Swimming next to crocodiles? Traversing giant rock formations? Boogie-boarding on whitewater rapids?
It’s all part of the job for Peter “Spida” Everett, a longtime star in the Australian Football League, and his wife, Sheree. As hosts of the hit TV and radio show “The Great Australian Doorstep,” the couple explores the country’s unique destinations and take on whatever adventure they find along the way.
Past destinations have included Australia’s natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock, as well as many of the charming small towns that dot the countryside. Wherever they go, the couple travel by car or RV, soaking up the land’s distinct character and meeting locals along the way.
From one episode to the next, the couple could be hiking Kings Canyon in the Northern Territory or exploring the wild and majestic Kimberley region in Western Australia. In recent years, they’ve ventured beyond the Great Down Under, filming episodes in New Zealand, China, Canada and the state of Alaska in the U.S.
Now in its tenth season, the show’s unique mix of cultural exploration and thrill-seeking has clearly struck a chord with audiences. The program is a staple on the television station 7TWO and on more than 40 radio stations across Australia. The show recently broke into the Chinese market, where they’ve inked a five-year deal with China Central Television, and have become the first Australian travel show to be picked up by iTunes.
Those remarkable achievements earned the admiration of jurors for The 14th Annual International Business Awards, which featured nearly 4,000 nominees. “The Great Australian Doorstep” came away with the Bronze Stevie in the Travel and Tourism Video Awards category.
“With his steely determination, Spida has taken on some of Australia’s biggest travel media outlets and come out on top,” says Sheree, deflecting her own sizeable contribution to the show’s success.
Everett’s 16-year football career, in which he played for the St. Kilda Saints, Hawthorn Hawks and Sydney Swans, provided the kind of fame that certainly helps when you’re pitching a new media venture.
But Sheree insists his high profile could also be an obstacle at times, especially when the pair would try to garner seed money. “People would often say, ‘Oh, he has millions. We don’t need to support him,’” she says. But after a costly divorce, she says, that wasn’t the case.
As a result, the couple had to take on considerable financial risk to make their venture work. “When he retired, we put our entire life savings and have worked tirelessly, often with little support from the industry,” she says.
It’s fitting then, that the show caters to audience members who are looking to travel on a budget. Rather than flying from place to place and booking luxury hotels, the Everetts opt for the modest confines of an RV park and favor unpretentious local establishments. That stripped-down approach has also made the program more fun they say, allowing them to interact with everyday people and experience the countryside up close.
The attention the show is receiving is just icing on the cake, they insist. The Stevie® Award, in particular, plays a major role in helping to boost the program’s profile, says Sheree.
“It has given us higher global exposure as well as huge applause from media and travel industry personnel here in Australia,” she explains.
And its proof, she insists, of what can happen when you believe in your ideas and are willing to work through the struggles. “It’s about focus, vision, hard work and never losing sight of the big goal,” Everett says.
The Stevie Awards Blog
Swimming next to crocodiles? Traversing giant rock formations? Boogie-boarding on whitewater rapids?
From identifying the target audience, to planning the event concept and preparing the logistics, Parker Sanpei loves creating promotional events to help companies broadcast their message effectively. They’re a luxury, lifestyle firm focused on public relations, advertising and marketing, celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. They focus their creativity, ingenuity, integrity and energy into positive results for clients. This work ethic led them to win the Silver Stevie Award for Travel and Tourism in The 15th annual American Business Awards.
A Complete 360° Approach
Finding the right audience for product promotions with diverse ideas for each product can be a satisfying challenge. Vanessa Igel is the Account Executive at Parker Sanpei—she leads strategic media relations campaigns across multiple industries, including the food and beverage, travel and lifestyle industries. She’s excited about her team’s win in the Travel and Tourism category for the International Chardonnay Symposium project that was a smash success.
“International Chardonnay Symposium has allowed us the opportunity to re-engage with many local community partners, and this award could possibly allow us approval from the board to host another event of its kind in 2018.”
Parker Sanpei’s expertise in media outreach lead to widespread pre-event coverage of the Symposium and of the Alliance as a whole. The firm measured 28.6 million media impressions in nine months and reception into regional and national publications such as: Examiner.com, The Modesto Bee, The Press Democrat, WineBusiness.com, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Industry Advisor, Food & Beverage magazine, Napa Valley Register, The SOMM Journal, The Tasting Panel magazine and others. As a result of these efforts, the second year Symposium sold out within a month of opening registration.
The Parker Sanpei team knows that passion drives performance and it is this knowledge that compels them to seek a partnership with select clients. Vanessa used an example to speak to their strategy to make meaningful connections in their community.
“With the International Chardonnay Symposium: we took a dead, one-day event and turned it into an international, must-attend, three-day event, partnering with the local community for lodging, food, etc.”
For Parker Sanpei, communication is as much about hearing what’s being said as it is about saying something. Whether you’re referring to public relations, marketing, website design or account management, success is only achieved with open dialogue.
10 Years of Shared Success
Parker Sanpei has been advancing the standard of lifestyle, public relations and marketing since 2007. They’re now excited to be celebrating their 10-year anniversary with interactive and educational events. Vanessa details how you can get involved with their upcoming workshops.
“In celebration of our 10-year anniversary, we're giving back to the community with 10 communication workshops in 10 months. Seating is limited, so register early to participate in these interactive and educational events.”
Nominees in the 2017 IBAs were not able to apply for the Best of the IBA Awards directly. Winners were determined by a points system based on the total number of awards won in the IBAs with a Gold Stevie win counting for three points, a Silver Stevie for two points and a Bronze Stevie win for one-and-a-half points.
This year’s Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners in The International Business Awards were announced on 10 August. The winners of the Best of the IBA Awards will be presented with Grand Stevie Award trophies at The 14th Annual International Business Awards banquet at the W Hotel in Barcelona, Spain on 21 October.
Winners of the 2017 Grand Stevie Awards are:
Most Honored Organization: With 120 award points earned by Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie-winning entries submitted by affiliated agencies and offices around the world, the global communications consultancy MSLGROUP is the winner of the Grand Stevie Award trophy for Most Honored Organization of the year. MSLGROUP earned Stevies for the work done by offices from Canada, China, India, Japan, the USA and other nations, for clients as diverse as home improvement retailer Home Depot, Chinese electronics giant Huawei, and Indian consumer goods manufacturer Marico Ltd., among others.
Most Honored Public Relations Agency: With a total of 77 points earned by Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie-winning entries submitted by their agencies and offices in Latin America, Spain and the USA, communications consultants LLORENTE & CUENCA is the winner of the Grand Stevie Award trophy for Most Honored Public Relations Agency of the year.
Most Honored Marketing Agency: With a total of 38.5 points earned by Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie-winning entries on behalf of clients, South Korean marketing agency HANAROADCOM is the winner of the Grand Stevie Award trophy for Most Honored Marketing Agency of the year.
Most Honored Interactive Services Agency: With 23.5 points for Stevies won on behalf of clients including L’OCCITANE, Sino Hotels and Watsons Water, Hong Kong-based PRIZM is the winner of the Grand Stevie Award trophy for Most Honored Interactive Services Agency of the year for the second year in a row.
Top 10: These are the top Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie winners among all other organizations honored in the 2017 IBAs. They’ll also be presented with Grand Stevie Award trophies.
1. CallidusCloud—Dublin, CA, USA (84 points)
2. Telkom Indonesia—Jakarta (72.5)
3. Cisco Systems—worldwide (67)
4. ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller—Dubai, United Arab Emirates (56.5)
5. Deutsche Post DHL—worldwide (55.5)
6. Weber Shandwick—worldwide (53)
7. PT Petrokimia Gresik—Gresik, Indonesia (42.5)
8. PJ Lhullier Group of Companies—Makati City, Philippines (35)
9. Odea Bank A.S. —Istanbul, Turkey (31)
10. Ooredoo—worldwide (30 points)
“Of all the outstanding organizations and achievements that were recognized among this year’s record-breaking number of IBA nominations, these 14 organizations stand out as the ones with the widest breadth of achievement,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards. “The Best of the IBA Awards are intended to honor organizations that show an especially strong dedication to honoring the work of their employees, the commitment of their clients, and a sense of innovation, and we look forward to celebrating these firms with Grand Stevie Award trophies at our gala event in Barcelona on 21 October.”
The International Business Awards feature a wide variety of categories to recognize achievement in every facet of work life, including management awards, new product awards, marketing awards, PR awards, customer service awards, website awards and more.
Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements in the 2017 IBAs were determined by the average scores of more than 200 professionals worldwide in the three-month judging process.
For more information about The International Business Awards, including a complete list of all Stevie Award winners in the 2017 competition, visit www.StevieAwards.com/IBA.
Business Awards Program to Celebrate Excellence Worldwide at Barcelona Event
High-achieving organizations and executives around the world have been recognized as Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie® Award winners in The 14th Annual International Business Awards, the world's only international, all-encompassing business awards program.
Nicknamed the Stevies from the Greek word "crowned," the awards will be presented at a gala event on Saturday, 21 October at the W Hotel in Barcelona, Spain. Tickets for the event are on sale now at www.StevieAwards.com/IBA.
Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie winners were selected from more than 3,900 nominations received from organizations and individuals in 60 nations. All organizations worldwide are eligible to compete in The International Business Awards, and can submit entries in a wide range of categories, including management awards, company of the year awards, marketing awards, public relations awards, customer service awards, human resources awards, new product awards, IT awards, web site awards and more.
More than 200 executives worldwide participated on 12 juries this year to determine the Stevie winners.
Among the top winners of Gold Stevie Awards are MSLGROUP, worldwide, with 13; Cisco Systems, worldwide (10); Weber Shandwick, worldwide (nine); CallidusCloud, Dublin, California USA (eight); Telkom Indonesia (eight); LLORENTE & CUENCA, Madrid, Spain (seven); and Deutsche Post DHL, worldwide, with six. Winners of five Gold Stevies include PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies, Makati City, Philippines; Property Exchange Australia Ltd, Melbourne, Australia; PT Petrokimia Gresik, Gresik, Indonesia; Thai Life Insurance, Bangkok, Thailand; and Yapi Kredi Bank, Istanbul, Turkey.
Other organizations with 10 or more Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie wins include, among others, ASDA'A Burson Marsteller, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; FIS, St. Petersburg, Florida USA; Jeunesse Global, Lake Mary, Florida USA; Marico Ltd, Mumbai, India; Odea Bank A.S., Istanbul, Turkey; Ooredoo Group, worldwide; and PRIZM, Hong Kong.
“We received a record number of nominations in the IBAs this year, and the judges were astounded by the inspiring stories of workplace success from all over the world,” said Stevie Awards founder and president Michael Gallagher. “We look forward to honoring the Stevie winners who join us in Barcelona on 21 October, and to sharing their stories with the world throughout the coming year on the Stevie Awards social media channels."
During the week of 21 August the winners of the Best of the IBA Awards, five best-of-competition prizes, will be announced. Winners will be determined by a tally of the total number of Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevies won by organizations, and will be presented with Grand Stevie Award trophies in Barcelona.
For high-resolution photos of the Stevie Award trophy or International Business Awards logo, visit http://stevieawards.com/iba/photos-and-logos. Other information and resources for press are available at http://stevieawards.com/iba/media-inquiries-news-service-list
Fauth Gundlach & Hübl is an owner-operated communications agency based in Wiesbaden, Germany. The sport of golf is firmly established in the Hessian capital, and that might be one of the reasons why the agency was given the lead in regional media relations work for the Final Four of the German Golf League (DGL).
It is much more likely, however, that Fauth Gundlach & Hübl impressed its customer, Deutsche Golf Sport GmbH, a subsidiary of the German Golf Association (DGV), with its core competency. Managing Director Lars Hübl explains: “We identify the subject matter and create suitable content for it, so that our customers can effectively communicate to their specific target groups. We provide consultation, bring ideas to life and implement them, and offer continuous support for communication-related questions. In doing so, we cover six competency fields: public relations, social media, content marketing, sponsoring communication, CSR communication and brand communication.” Among Fauth Gundlach & Hübl’s customers are international companies from various industries, companies from the Rhein-Main region and sports organizations.
In the public eye, golf in Germany continues to eke out an existence as a niche sport. The German Golf Association (DGV) represents 847 member clubs and facilities, with over 643,000 registered amateur golfers. With the KRAMSKI German Golf League presented by Audi (DGL), the association has had an attractive team competition system since 2013. Each year teams from the men’s and women’s top national league compete in a five-day Final Four tournament at a neutral golf course for the title “German Team Champion.”
The assignment for Fauth Gundlach & Hübl: use the Final Four 2016, in order to generate broader media coverage of the league. Lars Hübl: “In order to be able to generate broader media coverage, we had to considerably increase the basis of the media channels to be reached. Therefore, in addition to the classical golf media, our approach was to reach out to the sports desks of the regional and local media concerning the locations of the golf clubs that had qualified for the Final Four 2016.” To make the topic more interesting, the agency offered the editorial offices personalized stories about the respective teams. In addition, the editorial offices received written topic suggestions and were subsequently contacted by telephone.
“We have clearly achieved the goal of expanding the media coverage of the DGL’s Final Four with the campaign. Altogether more than 100 clippings – for example print, online and radio – were achieved in regional and local media,” summarizes Hübl. “Despite the low budget, Fauth Gundlach & Hübl has helped to increase the media coverage of the Final Four tournament by working with regional media outlets. The regional references and the storytelling approach have contributed significantly to the media success. At the same time, we have established contacts that can be used for coverage of future golf events. The basic approach can be used over and over again, even for changing participants and venues.”
As a reward for the project “Hole-in-one: regional media relations for the Final Four of the German Golf League,” the company won a Gold Stevie in the category “Communications or PR Campaign / PR Program of the Year – Low Budget (under €10,000).” The Gold Stevie Award arrived just in time for the agency’s 10th anniversary. What began in 2007 has grown within ten years into a motivated and harmonious team of 12 employees.
More on the Internet:
See Managing Director Lars Hübl in an interview after the German Stevie Awards ceremony in Hamburg: https://youtu.be/OaONyOFkDxg
Read the gold-winning application from Fauth Gundlach & Hübl here.
The Stevie® Awards, organizer of The International Business Awards, announced today that the final entry deadline for the 14th annual IBAs has been extended to Wednesday, July 12. Recognized as the world’s premier business awards program, The IBAs attract nominations from organizations in more than 50 nations and territories each year.
“We’ve received so many requests for individual deadline extensions that we’ve decided to extend the deadline for everyone,” said Stevie Awards president Michael Gallagher. The original final deadline was June 14. Gallagher emphasizes that no additional late fees will be charged for entries submitted through July 12, and late entries will not be penalized in any way in the judging process. All organizations now have an additional four weeks to prepare and submit their entries.
All individuals and organizations worldwide -- public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small -- may submit nominations to The International Business Awards. The 2017 awards will honor achievements since the beginning of 2016. Entry details are available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/IBA.
The International Business Awards recognize achievement in every facet of the workplace. Categories include:
- Management Awards
- Company of the Year Awards
- Customer Service Awards
- Human Resources Awards
- Information Technology Awards
- Marketing Awards
•New Product Awards
- Public Relations Awards
- Website Awards, Smartphone and Tablet Apps, and other Media Awards
A variety of new categories were introduced for the 2017 competition including Mobile Site & App Awards in recognition of the many organizations that deploy specially-designed mobile websites in lieu of apps. New website categories include Best User Experience and Best User Interface. Executive of the Year has been expanded to include Apparel, Beauty & Fashion and Consumer Services.
Stevie Award winners will be selected during the judging process by more than 150 professionals worldwide. Winners will be announced on August 10, and the awards will be presented at a gala awards ceremony at the W Hotel in Barcelona, Spain on October 21.
Online marketing moves at the speed of light. Customers, prospects and partners can be the lifeblood of a business, which is a sentiment that TopSpot Internet Marketing has set their sights on to differentiate themselves from other search marketing firms. As they become one of the fastest growing firms in Houston, Texas, their focus on accountability, transparency, collaboration, education and delivering meaningful results helped them win the Interactive Agency of the Year Award in The 2016 American Business Awards.
Winners in The 2017 American Business Awards were recently announced. Interested in submitting nominations for 2018? Request your entry kit here.
15 Wins and Counting
TopSpot first submitted Stevie Awards nominations in 2015, winning 15 Stevie Awards including last year’s Grand Stevie Award for the 2016 Interactive Agency of the Year. The Grand Stevie Award is the highest honor.
“Winning multiple awards for our work on websites we’ve designed and developed and then going on to win the Grand Stevie Award for Interactive Agency of the Year further solidified the fact that our efforts are meeting and exceeding industry standards in addition to driving leads for our clients.”
At TopSpot, their focal point is delivering meaningful results for their clients.
“Our culture is built around a quality-focused approach, both in our work & our customer service. Our team takes tremendous pride in having a positive impact on our clients' businesses.”
Big Changes for 2017 and Beyond
TopSpot expects to see many changes in their industry. As mobile search continues to increase and with Google’s announcement of the mobile first index, more websites built and optimized for mobile devices will take precedence.
“We are also seeing a rise in voice search because of devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. This is something we must take into consideration more and more when optimizing websites, making sure they are optimized for conversational searches.”
They also anticipate a greater importance on user experience with, “continued site speed monitoring, getting page load times down on all sites, which contributes to both user experience and organic rankings.”
It’s Not Just Digital Marketing
Director of SEO, John Varghese highlights a story about a client’s thankfulness that shouldn’t be overlooked, even when everything runs smoothly.
“He spoke to the entire company with a lot of thankfulness and communicated to us that we do more than just build websites, develop paid search campaigns or SEO, and that we helped him, his family, his employees and his employees families build their dreams. He went on to say that he was able to spend more time with his family and the charitable work he is involved in, employ more people, give raises, that his employees were able to send their kids to college, sometimes for the first time in their family history.” He said that, “Since that time we have an internal standard of asking if we are building dreams for our clients.”
Cisco Systems, FleishmanHillard and SHIFT Communications also among best-of-competition prize winners
The Stevie® Awards today announced the Grand Stevie Award winners in The 15th Annual American Business Awards, the top business awards program in the USA. Winners will be presented their Grand Stevie trophies at the ABA gala event on June 20 in New York.
The Grand Stevie Award trophies are best-of-competition prizes that are awarded to the organizations that submit the best body of nominations to the competition, in their own name or in the names of one or more clients.
Winners are determined by a points system based on the total number of awards won in the ABAs, with a Gold Stevie win counting for three points, a Silver Stevie for two points, and a Bronze Stevie counting for one-and-a-half. Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie winners in the 2017 ABAs were announced on May 2.
CallidusCloud, the Dublin, CA software developer has received the Grand Stevie for Organization of the Year for the second year in a row, with a record 111.5 points. Stevie-winning organizations are accorded three points for each Gold Stevie win, two points per Silver Stevie win, and one-and-a-half points for each Bronze Stevie win.
Other Grand Stevie winners include:
- Most Honored Interactive Agency: Blue Wheel Media, Troy, MI, with 19 points earned for projects for clients including Billhighway, SHEEX and WellNet, among others.
- Most Honored Marketing Agency: Momentum Worldwide, New York, NY, with 34 points earned for campaigns and projects for clients Allergan, American Express and Lockheed Martin.
- Most Honored Public Relations Agency: SHIFT Communications, with offices nationwide, with 37.5 points earned for nominations submitted on behalf of 12 client companies.
Grand Stevies will also be presented to the 10 other organizations with the most points in the 2017 competition. They are:
- #1: Cisco Systems, San Jose, CA (94 points)
- #2: Melissa Sones Consulting, a New York-based awards consultancy, with 38 points earned for Stevie-winning nominations submitted for eight clients
- #3: FleishmanHillard, the multinational communications consultancy with offices across the U.S.A., earned 35 for Stevie wins on behalf of seven clients
- #4: PAIRELATIONS LCC, an awards consultancy in Centennial, CO with 31.5 points for Stevies won for five clients
- #5 (tie): FIS, St. Petersburg, FL (25 points)
- John Hancock Financial, Boston, MA (25)
- #7: Makovsky & Co, New York and Washington, DC (22)
- #8: Jeunesse Global, Orlando, FL (20)
- #9: Navicor, LLC, Westerville, OH (18.5)
- #10: Cirkled in, Redmond, WA (18)
All organizations operating in the U.S.A. – large and small, public and private, for-profit and non-profit - are eligible to submit nominations to the ABAs in a wide range of categories, honoring achievement in every aspect of work life, from customer service and management to public relations and product development. More than 3,600 nominations were reviewed in the judging process this year by more than 190 professionals, whose average scores determined the winners. The presentations will be broadcast live via Livestream.
For a complete list of the 2017 Stevie Award winners, visit www.StevieAwards.com/ABA.
Tickets for the June 20 awards gala in New York are now on sale.
About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, and the new Stevie Awards for Great Employers. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 10,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 60 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at www.StevieAwards.com.
The Stevie® Awards, organizers of the world’s premier business awards programs, today announced the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie winners in The 15th Annual American Business Awards.
All organizations operating in the U.S.A. – large and small, public and private, for-profit and non-profit - are eligible to submit nominations to the ABAs in a wide range
of categories, honoring achievement in every aspect of work life, from customer service and management to public relations and product development. More than 3,600 nominations were reviewed in the judging process this year by more than 190 professionals, whose average scores determined the winners.
2017 Stevie winners will be celebrated and presented their awards during a gala event on Tuesday, June 20, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York. Tickets are now on sale. The presentations will be broadcast live via Livestream.
CallidusCloud (Dublin, CA) and Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA) are the leaders among Stevie Award winners, with wins in a wide range of categories, including 14 Gold Stevies. CallidusCloud and Cisco Systems are sure to be among the winners of the Grand Stevie Award trophies, the top overall winners in this year’s ABAs, who will be announced next week.
Among the other top winners of Gold Stevies are Momentum Worldwide (New York, NY) with eight, Cirkled (Redmond, WA) with five, Aflac (Columbus, GA) and Signifyd (San Jose, CA) with four, and BlueWheel Media (Troy, MI), Creative Lodging Solutions (Lexington, KY) and GTT Communications (McLean, VA) with three each.
Among all winners of Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevies, leading winners of multiple awards include Accenture (New York, NY), Amobee (Foster City, CA), BMO Capital Markets (Chicago, IL), FIS (St. Petersburg, FL), Jeunesse Global (Orlando, FL), John Hancock Financial Services (Boston, MA), LABOV Marketing Communications and Training (Fort Wayne, IN), Makovsky & Co (New York, NY), Merkle (Columbia, MD), Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating (Suwanee, GA), Navicor, LLC (Westerville, OH), New American Funding (Tustin, CA), Rimini Street (Las Vegas, NV), Scout Exchange (Chicago, IL), SoftPro (Raleigh, NC) and TopSpot Internet Marketing (Houston, TX), among others.
For a complete list of the Stevie Award winners announced today, visit http://www.StevieAwards.com/ABA.
Every new product or service nominated in The 2017 American Business Awards is included in voting for the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products, a worldwide public vote. Voting is now open at http://peopleschoice.stevieawards.com and will conclude on June 2. People’s Choice Stevie winners will be announced the week of June 5, and will be honored during the June 20 presentations.
“Entries to the ABAs grew substantially this year in both quantity and quality. We thank the judges for their time and interest in determining the winners, and we look forward to celebrating the winners during our gala event in New York on June 20,” said Michael Gallagher, founder and president of the Stevie Awards.
The Stevie® Awards have announced the twelve executives who will chair the specialized judging committees for the The 2017 (15th Annual) American Business Awards, the premier business awards competition in the U.S.A.
All organizations operating in the U.S.A. are eligible to submit nominations -- public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. The 2017 awards honor achievements since the beginning of 2016 Entry details are available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/ABA. The extended final entry deadline is Friday, April 7.
Here are this year's judging committee chairs.
ANNUAL REPORTS & PUBLICATIONS:
Renee Mallonee, Director, Marketing
MONI Smart Security (formerly Monitronics), Farmers Branch, Texas, USA
Renee Mallonee has been with MONI Smart Security (formerly Monitronics) for nearly 10 years, starting as a Marketing Coordinator and working her way up to Director of Marketing. During her tenure, she has helped move the company from a B2B organization that operated primarily behind the scenes to one of the largest smart home technology and residential security providers in North America. Under Mallonee, the company underwent a complete rebrand, shifting to a more direct-to-consumer focus with national TV, print and radio advertising campaigns, new strategic partnerships, and a fresh take on communicating with consumers. She was awarded a spot on the Security Systems News 20 Under 40 list, and is widely recognized throughout the industry as a leader in marketing, branding, and communications. Mallonee is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, where she studied marketing and advertising.
On being appointed Chair of the Annual Reports & Publications Judging Committee, Renee told us: “The Stevie Awards provide an excellent platform for companies to showcase their outstanding achievements. Each new year of submissions generates a new benchmark for creativity and innovation. As a past winner, MONI knows how steep the competition can be, and we look forward to seeing what this year’s applicants will deliver.”
George Gallate, Chief Marketing Officer & Executive Vice President
Merkle, Columbia, Maryland, USA
George is Merkle’s CMO and is also responsible for global development. He has 30+ years' experience in building and leading high-performing networks and teams globally. He has worked across all media, including seven years leading the global advertising, digital, and marketing services of Intel.
George joined Merkle in July 2014 following Merkle’s acquisition of RKG where he was CEO. Prior to RKG, George spent 27 years at Havas/Euro RSCG. He was the Global Chairman, and before that Global CEO, of Havas Digital, a network he had formed and led since 1997. Under George’s leadership, Adweek ranked Euro RSCG 4D (now Havas Digital) as the largest digital network globally for five years in a row.
From 2005 through 2008, George was Havas’ Regional CEO for Asia Pacific, India, and the Middle East with responsibility for 28 offices and more than 1,800 staff. He was based in Shanghai.
George has worked in most categories and has deep tech and B-to-B experience. He's led and worked on Intel and IBM globally, as well as Dell across Asia Pacific. George also has experience in B2C, having worked on Hershey’s, Volvo, Jaguar, National Australia Bank, Novartis, JetBlue, Hyatt, Sheraton, and 1-800-Flowers.
George is an accomplished industry speaker, thought leader, and innovator. He keynoted on “Digital – Data – Integration” at the Cannes International Advertising Festival in 2001, and spoke there again in 2010. He was the Jury President of the Cannes CyberLion Jury in 2002.
On being appointed Chair of the ABA’s Company/Organization Judging Committee, George commented: “It is a privilege to be associated with the Stevie Awards. The scope and depth of the awards make them one of the best representations of leadership and innovation in American business.”
Jennifer L. Foster, President
Catalyst Media Factory, Detroit, Michigan
Jennifer Foster is the Founder and President of Catalyst Media Factory. Founded in 2016, the company specializes in media relations and social media for small and start-up retailers, restaurants, non-profits, and professional service companies.
Catalyst Media Factory team members become an integral part of its clients' day-to-day business operations. Team members learn the businesses’ nuances and then create a plan of action that suits clients’ needs and drives results.
As someone who has been involved with the Stevie Awards for some years, Jennifer told us: “The American Business Awards truly showcase the best that American business has to offer. The awards enable organizations of any size, and in almost any category, to be recognized on the national stage for their innovative and ambitious accomplishments. It’s an honor to Chair the Corporate Communications/IR/PR Awards Judging Committee and to be a part of this process.”
CUSTOMER SERVICE & SUPPORT:
Natasha Chitre, Senior Client Partner
Novus Global Solutions LLC, North Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
Natasha Chitre is a Senior Client Partner at Novus Global Solutions, a 21st century professional services firm that was designed from the ground up to deliver onsite consulting services at a lower TCO than offshore, and with a speed and quality that is unmatched by other consulting models.
Natasha is responsible for managing a line of business for Novus that focuses on driving technology projects. She is a Black Belt six sigma professional and is passionate about customer success.
Stephen Childs, Vice President, Global Human Resources
Panasonic Automotive, Peachtree City, Georgia, USA
Stephen Childs serves as the Vice President of Global Human Resources & Facilities for Panasonic Automotive, which is the leader in automotive OEM infotainment systems with $2.5 billion in revenue and over 6,000 employees. Stephen has more than 20 years of human resources and leadership experience and sits on the Executive Board of Panasonic Automotive. He began his career with the company in 1998 in the Talent Acquisition area and has held progressing management positions in the years since. Before joining Panasonic, Stephen was an entrepreneur in the staffing industry.
Stephen has won numerous industry awards, including the 2013 Society for Human Resources Management Atlanta Pegasus Award for Excellence in Human Resources. His team also won three 2016 American Business Awards: two Gold Stevie Awards, for HR Department of the Year and for Team of the Year; and the Bronze Stevie Award for Human Resource Executive of the Year.
Stephen is on the Executive Board of Directors of the Fayette County Chamber. He is also on the Board of Advisors for the Metro Atlanta Chamber.
Greg Gomel, Founder
The Gomel Group, LLC, Plano, Texas, USA
Greg is the founder of The Gomel Group, a Veteran Owned Small Business in Plano, Texas. Greg is both a veteran with extensive leadership successes as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Coast Guard Reserve, and a Senior Executive expert in the design, delivery, and continuous process improvement of cost-effective, high-performance IT organizations.
David Sonntag, President & CEO
Decibel Management, Alexandria, Virginia, USA
David has extensive experience creating, planning, and producing live events. David launched Decibel Management in 2007 in order to follow his passion for live events, experiential marketing, meetings, and conferences.
David manages a number of long-term clients and event properties. He has been an integral part of the National Book Festival since 2003 and for the past six years, David has served as event producer for the Festival. David was also selected as one of the producers for the 69th Annual Horatio Alger Awards Ceremony, held in Washington, DC in 2016. This included working with the Association on numerous events including the Induction Ceremony with Justice Clarence Thomas in the Supreme Court; the Induction Celebration at the Mellon Auditorium; lunch meetings in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the Department of State; and the main awards dinner at DAR Constitution Hall. David was tapped again in 2017 for the 70th Annual Awards. David has also been a US multi-year producer for the National Small Business Week Awards for the US Small Business Administration.
Prior to forming Decibel Management, David oversaw events as a Vice President at the public relations firm FleishmanHillard, where he gained valuable experience on message development and delivery. David has also managed a number of mobile tours, including the DoubleTree by Hilton Cookie CAREavan and Little Things tours; the Crystal Light WaterWay Challenge; Say Boo! to the Flu tour for Clorox; and the Voices of Civil Rights Tour for AARP. Other clients have included Vice President Dick Cheney, First Lady Laura Bush, Governor Chris Christie, AARP, Texas Education Agency and the Chocolate Manufacturers Association. David’s events have won numerous awards, including six Silver Anvils and two PR Week Awards. The reporting during the Voices of Civil Rights bus tour won a Peabody Award.
Kellie Sirna, Principal & Co-Founder
Studio 11 Design, Dallas, Texas, USA
Kellie Sirna is Principal of Studio 11 Design. She has spent nearly 15 years in the hospitality design industry developing her client-focused approach, and ultimately creating a firm that is talented, nimble, and energetic. Since the founding of Studio 11 Design in 2011, Kellie’s hospitality projects can be seen around the world: from Dallas, where Studio 11 is based; to the East and West Coasts of the United States; and to international markets like Haiti and the Turks & Caicos Islands.
In 2015, Kellie helmed the business development arm of Studio 11 and strategically launched two new services to differentiate her boutique firm from competitors: Brand Society, a brand identity component; and Lou Verne by Studio 11 Design, an in-house creative team specializing in art installations. These specializations now make Studio 11 Design an unparalleled one-stop-shop for design services. Boutique Design magazine featured Kellie in their May 2016 issue for developing a successful multidisciplinary design firm.
Kellie attended the University of North Texas, earning her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Interior Design and Merchandising in 2004. From there, she joined the global hospitality design firm DESIGN Duncan Miller Ullmann, where she managed design work, business development, marketing, and PR initiatives. Kellie finds inspiration in mentorship—she is involved in NEWH, a not-for-profit organization of professional women in the hospitality industry; the Dallas Women in Business Enterprise; and Young Leaders in Hospitality. She is also a member of the Hospitality Design Magazine board and participated as a product design juror at the 2016 HD Awards. In her spare time, Kellie is involved with Delete Blood Cancer DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow donor center.
Allen Jernigan, Founder & CEO
My Marketing Department, Inc., Seminole, Florida, USA
In 2007, Allen Jernigan opened the flat-fee marketing company My Marketing Department, Inc. to assist business owners who do not have the time or employees to implement their own marketing plans. In 2009, Allen opened MMDprinting, MMDtradeshow and, in 2011, MMDpromo, to complement the parent company’s clients.
After leaving college, Allen spent 8 years with professional sports teams as the Assistant General Manager of Marketing & Sales for the Mobile BayBears, Double-A Affiliate of the San Diego Padres, and the Director of Promotions & Special Events for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Later, Allen became the Regional Director of Marketing for SunTrust Bank-Tampa Bay, overseeing 110 bank branches and 5 lines of business. He then moved to HomeDiscovery Real Estate Services and headed their marketing and sales for Florida. Allen is a past Chairman of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s Ambassador Committee, a former Board Member of the Tampa Bay Inventors Council, and currently serves with the St Pete Mad Dogs Triathlon Club. He is a member of USA Today’s Small Business Team, the Tampa Bay Media Advisory Panel, and of USA Triathlon and USA Masters Swimming, and an IRONMAN Finisher (Austria 2016).
Allen graduated from the University of South Alabama with a degree in Communications with minors in Public Relations and English. He is married to his college sweetheart, Pepir, and they live and train for triathlon races together in and around the Tampa Bay, Florida area.
In a break from working and training, Allen told us: “As a judge for the Stevie Awards for many years, I am continually amazed by the innovative and creative ways businesses market their companies. Most people do not see or understand how much is involved in putting together a marketing campaign, live event, online promotion or an entire marketing team. The Stevie Awards bring the details and those behind the scenes out in front for all of us see, celebrate, and congratulate.”
NEW PRODUCT & SERVICE:
Alec Stern, Co-Founder
Handy Cane LLC, Salem, Massachusetts, USA
Alec Stern is currently the co-founder of the recently launched Handy Cane, an award winning, patent-pending, all-in-one walking cane and reaching grabber. Concurrently, Alec is co-founder of Most Corp., which designs, manufactures, and delivers patented consumer products, precision motion products, and medical devices.
Previously, Alec was the Vice President of Strategic Innovation and Executive-in-Residence for the Small Business Innovation Program at Constant Contact. Alec is a member of Constant Contact's founding team and was one of the original three in an attic. During his tenure with the company through IPO and acquisition, he assumed a wide range of responsibilities and senior roles in strategic partnerships, channels, and business development. Alec was also responsible for the creation and development of Constant Contact’s channel partner programs and spearheaded strategic innovation, community-based entrepreneurism, and vertical industry thought leadership for the company.
Engaging with hundreds of startups and small businesses annually, Alec serves as a judge, mentor, and advisor for accelerators, schools, universities and programs such as TechStars, MassChallenge, MIT Start Smart, Lean Startup Challenge, the Stevie Awards, and the United Way Youth Venture. As an angel investor and limited partner in the G20 Venture Fund, Alec is also an investor in a number of rising companies. He has been a featured speaker for international, national, and regional small business; for startup, nonprofit, and industry conferences; and for colleges and universities. Alec is active on the Board of Directors, Board of Advisors or Executive Committees for organizations including BoardOnTrack and Nix86. He is an appointed member of the City of Boston Neighborhood Innovation District Committee, the 128 Innovation Committee, and Boston’s Small Business Advisory Council as well as a founding organizer of the CityStart Boston Civic Innovation program. Alec holds an MBA from Northeastern University and a BS from Syracuse University.
On being invited to Chair the New Product & Service Judging Committee, Alec commented: “Innovation is the lifeblood of companies of all sizes. The ability to create new and improved products and services, and finding ways to better serve customers, are key to all companies' future growth and success. Winning a Stevie Award would be the ultimate recognition for these great achievements.”
Tod Plotkin, Principal & Executive Producer
Green Buzz Agency, Alexandria, Virginia
After four years shaping one of the top video departments in the entire National Basketball Association (for the Washington Wizards), Tod Plotkin started Green Buzz Agency. As Founder and Principal, he oversees video content creation for iconic advertising campaigns including the Ad Council's #1 Campaign: Love Has No Labels. Additionally, his agency created the most viewed/shared branded video on Facebook in November 2016 for Cricket Wireless and Upworthy.
His agency's other clients include Lockheed Martin, Hilton Worldwide, Under Armour, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Marriott International, American Red Cross, Johns Hopkins University, Quaker Oats, American Diabetes Association, the World Bank, and other large institutions.
Tod Plotkin is a leading voice in digital content. He speaks monthly at national conferences on digital video strategy for organizations like PR News, Public Relations Society of America, and the American Marketing Association. Tod is a Gold Steve Award Winner (2), Emmy winner for best short format content, and Webby Honoree in the online video category.
Eric N. Shapiro, Founder & CEO
ArcTouch Mobile & Connected Experiences, San Francisco, California, USA
Eric’s vision and entrepreneurial spirit have helped him successfully launch three startups, including ArcTouch. After working as a product manager and evangelist at Apple, he founded Zero G Software (acquired by Rovi) and later Caustic Graphics (acquired by Imagination Technologies).
A deeply knowledgeable technologist, Eric and former college roommate Adam Fingerman founded ArcTouch in 2009, shortly after the introduction of the first iPhone. Since then, the two have built a team of more than 100 product strategists, designers, and engineers. The team has served more than 150 brands and businesses–including NBC, Honeywell, Yahoo, CBS, Guess, Salesforce, and Audi–creating engaging experiences for mobile and emerging IoT platforms, from phones and tablets to chatbots, voice assistants, VR, and AR.
Eric has an MBA from Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management, and a BS degree from Tufts University in engineering and computer science.
On being appointed Chair of the Websites/Apps Judging Committee, Eric told us: “We at ArcTouch are proud to be involved with the Stevie Awards, and my Committee is looking forward to honoring the most innovative companies in Websites & Apps.”