Ben Adams named Cleveland Monsters 2021-22 IOA/American Specialty AHL Person of the YearMay 12, 2022
The Cleveland Monsters are proud to announce Senior Director of Communications and Marketing Ben Adams has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Person of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Cleveland Monsters during the 2021-22 season. This annual award is announced by the American Hockey League, traditionally acknowledging a player for his outstanding contributions to his local community. This season the league expanded the Person of the Year program to allow teams to recognize individuals who played an important role supporting their organization and/or impacting the local community.
A member of the Monsters front office for the past eight years, Adams leads the marketing, communications, digital, game operations and community relations initiatives of the team. His contributions have helped the Monsters maintain a consistent place among the league’s leaders in attendance and top fan experiences, but also among the most impactful organizations in their local community.
Adams has helped spearhead many initiatives in the community including the Monsters Learning and Recreation Center at Halloran Park, the launch of the Cleveland Monsters Sled Hockey Team, and led an effort to partner with filmmaker Steven Hoffner to promote his documentary The Cannons, an immersive feature documentary showcasing the trials and tribulations of North America’s longest running minority hockey program. The Monsters Community Foundation served as a community partner of the film which made its midwest debut at the Cleveland International Film Festival in April 2022. The Monsters involvement and surrounding programming helped the film garner additional attention amongst hockey fans locally.
Among the issues most important to Adams is diversity, equity, and inclusion and increasing access to the sport of hockey. Under the guidance of Adams, the team held its first all-girls on-ice clinic in March 2022, headlined by hockey pioneer and Cleveland native Blake Bolden at her hometown rink in Euclid, Ohio. The team later recognized Bolden, the first Black woman to play in the NWHL, at its Women’s History Celebration. In addition to these unique programs, the Monsters team continued to have an impact through its annual Salute to Service, Season of Giving, and additional DEI-focused theme nights including the Monsters Black History Celebration, Pride Night, Jewish Heritage Day, and Hispanic Heritage Night.
Additionally, Adams helped conceive and execute a number of impactful theme nights that had a tremendous impact on local charities. On December 4, 2021 the Monsters held “National Cookie Day” in collaboration with cancer survivor Ryan Kuchta, celebrity chef Michael Symon, and A Special Wish Foundation. As a result, proceeds from these initiatives and a specialty “Cookie Monster” jersey resulted in a $15,000 donation to A Special Wish Foundation to continue granting wishes of children. Another highlight of the 2021-22 season was Cleveland Rocks Night, which featured a Dave Grohl bobblehead giveaway. The partnerships orchestrated by Adams between Dave Grohl, Dominion Energy, and the Monsters Community Foundation helped local non-profit the Rainey Institute receive a donation of more than $11,000 to support arts education and programs benefitting underserved local youth.
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