MIAMA President Member Spotlight: Katie Broderick – HealthEast Sports Center
Name: Katie Broderick
Organization Name: HealthEast Sports Center
Address: 4125 Radio Drive
City: Woodbury State: MN Zip: 55129
Phone #: 651-714-3743
Tell us how you got into the industry?
I started out working in the concessions stand at Bielenberg (now HealthEast Sports Center), and quickly realized I loved all aspects of working in the rink. I began asking more questions and asked to be trained on sharpening skates and driving the ice resurfacer once I was old enough. From there, the rest is history… I’ve worked for other companies along the way, but always knew the ice arena industry was where my passion was!
How many years have you been in the ice arena industry?
What is the best part about working in an ice arena?
I love that no two days are the same, the hectic pace, interacting with the other staff, parents, and players and the air of excitement on game days and tournaments.
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?
My first season as a full-time employee, I was getting ready to chill the west rink floor for an ice install. The stem for one of the butterfly isolation valves was sticking (and eventually later broke) and I ended up opening it too far and slugged the system HARD… condensation was raining down from the source loop piping and the east rink temp was climbing fast. My heart was racing, and it was a very stressful situation until the temps leveled out and came back into range. I use that story as an example/training opportunity with our staff. Some of the “best” things I’ve learned have been learned the hard way or by something going wrong.
What are the first three things you do when you get to the rink each day?
I sign into Total Control and check all the set points/temperatures, walk through the compressor room to do a visual check and then touch base with the opening staff to see if there’s anything that needs immediate attention prior to starting my tasks for the day.
How do you feel ongoing professional development is helping you and your career?
Ongoing professional development is so important! I have taken several of the US Rinks and ISI courses and have found them to be beneficial; it’s great information to have, and I have referenced the materials later and shared them with staff who have yet to take the classes. Even if I’ve heard or learned some of the course content before, it’s always a good refresher and encourages me to take a fresh look at our training materials and policies at HSC. I would really like to see us (MIAMA) take education a step further and add additional educational opportunities/programs to benefit all members, even those that are part time at their facilities.
How would you explain to the average hockey parent how the ice resurfacer works to resurface the ice? There are three main functions of the resurfacer: The blade cuts the ice and helps create a smoother surface, the cold wash water creates a slush that helps fill in the cracks/ruts in the ice and lastly, the hot water floods over the top and not only evens things out, but also helps to build back ice that you shaved off.
Who would you like to acknowledge for helping (mentoring) you along the way?
The two most influential mentors I’ve had in this industry are Dave Black and John Harrington. Working with Dave for 22+ years, we’ve developed a great working relationship. As anyone knows, there are some tough days in this industry and Dave has always encouraged me to ‘write a draft’ and sleep on it, rather than making a knee-jerk reaction. Dave’s focus on customer service is second to none and he has instilled that in all the HSC staff! While John is no longer in the industry, I learned so much of my technical knowledge from him, especially about anything relating to refrigeration, air handlers, and ice installs/ice maintenance. I appreciated that he did things “old school”, and he really had a passion for finding fixes that were outside the box. I have had many other mentors and helpers along the way, and I am so thankful for being in an industry that is willing to help and support each other!
What is the best tip you have learned from any of the classes offered through MIAMA?
There have been so many great tips, it’s hard to choose just one! I’ve learned tips on stringing nets, tips on sharpening skates from one of the MN Wild’s equipment managers, numerous ice painting tricks and time saving tips, and the list could go on!
Why did you want to get involved with the MIAMA Board of Directors?
I wanted to be involved with the MIAMA Board of Directors because I wanted to have the ability to have more of an impact in the industry. Our facility has received so much support over the years, and I want to continue and provide that support for other facilities and help draw in more people.
How has being involved with the Board of Directors influenced your career?
It has helped me develop a deeper network of people to reach out to when I have questions, and I would hope it will also encourage people to reach out to me/our facility when they have a question or a situation they need help with!
As president of MIAMA for 2018-2019, what are you hoping to accomplish for MIAMA?
Education is so important, whether you’re new and just getting started or if you’ve been in the industry 20+ years. I’d like to see MIAMA offer additional educational opportunities that are accessible for all members, even those that are part time. Building off that, I’d also like to see MIAMA grow its membership and look for ways to attract people to the industry and help support and develop those that are new/up and coming members. Lastly, I think it would be wise to continually grow the professional depth of MIAMA and be more involved in MRPA.
As a member of the MIAMA board, what advice can you give to the newer members within the industry? The best advice I can give is to be curious, ask questions, attend the MIAMA workshops and conferences, take advantage of the educational opportunities that are available and obtain certifications, network and get to know your fellow industry colleagues and vendors, and reach out when you have a question or need help. We’re all in this together!