TOBY BLAKLEY, Director of Food and Beverage

​Chef Toby, originally from Texas and new to Spartanburg, is classically trained in French cuisine and anchors the inhouse food and beverage program. He brings 25+ years of culinary experience in fine dining restaurants, catering, private chef and corporate dining programs.  “I’m looking forward to collaborating with the team and with our clients to design custom menus that will meld classic French flavors with traditional cuisine from the South and serve it up with a heaping dose of Southern hospitality.”

AIMEE CHEEK, Director of Events

Aimee has over 25 years of wedding coordinating and event planning for both social and corporate gatherings. “Collaborating and creating memorable events is my greatest joy and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this talented team. The Citizens and Southern Event Center is ideally located in the heart of the city adjacent to parks, shops, restaurants, bars and hotels. The building is rich in history and features versatile space which will allow us to create a variety of experiences for both public and private audiences. We have a lot of ideas in the works that will be available for the Spartanburg community to enjoy as the ordinances allow.”

MICHELLE BLAKLEY, Director of Operations

Michelle has worked as a healthcare administrator for over 30 years as well as working alongside her husband Toby in the kitchen and behind the scenes staffing and ensuring the client’s budget is utilized to its fullest capacity.  Michelle is also the owner and executive pastry chef for Dixie Belle Pie Company here in Spartanburg and her recipes passed down from generations will be featured items on the menu. “I am so excited to see this historic building come to life with events that will inspire love, laughter, and community oneness.  The history is rich and now we get to continue the legacy with the experiences we, as a community, share within these walls again.”