Unlike most people who venture into the food business, Heidi's passion was not cooking. Her career began as a professional, and single mother of two. Heidi has always been a self-motivated, determined,
strong woman, with a drive for independence. She majored in marketing/merchandising at SCC, and ASU. Recruited from Plaza Three Academy by Diamond's (now Dillard's), Heidi worked the corporate ladder for seven years in the fashion industry. She left Dillard's to pursue a District Management position. After two more years in retail, Heidi felt it was time for a change. The next three years Heidi spent as "Cupid" directing one of the world's largest dating services. "Until now, that was the most fulfilling job I've ever had," says Heidi. It quite Ironic that now I cater those weddings.
In the early 90s Heidi became a professional body builder and built a small home meal service emphasizing nutritiously balanced meals. Along with her father she prepared and delivered healthy meals to homes all over the valley.
Adam Zimnisky graduated from the University of Arizona with a BA in Education with a special emphasis in Exercise Science. Adam not only has the education in this industry, but he has also managed a vast majority of both the front of the house and back of the house at catering field. Adam started as our 5 Star Service Manager, maintaining organization and efficiency through our service team. Over the past few years Adam has gradually progressed to a more hands on approach within the culinary department. He is currently enrolled and attending ACI, The Arizona Culinary Institute in Scottsdale to further advance not only his culinary skills but also his local and cross cultural understandings of the culinary fields.
Adam is now our Executive Chef, continuing the progression and constant development of new and innovative culinary masterpieces which Heidi’s Events and Catering is well known for.
Senior Event Specialist
Jillian was born and raised in Cave Creek, Arizona. A true native!
She attended Arizona State University, where in addition to her studies she began working as a server here at Heidi’s Events and Catering. She quickly moved from a server to Banquet Manager as well as dabbled as an Event Chef Assistant in the kitchen at events.
Jillian graduated from ASU in May 2010 with a Bachelors Degree in Communication and English and a Minor in Mass Communications.
Jillian has always had a passion for communicating and working with people in the events industry. Her passion for planning, coordinating and designing events and her love for Heidi's Events and Catering brought her to the front office upon the end of her college career.
Jillian is now our Senior Event Specialist, planning and coordinating events, overseeing the Junior Event Specialists and keeping up with all current trends in the events and catering industry.
Jether Dodd was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona. He earned his Bachelor's in Speech and Hearing Sciences at Arizona State University and proceeded to complete an internship as a Speech Language Pathologist Assistant. Passionate about organization and helping others, Jether was a natural fit at Heidi's Events and Catering. His focus and attention to detail carry over from the professional side into his hobbies. As a self-proclaimed DIY-dad, he can often be found working on personal art projects, building shelves and furniture, or teaching his three young children about all things nerdy. He is a true organization asset to Heidi's Events & Catering.
Chef Charlie Tezak
Event Chef Since 2012
Dana has been a part of the HEC team for 9 years. She was born and raised in Corvallis, Oregon. Following marriage, she worked in healthcare, along with owning her own business, and raising her family in the Bend, Oregon area. Dana, her husband, and two girls then moved in June 2004 to Phoenix, AZ. (Ahwatukee)
Following the move, Dana worked as an instructional aide in a 6th grade classroom for 7 yrs., which was then followed by her return to healthcare as a Primary Receptionist/ Assistant to a MDVIP Doctor in the Ahwatukee area. While during her time still in the classroom, she joined the HEC family because of her genuine passion for serving others and people of all generations.
Jessie has been in the Culinary Arts for 30 years and is in his 13th season here at Heidi's. A native of Las Cruces, NM, he has been responsible for over 1,200 events here and has catered 2 Super Bowls, twice for the "Four Weddings" reality shows, HGTV's Million Dollar Home Giveaway, and 10 Scottsdale Culinary Festivals. Among the skills he brings to the team is punctuality, honesty, loyalty, and great customer service. Nothing makes him happier than when people stop him around town and thank him for catering their events.
Chef Brian Walkinshaw was born in New London, CT and has 30 years in the Restaurant Industry, including 5 years as Lead Banquet Chef at Red Rock Country Club in Las Vegas and 5 years as Sous Chef for The Salt Cellar Restaurant in Scottsdale AZ. Brian has been with Heidi's Events & Catering for 4 years and is dedicated to quality, organization, and overall guest satisfaction!
Walter was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Walter has lived in the valley for 20 years and is currently taking graduate courses in Education at the University of Phoenix. With a passion for basketball and helping others, Walter established a youth basketball organization in 1998. For the past 20 years “Coach Walt” has had the pleasure of teaching, guiding and mentoring hundreds of young men and women on and off the basketball court across the United States. For nearly a decade now, Walter has embraced his love for food and making others happy leading to his journey at Heidi’s Events & Catering in 2017; starting as a server working his way up to floor captain. His patience, professionalism, consideration for others, and hard work have proven to be a great fit within the company.
Chief Financial Officer
Tanya Lee Schmit received her Bachelors’ in Accountancy from Arizona State University in 2003. She’s been working in the off-premise event planning industry since 1999 and loves sharing in the celebrations with the clients it entertains. As a strategic business planner, she has helped several small businesses grow from a “mom and pop” operation to multi-million dollar well-oiled machine. Her diligence, determination, and experience in running a business has proven itself time and time again. Tanya runs all financial aspects of Heidi’s Events & Catering. Tanya is a proud wife and mother of a newborn son.