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

    POSTED May 23, 2019

    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.

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.

Tony Michaels is no stranger to navigating choppy waters. The CEO and executive director of The Parade Company, which puts on traditions like America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Ford Fireworks, took the helm of the Detroit nonprofit during tough times, at the height of the financial crisis. “2008, 2009, are you kidding me?” says Michaels.


Ken Hayward has spent nearly his entire career serving at one hotel. But when you start your career at one of the most iconic and historic hotels in Michigan— even the nation—it’s hard to see yourself anywhere else. Hayward, executive vice president and managing director of Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, was recently named Hotelier of the Year by Historic Hotels of America. This honor comes decades after Hayward was given an unexpected opportunity.


At just 16, Jack Schripsema had already set a long-standing hospitality career in motion with his first job washing dishes at the local Holiday Inn.