Hi, I’m Lisa! I am the fearless founder and CEO of Picnic People. My passion is sales and marketing, and I truly love using my creative, big-picture focus to help clients achieve the events of their dreams. When I’m not working, I love spending time with my four poodles and traveling to my vacation home in Montana with my hubby, Rick.
CEO + Founder
Blake grew up in the catering and special events industry. He officially joined Picnic People 22 years ago working in the warehouse and then became a part of the Picnic People Event staff: working and supervising hundreds of events. After a 8-year break working as a chef around San Diego he returned to the family business as, and Picnic People Director of Sales, is responsible for producing successful events for groups of 20-15,000. His extensive event and culinary background ensures that nothing will be overlooked. Blake loves spending time with his wife and two kids and playing golf when he is not picnicking.
Director of Sales
Hello, my name is Jason Ake, and I am one of Picnic People’s enthusiastic event coordinators. I am truly at my professional best when taking care of others. After bartending my way to a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cal State San Marcos, I did what many biologists do—choose a different path. When not creating one-of-a-kind experiences for our clients, you can find me making my homemade kombucha, shamelessly binge watching Netflix or exploring San Diego’s natural beauty with my wife and our rescue dog.
Taylor comes from an extensive background in catering and hospitality. He began working for Picnic People as a Griller as soon as he could get a Work Permit. He spent 6 years with Picnic People and held many positions including their Junior Event Coordinator. Taylor attended California State University San Marcos where he studied Political Science and worked for University Catering. Following his time at CSUSM, Taylor pursued a career in craft beer with Deschutes Brewery as the San Diego Sales Specialist. Yet, he missed the thrill of the hospitality world and he joined the Classic Party Rentals team in 2015 as their Field Operations Supervisor. He has now returned to his roots here at Picnic People as the Director of Operations. Taylor prides himself on his high standards and his ability to creatively troubleshoot any problem that may arise. He is known for always having a smile on his face regardless of the situation. In the last year, Taylor managed a 15,000 chair graduation ceremony, a PGA Golf Tournament, NFL events and meetings, a corporate event for 7,000, MLB events, a charity gala for 600, NCAA events and countless others. He is a true asset to the Picnic People team and to our clients.
Director of Operations
Hello, and welcome to your glimpse into my world—Picnic People’s Operations! I am so proud to have been with our company for seven years and to now serve as our manager of operations. When I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in management from Purdue University, I never could have anticipated the great joy that my job would add to my life. Making lasting memories for guests is my passion, and I am so grateful that I get to call designing and organizing events “work.”
When you don’t find me in my real office—nailing down every last detail of events—I’m likely hanging out with my two daughters and delightful husband. Or I may be heading off to the beach! Whatever I’m doing and wherever I am, count on exploration and ingenuity!
Senior Account Manager
Hello there! I’m Justine, and I’m Picnic People’s account manager! I operate and execute all the fun elements of each picnic (which, of course, is every element of a Picnic People event). My degree is in business management with a certificate in meeting & event planning. If you ask me, a great picnic comes down to all of the details—and that is where I truly excel. I enjoy working on the “out-of-the-box” picnics with our event coordinators and look forward to any challenges that might come our way. When I’m not making Picnic memories, you can find me restoring my mid-century modern house with my husband, going to farmers’ markets and indulging in embarrassing reality TV shows.
Senior Account Manager
Dug my way out of the Windy City snow and ventured off to the west coast! In 2010, I kicked off my career in the events industry in Phoenix, Arizona. I found my passion for the outdoors and knew that events was the perfect fit for my adventurous and adrenaline-driven personality. I found that my knack for detail, organization, and quick-thinking execution thrived in making each event an achievement, from initial planning to day-of install. I’ve had the opportunity to work with outstanding organizations and events, such as Super Bowl XLIX, Clinton Global Initiative at ASU, Feeding America, Cactus League Spring Training, as well as anything from festivals to multi-day corporate conferences and weddings.
Yes, the Arizona heat is real, and I was lucky enough to finally find the perfect climate, here in beautiful San Diego! With 9 years’ experience on the equipment rental and planning side, I found myself intrigued with everything else that goes into an event. Picnic People allows me to put my organizational skills to work. The joy that I see on the guests’ faces makes it undeniable that we did our job well. Who doesn’t like to have fun?! We know just how!
Hi, I’m Lori, and I’m our numbers person! I have always loved working with numbers. At an early age, I knew that accounting was the path for me! Now, I have over 30 years of accounting experience, ten of those years being with this amazing group here at Picnic People. Working for Picnic People has been the best experience of my career. I love that everyone takes such pride in assuring the service we provide makes each client’s event a special memory for his or her occasion. In my free time, I love to garden. I also enjoy reading a good book and spending time with my wonderful family.
Håfa adai is Guam speak for “How’s your day?” After living a life on the island, I washed up on San Diego beaches with the high tide ready to bring the island life to your events. As warehouse manager, I ensure that our equipment is checked twice and ready to be part of our fantastic picnics. I have found great joy here at Picnic People ever since I signed on to the crew right out of high school. With an associates in chemistry and a bachelors in environmental chemistry close in hand, I am proud of Picnic People’s green initiatives to keep our environment clean. When I am not at the warehouse, I like to spend my time lost in a book or out on the beach keeping true to the island lifestyle.
Hello! I’m Blake Buska, I am the Hiring and Training Manager for Picnic People! I am born and raised in San Diego with over 10 years of experience planning and executing special events. With an eye for detail, I know how to spot talent when I see it. It truly is a joy seeing someone join our team and be able to gain lifelong skills and to grow professionally with us. I, myself, started as a Picnic Griller as a teenager so you can say I am a true Picnic Person at heart. In my current role, my goal is to ensure your special event is staffed with a team of qualified smiling faces who are ready to make your event memorable!
Hiring and Training Manager
Hi, I’m Rebecca (aka “Becca”), and I serve as an event coordinator for Picnic People. I have over 15 years of experience planning and executing company picnics (among many other enjoyable corporate special events). I previously worked for a non-profit organization helping people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. My focus now is on quality customer service that will have guests looking forward to their next event!
In my spare time, I enjoy playing basketball and having family BBQs on the beach. I also volunteer as a family life group leader at Cornerstone Church of San Diego. I am devoted to volunteering and advocating for basic human rights in the community and ensuring that everyone has a voice.
Senior Event Lead
Senior Cater Lead
Senior Cater Lead
“Life is a picnic and picnics are our lives.” The Richards boys, Blake and Taylor, have worked with their mom Lisa Richards, Picnic People Founder and CEO, from the time they could pick up trash.
“We all have hospitality hearts and enjoy planning events with great clients,” says Lisa. Blake and Taylor will carry on the Picnic People tradition of fun after their mom retires... date TBD.
It's never too early to start. Give us a shout to find out how we can deliver the most scrumptious picnic catering in town and help you throw an epic event from start to finish.