Coralville, IA - March 16, 2016 – West Music is proud to announce the recipients of their 2016 Vendor Recognition Awards: Vendor of the Year - The Music People, Vendor Representative of the Year - Danny Smolenski from Alfred Music, and Business Partner of the Year - Music Education Consultants. These awards were presented at the West Music Annual Celebration in February 2016.
“The Annual Celebration is the one time of the year where we are able to gather all of the West Music associates from every department and division. It is a truly meaningful time where we celebrate our accomplishments from the last year and look forward to the next as well as have a little fun. This Annual Celebration was especially meaningful, as we kicked off celebrating our 75th anniversary. We took a moment to look back at how far we’ve come and to celebrate the vendor and associates that have made everything possible. All of our awards are nominated and determined by West Music associates, truly reflecting the hard work and recognized contributions everyone has made. These award winners have truly gone above and beyond in their commitment and efforts when they work with us and our associates.” said Ryan West, Senior Vice President of West Music.
Vendor of the Year
The Vendor of the Year Award was presented to The Music People by Kyle Ware, West Music Combo Merchandise Manager. This award is given to the vendor or supplier who aligns themselves as a partner and resource for West Music as both companies look to fulfill their missions and values in the workplace. Sharon Hennessey, CEO, accepted the award on behalf of The Music People. Ware works closely with The Music People on a on a number of projects, including merchandising, pricing, and fulfillment on a number of unique products. Ware said of The Music People,"The Music People continue to find solutions at incredible prices for West Music. They are easy to work with and get us great product at a great price. Communication is fast and efficient, and their distribution side is expanding so much that they are covering more and more products. The Music People are simply, a pleasure to work with.”
Vendor Representative of the Year
The Vendor Representative of the Year Award was presented to Mr. Danny Smolenski of Alfred Music, by Marcia Fuller, West Music Print Music and Special Order Merchandise Manager. The Vendor Representative of the Year recognizes the individual who works closely with the West Music team, providing training, tools, and the resources necessary to exceed their customers’ needs. An effective vendor representative is thought of as a member of the West Music team, and has a clear vision when working together as true partners, expanding the existing market by actively promoting products and participation in music. Fuller said of Mr. Smolenski,"Danny is a great rep who is enthusiastic about his job and you can hear how genuinely excited he is to share Alfred information with us. He regularly contacts us to see if there is anything he can do for us to help promote products or if we have any questions for him. Danny is on top of our orders, assuring that we get them quickly and that our customers get what they need as soon as possible, making us look great in the process. Danny makes sure we receive the best deal possible on Alfred products,; he’ll even send a sample copy of a product to a teacher who is helping to promote any Alfred product. Whether the music is for an honor choir, a convention, our catalog, or a customer, Danny is always willing to go the extra mile for us, all in an effort for us to best serve our customers. In all, Danny just goes “above and beyond” for us – from calling on a regular basis, to keeping us updated on new products, to helping us get product to our customers, to visiting us in person, he is awesome. Danny is a true asset to Alfred Music and he exemplifies our West Music core values – he plays well with others, he is willing to seek out and try new promotional opportunities while making sure all parties get a “good deal”, he is passionate about his products, he serves with integrity, and it’s obvious from working with him that building and maintaining meaningful relationships is at the heart of what he does.”
Business Partner of the Year
Finally, the award of Business Partner of the Year was presented to Music Education Consultants, based in Las Vegas, Nevada and the award was accepted by Marcia and Keith Neel. Well-known for their commitment to program expansion and innovation, Music Education Consultants is recognized as a leader in the music industry for their creative approaches to music curriculum design and implementation. West Music President and CEO, Robin Walenta, spoke highly of Music Education Consultants:
“Marcia Neel served as the Supervisor of the Secondary Music Education Program of the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, from 1994 through 2007. As her legacy, she will be known for creating one of the most successful standards-based Mariachi Programs in the country. Instituted in 2002 this program has grown from 4 instructors and 250 students to now being staffed with twenty-three (23) full-time, licensed mariachi educators teaching over 3,500 students daily. It was because of her success with this program that she and I met. She was presenting a band recruitment and retention session at NASMD in March 2009 on behalf of the Music Achievement Council. During her presentation she showed a video of a Mariachi performance in Clarke County and I remember being amazed by the audience participation during the concert. The auditorium was packed and not one audience member was sitting, they were standing and singing along with the students as they performed. I said to myself - I need to learn more! It was at the Midwest Convention the following December that Marcia and I had a chance to sit down and dream about the future of school music programs and discover what we could do to remove all barriers for participation.
Keith Neel is the stage manager to the team. Behind the scenes he quietly goes about making sure every event goes off without a hitch. When West Music is at one of their sponsored events, Keith has worked with the event center staff to assure our products and presentations are top notch. When we arrive, Keith has already set up our booths with stunning displays. Keith is also the master chef of the team, famous for his prime rib, he keeps the team well feed with his creative culinary talents.
It has been an incredible journey, as we continue to educate administrators, directors, and community members in towns across the country on the importance of School Music Mariachi. Music Education Consultants work tirelessly to bring more students to music-making through hands-on, high quality experiences provided by a sequential curriculum that focuses on achievement. Their greatest joy is to see young people excelling as a result of becoming engaged in these types of life-changing music education programs.”