All Hands on Deck
It takes a village to host the perfect event, and you deserve to know the people who will make it happen like clockwork.
Our principles. Our leaders. Our friends. These are the people who chart Classics’ vision and hold the company to the highest possible standard.
Harriet Dopkin, Owner / Chief Inspiration Officer
Cooking since she was eight years old, Harriet has had a life full of culinary adventure. After pursuing a degree in the Classics at St. Johns, she went on to study the culinary arts in both the United States and Japan. Backed by an ever-expanding library of cookbooks, great food reads, travels and collaborations with culinary friends, Harriet loves to introduce new flavors, cooking techniques and producers to Classic’s kitchen. She enjoys gardening, experimenting with different heirloom vegetables and sharing them with family and friends.
Favorite food: Anything made with love (and truffles).
Surprising fact: Has discovered that pickle ball is almost as much fun as tennis.
Christopher Meaker, President / CEO
Since he was young, watching his mother and grandmother cook their favorite Polish recipes for family celebrations, Chris had known the food and hospitality business was where he wanted to be. He loves the process of planning an event, from the listening to the inspiring to being there to watch the smiles.
Beverage of choice: Tim Horton’s Dark Roast
Surprising fact: Canadian born, Texas Raised.
Larry Frank, Partner / Executive Vice President Business Development
From a summer spent in Ocean City, MD at the Carousel Hotel in 1977, Larry hasn’t stopped working in the catering and restaurant business. His experience has provided a knack for planning and executing the logistics and off-premise catering as well as a high level of service and creating an exemplary experience for guests.
Favorite quote: “If you make someone laugh every day, if you learn something every day, if you teach something every day and if you thank someone every day… then you will have a great day.” – adapted from my father, Stanley Frank.
Favorite food: Pickles
Ronnie Ching, Executive Vice President / Operations
Born and raised in Baltimore, Ronnie began his hospitality journey as a prep cook at the renowned Pimlico Hotel. Ronnie worked his way to become one of the area’s finest chefs – and the executive chef at Classic for almost three decades! After a brief departure, Ronnie returned to Classic as our Vice President Operations for seven years, overseeing the day to day operations of the company.
Through his experiences in all areas of the hospitality industry, Ronnie is now Classic’s Executive Vice President / Operations where he supports the CEO and the entire Classic Team.
Favorite food: anything Italian
Surprising fact: he’s superstitious
Our Account Executives have feet on the ground and phones in their hands at all times, as they handle every detail that goes into organizing and executing hundreds of events a year.
Katelyn West, Classic To Go Manager
Katelyn knew from an early age that she wanted to be involved in the hospitality industry. She started out around 8 or 9 and turning her dining room into a restaurant, making a menu (hot dog, cheese sandwich or spaghetti-o’s) and sending her older brother in as the server to take her parents’ orders. She takes care of her clients at Classic as well as her restaurant guests, taking care of all of their Classic To Go catering needs.
Favorite food: Grilled Cheese!
What would someone be surprised to know about you? I love all types of crafts and I’ve ran a successful online Etsy shop for the last 8 years.
I am overly confident in myself when it comes to crafting and anything using my hands.
Kelly strives to deliver a party that exceeds every wish, and treasures her relationships with her clients. A long history in hospitality has given her experience with all types of events from plane charters to galas.
Favorite food: Kit Kat
Beverage of choice: h2o
For over two decades, clients have been praising Bobby’s results-oriented focus as well as attention to detail, infinite patience and responsiveness. He credits the amazing and talented support team at The Classic Catering People. All we know is that when his clients say things like “Thanks for a phenomenal job” and “He took a ton of stress off my shoulders,” we all look good.
As our resident wedding specialist, Lynn prides herself on listening skills and special rapport with brides. While planning her own daughter’s wedding was her most memorable Classic event, Lynn treats all of her clients like family. Which explains why her corporate and wedding clients alike use words like “amazing” and “incredible” to describe her.
Beverage of choice: A really good margarita or red wine.
Favorite quote: “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” -Princess Diana
Early on in her career, Terri was afforded the opportunity to be part of the evolution of a new restaurant concept in the South. From the menu to the décor to the training of the service team, her experiences in fashion, etiquette, and corporate administration all culminated into an amazing beginning to her hospitality journey She loves the “first moments”, the first time a couple sees their reception venue metamorphosis, the first bite, the first dance and loves to wow her clients while bringing their vision to life.
What is your beverage of choice? A bold Italian red. To match my lipstick.
What does hospitality mean to you? Hospitality is genuine—it’s a feeling of contentment that comes from the warmth of being treated special.
Jenny Gaintner, Account Executive
Learning to mix a martini at a young age and having a love for cooking and hosting made the service industry a natural place for Jenny to land for her career. She loves to see an event through from the initial concept to its completion leading to lasting relationships with clients and vendors. To Jenny, hospitality means providing an experience that becomes a memory to make someone smile.
Favorite Food: I LOVE pretzels, I even have one tattooed on my arm
Favorite quote: Life is Hard by the Yard by the Inch it’s a Cinch (not sure who said it originally but my father used to say it to me all the time)
Gail Kaplan, Business Development Leader
Gail was born into the business. Her father owned Nate & Leon’s on North Ave. and she went there until she was 8 years old, playing behind the deli counter. Her father then bought The Pimlico Hotel where she started working when she was 11 & the rest is history! Gail is a people-pleaser and her adrenaline starts flowing at every job, welcoming the guests and providing services to them to help make their experience perfect.
Favorite food? Sirloin steak, medium rare & a baked potato
Beverage of choice? Vodka martini, no vermouth
Olivia Sollberger, Account Executive
Since she was 10 years old, Olivia (Liv) has loved bringing her family and friends together. This propelled her into creating events that bring all types of people together, her self-proclaimed “dream job”. From weddings, to corporate happy hours, Liv strives to make every moment of each event perfect and personalized to the guests.
Favorite food: Anything Italian
Surprising fact: She played soccer up to the collegiate level at a D2 school in Pennsylvania.
Ellen Brook, Classic To Go
When she was a little girl on trips to NYC with her mother, Ellen would walk through the Plaza Hotel and Waldorf Astoria in awe, leading her to want to work in a restaurant or hotel. She loves helping perfect menus for events and has become a friendly face (or voice on the phone) to our Classic To Go clients.
What is your favorite food? Fresh Eastern Peaches (Only Eastern, never from California)
What is your beverage of choice? My homemade Sangria
Eileen Miles, Sales & Marketing Coordinator
As part of the Classic team, Eileen loves working with professionals that truly care what they do. She’s grateful for the business connections that she’s made that will last a lifetime. Eileen genuinely cares about the people she encounters and following through with promises and exceeding clients’ expectations.
What is your favorite food? Lambchops w/ mint and M& M’s (preferably not together)
What would someone be surprised to know about you? I wanted to be a Gym Teacher but my Dad said to go into the business school at American University where I was the First woman to be accepted in the school of Business
Greg Mason, Classic To Go
When Greg was little, he would spend summer vacations learning to cook with his Mom and Dad, his mom loved making chicken noodle soup and his dad made fantastic bread. He was hooked and has been a foodie ever since. Since then he knew he wanted to be in the food business. He loves to help people make memories so helping to plan momentous events is the perfect gig for him.
What does hospitality mean to you?
Taking care of what people need before they know they need it
While our events and culinary team are client-facing, what you don’t see are all the amazingly organized and talented teams who help make every event happen behind the scenes — from accounting to marketing.
Juliet Diaz, Director of People and Culture
Juliet Diaz learned that people were the driving force to a company’s success at a young age as an advocate for her parents. She loves People & Culture because she likes being a balance for the business and the employee, dabbling in the grey to drive results and get people within the organization to lead change. She enjoys implementing hospitality within the workspace, making everyone feel at home and providing a memorable experience from beginning to end.
A surprising fact: I love motorcycles, driving fast and free
Beverage of choice: Coca Cola
Michael Cole, Controller
Since he was in high school, Michael knew he wanted to be in accounting because he appreciated the idea of providing meaningful and accurate information that can be used to help the business succeed. And he does! We also know that he uses his ac-counting skills while counting strokes on the golf course.
Favorite food: Macaroni & Cheese
Favorite quote: If you give me 4 hours to chop down a tree, I will spend 3 hours sharpening my ax – Abraham Lincoln
Michael Hackerman, Director of Purchasing
Michael grew up working in his family’s gourmet specialty food store…when he returned home from school and started to work in the business full time, that is when he really developed his passion for food.
Even though he has been in the food business for most of his life, he loves that he still gets to learn and see new things constantly…the world of food is always changing!
What is your favorite food?
This can change by the hour…but a few favorites are everything bagels, perfectly roasted brisket, and Cuban Coffee Oreo ice cream from Bmore Licks, and my mother in law’s pound cake
What would someone be surprised to know about you?
I married the Director of Marketing
Tenille Moore, Director, Ravens Food Service
Tenille first realized her passion for culinary around high school when planning a tea party for her mom and her friends. She enjoyed preparing all the food served and discovered a passion for food service. She loves working at “The Castle” because no day is ever the same. Her goal is to make sure that everyone feels welcome and important.
What would someone be surprised to know about you?
Many would be surprised to know that I am an MS warrior. I was diagnosed with this eight years ago. However, I have not let this diagnosis stop me from thriving, and living my best life.
Favorite quote? “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.”-Anthony Bourdain
Both purists and professionals, our talented team of chefs bring an eclectic, worldly taste straight to thousands of tables in Maryland, Virginia, DC, and beyond.
Gabby Watson, Executive Pastry Chef
Since she was six, Gabby has known she loved being in the kitchen. She grew up baking and cooking with her family loves to put a gluten free twist on any dessert that she can. Her favorite thing about the job is the people, both her team members and the clients she gets to work with who put a personal spin on what she does.
Beverage of choice – Spicy Margarita
Favorite quote – “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”– Soren Kierkegaard
Casey Donovan, Executive Chef, Ravens Food Service
As the Executive Chef at the Baltimore Ravens Under Armour Performance Center, Chef Casey loves being able to work in a collaborative environment where she is able to showcase her skill set and culinary knowledge.
What is your beverage of choice? A nicely paired wine with my meal.
Favorite quote? “A positive mind set brings positive things”