Our Story

Our Story

Our mission is simple; to be the singular choice as your DMC partner that is unsurpassed in the level of trust we bring to be dedicated, flexible, reliable and transparent in all of our dealings; while simultaneously designing and producing exciting and unique events and activities that will create authentic experiences for your guests that will leave them with meaningful and lasting memories of the conference and their time in Texas.

Our Clients

dmc in san antonio texas


Our Story

Yesteryear

The genesis of Goen South was as a “mom-and-pop” company. In 1992, Morris was working as a newspaper photojournalist and I was a microbiologist for the state. We knew that, eventually, we wanted children and we saw that neither of our positions would guarantee us financial success. If we were going to be able to support future kids, we needed to opt for a path in life in which to provide for our family. We both loved what we did, but we wanted our children to experience even more freedom than our parents had been able to provide for us.

I spent weekends and nights back in the classroom to get my MBA while Morris started freelancing photography. Morris has always had an artist's heart and he loved to travel the back roads of Texas documenting disappearing Texas history. He held an art exhibit at the restaurant of some friends. A young engaged couple, Anthony and Sandi, were impressed by the exhibit and saw that Morris could produce something totally extraordinary for their wedding photos. We met with them and made it very clear we did not know the nuances of wedding photography. They said, “Just shoot it like your art.” The results were unique, the bride and groom were delighted, and there began to be many more calls for Morris's artistic talents.

We soon realized San Antonio was suffering from a lack of an event management company that offered all wedding services under one roof, so along with photography, we added videography, wedding planning and floral services. As we went along, we recognized a similar need for linens and lighting and it was not long before we were coordinating and producing weddings at some of the most beautiful resorts and hotels in town. The hotel sales staff were impressed with our designs and began asking us to provide services for their corporate clients. That was the beginning of our company history, and the rest, as they say, is history.

It was also the beginning of our young family. Our daughter, Grace was born in 1998. Our son, Otha Morris Goen, III (“Trip”) was born in 2000, just one week before his grandfather passed away. As soon as my doctor cleared me to travel, we headed to Houston. Otha was able to hold his grandson and namesake. The morning after we arrived, Otha passed away in his own bed surrounded by those who loved him including his brand-new grandson. The emotional roller coaster of new life and life passing was very hard on Morris, but he knows his dad would be proud. As time passed we settled into a good life. As the kids grew so did the business. Goen South was booming when suddenly, we were feeling the effects of the Great Recession.

As the economy continued to spiral down, and with a young family to support, Morris and I had some tough decisions to make. After a lot of sleepless nights and a few tears, we resolved to survive as a company. We had faith that sooner or later the country would make an economic comeback, and we were determined to hold on until it did. We quit taking salaries so we could make payroll for our employees and went through our kids' college savings and then our retirements to pay our vendors and help keep the company afloat. We believed in our company and were determined to make it. We went through some hard and scary times; then slowly but surely, the economy began to turn around. In time, business in our industry was booming again, and our company was again growing at a rate that amazed us. We knew then that our tenacity had paid off and the sacrifices we had made were going to be worth it.

Today

Today, Goen South is an international award-winning DMC based right here in Texas. We serve San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Dallas and beyond. With 29 full time employees, numerous part-timers and specialized contractors we provide full service Destination Management and Event Production across the spectrum.

Our 32,000 square feet of warehouse space are filled with more than the standard chairs, tables and linens. Morris has been collecting one-of-a-kind pieces for as long as I have known him, and we have his passion to thank for the deep warehouse of design elements we offer. Morris and I and the crew look forward to our annual pilgrimage to a huge antique festival near Houston called Round Top. As a result of these forays, and many others we have been able to amass an incredible collection of trappings including seven-foot tall crystal chandeliers, unique bar fronts made from antique trucks, and even an authentic 1940's era tractor that Morris bought from an old rancher. We've received numerous industry awards on the state, national and international levels, but more importantly, our clients love it. One of our many strengths is that we do own our own décor, enabling us to create a unique event and to help keep your costs down.

Our cutting-edge DMC uses the latest apps to track your guests' progress as they travel to Texas. Upon arrival, we like to begin the experience with greeters that really let your guests know where they have arrived. Historical reenactments, costumed cowboys, even folkloric dancers all serve to set the scene for an authentic Texas experience. We know the ins and outs of the state, so we can give your guests the historical and cultural experience of a lifetime. And for our more adventurous guests, we can provide exciting activities like sky diving, skeet shooting, zip-lines, horseback riding, kayaking, spelunking and more.

We have great relationships with a wide range of entertainers both local and nationwide: bands and DJ's from every music genre, stilt walkers, jugglers, magicians, mimes, palm readers and body-painted models (always a hit!). From fire dancers to line dancers, and pretty much everything in between, we can accommodate your imagination.

Tomorrow

We're proud and happy that we have achieve our long-ago goal of affording our children more freedoms. Today our daughter is in film school and our son is in high school with a great interest in music. Alongside the achievement of these goals, we've learned how much it means to be part of the service community. It may sound trite, but we want to be part of the chain that betters, not only our family, but everyone who needs us. The more success we have, the more we feel we can help give back to those less fortunate, and give them (in however small way) that hand up that they may so badly need.

We have been greatly blessed and we aim to pay that forward to our staff, our vendors and our clients. We know we are not saving lives but we have a lot of love to share and we feel our mission is important and meaningful to everyone we serve. Today we have 29 full time employees, many part-timers and we network with several specialized contractors. We have reached a place in which we can give back to the community.

Our values are simple and homespun: we work hard, we do what's right, we support the things we believe in, and will continue to strive to gain respect and connections in all the wonderful cities we serve in Texas and beyond.

After 25 years of being in the industry, Morris and I still wake up every day excited to see what the next email or phone call will bring. Scarcely a week goes by that we don't have a client asking us do for them something that we, nor anyone, has ever done before. We love the challenge and look forward the future.


Awards

 


The Team

san antonio dmc servicesTerry Goen | Founder & Owner

Terry, along with her husband Morris, founded Goen South over 20 years ago. Terry is a graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, and has her MBA from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. Though she has been involved in Goen South’s growth since the start, Terry left her position as Head of Microbiology for the State Hospital in San Antonio in 2001 to focus on Goen South full time. With two young children, the challenges of owning and operating a small business were tough, but entirely worth it.

Now, in addition to being the co-founder and co-owner of the company, Terry is also the Chief Financial Officer of Goen South. Along with her financial duties, Terry handles event staffing and logistics for all corporate and social events. With her knowledge, experience, and expertise, Terry takes on the duty of orienting and training new employees.

When she isn’t working, Terry loves spending time with her family. She also enjoys occasionally indulging in champagne, chocolate, and a good meal, but never misses a workout in the gym!

morris goen dmc professional san antonioMorris Goen, DMCP | Founder & Owner

Morris Goen has been in the events industry for over 20 years. Born in Houston, he grew up on an isolated cattle ranch in east Texas and moved to the big city to attend the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating with a Bachelor of Journalism, Morris relocated to San Antonio for a staff photographer position with the San Antonio Express-News. He photographed presidents, popes, the Queen of England, and countless San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Cowboys games. Morris began shooting weddings for family and friends in the early 90’s, and he quickly realized that there was no one in San Antonio documenting weddings with the eye of a photojournalist.

In 1992, Morris realized there was not a company under one name that could provide all the services needed to produce a wedding, so he grew his staff by adding consultants and florists. As the business grew, so did the team. Goen South employs full-time wedding and DMC professionals, with a DMC business that has grown exponentially in the past three years.

Today, Morris is a certified DMCP and works with corporate and social clients, but he sometimes hearkens back to his early days as an event photographer and shoots some events. In his off time, Morris likes to spend time with his kids and travel with his family.

san antonio dmc creative directorCarlos Araiza | Vice President of Creative Design

As Creative Director, Carlos utilizes his knack for design and knowledge of logistics to bring all aspects of an event to life. Carlos excels at planning the details of his events, from exquisite floral and one of a kind décor to unique entertainment and stunning lighting designs. His goal is to always understand clients’ vision and goals to produce an event that is truly their own—with an enjoyable experience along the way. Carlos’ designs have been awarded on national levels and continue to impress.

Raised here in San Antonio Texas, Carlos attended the University of Texas at San Antonio where he studied Business Management and Public Relations. To date he has over 9 years of experience in the industry. Before joining the Goen South team in 2012, Carlos worked with the Walt Disney Corporation and as the Events/Catering Director for an exclusive country club in the Hill Country.

On his time off Carlos can be found enjoying all that San Antonio and the surrounding Hill Country has to offer, from kayaking the Guadalupe River with his two huskies to wining and dining at his favorite restaurant, Paesanos.

san antonio event planning companiesSamantha Mora | Director of Sales

As a Goen South Event Services Manager, Samantha utilizes her organizational and communication skills to provide a unique combination of project management and sales skills. She works closely and efficiently with our Director of Sales to ensure the vision of the event comes to life. Before joining Goen South, Samantha attended Texas A&M University focusing her studies on Business Marketing. She worked at an online marketing company in Austin, TX, where she managed social media networks and directed the company’s annual awards from beginning to end. Born and raised in San Antonio, Samantha fully understands the beauty and fun the city has to offer. In her down time, you can find her cheering on the San Antonio Spurs, the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas A&M Aggies.

san antonio event planning companiesAmanda Pacheco | Associate Director of Sales

Being a catering and event professional is something that I seemingly fell into, fell in love with and continue to pursue. I have been in the event industry for 7 years, I have an Associate of Arts Degree from Northwest Vista College and I am a native to San Antonio. I’ve had the opportunity to work in multi-faceted environments both in the hotel, resort and private club setting and the common thread being my continued dedication to perfect-what I consider my favorite element– the guest experience. I’ve always taken pride in every step of the process of planning a successful event, I enjoy getting to know my meeting planners and their expectations as well as working creatively with my team in sharing that success. I am as equally driven by my passion for the creative process as I am for mapping out the logistics required to pull off an awesome event. If I am not working or at home with my family, you will likely find me at an ILEA function as I currently sit on the Board of Directors as a Director of Programs and Education; my commitment as a director is another example of the passion I have for being a part of our local industry of event professionals and being able to tap in to the wealth of talent we have in San Antonio. Other fun facts about me are that I enjoy cooking for my family after a long day, I travel as much as my schedule will allow and I am always up to try anything once!

san antonio event planning companiesTanya Schilling | Director of Operations

Tanya is the Event Operations Director for Goen South, focusing on the administrative coordination between the Sales staff and the Event Staff for all events. Her efforts make the transition from planning to event execution seamless for our clients. A newly retired Army officer, she discovered her love of event planning in the course of her duties which included planning training seminars and international relationship building events. Tanya loves working with people to create beautiful events. Though the Army brought her here, she has adopted Texas as her home state and takes every opportunity to explore the natural beauty with her husband, son, and two Australian Shepherds.

san antonio event planning companiesErik Leifur | Director of Field Operations

Erik started working for Goen South his senior year of high school. He spent three years working for the company before deciding to join the military. After serving our country in the First Infantry Division of the Army for three years, Erik rejoined Goen as the Director of Field Operations. His organizational skills and vast experience in logistics help ensure that events are set-up on time, every time. In his free time, Erik enjoys fishing, kayaking and traveling. He also loves cheering on the five-time NBA Championship San Antonio Spurs.

san antonio dmc event managerAlexandra Bowman | Senior Sales Manager

Alexandra is an Event Services Manager with Goen South who focuses on corporate, weddings and social events. Her favorite part of being an event planner is getting an opportunity to get creative and then seeing joy on the client’s face as they enter the room. Alexandra has been a life-long humanitarian, volunteering across the city of San Antonio for a variety of organizations. Originally from the Ozarks of Northwest Arkansas, she also has an avid love for travel. After living in Spain and becoming fluent in Spanish, Alexandra continues to explore the world and immerse herself into other cultures; and loves discovering new places and faces.

san antonio event planning companiesXandria Pollard | Event Producer

A recent graduate of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Xandria was a communication studies major who loves planning social events. While at Southwestern, she managed social media for the Student Activities offices and was the VP of Recruitment for her sorority. She is a typography nerd and never plans an event without her passion planner. Xandria was born in Killeen, Texas but her first memories are of living in beautiful San Antonio. She is a true Texas native who spends weekends exploring South Texas, eating tacos and trying her skills at yoga.

san antonio event planning companiesAllison Park | Event Producer

While becoming a part of the dynamic Goen South team in 2017, Allison's passion has led the way on a life long journey in food and culture. This includes a distinguished education at Texas Tech University in Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional Management. Shared values in working hard and doing the right thing helps her enact creative thinking and commitment in business every day. The most rewarding part of Event Service Management to Allison is going through the entire experience with the client, step by step, to see the celebration and satisfaction come to fruition and last a lifetime. Outside of the office Allison leaves no stone unturned in her pursuit of the next adventure. This San Antonio native has spent much of her life visiting and living in diverse communities around the globe, but always brings them back home adding a Texas flare.

san antonio event planning companiesAshley Toney | Event Producer

Stationed at La Cantera Resort & Spa, Ashley manages corporate clients booking events at this beautiful Texas resort. Born and raised in New England, Ashley received her Bachelors of Entrepreneurship in Boston, MA before hopping across the pond to London where she received her Masters in International Marketing and Project Management. Now residing in San Antonio, TX, Ashley enjoys spending her free time exploring all that South Texas has to offer.

san antonio event planning companiesKacie Grinnan | Event Producer

While studying Hospitality, Management & Tourism at Northwestern State University, Kacie found her passion for food and beverage deep in the heart of a Cajun kitchen. Although a true native Texan, Kacie's roots run deep through central Louisiana spanning to the east coast of South Carolina. In 2011, Kacie brought the sweet heat back to Texas when she joined forces with one of our capital's top caterers. During her four years in Austin, Kacie exercised her creativity and added a dash of unique southern charm to each of her events. Following her heart to San Antonio, Kacie immediately fell in love with the city... and eventually the man that kept her here. She adores her two fur babies and most enjoys spending time with her seemingly look-alike niece and two siblings.

san antonio event planning companiesJamaal Taylor | Production Operations Coordinator

Jamaal has been working for Goen South in field operations for three years, and he recently joined our event services staff as an intern. When he isn’t helping execute amazing events for the company, Jamaal spends his time attending St. Philips Community College where he is studying Hospitality Management. Accelerating his studies, Jamaal will graduate this fall and he plans to earn his certification in Meeting and Event planning. Jamaal spent four years living in Guam, but was raised in Texas. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, baking and spending time out on the lake with friends and family.

san antonio event planning companiesJordan Jiminez | Event Producer

As an Event Producer at Goen South, Jordan coordinates and facilitates corporate events. Jordan had her first taste of DMC events while interning in Austin during her final semester at Texas State University and knew she found the industry for her! After graduation, she made her way down to San Antonio and joined the Goen South team. Jordan has made it her mission to explore all of the nooks and crannies of San Antonio in an effort to find the best brunch in town. She is a self-proclaimed snow cone connoisseur, Halo Top Ice Cream fanatic, and weight-lifting enthusiast.

san antonio event planning companiesEmil Oliva | Production Operations Coordinator

Emil Oliva was born in Laredo Texas and moved to Lima, Peru when he was 12 years old. After going to school in Lima, he decided to move to San Antonio to continue his studies and begin a career in hospitality. He is currently attending school for International business, with a concentration in event management. When not working, Emil dedicates his time to family and friends. He enjoys playing almost every sport, has a huge passion for travel, restaurants and food and spends a lot of time cooking and trying out new places! Emil has been with Goen South a little less than a year.

san antonio event planning companiesRoger Guerra | Chief Engineer

Fifteen years ago, Roger met Morris Goen and together they have created some of the most beautiful, functional steel designs ever. Roger has spent a lifetime working with steel and uses his innate ability of problem solving and creative thinking on every project. He is passionate about creating sustainable art for as long as he can remember and working at Goen South he is able to do so. With just a vision. his talent is seeing the finished piece before it’s begun. Roger’s designs are sturdy, functional, and can stand the test of time. A native San Antonian, Roger and his wife of 17 years enjoy camping, traveling, and searching for the best burger in Texas.