April 2018 MIAMA Board Member Article –
I will be in the ice rink business for 31 years as of August 2018. I remember my first few years as frustrating to say the least. I knew nothing about hockey and even less about ice rinks. The amount I had to learn and the resources I had to learn from were very far apart. My favorite phrase muttered by me often during that time was, “There must be a better way of doing things. There must be someone out there somewhere with all the information I am looking for, all in on place.” Then I found it, the Minnesota Ice Arena Manager’s Association. My learning curve soared through the roof. MIAMA offered me the experience of its membership, people with 20+ years of experience at the time, willing to mentor the “rookies.” There were vendor members, those in the business of supplying goods and services to the ice rink industry, ready to answer questions and show the latest in time and money saving equipment. There were safety issues addressed, how to make rinks safer for the customer and for the employee. Bleacher safety, air quality, fan behavior, MIAMA covered it all.
Now, at this point in my career, I cannot thank MIAMA enough for all the wonderful folks I have met over the years and for getting me on the right track. It feels strange now to be one of the mentoring veterans, answering questions and helping out. Being a MIAMA board member has been another step in my learning process, for you see, I am still wanting to learn.
MIAMA has taken a strong role in providing educational opportunities for its members. We continue to partner with the ISI and USRINKS to provide educational classes that directly benefit you and in turn will benefit your facility.
The Spring Workshop is all set and ready for you! Please consider joining your peers at the St. Louis Park Rec Center on May 2, 2018. We feel we have a great day of information lined up for our membership. We will be honored by having our opening session begin with the Minnesota Olympic Connection. MIAMA members that participated in the 2018 Winter Olympics will share stories and experiences about their time in South Korea. We have round tables set up to include; NHL Greener Rinks, Rink Policy & Procedures, James Metzen Mighty Ducks Grant Program and Skate School Communication/ Marketing / Successes / Challenges. These round tables will be offered back to back so you’ll be able to attend at least two of them. After the round tables conclude the trade show will be held from 10:30a-12:30pm with lunch to follow the trade show. Please consider joining us and the 30 vendors to date registered for the trade show for a day of learning, sharing and networking.
The next arena tour and regional meeting will be June 5, 2018. We will tour the White Bear Lake Hippodrome, Vadnais Sports Center and finish at the Tria Rink at Treasure Island Center (MN Wild Practice Facility). We will have an educational session at the Vadnais Sports Center as well. J. Brian Blahey from CIMCO, will present – in an effort to employ green refrigerant options to the ice rink market and in response to pending reductions & elimination of R-22 refrigerant production in early January 2020, Co2 is making its way back as a viable industrial and now recreational ice rink refrigerant solution. Its Back to the Future, as Co2, along with ammonia are at the head of the class of low GWP and ODP refrigerant gases as replacements to the long list of man-made refrigerants in use today. The goals of these meetings is the networking that we all do when we get together, learn something new or reinforce your knowledge and finally networking with your peers.
I believe it is all facilities mission to find the best way possible to economize, keeping items cost effective for our customers, and to provide a safe environment while customers in our facilities and to give them the best product possible. MIAMA works to give our membership the opportunity to fulfill this mission.
To find out more about MIAMA, visit miama.org for all the latest information. This web site is one small example of the effort put forth by MIAMA and its members to serve you. Next time you go to your favorite rink, look for the MIAMA symbol. That’s smart.
MIAMA Board Member