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If you have been out in the Providence nightlife within the past 8 years, chances are you have seen this familiar face, Donelle Wilson.
Donelle has been a night club General Manager in the city of Providence for about 8 years and HotInRI would like all of our loyal followers to salute this hardworking gentleman when you see him out. Anyone who has had the chance to work with Donelle knows how professional and dedicated he is to ensure all of the clientele he works with has the best experience possible. We had a chance to sit down with Donelle and learn about his experiences and how he got to where is today.
Please introduce to our audience
My name is Donelle Wilson. I’ve been a Night Club General Manager in the city of Providence for 8 years. I’m currently the Bar Manager and Front of House Manager at Fete Music Hall - a live music venue in Olneyville.
Let’s start with your history where have you manage prior to Fete
In 2007 I started off as the General Manager at the Providence Black Repertory Company - a non-profit public arts organization geared towards public programming and community youth outreach.
While working at the Black Rep, I was offered the opportunity to work with the City of Providence to be the Bar Manager and Special Events Coordinator for a major music festival called Sound Session. Sound Session was a week long arts and music festival held in the heart of the city of Providence once a year during the summer. Sound Session brought people from all over the globe to Providence, and I was able to learn so much from the patrons and the people I worked with. After that incredible opportunity, my career took off fro there.
In 2010 I moved on to be the General Manager of Food & Beverage at Forbidden City in Providence’s historic Federal Hill. In 2011 I was given the opportunity to be the General Manager of Lot 401, another hot venue in Providence.
Finally, in April of 2012, i was offered the opportunity to have a management position at Fete Music. I became the Bar Manager and also Front of House Manager at Fete, and haven’t left since.
Let’s talk about you experience with riyp what is it and what did you there
Throughout my earlier years in management, I had the pleasure of working with the Rhode Island Young Professionals Organization. I worked with their socials and galas and other events. In 2012, RIYP presented both my mentor Henry Mu and myself with the Rhode Island Young Professionals Award for our participation with their organization.
In 2012 you got started at Fete how did you get your foot in the door at fete
Throughout the years of working in nightlife, I was able to establish some wonderful connections with some amazing people. While working in the nightlife industry, I had the pleasure of working with people like Lizzie Araujo, who was the general manager of Fete at the time. They offered me the opportunity of a lifetime - a management position at Fete. Fete opened its doors in October of 2011 and I started in April of 2012. It has been an amazing journey and I am happy I was able to see Fete grow so much, and I was able to grow with it. My great work reputation with people along with my experience in nightlife management allowed me to excel at Fete and I have been here ever since.
What type events do you have at fete
Fete hosts a variety of different shows and events. Live rock, heavy metal, raves, Latin events, tattoo conventions, sneaker festivals, street art festivals, weddings, bat mitzvah, live wrestling and more! You name it, Fete hosts it!
Most people love crowds but hate people, you seem to have no issue with that. what make you so unique in having the ability to be serene in that environment
Honestly, I have to say that I have been extremely lucky with the crowds I have worked with. The ability to be serene in this environment comes from the past experiences I have had. Whether they were negative or positive, I was always able to learn from them and adapt to any environment.
What was one of the wildest thing you experience working the night life
Hands down, I would have to say my wildest experience was managing a swingers night. I will keep it at that…
Who was the best artists that you work with
The best artist I’ve had the pleasure of working with was Chronixx. If you don’t know him, make sure you check him out - he is a huge Reggae star from Jamaica. Chronixx performed a sold out show at Fete in July of 2014 and it was pleasure to work with him and be able to see him perform live.
Why working at fete is so ideal for you
Fete is the ideal place for a person like me because I enjoy meeting and working with people from all over the world. I’ve worked with artist and bands from Canada, Japan, Australia, Hawaii, Jamaica and all across the United States. With Providence being the capital of the smallest state in the US, it becomes a destination and many people from different places travel here. Fortunately, many of them come to shows at Fete and I get to interact with them. I get asked many times what life is like in the smallest state, and my answer is always that it is great thanks to the live music scene we have.
ACCORD TO OUR RESEARCH YOU HAVE WON DIFFERENT AWARDS PLEASE SHARE THE DETAILS
Like previously mentioned, in 2012, my mentor Henry Mu and I were presented with the Rhode Island Young Professionals Award for our great work we did with their organization.
In 2014 I was presented with an award from my community for being one of the founders of a great non profit organization for kids. Through this organization, we brought after school sports, community outreach initiatives and mentor ship programs for kids ages 5-17.
WHAT IS THE LONG TERM GOAL FOR YOU
I would love to own my own restaurant and nightclub. I am working on that right now and I hope the people I’ve worked with throughout all these years will come and support it.
HOW CAN PEOPLE REACH YOU
AND FEEL FREE TO GIVE ANY SHOUT OUT
I truly believe I wouldn’t be where I am today in this industry if it wasn’t for my mentors Donald King, Lizzie Araujo, and Henry Mu. They taught me so much when I was young and believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself, It has been an honor to have the opportunity to learn the business from them. Also, I would like to give a shout out to, Amanda Ronchi, Dan MacKnight, Nicholas Petrarca and the whole Fete Music staff along with all the promoters, DJs, bartenders and everyone I’ve worked with throughout these past 8 years. Also to all the members, parents and kids of the cbaa organization we love working with our kids in the community. Finally,a huge shout out to HotInRI.com and Madir Wear for always supporting not only myself, but also all of the best nightlife Providence has to offer.
For those who doesn’t know please introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Kali Mequinonoag Reis, I am 28yrs old from Providence Rhode Island and I am the first Native American female world champion boxer out of new England. I am mixed with Cape Verdian as well. I represent the Seaconke Wampanoag tribe and am also of Nipmuc Cherokee heritage. I fight for all nations.
I have a purpose and a reason to fight that is greater than myself. I fight my ancestors before me and for the future of my people.
You started boxing at the age of 15, most girls at that age was discovering makeup to beautify their face, you was training to crush faces, why boxing over make up?
I had plenty of eye shadow make up thru boxing with the occasional black eyes I received lol! I was never a “girly girl”. My mother, being a beautiful woman of poise grace and a student of professional dance for 18 years, of course tried with the dresses and ballet lessons with me. However, I would just end up climbing up in a tree somewhere, playing football with the boys or making a fort out in the woods out of ANYTHING. I always liked the challenge of sports. The glittery Barbie doll crap never caught my attention plus I didn’t like the type of attention that came with “dressing up”. Looking or being pretty meant that the boys wouldn’t respect me as being an equal competitor or they just wanted one thing and I wasn’t having that! I started boxing because I was intrigued about the type of responsibility and discipline that came with it. It’s not a team sport. It’s just you and your opponent in there. You solely depend on yourself which is a feeling I’m very familiar with. It was a healthy addiction for me and I wasn’t a “girl” I was a fighter just like everyone else in the gym.
Tells about that July when you finally walked into Manfredo Jr gym. Was that like when they say in business “when the needle hit the vain” moment for you?
Walking into the gym I already knew boxing was what I wanted to do. When I saw the fighters working out in a hot sweaty gym on a sweltering summer day, no fans no ac just hard work I saw a challenge and I wanted it. This is where dreams like mine were
In your first fight you got a bloody nose, why not stop, I tried it, Im good. Why pursue?
I’m not a quitter. I wanted to know what I had to do to NOT get another bloody nose and give bloody noses. Trust me getting punched in the face multiple times in front of hundreds of people isn’t fun lol.
I have tons of pride but this seemed to humble the crap out of me. There was a way not to get punched and be a accurate puncher. I wanted to learn. It just made my love for this art even stronger. It is most definitely a sweet science and I want to master it.
Whose your favorite boxer and why them, is it their heart, style, fame, or determination?
I like a lot of different fighters for they’re different styles. I like to pick stuff from a lot of fighters not one fighter does everything right lol. I love Lucia Rijker! She is an awesome fighter In all styles she fights.
She came into boxing when female boxing was hot. She is just a true warrior and she knows her craft very well. She’s not cocky about it but she is very confident in her skills and ability to get the job done. She’s humble. She respects the art of combat. And she hits with the force of a freight train!
You was recently trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr. How was that? did you have to be an open book to implement the knowledge he was teaching you?
That was an experience only few get to have and I am so blessed to have had the opportunity. It was surreal and yet so natural. We share the passion of a sport. He loves to teach I love to learn and he is full of that good ol’ school knowledge. I definitely had to be extra sharp and open to catch on to all he was dishing out. It was great! I believe in getting the teachings and perspectives of different trainers. Having one view isn’t the best way to be a well rounded fighter.
When people talk about your opponent like that. Do you go in your mind like I have to be on my A game, or do you be like Mr.T in Rocky 3.. My prediction for Christina is “Pain” or a little bit of both?
Theres a certain type of mental balance in general you have. I respect every fighter who steps into that ring and don’t put anything past anyone. Anything can happen in that ring so I make sure I train accordingly. I prepare myself physically and mentally. I do everything needed to get the best out of myself. My mind set is and will always remain “she bleeds blood and breathes air just like I do... She’s not immortal...she doesn’t want it more than I do”. I know what I’m up against so I hope she does.
You waited for a fight like this for years..are you ready?
F*%$ YEA IM READY!!! LoL I’m not going over there to loose. I earned my “stripes” and fought my way to be a world champ so I want to continue by being a multi world champ! You should be asking her if she’s ready
On a lighter note you and Laila Ali got in the ring who would win?
Well first off HAAYYY MISS ALI lol I would be honored to fight Laila . She’s a few weight class’s heavier but hey I’m game! Laila got what she wanted out the game, I haven’t gotten everything yet, I’m hungry! so the only way to answer that is to start signing some contracts right?!