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Why Stage This Event

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Our Founder & CEO



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Meet our Founder & CEO, Mr. Derek R. Ray. As a young man, Derek knew he wanted to make a big difference in the world of the ever-changing business industry. 

Derek R. Ray was born in Eastern, Tennessee in 1987, and lived in close distance to the Great Smoky Mountains. He loved school, loved playing piano and chorus, ran home to watch Nickelodeon, and loved playing in the dirt with his neighborhood friends.

Today, Derek R. Ray is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Stage This Event (Formerly Charity Events Group), an event planning, design, and marketing firm that specializes in wedding, events, and helps non-profits and other charities increase their income by planning, designing and marketing creative events based on each individual client's needs and styles.

At 13, he was removed from his home and placed in the foster care system where he was raised by a loving and truly dedicated family. He did not know it at the time but his foster parents would make a large impact on his life in a way that would make him the man he is today.

At 23, he went to DeVry University –- a school whose known for their business degree programs. Derek enjoyed college because he got to pick his own subjects. Instead of Math, he took a course in accounting, to which he found he really liked. Not surprisingly, Derek received excellent grades and always made the Deans list.

As of today, Derek not only owns and operates Stage This Event, but helps on many of the Ronald McDonald House of Central & Northern New Jersey’s events, and manages to keep a clean and loving home for his family. 

Why was Derek so successful at business? He set his mind to a goal and would not stop until he reached or surpassed the goal. One of Derek’s long-time friends said it best. “He is the most caring and loving human being I have ever had the opportunity to meet. He always looks for the good in others and is always there for everyone no matter the cost.”

In 2013, Derek was having dinner with his family when he decided that an event planning and design company was what he was meant to create. He started looking for ways to help in the community and never backed down from a challenge.

In 2014, Derek started the business plan to create what would be known today as Charity Events Group. Although the company had yet been formed, that did not stop him from planning and designing some of the largest events around. And doing so without ever charging a penny. Derek was delighted when he had the chance to plan not one but two concerts for one of Washington, DC’s largest yearly street fairs. He not only planned an amazing event but did so without the help of many staff members.

In, 2015, Derek was asked to join the Ronald McDonald House of Central and Northern New Jersey’s Fall Gala committee where he with a team of other dedicated and loving people planned and designed the event of the year which resulted in raising ample amounts of funds to keep the organization running for yet another year.

In 2016, it had become official, Derek was to open one of the nation's first event planning, design, and marketing firms in the nation that would work solely with that of charities and non-profit organizations in mind, and did so all because he had a dream he did not allow to slip away.

In April of 2016, Derek planned, designed and managed one of the state's largest dinners in honor of the first responders who assisted in the February 2016 Hillsborough, New Jersey military depot fire located on 206 in Hillsborough, New Jersey.

With the help of the community, local stores, The Manville VFW, Assemblymen, Senators, and Mayors, Derek announced that he would be holding a dinner for 600 first responders to thank them for the invaluable dedication and support for the massive fire that took so much property from the community.

It was from his vision and dedication to this event, that Derek was presented with a Joint State Resolution on behalf of the State of New Jersey by Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker & Jack Ciattarellie (16th District) on Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 in his hometown of Manville, New Jersey and was applauded by his community, his family, friends and Mayor Onderko of Manville, New Jersey and Mayor DelCore of Hillsborough, New Jersey.

Today, Derek can be found at his Central Pennsylvania office. Derek still works many dedicated hours and when not at the office or home with his family is traveling around the nation helping plan another great event for a much-needed cause. 

"I love this company and all who have helped make my dreams come true. I will stand by our products and clients every step of the way as we all make our mark in this world of business."

- Derek R. Ray

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Where We Are Located

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Stage This Event is a national event and wedding planning and design firm that has been awarded state and local awards.  

Columbia County, Pennsylvania