Spectrum Connection: January

From The Desk of Dave Smalley: THINKING

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January 2020 – A New Year, A New Decade. Here is to new beginnings, turning over new leaves as they say. I know we all agree that we don’t need a calendar to make changes or to start new things, BUT we conveniently have this obvious opportunity to kick-start new beginnings. Last month, we talked about looking back and taking a self-inventory, to help us better focus on qualities we want to acquire in the future; fill in the cracks, smooth our human flaws.

This month, we are going to focus on what we want to do, want we want to be, and how we are going to get there. The process starts with thinking. Thinking is not to be overrated by the way. This thinking thing is how we uncover big ideas. We can all find big ideas if we really do the thinking. This big thinking, looking for big ideas, uncovers many opportunities, but only if we can clear our minds to focus on what can be, rather than what can’t or just accepting the status quo.

We must think and envision to determine a path to bring our big idea to fruition. There are lots of big ideas that never come to pass, because either there is no path to completion of the path to completion was not properly planned and thought out. I think Stephen Hawking is credited with describing intelligence as the ability to think to adapt. I can think of several words that would be the opposite of intelligence that might describe someone that can’t or won’t adapt. The ability to be a big thinker, and have Big ideas are the property of all of us. Each and every one of us can accomplish this. We just have to get out of our comfort zone and challenge ourselves to not settle for the same.

To that thought, if one expects that yesterday’s and

today’s market will dictate what tomorrow’s market demands will be, one is fooling themselves. There are always hurdles, always impediments in the way, and there always will be. How we adapt to those and overcome them defines us. In business, we need to use our brainpower to anticipate what tomorrow’s market demands will be, based on data that we can gather and analyze to set our big ideas into motion. Thinking. Free up our mind to imagine what might be, rather than just what is.

If we each focus on opportunities and thinking big, we can make significant moves to continually differentiate ourselves in the market, in the industry, and in life. Doing the same things over and over, and expecting different results, is a fool’s errand. Selling what you want to sell, not what the market wants to buy, is equally a folly. Listen to our customers, listen to the market, think about what they are saying, find data that supports or refutes your big ideas, and then plot a course. What good is good enough? What do we leave as our legacy if we just maintain the status quo? I know you know the answer to this rhetorical question.

So here it is, January 2020. Each of us has an unprecedented opportunity to THINK BIG and start something new, something unique, something better. Clear your mind, and allow yourself to see something so well thought out and planned, it is a game-changer. When you have that Big Idea, don’t stop there! Do it! Set it in motion! Don’t stop until it is a reality!

I can’t wait to see how your BIG IDEA changes your life. Cheers to 2020, and wishing good health and happiness to you and yours,


From The Desk of Melanie Smalley: 2020 – ready or not, here we come! 2019 – bye Felicia, it was fun!

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The New Year is here and full of promise. Each and every day that we are lucky enough to live is full of promise. For some reason, as the calendar turns a New Year, it just “feels” different. Sort of a reset button, a time to reflect on the previous year and how we can be better in the New Year. Some people make New Year resolutions, some enjoy the simple act of reflection to better themselves.

“Each one of us has a fire in our heart for something,” says former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton. “It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.” What do you have a fire in your heart for? Most fires will go out if neglected. Our job is to discover the fire in our hearts and to keep it burning. Feed it. Encourage it. Shelter it from the elements that threaten to extinguish it. These things are up to YOU, it’s not up to someone else to fuel your fire – you need to find it yourself, and then you’re responsible to keep it lit, you and you alone.

Discovering your fire shows your own personal strength. It gives you something to fight with; it ignites your passions, your

dreams, your self-discovery. Whatever your “fire”, make 2020 a celebration of YOU!

Happy New Year, and cheers to 2020!




The Annual UT Health Winterfest was held at Grant Fay Park in the Texas Medical Center on December 6th. They had 1500 guests in attendance who enjoyed Smoked Turkey Legs and Roasted Corn provided by Wicked Whisk. The attendees were entertained by Midway Games, a Jumbo Inflated Slide, Stilt Walkers, a snow play area, face painters, and a Chainsaw Ice Sculptor. What a great time!



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Great Job!

I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to work with the best team (My “A” Team) in the business for this holiday show. The same crew comes every year, and always

with a smile. Even while working on Thanksgiving day when they would much rather be home with their families! BIG hugs, and wishing you guys a very Merry Christmas and happy new year!

~Leigh-Anne McQuitty—Mayor’s Office of Special Events

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Wicked Whisk Does It Again!

Wicked Whisk Catering provided catering for 150 guests at the Howard Hughes Corporation Holiday Party at the beautiful Woodforest Bank Club. The theme of the evening was “Fire and Ice.” Guests had a great time dancing to the DJ, having custom cigars prepared for them onsite, and sipping on Snowflake Martinis. What a fun night!

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Client Profile: Jeff Cuella

Company: AC Entertainment

How do you know Spectrum, and since when? I started working with Spectrum back in 2003 at Bonnaroo. Then, as we started creating new festival experiences, Spectrum has become our best partner for F&B.

What are your interests when time permits away from our crazy world? If I am not working, I want to be skiing. I do love going to shows, festivals, traveling, and camping. We have a great time being active as a family, and we are always up for a round of carpet golf, but watch out we are really competitive! Outside of all that, as long as we have great company, are cooking/ eating amazing food, and have delicious coffee or an adult beverage (depending on the time of day) then we are happy!

Tell us about your family.  I  have a stunningly gorgeous and insanely intelligent Neuroscientist for a wife. Megan is a Professor at Midwestern University. We have two beautiful children, Kingston Santori is 7 and Simone Melía is 2. Megan and I have been together for 19 years and married for 14. We also have an 11-year-old pound dog named Vincent. Currently, we live in Chicago, IL.

Favorite foods,  books,  or vacation spots?  I  am an adventurous eater and am always looking to try something new whether I am cooking it or going to a restaurant. My current favorite book is Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. Jackson Hole is my favorite place that I have skied, but Spain is my favorite place to be. I am dying to get to South America and/or the Maldives, too.

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Wicked Whisk Catering was thrilled to provide dinner for the Planet Ford Holiday Party at the new Planet Ford Stadium in Spring for 90 of their guests. Casino Games, a White Elephant Gift Exchange, and Classic Arcade Games entertained the guests in this beautiful new space.

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Our own “All Day Joe” Martinez competed in his third powerlifting event on Saturday, December 7th. He set two State Records for his Age Group and Weight Class!

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His numbers were:

Squat – 407.90 lbs. (State Record) Bench – 265.70 lbs. (State Record) Deadlift – 424.4 lbs.

All three lifts totaling 1098 lbs.

This was Joe’s first meet since recovering from multiple physical injuries two years ago, two that required surgery and one requiring a trip to the ER…and all within a 4-week time span.

Awesome comeback, Joe!


YAY! Holly

My name is Holly Criscuolo, I am 25 years old and ended up down here in Houston due to a swimming scholarship to the University of Houston. Here, is where I was fortunate to come across Dave Smalley at a meet and greet session. Fast forward a few years, and I have now been working with Spectrum for almost 4 years! I have had a quite diverse experience since joining the team, and I’ve had the chance to work in a variety of divisions and learn from the very best! I began with

Spectrum as an Intern Golf Manager which allowed me to travel and learn about our golf operations. Following my internship, I was then asked to join Spectrum full-time at the office as a Production and Finance Specialist. While in the office, I still traveled for our Golf Division as a manager but also began learning under Derek Mills and Kyle Thompson on the Finance / IT side of our company. As I kept growing and attempting to get my foot in whatever door maybe next, I got to know Jason Reed and Adam Lassetter within our Venue Division. Jason and Adam played an instrumental role in allowing me to assist in opening new venues around the US and Canada, which provided me with so much invaluable experience. To date, I have helped open 6 new Spectrum venues! Throughout those openings, I had the pleasure of being the interim Concessions Manager at Smart Financial Center under Ronny Smeink, and then eventually transitioned to The Hobby Center in downtown Houston as the Concessions Manager full-time. While I’m sad to leave my home at Hobby Center after 3 seasons, I am excited to announce that I am the new Sales Executive for our Golf Division! I’m so very excited to work under Melanie Smalley and with our Golf Division team!


Wicked Whisk Catering had the opportunity to provide catering to

Latham & Watkins LLP for their Ice Skating Holiday Party held at Dis- covery Green in downtown Houston on December 15 for 500 guests.

What a beautiful night!

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Upcoming Events

Super Bowl Live 1/25—2/1 High Water Music Festival 4/18—4/19
Genesis Open 2/10—2/16 Insperity Invitational 4/27—5/3
Honda Classic 2/24—3/1 Shaky Knees Music Festival 5/1—5/3
Arnold Palmer Invitational 3/2—3/8 AT&T Byron Nelson 5/4—5/10
Hoag Classic 3/2—3/8 National Homecoming Music Festival 5/9—5/10
Bayou City Arts Festival—Memorial 3/27—3/29 Trondossa Music & Arts Festival 5/16—5/17
Valero Texas Open 3/30—4/5 Charles Schwab Challenge 5/18—5/24
March Madness Music Festival 4/3—4/5 American Family Insurance Championship 6/1—6/7
Dreamville Music Festival 4/4 Governor’s Ball Music Festival 6/5—6/7
McDonald’s Houston Children’s Festival 4/4—4/5 RBC Canadian Open 6/8—6/14
Woodlands Waterway Festival 4/4—4/5 Bonnaroo Music Festival 6/11—6/14



Brenda Johnson



Dianne Ramirez 01/01
Isidora Aguilar 01/03
Jesse Grier 01/03
Chris Nguyen 01/06
James Wilson 01/06
Dave Smalley 01/07
Nicole Baughan 01/09
Denzil Pitts 01/11
Alfredo Garcia 01/12
Eduardo Ventura 01/12
Aldo Chavez 01/13
Flor Arango 01/01/2017
Courtney Holleman 01/03/2017
Barry Dawkins 01/03/2018
Brian Strom 01/05/2009
Jamilla Dorsey 01/08/2009
Tracy VanNostrand 01/08/2018
Melanie Smalley 01/12/1998
Jeannelle Rossano 01/14/2019
Walter Ventura 01/15/1999



Rebecca Lamey



Ronny Smeink 01/17
Tracy VanNostrand 01/18
Juan Ayala 01/21
Barry Dawkins 01/23
Martha Martinez 01/23
Velma Tarin 01/23
Adrian Vasquez 01/23
Andy Dunaway 01/26
Brittany Smith 01/27
Nittaya Houdshell 01/29
Peter Keane 01/30
Ryan Dobrota 01/15/2013
James Wilson 01/19/2016
Mike McCurry 01/22/2013
Lupe Villarreal 01/27/2017
Denzil Pitts 01/28/2017
Sam Badot-Fisher 01/29/2019
Eddie Nguyen 01/31/2017
Manuel Nanez 01/31/2019

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