luckily, she has great friends who willingly work around her erratic schedule. And she is in it for all of it. “The speeches are my favourite part,” she admits, and before her denial that she is a romantic even sinks in, “especially the part where the groom cries!” “When I first started in weddings, it was all about the march-in, the gown—the glitter and glamour of it all. But now, these kind of memories and emotional moments matter more to me,” she explains. Maybe one day she will take the plunge with someone who is equally moved to tears on the most important day of their lives. Until then, she is happy helping build tangible dream castles for others.

The original article was published on the Jan-Feb’21 issue of Longitude, ONE°15 Marina’s Club magazine. Read it here.