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Posted by on in Announcements

Spring Forward

By John Cole


I was recently reminded of how easy it is to put off the most basic of tasks that come to us every day. And more importantly how important these tasks really are to progressing our industry. So, I asked myself.   Am I doing everything I can, even the smallest of things, to help move my facility and our industry forward? Some of my thoughts were… Maybe…sometimes…most days…I try to…I think I am, are all of us? The answer doesn’t really matter, as long as it is thought provoking and we’re open to change or at least thinking of changes for the better.


NHL playoffs are moving to round 2. College and High School seasons are in the books. The weather is changing and Ice Arenas are generally at a quite point in the season. The occasional open skate, private lesson, or maybe that AAA teams are what remains. This is when some of us are painting walls, doing that major floor repair, or maybe a long awaited upgrade in the building. Most of us are in final planning stages for summer camps, off ice training programs, and other facility user groups.

It is also a great time to take a step back to look at where you and your facility are going. What is happening with your full time and part time staff? What are the next big steps you must take to move your building in the right direction, which ever direction that may be. The opportunity is always there to look within to ensure we are putting thought, and planning into everything we do. This is a small industry, but it is growing and changing. We don’t just make ice; we are facility professionals who specialize in ice. We manage staff, guests, parents, players, coaches, and often have multiple facilities running at one time.


We may be planning for the future, but in reality the future is most likely in your building every day, maybe even right now. It may be that concessions employee, the college intern, the new part time driver, or the full-time person who never lets you down. Like me 10 years ago, some of them don’t know yet that they are the future yet. In some respects, I as much choose this profession, as it chooses me. I was lucky enough to have leaders and mentors who love this industry and were willing to give me a chance and teach me everything they know. I am still learning to this day.


The fact is none of us can work forever. But, when our time is done, will that concessions employee, or part time driver be ready to move your building into the future. Are you training them, teaching them your tricks that you had find out on your own. The little things, like you will most likely hear a problem with your ice resurfacer before you see it. These small tidbits of information build confidence, and confidence leads to enjoying what they’re doing and thinking for themselves.

I believe we all want people who are confident, proud, and willing to put in the effort for the good of the industry. We all have different size facilities, some new, some old, some really old. There is a massive amount of knowledge out there at all levels and we can all keep learning and moving forward.  


For those young or newer staff members, maybe the Spring Conference is a great place to start them thinking about a possible future in an ice arena.  

The Spring Conference is a great opportunity to meet people, learn, see new products, and really get a feel for where things are moving. No matter where you are in your building or your preparation for the upcoming season, please make sure you’re considering those who work with you are able to get the education and guidance they need to help our industry grow as much you have already.   We have a great community and tons of knowledge, I know many feel the same way and want to see us grow.


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For those who are interested – please go to the website and then subscribe to get updates on a regular basis or you can always go into the website daily to keep up on the information/progress and process.

SF 2002 proposes 5 million dollars from the General Fund to be used to help support ice arenas.  The Senate has money in their budget for the bill and now we need to get the Governor and House to do the same. 


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Posted by on in Announcements

by Jon Jackson


With winter finally letting up, it is the sign that the Hockey Season has finally come to an end. Hopefully everyone had a successful season!

This year’s MIAMA Spring Workshop is going to be held on Tuesday May 12th at the recently renovated Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.

Our workshop brings some new excitement as we have a fantastic guest speaker, Rinkfinder.com updates and an update from the health department.

You may recognize our Keynote Speaker from his stints on numerous KFAN radio programs. His name is SSG John Kriesel. When SSG Kriesel lost his legs and two buddies in a roadside bomb explosion, no one expected him to survive. He died three times on the operating table. Listen as John discusses the challenges and rewards after such an event and how it changed his life forever.

The update on Rinkfinder.com will be held by Travis Larson. Travis will present the updated features on the website including a newer and easier way to upload ice for sale and an overview of future changes that will be coming.

As Indoor Air Quality continues to be an important issue within the industry, John Olson from the MN Department of Health will be onsite updating our membership on how inspections and rule compliance has gone over the past two years since the new rules took effect.

Can’t wait to see everyone in St. Cloud for the Spring Conference!


Jon Jackson
Board Member - Vendor Representative

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