Staff at The NEW Center

Work with a team who makes you feel like family.

The staff at The NEW Center can take the stress and questions of planning an event off your shoulders. Our professional event coordinators are here to walk you through logistics, menus, decor and even marketing and promotions.

Andy Malitz

Andy Malitz | Executive Director

Andy Malitz serves as Executive Director of The NEW Center. In this capacity, Andy is responsible for managing all sales and marketing, community outreach and tenant relations within The NEW Center as well as the daily operations of Sequoia Wellness, the medically based community wellness center located on the building’s first floor.

Andy brings successful career experience in management, marketing, sales and event production to The NEW Center. Prior to joining our team, Andy spent 12+ years with the Cleveland Cavaliers in various ticket sales management positions. Andy was also a co-founder and longtime Executive Director of Taste of Hudson, the renowned Labor Day weekend culinary festival.

Andy graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He currently resides in Hudson, Ohio with his wife, Tammy. Andy’s passions include fitness, yoga, gardening, live music and hiking in many of Northeast Ohio’s parks.

Amanda Senn

Amanda Senn | Sales Director

Amanda Senn has been with The NEW Center since the beginning in 2014. Amanda is responsible for promoting The NEW Center brand and bringing in new clients to experience everything we have to offer. She is very involved in Portage and Summit County community organizations, including multiple chambers of commerce, and is a 2017 graduate of Leadership Portage County.

Amanda attended The Ohio State University and has had careers in sales, marketing and hospitality ever since. Her positions have taken her around the country from Estes Park, Colorado, to Fort Myers, Florida, and most recently, to Chicago, Illinois where she worked for the Hyatt on Magnificent Mile. She also spent four years as a Marketing Coordinator at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

Amanda lives with her family in Kent, Ohio. She spends her time traveling and attending local events.

“I love being a sounding board for clients. A large part of my job is being involved in the community and networking at different events all over NE Ohio. Our industry is constantly changing and there are always new and fun ideas we can propose to our clients,” says Amanda.

Debra Donzella

Debra Donzella | Administrative Coordinator

Debra is one of our veterans having more than seven years under her belt at NEOMED and The NEW Center. Debra is the face of our organization when people come into our office. They are always greeted with a warm welcome and a friendly smile. She manages the day to day needs of our entire office staff from event coordination to billing.

Prior to coming to NEOMED, Debra taught 2nd Grade Reading in Washington State for 17 years! She also worked for an oral surgeon in Fairlawn, Ohio, for five years.

Debra loves to travel to different countries, frequently visiting her son overseas. There aren’t many places she hasn’t been. She enjoys long walks on the beach. Debra also has two amazing grandson’s that light up her world and she visits them often in Chicago, Illinois.

Brittany Hamlin

Brittany Hamlin | Event Coordinator

Brittany came to The NEW Center in 2017 officially as an Event Coordinator and unofficially as our tech guru. Brittany’s never-ending supply of energy and innovative spirit assures any of our guests last minute requests can be accommodated. Brittany has immeasurable experience in managing large corporate expos, black tie galas and weddings.

Brittany has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Equine Entrepreneurship. She has planned multiple ag-relief trips out to the western farming states, totaling well over 120 truckloads of hay, cattle feed, animal supplies, etc. for families and farms in need. Brittany also previously worked on planning small events for a local feed company.

Brittany, her husband and two kids operate a hobby farm with off-the-track thoroughbreds, goats, poultry and three dogs! They enjoy hiking, kayaking and horseback riding. Brittany and her family plan to move out to Montana one day and open their own bed and breakfast. “Planning shouldn’t be stressful! Let us take your dreams and turn it into a reality you get to enjoy!” says Brittany.

Sheryl Loftus

Sheryl Loftus | Director of Catering

Sheryl began at The NEW Center in 2017 as the Banquet Manager and has since been promoted to the position of Director of Catering. In addition to day-to-day event management, Sheryl is responsible for maintaining relationships with our vendors, suppliers and partners, including the Northeast Ohio Medical University in a business development capacity.

Sheryl attended Kent State University and has a Bachelor of Business Administration with a double major in Management and Marketing. Prior to coming to The NEW Center, Sheryl was the Sales Manager at Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Akron. She was an integral part of the new property opening team. She also served as the Sales Coordinator at Courtyard by Marriott in Stow.

Sheryl is known to friends and family as “Julie the Cruise Director” (from The Love Boat) since she has organized yearly vacations for 15 years that involve five families living in five different states!

“An exceptional experience requires outstanding customer service from beginning to end. Having the ability to understand one’s customer and their needs is paramount. This understanding comes from listening and responding to expressed needs. When planning an event, or any type of experience, the key is to deliver the unexpected,” says Sheryl.

Amanda Price | Event Coordinator

Amanda came to The NEW Center in 2019 as our Banquet Captain and managed behind the scenes where she executed event details to ensure proper set-up and prompt timing of scheduled events and food service. Amanda was promoted to Event Coordinator in February of 2020 and now works one-on-one with clients to help plan and coordinate detail of their special events.

Amanda has worked within the event industry since her senior year at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, where she majored in Communication/Public Relations. She interned with a floral event company, and her love for working events stemmed from there! Amanda most recently worked at David’s Bridal for over five years where she gained experience in the demanding wedding industry.

Amanda swam competitively for over 12 years and now enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs.

“Exceptional experience to me is treating every event like it’s your own. It’s putting in 100% effort for each client and offering great advice and insight along the way to help make their event above and beyond what they ever imagined it being,” says Amanda.

Melinda Gibbs | Retail Supervisor

Mindy came to The NEW Center in June of 2018 and has excelled as our Retail Supervisor. In addition to Banquets and Events, The NEW Center offers a coffee shop and a bistro. Mindy is responsible for the oversight and quality control for these outlets. Mindy interacts daily with not only our clients, but also the general public and faculty/staff/students who frequent our first floor amenities.

Mindy has a Business Management Degree and past experience in the fast food industry as Regional/Multi-Unit Management.

Mindy is very active in the community outside of The NEW Center. She and her family help to operate a local Jeep Club. She is a Mahoning County 4H Head Advisor. Mindy is also involved in multiple other community charities.

“Exceptional experience is our #1 goal here at The New Center. We go above and beyond what our guest expects, making it the best experience they have ever had,” says Mindy.

Michelle Ulrich | Banquet Manager

Michelle started with The NEW Center in 2018 as our Banquet Manager. Michelle keeps everyone in line and assures that every single detail of every single event is recognized and executed to a tee. Michelle engages with our clients the day of the event to accommodate any last-minute requests that come up. She is also our resident mixologist and is happy to craft a specialty cocktail for your event or wedding.

Michelle attended Field High School in Brimfield, Ohio. After school she had a career in graphic design for over 20 years. Michelle enjoys working at Paradise Lake Country Club in her free time where she has held multiple positions over the last eight years.

Michelle lives in Brimfield with her wonderful husband of 25 years and their beautiful daughter. They love playing with their four-year-old black lab and spend their time traveling, playing sports and golfing.

Chef Xavier

Xavier Smith | Executive Chef

Xavier came to The NEW Center in 2014 with extensive training from Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts under his belt.

Prior to joining The NEW Center team, Xavier lead the Kitchen at Russo’s Restaurant and Bacchus Lounge, which specializes in Creole and Italian Soul food. Xavier was also a chef at Cinderella’s Royal Table at Walt Disney World Resort.

Cooking since 1989 when he was just a young boy, Xavier has always had a passion for not only the act of cooking, but the way food brings people together in a peaceful way.

 

Rodney Reckner | Banquet Chef

Rodney Reckner, the Banquet Chef of the NEW center, along with the culinary team, is responsible for the preparation of the food in the banquet kitchen.

Rodney got his culinary start slinging pizzas at Sbarros' in the Orange Park Mall food court, and although he attended college for Film and Video Production, cooking has always been his passion. Rodney has been the Executive Chef of Signature of Solon Country Club, Kent State Hotel and Conference Center, and Judson Park Nursing Home.

Thai and Malaysian food, with it's contrasting sweet/hot/sour/salty flavors are among his favorite things to cook.

Rodney and his wife Alessandra are the proud parents of 10 year old Lucca and 4 year old twins Ian and Noah.