The National Association of Concessionaires (NAC) President John Evans, Jr. announced that Bob Shimmin, the Vice President of Food & Beverage for Cinemark USA, Inc. is the 2013 Bert Nathan Award recipient. Shimmin joins a long list of exceptionally talented and generous honorees. The award designates active involvement in NAC, providing positive leadership direction, significant contributions to the development and professionalism of the concessions industry with significant accomplishments and longevity to the theatre concessions industry and current active involvement in theatre concessions at the executive level.
The Bert Nathan Award is presented annually to a deserving NAC member upon approval of the voting majority of previous Nathan awardees. The prestigious award will be presented to Shimmin on Tuesday, April 16th at the CinemaCon Award Breakfast in Las Vegas.
Shimmin grew up in the exhibition industry with fond childhood memories of touring theatres and drive-ins with his father, Phil Shimmin, of Pacific Theatres. It was no surprise that when he turned 16 his first job was working at the concession stand in Pacific’s Galleria 4 Theatre in Sherman Oaks, CA. Shimmin’s efforts to get away from the inevitable splatters of Superkist II from the buttery topping dispenser were thwarted by his GM who always scheduled him in concessions claiming that he couldn’t forgo the higher per caps and balanced inventories by allowing Bob to be wasted as an usher. Two years, and countless oil-stained ties and shirts later, Bob left Los Angeles and travelled north to attend college at UC Berkeley. Through much of his 4 years at Berkeley, Bob supplemented the money his parents provided for tuition, room and board by working as an Assistant Manager and then General Manager at various Pacific Theatres in the Bay Area. In 1988, he graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a B.A. in Political Science then two years later finished the MBA program at San Francisco State University.
From the age of seven, Bob was active in Scouting where he ultimately attained the rank of Eagle Scout. During his college years, Bob would frustrate his District Manager at Pacific Theatres by taking the summer off in order to work as Business Manager of a scout camp in the High Sierras. This summer job allowed Bob to broaden his management and foodservice skills as he oversaw all food purchasing, commissary and kitchen operations, the camp store and the business office for a summer camp visited by 300 – 400 scouts each week. Most importantly, the job also allowed Bob the opportunity to enjoy his passion for sailing and he took every opportunity to escape the commissary to get out on the camp’s lake where he taught small boat sailing in the afternoons.
Following graduate school, Bob accepted a position with Pacific Concessions in San Bruno, CA. As Director of Operations, he oversaw the distribution to, and operation of, concession facilities at approximately 100 theatres including circuits such as Signature Theatres, San Carlos Cinemas, CinemaStar, CinemaCal, and Landmark Theatres. After 9 years with Pacific Concessions the opportunity arose to join Century Theatres in San Rafael, CA, as Vice President of Concessions. It was 1997 and Century was developing their first megaplex theatre; the Century Rio 24; an 110,000 sq. ft. complex in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bob guided the development of Century’s first fully self-service, cafeteria-style concessions which allowed customers to help themselves to a wide range of products and pay for their purchases at cashier stations. The success of the concession operation at this theatre lead to the remodeling of over 30 Century Theatres as well as the incorporation of self-serve concessions into 40 new theatres constructed during the subsequent9 years. In 2005, Bob was promoted to Group Vice President, Purchasing and Concessions at Century Theatres.
In the fall of 2006, Bob joined Cinemark Theatres as VP, Food & Beverage, when Century Theatres was acquired by Cinemark. Cinemark has embraced the Century self-serve concession design which it now utilizes at most newly constructed theatres.
Bob currently serves on the Board of NAC and also sits on the Concession Task Force and the Advisory Board for the National Association of Theatre Owners. In his north Texas community, Bob and his partner of 15-years, Robb Blanchette, are involved in efforts to advance legislation on issues related to realizing equality for gay and lesbians in Texas.