BY JANET SCHEFFER – The Salesperson of the Year (SPOY) committee of Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI), Honolulu Chapter, is pleased to announce that Mr. Rick Blangiardi, General Manager of Hawaii Now (KGMB, CBS Affiliate/ KHNL, NBC Affiliate), has been selected “Salesperson of the Year” for 2010.

The Salesperson of the Year luncheon will be held Wednesday, April 20, at the Sheraton Waikiki with registration at 11 a.m. followed by the luncheon and program at 11:45 a.m.  This will be the 53rd year that SMEI Honolulu has bestowed this award upon an individual who has “enhanced the image of Hawaii and the quality of life in our community.”

“This award is very humbling,” shares Rick Blangiardi.  “I’m honored to be included among such an esteemed group of people who have previously received this prestigious honor.  I thank everyone at the Honolulu Chapter of SMEI for the recognition, as well as our great team at Hawaii Now.”

Mr. Blangiardi is a recognized leading television broadcaster who has improved the ratings, revenue, and operating profits of every broadcasting entity with which he has been affiliated.  He has been an executive in the television industry for over 34 years, succeeding in senior executive positions in many of the nation’s most competitive markets including Seattle, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami.

In the Honolulu market, Mr. Blangiardi was the Sr. Vice President & General Manager of both KHON2 and KGMB9 from 2002 through the sale of KHON2 in 2006.  Since that time, he has been the President and General Manager of KGMB9 and on October 26, 2009, he became the General Manager of Hawaii Now (KGMB and KHNL).

Mr. Blangiardi recently served as the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and actively participates as a Director for local organizations such as Central Pacific Bank, The Hawaii Food Bank, and American Red Cross.  He is also President of Aloha Council Boy Scouts and President of Na Koa, the University of Hawaii Football Booster Club.

“I am so excited to be honoring Rick Blangiardi as this year’s SMEI Salesperson of the Year,” shared Clint Schroeder, President of SMEI.  “His leadership in our community, innovative business approach, and devotion to the State of Hawaii has proven that he is the right man for the award.  Rick doesn’t just ‘talk the talk’; he is a man of his word, and one of the hardest working marketers I know.”
Past recipients of this award include Steven Ai and Carol Ai May of City Mill, Mark B. Dunkerley of Hawaiian Airlines, Governor Linda Lingle, Perry and Price of KSSK Radio, the late Don Ho, Chatt Wright of Hawaii Pacific University, Ed Hogan of Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays, Keith Vieira of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and Anthony Guerrero of First Hawaiian Bank.

SMEI was established in 1935 by IBM founder Thomas Watson and others to create a network of sales and marketing executives to promote industry professionalism. The organization has grown to include members in more than 40 countries. In Hawaii, approximately 100 members represent advertising, finance, health care, manufacturing, travel, media, and real estate companies.

Since its inception in 1948, SMEI, Honolulu Chapter, has been hosting learning and networking opportunities for sales and marketing executives.  To learn more, go to SMEI is the only worldwide sales and marketing professional association for marketers at managerial levels or above.