• Meet John Lamb, Lifetime Achievement, 2019 Hall of Fame

    Michigan Meetings + Events is proud to introduce our 2019 Hall of Fame, made up of seven top-notch individuals who are positively impacting the meetings and events industry.

    POSTED May 23, 2019

John Lamb

Vice President, Sales and Theme Engineer; Display Group; Detroit

A Learning Moment: “Being in the business for 28 years, I am still amazed that I am still learning all the time. We are always pushing the envelope, planning and executing events that require more and lead us into new design and engineering territory. I never say no. Instead I am motivated to see what can happen.”

Most Memorable Moment: “Meeting with Roger Penske to consult and provide rental elements for the Food and Beverage Fan Experience for Super Bowl XL in Detroit. His impressive leadership and attention to detail, focusing on all parts of the fan experience and the impact that this major event had on Detroit’s image and reputation taught me volumes about the precision of planning and the demands of excellence.”

Personal Philosophy: “To do the very best I can to represent each client—to honor their ideas, to utilize all the skill and talent at my disposal and to act as the catalyst to make each event a reality according to the client’s vision, no matter what the challenge may be. I work hard to be prepared, listen more than I speak and deliver on promises.”

On His Role: “My energy is focused on sales, from researching clients, refining themes and designs, to engineering unique and on-trend parties and professional events.”

Career Path: “I was motivated by parents who worked hard and taught me to recognize opportunity. The early days of delivering papers and teaching tennis lessons eventually led to the serendipity of landing on the sales team at Display Group in its inception. My role here has grown to include serving as president of the Michigan chapter of International Special Events Society (now ILEA) and collaborating closely with Detroit Metro CVB. I have been honored to participate in and enjoy the growth of this small company that began with a modest dream to encourage a community to see possibilities in creative ideas and has grown to impact a city and its movement toward a real vision.”

Valuable Skills: “Being in a live events business, staying calm and collected throughout the entire process is critical. You only get one chance to make it memorable. You have to be focused, flexible, ready with solutions to exceed the client’s expectations.

As general manager of the new 130-room AC Hotel Grand Rapids Downtown, Ryan Schmied enjoys a fast-track life by making sure everything at the stunning boutique-style property is running smoothly.

Formerly a refrigerator production factory, warehouse and most recently a TGI Fridays near the Van Andel Arena, the 19th-century space in which the chic AC is located has quite a history.


Nicki Polan’s job truly floats her boat.


Liz Andre-Stotz

Owner; Parsonage Events; Clarkston