Our Urban Adventures

The TBG team is extremely diverse; each individual has their own perspective that allow us to remain nimble, innovative, and creative under all circumstances.  Each member of the TBG team shares a liddabit about themselves and their adventures here!

I Want You to be Happy Day

Today is “I Want You to be Happy Day”, and I’m going to share a story about a special friend of mine whose name and life embodies what today is about: Happy the Artist.


Happy’s birth name was John Patrick Kuhn.  I met him when I was working on special events at The Frog and the Redneck in Richmond, Virginia back in the mid 90’s.  Over the years, Happy has told me a lot of stories that are as colorful as the clothes he wears.  This one is two versions of how he got a different name.

Version 1:

JP Kuhn was walking through a park when he happened upon a woman sitting on a bench, sobbing.   He was concerned and asked her if she was OK and if there was anything he could do for her.  Her response was, “Just be happy for me.”  JP promised her he would.  Being a man of his word, JP legally changed his name to “Happy” in honor of that woman, and he has been Happy ever since.

Version 2:

JP Kuhn’s father’s art took his family all the way to Mexico in 1949 – JP was 7 years old at the time.  His first name was James Patrick or ‘JP’  In Spanish ‘J’ is pronounced ‘HA’ and ‘P’ is pronounced ‘PAY,’  so he was called ‘HA-PAY’ by his Mexican playmates.  Eventually he became ‘Happy’ and he’s been Happy ever since.

Today, Happy focuses on the creation of whimsical murals for private clients and businesses.  He spreads joy through his art and is always ready with a hug.  In his early career, Happy was a court illustrator in DC and covered the Watergate trials.


Happy has a great concept appropriate for events: he illustrates attendees having conversations on paper that wraps a room, then he cuts out the individual images and presents them to his “subjects”.  Check him out at www.happytheartist.com.   

Whistle while WeWork

After three years in our Georgetown office, TBG heads out to downtown DC!

While we loved our bucolic location by the reservoir and seeing all the awesome dogs that pass through the Washington Humane Society offices, it was time for us to find new office space. 

As anyone who has moved can tell you, deciding what to keep and what to purge can quickly devolve into some sort of existential crises.  And given that we love all our clients equally (of course), figuring out what to get rid of, what to store and what to bring to our new office took more time than we hoped…

All that angst was offset though once we moved into our new digs.  We’ve joined on to a cutting-edge venture in DC called WeWork!  WeWork is a co-working facility (a fancy way of saying that it’s a collection of companies sharing space) that has just opened its first location in DC (they are already in 7 cities with 17 locations).  In addition to our dedicated TBG space, we share 10,000+ square feet of communal working space, including a fully stocked kitchen with local DC beer on tap, phone booths, conference rooms, and even a (soon to be opened) roof deck!

Enjoy some photos of our new digs below and stay tuned as we’ll be sharing more of our discoveries of our new colleagues and our neighborhood finds (did we mention the number of restaurants and eateries in a 3 block radius?).  And for some of you, we’re just a short Metro ride away!

TBG is now on SeaPort-e!

We are proud and delighted to announce that TBG was one of the select companies who were awarded a SeaPort-enhanced (SeaPort-e) contract during the 2013 rolling admissions period.  For those who are not familiar with the SeaPort-e program, this means TBG’s full portfolio of services are now available for purchase by the United States Department of the Navy and its Commands.  What makes this even better for our government clients both current and new is that TBG can now be sole-sourced any SeaPort-e business from the Department of the Navy due to its 8(a) status.  So it’s even easier to get us on board so that we can immediately begin producing results where they are needed most and providing a quality product that is always delivered on-time and on-budget!

If you would like to know more about SeaPort-e and TBG’s services, click here. If you are a company and would like to explore partnering opportunities with TBG, click here.

A Few Little Bites of the Apple

I had the opportunity to live in Manhattan from 2006-2008.  A couple of our clients are based there, so I still get up there about one a month.  To true New Yorkers, two years makes you a visitor, but I approached my “stay” a little differently than most “visitors”.   Determined to learn my way around the city like a native, I explored neighborhood by neighborhood and street by street.  At our trade shows, I sought out our New York exhibitors and played the “do you know” game.  I’m proud to say that I was able to go toe-to-toe with most of them, and sometimes even stumped them.

New York is full of paradoxes.  My favorite barista at 9th Street Espresso (yes, I did sometimes travel 30 minutes by subway just to have coffee there), was getting her PhD in Linguistics at Columbia.  The disheveled woman I met in the park while walking our dogs was a Broadway actress and (amongst other things) played the Justice of the Peace who married Miranda and Steve in Sex and the City – I watched a rerun to see her in performance mode.  My doorman, Bob, is one of the most well-read people I’ve ever met, and always had an obscure historical fact for me.

Everyone in New York seems to have a story.  It’s also on the cutting edge for producing artisanal homemade products, and many of these products got started in someone’s tiny apartment kitchen.  Today I’m going to share some of my favorite “made in New York City” products.  Why send someone a hotel-sourced fruit and cheese display or bottle of wine when there are so many other options?

Liddabit Sweets – the two gals who started this company are French Culinary Institute grads who use locally sourced and seasonal ingredients to produce delicious candies.  Personally, I’m a little obsessed with the Beer and Pretzel Caramels and the Apple Cider Caramels, but I’ve never had anything short of amazing.  Once you have a handmade candy bar, you’ll never want to impulse purchase at the grocery store again!  I love swinging by the Brooklyn Flea on a Saturday or Sunday and picking up a few bags of candies, but you can order online as well.  (Watch for their upcoming cookbook – I helped with recipe testing!)


Levain Bakery – it’s all about the cookies!  But these aren’t just cookies, these are half pound mounds of warm, gooey goodness.  The first time I had one right out of the oven (they only make them in small batches so the chocolate chips are ALWAYS melty), I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  For those of you with a sweet tooth, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip is perfect in the evening, and Oatmeal Raisin makes a great breakfast.  They ship, and you can also call ahead for larger orders.  Cash only!

Anarchy in a Jar – yummy, creative preserves and chutneys.  Laena learned jam-making from her mom in upstate New York, but I’m guessing her mom didn’t teach her recipes for Easy Like Sunday Morning Blueberry Preserves(blueberry and maple syrup) or Grapefruit & Smoked Salt Marmalade.  She also makes more traditional flavors like Triple Berry Jam.  Many of her flavors work with cheeses, others can be used as a glaze for poultry or fish, and some are just awesome on bread.

If you still need some wine and cheese, don’t go anyplace except Murray’s Cheese and Astor Wine and Spirits.  Allow time for tasting and let the experts guide you.


Table for 160, Please!


I truly love the concept of farm dinners, and it’s time to start thinking about them.  I know this because I just got my annual announcement from my aspirational favorite, Outstanding in the Field.  Every time I look at the photos on their website, I’m pretty sure I could run away and be part of their team – like a rock and roll tour, but better! 

We eat out a lot, but my favorite meals are the ones that showcase the ingredients.  You don’t have to have a fussy presentation if you have amazing ingredients.  And no matter how “easy” the recipe may seem, it’s hard to replicate at home – we just don’t have access to the same products.

That’s what these dinners are all about.  Outstanding in the Field is a “roving culinary experience”.  Essentially, traveling dinner parties cooked with farm-fresh ingredients served right where they were grown – in fields, ranches, vineyards, and community gardens across the country.  Dinner is served family style, often at one really long table and almost always outside.  You bring your own plate and you eat with the farmers, food artisans, chefs and other guests.  They’ve done dinners in some great places – in a sea cave, on a mountaintop, by a river, or in a field.

Some friends and I went to one of their dinners at Ayrshire Farm in Upperville, Virginia.  We had cocktails on the lawn of the rebuilt manor home, a tour of the farm’s livestock and crops, and dinner by candlelight in their barns (OK – maybe it wasn’t 160 people…but it was a lot!).  It was a lovely evening and a great outing.

These dinners speak to me on so many levels –the farmers are so passionate about what they produce and so happy to share the experience, you get to dine outdoors, and the people that come leave pretension at the door (that might actually be a rule!)  There’s not a lot that’s fancy about the evening, yet the experience is somehow over the top.

Great concept for a private event, or wonderful to just join in.  Check out his pictures and try to join one!



Color Wheel Pro says that orange represents “enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, stimulation and TBG Events”.

OK, so maybe I took some liberties with the TBG Events part…  It just seemed to fit since orange represents our brand (literally) and our team (figuratively).

There are three kinds of people in the events industry:

1) those who are great at executing logistics;

2) those who are great at “planning a party”; and

3) those who have a right/left brain balance and combine logistics and creativity in their daily work life.

I’m #3.

For me, that means that I’m not prepared for an event until I’ve researched anything and everything about the city I’m going to.  If one of the execs needs a private dinner, I’ve got a place.  If my client needs last minute gifts for VIPs or a cool vendor, I know who to call.   If I can carve out a break in my schedule to have an authentic or mind-clearing experience, I know where to go.

And now I’m sharing…

What does that have to do with Orange?  I go through life with a general fascination with people and the wonderful things they produce.  I get tremendous happiness from discovering and experiencing new things.  I’m absolutely determined to figure out a way to share good people and good things with my clients and friends.  I feel that all of this contributes to my success.

Check back a couple of times a month and add a little Orange to your life!


Cathy Arevian is Owner and Managing Director of TBG.  When not saving clients from budgets, she can be found roaming the world for exceptional food and new places.