Recipients recognized for outstanding leadership and dedication to the organization
SCOTTSDALE, AZ – The Fiesta Bowl organization selected the Volunteer of the Year Award winners for the 2017-18 season, honoring six outstanding individuals from its 3,000-person volunteer base comprised of the Board of Directors, Yellow Jacket Committee, ambassadors and general volunteers.
Each year the Fiesta Bowl honors six special volunteers who have enhanced the organization through their commitment, dedication and extraordinary efforts in a variety of areas. Each award winner is selected based on evaluations and nominations from Fiesta Bowl volunteers, board members and staff.
“These six volunteers are dedicated workers and also outstanding people who are willing to go the extra mile to ensure the success of the Fiesta Bowl organization,” said Steve Leach, Chair of the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors. “I am proud to work alongside these individuals as we continue to strive to make an impact in the Arizona community.”
“The Fiesta Bowl volunteers, ambassadors, Yellow Jacket Committee and Board of Directors are our foundation and provide incredible service on a year-round basis,” said Mike Nealy, Executive Director of the Fiesta Bowl. “We are fortunate to have so many hard-working individuals who dedicate their time to the community and see our organization as the perfect avenue to make an impact.”
The George Leonard Rookie of the Year Award is presented to a Yellow Jacket Committee member in the first or second year who made an immediate impact on the Fiesta Bowl through volunteering and fundraising. Starting with the Fiesta Bowl as a general volunteer before becoming an ambassador and ambassador chair, Davina Seville exceeded her fundraising goals by implementing creative strategies to build support for the Fiesta Bowl. Outside of her Fiesta Bowl responsibilities, Seville is an outside sales representative for Noble Tile Supply.
The Fiesta Bowl Chair of the Year Award goes to the event chair who provides significant leadership and exemplary effort. As chair of the Fiesta Bowl pregame parties, Greg Stark led one of the smallest Fiesta Bowl event committees to successfully execute one of the largest organizational events. Stark’s dedication to his role and to fellow committee members and volunteers helped the APS Stadium Club and Fiesta Bowl Fan Fest pregame parties run as smooth as possible. Stark is a senior vice president at Jackson/Roskelley Wealth Advisors.
The Outstanding Fiesta Bowl Committee Member of the Year is awarded to an active Yellow Jacket Committee member who served on multiple committees and provided support and dedication to several events. Since 2014, Andy Western has contributed to the Fiesta Bowl in various ways and this past year alone he was chair of the Honeywell Fiesta Bowl Aerospace Challenge, assistant chair for the Game Operations Committee and served as a sales coach for the Yellow Jacket Committee during a record-breaking fundraising year. Western is a partner in Osborn Maledon’s corporate group. In addition to his legal practice, Western serves on several firm governance committees.
The Randi Knappenberger Ambassador of the Year Award is given to a dedicated ambassador who embodies the Fiesta Bowl spirit in their dedication to the organization. Serving as the ambassadors’ community outreach chair, Simone Janssen led by example when encouraging the group to give back to the community and provided innovative experiences that touched the hearts of all involved.
Named after one of the nine founders of the Fiesta Bowl, the Glenn Hawkins Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes a volunteer who demonstrates the same characteristics that the Fiesta Bowl was founded on – dedication, enthusiasm and the desire to create an unmatched experience. Since the early 2000s, both Tibor and Susan Szelinger have given their time to the organization. This past season, they provided unparalleled support to the Youth Football Clinic, the Fiesta Bowl Wells Fargo Par-3 Challenge, pregame parties and the media operations committee. Tibor is retired from a long career in masonry and Susan is approaching 28 years as an accountant for the YMCA.
The Frank Snell Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is chosen by the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors and Life Directors to honor a member of the Fiesta Bowl family who has served the organization for more than 12 years. Since joining the Yellow Jacket Committee in 2005, Mike Comstock has been involved in almost every facet of the organization and chaired the Game Operations Committee, winning chair of the year in 2009 and has continued his presence and leadership on the committee ever since. Named a Yellow Jacket Committee life member in 2015, Comstock is a senior compliance specialist at Veriforce.
The 2017-18 Fiesta Bowl award winners were honored at the annual Fiesta Bowl Volunteer Appreciation Party at the SRP Pera Club and will be recognized throughout the 2018-19 Fiesta Bowl season, including at the halftime of the 48th Annual PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.
With a base of over 3,000 dedicated individuals, the Fiesta Bowl volunteers help to put on the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, the Cactus Bowl and the many community events that the Fiesta Bowl puts on throughout the year. Through the season’s events, the Fiesta Bowl has contributed more than $10 million back to the Arizona community in the last seven years, including $2.5 million during the 2017-18 season alone.
ABOUT THE FIESTA BOWL ORGANIZATION
The Fiesta Bowl is a world-class community organization that executes innovative experiences, drives economic growth and champions charitable causes, inspiring pride in all Arizonans. As a nonprofit organization, it believes in the importance of community outreach and service. Through charitable giving, the organization strives to enhance Arizona nonprofit organizations that contribute to the success of communities through youth, sports and education. Since 1971, the Fiesta Bowl has worked to increase its footprint across the state and work to benefit Arizonans year round, during and outside of bowl season.