About Me

Casey Grove has led a fascinating and diverse life, knowing how to live it to the fullest. At only 44 years old, he is the Director of Catering Sales & Strategic Development at Penn State University. The recent appointment only gives you a small peak behind the curtain, as he had many trials and tribulations in his corporate ladder climb towards the height of the hospitality industry. 

He also exemplifies the American dream that anything is possible. One of his many hobbies drew special attention from the general public. His fervent adoration of the strategy and fun that board games can have for one's enjoyment and development inspired him to make his own board games to play with his colleagues, friends, and family. One of these was a hit, as he is credited with being the owner of the popular game "The Big Fat Tomato Game," which is suitable for all ages 8 and up. 

Grove worked his way up from the bottom and is an inspiration to those who feel they are not progressing quickly enough in the country. His consistent success demonstrates that speed is not always a necessity and that with enough hard work and relationship-building, you can get to your desired position in any industry you work towards. During his post-secondary school years at Penn State University, where he majored in Communications and Telecommunications Management, Casey Grove would start his career as a dishwasher, only working part-time. He did this to get some spending money while he was in school, as well as to help pay for his years of education. 

He eventually earned his degree in 2000 but decided that life in the hospitality industry suited him. He worked his way up the corporate ladder, eventually focusing on full-service catering in higher education and hotels. He found his degree useful during the event management portion of the service, as he was able to become the conference services technician, an extremely pivotal role in ensuring the smooth running of the event at hand. He also earned a certificate from the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences for his specialization in audio recording engineering, making Casey an expert in event management, sales, catering, and audio engineering. 

It wasn't long before he was appointed Event Services Manager at his alma mater, deciding that the institution that had taught him might be the best employer for his full-time position, leveraging his skills. In 2010, he left to become the General Manager at a catering and event rental location. 

In 2017, Casey decided he would return to the place where it all started, being offered a position as the General Manager of Campus Catering at Penn State University. He was more than happy to return to the educational institution that taught him the skills necessary to further his career development. After four years in the role, he has recently been promoted to the Director of Catering and Strategic Development & Sales. He has been a prominent member of the hospitality industry since 1996. 

Grove enjoys many aspects of his career, but loves to inspire the youth of tomorrow by working with student hospitality interns to achieve what they desire. 

Although he leads a highly fulfilling and successful professional life, Casey Grove has taken an interest in many hobbies, chief of which is sharing his love of board games and time with his family. He relishes the competition that can be extracted from board games, as it can bring everyone together for a healthy amount of challenge and reconnection. Ultimately, it brings him and his friends and loved ones great joy. Throughout the years, he decided to make his board games in genres that either weren't fully explored or didn't deliver the intended results. 

One particular game, The Big Fat Tomato Game, was a hit with both his inner and outer circle. The game was simple enough to be understood but intricate enough so that it was challenging to master and always provided a novel experience for the players. Gamewright, one of the leading national board game publishers, released the game to the public on behalf of Casey. It has been endorsed multiple times and has won the following awards: 

Board Game Designer Awards:

Parent's Choice A National Parenting Seal of Approval Recommendation 

Dr. Toy's Top 10 Games of the Year:

Major Amusement Award 

Tillywig receives the Top Fun Award 

The game's objective is simple; players must harvest the most tomatoes on the board while also defending their crops from intruders. This can include varmints, pestering weeds, and even tomato zombies. Many other critters, such as flying hippos and the remote-controlled mole, inhabit the game. Various silly attributes appeal to children, such as commencing with the players who can "make" their faces resemble a tomato with the most accuracy and the whimsicality of the critters. It also has a strategic aspect that can appeal to all ages, including a turn-based "round" system where you can play certain development, defense, and economic cards to grow and maintain your tomato patch. 

Although the major success of "The Big Fat Tomato Game" has gone viral, even translated into multiple languages, Casey Grove was not one to continue in the spotlight. While the fame and recognition of his game were extraordinary, he preferred to think of it as an extension of his own values so that families have the ability to get together and connect in a meaningful way. 

Always an adventurer at heart, Casey loves to explore the great outdoors. He has astonishingly hiked the entirety of the Grand Canyon with his family and has backpacked through many countries throughout Europe. He picked up his hobby of collecting rocks at a young age, so much so that he actively goes out and searches for unique gemstones and rocks. The ones he wants to keep are then polished, maintained, and subsequently added to his collection.


Casey Grove Penn State Portfolio