Cyber Report #1057

E-dition No. 1,057 • Friday, May 17, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (

Kathy Leitgeb to Retire as E.D. of New York State BPA

Kathy Leitgeb is retiring as Executive Director of the New York State Bowling Proprietors Association. Her final day will be in a few weeks, and a dinner in her honor was held Thursday night.

“It amazes me how time flies by,” said John LaSpina, a past president of the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America and long active in the NYSBPA. “It was only yesterday when we hired George Burton’s assistant to take his place; that was 1985, eleven years after he hired her.”

Added LaSpina in a Facebook post: “Who in this day and age can claim to having only one employer? All of us at NYSBPA are better for it.”

On Feb. 7, Leitgeb received the George C. Burton Award from the Empire State Society of Association Executives for her exemplary performance over her 45-year career with the NYSBPA.

The ESSAE encourages high professional standards in the management of voluntary trade and professional organizations. Its membership comprises more than 475 individuals in New York. The ESSAE is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. It was founded five years after Leitgeb began her career with the NYSBPA.

“Kathy and I go way back,” said Bill Duff, Executive director of the Illinois State BPA. “She and I had similar experiences — working for long-time E.D.s before we were hired, in my case with Pat Bosco. She helped me a lot with the transition, the workload, and understanding the dynamics of the membership.”

After the BPAA’s National Family Tournament was retired, Duff said he and Leitgeb were determined to continue conducting an adult/youth event at the state level, and discussed various format possibilities that might make sense for their associations.

“We would talk about stuff like that all the time,” he said. “She always told me I could always pick up the phone to pick her brain. Most people would call it brainstorming. We called it brain-picking.”

Although the NYSBPA will continue to have a lobbyist in the state capital of Albany, management of the association will be transferred to the BPAA.

“I know they will do a great job with it,” LaSpina said, “but it’s hard to fathom the association without Kathy. She went to work everyday worry about us [proprietors], and she did it selflessly, even while she was battling cancer.”

Leitgeb was a trailblazer for women in management positions, breaking through bowling’s glass ceiling long before most others.

“Think back to 1985, and tell me how many female E.D.s there were,” LaSpina said. “She was going to be a school teacher, so she had an affinity for seminars and what was relevant to the workplace at the time.”

In a post directed to Leitgeb on LaSpina’s Facebook page, John Caprise Sr., whose family operated bowling centers in New York through three generations, said, “Words cannot explain my deep appreciation for the years we worked together. You are a consummate professional. I wish you all the best in your retirement.”

Those are words being echoed throughout the New York bowling community and beyond.

SMART to Distribute $1.75 in Investment Earnings

For the second consecutive year, the Scholarship Management and Account Reporting for Tenpins (SMART) will make a distribution of $1.75 million to providers’ funds from investment earnings.

Based on income earned from investments, the SMART Board determines any possible income earnings distribution and releases the funds to providers by the end of May each year. The $1.75 million distribution is from investment earnings in 2018.

“The SMART Board is excited to make such a significant distribution for the second consecutive year,” SMART Corporation Board Chairman Steve Moehrle said about the distribution announced at the USBC Convention. “We will continue to protect SMART funds through conservative investment strategies and look to continue our yearly earnings distributions so providers can provide more youth bowlers with scholarships.”

With this year’s earnings distribution, SMART has returned more than $4.3 million to providers’ accounts in the last year. That includes $2.2 million in expired recipients’ funds and $430,000 in expired provider accounts.

The SMART Board provided an income earnings distribution of $1 million in 2017 and $450,000 in 2016.

The SMART Bowling Scholarship Funding Corporation was created in 2010 as an independent entity dedicated to the management, protection and promotion of the SMART scholarship funds, with the United States Bowling Congress staff overseeing the day-to-day operation of the program. USBC started the SMART program in 1994 to offer a centralized location to manage bowling scholarship funds, as well as provide USBC members with a resource for inquiries about bowling scholarships.

The seven-member SMART Board places the largest portion of earned scholarships in conservative securities, with remaining assets invested in a diversified portfolio expected to yield larger returns. The majority of investment income is distributed to participating organizations and providers, with a small portion used to cover administrative costs and investment fees.

Globetrotting Bowlers Share Pre-Fire Photos of Notre Dame

The day a fire engulfed Notre Dame cathedral and destroyed its iconic spire happened also to be the first day of qualifying in the 2019 PBA50 Tour season.

Yet the question buzzing around the building — Maple Lanes Countryside in Clearwater, Fla., host of the PBA50 Johnny Petraglia BVL Open — had nothing to do with scores and standings… and everything to do with the tragedy that had made the world stop and stare at the nearest news coverage: “Did you hear that Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire?”

Wherever you were the moment you heard about the conflagration, whatever you were doing, chances are you paused and pulled up the news that moment.

In an era in which professional bowlers travel to every corner of the globe to compete, the devastation in Paris was felt deeply by those among the bowling community’s many well-traveled players who themselves had been to Notre Dame or planned to go someday.

In particular, 2011 USBC Queens champion Missy Parkin and four-time USBC Open Championships titlist Matt McNiel both had the opportunity to visit the beloved landmark before the fire ensured the only way to see the nearly 900-year-old site in its original state would be through photos. They shared their stories and photos with us here:

Expanded Legalized Gambling Marks First Anniversary

Tuesday marked one year since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the failed federal ban on sports betting.

In only 12 months, legislators in Illinois and across the country have jumped at this opportunity:

Including Nevada, eight states are currently operating legal sports betting. An additional six states and the District of Columbia have legalized it, and many are planning to launch in time for the 2019 football season. Dozens more bills are still active.

Since PASPA was overturned, nearly $7.9 billion has been wagered on sports nationwide, generating $55.3 million in state and local tax revenue. Nearly $3 billion of the total legally wagered on sports came from new markets outside of Nevada.

Business Briefs…

* Plans had called for the first shopping center in Peachtree City, Ga., to be torn town and replaced by apartment buildings. But now, the owner of the property, long-time pizza restaurant operator Jim Royal, says he has decided not to sell the property, and instead plans to open a bowling center with six regulation tenpin lanes and six lanes of duckpin bowling. He envisions lots of birthday parties, with packages including his pizza. No leagues are planned for the envisioned facility. Royal said he planned to post a sign at the entrance reading, “No serious bowlers.” Read more here:

* Sully Lanes was one of the many businesses forced to shut down in Aransas, Texas, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. But bowling will return to the coastal community by Christmas thanks to Chris and Julie Coulter, who bought the property on which Sully Lanes was located, demolished the building, and are erecting a new 15,000-sq.-ft. structure that will include a sports bar and a private party area in addition to bowling. Also coming to Aransas are a six-screen movie theater complex and a roller skating rink.

* Shopping malls across the country continue to be reinvented with an array of restaurant and entertainment offerings, and now the trend has reached the Northwoods Mall in Charleston, S.C. Filling a 46,000-sq.-ft. space at the mall will be a new venue of Round1 Bowling & Amusement, which will offer bowling, an arcade, karaoke, billiards and food-and-beverage service. Noting the move away from traditional retail, Stephen Lebovitz, Chief Executive Officer of CBL Properties, said that 80 percent of the company’s new leasing activity during the first quarter of 2019 involved non-apparel tenants.

* The Round1 venue in Concord, Calif., has been the scene of three high-profile incidents in recent weeks — two group fights (one inside and one in the parking lot), and an armed robbery. Read more here:

* International Plaza in Tampa, Fla., has confirmed that plans have been filed with the city to add a 31,000-sq.-ft. bowling-based venue and a 39,000-sq.-ft. cinema. It was not revealed whether both proposed businesses have the same owner. The Tampa Bay Times reported that Florida-based Frank Entertainment Group, which operates combo bowling center-movie theater complexes, has been in and out of bankruptcy court since last fall.

* Bowling is getting the cold shoulder in Coldwater, Mich., with the closing of Coldwater Recreation. Fencing has now gone up around the building in anticipation of its demolition. Plans call for it to be replaced by a Dairy Queen restaurant. Southern Michigan’s Branch County is now left with two bowling centers: Midway Lanes in Coldwater, and Bronson Strike Zone in Bronson.

Other News You Can Use…

* The Professional Women’s Bowling Association Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 16 years on Wednesday night before an audience that featured hall of fame members and current PWBA Tour players. The 2019 PWBA Hall of Fame class of Wendy Macpherson and Leanne Hulsenberg, both inducted for performance, and Donna Conners, selected in the meritorious service/builder category, was the first class to join the hall of fame since 2003. Anne Marie Duggan received special recognition as she and Virginia Norton both were elected to the PWBA Hall of Fame in the performance category in 2003, the year the pro women’s tour ceased operations. Report:

* The stretch drive for a return trip to Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, for the semifinal and final rounds of the inaugural PBA Playoffs (June 1-2) begins Monday at 9 p.m. Eastern on FS1 with No. 1 seed Jason Belmonte taking on No. 9 Kris Prather, and No. 4 Anthony Simonsen meeting No. 21 Andres Gomez in Round of 8 matchups. The competition will once again use the Race to 2 Points format, where one point is awarded for each of two games in the match. If both players win a game, the tie will be broken by a 9th and 10th-frame rolloff to determine the winner. More:

* Limited lanes remain available for the Packers Give Back Celebrity Bowling Event, presented by Nestlé, to be held at the Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley in Green Bay on June 5. Packers players, coaches and alumni will participate in the event, with proceeds benefitting the Wisconsin Court Appointed Special Advocates Association, whose programs throughout the state champion the needs of abused and neglected children. Lanes are available for $1,000 and will include a team of four bowlers per lane, with each team to be joined by one Packers celebrity. All participants will receive a gift and team photo, have their company sign displayed above their lane, and have access to a buffet. More: 920-569-7500.

* In tram bowing, “a tram drives along its track and hits a large stationary ball. That ball then flies off to knock over some giant pins. It’s just like normal human bowling except with a tram.” The annual European Tram Bowling Championship took place last week, and you can read more about — and explore the physics involved — here:

* Punk Rock Bowling is ready for its annual run in Las Vegas, May 25-27. The event started off as a private bowling get-together for punk rock musicians and industry figures, gradually expanding from a handful of supplemental musical performances into a full-blown festival (which officially began in 2010). This year’s event features 40-plus bands in the main festival, multiple secondary shows at clubs throughout downtown, a comedy show, pool parties, a poker tournament and bowling, with more than 500 bowlers participating.

* This fall will mark the first time ever that Kent State Tuscarawas has offered bowling as a sport on campus. The women’s bowling team will take flight under head coach Vera Fox, and will compete in collegiate tournaments with NCAA Division I, II and III schools. Fox has more than 30 years of combined experience as a bowling coach, and most recently has been the varsity girls bowling coach for Carrollton High School. Kent State Tuscarawas is a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association and is the only locally owned regional campus in Ohio.

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is renowned coach and ball driller Bill Hall who, among other topics, reveals that this year’s USBC Open Championships will be his last. To learn why, go to:

* CONTACT: Please send business news, event information, etc. to Bob Johnson at For breaking business news, visit or, and “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook. BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at

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