Spectrum Connection: October

From the Desk of Dave Smalley:


The other day, a local government official who had moved out of state, retired and moved back to The Woodlands, decided to drop by Spectrum to pay a visit. Years ago we had done quite a number of projects together. He went to our old office at the corner of Robinson Road and Hanna, only to be informed that our main office had relocated. So, he followed directions to our new office. When he turned the corner onto Spectrum Way, there before him he saw Spectrum.

Alone in his car, he blurted out “Holy Crap!”, and in his amazement of our trans-formation, came for a visit. Unfortunately, as is the norm, I was not available, but he got a quick tour and left a glowing note and followed up with a text, professing his delight to see how much we had grown and how successful we have continued to be. He remarked that I must be in-credibly proud, and that got me to thinking.

As many of you know, Maverick had a stellar swimming career, setting many National and State records, many of which still stand today. He achieved All American honors and represented the United States at the Pan Pac Games. People would often make comments to us, “What do you feed him?”, “What is his secret?”, and always, “You must be so proud of him.”

I found it interesting that people could even consider that feeding Maverick, or having some training secret or potion, could be a factor in his success. No, it was hard work and committed preparation on his part that resulted in great results. He was talented, but he worked the hardest to get the most out of his talent.

I was, and I am indeed proud of him, and for him. But as I told several parents, yes I am proud, but certainly NO MORE proud than you are of your child’s success. Just because you place first does not give anyone the privilege of being more proud. I believe and know we are equally proud.

Circling back, and so it is with Spectrum. I am as proud of everyone and what we stand for today as a 100 million dollar a year company as I was in the early 90’s as a 1 million dollar a year company. The notion that I could somehow be 100 times more proud seems far-fetched, don’t you agree? So, to answer my visitor friend’s question truthfully, yes I am so very proud, but not one ounce more proud than when I was operating out of my garage.

I can apply the same thought process to happiness and love. When we are happy, can we be more than that? Is there a thing such as more happy? When we love, can we love more? Maybe the intensity of the emotion, but I hold that when we are happy, there is no gain to be had by seeking to be more happy.

It is of course a journey, not the destination, that defines us all; our pride, our love, our happiness. And on that journey, one can be just as happy and just as proud at 1 million, 100 million or a billion. Just as proud with 3rd place as first or a Na-tional record, as long as they have been true to themselves on the journey and given their all.

So reflect on your journey. Are you living it to the fullest? Professionally, personally, at home, at work, with family, with friends? If so, stand tall! Be Proud! Be Happy! Pat yourself on the back for a moment. Then get back to doing the very best you possibly can. And know that no one can be prouder.

Cheers to the last quarter of the year. Time to keep the hammer down and finish strong. Wishing you and yours only the very best. Humbly,


From The Desk of Melanie Parker

October 2018 1


Most people report that they do not usually feel confident. But exciting things can happen when we actually believe in ourselves. Here is a man who believed in his own ability, even as a boy, and that confidence helped shape his adult life.

At the turn of the 20th century, a young boy quit school to help with the family expenses. When he was fifteen, he became interested in automobiles and worked in a garage. He subscribed to a correspondence home study course on automobiles, and after a long day in the garage he studied at the kitchen table by lamplight.

When he felt ready, he walked into the Oscar Lear Automobile Company of Columbus, Ohio. When Mr. Frayer, one of the partners, noticed him he asked, “Well, what do you want?”

“I just thought I’d tell you I’m coming to work here tomorrow morning,” the boy replied.

“Oh! Who hired you?”

“Nobody yet, but I’ll be on the job in the morning. If I’m not worth anything, you can fire me.” (Try that in today’s market!)

Early the next morning the young man returned to the plant. Noticing the floor was thick with metal shavings and accumulated dirt and grease, the boy got a broom and shovel and set to work cleaning the place.

Because of his self-confidence and work ethic, Eddie Rickenbacker’s future was almost predictable. He went on to excel in many fields, including automobile racing, piloting World War 1 planes and founding what was to become one of America’s largest airline companies − Eastern Airlines.

There is no magic bullet to instantly become a self-confident person. But it begins with one of the most important relationships in your life − your relationship with yourself. People who become more confident, work on that relationship. They habitually encourage themselves. They become their own best friend.

Ask yourself this question: “If I had a friend who talked to me like I sometimes talk to myself, would I want to spend a lot of time with that person?” Listen to the things you say to yourself. Are you encouraging or are you critical? Do you say things to yourself that build your self-confidence, or do you nitpick at your faults? You just might be spending a lot of time every day with a person you’d never choose as a friend. And if so, you are most likely eroding your self-confidence.

Without confidence, you are not likely to move far in the direction of your dreams. But when you learn to actively encourage yourself, you can become your own best friend. And when that happens, almost anything will be possible.— Steve Goodier



Wicked Whisk Corner

October 2018 2

The Wicked Whisk team took part in the first Glade Cultural Center Bridal Open House on Thursday, September 6th, and really showed off what we can do to many potential customers! Every bride that at-tended was blown away by our delicious tray passed hors d’oeuvres, the impressive dessert display, and the friendly faces of our servers and sales team. We were thrilled to attend such a great event, and we hope that we can be a part of each one of their special wedding days!

~Tracy V.





October 2018 3

The Whisk is humbled and grateful to servealmost 4,000 excited fans at the University of Houston tailgates on September 8 & 22 in the brand new Indoor Practice Facility! A BIG thank you to the kitchen, production, and warehouse crews for working together to make both events fantastic from start to finish! Go team and GO COOGS!







Client Profile: Sebastian Prevost

October 2018 4

Company: Cirque du Soleil, Touring Shows Division.

How do you know Spectrum and since when? I had the pleasure to start working with Spectrum three years ago since I oversee the management and operations of the Cirque du Soleil VIP Experience. Spectrum has been a great partner of ours in many US and Canadian cities over the last twenty plus years.

Tell us about your family: I’ve been married for thirteen years to my amazing wife, Lyne, and we have two incredible boys. Max is the hockey and soccer player, and Gabriel is the skateboard and DJ future global star.

What are your interests when time permits away from our crazy world? I practice many sports like hockey, volleyball, golf, boating, and wakeboarding. I also love to just chill at a movie or enjoy great foods and wines with friends.

Favorite foods, books, or vacation spots: Sheppard’s Pie or Lasagna would be my at home favorites. They are simple dishes my mom would do great at; especially in the cold winter months coming in after playing a few hours on the rink with my feet frozen. When I go out, I love my tartare places (Salmon, Tuna, or Beef). Also, pairing it with a nice San-giovese or a Cab, and we are in business. I also make it a duty to order Crème Brulée if it’s on the menu. As for books, I am a keen student of the innovation books and learn-ing from others experiences in businesses. Vacations; give me a beach, friends, family, and many laughs, and I am in!

Even if it has been only a few years knowing the Spectrum crew, we have developed an amazing business relationship that allows us to be transparent; which is something I cher-ish. Knowing your partners are pushing them-selves to see Cirque du Soleil succeed is one of the many reasons why I will be pick up the phone when Mel or Dave call. It is why I con-sider them very good friends.


A Grand Opening!

On September 11, 2018 the Hobby Center for Performing Arts opened its doors to their newly renovated restaurant, Diana American Grill. Diana is contracted with Spectrum for their hospitality services. Spectrum brought in renowned chef Robert Del Grande to create Diana’s beautiful, new menu.

Robert Del Grande is Chef and Owner of Cafe Annie. He joined Cafe Annie in 1981 and was instrumental in the rise and development of Southwest Cooking in America. This year will mark Robert’s 37th year with the restaurant. He received his undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry from the University of San Francisco in 1976; along with his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California at Riverside in 1981. Among his numerous awards and accolades, he won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southwest, received the Silver Spoon Award from Food Arts, the prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of California, Riverside, and has been inducted into the Who’s Who in American Cooking. Rob-ert is a partner in the Schiller-Del Grande Restaurant Group which operates The Grove & the Lake House – two restaurants at Discovery Green, the signature urban park in downtown Houston. In addition to restaurants, Robert has also done ideation & food concept work for several national restaurant chains and other food groups. He is also a founding partner in the ROX-OR Artisan Spirits Company where, using his knowledge of the laboratory sciences, he developed the intricate formula for ROXOR Gin. Robert is married to Mimi Del Grande, the managing director of Café Annie and partner in the Schiller Del Grande Restaurant Group.

Robert says, “Diana American Grill at the Hobby Center is a great project. I envision it to be a great American Grill Room where great products are thoughtfully embellished; a place where Houstonians can gather for a convivial meal. It’s an opportunity to do some nice work and to contribute something to Houston. It is certainly in its early days, but the future days will offer more opportunities to do great things!”

Click here to read where Diana’s Grand Opening hit the web!

Check out the amazing Diana American Grill menu here!

Meet the Chef: Robert Del Grande

October 2018 5

I was born and raised in San Francisco; what a lovely place. I kind of like the fog; didn’t bother me much. As a youth, in elementary school, I was an altar boy and spoke a little Latin, but not really. I remember liking the sounds of the words. As for the meaning, that most likely escaped me. More importantly in my youth, I learned to make pancakes. The process seemed magical to me, and it still does. I fancied myself as a breakfast cook. The family always called on me to make the pancakes. That marked my start in cooking! I did reasonably well in school, or so it seemed so to me. At least I took it seriously enough to be above average, if that is what a B grade stands for. I grew up in the era of Willie Mays, so I played a little baseball. I seemed to always be the tenth best player on the team. My assignment was to be able to fill in at every position. I never enjoyed the position of catcher very much, because I always blinked. Most of the time I served as the assistant coach, which I enjoyed as a form of management; I enjoyed strategy. In middle school, I played French Horn in the school orchestra; mostly because the orchestra needed one. The horn was shiny, which was part of the appeal. It seemed cool. At least, I learned to read music through that. Later, I realized it was cooler to play gui-tar, so I switched. I later attended the University of San Francisco. Unlike high school, which seemed less seri-ous, I became very serious in college and excelled well beyond the B Grade. Discipline and study was the key to that. I majored in chemistry & biology, and I also considered medical school. Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t very fond of hospitals. I took a student job in a research laboratory and loved it. So, I applied to graduate school in biochemistry. All the while I was learning to cook. I figured if you can cook well, you’ll always eat well. My mother was a good cook and so was my grandmother. So, there was no doubt, I was used to eating well. From the University of San Francisco, I went to the University of California at Riverside. Long story shortened, I moved into a house with two other graduate students. I was a better cook then them. So they said, “why don’t you do the cooking and we’ll do the cleaning.” I said, “sure!” So, for the next five years I became a better and better cook. Being a research scientist helped the progress; libraries, bookstores. Again, discipline and study. During all of this, I met a girl. She, Mimi, worked in the University library. We fell in love; just like in the musical The Music Man. The year before I finished my PhD, she graduated and moved to Houston, because her sister lived there. At the time, her sister and her sister’s husband were putting together a restaurant project that would later become Café Annie. I received my PhD, and before looking for a post-doctoral position I moved to Houston for what was supposed to be a three month break. Mimi and I were planning where we would like to go; a big adventure. I was thinking a post-doc in Switzerland. During those three months in Houston, I thought it would be cool if I could work at the newly opened Café Annie to learn a few things about professional cook-ing. Also, I wanted to stock pile a little money for a big adventure. I acclimatized quickly; kitchens are much like research laboratories. Three months turned into thirty plus years. The 1980’s saw a great revolution in Ameri-can Cooking, which I fell into the middle of. It offered me the opportunity to meet all the best chefs in the country. We are all now friends. There are many highlights, but certainly a favorite one is that I got the chance to work with Julia Child. We became great friends. The most important thing I may have learned from her was how to be gracious under any circumstance. For all her celebrity, she was always kind and gracious to every-one. As a side note, she said that recipes must work as written. So, I got better at writing reci-pes that worked as written, or so I’ve been told. I won some nice awards along the way, but I always remind myself that doing good work is a reward in itself. Pride doesn’t come from an occasional award; it comes from doing good work every day. Today, I am assisting in the Diana American Grill at the Hobby Center project; a great one. I envision it to be a great American Grill Room where great products are thoughtfully embellished; a place where Hous-tonians can gather for a convivial meal. It’s an opportunity to do some nice work and to con-tribute something to Houston. It is certainly in its early days, but the future days will offer more opportunities to do great things.

October Milestones

Patrick Najera


Teresa Palacios


Andrew Hagen


Aldo Chavez


Brenda Johnson


Mark Wright


Jon McDonald


Pablo Montoya


Juan Atilano


Jessica Fisher


Maisie Wilkinson


Patrick Irwin



October Birthdays

Jimmy Boutwell


Adam Avelar


Shandra Case


Mike Stapleton


Janis DeMarco


Teresa Palacios


Michael Seay


Jose Abad


Alex Manan


Adam Lassetter


Maria Mesa


Jose Ventura


Claudio Atilano


Ricky Esquivel


Ismeal Montoya


Joseph Shabazz



October Events

Bayou City Arts Festival


Alliance Air Show


Lighting of the Doves Festival


Day for Night Music Festival


Lights all Night Music Festival



Printable PDF

Screen Shot 2019 01 14 At 1.11.40 Pm

Leave a Comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter a message.