Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place executives nominated for industry awards

Garth Brooks at Van Andel Arena on May 12, 2016
This December, Venues Today magazine will be presenting its “most prestigious award,” the Hall of Headlines, with SMG receiving a record 14 nominations, including four executives from Grand Rapids. The categories featured in the nominations include News, Bookings, Operations and Tech, Marketing, and Concessions with SMG nominated in all 5 categories.

Rich MacKeigan, General Manager for SMG at Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place was nominated for bookings for breaking multiple venue records including Garth Brooks’ record for most tickets sold for a single engagement and Paul McCartney’s record for gross ticket sales for a single event.
Hilarie Szarowicz, Director of Marketing at Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place was nominated for hosting a Facebook promotion encouraging people to share their favorite event memory and/or photo using hashtag #MyVAA20 in honor of the 20th Anniversary of Van Andel Arena. The promotion was intended to build awareness of the arena’s 20th anniversary while capturing user content for use in future marketing materials. The campaign resulted in 41,599 people reached, 1,300+ memories (comments) posted, 844 reactions and 118 shares.

In the Concessions category, Jeff Dubin, Director of Food & Beverage for SAVOR at Van Andel Arena, was nominated for introducing a new take on the everyday salad bar called a “Living Salad Bar” for the bands, staff and crew of the “San Francisco Fest Tour,” featuring rock bands Journey, The Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason Aug. 2, 2016.

"Living Salad Bar"
The Living Salad Bar featured several types of lettuces and kales with all of the typical salad ingredients, with the exception that the lettuce is still alive. In order to provide the freshest salad possible, staff and crew snip their lettuce fresh off the plant before placing it on their plate.

For the Operations and Tech category, SMG’s Eddie Tadlock, Assistant General Manager at DeVos Place, was nominated for efforts to decrease energy usage by 6.03 percent by installing new equipment and reducing wasted resources resulting in the venue finishing second in the 2nd annual Michigan Battle of the Buildings Energy Summit.

In total, 14 SMG executives were nominated across all five categories of the awards. Other SMG executives nominated are listed below.

Bookings category:
  • Leonard Bonacci, Regional Vice President at University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, AZ 
  • Lynn Carlotto, General Manager at Rogers K-Rock Centre in Kingston, Ontario, Canada 
  • Jerry Goldman, Assistant General Manager at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN 
  • Jeff Nickler, General Manager at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK 
  • Chris Semrau, Assistant General Manager at the Denny Sanford Premier Center, in Sioux Falls, SD 
Marketing category:
  • Josh Kesler, Marketing & Sales Manager at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville, KY 
  • Steve Poremba, Director of Marketing at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, PA 
  • Meghan Doyle, Director of Marketing at the BOK Centre in Tulsa, OK 
Concessions category:
  • Mark Anderson, General Manager and Vice President of Premier Food Services in Del Mar, CA 
News category:
  • Eduardo Cajina, General Manager at the Coliseo of Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico