Philosophy

Philosophy

Actions Backed By Values

When you come to the RK Group, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the word “service.” Each member of our team takes a personal pledge to go the extra mile – to deliver quality, creativity and extraordinary care to every customer, at every event, every time.

Our company values form the framework of our success, and have for nearly 70 years. It is these beliefs that guide our actions, and these actions that elevate the ordinary to delightful heights. We are dedicated to creating fun, fond memories for you from the moment you begin planning your event to the moment you begin planning the next. Because our ultimate goal is to have you return to us time and again with a smile.

We have long extended our service philosophy into our communities, as avid volunteers, donors and event sponsors. We believe in giving back to the communities that have embraced us for so many years and encourage our team members to do the same through a wide range of activities.

Whether you want to throw an amazing “outside the box” soirée or are planning a refined quiet dinner at home, our greatest pleasure is holding a light of true service on you and seeing you shine.

 

History

History

Growing with Good Taste

Like many success stories, ours starts with an individual spark. When Rosemary Kowalski began catering private parties in 1946, expanding on the small barbecue diner she and her husband Henry owned, the Kowalski family name gained new culinary fame.

By 1968 Rosemary’s Catering had grown successful enough to occupy 11 buildings within four city blocks, and was the preferred caterer for most top social and business events around town. That year, HemisFair ’68 shined a spotlight on San Antonio, and Rosemary’s Catering added even more illumination as the official caterer for 105 of the 112 pavilion celebrations at the world’s fair.

The company was awarded the contract for the food and beverage services at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in 1972 and remains the official caterer today, nearly 45 years later. The team at the convention center works from an 18,000 square foot on-site kitchen and three satellite kitchens serving more than 20,000 guests per event in some cases.

By 1981 it was clear that the business – which had expanded to several buildings around the city and now offered equipment rentals, floral designs and more – needed to be under one roof. So the entire operation moved into a six-acre site in downtown San Antonio. When the growing demand for rental equipment spawned a new company, Illusions Rentals and Designs, it was housed under the new roof too.

A few short years later, in 1989, Rosemary officially turned the leadership over to her son Greg, and the firm was rebranded under a new name, The RK Group. With Greg at the helm of the growing enterprise, The RK Group began to diversify even more with the founding of Circa Texas, a destination management company, Meetings Plus, a full-service, nationwide meeting planning group, and Flair Floral, floral design for a range of event styles. In the 1990s, the company also began its expansion outside of San Antonio, operating the Capitol Grill and Story of Texas Café, and providing catering services for the University of Texas Etter-Harbin Alumni Center in Austin.

The RK Group’s expansion continued with Circa Arizona in 2008, the opening of a Rosemary’s Catering office in Houston in 2011, and the debut of an Illusions Rentals operation in Austin that same year. The company further diversified its services by forming The Sandwich Factory, which creates and delivers fresh easy-to-eat sandwiches and salads to convenience stores and vending machines throughout Texas. Most recently, the company expanded its reach into the restaurant business with the opening of Radio Milano in Houston.

Today, The RK Group remains a privately owned company with nationwide reach through subsidiaries that provide a full range of catering services and event logistics, plus food service for large scale sports, entertainment, and cultural event venues.

Greg Kowalski continues the family tradition of quality, service and innovation as he inspires and leads more than 800 employees on the path his mother, Rosemary, paved.

Testimonials

Testimonials

“The RK Group is wonderful.  The food is always delicious, they will work with your budget, and they make sure your event goes great.  You can’t go wrong with RK.”
Carol Barrett – Director of Programs, The Texas Exes Etter-Harbin Alumni Center

“Your exceptional food, creative themes, and unique entertainment brought our members out in droves! Thank you for making us look so good.”
Georgia H. Foley – Executive Director, Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association

“We cannot fully express to you how impressed we were, as well as our guests, and our photographers, with the florals and the room decorations. You really nailed our vision, and it was just gorgeous. Romance was our theme, and you guys put it together beautifully.”
Susan Bird – 2014 Bride

  • Brenda Tiechroeb
    Brenda
    Tiechroeb

    Brenda Tiechroeb

    Director of Sales and Catering

    btiechroeb@therkgroup.com

  • ELIAS AGUIRRE National Senior Sales Manager
    Elias
    Aguirre

    Elias Aguirre

    National Senior Sales Manager

    eaguirre@therkgroup.com

  • Kate Strause
    Kate
    Strause

    Kate Strause

    Associate Director of Sales

    kstrause@therkgroup.com

  • Andrea Campos of Sunset Station
    Andrea
    Campos

    Andrea Campos

    Sales Coordinator

    acampos@therkgroup.com

  • LAUREN COOPER General Manager
    Lauren
    Cooper

    Lauren Cooper

    General Manager

    lcooper@therkgroup.com

  • Desiree Hughes Program Operations Coordinator
    Desiree
    Hughes

    Desiree Hughes

    Program Operations Coordinator

     

    dhughes@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Jennifer
    Rutledge

    Jennifer Rutledge

    Director of Human Resources

    jrutledge@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Michelle
    Flores

    Michelle Flores

    Account Executive, Illusions

    mflores@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Jacqueline
    Bieberich

    Jacqueline Bieberich

    HR and Administrative Coordinator, Austin

    JBieberich@therkgroup.com

  • joel-headshot
    Joel
    Tarasiuk

    Joel Tarasiuk

    Director of Visual Communications

    jtarasiuk@therkgroup.com

  • Marian-McGrath
    Marian
    McGrath

    Marian McGrath

    Catering Sales Manager, Rosemary’s Catering, at Mays Family Center

    mmcgrath@therkgroup.com

  • CHANTE
    Chante
    Raeke

    Chante Raeke

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Zabrina
    Fears

    Zabrina Fears

  • George Rojas
    George
    Rojas

    George Rojas

  • DENISE CRUZ
    Denise
    Cruz

    Denise Cruz

  • Erika Kent
    Erica
    Kent
  • Daniel Gifford Operations Manager
    Daniel
    Gifford

    Daniel Gifford

    Operations Manager

    dgifford@therkgroup.com

  • Thomas Gagliardi
    Thomas
    Gagliardi

    Thomas Gagliardi

    Executive Chef, RK Group, LLC

    tgagliardi@therkgroup.com

  • Art Menchaca
    Art
    Menchaca

    Art Menchaca

    Catering Sales Manager

    amenchaca@therkgroup.com

  • SUSIE GARCIA
    Susie
    Garcia

    Susie Garcia

    Jr. Account Executive 

    sgarcia@therkgroup.com

  • Kerin Croft Jr Account Executive
    Kerin
    Croft

    Kerin Croft

    Kerin Croft – Jr Account Executive

    kcroft@circadmc.com

     

  • John Wheeler Dir. of Event Production & Design
    John
    Wheeler

    John Wheeler

    Account Executive

    jwheeler@therkgroup.com 

  • Vanessa
    Vanessa
    Estrada

    Vanessa Estrada

    Sales & Operations Coordinator

    vestrada@therkgroup.com

  • Carlos
    Carlos
    Pernia

    Carlos Pernia

    Director of Operations

    cpernia@therkgroup.com

  • Chef-Joe
    Joe
    Montgomery

    Joe Montgomery

  • Greg Kowalski
    Greg
    Kowalski

    Greg Kowalski

    President and CEO

    gkowalski@therkgroup.com

    Greg has more than 40-years of extensive experience in executive management, consulting and finance with The RK Group, a privately held, full-service catering and events company. He has demonstrated expertise in planning, marketing, business development, administration, team building, cost control and development of controls and procedures.

    Under Greg’s leadership, The RK Group has grown beyond catering and into a powerhouse of event companies offering services that provide solutions to events of every size in locations that span from empty fields to incredible ballrooms. Greg’s direction has driven the company into the successful enterprise that it is today with divisions in San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Phoenix and events nationwide. The 60,000-square-foot company headquarters sit on six-acres of property just east of Historic Sunset Station in San Antonio, a venue the company also runs. In 2013, the company expanded beyond the headquarters with a 48,000-square-foot warehouse and showroom to house Illusions Rentals and Designs as well as Flair Floral.

    Each year, a staff of approximately 800 full and part time employees handle more than 3,000 events ranging from intimate celebrations to over-the-top seated dinners for thousands, estimating that they serve approximately six million guests annually.

    Greg is the second generation to run this family-owned company.

  • brian_colton
    Brian
    Colton

    Brian Colton

    As chief financial officer for The RK Group, Brian Colton provides the organizational oversight for all related financial administration activities, including: strategic planning; funding (debt and capital); financial reporting; cash flow management; budgeting and internal controls; value alignment; risk management; and business acquisition financing. Colton has over 20 years of executive management experience in the hospitality industry, having served as chief operating officer for a Dallas-based restaurant group where he directed the company’s growth from a small startup business to a multi-million dollar concern. In his current role with The RK Group, he is additionally responsible for relevant contributions to the company’s special projects such as municipal RFPs and RFQs and supervising all accounting personnel team members and their day-to-day efforts. Colton holds a bachelor of business administration in finance from The University of Texas at Austin.

  • Jeffrey Magatagan
    Jeffrey
    Magatagan

    Jeffrey Magatagan

    Sr. Vice President

    jmagatagan@therkgroup.com

    Jeffrey has flourished in his culinary career for more than 20 years. In his current role of Senior Vice President, Jeffrey is responsible for leading a staff of hundreds of employees to success all while providing first-class food and service to the millions of visitors of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. His time and talents extend beyond the Convention Center and into many other facets of the always growing company including overseeing the growth in the Austin market and developing long lasting relationships with strategic business partners.

    Jeffrey began his career with The RK Group in 2000 and has held the positions of Executive Chef of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and Vice President of Culinary Operations before stepping into his current role. In each role, his unmatched talent was seen through menu development, purchasing, training, logistics and overall culinary success.

  • ken
    Ken
    Holtzinger

    Ken Holtzinger

    Sr. Vice President

    kholtzinger@therkgroup.com

    Ken Holtzinger has more than 30 years of culinary and management experience. His reputation for orchestrating exact and flawless events of all styles and sizes is part of what makes The RK Group so successful. Currently Senior Vice President, Ken began his career as a sous chef with the company in 1991. His creativity, dedication and local of the business helped him quickly climb the ranks into a leadership position. During his time as Executive Chef, he was instrumental in bringing fresh and unique ideas as well as local ingredients into the menus.

    In his current role, Ken is directly responsible for the growth and success of The RK Group’s subsidiary companies. His position includes overseeing budgets, forecasting, new business development, culinary operations across multiple cities and overall daily operations of the company. His commitment to the highest level of internal and external service helps the business run smoothly and soundly while maintaining the highest standards and reputation.

  • pricilla
    Priscilla
    Kent

    Priscilla Kent

    Regional Director of Sales

    pkent@therkgroup.com

  • Dawn
    Dawn
    Dawes

    Dawn Dawes

    Sr. Account Executive

    ddawes@therkgroup.com

  • sonya
    Sonya
    Villareal
    Rush

    Sonya Villareal Rush

  • MICHELLE URESTI RAMOS Director of Sales
    Michelle
    Uresti
    Ramos

    Michelle Uresti Ramos

    Director of Sales

    murestI@therkgroup.com

  • Stacy Harrell Catering Sales Manager
    Stacy
    Harrell

    Stacy Harrell

    Sales Manager

    sharrell@therkgroup.com

  • Stephanie Olivares Catering Sales Manager
    Stephanie
    Olivares

    Stephanie Olivares

    Sales Manager

    solivares@therkgroup.com

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    Michelle
    Espinoza

    Michelle Espinoza

    Event Services Manager

    mespinoza@therkgroup.com

  • mercedes
    Mercedes
    Valadez

    Mercedes Valadez

    Executive Chef, San Antonio

    mvaladez@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Sal
    Becerra

    Sal Becerra

    Director of Catering Services

    sbecerra@therkgroup.com

  • michelle
    Michelle
    Rivera

    Michelle Rivera

    Corporate Director of Personnel

    mrivera@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Emily
    Malaya

    Emily Malaya

    Director of Sales & Marketing

    emalaya@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Rachel
    Sommer

    Rachel Sommer

    Sales Manager

    rsommer@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Christian
    Suarez

    Christian Suarez

    Operations Manager – Equipment

    csuarez@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Amy
    Ripley

    Amy Ripley

    Sales Associate

    aripley@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Allison
    Whitt

    Allison Whitt

    Assistant Director of Sales

    awhitt@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Megan
    Freeney

    Megan Freeney

    Operations Manager – Staff & Service

    mfeeney@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    William
    Ragsdale

    William Ragsdale

    Executive Chef, Austin

    wragsdale@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Becky
    McMillian

    Becky McMillian

    Executive Sous Chef, Austin

    bmcmillian@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Laurie
    Ontjes

    Laurie Ontjes

    Vice President, Illusions Rentals and Designs

    lontjes@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Travis
    Kowalski

    Travis Kowalski

    Director of Operations, Illusions Rentals and Designs

    tkowalski@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Michelle
    Reyes

    Michelle Reyes

    Key Accounts Operations Manager, Illusions

    mreyes@therkgroup.com

  • oscar2
    Oscar
    de
    los
    Santos

    Oscar de los Santos

    Leader Designer, Flair Floral

    odelossantos@therkgroup.com

     

     

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Neil
    Fuselier

    Neil Fuselier

    General manager, Austin

    nfuselier@therkgroup.com

  • Bruce Edwards, CPG, CTA Transportation Lead Coordinator
    Bruce
    Edwards

    Bruce Edwards

    Transportation Lead Coordinator

    bedwards@therkgroup.com

  • Lauren Abbl General Manager
    Lauren
    Abbl

    Lauren Abbl

    General Manager, Circa AZ

    labbl@therkgroup.com

  • TeamDefault-icon2
    Jebediah
    Stewart

    Jebediah Stewart

    Executive Chef, Capitol Grill