Today, in my Up Close and Personal Series, I am interviewing my Vice President and Head of Production, Kelly Irwin Rutty.
What is your title and what do you do at PBD?
I have just received a promotion and I am now the Vice President as well as the Production Director for all international projects and events. Like many members of the team, I wear many hats. I manage all speeches, installations, and licensing agreements. I am also a part of the sales team.
You have worked in Production under some very colorful circumstances. What was the worst moment you have ever had on the job?
Due to an act of God, our floral and décor items (which were being shipped from all over the world) were delivered five days late. This caused our production team to work long overtime hours in order to prepare for the event. This was extremely stressful as there was nothing we could do. The event went well and the bride was unaware of the issues we had faced during pre-production, thank goodness!
True to form, I am going to just going to put it out there. Tell us, If you had to change one (or many things about me) what would they be?
I would expect nothing less! I would say calling meetings at a moment’s notice. This industry is all about being organized and we often need to schedule our duties and manage our time in order to get things done. Last-minute meetings and changed times can be disruptive.
After a hard day at work, what do you really tell your best friends that drives you crazy about working for me?
What drives me crazy about working for a creative company is the very different personalities amongst the team. Sometimes it’s very difficult to concentrate working in a small space with vocal people and it’s difficult for me to get my head around some people’s constant commentary on all matters. That said, we are a family. We don’t always agree, but we all are on Team PBD. We all want to produce the best of the best for our client, for Preston, and for ourselves.
Is there a time you considered quitting PB designs? Why?
No. As you know, I was born in Australia and have always wanted to work in the United States since I was a teenager and I wanted to do this on my own terms; my way. I had always hoped to obtain a work transfer to the USA through my former company, however that never happened. Taking matters into my own hands, I entered the USA Green Card Lottery System. One year later, I won the green card and decided to take the plunge and move to New York. I left my boyfriend (now husband), my family, my friends, and my life in Australia to pursue my career dreams. I promised them that I would only stay in the US if I found my dream job. Three months later, I did, working for you. You sent me to Italy weeks later and it all began. You took a chance on me and quitting has never been an option.
Tell us a little more about this. You sacrificed a lot for this job. In fact, your husband, James, and you were separated for two years while you waited for his Green Card. How was that?
It was extremely hard to live so far away from my husband and for such a long time, but we both support and love one another and worked through those hard times. Thankfully, James is now here. It can be hard being so far away from my family and friends in Australia, but I love my job.
I remember your wedding. There was so much love between you, and then James had to go back to Australia. Tell us a little about that?
That was such a special time for us and you played such a huge role in making it so special. I went home to Australia for Christmas 2011. On Christmas Eve, sitting on Sydney Harbour Foreshore, James asked me to marry him. Exactly two months later, James and I were at NYC Town Hall getting married. Of course, you wanted to know all the details of ‘the wedding’. I’ll never forget the look on your face when I told you that we were just planning to have dinner with some friends somewhere in the city. This was not acceptable! You generously and graciously insisted that I invite twenty of my friends into your home where you and Theo would host us. I still feel so grateful for all of the wonderful ways you treated us. You took care of everything from the the food (an amazing Panamanian menu), décor, the flowers, and when I saw that Sylvia Weinstock baked us a wedding cake, I was stunned. It was magical! This is what the outside world does not know about you and they should. You have an over-the-top heart to match your eye.
Thank you, Kelly.
Do you have any questions for Kelly? If so, feel free to ask them in the comment section below.