Adam Gottlieb, ACS, EVP Sales and Procurement for Continental Concession Supplies, Inc. accepts the 2015 Bert Nathan Memorial Award during the CinemaCon All-Industry Award Breakfast on Tuesday, April 21 at 7:30 AM at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The video is 10 minutes and 33 seconds.
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.
Adam joins a long list of exceptionally talented and generous honorees. Past recipients of the Bert Nathan Award include Maria Angles, ECM; Norman Chesler; Charlie Cretors; Gina Troutman DiSanto, CCM; Larry Etter, CCM ; J.C. Evans; John Evans, Jr.; Tim Farha; Shelley Feldman; Evan Gordon; Wally Helton, ECM; Dan Kroeger; Ron Krueger II; Jack Leonard; Peter Leyh; Frank Liberto; Libby Mauro; Mike Mosher; Shelly Olesen, ACS; Bruce Proctor, ECM; Bill Rector; Krista Schulte; Robert Scribner; Jeff Scudillo; Bob Shimmin; Skip Stefansen; Bruce Taffet; Anita Watts and the late Bill Chaplain, Len Marsh and Bert Nathan.
Adam was born Brooklyn, New York in 1972. In 1977, at the age of five he moved to Wantagh, New York. He graduated from Wantagh High School in 1990 and attended Hofstra University. On his post-secondary education Adam says, “I did not graduate, and instead went to California for a few years where I figured out I could do pretty well in sales. One of my greatest challenges today is trying to make sure my children understand that I got very lucky in finding a job I love that gives me the ability to support and take care of them, and do all I can to make sure they understand that one of my biggest regrets is not finishing college even though in my case, I am doing just fine without it.”
Adam began his career in sales working for Circuit City in Thousand Oaks, California as a small electronics and computer sales person. “I literally knew nothing about computers at the time,” says Adam, “but was very good at selling them.” After Circuit City, he worked for Nobody Beats the Wiz as a sales manager, and then a store general manager.
While working at Nobody Beats the Wiz, he met Aaron Slonim, the owner of CCSI, and about four years later came to work for the company. At the time, CCSI was a small, regional distributor with one location. Adam currently serves as Executive Vice President of Sales and Procurement at CCSI, and will celebrate his 17th anniversary with the company in April of 2015.
Adam says his primary reason for leaving the retail world was to spend more time with his son who had just begun talking. “I didn’t want to miss him growing up as I was working every holiday, every weekend, and most evenings. Those were the times commissioned retail sales people made their money. This is a bit ironic with my current travel schedule, and the fact that I still have two kids at home.”
In 16 plus years at CCSI, Adam has done it all from picking orders and loading boxes on to trucks, routing the trucks to make deliveries, making deliveries himself, meeting with the CEOs of their largest customers and everything in between.
Adam says he has a hard time explaining what he does now on a daily basis as it seems to change quite frequently. “As a member of our executive team, I still seem to have my hands in everything.” He adds, “I am a part of a small team that makes all of the decisions for CCSI and I am proud to be helping guide the company as we continue to experience major growth every year.”
He speaks proudly of the veteran sales team that he has assembled over the years. “Our sales team grew from basically Aaron (Slonim) and myself to include Marty Leiske, Ron Naslund, David Boles, Jill King, Dave Reling, and Deana Valdmann on the theater side, and Adam Vick, Neil Birk and Lynea Jones on the Specialty retail side. At one time my team also included industry standouts Rob Lehman, Chris Orbaugh, and Bob Harwood as well.”
Adam remains very involved on the sales front in both the theater/stadium and specialty markets fronts, and brings the knowledge and expertise to help customers in both segments create and maintain successful menus and plan-o-grams for either segment. “Oftentimes the trends and best movers I see at specialty retail are introduced to our theater customers with very positive results.”
He adds, “The specialty retail customers are able to merchandise many more SKU’s than the theater customers and are thus more able and willing to try new items. Their successes often translate to good items to introduce to the theater customer, with the understanding that unless it is a great mover, there is no place for it in the limited 18-25 slots available in the theater candy case.”
Adam began his participation with NAC in 2004 by sponsoring the Al Lapidus Golf Tournament and has been a member since 2005. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors and is also on the Al Lapidus Golf Tournament Committee. He has been an active sponsor of the annual convention, Regional Seminar Series, Al Lapidus Golf and NAC Website. Gottlieb received his ACS accreditation in December 2010.
About the Association, he says, “I enjoy working with NAC, and am very honored by my recent appointment to the NAC executive board. The concessions industry over the years has given me a lot, and I am proud to be able to give back to the industry, and the people NAC supports by working with the NAC board and members.
In 2014, Adam was named the co-recipient of the inaugural Krystal La Reese-Gaule Membership Award along with Tish Hardric of Great Western Products. The annual award is presented to the NAC member who sponsors the most new memberships during the most recent fiscal year. He has sponsored 20 new members during his career. “Winning the Krystal La-Reese Gaul Award along with Tish was very important to me,” he says, “Krystal was a great friend to me and to our industry, and I was truly honored to be one of the first recipients of the award honoring her memory.”
Upon learning of the Bert Nathan Award, Gottlieb acknowledged the prestige of the honor and history of the organization, “I am truly honored to be selected to receive this award, and to be included among the list of industry leaders to be bestowed the honor.”
Adam and his wife Lori still live in Wantagh (Lori is also originally from there). The couple has three children: Aaron 19, a freshman at Florida State who worked for Belmont Capital Group for 2.5 years in a theater before leaving for School; Alexa 11 and Addison 6.