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Wink Hartman Sr. makes changes at Hartman Arena

WICHITA — There are several changes at Hartman Arena, including the departure of one half of a well-known duo.

Jacque Wedel is no longer marketing and advertising manager.

Wedel and general manager John Nath both left the Kansas Coliseum to join Hartman Arena early last year prior to its opening in March of this year.

A few weeks before Wedel's departure last week, Eric Blockie joined Hartman Arena as director of financial and marketing development.

Blockie is from the St. Louis area where he worked for Live Nation, the world's biggest promoter.

"I just felt when Eric came on board, it was time for her to pursue other opportunities," Wink Hartman Sr. says of Wedel.

Wedel couldn't be reached for comment.

Hartman says Nath's position isn't affected.

"That's what I hope," he says.

Nath expresses the same sentiment when asked if he's going anywhere.

"I hope not," he says.

Hartman also is forming a new company, Hartmoor Concessions, to handle food and beverages at the arena.

He's given Sodexo notice that he'll be canceling his contract, effective in early September.

"We will have 100 percent control of the concessions," Hartman says.

"It's just my nature," Hartman says of creating new companies to keep services in house.

"Yes, I will make more money," he says. But he says he'll also be able to offer better food and drink products. Hartman says he wants to expand the arena's menu.

Sue Montelbano will run Hartmoor Concessions. She's been pastry chef at Hartman's Chester's Chophouse for four years.

"So she's got just a little bit of experience," he says.

Hartman doesn't have more changes to announce now, but that doesn't mean he won't in the future.

"We're always trying to improve the arena," he says. "We're going to keep kicking it till we get it 100 percent right.

"I want it to be right."