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Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO Tracy Kimberlin presents former Springfield Cardinals General Manager Matt Gifford with the Pinnacle Award.
Photo provided by Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau
Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO Tracy Kimberlin presents former Springfield Cardinals General Manager Matt Gifford with the Pinnacle Award.

Former Springfield Cardinals GM honored by CVB

Posted online

The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau presented its top annual award to former Springfield Cardinals General Manager Matt Gifford.

Gifford, who worked 13 years as the Cardinals’ first general manager, received the CVB’s Pinnacle Award during a banquet held last night at University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, according to a news release.

Gifford went to the big leagues last year when he was promoted to vice president of stadium operations for the St. Louis Cardinals. Dan Reiter succeeded him as the leader of the Double-A affiliate team in Springfield.

A video announcing Gifford as the Pinnacle Award winner stated that during Gifford’s management tenure, the Cardinals brought in nearly 5 million fans to Hammons Field.

“He created a brand out of nothing,” Reiter said in the video. “We had to define what it meant to have the Cardinals in this area. I think that’s what Matt’s been able to do.”

In the video, CVB President and CEO Tracy Kimberlin commended Gifford for creating a family-friendly attraction in the Queen City.

“He was more concerned about the experience that the fans had at the game than the results of the game,” Kimberlin said.

Gifford joins other Pinnacle Award winners including Roseann Bentley, Greg Walker and Jim Anderson.

Last night, the CVB also honored four other previously announced award winners:
    •    Springfield Hot Glass Inc. with the Hospitality Award;
    •    former Ozarks Greenways director Terry Whaley with the Diplomat Award;
    •    Ozark Empire Fairgrounds Executive Director Aaron Owen with the Spotlight Award; and
    •    the Missouri State High School Activities Association with the Ambassador Award.

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