Oakwood Village’s Rock the House, owned by Jeff Kutz, Amy Van Duyne, Ryan Konikoff, Matt Radicelli, Jeff Dick and Steve Tanruther, is known for its party entertainment ventures like simchas and weddings. But, with the COVID-19 pandemic and during stay-at-home orders enacted by the Ohio government until recently, that part of their company has seen major adjustments.
Radicelli, founder and CEO of Rock the House, explained party entertainment has come to a “standstill, a halt” in the wake of federal and state-imposed guidelines.
“People switched very rapidly to conversations about postponing their events, keeping their guests safe,” said Radicelli, a Twinsburg resident. “We were very busy – all our teams the first couple weeks this was happening we were constantly on standby for what events could and couldn’t happen. And we’ve just been consistently communicating with our customers about their postponed dates and helping them find dates.”
Luckily though, Radicelli said, Rock the House isn’t just about hosting great parties. A large part of the company’s services lies in audio-visual production, he said.
“The work we do continues, and we continue to do live-streamed and hybrid events. For instance, the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County produced its financial update and live stream right from our studio,” he said. “So we’re keeping plenty busy. We’re also producing private events and they’ve all been virtual.”
Radicelli added the major difference for them is their busy seasons are being pushed back due to the rescheduling of events.
“There is a surprise to not have these major events every Saturday night,” he said. “We’re hopeful like everyone else is that things will open up and continue. But we usually have a busy summer but now we have an extremely busy fall as all the dates are postponed or moved.”
Before the stay-at-home order, Radicelli said they planned on furloughing employees deemed nonessential on a day-to-day basis. But, now three months into social distancing, he shared all team members remain employed and are working remotely.
“We’ve decided to keep everyone on,” he explained. “Everyone is currently working remotely and their benefits are still being paid for. We’re generally an employee-first company. We’re taking it day by day.”
But the good news? Radicelli said Rock the House is working hard to provide the same level of service to clients.
“The good news is that we haven’t had to turn any customers away from their postponements so really no one’s level of service has changed either,” he said. “It would’ve been a heartache. We also have a deep roster. For us to be able to send out 20 teams a night and be able to tell someone eight months away that we can do that, it’s great news.”
Radicelli said Rock the House will “absolutely” survive the pandemic and related impacts on the economy.
“Are we going to be here? Absolutely,” he said. “But do I have a crystal ball or can project that any of our local businesses will be the same business they were after COVID-19? No. What I can tell you is that every single person on staff is very prideful and wants to keep assisting clients to their best ability.”