Ever wonder what the most powerful leaders, business execs and celebrities keep on their desks? Well, we’re about to tell you. Our biweekly “What’s on My Desk” feature takes a look inside the offices and at the desks of the world’s most influential power players.
This week we’ve featured Barry Peterson, Director of Catering and Conference Services at the luxurious St. Regis San Francisco Hotel. He has earned hospitality’s highest honor throwing gatherings and celebrations for San Francisco’s elite.
Here, Peterson gives us a look at the essential items that he keeps on his desk at all times:
- Art Print—Hung just above my desk, this original print is the work of one of San Francisco’s prominent political figures. I received the print nearly two months ago as a gift from the artist— a token of our work together and a “thank you” for the numerous events I hosted for her and her friends.
- Contemporary Art Books – Art is so integral to The St. Regis San Francisco given its location—the SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Museum of the African Diaspora, and Contemporary Jewish Museum are all within a block’s distance. Whether sifting through my stacks of glossy art books, being stimulated by the hotel’s own extensive contemporary art collection or soaking in the creative energy of the area, the array of art I’m exposed to inspires my work on a daily basis. Some of my favorite artists include Manuel Neri, Mark Bradford, Martin Puryear and Cindy Sherman.
- Framed Photos of My Dogs— We’re all prone to work-related stress and in an effort to keep things in perspective, it’s important to bring a little bit of home to work. I do so with photos of my beloved pets. Coco, Elektra and Gracie are my three Jack Russell Terriers, ranging in age from 1 to 18 years.
- Framed Artwork of Cocktails— These companion pieces by P.N. Draper, titled Whiskey 1 and 2 (1971) are large format watercolor renderings of rocks glasses with whiskey and ice. A quick glance at these always reminds me it’s 5 O’clock somewhere!
- Piles of files – On the left of my desk, I have a stack of files devoted to upcoming events while completed events are kept in the pile of files to the right. “Why keep the dated files?” you may ask. In my work, I often find that the completion of an event is often accompanied by a sense of withdrawal. I cherish relationships with my clients and keep fond memories after projects come to an end. Plus past events can be wonderful inspiration – one great idea leads to another.
- Recycling Bin – Under my desk, I keep a recycling bin. Though I generate a ton of paper, in true San Franciscan form, I am truly fanatical about recycling!