|Client O'Neill Properties Group||Provided Event Planning + Organization|
|Project World Leadership Guest Series||Year 2005|
To generate unprecedented interest of both current and prospective members by demonstrating the uniqueness of O’Neill Properties Group’s newest asset, The Carnegie Abbey Club, a private sporting estate located in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, just north of Newport.
Muhlenhaupt was brought on board by O’Neill Chairman, J. Brian O’Neill, to personally assist him in coordinating all efforts surrounding the integration of the newly acquired property into the O’Neill organization, simultaneously polishing its established brand as one of the most highly coveted club memberships in the Northeast.
Collaborating directly with Mr. O’Neill, Rip Muhlenhaupt created the concept of “The World Leadership Guest Series” through which the Club would invite the foremost American and global leaders of the time to come to the Club, to enjoy its many amenities and share personal time with the Club’s members, their families and friends at invitation-only cocktail parties and extravagant dinners. The Club’s facilities, O’Neill’s adjacent Carnegie Tower and Cottages properties, Newport’s famed Bellevue Avenue mansions and Mr. O’Neill’s own Newport home, located just off Bellevue Avenue, were to be exploited for the enjoyment of members and their guests as part of the Series.
Enjoying Former President George H.W. Bush The first leader to be invited was former United State President, George H.W. Bush. On an absolutely picture-perfect mid-July afternoon – with only four weeks’ advance planning – some 500 Club members and their guests sat down to dinner with the former president in a beautifully decorated tent positioned alongside the Narragansett Bay. The fanfare provided by local Revolutionary War interpreters, band members and artillery as Mr. Bush and Mr. and Mrs. O’Neill entered the tent was followed by dinner and the guest-of-honor’s humorous and poignant remarks. Then, the fireworks began: a pyrotechnics display the likes of which Aquidneck Island had never before experienced!
Selection of local Newport talent to provide appropriate entertainment reflecting Clinton’s personal interests and presidential legacy, establishing protocols for member interactions for photographs and book signings as well as global media coverage, and, of course, arrangements for serving a magnificent dinner and an even-bigger-and-better fireworks extravaganza were all simply part of the requirement for success. Unquestionably, success was most definitely achieved!