The Stadium Managers AssociationSM Past Presidents Council founded the SMASM Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, to commemorate the Association’s 30th Anniversary and honor long term members who have achieved the highest level of impact and contribution to the stadium industry.
The Lifetime Achievement Award honors an individual whose extended career in the industry as a leader, and exceptional contribution to the Association exemplify SMASM’s mission to provide resources to assist professional and collegiate stadium managers in achieving the highest level of facility administration and operation.
The Council considers the following selection criterion for eligibility:
- The individual has been an actively participating member of SMASM for a minimum of 15 years, and continues to contribute and remain involved in the association.
- The individual nominated should be one whose contribution as an SMASM member has in a fundamental way advanced or improved the Association.
- This SMASM member’s accomplishment and leadership have been acknowledged by the stadium industry.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the industry, and outstanding service to the Association. It is given at the discretion of the SMASM Past Presidents Council and is not necessarily awarded every year.
SMASM Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include:
|2006 - Colonel Robert (Bob) Sigholtz, a founding member of the SMASM, a highly decorated war veteran and respected figure in the stadium management industry. Colonel Sigholtz served as the General Manager of the Robert F. Kennedy stadium in Washington, D.C., and a consultant to the NFL. The decorated war hero received numerous honors, including three Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, four Bronze Stars for Valor, thirteen Air Medals and three Commendation Ribbons. His granddaughter Taryn Sigholtz Gosch accepted the posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of his family.|
|2006 - Tom Liegler, C.F.E., a founding member of the SMASM Annual Seminar format as we know it today. Mr. Liegler’s career spans 50 years, which began at the original Comiskey Park in Chicago and progressed to helping oversee the construction of the Colt Stadium in Houston and managing the Houston Astrodome. From Houston, he moved to Anaheim, CA where he held the role of the Anaheim Stadium and Convention Center General Manager until his retirement.|
|2007 – Raymond Kenaga, a founding Sponsor member of the SMASM. Mr. Kenaga has represented American Seating, Irwin Seating and most recently serves as a consultant for BOSS Electrostatic Painting Company. He has always been a strong vocal advocate of retaining the SMASM Seminar format of a non-tradeshow meeting and in his 45-year sales career of working on seating planning of many major league ball parks and stadiums, Ray continued—even in his acceptance recognition of the Lifetime Achievement Award—to attribute his sales success to the extremely knowledgeable SMASM managers who ‘coached’ him so well in understanding each facility’s unique seating requirements, both current and future.|
|2008 - Larry Staverman was a former SMASM Board member and Honorary member, Retired Vice President of Operations for the Cleveland Stadium Corporation and Retired Consultant hired to oversee the construction and start-up of the new Tennessee Titans Stadium in Nashville. He was a well known and respected figure in the stadium management industry. Unfortunately, he lost his battle with leukemia in 2007. His family, including his wife Joyce Staverman; son Rob Staverman, Sr. Director of Event Operations at the Chicago United Center; and daughter Sharon Bowen, attended the 2008 SMASM Annual Seminar to accept Mr. Staverman’s posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award.|
|2008 - Bill Wilson was a founding member and current Emeritus Director / Official Historian of the SMASM and retired in 2005 after 21 years managing Qualcomm Stadium. Prior to that he served 27 years with San Diego Police Department (SDPD). During his tenure at Qualcomm and the SDPD, Mr. Wilson was involved with 6 Super Bowls and during a brief interim between the 2 organizations, helped oversee the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games.
|2009 - John Scarcella, longtime sponsor and SMASM member from Sony Electronics, was honored with the Stadium Managers Association Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the industry and to SMASM. John Scarcella is the president of the Broadcast and Business Solutions Company of Sony. Among Scarcellas accomplishments at Sony and for the industry was his pivotal role in launching the Sony JumboTron as the de facto standard for large screen displays. John has been involved in sponsoring some of the most memorable SMASM Seminar events in the history of the association.|
2010- Rick Nafe, current Vice President of Operations for the Tampa Bay Rays, celebrates his 30th year in stadium management. Prior to joining the Rays in 1997, he served as Director of Operations at Tampa Stadium and Executive Director of the Tampa Sports Authority. He served as President of the SMASM from 1986 to 1997, and has been Program Chairman and has acted as Emcee of the SMASM Annual Seminar since 1986. His lifetime career in the industry as a leader, and his exceptional contribution to the Association exemplify SMASM’s mission to provide resources to assist professional and collegiate stadium managers in achieving the highest level of facility administration and operation.
2011 Ron Labinski's career as a sports architect has spanned 40 years, beginning with his role as project architect for Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. That facility was the first modern stadium built solely for professional football. It revolutionized the way people think about stadium design and was the catalyst of a building boom that has redefined the international sports landscape. Ron’s contributions to stadium projects are scattered throughout the world. Even after retirement, he remains an active participant in SMASM activities.
|2012 Mike McCormick has been legal counsel for the Stadium Managers Association since 1990, and was Executive Director/Project Manager for the Jackson County Sports Authority (Arrowhead & Kauffman stadiums) from 1987 - 1990 and again from 2001-2005. He has also worked with more than a dozen other stadiums on issues related to leasing/contracting, construction and stadium development, procurement, and dispute resolution. His overall knowledge, coupled with his legal background, has served the SMA well over his 22 years on the Board.