Meet the Ladies Of Our Abernethy Office

The Women Behind The Magic!

Abernethy Center is more than just a wedding venue – it’s a team of talented and dedicated individuals working together to create unforgettable experiences for our clients and guests.

Many of our team members have been part of the Abernethy Center family for years, and collaboration is at the heart of everything we do. We enjoy each other, challenge each other, and always lift each other up. We believe that by doing so, we create an incredible work environment that is conducive to producing the best possible events for our clients.

A few months ago, I introduced you to the culinary team (you can read that post HERE). Now, I’m thrilled to acquaint you with our leadership team in the office: the women behind the magic at Abernethy Center.

“The entire Abernethy staff was amazing to work with. Always kind, responsive, and willing to answer any and all questions.”

Brooke, Abernethy Bride

Heide Hendrick

General Manager

Heide joined Abernethy in May 2013. She’s the most inspiring manager one could imagine, someone who sees and encourages greatness in others before they even see it in themselves.

Heide, Tell Me About A Typical Day…

“My day starts with phone calls and emails, then folds into meetings intertwined with answering lots of great questions and providing coaching and support to my team. Throughout the day I visit our sites on the property to address maintenance and upkeep, and I end my day at my computer. I love my job and working with such an amazing group of people!”

Abernethy Chefs Barry and Robert

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be

“I would be fluent in all languages.”

What’s your guilty Pleasure?

“Watching any kind of crime series. I love Cold Cases where they find the criminal after years of dead ends.”

What’s something you love to do outside of work?

“I love to do anything outdoors. Outdoors is my happy place. I love to walk, hike, and swim in the ocean in Kauai. I also love to read!!!”

What’s the most inspiring part of your job?

“Training and developing my team and watching people blossom into their most illuminated selves.”

Karissa Kysar

Sales Manager, Event Specialist

Karissa joined Abernethy in March of 2015. She’s grounded and detail-oriented. Karissa is like the mom of our little group and one of the kindest people you will ever meet.

Karissa, Tell Me About A Typical Day…

 “I always stop in the kitchen and say hello to the chefs on my way to my desk. From there, my day is typically full of meetings with my team or clients, giving tours of the property, and answering clients’ emails and phone calls. I love having my desk situated in between two awesome ladies who I can chat with all day while I work. If there is an event happening in the ballroom, I always make a point to stop in and wish them a good event on my way out the door at night.”

Abernethy Chefs Barry and Robert

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be

 “Teleporting (no more commute for me!).”

What’s your guilty Pleasure?

“Flaming Hot Cheetos!”

What’s something you love to do outside of work?

“Reading, hiking, dancing, hosting parties, balloon art, spending time with my group of friends, and anything to do with Fall and Christmastime.”

What’s the most inspiring part of your job?

“Seeing all the fun ways that couples make their day their own! The fun twists or personal touches always get to me!”

“We worked closely with Karissa, who was a ROCKSTAR. She answered emails timely and was willing to walk us through anything that we needed.”.”

Katie, Abernethy Bride

Kassandra Preysz

Coordination Manager, Event Specialist

Kassandra joined Abernethy in December of 2016. With a background in design and a love of fashion, she’s our creative queen and resident style expert.

Kassandra, Tell Me About A Typical Day…

“EMAILS! Details Appointments, Answering Questions, Touring Couples, Designing Marketing Materials & Coordination Design Boards.”

Abernethy Chefs Barry and Robert

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be

“The ability to read minds.”

What’s your guilty Pleasure?


What’s something you love to do outside of work?


What’s the most inspiring part of your job?

“The joy of designing a couple’s special and unique day.”

“Kassandra was there for me every step of the way. She was responsive, kind, and patient with all of my questions!”

Stephanie, Abernethy Bride

Sara O’Brien

Community Creator, Social Media Manager

Sara joined Abernethy in August 2017. All heart with a healthy dose of enthusiasm, she’s the creative storyteller behind Abernethy Social and this very blog. She’s the biggest cheerleader of our team and our couples!

Sara, Tell Me About A Typical Day…

“My days are full of beautiful wedding photos. I write content, curate ideas, and contact couples and photographers for new galleries. Sometimes, I visit events on the property and love getting to play with the staff and vendors. It’s pretty uplifting for a day’s work!

Abernethy Chefs Barry and Robert

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be

“The ability to communicate with all the animals!”

What’s your guilty Pleasure?

“Anything and everything sweet!! I love pastries, cookies, gummy candies, ice cream… You get the idea!”

What’s something you love to do outside of work?

“I’m a huge crafter! I love making things with my hands because it calms my overactive brain. I also run, yoga, and garden. Last but not least, I spend oodles of time outside with my beloved poodles.”

What’s the most inspiring part of your job?

“Getting to hear, see, and tell our couples’ love stories. I’m endlessly inspired by our couples’ commitment to each other and desire to honor their families and build new families of their own. It gives me faith in humanity!”

Hannah Veary

Operations Manager

Hannah joined Abernethy in September 2019. She is an absolute ray of sunshine, quick to smile, and the type of conversationalist you always walk away from, feeling even just a little more joyful than before the interaction.

Hannah, Tell Me About A Typical Day…

“Typically, the first portion of my day consists of checking emails, checking Payroll, and shaping the remainder of my week to prep for the events taking place. I take inventory of all products, including liquor, linens, supplies, etc. I speak with various of our vendors, placing liquor, linen, and supply orders. Additionally, I also manage our staffing / scheduling and work closely with our event team to create community in the workplace.  My goal each day at work is to make sure that our team is set up for success and that all events are properly equipped.”

Abernethy Chefs Barry and Robert

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be

“My super power would be to fly anywhere in the world in the snap of my fingers and I would get to enjoy the flight”

What’s your guilty Pleasure?

 “Anything chocolate!”

What’s something you love to do outside of work?

“Lifting weights! It is something I have done most of my life, and makes me feel strong and at peace!

What’s the most inspiring part of your job?

 “Watching every single member of my team work together to put on an outstanding event for a client. Without every single piece of the puzzle, that could not be possible.”

Mandy Watterberg

Sales Assistant

Mandy joined Abernethy in March 2022. She’s a “Jane of all trades,” helping with events when extra staff is needed, coordinating weddings, and assisting everyone with patience and care when you call the Abernethy office.

Mandy, Tell Me About A Typical Day…

 “A typical day at Abernethy for me consists of meeting new couples and hearing all their aspirations for their wedding day! I enjoy getting to work with my team on different projects and share my love for weddings.”

Abernethy Chefs Barry and Robert

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be

“The ability to heal others.”

What’s your guilty Pleasure?

 “A fresh baguette with an assortment of cheeses and pesto! I LOVE a good charcuterie!

What’s something you love to do outside of work?

 “Spending time down in Lincoln City with my husband and our two boys. (soon to be three!) It’s our go-to beach spot.”

What’s the most inspiring part of your job?

“Knowing that I have the ability to constantly learn and develop new skills in my career. Then, take what I’ve learned and share those experiences with others down the road.”

We Love What We Do At Abernethy Center

The ladies behind the magic at Abernethy Center are passionate, collaborative, and dedicated to creating unforgettable experiences for our clients. We believe in the power of collaboration, empowerment, and support for each other, and we are proud to be part of a team that values these principles. We are excited to continue producing incredible events and helping our clients celebrate the special moments in their lives.

About the author:

Sara O’Brien has been with Abernethy Center since 2017. She brings playful optimism and bottomless love of wedding celebrations to her role as Social Media Manager. Sara is a PNW native and nature lover who is passionate about spreading joy through honoring life’s big [and little] moments.

Smooch is the official blog of Abernethy Center, Oregon’s premier indoor and outdoor wedding venue.  Abernethy Center is truly one of a kind! A full-service wedding and reception venue just on the outskirts of Portland in the heart of historical Oregon City. Our property features two distinct gardens, a gorgeous chapel and a classic, elegant Grand ballroom spread out over 9 acres. With nearly twenty years in business, an expert culinary team, and a tremendous staff experienced in providing exceptional service, we have everything for the perfect, uniquely yours Oregon wedding.

Abigail’s Garden —– Veiled Garden—–Abernethy Chapel—–Grand Ballroom