top of page
Wedding Table Set


We’re a Dedicated Bunch

Our Team.

We are a family-owned venue that has over 40 years of combined experience in the event industry. The service, attention to detail, and concern that we exemplify with every interaction and execution is unmatched. We not only care about your event, but also you as an individual. Everyone we meet is welcomed with open arms, and we hope to get the opportunity to make your beautiful day a memorable one at a venue on the ridge.


Phil Bilek

Event Manager

Shannon Hertel


Venue Tree-BM.jpg


When Bob and Amy purchased The Ridge Banquet Facility in 2019, now, A Venue on the Ridge, they were walking the property taking everything in.  Amy stopped Bob under the tree and said, “This is it; This tree is our foundation and represents us”.

Amy and Bob have strong Irish roots and in the tree on top of the ridge they saw the Celtic tree of life.  The branches reaching upward, and the roots firmly planted and spreading out into the earth, that which links us all as family.  It is thought that the tree of life provides shelter, food, and warmth through firewood.

Since 2007, when Bob started catering at The Ridge Banquet Facility, Bob and Amy have witnessed multitudes of wedding couples and families posing under the tree that sits on the top of the ridge as you look to the East.  

As guests stand under the tree at A Venue on the Ridge, we take pride in knowing that we are providing guests with memories of a couples first meal together, celebrations of years passed, bright future endeavors, reunions with loved ones, and friendship.



Owners & Caterers

Bob Freshman is an Omaha native who has spent his adult years filling his entrepreneurial heart.  Bob has two adult children, Robby and Julia, and one grandson, Landon.  Bob and his family spent many years providing long term care to the Omaha and the Glenwood, Iowa areas.  Bob also enjoyed multiple years in the car business around Omaha and Nebraska City.  Bob discovered his passion for cooking early in his life.  He often tells the story of his babysitter teaching him to cook an egg at the age of five.

From this passion of cooking Bob discovered the gift of sharing this love with others when he started catering over 30 years ago.  Bob expanded on this love for cooking when he purchased Phoenix Food and Spirits on 120th and Blondo in 2006 and opened Phoenix Food and Spirits 370 on 132nd and HWY 370 in 2014.  Bob has personally been the exclusive caterer at The Ridge Banquet Facility since 2007.  In 2019,  Bob and his wife, Amy, purchased The Ridge Banquet Facility now, A Venue on the Ridge.

Amy Freshman is an Elkhorn Antler Alum.  She and her family moved to the Elkhorn area when she was 13.  Amy spent over 20 years in corporate America in sales and management.  In 2013, Amy went back to school at the University of Nebraska at Omaha where she earned her Master of Arts in Communication and Graduate Certificate in Human Resources and Training.  In addition to supporting the family business, Amy is a full-time instructor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. 

Like her husband, Bob, Amy has a similar passion for entertaining.  Early in Amy’s life she discovered her passion for cooking and decorating.  Over the years, Amy has served on several volunteer committees and organizations, as well as supporting Bob in his business ventures. 

Bob and Amy met several years ago when a mutual friend introduced them, and they invited Amy to a dinner party.  Bob and Amy developed a friendship that grew into love.  Bob and Amy married on December 14, 2008 at The Ridge Banquet Facility on what was the coldest night of the year.  The two created a home in the Elkhorn area where they reared Amy’s son, Blake Worsham.

Bob and Amy have always been focused on their “family” owned businesses.  In fact, they are not only family owned but family ran.  You will often find multiple family members on staff from Amy’s mom, dad, son, nieces and nephew to Bob’s son, sister and brothers.  Bob and Amy remain focused on fueling their locally and family owned business.


Event Manager

Tawnya is an Event Manager for A Venue on the Ridge.  Originally from California, Tawnya and her family came to Omaha in 2011. For the past 20 years, Tawnya has spent her career in a variety of industries including finance, mortgage, technology, and the service industry. She came to A Venue on the Ridge through the family of businesses under Bob and Amy and did not want to leave.  Her passion for customer service and treating each event as if it was her own makes her a valued addition to the A Venue on the Ridge team.  

Tawnya has two bachelor’s degrees, the first in Business Management from California University and the second in Project Management from Bellevue University.   She enjoys using her project management skills for producing each event.  Tawnya’s favorite events include weddings and graduations, she truly believes to be part of these special days that are the start of the next chapter in a couple or a graduate’s life is something special to be a part of, and to make it sparkle for them is a feeling of joy and excitement.


Event Manager

Phil has had a career in the catering and banquet business for over 25 years. A Westside High School alum, Phil graduated from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. His passion for service began at the Red Lion Inn in downtown Omaha as a banquet server and working his way to Banquet Manager. He was called upon to help open the Westin Aquila Hotel, currently the Magnolia, in the position of Banquet manager - Assistant Food and Beverage Manager.  He then was a part of the management team that opened the Hilton downtown, Nebraska’s largest full-service hotel. 

Over the years, Phil has managed all kinds of events from big to small, formal to casual, weddings, anniversaries, reunions and everything in between. Phil has a true passion for taking care of people and making sure that all their needs are met. It all boils down to doing what he loves most; Taking care of people, by listening to what they want to accomplish, and delivering on every detail.

Devon Gottsch

General Manager

Devon comes to us with professional experience in the Omaha wedding world. (But she has been associated with A Venue On the Ridge since she was 14, keep reading to find out how!)


She graduated from UNL, and obtained her degrees in Management and Communication. At A Venue On the Ridge, Devon specializes in a high attention to design, event management, client relationships, and oversees our entire team and operation.

“I wanted to take a moment to formally introduce myself. My name is Devon Gottsch, and I will be the new Manager, and your point of contact for A Venue On the Ridge.

I have many new faces to meet, and I am excited to do so!

This position and company are incredibly special to me because A Venue On the Ridge, as a matter of fact, was my first job when I was 14. I glamorously scraped dishes in the kitchen during events, dreaming of being an integral part of someone's big day. Now, over ten years later, I have reached my full-circle moment coming back as their General Manager. Since my dish scraping days are long gone, I am ready to put my high-level event experience to use. I am thrilled to continue doing what I love at A Venue on the Ridge.

In my free time I LOVE to cook and garden….especially cook with the resources from my garden. My partner and I built garden boxes, and we take great pride in our plants!! I am also a sucker for musical theater and my cat, Dany. I’m SO ready for Fall and Halloween, it’s the best time of year!

I am incredibly honored to have been offered this position. Bob and Amy are the most wonderful humans and owners. I have so many new faces and clients to still meet—let’s get this party started!”

bottom of page