We started with a pickup truck and two trailers in a backyard. That was the spring of 2009 in Auburn, Alabama. By fall we were hosting 53 groups every game day. Today, we host more than 300 groups at Auburn alone. Through hard work, determination, and attention to detail, we’ve seen Tailgate Guys expand across the region. From Austin to Atlanta to Gainesville, we’ve learned that where you find sports fans you also find plenty of room for quality service and old fashioned hospitality.
Now we employ more than 100 staff members, offer our services to tens of thousands of fans, and—needless to say—have successfully moved out of Michael's backyard. As we grow and gain national recognition, our goal remains to deliver outstanding service, anticipate needs, and create settings where fans make their greatest memories.
Our success depends on our team’s ability to work together seamlessly. That’s why we’re grateful for team members who diligently ensure that each guest has an unforgettable game day experience.
Parker has successfully led Tailgate Guys to substantial growth year after year while establishing successful partnerships with universities and bowl games spanning from Florida to Texas. Parker and his wife Melanie, a professor at Auburn University, reside in Auburn. Parker can usually be found with Oxford, his english bulldog, company mascot and right hand man.
As a co-founder of Tailgate Guys, Michael has been the mastermind behind our logistical operations and game-day planning from the beginning. Michael has continually strived to refine and streamline the Tailgate Guys production and has successfully implemented the Tailgate Guys system at each of our locations. Michael, his wife Jenna and two daughters, Lily and Maddie Tate, reside in Auburn.
Originally from Acworth, GA, Clay is a two-time graduate of Auburn University with a bachelors and Master’s in Accounting. Clay brings his expertise to Tailgate Guys with an impressive past career as an external auditor for PwC, and serving as a CFO for a private company. Clay met his wife, Ely at PwC and they call Auburn home with their twin children, Presley and Walker. When Clay’s not crunching numbers, he’s on to the latest DIY project and enjoys fixing things... as you can see, we all know we are in good hands with Clay on board!
As the first full-time Tailgate Girl, Shelly bravely took on the task of handling all guest services and office administration duties in the Auburn office. Shelly quickly grew into a larger role at Tailgate Guys and The Event Group. After graduating from Auburn University in 2011, Shelly and her husband Dustin moved to Atlanta where she worked in two churches over a two year span. Though soft-spoken, you put Shelly on the pitcher's mound and she'll mow you down.
Tailgate Guys’ resident ‘most interesting man in the world’ Ron has done it all. He has been married for 25 years, father of three and is a lifelong resident of Auburn. He played sports throughout high school and went on to be the Auburn Mic-Man where he graduated in 1986. His family has owned Anders Book Store for 50+ years, he is the director of the AHSAA Super 7 Football Championships and is the Mayor Pro Temp for the City of Auburn. Seriously, what can’t this guy do? With his hand in so many pots, an obvious fit for Ron is to be Tailgate Guys’ Director of Special Projects where he can handle any and everything we throw at him.
Hailing from LaFayette, Alabama or "La-Fet" as the locals call it, Michael embodies a strong work ethic and positive attitude required to manage the constantly growing Auburn Tailgate Guys operation. In Michael's free time, you might find him in the woods with his yellow lab, Avery, hunting anything that moves or singing that latest country hit in the shower.
The true native to the Auburn/Opelika area on the team, Mary Louise or "ML" brings a solid base of knowledge and experience from within the hospitality industry to Tailgate Guys and The Event Group. ML's hospitality background as a Conference Center Manager from The Auburn University Hotel and Conference center was a nice fit for our team. Prior to that, ML received her bachelors degree from Auburn University in Hotel and Restaurant Management. ML and her husband, Michael are proud to call Opelika home.
Paige relocated to Auburn from Houston, Texas where she gained over eight years of public and industry accounting experience. Paige brings another layer of detail to our operations to bolster our steady growth. Paige earned her undergraduate degree and masters in Accounting from Auburn all while maintaining an impressive vanity plate on her vehicle. Paige, her husband Rex and two children (Max and June) are excited to call Auburn home.
Paul has valuable experience and a passion for hospitality. Prior to joining Tailgate Guys, Paul had several years of valuable experience in restaurant management. Paul manages all of the day to day in the Auburn office while also keeping his thumb on the pulse of all other Tailgate Guys locations and The Event Group's operations. He and his wife Stephanie also call Auburn their home. No, that's not "E" from the show Entourage. That's just Paul.
Tailgating is in Matt Jones’ blood. His family has had season tickets dating back to the 1950’s. This alone is why Matt his part of the team, his experience as a men’s basketball manager and with Facilities and Operations at Auburn Athletics is just a plus. Matt and his wife Becca, live and work in Auburn, AL, except when he is traveling to Atlanta to run our operations at Georgia Tech and the Atlanta Falcons.
A Plano, Texas native, Eric has extensive experience in athletic event management. Before joining the Tailgate Guys team, Eric served on the athletic event management team at Auburn University's Athletics Department. Eric's background paired with his natural enthusiasm for customer service has made him an ideal fit with Tailgate Guys. If you think you are a sports guru, try this guy. As Tailgate Guys' "sports almanac," we dare to try to stump Eric. He and his wife, Morgan both Auburn grads, are happy to return to Alabama to raise their daughter Hadlee.
Rachel is a Hotel and Restaurant Management graduate from Auburn University and first interacted with Tailgate Guys as one of our clients when planning her sorority tailgate and sorority formal. Naturally, Rachel was hooked and came to work with us after graduation in 2016. Rachel acts as ML’s right hand woman in all things related to events. In Rachel’s free time, she is playing tennis and reliving her high school glory days when she was state-runner up.
Peyton is a native of the great state of Texas with a background in communications and serves as a Project Manager in our Auburn office. She is an Aggie at heart but moved to the Plains where her fiancé, Brock is studying veterinarian medicine. Naturally, they are pet owners with one dog, Colt and a cat, Lyla who is named after the show Friday Night Lights. If that’s not All-American this Texan also enjoys country music, vinyls, and of course authentic Tex-Mex.
Hailing from The Swamp and known around town as a pull up champion, Jessica is the perfect fit for Tailgate Guys Gainesville office. She first worked with Tailgate Guys as a client when visiting Texas A&M in 2012 as a representative of UF's Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. Jessica brings a strong event management background to the team as she worked at UF's ODAA in events and donor relations for almost three years. Prior to joining UF's ODAA, Jessica worked as an event coordinator while she earned her Bachelors Degree in Event Management from the University of Central Florida.
A native son of Albany, GA - Matt (Marge) brings an enthusiastic leadership attitude to Tailgate Guys/Event Group team. Well-versed in the event industry - since his time at Auburn University, Matt has enjoyed success as a small business owner, as well as several years in corporate management. In his spare time, Matt fancies himself a golfer, gardener and pug breeder. Yep, pugs.
Mandy is Tailgate Guys’ very first intern, needless to say wrote the book, no seriously, she wrote our intern handbook. She grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and graduated from Auburn in December 2015 with a bachelors degree in hospitality management. After surviving one football season in Auburn, Mandy was plucked out of headquarters and moved to our Gainesville, FL office. She is a project manager for TG and The Event Group. Her degree, experience with the Auburn Hotel and Conference Center and Alys Beach Resorts create an event management perfect storm.
William comes to Tailgate Guys with experience and expertise in customer service and operations through senior housing and office space management. He and his wife, Allison, are a couple of former Texas A&M students who just couldn't leave Aggieland after graduation. William can be found on the weekends grilling, golfing or playing the guitar.
This Houston, TX native is an Aggie with a degree in Agricultural Leadership and Development from Texas A&M. Renee’s smiling face will greet you each game day at the Welcome Tent to ensure our guest’s are having a good time in Aggieland. Renee is an all around true American, with a birthday on the 4th of July, who can argue with that? She and her husband Noel and 2 cats call College Station, TX their true home.
The true outdoorsman. Will is a native of Austin, TX and a graduate of the University of Texas Austin with a bachelors degree in Journalism. Will comes to Tailgate Guys with a diverse set of experience that includes state legislation and even sports radio commentary. Will is the ultimate family man living the American dream in Austin, TX with his wife, Ashley, daughter (Caroline) with his dog Kia and two cats Izzy and Jynx.
Everyone’s favorite Aussie, Glen is an ideal fit for our team with a degree in Event Management from Victoria University and extensive experience in events and music festivals. He manages our Texas territories’ production teams with ease and sophistication with a killer Aussie accent to add as a bonus. Glen, his wife Sabrina, and three-legged Chihuahua (yes, that’s right...) are proud to call Austin home.
Man, myth, legend. We are excited to welcome this guy to the team. Will brings extensive sales and business development skills to Tailgate Guys from his time in various senior business development roles. Will's addition will reinforce the rapid growth Tailgate Guys is experiencing in Texas. Will is passionate about discipleship which stems from his time equipping young leaders at DownLine in Memphis, Tennessee. A graduate of Auburn University, Will and his wife, Lauren, along with their extremely energetic black lab, Hank, will be relocating from McKinney, Texas to make Austin their home. Keep Austin weird, Will.
Born in Philly but a Florida native, Brendan has a passion for sports. He holds a bachelors degree from University of South Florida and not one, but two masters degree (MS and MBA) in Sports and Entertainment management from USF. He has worked in sports events management and sales with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the University of Texas before joing our Austin Tailgate Guys team. If that’s not impressive, he also scoped out his future wife, Julia in middle school. Brendan is based in our Austin office, and can be found trying the latest food spots in town.
As our business has grown, we’ve learned how to work with each of our partners to provide the right services to that campus. We create a setting where tailgaters make great memories—even if their team doesn’t emerge as the winner. That’s because we understand that tailgating is about the people, and we ease the experience of set-up, maintenance, and tear down, so that fans can spend their time and energy enjoying their friends and family.
Through a commitment to hard work, attention to detail, and collaboration, we’ve watched our company grow and expand year after year across the nation. From hosting 53 tailgate groups in 2009, we’ve since expanded our national footprint from Texas to Florida.