Known around Manhattan as the "go-to" guru for New York events, celebrity event planner/hospitality consultant Arthur F. Backal has in the course of his two decades in the industry managed more than 20 event spaces in New York, and has consulted and participated in the development of new hotels, restaurants and event spaces around the world. In an innovative management strategy unique to the hospitality arena, Backal has several branches - including the Backal Hospitality Group, State of the Art Enterprises, and the Mandarin Oriental New York Hotel - through which to imprint his unique vision onto the hospitality landscape, a "ringmaster" with a multi-ring operation.
Backal has for many years enjoyed a reputation as one of New York's most experienced and talented food and beverage professionals, as well as an unparalleled artist in the arena of special events. His recently launched hospitality company, Backal Hospitality Group (BHG), serves as a vehicle through which to implement his hotel, restaurant and lifestyle projects, while his thriving event management firm, State of the Art Enterprises, Inc., has since its 2002 premiere provided Backal with a personal creative event outlet - stamped with his innovative, signature style.
Appointed Consulting Director of Catering for the Mandarin Oriental's New York flagship hotel in February 2003, Backal was credited by The New York Times for the enormous success of the Mandarin, as many of his high-end clientele followed him to his new venue.
The native New Yorker graduated from the Hotel and Restaurant Program at Michigan State University, and worked from the onset of his career with some of New York's most renowned hoteliers - from Leona Helmsley at The Palace to Donald and Ivana Trump at The Plaza. He was in charge of the re-opening of the majestic St. Regis, overseeing the entire food and beverage operations, and was also credited with restoring The Pierre to its legendary grandeur during his time there as director of catering. Stints at The Waldorf-Astoria and The Rainbow Room rounded out his successful career.
"I thrive on discovering new niches, opportunities, and ways of creating new venues, properties and events that no one else has thought of - it's what I've always done, and I put tremendous passion and energy into it," says Backal.
"I also have the most accomplished and creative people working with me in each of these ventures," he adds. "The chance to integrate these diverse resources and pools of talent is remarkable and unprecedented in the event industry. It's really all about creating result oriented teams, trusting them, and fusing them together whenever the opportunity arises."
Despite his busy schedule, Backal still makes time to be an active and caring member of the community. He is a leading philanthropist for several major charities including Food Allergy Initiative, City Harvest, The American Cancer Society and several others.
Dividing their time between Manhattan and Brookville, New York, Arthur and his wife Liana enjoy spending their "down" time as a family with Liana's sons Robby and Cory and happily welcomed their first child together, Amanda Lucy Backal, in March 2006.