2014-2015 MIAMA Annual Report


From the Board of Directors

The 2014 -15 M.I.A.M.A. Annual Report provides a summary of the organizations activity as directed by the Board of Directors and committee members.

On behalf of the Board of Director’s we would like to thank all that served in making 2014 -15 a successful year for MIAMA. This report would not be possible without the hard work of each Board member and committee representative.

It was a pleasure to serve as your President in 2014 -15.

Craig Flor, MIAMA President


Full Report can be downloaded here:  {phocadownload view=file|id=45|text=2014-2015 Annual Report|target=s}



President: Craig Flor -Mariucci and Ridder Arenas

Vice President: Shanye Ratcliff – Lakeville Arenas

Secretary/Treasurer: Dean Mulso – Burnsville Ice Center


2014-15 MIAMA Board of Directors

Jon Balvance – Rosemount,

Dave Black – Woodbury,

Walt Bruley – Retired (DECC),

Troy Ciernia – Shakopee,

John Cole – Drake Arena

Rich Czech – Elk River

Craig Flor – Mariucci/Ridder Arenas

Jon Jackson – Becker Arena Products

Travis Larson – Xcel Energy Center

Dean Mulso – Burnsville Ice Center

Mike Newton – Cottage Grove

Rick Ragan – Delano

Rick Rakness – Retired (Wakota)/Minnesota Hockey Rep

Shayne Ratcliff – Lakeville Arenas

Dave Umlauf – Furgus Falls








Facility Members





Vendor Members





Organization Members











President’s Report – Craig Flor     

It has been another quick year serving as President of the finest arena manager association in the country. Here are a few of the MIAMA Highlights of 2014-2015:


2014 Fall Conference

In September 2014, we completed our 39th Annual Fall Conference at Breezy Point Resort in Breezy Point, MN with 127 total attendees including 9 attending STAR Safe Ice Resurfacer Operation course educational sessions and 21 attending the ISI iAIM Refrigeration Principles, Maintenance and Operations educational session. The conference also hosted Ron Schera who shared some great stories about his experiences in the great outdoors as well as an inspirational session by Joe Schmit “Silent Impact” There were 43 vendor tables at the Trade Show on Wednesday evening with many of the vendors being on hand and contributing during the entire conference. The conference featured a number of sessions contributing programs and activities each day for management, operations and vendors.


2015-16 Regional meetings

2 Regional meetings were held this past year. The meetings were held on January 28 at Fryberger Arena – Duluth, MN, and March 11 at Bernicks Pepsi Arena – Sartell, Walt Burley assisting in coordinating with St Cloud Refrigeration and topics were about R22, Air Quality and Ice Rink energy savings. Both sessions were well attended and thanks to Walt Bruley and his efforts to make them happen.


2015 Spring Workshop

Our 2015 spring workshop was held at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on the campus of St. Cloud State University May 12.

Chaska Community Center this year. There was a great turnout with 150+ members attending with 31 trade show booths with. St. Cloud State opened its doors and allowed everyone to tour through the remodeled spaces for the Husky Hockey teams. After the general business meeting we had quick sessions on the how Air Quality compliance has been going since the new rules were introduced, a Rinkfinder.com update as well as an inspirational story from Sergant John Kriesel. The vendor trade show and lunch completed the day.

A special thanks to Joe Meierhoffer and the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center staff for hosting our spring workshop. They were great hosts and we appreciate the hospitality and ability to see everything in the newly remodeled spaces.

As an industry we need to continue to strive to be innovative with new ways to solve the upcoming issues we are all going to be faced with, doing more with less, managing shrinking budgets, creative in generating revenue, as well as being asked to provide more and more guest/user services. MIAMA and its members need to continue to be involved in dealing with aging facilities, aging ice plants and phasing out of refrigeration products. There is no cookie cutter solution that will serve all rinks the same way. But as an industry we need to share ideas and information on how each other is handling these upcoming challenges. Regarding these refrigeration changes we all need to be diligent in talking to all Stakeholders in your community regarding what the future entails and how you are going to fund these changes and what the solution that best fits your rink will be.

I cannot stress enough encourage all ice arenas nationwide to consider being a member of our association. Our websites, www.rinkfinder.com or www.miama.org  are resources for rink professionals and vendors to sell available ice, promote facilities, communicate online, post job openings, network and share ideas. We believe we can learn from each other to make the ice industry the best it can be

As president of the MIAMA board, I urge all members to get involved with MIAMA it is your association. Do not wait to be asked by a board member to get involved. Your involvement with MIAMA is what makes this association as strong as it is. There are many ways to be involved, attendance to the fall conference, spring workshops, and assisting the subcommittees you can make a difference in our industry. If you would like to be on a committee please chat with any board member. Remember, you don’t need to be a board member to be on a committee, everyone is welcome! I am excited for what’s upcoming within our association in 2016 and beyond.  


Treasurer Report – Dean Mulso

This report provides a recap of each Board of Director meetings held and keynote items of business.


October Board Meeting: October 1, 2014 – Woodbury Sports Center – Woodbury, MN

Have sent invoices out at least twice to all outstanding Fall Conference registrations. We currently have $1,430.00 outstanding for the Fall Conference. All told we have $1,430.00 of revenues outstanding to date. We will be discussing the 2015 budget later in the meeting. All bills except the STAR payment for Fall Conference services have been paid except the monthly reoccurring bills.


February Board Meeting: February 4, 2015 – Wakota Arena, South St. Paul, MN

Dean M. stated that we have received 137 Arena renewals, 2 new arena member, 68 Vendor renewals and 2 new Vendor to date. Last year’s totals were 132 arena members and 56 vendor members.


May Board Meeting: Tuesday, May 4, 2015 – Kelly Inn Hotel, St. Cloud, MN

The income and expense report were shared updated as of May 6, 2015. The annual spring Workshop will be held on Tuesday May 12, 2015 at the National hockey Center in St Cloud MN with 188 members in attendance including 31 vendor members it looks to be another well attended workshop. Our 2015 Memberships are Arena/Association 144 = same from 2014, Organizations 7 = same as 2014, Vendor 71 = +5 from 2014. MIAMA balance as of 5-26-15 is $44,988.98


June Board Meeting: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 – Fergus Falls Community Center, Fergus Falls, MN

Spring Workshop went very well. We still have outstanding balance to collect of $935.00. We still have to receive bills for the rental of the Husky Den and the food. Full details at the September board meeting.


Vendor Representative Report – Jon Jackson     


First off, I would like to thank all of our vendor members for being a part of the MIAMA organization and showing their continued support through memberships, trade shows, sponsorships, monetary gifts and giveaways. The vendors play a large part in the MIAMA organization and help make a lot of these events happen. This year’s Spring Trade show was held at the newly renovated Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. Yet again, we had a fantastic turnout with 30 vendor members attending. I would also like to send a big thank you to the Joe Meierhofer and his staff at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center for being a fantastic host. Once again, thank you to everyone for another fun and eventful year.



2014 Fall Conference Report – Dean Mulso & Rich Czech\

In 2014, The Minnesota Ice Arena Managers Association (MIAMA) completed our 39th Annual Fall Conference at Breezy Point Resort in Breezy Point, MN with 127 total attendees. 2014 was our first year of a three year contract at Breezy Point Resort in Breezy Point, MN. MIAMA offered two course, STAR’s SIRO class and ISI’s Refrigeration Theory/Principles, Maintenance and Operations. There were 41 vendor tables at the Trade Show on Wednesday evening with many of the vendors being on hand and contributing during the entire conference. The conference featured a number of programs and activities each day for management, operations and vendors.

Our Speaker was Joe Schmit – His engaging stories, infectious humor, and impactful life reveals his heart and leave audiences wanting more. He has averaged more than 50 appearances a year over the past three decades, and is an active member of the National Speakers Association. If there was a going away party after work tonight, which employee would the most people show up for? That person has more to say about the culture of your company than you think. The research we’ve done has identified this person and they are not always the person in the corner office, sometimes they are the person who cleans the corner office. Do you know what kind of “Silent Impact” you are having in your professional and personal life? This keynote will inspire audiences to amplify your influence. It’s a game changer!

Ron Schara was our after dinner speaker. Ron Schara – Ron Schara is a story teller. It’s a skill Ron learned as a boy sitting on the lap of his Grandpa Clate Dickens. Today, Ron Schara is a writer and television personality who’s been sharing outdoor stories with readers and viewers for four decades. He brings to life the joys of living the outdoors through nature watching, fishing, hunting, camping and the like. Ron’s soft spoken delivery and friendly on-camera presence have made him a popular icon as an outdoor communicator with a passion for the outdoor lifestyle

Currently, Ron is a weekly co-host of Live Outdoors heard on WCCO 830 on CBS. Ironically, the Real Star of Ron’s many programs is his dog, Raven, a black Lab who is seen on several shows, including MINNESOTA BOUND on KARE-TV; and PHEASANTS FOREVER TV on the OUTDOOR CHANNEL. Married to Denise and the father of two grown daughters, Ron also has one grandson, Jake. It may explain why Ron ends most of his stories with: “Remember, introduce a kid to the great outdoors.”

We thank our presenters and break out session speakers made up of Ice Skating Institute Staff and Serving the American Rinks Staff with topics that included; Ice Maintenance, Training, Supervision and Retention, Edging and the Edger, Emergency Preparedness, The ABC’s of OSHA – Understanding OSHA, Financial Management – Budgeting, Ice Base Construction, Public vs. Private Facility Management Employee Documentation, Energy Management, Facility Documentation and How to Generate More Revenue.

At the Business meeting the 2014-15 Executive Board was announced with Craig Flor as President, Shayne Ratcliff as Vice-President and Dean Mulso returning as Secretary/Treasurer.

2014 Conference Attendance





Vendor Tables


One Day Registrations





2015 Spring Workshop Report –Shayne Ratcliff & Jon Jackson    

The 2015 Spring Workshop was held at the newly updated Herb Brooks National Hockey Center at St. Cloud State University.  With 146 members attending and 30 vendor booths the workshop continues to be very popular due to the knowledge and ideas that are presented. 

The workshop featured a great motivational speech by keynote speaker SSG John Kriesel who survived a near death experience while serving our country. He talked about making everyday a good day and how you have the power to do so. Travis Larson gave a presentation covering all the updates that have been added to Rinkfinder.com.  The new Rinkfinder.com should be much more user friendly and easier for managers to work with when uploading schedules and ice for sale.  John Olson from the MN Department of Health updated our membership on the how the past two years have gone since the new air quality rules went into effect.

We want to give a special thanks to Joe Meierhofer and his staff at the National Hockey Center for all their help and the use of their facility.


JAMES A.PADGETT AWARD –Ralph Engelstad Arena and Huck Olson Memorial Civic Arena

This year we had 2 applications. All facilities were very deserving and received strong consideration for the award. The applicants were; Ralph Engelstad Arena/Thief River Falls and Eden Prairie Community Center.

Congratulations to the Ralph Engelstad Arena and Huck Olson Memorial Civic Center arena staff for being the recipient of the 2015 James Padgett Award that was presented at the Minnesota Ice Arena Manager’s Spring Conference on May 5, 2015 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, St. Cloud, MN.

The annual award is presented to an ice arena that has distinguished itself as a leader, innovator and contributor to the ice arena industry. The Ralph Engelstad Arena and Huck Olson Memorial Civic Center staff is recognized for their commitments to improving their facility.

Congratulations to the entire staff at Ralph Engelstad Arena and Huck Olson Memorial Civic Center for being the recipient of the 2015 James Padgett Award that was presented at the Minnesota Ice Arena Manager’s Spring Conference on May12, 2015 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, St. Cloud, MN.

The annual award is presented to an ice arena that has distinguished itself as a leader, innovator and contributor to the ice arena industry.

In 2015 the Ralph Engelstad Arena and Huck Olson Memorial Civic Center stood out for their commitments to improving their facility. There were 20 points of focus incorporated over a long planning and improvement process which took many years until actual implementation. Some of the improvements included new siding, insulation and lighting, occupancy sensors, increased lighting controls and many energy saving measures to reduce consumption. There were improvements made to the boiler system to save energy with timers, controls and pumping switches.

The arena staff at Thief River Falls works concurrently with the entire Park & Recreation Department. They had a long list of supportive groups and individuals who worked in many different rolls along the way. In speaking of their accomplishments Parks & Recreation Director Joe Amunson was quick to point out there were a multiple number of City departments working together to make this happen. There was a process in place and much of the work was accomplished by previous and recently retired city employees and much of the credit is deserved by the people who were around when the facility was opened and identified many of the needs.

Current Full-Time Employees and Titles. Joe Amundson Parks and Recreation Director, Mike Olson Parks/Arenas Foreman, Aaron Joppru Todd Reed Ben Myers Tom Harbott Parks/Arenas Maintenance, Missy Sletten Rec Coordinator, Ashley Hejlik Secretary, and Cindy Sanden Concession Manager.


MIAMA is pleased to announce the 2015 Fall Conference Grant recipients.

This year’s recipients are:

Luke Jacobsen – Rosemount Ice Arena

Tony Seibert – Elk River Ice Arena

Geoff Clarke – St. Louis Park Rec Center

Chad Jameson – Drake Arena

CONCEPT OF THE YEAR AWARDS    Joe Balzer Richfield Ice Arena

Congratulations to Joe Balzer, Richfield Ice Arena for his Concept of the Year design. Joe designed a way to take the pain out of varying sizes of plexi-glass when in a pinch. He developed an effective spacer to secure a good fit so the glass will stay in place.

Way to go Joe!


Elections Report – Craig Flor

A special thank you to board members that are completing their terms: Rich Czech (Elk River), Rick Ragan (Delano Area Sports Arena) Dave Umlauf (Fergus Falls). We look forward to all of your involvement with MIAMA as Non Board Members and are looking forward to the newly elected folks announced during the Annual Meeting.

The MIAMA 2014-15 Board of Directors was made up of 8 voting positions from the arena membership, 1 vendor member representative (Jon Jackson), 1 voting position of secretary/treasurer (Dean Mulso), and 5 non-voting members to include the Website Editor (Travis Larson), the Newsletter Editor (Dave Black), the immediate Past President (Rick Regan), the Director Emeritus (Walt Burley), and a MN Hockey Representative (Rick Rakness).

Education Committee Report – Rick Ragan

This year for the Fall Conference is a partnership with STAR and iAIM again. STAR will be offering their Human Resource Management (HRM) course and Ice Skating Institute will be offering their Certified Arena Operator course as part of their iAIM program.  Both courses are an excellent opportunity to fine tune your skills and are a sure bet they will be well attended. Last year’s Fall Conference had all sessions packed out!

The board will continue is ongoing discussion on what direction the Association wants to move in for future educational opportunities.  If you have any preference on what you would like to see offered at the Spring Workshop or Fall Conference please, please, PLEASE fill out your surveys at the end of the events or email myself or another Board member.

Website Committee Report – Travis Larson


Launched new web platform for Rinkfinder.com

The new platform was launched to give our association more latitude and expansion along with making it more user friendly on the administrative side. Most members are not utilizing this opportunity to showcase their facilities and programs. The number one complaint from the general public….no information available on the site. It is up to the managers to upload and keep their information up to date.

Website Statistics: Rinkfinder.com September 1, 2014 – Aug 2015

Unique Users: 92,955

Page Views: 478,877

Sessions/Visits: 224,316

In the future:

Get more managers uploading schedule data and keeping information up to date.

Improving flow and functions of site to the public.

Create a random arena showcase. This will only showcase arenas that are utilizing the functions of the site.

Further requests to sell ice directly through website, many operational hurdles to overcome.

Look and feel improvements.


Site Statistics: www.miama.org

Page Views: 41,697

Visits: 12,199

Registered Site Users: 326 active and inactive accounts

Launched new vendor directory and onboarding of vendor members to their pages will occur.

Working on upgraded community software to further sharing information with the membership.

Compiling data for comprehensive arena membership directory.

Site software was hacked through a 3rd party software that ran our classified ads section. We utilized our hosting provider to scan and evaluate our files to secure and ensure we continue to be secure. We have disabled and removed and purchased new software for our classified ads section to provide a secure site. As a note, we do not store any payment information as we utilize paypal to provide transactions. Those are directly entered on PayPal’s website, and no connection to ours except for a confirmation payment was successful.

As always, constructive feedback is welcome regarding the site or any errors. Email Travis Larson at tlarson@miama.org.

Newsletter Report –Dave Black

The newsletter format is transmitted digitally and in a format closer to real time. We have continued on this track for a few years now. As technology and social media are further developed it is time for MIAMA to become involved to a certain degree. 2014-15 is the fifth year of completing the Annual Report documenting the various committees and events occurring within and around our organization. We have followed the same format in creating a report which captures the highlights of the MIAMA year.

There are some changes occurring with the Newsblast. While we will continue to capture news worthy items and bring them to the membership on a timely basis, it is time to take the newsblast and web site focuses and merge them even closer together.

In recognizing this, I brought this to the board’s attention and felt it was the perfect timing to turn it over to someone who can add some new perspective. I have a few more years left working in the industry and plan to help the board as much as I can, and look forward to a fresh look for the Newsblast.

Beginning in September Jon Balvance will take over duties of the Newsblast and begin learning more of the website committee and provide back-up in that area. He is more in tuned with social media and has more tech experience which will help further the information stream to the membership.

It has truly been an honor to cover the news for MIAMA since 1997. We have grown so much as an organization and I plan to help in any way I can during and after the transition. Jon will do a great job and provide some new ideas and take it to another level of value for our group.

Member Recognition Report – Dean Mulso

2014 Service Award Honorees

10 Year Service Awards

Jared Larson            All Season Arena

Dan Halverson            Andover Community Center

15 Year Service Awards

Mike Bauer            Rogers Activity Center

Brendan Flaherty        Mars Lakeview Arena

Lon Sorenson            Chaska Community Center

Wade Carlson            Veterans Memorial Community Center

Bob Baltgalvis            Veterans Memorial Community Center

20 Year Service Awards

Pete Carlson        National Sport Center

Mark Vaughan        Eagan Civic Arena

Kyle Collins        Waseca Community Arena

Kristen Connell         Augsburg College

Chris Slettom        Chisago Lakes Arena

Chris Dolan        Young Arena

Joel Schares        Young Arena

Mark Bartholomew        Roseville Skating Center

Patrick Hunsinger        Brooklyn Park Community Center

Mike Elam        Forest Lake Sports Arena

Kyle Bodsberg        Veterans Memorial Community Center

Reggie Krakowski        Parade Ice Garden

25 Year Service Awards

Bob Montrose        Graham Arena

Terry Jorgenson        Watertown Parks and Recreation

Scott Fredrickson        Moose Sherritt Ice Arena

Todd Baer        Parade Ice Garden

30 Year Service Awards

Stan Bjorklund        DECC

Mike Guzzo        Rukavina Arena

Dave Burtman        Cottage Grove Ice Arena

40 Year Service Awards

Walt Bruley        Retired – Alumni

Gary Pietig        Retired – Alumni

Gary Bye        Cool Air Mechanical, Inc.

Jim Becker        Becker Arena Products

Bob Carr            Bloomington

John VonBank        Burnsville Ice Center

Outgoing Board Members

Rick Ragan     Delano Sports Arena

Jordan Hirman    Cottage Grove Ice Arena

Director Emeritus Board of Directors Position – Walt Bruley        

We currently have 9 members.  Members have been active in attending the Spring Workshop and Fall Conferences.  The Alumni Program is looking forward to being part of the MIAMA Regional Workshops as that program progresses.  There is interest shown by MIAMA members looking at retiring in the next few years.  The future of the MIAMA Alumni Program looks strong.

Social Committee – Jon Balvance & Dean Mulso

The MIAMA Social committee held one event in 2014-2015. 

This year’s event was held on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at the Xcel Energy Center for a Minnesota Wild Game. We had 133 people attend which was over double the amount from 2013-2014. The evening began with MIAMA supplied appetizers during a social & information exchange in the party room on the suite level. Our group sampled some fine food from the Xcel Energy Center including: Nacho Bar, Meatball Bar, Chicken Wing Sampler and Gourmet Mac & Cheese Sampler. Our group then moved to our seats and watched the Wild fall to the Avalanche 2-3. This event had a fantastic showing from our vendors with 12 companies sponsoring this event. We’d like to thank again: Cool Air Mechanical, Apex, Let’s Play Hockey, Becker Arena Products, MIAMA, Al’s Coffee, Oven Baked Eats, Hillphoenix, Harris Companies, R & R Specialties, Rink Systems & Zamboni.

The intent of the committee is to have events where our MIAMA members and families along with MIAMA Sponsor Members can get together in a social setting and share ideas and to network. If you have any suggestions for the MIAMA Social Committee or would like to be a part of the social committee, please let any of the committee members know. 


MN Hockey Report – Rich Rakness

Minnesota Hockey did post a modest gain in the number of players for the 2014-15 hockey season. We are continuing to grow more in season and off season programs to help in the development of player skills and ability.

Minnesota Hockey will be hiring a person to fill the new position of Hockey Program Manager. This person will enhance and strengthen in season community based, volunteer driven hockey by establishing new in season and off season programs.

Once again we voice our appreciation for the support that we receive from MIAMA. Member rinks have been great in helping us get the information to the customers in most rinks. The hanging and of our banners and posters helps us promote and has made an impact in getting our community based message to young skaters taking up the sport of hockey.

NARCE Report – Dean Mulso, Jon Balvance & Rick Ragan

STAR/NARCE – It was another record setting year for STAR at NARCE again this year.  The second year of the conference in Columbus OH, being a little more central in the country had the attendance up again this year. The trade show also set a record with the number of vendors it had displaying their wares. The MIAMA booth was business as usual with steady stream curious passers by asking “What do you guys do?”  It always fun explaining how we are the biggest arena manager community in the United States with some of the best ice makers around the world as our members.  

ISI Report  – Troy Ciernia

ISI and MIAMA will be having a joint conference in 2017 in Minneapolis. MIAMA did this in 2007 and it was a huge success. This year the annual ISI conference was in beautiful Danvers, Massachusetts. The conference was proven to be a success, with positive feedback, complete with a few skating stars in attendance. Including Michelle Kwan, Frank Carroll, Julie Chu, David Santee, Mark Mitchel and Peter Johansson. Troy Ciernia helped plan all the Management/ Operations courses for the conference. Overall, ISI wants to be a partner with MIAMA for years to come.


Congratulations John Von Bank on your retirement from Burnsville in September 2014

Sergent John Riesel at the Spring Workshop

Jon Olson from Dept. of Health presents at Spring Workshop

All STAR conversation


Different rinks – but same Woodbury roots




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