Name: Dean Mulso
Organization Name: Burnsville Ice Center
Address: 251 Civic Center Parkway
City: Burnsville State: MN Zip: 55337
Phone #: 952-895-4653
Tell us how you got into the industry?
I graduated from Mankato State University in 1987 with a BS in Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services degree. I had lined up an internship with the City of Bloomington, MN and it fell through due to the employee that hired me leaving for a new job and no one having a clue that I was coming. So I went to my hometown of Albert Lea in the summer of 1987 and asked the Parks and Recreation director if I could do an internship with them. He said sure, go talk to Marv Bednar the arena manager at the time and he’ll put you to work. I cleaned, painted and got the facility ready for the season and they kept me on as a night supervisor. After Marv and the next manager Sue Becker left, they gave me the position of manager in 1991.
How many years have you been in the ice arena industry?
What is the best part about working in an ice arena?
The interaction with the customers and my staff. Seeing the kids excited to come through the doors and the normal parents that want to do good for the entire program they are trying to help build whether that is the youth hockey programs, High School coaches, the Figure Skating coaches or the Curling Club members.
Using one word, name one thing you love about working at a rink?
Nobody’s perfect in this industry. Tell us your worst experience at a rink so far?
I was driving during a high school game in Albert Lea and I had come around the end boards and the roller on our HDB Zamboni was pressing against the boards and we had gates on each corner. When I come up to the gate the roller popped the gate open and the roller ran into the boards and snapped the bolt holding the roller on. If the noise from hitting the boards wasn’t enough, the bolt got into the augers and shot like a cannon into the box and made a super loud bang when it hit the front of the box. What an embarrassing moment, but it taught me to not run the roller along the boards from then on.
What are the first three things you do when you get to the rink each day?
Say good morning to my staff on duty that day. Talk with my maintenance supervisor about projects for the day and my administrative assistant/Learn to Skate Coordinator about what they are doing for the day, then start answering emails.
How do you feel ongoing professional development is helping you and your career?
Because my situation is unique in that I don’t do a lot of hands on duties like compressor reading, ice depths, etc. courses keep me refreshed on what I should be supervising my staff to do on a daily basis so I continue to understand the processes and keep me updated in case I ever need to do those duties.
How would you explain to the average hockey parent how the ice resurfacer works to resurface the ice?
The resurfacer uses a sharp blade to cut a very thin layer of ice and then it lays down water to create a nice clean smooth sheet of ice for the next users.
Who would you like to acknowledge for helping (mentoring) you along the way?
Marv Bednar, Sue Becker-Furland, John VonBank, Andy Baltgalvis and Al Payne
What is the best tip you have learned from any of the classes offered through MIAMA?
Running your own programs can create more revenues per hour than just renting the for one hour.
Why did you want to get involved with the MIAMA Board of Directors?
To stay active and informed in my profession and to try to help others in the industry in any little way I can.
How has being involved with the Board of Directors influenced your career?
I feel it helped me land my prior position with Cottage Grove and my position in Burnsville. If has taught me to stay active in my profession and to try to help others to go on and improve their career as well.
As a member of the MIAMA board, what advice can you give to the newer members within the industry?
Ask questions and don’t be afraid to get involved. It can be with MIAMA, your local boards, Lions Club, Rotary. Networking is key and to educate yourself to become a better employee or supervisor each year.
MIAMA Communications Director
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