Tom Schmitz - 11-20-15.jpg

MIAMA Member Spotlight: Tom Schmitz – City of New Ulm Parks and Recreation

Tom Schmitz - 11-20-15.jpgName: Tom Schmitz
Organization Name: City of New Ulm Park and Recreation Department
Address: 122 South Garden Street
City: New Ulm
State: MN Zip:56073
Phone #: 507-359-8339

Tell us how you got into the industry?
By enjoying my part-time job at All Seasons Arena in Mankato while completing my bachelors degree in Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services at Mankato State University in the mid 1980’s. I have been the Park and Recreation Director for the City of New Ulm since July 2005. New Ulm doesn’t have a typical “Arena Manager” position. With three large
buildings: Recreation Center 122 S. Garden St. (pool/fieldhouse/fitness centers), Community Center 600 N. German St. (seniors/arts/theater) and Civic Center 1212 N. Franklin St. (2 arenas), along with 43 parks units; we manage with a P&R Director, Assistant P&R Director Cheryl Kormann (sales/bookings/marketing/department operations), Buildings Crew Leader Bob Haala (maintenance/operations) and Parks Crew Leader Jim Hofmeister (maintenance/operations).

How many years have you been in the ice arena industry?
14 (and an additional 14 with MNDNR State Parks)

What is the best part about working in an ice arena?
Seeing smiles on the faces of participants, spectators and visitors.

Using one word, name one thing you love about working at a rink?
Diversity (of tasks).

Nobody’s perfect in this industry. Tell us your worst experience at a rink so far?
Having a Zamboni stop working in the middle of a resurface.

What are the first three things you do when you get to the rink each day?
Check voicemails, check emails and unlock the building.

How do you feel ongoing professional development is helping you and your career?
By learning new information and refreshing proven concepts.

How would you explain to the average hockey parent how the ice resurfacer works to resurface the ice?
Shaves off the top layer and puts water down to smooth and maintain the ice surface.

Who would you like to acknowledge for helping (mentoring) you along the way?
Paul Ostoff (retired) – Mankato MN, All Seasons Arena.

What is the best tip you have learned from any of the classes offered through MIAMA?
Proactively think, plan and manage for what is, or can be, coming next.

Jon Balvance
MIAMA Communications Director

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