From Baltimore to Boston to brainstorming, Ralph Weaver has never been one to say “no” to trying something new. After studying communications and marketing at Boston University, the Baltimore native made his way to New York City where he worked with a public relations agency, allowing him to dip his toes in the world of event planning.
And he hasn’t looked back since.
Nearly 29 years ago, Weaver founded East West Connection, a global meeting, event and incentive travel company. “I used to do a lot of international travel, a lot of traveling to the far east,” Weaver says. “I’m an art collector, so I was always purchasing things while traveling.”
When Weaver first started EWC, he was focusing on buying art from around the world and selling it back home, allowing the east to connect with the west through art. At the same time, he says he had many clients coming to him for help planning meetings and events, which led to EWC’s new purpose.
“I started it to bring the far east together with the western world, to bring the best of both cultures together,” Weaver says. “I wanted to show how people can work together and learn from each other. That’s how it evolved and led to doing not only domestic meetings, but international, too.”
EWC works primarily with pharmaceutical companies, health care organizations, cyber security and construction companies to plan everything from sales meetings and employee events to incentive trips and POA meetings. “We run the gamut of big and small meetings and events,” Weaver says. “Whatever we do, regardless of size, our founding principal is attention to detail and excellent customer service. Size doesn’t matter.”
Even if they’ve already done the exact same meeting or event in the past, Weaver says he and his team always treat each client as a new and original opportunity for creativity. An early riser, Weaver starts his day at 5:30 a.m. with meditation and exercise. Once he gets the creative juices flowing, he immerses himself in the day-to-day operations with the rest of the team, from creative brainstorming to troubleshooting.
Weaver says his favorite part of his job is the creativity. Though, he adds, he wouldn’t be able to do it without his team.
“I couldn’t take the company on my own,” he says. “I need my team of people who are really committed to what they do. I’m the proudest of that. Being able to build something from nothing into this multimillion-dollar organization with 75 people who are passionate about what they do and are committed to excellent service and programs.”
East West Connection | eastwestconnection.com