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Anza rises from the ashes

Industry News | June 1, 2010 | By:

Event rental company celebrates third anniversary following recent arson.

All good event planners are adept at working through the unexpected. The employees of Anza Event Rentals by Choura Venue Services, Torrance, Calif., put those skills to the test in January, when Anza’s offices were vandalized and set afire by arsonists.

“By 9 the next morning we were working from eight-foot banquet tables and answering phone calls,” says Choura Venue Services CEO Ryan J. Choura. “It was unreal. Everyone pitched in and made it happen. A client would have never known unless they came in.”

In the days that followed, Anza employees would work around the reconstruction, come in on days off in casual clothing to sort through burnt files, share computers and figure out how to laugh through it, Choura says.

“I thought the best thing they did was set a great tone for how we were going to handle this internally and how they told the story to those who asked,” he says.

Just 45 days after the fire, the company hosted a “Rising from the Ashes” party and product showcase to celebrate its third anniversary and showoff its rebuilt offices. More than 150 guests enjoyed music, cocktails and hors d’ouevres prepared by Choura Venue Services’ Executive Chef Michael Shafer of the Depot. The event also celebrated the addition of two new event professionals to the Anza team, executive vice president Howard Tabackman and Jose Zuniga.

“Today we’re stronger than ever, with growing service centers, new clients and a beautifully rebuilt space,” Choura says.

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