September/October 2020

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44 / SEPTEMBER.OCTOBER.2020 USICERINKS.COM T he United States Ice Rink Association is thrilled to have reached the two-decade milestone this past August. Can you believe it? The past 20 years have certainly been filled with a lot of great adventures. We have so many individuals to thank for the con- tributions that have made in the industry, and so many that have put in extraordinary time and effort into establishing the United States Ice Rink Association as the premier national organization designed to foster the development, growth, and success of ice skating facilities in the United States. To help us dial it back, we caught up with Steve Cady, one of our first board members and longtime officer (most recently vice president in 2019-20). // How did the organization get started? U.S. Figure Skating and USA Hockey really got the ball rolling. In the late 1990s, there were a number of rinks shutting down. U.S. Figure Skating and USA Hockey realized that there was a need for an organization to help rinks on the operational end, the training end, and general education. That grew into concern for the potential future of each of their organizations because, if you don't have rinks, you have no place to skate or no place to play hockey. They wanted an organization to support rinks. Jim Disbrow was president of U.S. Figure Skating and we got to know each other while I was working at Miami University- Ohio. He approached me with an idea of being on the board alongside folks like Kevin McLaughlin, then the USA Hockey Director of Adult Hockey & Arena Relations, and John Beadle, USA Hockey VP/Adult Council Chairman, who were two key individuals responsible for moving this idea toward reality. A group comprised of USA Hockey and U.S. Figure Skating staff, directors, affiliate representatives, arena owners, and NHL rep- resentatives, were brought together in Colorado Springs, Colo., for a brainstorming meeting to explore the possibility of creat- ing this national arena association. Not long after this initial meeting, the groups made a com- mitment to pursue the creation of what would become Serving The American Rinks (STAR), now the United States Ice Rink Association. // What were some Year 1 objectives? We knew right away the goal was to develop a membership organization that would support and provide training oppor- tunities for people in the rink industry. An organization that would be a resource for them and to support ice arenas opera- tionally and pragmatically. // How was that accomplished in the beginning? That happened in a few different ways. Right away a key rela- tionship for STAR was formed with the Ontario Recreation Facilities Association (ORFA) in 2000 when John Milton, Chief Administrative Officer of the ORFA alongside ORFA President Terry Piche worked with Pat Kelleher and the board of directors to create the STAR/ORFA alliance. Through this alliance, STAR was granted the rights to deliver the ORFA's three Certified Ice Technician (CIT) courses (IMEO, IMPT, and BAR) and the CIT professional designation to STAR members in the United States. a look back with Steve Cady HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US! 20 years of U.S. Ice Rink Association as told through the eyes of Steve Cady , 2018 IMPT Class, Lake Placid, N.Y.

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