The Heart of SMG is an employee recognition program which began in Spring of 2007 and pays tribute to the men and women who make SMG special. The Heart of SMG Award is given to individuals in our network of more than 200 buildings who are making a difference, enacting change, or giving that extra special something to others in their community. We want to take time to recognize those among us striving to make the world a little better, a little more equitable, a little kinder.
Spotlight on Times Union Center, Albany, New York:
Times Union Center continues its charitable ways of participating in programs that benefited both the Capital Region and its residents. Along with center staff, the Siena College Basketball team worked closely again to affect the lives of those less fortunate.
The Center chose to focus on Strides For Breast Cancer as their large scale fundraising in 2008. The Employee Relations Committee worked to raise awareness and get employees and their families involved, by developing a team to walk in the 2008 Strides For Breast Cancer walk. The team raised over $4,000.
The Center also participated in gathering food items for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NewYork. The staff helped raise over 1,000 pounds of food.
The Ronald McDonald House and Times Union Center have had a tremendous relationship. In past years the Times Union Center Marketing Department has volunteered to cook for the residents and has often worked with WWE, Albany River Rats and Albany Firebirds to bring athletes to the house for a visit.
Lending a helping hand to the less fortunate, Times Union Center donates tickets to various nonprofit organizations to allow those in need to attend events. Some of the organizations include: The Capital District Child Care Council, Albany Ronald McDonald House, Parsons Child & Family Center, Parents without Partners, Troy-Albany Youth Hockey, Catholic Charities Disabilities Services, Crossroads Center for Children, Community Emergency Corps and the Albany Chapter of Autism Society.
Times Union Center takes great pride in being an active part of the community. Each year the center looks forward to a year filled with new activities and opportunities to reach out to the community.
Let's meet some of our Heart of SMG winners, and thank them for the difference they are making to their communities, facilities, and SMG:
VanAndel Arena/DeVose Place/DeVos Performance Hall
Nominated By: Rich MacKeigan, General Manager
Sheryl Rittenhouse has volunteered for Hospice of Michigan for over one and a half years and has accumulated 100 hours of service and driven over 1,600 miles since her orientation. She has provided companionship and caregiver relief to 11 different patients and families. Sheryl was inspired to join the organization when she was inspired by the care given to one of her parents who fell terminally ill. Recently, when a fellow employee’s family member fell ill, Sheryl stepped in to help. She has a truly unique blend of warmth, caring, pride, compassion, humor, persuasion, and persistence that have led to significant accomplishments at Hospice of Michigan.
Nominated By: Tim LeFevour, General Manager
John is responsible for keeping the “workplace” of the NFC Champion Chicago Bears in pristine condition. As the groundskeeper for one of the last remaining natural turf professional athletic fields in the northern climate, John is truly an expert in his field and has earned the respect of both clients and the industry. This past year, John took his expertise to the classroom through the Chicago After School Matters program designed to give back to the Chicago community by providing career guidance to young men and women. He gave up months of his time to educate these students about the grounds-keeping profession. His course, Sports Stadium Advanced Apprenticeship covered everything from studying soil, to pest management, to equipment and including general stadium management. In addition to teaching his craft, John provided a positive role model for his students and worked to help reach the path to becoming successful adults.
Director of Premium Services
Nominated By: Preston Williams, General Manager
Cheryl Alicea, Human Resources Manager
Nancy, who has been with the Gwinnett Center for 12 years, implemented a program 11 years ago that supports local families that are in need of help. It started with employees donating to a local Children’s Shelter. Nine years ago, Nancy came upon another program that she felt was a worthy cause and the Gwinnett Center partnered up with Gwinnett Metro Program, a program for children that are developmentally challenged and are from families that are struggling financially. Over the years, employees have donated an average of $1,000-$1,200 annually. Due to these donations, 15 families have been helped during the holidays. Nancy personally shops, gift wraps and delivers packages including food and a turkey, a supermarket gift certificate and gifts such as toys, clothing, furniture and appliances.
Eastern Kentucky Expo Center
Nominated By: Steve St. John, General Manager
Jessica has been involved in multiple community projects and organizations over the years. As a member of the planning committee for Relay for Life, worked to ensure the annual event to raise funds for the American Cancer Society was a success. She specifically works to plan fun activities and events that take place during the entire event. Jessica is also a member of the Buy Local Committee that comes up with ideas and strategies to improve the local economy by encouraging citizens of the area to buy local products. As a member of Habitant for Humanity, Jessica not only assists in building homes for those in need but helps create awareness of the program and recruit additional volunteers. This past year, she took on the task of adopting a family in need during the holidays and raised funds to get them a much needed generator for their home as well as toys, food and other necessary items. Jessica lives her life always trying her best to be a pleasant and kind person. She loves her community and the people in it.