Almost everyone in the local corporate events community benefited from Cleveland’s banner 2016 campaign. But not everyone got a championship ring. Kevin Grissinger actually received two of them. The special events manager with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank was rewarded for his volunteer work with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lake Erie Monsters, both of which won championships last year. “The summer months of 2016 were by far the most memorable moments of my life,” Grissinger says. During his fourth year at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Grissinger planned three major events — Market at the Food Bank, Taste of the Browns, and the food bank’s Annual Meeting and Volunteer Recognition Event. For the Market event, Grissinger worked with all of the restaurants and beverage purveyors to donate all of their products and services and transformed the food bank’s 128,000-square-foot facility into a fundraising gala. For Taste of the Browns, Grissinger had to spell his direct supervisor, who was pregnant and due around the time of the event, and also work with a new lead contact at FirstEnergy Stadium. “These challenges forced me to take ownership of the event,” he says. “Everything came together in the end and, just like Market, we raised a record amount of funds.” By the end of the year Grissinger had been promoted to special events manager.
Runners-up: Amanda Green, corporate event planner, Marigold Catering; Aria Buford, conference service manager, Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland East; Catlin Layton, manager of special events and volunteers, Western Reserve Land Conservancy; Nicole Sidoti, event planner, Executive Caterers.
2016 — Kevin Grissinger, Greater Cleveland Food Bank
2015 — Alyssa Perna, Smithers Information
2014 — Kate Walter, Executive Caterers
2013 — Kevin Grissinger, Greater Cleveland Food Bank
2012 — Katie Stevenson, Council of Smaller Enterprises
2011 — Colleen Saunier, Epilepsy Association
2010 — Alicia M. Hansen, Northeastern Ohio Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation