‘Quick Ten’ With Program Manager Patrick Judge
Mouth of the South readers, meet Patrick Judge!
As Charleston’s finest Program Manager, Patrick works alongside our Operations and Creative Teams constructing the aesthetic and vision of our Coastal programs and bringing to life the very best events for our clients. With a background in restaurant management and festival arts and planning, Patrick brings a wide variety of industry knowledge to his role. We love Patrick’s ability to make us all smile and teach us something new. Learn a little more about him in his ‘Quick Ten’ below!
DSOUTH: Hey Patrick! Thanks so much for sitting down with us today! Let’s start with the easy questions. Where were you born?
PATRICK: I was born in Leuven, Belgium. My parents lived there a total of ten years while my father was studying for his Doctorate at the Catholic University of Louvain. During that time, both my sister and I were born and we grew up traveling all over Western Europe.
When I was 7 years old, we moved to the States to the coastal town of Jacksonville, North Carolina, and eventually moved inland to Rock Hill, South Carolina, just south of Charlotte. I did my undergrad at Clemson University and, after graduating, I moved to Charleston where I have lived for the past 10 years. I am now happy to call Charleston home.
When people ask me the question, “Where are you from?”, I say to myself , “Okay, there’s the long version, and there’s the short version.” Both of my parents are from Buffalo, New York. I was born overseas in Belgium and while in the states I have always lived in the South. Ultimately, I am happy to have the diverse background of places I consider “home” and I have no desire to leave Charleston any time soon.
DSOUTH: Well we are honored to get the long version and learn more about where you come from! With that background, what led you to your career in the events and meetings industry?
PATRICK: I earned my undergraduate degree from Clemson with a BS in Psychology and Philosophy. While it’s arguable that these fields are not directly related to the events and meetings industry, I feel that my background in both of these fields has helped me build an appreciation for understanding how people want to experience something, whether that’s the actual event taking place or if it’s the nuances involved in the meticulous planning process of curating entire programs. After graduating, I worked my way through restaurant management in the Charleston culinary scene, continuing my education in the form of hands-on management, vendor relations, and customer service experience.
DSOUTH: We love the Charleston culinary scene! In what ways did you immerse yourself in hands-on management of events?
PATRICK: Wanting to discover the world outside of food and beverage, I pursued my Masters Degree in Festive Arts at the Irish World Academy at the University of Limerick in Ireland. Ironically, my Masters’ thesis brought me back to Charleston where I worked with the Spoleto Festival for a season while focusing on the role of the festival as a significant contributor to social discourse surrounding a city’s authenticity. After working with Spoleto, I entered the world of Destination Management. And the rest, as they say, is history.
DSOUTH: Do you have a favorite event that you’ve worked on to date?
PATRICK: Yes. Several years ago I worked with The Ripple Effect, a Charleston based non-profit that benefits local autism behavioral centers, for their surf camp. Children with autism were given the opportunity to learn to surf with trained professionals. Talk about seeing people having a great time! The amount of smiling and laughter was enough to warm my heart for days. It was truly a rewarding event and one I am so grateful to have been a part of.
DSOUTH: What do you like best about living and working in Charleston?
PATRICK: I feel like I rediscover this amazing city every few years. The atmosphere here seems to grow with the people, always offering something new and welcoming fresh ideas. The industry here in Charleston feels like a huge family, one with an understanding that we work together to build an overall welcoming place to all who wish to visit.
DSOUTH: Speaking of family and the industry, who has influenced you the most in life or your career?
PATRICK: Yikes… this is a tough one. It’s truly hard to say. My family is extremely supportive. My sister especially inspires me in the sense that nothing is unattainable if you really want it. Her passion and drive to which she dedicates so much of her energy to achieve her own goals and aspirations will always be a source of influence.
DSOUTH: If you had to choose just one thing you were most passionate about, what would it be and why?
PATRICK: Another tough one. If I had to choose one thing, I’d say music. And I think that’s because it comes down to connecting with something. There’s a language in music that isn’t found anywhere else: people come together over it; people find meaning in it; people escape into it. Music helps people through tough times and is a celebration during the best times. To observe a performance of music is to observe people at their most expressive and their most vulnerable. Music is so deeply personal and simultaneously universal. Maybe I’m a bit of a romantic, but music is the heartbeat of all life.
DSOUTH: If you set off to any place on Earth, where would it be and why?
PATRICK: Madison Square Garden…on New Year’s Eve…when Phish is playing. It’s always been a dream of mine to see them play during their New Years run in New York City.
DSOUTH: What do you love to do when you’re not working?
PATRICK: I love spending time with my fiancé, Ashley, and our dog, Isla. Isla is a mix, with some lab, hound, pit, and Rhodesian ridgeback in her – a true puppy cocktail. She’s super gentle and friendly, and loves making friends with as many people as possible. We spend a lot of time in the sun, usually at the pool or playing disc golf. I also enjoy working out and playing music.
DSOUTH: That sound like the life! Patrick, thank you so much for sitting down with us for this ‘Quick Ten’. We are thankful for all you do here at DSouth!