Eight One Events is a proud, minority owned company.  In this blog we honor Latin Heritage month by featuring our VP of Ops, Brandis Protenic, a proud Latina, with five questions to get to know her better and the influence her background has played on her event life.


How does your Hispanic up bringing parallel aspects of the event industry, specifically operations?

Family in Hispanic culture goes beyond the immediate.  Every neighbor, mail man, grocery bagger, etc. in a 5-mile radius becomes part of your tribe.   Therefore, one of the things I love most about any event day is the crew.  As corny or odd as this sounds, it reminds me of our large family gatherings… everyone joking around, roasting each other, but having a good time.  And, in my operations expertise, a happy crew gets sh** done! 


What from your heritage influences your event style?

Growing up on the Mexico United States border, many days and nights were spent crossing the bridge for meals, shopping at mercados, or using my fake ID at the discotheques (sorry mom). This has provided the roots of my style, which can be summed up by most as ‘extra’. Mexico does it right with bright colors, bold patterns, enriching culture/art/history, lively music, and mouth-watering food.

Bold colors and patterns: While my standard attire is generally ‘all black all the time,’ my heart craves color in design. I love working with our creative director in mixing bright colors and patterns into dinner looks or big oversized statement pieces. We share a mutual motto of ‘more is more.’

Art:  Many of my favorite artists have a Hispanic/Latino heritage. From Kahlo to Dali to Basquiat, these artists took risks with their creativity and changed the landscape for art.  I believe this inspires me and my contribution to our event design.  

The Food: Raise your hands for tacos (both of my hands are raised)! I’m the foodie among the owners and love incorporating the fusions and flavors of my Latino heritage into menus.   From churro carts & street taco stations to mezcal tastings & spicy margaritas, count on me to always find a way to get some spicy flavor into menus.


What is an event you would dream of being a part of?

The Met Gala, hands down. A perfect mix of fashion, art, style, glamour, and a theme… not to mention a logistical fete to accomplish. It has all the makings of my dream assignment. You can always find me the first Monday in May judging all the fashion, scouring time-lapses of setups and trolling hashtags for interior glimpses of the performances.


Anything else you would like to say about Hispanic heritage pertaining to events?

The event industry has been part of my extended ‘familia’ for the last 20 years and I couldn’t be more grateful.  The melting pot of our industry and how we all seamlessly co-exist with all our diverse backgrounds makes me proud to be an events girl.


What event are you showcasing in this blog?

Viva Mexico! Was there any other choice? Cultural venue… check! Mexican street food… Check! Custom oversized pinatas… check! Local artisans and textiles in design elements… check! Private lucha libre show… Check!

 This fast planning and complicated executed event will remain a long time favorite for me.  To be able to bring to life the food, music, culture and style of Mexico City was just the cherry on top.