Waste Management Phoenix Open tees
off this week
Q&A with Dave Aardsma, chief sales & marketing officer
Phoenix – The 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open is officially underway with the golf
tournament taking place Jan. 30 – Feb. 2. It’s an event that’s taken months to organize and
has required many people — from executives to frontline drivers — to make it a success.
Read what Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Dave Aardsma had to say.
What are you most looking forward to during this year’s WMPO?
There’s never one particular thing I look forward to, since there’s really so many good things
taking place throughout the week. However, what I’m probably most excited about — that’s
new – is how our employees and fans will be able to interact with us through social media.
This year, we’ve launched the #greenestshow campaign, which is a promotion that will
showcase the work we’re doing to make the Waste Management Phoenix Open the “Greenest
Show on Grass.” I encourage everyone to check it out on Facebook and Twitter, and share
what you think. Make sure to use #greenestshow on your posts.
What does this event mean for Waste Management?
This week, millions of people are going to be watching the tournament. They’re going to see
our branding and they’re going to learn about the innovative ways we’ve transformed this
event through various waste diversion, recycling and sustainability efforts.
It’s exciting, because what we’re doing here in Phoenix can apply to what other organizations,
businesses and communities want to do across the country. Maybe they have a sustainability
goal, but don’t know the best way to achieve it. The Waste Management Phoenix Open is a
way to show what can be done and then start that conversation.
How will the fans react to this year’s event?
We have some new things this year, like our Zero Waste Stations, that I think fans will really
enjoy. Overall, though, I’m expecting our fans to be the ones who make this event so special.
Last year, we achieved a record turnout and we’re expecting big numbers again this time
around. The crowds we attract are like nothing else in golf with their spirit and enthusiasm,
and they’re a big reason we won the PGA TOUR’s Most Engaged Community award for 2013.
We also won another three awards including, Best Title Sponsor Integration, Best Promotional
Idea and Best Special Event.
What should every employee know about the WMPO?
This is an important event for our company. Not only because of the brand visibility, which is
significant, or the time we’re able to spend with customers, which is also sizable. It’s important
because we’re using it to accomplish something that’s incredibly difficult to do. Organizing an
event that’s attended by more than 500,000 people is hard enough, but doing it in such a way
that it produces zero waste is incredible. It’s a testament to the talented people we have working
at Waste Management and it’s something we should all take pride in.
You think Mickelson is going to repeat?
He’s been playing great and the course is a great fit, so I would definitely say he’s a top contender.
Picking a winner, though, is tough since this event attracts the best players the sport has to offer.
Look at Waste Management-sponsored golfers Charley Hoffman and Joe Ogilvie and cheer them on.
No matter who wins, it’s going to be fun to watch and I hope our employees will tune in to see as well.
Photo: Last year’s WMPO winner, Phil Mickelson, accepting trophy. (L-R) Aardsma, President & CEO
David Steiner; Mickelson; Senior Vice President of Southern Tier Operations John Morris.