May/June 2019

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CEnter ice Q&A with a rink professional 54 / MAY.JUNE.2019 RINKMAGAZINE.COM PHOTOS: COURTESY OF PATRICK NEWKIRK // How did you get into the rink business? I got a part time job at Mariucci Arena (at the University of Minnesota) as a student ice resurfacer driver while I was in college. I fell in love with it and decided I wanted to run a facility someday. I worked there for almost six years and absorbed every- thing I could while I was there and was lucky enough to be given more and more responsibility over time. I am very lucky to have gotten that experience. // What's the biggest challenge you face each day? For me, the multiple layers of time management can be a very big challenge. There are daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks and processes that need to be going on all at the same time in ice arenas and dropping the ball isn't an option. Throw in the unexpected things that pop up all the time and ever-decreas- ing resources to get it all done and it can get crazy. // What's the best part of your job? I grew up playing hockey in the facility that I now manage, so I get a lot of satis- faction out of seeing all the improvements that have been made at the facility over time. It's very rewarding to run into people who I played with as a kid who are back at the building with their kids who remark about how much nicer the building is than when we played. // You have been teaching Basic Arena Refrigeration now for two years, how's that experience been? It's been very rewarding so far. I've met a lot of great people, I've learned a lot myself, and I've had a great time helping others in the industry gain an understanding of probably the most important part of our building operations. Your ice plant is not as scary and mysterious as it seems! // Craziest experience in the industry to date? We had soil borings being done this past fall for an upcoming summer project. During one of the borings, an under- ground electrical feed to our main lobby and the ice plant for our studio sheet was damaged. The feeds were missed during locates and weren't on any drawings so it was a big surprise when it happened. We lost power for a few hours to those areas and had to react instantly. Luckily, nobody was hurt and we found a perfectly matched generator in town that we ran off of until repairs were completed. Worst day of my career by far. // Any advice for other rink profes- sionals out there? Be a sponge. Soak up everything you can, and never stop evolving. Learning can be happening all the time. Build relationships within the industry and take advantage of the great educational opportunities that U.S. Ice Rinks offers. Remember that we're all in this together and we all have the same challenges at some point or another. J Patrick Newkirk Eau Claire, Wisc. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN THE IN- DUSTRY AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE GREAT EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES THAT U.S. ICE RINKS OFFERS. REMEMBER THAT WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER AND WE ALL HAVE THE SAME CHALLENGES AT SOME POINT OR ANOTHER. PROFILE Name: Patrick Newkirk Job Title: Facility and Program Supervisor, Hobbs Ice Arena U.S. Ice Rinks Professional Designations Achieved: CIT Years in the Ice Rink Industry: 14

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