January/February 2021

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CEnter ice Q&A with a rink professional 46 / JANUARY.FEBRUARY.2021 USICERINKS.COM PHOTOS: RYAN DEVLIN // How did you get into the rink business? I was playing ice and inline hockey at the local rink when I was 15 and met a young lady that also played hockey and worked at the rink as a skate guard. She mentioned that I should apply for a job so that we could work together. Of course, I thought that was a great idea and applied. Several months later I was hired and came to find out that I was hired as her replacement. I apparently fit in well and spent some amount of time working every position at the facility until I was given the opportunity to oversee its operation in 2012. // What's the best part of your job? The best part of the job to me is the ath- letes. Seeing them coming into the facility knowing that they are here to do some- thing that they love is so great! It has also been really cool being in the same facility for so long. I have been able to see parents that played when I started here now bring- ing their kids in to play. // You completed your CIRM with a virtual class—what did you think? I enjoyed the virtual HRM class; it was nice to break it up over a number of weeks. In my particular experience, NARCE has always been amazing but things build up so much while I am gone, coming back is daunting. I did miss being in person though, attending socials, meeting new people and hanging out with industry friends is always an awesome time. // Craziest experience in the indus- try to date? I am always tempted to answer this question with circus stories, but I think the craziest thing I've experi- enced was the $80,000 pigeon. Iowa can have some pretty serious spring/summer storms. Several years ago, we had a dead pigeon get stuck in a scupper on the roof during a storm. This caused the water to drain off a section of flat roof (over the compressor room, of course). Slowly enough that it began to build up. Once it reached a certain level it surpassed the roof membrane and began to leak into the room, directly on top of the compres- sors and their controls. It was about 10 minutes of rain and that dead pigeon that resulted in us losing the ice, replacing two compressors and most of the related elec- trical components. // What do you like doing when you're not at the rink? Mainly spending time with my daughters and wife; coach- ing softball, fishing and fooling around with my car. // Any advice for other rink profes- sionals out there? Be consistent, available and reasonable. Be available to everyone, employees and customers alike. Knowing you are available and willing to take the time to talk to them builds relationships. Having positive relationships will help you along the way. Be reasonable in every situa- tion that you experience. Finding solutions to the problems you face every day is a much smoother process when you under- stand that you won't always have every answer and that you need a variety of people to keep the facility running. Understanding that and allowing others to have the answer will help build a stronger sense of commu- nity throughout the organization. J PROFILE Facility: Ice and Turf Supervisor at The River's Edge Professional Designation: CIRM Years in the Industry: 21 years THE BEST PART OF THE JOB TO ME IS THE ATHLETES. SEEING THEM COMING INTO THE FACILITY KNOWING THAT THEY ARE HERE TO DO SOMETHING THAT THEY LOVE IS SO GREAT! RYAN DEVLIN Davenport, Iowa

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