With a creative mind, a knack for planning and a passion for connecting with people, Alan Newman has been shining in the sales and catering industry since he moved to the Florida Keys five years ago.
Born and raised in Miami, Alan was introduced to the Keys by his parents, who are part-time residents. But after graduating from the University of Florida, he wasn’t sure what his future would hold.
“I thought I wanted to go to law school, but I knew I wouldn’t be happy and it really was not the career for me,” Alan said.
He tried a graduate school program and even moved to North Carolina to become a mortgage broker, but nothing made him truly happy.
So he picked up and moved to a place that was familiar to him — the Florida Keys.
Alan began his Keys career in 2010 handling the front desk at the world-famous Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Islamorada. During his tenure there, he became deeply interested in the specialized area of events, catering and weddings.
“I found myself peeking around the corner of the events and offering help whenever they needed it,” he admitted.
Alan eventually joined the sales and catering team, and later became manager of that department.
“It all happened so quick,” he said. “I had to learn a lot in a short amount of time, but it all clicked for me.”
Just a year later, the Hampton Inn was purchased and underwent a $30 million renovation. It eventually was rebranded as the Amara Cay Resort, which opened in late spring 2015.
Currently Alan is the resort’s sales and catering manager — and he’s frankly delighted with where he is and the work he’s doing. He finds a personal satisfaction and gratification in helping others create a perfect setting for their special occasions.
“There’s this second right before everyone walks into an event, where everything is set and perfect, when you see months of work cumulating into one moment, and that is really the true beauty of events to me,” he explained.
Alan believes he has found his calling in his life — something many people never get the chance to discover.
“Years earlier, when I was figuring out what I wanted to do with my career, I felt uninspired,” he said. “I didn’t feel any sort of personal connection with what I was doing, but now I feel that I finally found something that incorporates everything I love.”
When he isn’t planning couples’ dream weddings or other exciting events, Alan enjoys spending time in and around Islamorada, sampling local cuisines and meeting new people. He particularly likes the wide range of personalities to be found in the Keys.
“You could be sitting next to a billionaire in shorts and flip-flops on one side and a regular working-class fisherman on the other side,” said Alan. “No one is trying to out-do the other; the world just converges here — and it’s rare to find that in a home.”
Alan brings a young, vibrant energy to Islamorada and appreciates every day in the “Village of Islands.”
“Even on the worst of days here, you look outside and it’s still absolutely beautiful,” he enthused.
With much of his life ahead, Alan Newman sees himself staying in his current industry for many years to come.
“I know I’m always going to be in a business where I’m dealing with people, where I can be creative, be visual and interact with others,” he stated. “I don’t think there’s just one road in life — there are a lot of turns you can make, and right now I’m enjoying the road I’ve taken thus far.”