Member Spotlight – Steve Byrnes, Van Holten’s

| February 28, 2013

I love being the leader of Van Holten’s. I’m proud to oversee a great group of employees and encourage an entrepreneurial atmosphere where everyone given the opportunity to make a difference.

Number of years in the concessions industry: 15

NAC member since 2004

Favorite NAC memory: Despite getting soaked in the rain at Busch Gardens in Tampa in 2011 we had a great time meeting fellow NAC members and hitting the roller coasters!

Favorite concession item & how often do you eat it? Other than Van Holten’s pickle-in-a-pouch it’s gotta be Reese’s Pieces. I eat them every time I go to a movie.

What keeps you in the industry? That’s easy … The industry obviously lends itself to fun. Concessions are fun, pickles are fun, and Van Holten’s is fun.

Biggest change in the industry: One of the most important changes has been the increased emphasis on food safety and sanitation which fortunately is one of the huge benefits of our pickle in a pouch.

Favorite part of my job: The people I work with. Van Holten’s has an amazing group of people that I am proud to work with.

Most challenging thing about my job: Having enough time to effectively manage all our opportunities.

Strangest thing on your desk or in your office: My pickle-pult. It’s a small green catapult that shoots plastic pickles….better be careful when you come in my office!

If I wasn’t in concessions, I’d be a: 3rd baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers

Hobbies: Travel, cooking, and I’m a true cheese head (Brewers, Badgers, and Packers fan)

Best thing about being an NAC member: Awesome opportunities to network within the industry.

How do you motivate yourself on a tough day? Focus on all the great opportunities I have in life and why I come to work every day, which is for my family and the employees of Van Holten’s.

How do you relax? It involves one of two extremes get outside for hike in nature or a remote and the TV.

Last good movie I saw: This might be an indicator of my maturity level…The Campaign gave me big time belly laughs

If I could have one person to dinner, it would be: My wife…with a 5 month old baby at home the one on one dinners are definitely more precious.

I wish I knew how to… Speak Chinese

My personal motto is…Focus on improving only what you can control

Favorite holiday & why? Thanksgiving because it has all the great food and family of Christmas with less of the “other stuff”

Favorite U.S. city: NYC

Pet Peeve: People who are late

My dream vacation would be: I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a ton in my life and it’s a true passion of mine so it’s a tough question but I think the top of my list right now would be Malaysia because of its mix of cities and villages, jungles and islands and a clash of cultures with an amazing variety of food.

Anything else you want to tell us, or want people to know….. My wife and I just had our first child and outside of needing toothpicks to hold our eyes open we love it!

Category: Feature

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