Archive for the ‘Grand Rapids’ Category

Breaking Barriers through Adaptive Sports

February 23, 2016

Editor’s Note: Leading up to the NASC Symposium this spring, the NASC is highlighting adaptive sports athletes. The proceeds raised for the 2016 NASC Sports Legacy Fund will go toward offsetting expenses for the Mary Free Bed and Adaptive Sports Wheelchair Tennis program, which provides equipment to individuals who are unable to afford their own. Each month we feature one of the adaptive athletes: This month we feature 32-year-old Matt Clements.

Matt Clements.jpg

I got involved in wheelchair tennis after meeting (wheelchair tennis athlete) Curt Bender when I was still at Mary Free Bed after I got hurt. He told me that sometime after I went home that I should come check it out. So after my little over three-month stay at Mary Free Bed and being home for a month I went to check it out just to “watch.” Well Coach Lynn (Bender) and a few other people helped to get me into a tennis chair and after that I never missed a practice probably for three or four years.

Wheelchair tennis is a HUGE reason of how I got back to all of the things I used to do before my injury that so many people told me that I would never be able to do. It also turned my path to recovery and to learn how to do things as a highway to recovery.

I remember Curt telling me one day that I was four or five years farther ahead of him after he had been in a chair for three years. None of that would have been possible without what is now Mary Free Bed sports.

Everyone helps each other out with their issues, problems, and whatever we can do for each other. The tennis team is like a big family and those of us who have been hurt longer do not hesitate to take someone newer to this life under our wing and teach them all of the little tricks and solutions to things that we know. We show them that there is nothing they can’t do.

For example, I still drive my big full-size truck and hook up to my big trailer and load whatever, hop down and get back into my chair, strap it down and be on my way all by myself. People are baffled over how I am able to just pop up into my truck, but I would probably not have been able to do any of this if it hadn’t been for Mary Free Bed sports.

I tell people that it is a great way to be active and have a whole bunch of fun with a bunch of great people. We are like a big family and support group, and you learn so much more than just tennis.

Mom Gets Back Into Sports through Mary Free Bed Program

January 25, 2016

Editor’s note: Leading up to the NASC Symposium this spring, the NASC is highlighting adaptive sports athletes. The proceeds raised for the 2016 NASC Sports Legacy Fund will go toward offsetting expenses for the Mary Free Bed and Adaptive Sports Wheelchair Tennis program, which provides equipment to individuals who are unable to afford their own. Each month we feature one of the adaptive athletes: This month we feature Suzanne Egeler.

Hi, I am Suzanne Egeler, a 44-year-old mother of four girls.  I have been involved with Mary Free Bed Wheelchair Sports for almost 14 years.

Suzanne photo

I got involved in the sports programs shortly after my third daughter was born.  I was really discouraged with my weight gain and asked my doctor at Mary Free Bed what he suggested I do to lose some weight; his immediate and enthusiastic answer was TENNIS!

I met with a recreational therapist and tried out a few different activities…swimming, wheelchair racing, basketball, handcycling, and (yes) tennis.

I purchased a handcycle, which enabled me to go on bike rides with my husband and children.  I’ve even done the 5/3 Riverbank 25k a couple of times. But tennis ended up being exactly what I needed to get motivated to exercise.  After one tennis practice, I was hooked.   Lots of cardio, great competition, and lasting friendships with other wheelchair-using athletes.

I was always involved in sports from a young age and had forgotten how much fun exercising could be, with a group of friends. I am so grateful to have Mary Free Bed Wheelchair Sports and all of the programs it provides.

2016 NASC Sports Marketplace Appointment Process

January 12, 2016

As reported in the September edition of the NASC Playbook, the Symposium Committee, based on member feedback, has created a new framework for the 2016 NASC Sports Marketplace. In this edition of the “Tips from the Mentoring Committee”, we offer the following thoughts on improvements to the appointment process and how all members can benefit from hitting the reset button on what to expect from the NASC Sports Marketplace in Grand Rapids.

Individual Appointments

Think “New Relationship NASC Sports Marketplace”

From its inception in San Antonio, TX in 1997, the purpose of the NASC Sports Marketplace has been to provide opportunities for NEW BUSINESS development for our members.

Individual appointments, which are 10 minutes each, offer destinations and vendor exhibitors the opportunity to share information about their community and/or products/services with event owners.  Ideally, individual appointments should be requested by organizations that are not currently doing business with one another.  Anyone who has attended the NASC Symposium knows the schedule includes ample time for current business partners to conduct meetings and network with each other.

For the first time, participating members will have an extended window to request, accept/decline, and prioritize individual appointments. The online appointment portal will open the first week of January and remain open until February 26, 2016.

Why the extended time?  Eight weeks gives everyone time to properly evaluate and research the organizations with whom they are requesting an appointment and organizations requesting an appointment of them.  The goal is to eliminate individual appointments taking place between a destination and/or vendor and event owner where there is clearly no opportunity to do business. For example, if a destination doesn’t have facilities required to host a particular sport and/or event, then the destination should not be requesting an appointment with that event owner.  With time to evaluate and research, these potentially embarrassing situations can and should be avoided.

Event Overview Appointments

Think “Learning & Listening Marketplace”

Event Overview Appointments offer event owners the opportunity to share information about their organization and what it takes to host an event with destinations whom they have not done business.  This is not a time to sell your destination or product/service to the event owner, but rather listen to the event overview and gather information about event requirements, future opportunities, etc. If your organization qualifies to host an event or provide a product/service based on what you learn during the appointment, then follow up after the Symposium.

How does this work?  Destinations, vendor exhibitors, and event owners will have the opportunity to request, accept/decline, and prioritize event overview appointments. These appointments will take place at tables in the Sports Marketplace, not at the event owner’s booth.  Up to five (5) destinations and/or vendor exhibitors will be seated at a table with one event owner. The event owner will provide information on what it takes to host their event and may allow a minute or two at the end of the 10-minute appointment for questions.

Key Dates

  • Week of January 4 – Individual Appointment schedule portal opens
  • Midnight PT February 19 – Last day to registered to be guaranteed appointments
  • Midnight PT February 26 – Individual Appointment portal closes
  • Week of March 14 – Individual Appointment schedules released and Event Overview Appointment portal opens
  • Midnight PT March 18 – Event Overview Appointment portal closes
  • Week of March 28 – Event Overview Appointment schedules released

It is important to note, registration fees must be paid in full before the first attendee from your organization can view the online appointment portal.

Direct any questions about the appointment process to your member services coordinator.

Active Members:

Meagan McCalla, Meagan@SportsCommissions.org or 513.842.8307.

Allied and Rights Holder Members:

Allison Deak, Allison@SportsCommissions.org or 513.250.4366.

Yours in sport,

John David, CSEE
USA BMX
NASC Mentoring Committee Co-Chair
John@USABMX.com

Mike Price, CSEE
Greater Lansing Sports Authority
NASC Mentoring Committee Co-Chair
mprice@lansing.org

 

Off-season planning for the 2016 NASC Sports Event Symposium

December 15, 2015

It’s the season of lists. Holiday shopping, wish lists, parties, and making sure you end up on the “nice” list. In the spirit of lists, here’s your NASC 2016 Sports Event Symposium “TO DO” list. Right now is the best time to do your off-season prep, get organized, take care of the logistics, and position yourself to rock it in the new year. Grand Rapids, here we come.

(1) Get registered! You have to be there April 3-7, 2016 to take advantage of this direct selling, education, networking opportunity. It only takes a few clicks. Don’t forget the add-ons and let NASC know if this is your first Symposium. See? Easy.

(2) Make your hotel reservation. You have two choices in Grand Rapids, The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel or the JW Marriott Grand Rapids. You can’t go wrong with either property. Both have plenty of amenities and are convenient to the action at DeVos Place Convention Center. (Room blocks will sell out, so don’t delay on this one. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

(3) Book your flight/make travels plans. Local airport is GRR with plenty of lift — 6 airlines and 22 major market direct flights. Or, if you feel the need to road trip, Grand Rapids is easy to get to. Our NASC staff made the trek via car last summer from Cincinnati in under six hours with no speeding tickets (I think).

(4) Update your member profile. This is a good idea any time of the year, but especially when your potential partners are looking for you in prep for the Symposium. Logon to the NASC website and search for yourself in the member directory.  Make sure your POC is current and your message is relevant to your goals for your meetings this spring. It’s the NASC version of Googling yourself.

(5) Ok, now for additional cool stuff. The NASC Member Awards program is great way to recognize those in our industry that deserve our praise. Learn more here.

There are also opportunities to do good work and leave a mark on the local community while in Grand Rapids. Watch for details on the Sports Legacy Fund Community Service Project and get involved by joining your fellow colleagues at a local park clean up. We’d love to see everyone ready with sleeves rolled up. Don’t fret about the weather, no one froze last year! The Sports Legacy Fund silent auction and raffle will benefit the Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Wheelchair Tennis Program. This organization assists hundreds of children and adults participate in a variety of organized team sports. Details on donating can be found here. Please, please bring your raffle ticket CA$H and your credit card with the highest limit.

(6) Get your clients to Grand Rapids. Are your current partners NASC members? Wouldn’t it be awesome to see them at the Symposium?  Why not personally invite them to join the association and meet you there. If you need membership info or would like a member of the Membership Committee to contact them, just say the word.

There you have it. Include this list with all the others. Check these items off now to be ready when the Symposium season arrives. See you in Grand Rapids. Ready…..Go!

Janna Clark, CSEE
Elizabethtown Sports Park
NASC Board of Directors
NASC Mentoring Committee

National Association of Sports Commissions Names Next Host Cities for Symposiums; NASC Wraps Up Oklahoma City Meeting with Record Attendance, New Board Leadership

April 3, 2014

The National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC), the governing body of the $8.7 billion sports events industry, celebrated record attendance for its annual symposium here this week.

More than 800 attendees, including 170 first-timers, participated in this week’s NASC Symposium to elect new NASC leadership, honor members with industry awards and participate in dozens of continuing education programs led by industry leadership.

Also, during the event the NASC Sports Legacy Fund raised $14,000 to benefit Oklahoma Cleats for Kids, an Oklahoma City-based organization that collects, recycles and distributes new and gently used athletic shoes and equipment to kids in need.

NASC Selects Future Host Cities for 2016 and 2017

The NASC also announced future locations for its annual meeting: Grand Rapids, Michigan will be the host in 2016 and Sacramento was named the 2017 host city. Previously announced, Milwaukee will host the 2015 NASC Symposium from April 27-30.

“We feel we have an exciting lineup of cities that will be the hosts for our Symposiums,” said Don Schumacher, executive director of the NASC. “With our return to Milwaukee in 2015, we’ll visit some of our most dynamic sports cities.”

NEW NASC Leadership Elected

New NASC board leadership was also announced, including Kevin Smith, CSEE, the director of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, as the new chair of NASC.

Additional officers include: Vice Chair/Chair Elect, Greg Ayers, CSEE, president & CEO, Discover Kalamazoo; Treasurer, Ralph Morton, CSEE, executive director, Seattle Sports Commission; Secretary, Mike Anderson, CSEE, director of sports, Visit Charlotte; and  Immediate Past Chair, Terry Hasseltine, CSEE, executive director, Maryland Office of Sports.

The slate of NASC directors includes: Board term expiring 2015, Tammy Dunn, CSEE, sports marketing manager, Snohomish County Sports Commission; Greg Fante, CSEE, director of sports development, Louisville Sports Commission; Kindra Fry, CSEE, SMP, vice president of sales and marketing, Bryan-College Station CVB and Nancy Yawn, CSEE, CDME, director, Round Rock CVB.

Directors with Board terms expiring in 2016: John Gibbons, CSEE, executive director, Rhode Island Sports Commission; Michael Price, CSEE, executive director, Greater Lansing Sports Authority; Janis Schmees Burke, CSEE, executive director, Harris County-Houston Sports Authority and Holly Shelton, CSEE, manager of sports business development, Oklahoma City CVB.

Directors with Board terms expiring in 2017: Brian Hickey, CSEE, director of sports, Visit Tallahassee/Tallahassee Sports Council; Janis Ross, executive director, Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports; Benjamin Wilder, CSEE, director, Savannah Sports Council and Marc Zimmerman, CSEE, sales & events manager, Central Florida’s Polk County Sports Marketing.

Allied representatives with a board term expiring in 2015 include Rick Hatcher, CSEE, director of business development, PSA, and board term expiring in 2016, Mike Hill, CSEE, senior director of sports sales, Hilton Worldwide-Sports Sales. Rights Holder representatives are, with a board term expiring in 2015, Jeff Jarnecke, associate director of championships and alliances, NCAA, and board term expiring in 2016, John David, chief operating officer, USA BMX.

NASC Members Honored

Also presented this week were the Member Awards, signifying outstanding work in the field of sports events, marketing and promotion. This year NASC added the prestigious Sports Event Professional of the Year award, honoring the person deemed most influential in Sports Events planning and management. This year’s inaugural Sports Event Professional of the Year award goes to Ron Radigonda, recently retired as executive director of Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball.

Other award winners include:

  • Locally Created Event of the Year, under $200,000 budget; Hampton Roads Sports Commission
  • Locally Created Event of the Year, $200,000 budget and above; Kansas City Sports Commission
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year, $200,000 budget and above; Round Rock CVB
  • Sports Commission of the Year, under $200,000 budget; Erie Sports Commission
  • Sports Commission of the Year, $200,000 budget and above, Harris County-Houston Sports Commission
  • Sports Tourism Organization of the Year, under $200,000 budget; Butler County Visitors Bureau

The NASC this week also recognized its latest class of graduates in its Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) continuing education program. The Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 CSEE graduates include: Cissy Aberg, Plano Convention and Visitors Bureau; Christopher Ackerman, Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau; John David, USA BMX; Katie Fencl, Des Moines Area Sports Commission; Michael Guswiler, West Michigan Sports Commission; Scott Hofmann, Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau; Meaghan Hughes, Ann Arbor Area Convention & Visitors Bureau; Matthew Libber, Elite Tournaments; Leah Mitcham, Mooresville Convention and Visitors Bureau; Jason Philbeck, Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance; Beth Porreca, US Lacrosse and Meghan Ziehmer, Greater Lansing Sports Authority.