Pittstown-based company manages the art of bringing people together.
New Jersey Business – By Jim Pytell, Assistant Editor – May 19, 2020
There is often a point in our life’s journey when we come to a crossroads that forces us to genuinely reflect on what we’ve done up until that point. The decision we make at this crossroads can completely alter the path that we were originally on.
It was after a car accident when Ralph Weaver had such an epiphany. Weaver, who spent his early career in the corporate world at Johnson & Johnson and Bristol-Myers Squibb, recalls lying on his back while recovering from the accident and realizing that he wanted to pursue something new that would enable him to be his true self: someone who enjoys art, travels the world and brings people together.
Pittstown-based East West Connection (EWC), which Weaver founded in 1990, was the result.
“The initial premise of the company was that we would find unique treasures from all over the world, and then sell them to a US-based audience,” the EWC president and CEO explains.
Eventually, Weaver began reconnecting with his old corporate acquaintances, which led to the company evolving into the full-service, worldwide meetings and events agency that it is today.
EWC has 75 employees and produces corporate events, company meetings, and incentive trips for companies of all sizes. It puts on events both domestically and internationally in places like Spain, Italy, Ireland, France, Mexico and more.
“We truly treat everyone at the meeting or event experience as a VIP,” Weaver says, adding that EWC’s goal is to make every attendee – regardless of their role or title – feel special.
Weaver’s experience as a meeting attendee during his time in the corporate world has also given him a unique perspective on the importance of key areas that can have a huge impact on an event. For example, is the client’s goal to motivate, educate or reward attendees? Helping a company achieve a specific goal through a memorable event is impactful, and of course, doing this all within the client’s specific budget constraints is a must, Weaver says.
“One of the things that we often hear [from clients] is that they want a creative solution. They want something different, especially on those multi-day meetings,” Weaver says. “Our approach to a meeting is not to be cookie-cutter, but instead to show value and be creative with what we do.”
Additionally, EWC’s philanthropic work is something that Weaver is particularly proud of, and further highlights his and his employees’ commitment to helping others. Organizations that they’ve supported include: Make-a-Wish Foundation, Cancer Support Community Central NJ, Growing Hearts of Africa, and more.
“It’s so important to give back,” Weaver says. “During the course of my life there have been so many people that have helped me. I look upon [giving back] as something that I should do, I want to do, and something that I am passionate about.”
About Ralph Weaver
Ralph founded East West Connection (EWC) in 1990 and has built the company into a diverse global organization. Ralph formerly headed East West Consulting, which specialized in marketing communications and public relations. He held leadership positions in marketing communications and public relations for pharmaceutical and healthcare industry companies including Johnson & Johnson and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
About East West Connection (EWC)
EWC is a full-service meetings, events and incentive trips company with a track record of excellence spanning over 28 years. EWC has established a presence around the world delivering unique and memorable experiences. EWC is an industry leader having produced thousands of domestic and international meetings, from strategic concept to successful completion that are designed and tailored to meet its client’s business goals and objectives. EWC’s motto, we “Collaborate. Communicate. Create.” is not just a tagline; it lives at the core of its company culture, in its processes, and is its promise to clients. For more information please visit eastwestconnection.com or call (908) 713-9655.
About New Jersey Business
NJB is an award-winning magazine and the Garden State’s longest-standing business publication. Published monthly, with over 111,000* readers, no other statewide business publication has our reach and influence. We reach some of the most influential executive and legislative decision makers throughout New Jersey. Ninety-four percent of our readers hold key management positions and control the destiny of their firms. Blanket coverage also extends to the Governor and his staff, the State Senate and Assembly and to a majority of government officials on the county and municipal levels.