2020 Connect Association 40 Under 40:

Jeff Ware, 34, is director of operations at Catering by Michaels. He is based in Chicago.

jeff Ware 40 under 40 Connect Association

Jeff Ware describes himself as determined, OCD and witty. Learn more about him.

What I do:
I provide leadership and guidance to our more than 260 employees in the planning and execution of more than 10,000 events annually. I also work on an as-needed basis as a senior consultant for the Certified Catering Consultants, specializing in technology, software and process implementation for event companies around the country.

How I got here:
My parents made me get a summer job when I was 14. I responded to a postcard mailing sent out by Catering by Michaels and was hired as a waiter to serve hot dogs at corporate picnics. I continued to work summers and weekends during the school year until college, and over those years, I was promoted to lead events in the field. After college, I was given a part-time office role to help improve systems and over the years that evolved into my current role as director of operations.   

Greatest career accomplishment:
Navigating and surviving the Great Recession of 2008 and having our company emerge from it better and stronger. It is likely to soon be replaced by navigating and surviving the COVID-19 crisis, using an employee-first strategy.  

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