March/April 2019

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CEnter ice Q&A with a rink professional 54 / MARCH.APRIL.2019 USICERINKS.COM PHOTOS: BRETT WAARA // How did you get into the rink business? I was working in the maintenance depart- ment at a local mall and we all were laid off. One of my coworkers at the time had just started driving the ice resurfacer at a local rink and let me know that the rink was hiring. At the time, I didn't know I would still be here all these years later. // Your brother, Kyle, is a CIT and works with you at Detroit Skating Club (DSC), how long have you guys been working together? Is it fun to share your job with your brother? I have been working with Kyle for about 14 years now. There is an interesting dynamic when you are your older brother's boss, but we work well together. We have different strengths so we make a good team. We have kind of a unique, brotherly bond, so we are usually on the same page. // What's the biggest challenge you face each day? Maintaining the facility. From keeping everything clean, to keeping all of the mechanical units operating properly, to keeping three well-manicured ice sheets. There are always different challenges that appear each day and you never know which direction they will come from, but it keeps you on your toes and keeps you engaged. // What's the best part of your job? Seeing the high-level figure skaters train on a daily basis. It's rewarding when you see them have success at Nationals, at Worlds, and at the Olympics, knowing you are helping create and maintain the environment that helped them achieve their goals. // Detroit Skating Club just wrapped up hosting U.S. Figure Skating Championships—what was that experience like? It was great to help host the event. Any time you can show off your facility it is always a good time. The group from U.S. Figure Skating was great to work with, and I hope we'll be able to host future events. // Craziest experience in the indus- try to date? The lead up to Nationals was a year of non-stop projects and prep. We com- pletely replaced the concrete slab in our Olympic Rink. We totally rebuilt the main electrical feed to the building, including transformers and switchgear. We replaced the dehumidifier for the Olympic Rink as well as all the rubber flooring in that arena as well. While this was on going, we still hosted our annual Ice Show as well as our Skate Detroit competition, and also maintained a full hockey schedule. It was a pretty hectic year, I don't think the stars will align like that again. // Any advice for other rink profes- sionals out there? Continue to educate yourself. Never think that you know all that there is about ice. Listen to other people's experiences, and try to apply it to your rink. J PROFILE Name: Brett Waara Job Title: Director of Facilities, Detroit Skating Club U.S. Ice Rinks Professional Designations Achieved: CIRM Years in the Ice Rink Industry: 22 Brett Waara Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "IT'S REWARDING WHEN YOU SEE THEM HAVE SUCCESS AT NATIONALS, AT WORLDS, AND AT THE OLYMPICS, KNOWING YOU ARE HELPING CREATE AND MAINTAIN THE ENVIRONMENT THAT HELPED THEM ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS."

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