With the newly expanded and renovated Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center expected to be completed soon, the village recently hired a new events and facility manager. The position went to Jaclyn Rodriguez, a Royal Palm Beach resident with experience at Disney, Marriott and Hyatt. She has lived in La Mancha for the past year and a half.
Rodriguez learned of the opening with the village after subscribing to a new jobs bulletin. “I jumped right on it and applied,” she said. “I loved getting a job closer to home.”
Rodriguez’ background in event sales and planning with major names in the hospitality and entertainment industries made her a strong choice for the position.
“I bring a background of 10-plus years in events to the table,” she explained. “I have hospitality experience with a high-end venue. Our events will include everything from weddings to graduations to corporations to New Year’s celebrations. Our clients will range from the blushing bride to the corporate client.”
Rodriguez started her new position on Sept. 24 and has enjoyed her first weeks on the job. One of her first tasks was to meet with Royal Palm Beach Mayor Fred Pinto, who has ideas for groups and events for the facility.
“We’re delighted to have her on board,” Pinto said. “We’re hoping that she can lead us down the path of greater utilization of our new and improved Cultural Center, and expand business events, in addition to the entertainment events that the venue is known for. She brings a special and unique skill set to the position.”
Rodriguez’ immediate supervisor is Mike Mikolaichik, recreation superintendent for the village. “She comes in with a hospitality background,” Mikolaichik said. “We’re extremely excited. She’s perfect for the venue we’re looking to present. She’s a go getter — hard worker — hit the pavement running. She has already met with hotels to partner on business conferences and drawn up plans for our other venues. She’s a perfect fit for the position.”
Rodriguez has big plans for her new position.
“I hit the ground running,” she said. “We’re getting everyone excited about the grand opening. I’ve been reaching out to local hotels and venues.”
She has found working at Royal Palm Beach very welcoming.
“Everyone here is super nice,” she said. “I’ve been getting acclimated to the role. I’m really excited to be getting involved in community events.”
Rodriguez has been keeping an eye on her future home as it nears completion by the end of the year.
“I drive by and see how it’s going,” she said. “It’s getting there. It’s going to be beautiful.”
With the Cultural Center still under construction, Rodriguez currently works out of the Royal Palm Beach Recreation Center.
“My two-year-old has soccer tots here,” she said. “I love all of the activities. I’m looking forward to the Young at Heart luncheon on Friday, Oct. 5.”
Rodriguez grew up in Palm Beach Gardens, where she attended Palm Beach Gardens Elementary School. It was there that she met her future husband, Kevin, for the first time. He is now a sales tech for Riviera Beach-based Merchants Export. The couple has two children, Alexander, 10, who attends Allamanda Elementary School and is a member of the safety patrol, and Nicolas, age 2.
Rodriguez attended Palm Beach Gardens High School in the pre-med magnet program and was active in the chorus. After graduating, she studied criminal justice at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, graduating in 2007. She minored in Spanish, which resulted in her studying abroad in Spain.
While studying at FAU, Rodriguez had a life-changing event management internship at Walt Disney World. In this capacity, she was in charge of planning events for cast members, masquerade balls, pool parties and graduations. “It was a little bit of everything,” she recalled.
The internship also placed her at Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Owing to a corporate philosophy that employees should experience multiple roles at different levels of the company, she also spent a day performing in costume as the character Chip.
At FAU, she served as a resident assistant, where she was involved in organizing campus events. The experience of her Disney internship and her campus role persuaded her to shift her focus to event management and sales.
“I had to come up with events each month for my residents,” Rodriguez recalled. “Mixers, field days and women’s self-defense with the local police department.”
After graduating, Rodriguez spent two years with Marriott International, followed by six years with Hyatt, where she developed the event sales and management experience that would prove crucial to her new role with the village.
“I dabbled in a little bit of everything before I found my niche,” she explained.
Rodriguez’ aunt, Marsha Ray, has lived in Royal Palm Beach for 25 years. However, it was visiting her best friend that ultimately compelled her to relocate to the community.
“My best friend lives in La Mancha,” she recalled. “I would visit her. I loved the neighborhood. When a home became available, we jumped on it.”
In the time that Rodriguez and her family have lived in Royal Palm Beach, they have come to enjoy the community events that she will now help create.
“We got involved with events,” she said. “We love the great market at Veterans Park, especially the banana bread. It’s quite the family-oriented event.”
Rodriguez is resuming her membership in the National Association of Wedding Professionals and intends on joining the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce. She is also involved with the United Way of Palm Beach County’s Emerging Leaders Society.
To book an event at the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center, contact Rodriguez at (561) 790-5192 or firstname.lastname@example.org.