An interview with Carey Smolensky, owner of Carey Smolensky Productions & Our Family of Companies based in Wheeling.
Q: Tell me about your business.
Carey Smolensky Productions & Our Family of CompaniesAddress: 593 N. Wolf Road, Wheeling, IL 60090
Owner: Carey Smolensky
Number of employees: An office & performance staff of over 50 people
Year business started: 1978
A: We are a complete experience company that serves corporate and social clients as a one-stop source for all of their meeting and event needs. We are constantly evolving to create new concepts for impacting attendees in a multisensory fashion; thus creating unforgettable experiences on a social level and increasing the ROI on a corporate level. My goal is for every level of the company to consistently exceed our client's expectations and continue expanding in the global market.
I believe that evolution is the key to innovation and I am constantly growing my companies.
Q: What services do you provide?
A: We are unique in that we offer a wide variety of services at an expert level; therefore we can provide as much or as little as each client requires for the success of their event. We offer event planning, event production, scripting, stage management, entertainment, audio/visual support, video support and editing, staging, custom décor and thematic elements, custom imprinted apparel and items. We are able to assist with every aspect of an event or meeting including venue selection, transportation, menu selection, rooming coordination, general sessions, breakout sessions, and on or off property experiences for attendees. In other words, we can easily walk the executive assistant, who is tasked for the first time to plan the company's picnic, holiday event, anniversary awards gala, etc. in a fashion that eases their burden, provides them quality options and learned experience so not only do they shine as the event's hero, but, also, allows them to be a guest at the event; or we can team with a seasoned Event Planner to provide that extra something that they need to really impress their long-standing client. We work well with these planners under their company structure to be a solid strategic partner they can trust and count on for each event.
Q: How did the business start?
A: Like most businesses, mine started with a dream that developed into a passion. In 1978, while still in high school, I began offering mobile music services for a variety of local events. I knew then that entertaining and creating experiences that would provide lifelong memories was in my blood. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Loyola University of Chicago, but continued to grow Mobile Music Disc Jockey Service Inc.
In 1985, along with my soon to be wife, Diane, whom I met while DJing at her Father's 50th birthday celebration, we added to MM by creating Carey Smolensky Productions, producing full scale corporate and social events. In 1998, Custom Specialty Promotions was formed to provide promotional productions to our growing list of clientele. In 2006, Custom Specialty Promotions was incorporated by Diane Smolensky, as a woman owned business, with me serving as its executive vice president. In 2007, Storm Interactive Entertainment was created to integrate live musicians and vocalists into the mix of our DJs, MCs, and Dancers.
Q: What area do you serve?
A: From an event point of view, we are capable of serving all areas of an event or meeting. Geographically, our corporate headquarters are based in Wheeling; however, we service North America with continuing expansion into the global market. Our national sales director, Connor Boram, is based on the east coast out of the Greater Washington D.C. area and in 2015, Brent Stringfield, our director of operations, will head up our forthcoming San Diego office. We have staff members, equipment, and vendor partners located across the U.S.
-- Kim Mikus