• Meet Andrea Hahn, Queen of the Ice

     
    POSTED May 7, 2019
     

    Andrea Hahn, general manager of Chicago’s new MB Ice Arena, knows her way around an ice rink.

Ever since she was a little girl, Andrea Hahn has loved hockey. When she met her husband, who happened to be a hockey player, the sport became strong in their home, with her son playing throughout his school career. Their three daughters were figure skaters, so naturally, Hahn found herself spending a lot of time at ice rinks. “I’m kind of immune to the cold at this point,” she quips. We caught up with her to learn about her role with the city’s latest hockey rink, the MB Ice Arena – Chicago Blackhawks Community Rink, which is the practice home of the Chicago Blackhawks and much more.

What does your role as GM of the MB Ice Arena entail?
I run all aspects of the arena day to day, whether it’s the ice schedule, customers and employees, as well as all the events here. We opened in November 2017 as the official practice facility of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Besides hockey, what kinds of events can be hosted here?
We can do anything from a small birthday party for kids to a corporate function. Some include the ice; some have nothing to do with ice. We’ve had corporate events that start with a meeting and merge into a lunch, then at the end we’ve incorporated broomball, ice bocce or skating. We are also about to add an option for flooring to cover the ice to host events, which is another option for a nontraditional event venue.

Tell us how those games are played.
In broomball, you’re on the ice but you’re not in ice skates—you can wear regular gym shoes. You have what looks like a hockey stick but instead of a curve, it ends with a paddle, and you use a large ball rather than a puck. Ice bocce is like bags or corn hole, except you’re on the ice. Basically, they bring everybody onto a level playing field, because you can use the ice in a fun way that doesn’t take any skating skills.

How does the Blackhawks connection play into events?
We’re able to offer tours through their practice facility private locker space, which are very popular. The arena can also tap into the Blackhawks team ambassadors, including Denis Savard, Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull and Chris Chelios, who help the organization with fan engagement activities.

You may not have seen her name among Chicago’s James Beard award nominees or caught in the buzz of another trendy eatery opening, but the ripples of Rita Dever’s culinary creations have made an impact far and wide. After cooking around the world, the Pacific Northwest native put down roots as Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ (LEYE) associate partner and corporate chef where she collaborates in the company’s test kitchen to innovate new dishes for all LEYE restaurants.

 

Denver native Keisha Makonese’s passion for planning events dates way back. Her latest gig as director of sales and corporate events at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum began nine years ago. In this role, Makonese helps oversee an average of 150 private events at Wings Over the Rockies each year, from making meetings for 20 people to annual dinners for 2,000 fun and interactive experiences.

 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better champion of Amarillo than Hope Stokes, director of brand management for the Amarillo Convention & Visitor Council. Born and raised in the Texas Panhandle city, she graduated from nearby West Texas A&M University and her first job in the tourism industry was as an intern at the council. Stokes shared with us her love of her hometown.

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