Pat and Lisa Ciniello have been named the 2017 recipients of the prestigious John Davis Award. The surprise announcement was made on the trade show floor during the Phantom Radio Show at International Bowl Expo in Nashville, Tenn.

John Davis, the man who started The Kegel Company, was involved in bowling for nearly his entire life. At an early age, his father taught John and all of his siblings how to bowl. That “love affair” with the sport would span more than half a century, as Davis contributed his time, knowledge and money to help better bowling on a number of levels.

Even though Kegel was relatively small, Davis’s investment in the industry was always unselfish and unmatched. His innovations, inventions and contributions have been well documented, and his leadership in technology and humanity, in the United States and worldwide, made him perhaps the most sought-after figure in the game.

Davis’s behind-the-scenes committee work was always welcomed. Because of his vast accomplishments and devotion to the sport, the John Davis Award was established by Kegel to perpetuate his memory. It has become a prestigious honor that is presented annually to a deserving person (or couple) actively involved in trying to advance the sport. A beautiful, one-of-a-kind perpetual plaque, bearing each recipient’s name, is permanently displayed at the Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla.

The Ciniellos, like Davis, are known and respected in the entire bowling community. Pat was born and raised in New Jersey, and graduated from Monmouth University with a degree in Business Administration. He got his start in bowling by polishing bowling balls as a youngster for free games. Lisa started bowling at 7 years of age, and went on to work at various jobs in that same Florida bowling center.

Later, she began working as a waitress at that center, which eventually was purchased by Pat and a partner.

“There is no truth to the rumor that he bought it after seeing the beautiful Lisa waiting on tables, but it is true that Pat is much older than she, and he was deathly afraid of her father — so he behaved himself until the proper time,” said Kegel’s Len Nicholson, who presented the award.

Ultimately, Pat and Lisa got married, and success followed this beautiful couple. They now own seven bowling centers and have hosted several PBA50 Tour events. Among Pat’s accomplishments: 2016 Florida Proprietor of the Year, past President and Chairman of the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, President and Chairman of QubicaAMF Worldwide, and recipient of the highest honor in the bowling business, the BPAA Victor Lerner Medal for a lifetime of service to the game. He also received the Flowers for the Living Award at Bowl Expo.

The Ciniellos are blessed with three great kids.

The Ciniellos and the Davises had a long history together, as Pat bought one of John’s first lane cleaning tools, leading to them becoming great friends. They once considered becoming partners, but as Pat puts it, “Time ran out — unfortunately.”


2001 — Joyce Deitch

2002 — John Weber

2003 — Ted Hoffman Jr.

2004 — Jim Dressel

2005 — Mark Gerberich

2006 — Carmen Salvino

2007 — Linda Davis

2008 — Gary Parsons

2009 — Len Nicholson

2010 — Walt Steinsiek

2011 — Gary Beck

2012 — Kim Thorsgaard Jensen

2013 — Barbara and Bill Chrisman

2014 — Mark Davis

2015 — Kevin Dornberger

2016 — Chris Chartrand

2017 — Lisa and Pat Ciniello

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