2021 ED’s Awards Show honors individuals who shined during shutdown

 

After a time unlike any other in our industry’s history, ED Publications elected to take an entirely different approach to this year’s ED’s Awards Show, which was held on-site in the Grand Ballroom at the InterContinental Hotel Miami, the host hotel for the 2021 EXPO this May 23-26.

“There’s just no way we could award the ‘Club of the Year’ in regions of the country where most of the clubs have been closed since March 2020,” says ED Publications’ Associate Publisher Dave Manack. “And even in the other regions where clubs have been open, they’re only at maybe 50% capacity. That’s why we want to turn our attention to some of the key individuals who have done something remarkable, or made a substantial impact in some way over the past year.”

A colorful view at the ED Awards Show

Eschewing such typical categories as “Club of the Year West Region” or “International Club of the Year,” ED Publications created eight new award titles, all of which were presented during the 23rd Annual Adult Nightclub & Exotic Dancer Awards Show. The ED Awards Show, still the only national awards show for the multi-billion-dollar adult nightclub industry was held on Tuesday, May 25, and was once again presented in Brand Partnership with Patron Tequila. The show was hosted by comedian and actor Jimmy Shubert, and included performances by EDI Entertainer of the Year nominees Shar Zayn and Justice.

Special presenters included Blake Monroe, BJ McNaughty, Angel Beau, Michelle Lynn, Ms Parker, Pixie Raye and 2019 ED’s Entertainer of the Year Bellzora, with assistance from trophy girls Jessica Hart and Alysia Clarke. The Awards Show staging was produced by ALVInnovations with assistance from Chauvet Lighting and Luna Reps.

Here are the 2021 ED’s Awards categories and winners:

Bambi Wilde
Bambi Wilde

The Social Media Entertainer of the Year Award is presented to a woman who not only ran her own social media throughout the pandemic, but also ran the social media of the adult nightclub that she co-owns. It is through the club’s social media account that she was able to promote such innovative, COVID-related promotions as “drive-through” dances and entertainer livestreams. She was determined to use the club’s social media account to promote all of the entertainers at her club, as she did everything in her power to keep the club’s staff and entertainers employed throughout the shutdown. Not only is she a beautiful and talented showgirl entertainer who recently graced the pages of Playboy, she is also a club owner who cares deeply about the entertainers, staff and customers at her club, Luxxx Showgirls in Peoria, Illinois.

Winner: Bambi Wilde

Accepted by Bambi Wilde: “I was so sure 2020 was going to be amazing after I won Miss Nude World and we bought a club and as it turned out, I lost all my bookings just like every other feature here and we had to close our club just like every other club owner here. In situations like last year, you have to pivot. First we organized a no-contact drive-thru striptease where customers could drive up in their cars, use our rainmaker ATM … and watch dancers via a big screen. We got shut down within four hours of business but the video we created went viral and it created more interest in our club, so I knew that’s what we had to do.”

Shon Boulden
Shon Boulden

The Creative Executive of the Year Award is presented to the individual who found new ways to approach and enhance their business despite the shutdown. The man winning this award became an industry rock star in 2020 with innovative ideas that received national and even international media coverage. In fact, Rolling Stone Magazine said his creation — “Boober Eats” — was one of the “33 Moments That Made Us Smile in 2020.” And let’s not forget his drive-through strip club, which generated even more positive headlines in 2020.

Winner: Shon Boulden, owner of The Lucky Devil and Devil’s Point in Portland, Oregon

Accepted by Shon Boulden: “I’m grateful for everybody that ordered food, drove through our strip club, tipped our staff, supported us throughout those months. Without this pivot, many of us wouldn’t be around today. I learned a lot of lessons and I’m looking forward to this pandemic being over, I’m looking forward to just getting back to normal and yeah, making money again. Thank you guys, I really appreciate this. This is fucking awesome.”

Curtis Wise of the Bucks Cabaret clubs
Curtis Wise of the Bucks Cabaret clubs

The Team Players of the Year Award goes to those club executives who-—at their own expense—helped their staff and entertainers through the shutdown. This year’s award honors a group of people in Dallas, Texas, who went far beyond the call of duty to help their entertainers and staff who were out of work due to the COVID shutdown. These individuals helped provide meals to those from their clubs who could not afford to feed themselves, as they were out of work and desperate. Many clubs boast having a “family” environment, but there’s no doubt that Bucks Cabaret in Dallas is the real deal.

Winner: Bucks Cabaret clubs in Texas

Accepted by Bucks owner Curtis Wise: “It was actually my wife’s idea, Leslie, who’s sitting out here tonight. I’d like to take full credit for it (applause). She said ‘Hey, you’ve got the kitchen over at California Crossing, why don’t you get Chef Adrian in there and let’s make food for people.’ This is during the time when unemployment eventually caught up and in the first few weeks there was nothing. So we started making meals and Scott Discianno, who is a Bucks leader—he is actually out working tonight because the team needed him to miss the convention and do what we do at Bucks, and that’s work. We work for our team, we make the club first and we take care of our people. Scott and his wife, Emily, came to the club every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and we passed out meals to everybody in our company that wanted food.”

Joey Bien
Joey Bien

The Goodwill Ambassador of the Year Award goes to the club executive who consistently stays positive and is actively involved in making improvements in the industry. This new award is being presented to a person who is a positive, upbeat, and energetic representative of our industry at large. As the Sponsorship Chairman for ACE National, it’s up to him to help represent the industry in a positive light as he secures sponsors that are beneficial to ACE and its members. He goes out of his way to educate owners and staff on new ideas that can make their business better, safer and more cost-effective. He is a spokesperson to the general public when needed, and helps move the industry forward through all the challenges we face in a positive way.

Winner: Joey Bien of The Treasure Clubs and ACE National

Accepted by Joey Bien: “I encourage you all to be proud of your industry. It’s a wonderful industry with wonderful people. What we do is terrific, our entertainers our terrific, our managers are terrific, our floor people, our bartenders, our waitresses and our owners are terrific. And you’ve got a lot to be proud of. And I’m proud to go out there and talk about you day after day after day.”

Warren Cato of Club Control Systems
Warren Cato of Club Control Systems

The EXPO Ally of the Year Award is for the industry professionals who continually support the EXPO and gentlemen’s clubs at large. They are true champions of our industry. This award is unlike any other award being presented tonight because it’s going to one of the businesses that supports our industry. As this company continues to evolve with their customizable products and services—including advanced point-of-sale systems and ATMs—they have never wavered in their support of adult nightclubs, the EXPO, and each of us here tonight.

Winner: Club Control Systems
Award accepted by Warren Cato

The Project Director of the Year Award is an award that acknowledges perseverance in accomplishing a difficult or daunting project from start to finish and reaping the awards of that effort. Massive club renovations are always a challenge but seldom do they occur in the middle of a global pandemic. But that’s exactly what happened in Tampa when The Penthouse Club and its new ownership, Kirkendoll Management, began a complete transformation that took several months to complete. From an old restaurant to what is now a dazzling nightclub/strip club hybrid, The Penthouse Club Tampa is taking the entire area by storm. Tonight, we honor the man most responsible for this epic overhaul.

Eddie Suqi
Eddie Suqi

Winner: Eddie Suqi of The Penthouse Clubs

Accepted by Eddie Suqi: “My advice for owners, club executives and other decision-makers: trust yourself. Trust the team you’ve created and allow them to have input. Groups always create a better product than a sole individual. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how amazing or how beautiful a club you build—the true work comes in after you open. Creating the culture and atmosphere that harness success. The reason I’m standing here tonight accepting this award is because I have surrounded myself with the best in the business, continuing to improve our operations on a daily basis. Thank you, ED, for this recognition and giving us the opportunity to meet again as a group. May everyone continue to stay healthy and prosper.”

The Road Warrior of the Year Award honors the club executive who selflessly travels mile after mile, year after year, ensuring that their clubs have everything they need to be successful. Sure, some people travel for work. I mean, feature entertainers travel all the time! But it’s hard to imagine that anyone is on the road for more days, weeks, even months out of the year than our next award recipient. Even amidst a global pandemic, this man continued his tireless travel schedule, as he met with club after club, manager after manager, consistently ensuring that these clubs have everything they need to be successful.

Dean Reardon
Dean Reardon

Winner: Dean Reardon of RCI Hospitality

Accepted by Dean Reardon: “I have the easiest job in the world; I have the best GMs, the best regionals, the best employees and the best entertainers that work for us. They deserve all the credit. Eric (Langan) and Ed (Anakar), you guys are the two best bosses in the world to work for. I’m fortunate, I have the best team in the world to work with and work for. I love you all, I love this industry and I appreciate y’all. I love you, thank you!”

EDI Overall Entertainer of the Year

Winner: Shar Zayn

Shar Zayn
Shar Zayn

The EDI Overall Entertainer of the Year Award was presented in conjunction with the EXOTIC DANCER Invitational (EDI) East and West Contests. In lieu of the typical Overall Entertainer of the Year Award, ED Publications elected to invite the top four finishers from the most recent EDI contests (2019) — Shar Zayn, Justice, Natasha Nova and Janine Jericho — to compete in the first-ever, one-night-only EDI Final. This competition was held at Tootsie’s Cabaret on Sunday, May 23, and the top two finishers moved on to provide a showcase performance during the ED’s Awards Show.

Accepted by Shar Zayn: “Honestly, thank you to everyone for motivating me to be who I am. Thank you so much.”

Blake Monroe
Blake Monroe

Miss ExoticDancer.com of the Year

Winner: Blake Monroe

All photos by Tim Hubbard

The 2021 ED Awards Show was produced by Lexi Lamour, and co-produced by Dave Manack. Special thanks to Awards Show staff Rob Aiken, Bobby Mac, DJ Platypus, Shawn Ritchie, Kristofer Kay, Eugenio Torrens and Kevin Pennington.

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