In Print HOLIDAYS 2023
I met Robin Willis while attending an event at Vailtree Event Center a few years ago. Actually, I saw Robin in action, as the facility manager and event coordinator for the venue. Her patience in responding to questions (for the 100th time, I was sure) was handled with remarkable poise: Where are the restrooms? Who is in charge of…?
Fast forward a few years to a local BNI group, as a newbie. I walked into that first meeting feeling a little like the new kid in school and there was Robin, welcoming me with her warm smile and take-charge personality. She showed me the ropes and I soon felt at ease. Since that time, I’ve watched Robin take charge of BNI events, small or large, in her kind and solid way, in a way that seems to put everyone at ease. At that time, Robin was the active facility director for Vailtree Event Center. When the center recently closed its doors (for holding events), Robin of course took charge of her own destiny and organically stepped right into her own business, doing what she’s always done, easing the day for everyone involved.
“Ease the Day” has fittingly become the name of Robin’s new business – one she’s been in training for all of her life.
MEET ROBIN WILLIS
As with generations of women before her, Robin Willis grew up with a mother who was the ultimate hostess, welcoming all and creating a warm, cozy feel to her home. This foundation of creating lasting memories was Robin’s introduction to what would later become her livelihood.
Being the middle child (and the only girl), Robin surmises that this placement in the sibling order probably contributed to her role today – a strong woman-in-charge, keeping track of all details and ensuring they are properly executed, but also a peacemaker. As the middle child she wants to keep everyone happy!
Originally from Forest Hill, Maryland, Robin graduated with a B.S. in Business and a Minor in Accounting from Elon College in 1989 (before it became a university). It was here that Robin got a taste of working with food service and learned the value of a well-planned event. Working as a student manager in the campus dining hall, she was trained in the art of being a part of a service-oriented team.
Upon graduation, Robin began her hospitality career right there on Elon College grounds, where she ran a dining hall and acted as the campus catering manager.
In 1991, Robin married a “Burlington Boy” by the name of Bob Willis. Though Bob always told Robin they could “visit the north” as often as she wanted, she knew she was never getting that southern boy to move up north! Together they raised a family of three beautifully independent, caring daughters who subsequently brought three wonderful young men into their lives, along with two grandchildren and countless fur babies!
“I have always loved helping others pull together their visions and plans for events," Robin tells us. "My main goal is always ensuring that all the details flow and the event host feels as stress-free as possible – like a guest at their own party!”
Though Robin’s first job (and love) is that of being a wife and mother, Robin has always poured herself into every job she ever held. Her impressive resumé includes insurance underwriter, restaurant manager, independent caterer, play school teacher (also provinding in-home daycare for five additional children) – there it is – that’s where that limitless patience comes from! Robin was also the manager at the Starbucks in Burlington's Harris Teeter for nine years, which lead to becoming the Vailtree Event Center facility manager/event coordinator/planner for the next eight years.
"EASE THE DAY" IS BORN
In 2015, Robin landed her dream job as facility manager for Vailtree Event Center. Her family and friends were quick to notice the shift in her level of happiness as she transitioned from retail restaurant management to the world of event planning/managing – a world she had long carried a love for. Robin now understood the long-held belief that if you work at something you love, you never really “work” a day in your life.
After eight years of building Vailtree’s business, alongside the owners, and helping many families and businesses create lifetime memories, Robin found herself at a crossroads when Vailtree’s parent company made the difficult decision to repurpose the event building in June of 2023.
The outpouring of support and concern for Robin’s future career direction became her inspiration. The many (many!) relationships she had fostered over the years at Vailtree spurred her on. She knew she wanted to continue helping clients enjoy their events while creating lifetime memories.
Those closest to Robin asked, “Why not just keep doing what you do best by going out on your own?”
Armed with a logo and a well-thought-out plan (shocking!), Robin struck out on her own to provide a “point person service" for local events. Though the core of her business is the coordination aspect, Robin’s eclectic background leaves room for expansion and she is open to all things “events” when it comes to easing the day.
While Ease the Day encourages clients to choose their own vendors, it also boasts a roster of trusted, vetted and qualified vendors at-the-ready. Ease the Day services are designed to pull together vendor information and the visions of the client, then act as the “point person” for the day of the event. This frees up clients to focus on their guests and enjoy the event, rather than rushing around stressing about details. Robin wants you to be a guest at your own event so you can remember and savor each moment.
Robin’s aim is to ease your day so you can be a guest at your own party – and do it with a smile.
Common event coordinations include weddings & rehearsals, quinceaneras, business meetings/events, marketing & sales presentations, fundraisers, family gatherings (birthdays, anniversaries, reunions) & more.
'Tis the season to be jolly (and stressed!) — let Ease the Day help make your next event less stressful. Robin is happy to consult with you about your special event.
“I think my strongest gift is that of easing the stress of ‘the day of’ the event and I’m here for it!”
CONTACT Robin Willis
Ease The Day Event Coordination Services