Steve Zuehlke, the executive vice president of external relations and special projects at Cinemark, will receive this year’s International Career Achievement Award at ShowEast. He will be presented with this special honor as part of the International Awards Luncheon on Monday, October 23rd at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel.
A 50-year motion picture theatre industry veteran, Steve began his illustrious career starting in the late spring of 1973 working for an independent theatre owner in his hometown of Grand Island, NE. He continued through college, working for Mann Theatres in Ft. Collins, CO, followed by moves to Kansas, Nebraska—working for Commonwealth Theatres, and Texas—working for Santikos Theatres, before joining Cinemark in 1988. He was tapped to lead international expansion operations in 1992 – starting in Chile. He assisted in the opening of each of Cinemark’s offices and initial theaters throughout Latin America—from Mexico to Argentina, as well as in Japan, Taiwan, England, and Canada. He was the initial country general manager for both Cinemark Chile and Cinemark Colombia.
At the beginning of 2007, after spending 15 years with duties outside of the US, he returned to head up USA Operations. He was made executive vice president of global operations in 2010. Steve’s current role with Cinemark focuses on Variety, the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), among other industry-related organizations. Steve is also a member of multiple committees for NATO – including the advisory board, chairing the conventions committee, as well as being on the government relations and operations committees. He was a member of the NATO cinema reopening task force during the pandemic – which created the Cinema Safe protocol. He has been active in NATO advocacy—traveling to Washington, D.C. frequently, as well as to state legislative offices.
Steve has worked with varying charities in varying capacities over the years including the North Texas chapter of the American Diabetes Association, as well as The American Cancer Society’s N. TX chapter of the CEOs Against Cancer. Steve was named Texan of the Year by Tent 17 (Variety – the Children’s Charity of Texas) in 2016, and during the gala celebration, $460,000 was raised to help children of ‘different’ abilities. He has served on Tent 17’s board for 6 years and as chairman of the Board from the fall of 2019 to May of 2023.
Steve was elected to the Variety – the Children’s Charity international Board of Directors in July 2020, to the position of vice president in 2022, and president in May 2023. He holds Political Science and Economics degrees from Colorado State University, has been a cohort advisor for varying MBA teams from the University of Chicago–Booth, University of Pennsylvania–Wharton, and guest lecturer at the University of Denver–Daniels Schools of Business. He is a multiple Ironman triathlon finisher. Steve and his wife Sue have 3 adult children and 3 grandchildren – and feels unimaginably fortunate for all the blessings a life-long career in movie theaters has given him.
“We are very excited to be able to honor Steve for all that he has done throughout his career,” stated Andrew Sunshine, the president of the Film Expo Group. “Steve has earned the respect and appreciation of his fellow colleagues and is well deserving of this honor.”