Cyber Report #1060

E-dition No. 1,060 • Friday, June 7, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

A D-Day Anniversary Salute to America’s Veterans

On this day in 1944, Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower gave the go-ahead for the largest amphibious military operation in history: Operation Overlord — code named D-Day — the Allied invasion of northern France.

By daybreak, 18,000 British and American parachutists were already on the ground. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion. At 6:30 a.m., American troops came ashore at Utah and Omaha beaches.

The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture Gold, Juno and Sword beaches; as did the Americans at Utah. The task was much tougher at Omaha beach, however, where the U.S. First Division battled high seas, mist, mines, burning vehicles and German coastal batteries, including an elite infantry division that spewed heavy fire. Many wounded Americans ultimately drowned in the high tide. British divisions, which landed at Gold, Juno and Sword beaches, and Canadian troops also met with heavy German fire.

But by day’s end, 155,000 Allied troops — Americans, British and Canadians — had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches and were then able to push inland. Within three months, the northern part of France would be freed and the invasion force would be preparing to enter Germany, where they would meet up with Soviet forces moving in from the east.

Though D-Day did not go off exactly as planned, the invasion was a decided success. By the end of June, the Allies had 850,000 men and 150,000 vehicles in Normandy and were poised to continue their march across Europe.

As we mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we also take time to recognize the contributions of bowling’s oldest charity. The Bowlers to Veterans Link was established during the year before D-Day, and ever since has focused on the wellbeing of America’s veterans and active-duty military personnel.

Recreation therapy — designed to maintain or improve physical, mental and emotional well-being as well as reduce depression, stress and anxiety — has been the hallmark of BVL’s programming, helping veterans maintain or recover basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities, and build confidence and socialization skills.

To that end, BVL dollars have funded the purchase and use of sports equipment, arts and crafts supplies, pet therapy activities, games, dance, drama, music and community outings at VA Medical Centers, Vet Centers and State Homes around the nation.

On the day we commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we dedicate this issue of the BJI Cyber Report to the brave men and women who served our country in World War II and all other wars. You can show your appreciation for our veterans by making a donation to BVL at http://www.bowlforveterans.org/.

* Bill Strong, a World War II veteran and quite possibly Oklahoma’s oldest active bowler, celebrated his 99th birthday this week with, appropriately, his bowling friends at his side. The group organized a brief party for Strong during its regular Tuesday bowling outing at the Lanes at Coffee Creek in Owasso, Okla. Read about the celebration and more about Strong here: https://www.tulsaworld.com/news/still-going-strong-world-war-ii-veteran-at-still-active/article_c31b092d-ae0f-5383-8189-14560d7a7137.html

Mike Logan Named 2019 BPAA Proprietor of the Year

Mike Logan, the owner of Grand Station Entertainment in College Station, Texas, has been named the 2019 recipient of the Proprietor of the Year award by the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America.

Logan will receive his award during International Bowl Expo week, June 23-27 at the Paris Las Vegas Resort in Las Vegas.

A special committee selects the award winner from submitted nomination forms. Logan’s nomination was accompanied by letters of support from fellow proprietors as well as local and state USBC association officials.

Logan, a third-generation proprietor, transformed a failing bowling center into a thriving family entertainment center. Rather than removing lanes in order to free up space for new attractions, he closed an adjoining roller skating rink and used that space to add a large arcade, laser tag and other attractions.

Logan is a bowler at heart with numerous honor score awards to his credit, but as a businessperson he says he could see the writing on the wall as bowling’s league participant base has slowly but continually diminished. While he still strongly supports local and state bowling tournaments, he says new revenue streams were needed to keep bowling available and viable.

“I’m not a trendsetter by any stretch of the imagination,” Logan said in the June issue of Bowling Center Management magazine, official publication of the BPAA and sister publication of BPAA. “But I know how to follow the trends.”

Logan noted that “without the arcade and the other additions we made, we would not have been able to buy 40 new pinsetting machines, two new lane machines and so on.”

Thanks to those capital improvements, and a strong focus on cleanliness, Grand Station Entertainment maintains a strong league base.

Logan also has found time to volunteer with both the Texas Bowling Centers Association and at the national level with BPAA.

While a TBCA officer, he helped bring many centers into membership and urged that educational programs be presented to the members in multiple locations since Texas is such a large state. He chairs BPAA’s FEC Committee, and has lobbied for FEC-focused educational seminars at Bowl Expo.

“I did not see it coming,” Logan said of the call he received from BPAA President Randy Thompson informing him of the Proprietor of the Year award. “I asked Randy, ‘Didn’t anybody else get nominated?’”

A big man with a big personality, Logan retains a humble demeanor and gratitude for his family, which includes wife Deanna and son Scott, both of whom play important roles in the operation of Grand Station Entertainment.

“I’m blessed to have them in my life, and that things turned out the way they did for us,” he says. “Sometimes God looks out for you when you need it.”

Read much more about Logan in the June issue of BCM.

IBPSIA Announces Award Winners for 2019

The International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association Board has selected its major award honorees for 2019, President, Tom Zernia has announced.

The Business Excellence Award is given to a pro shop that has a certified technician on staff, plays a key role in the retention and development of bowlers, and is a member of the association. This year, the award goes to Andy Diercks, who came into the pro-shop business with a coach-first mindset.

After working with many students and realizing their growth could come faster with better fits, it became obvious that having pro-shop experience and access was essential to being a more effective and well-rounded coach. He began operating May City Pro Shop inside May City Bowl in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in December 2013.

Diercks is a USBC Silver coach and has been an IBPSIA-Certified Technician since 2013. He was mentored by an IPBSIA founding member, Ron Hoppe, when he was a staff coach and business manager for International Art of Bowling.

Diercks served as the head coach of the Linn-Mar High School boys team in Marion, Iowa, for six years, leading the Lions to three Mississippi Valley Conference titles (2013, 2014, and 2015) and two regional championships. He was the 2013 MVC Coach of the Year and the Metro Coach of the Year in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

He became head coach of the Mount Mercy University bowling program in March 2015 after serving as interim head coach since December 2014. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach at Mount Mercy for two seasons.

In 2017, Diercks was appointed to the Team USA coaching staff as an assistant coach. He was elected to serve on the IBPSIA Board of Directors in 2016, and served one term as his coaching obligations began taking more of his time.

The Bill Bunetta Lighthouse Award can be given to a person or business that has made significant contributions to the pro shop industry, and its 2019 recipient is Cecil Scarboro.

Scarboro has spent 34 years in the bowling industry, starting in the pro shop at the pro shop inside his home center, Bowlarama Lanes in Panama City, Fla. He would manage pro shops and bowling centers throughout the South for the next decade.

In 2006, he became the Generations Pro Bowling Tour Players Services Director, while also working the Visionary Bowling Products booth and managing the 900 Global booth at the USBC Open Championships from 2005 through 2012.

Scarboro was a PBA member for more than 25 years and served as a contributing writer for Bowling This Month. He has been the VISE Technical Services Representative since 2010 and is currently the PWBA Player Services Representative.

The Friends of IBPSIA Award is given to an individual or company that has made significant contributions to benefit the association and its members, and the 2019 honoree is Ace Mitchell Bowlers Mart.

The legacy of bowler, proprietor, coach and inventor Charles Francis “Ace” Mitchell continues to make an impact on the bowling industry today.

Ace Mitchell Bowlers Mart has been a family-owned business since 1957, and its corporate headquarters is located in Akron, Ohio, with additional locations in Long Island, N.Y.; Nashville Tenn., and Sanford, Fla. The company serves thousands of customers from the Great Lakes and Upper Mid-Atlantic regions to the southern part of the country, with an additional sales presence throughout the Upper Midwest and eastern Canada.

Ace Mitchell’s staff of more than 75 employees includes some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry, with more than 200 combined 300 games, dozens of 800 series and numerous sponsorships from bowling’s biggest brands. The average employee has been with the company for more than 10 years.

With more than 40,000 different inventory items, Ace Mitchell is one of the world’s largest distributors of consumer bowling products, bowling center supplies, and lane maintenance and pinsetter parts.

The IBPSIA President’s Award is given to a member of the association who has contributed to the development and retention of bowlers, and this year the recipient is a company.

Kegel was formed in 1981 by John Davis, Linda Davis, Mark Davis and David Jennings. At that time it had one product — a small, hand-operated cleaning tool named “The Key” that was built in Jennings’s garage.

Over the past three decades, Kegel has grown into a world-class organization with several product divisions, more than 100 employees, a 74,000-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art facility in Lake Wales, Fla., and a separate production facility in Henderson, Nev.

Kegel has done this with a simple philosophy of researching the problems that exist in the bowling industry, developing a product or service to solve the problem, and making sure to support the customer with the highest standards.

LPI’s Keith Hamilton Joins BVL Board of Directors

Keith Hamilton, the President of Luby Publishing Inc., has been elected to the Bowlers to Veterans Link Board of Directors. Hamilton oversees the company that is the world leader in bowling and billiard publications.

“Keith has been a driving force for positive change throughout the bowling industry for decades, and we’re grateful to add his voice to the BVL Board,” said Board Chairman John LaSpina. “He brings a broad perspective and will be an enthusiastic advocate for the transformative impact that BVL can make for veterans.”

“The idea of being able to serve our veterans is a privilege,” said Hamilton. “BVL showcases the very best of what the bowling community can do for others, so I am grateful for the opportunity to play a role in their mission to enhance the lives of every generation of veterans. 

BVL has raised more than $50 million since 1942 via fundraising events in bowling and entertainment centers that occur throughout the year, with many efforts centralized around National BVL Month each November.

In addition to Hamilton, the BVL Board of Directors is comprised of business community leaders and representatives from the United States Bowling Congress and the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America.

Hamilton has been a part of Luby Publishing Inc. since 1981, starting as an intern with the organization’s flagship publication, Bowlers Journal, and joining the business full-time after college to work with his mentor, USBC and PBA Hall of Famer, Mort Luby Jr. He was named President of LPI in 1994, and has served in many volunteer roles in the industry. Currently, Hamilton is the President of the International Bowling Media Association, and formerly served as President and Chairman of the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame (2011-14) and Chairman of the International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association Advisory Board (2005-09).

During his tenure in the industry, Hamilton has more than doubled the size of LPI, and also was at the helm as the longest-running sports magazine in the nation, Bowlers Journal International, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2013.

While serving on its board, Hamilton played a major role in the building of the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame in Arlington, Texas, as well the museum’s first satellite location in Reno, Nev. In his role with the IBMA, he led the charge to resurrect and grow the Chuck Pezzano Scholarship by developing a corporate partnership program that led to an increase in funding and scholarship payout to the winner.

Hamilton has received the “Friends of IBPSIA Award” in two consecutive years (2014-15). He also earned the Start-Up of the Year Award from the Niche Magazine Conference in 2007 for Pro Shop Operator magazine, and the BPAA Special Projects Award in 2005 for the creation of Bowling Center Management, the official publication of BPAA.

Hamilton also has won USBC and IBMA writing awards for his monthly column that is featured in Bowlers Journal International, and was awarded the BPAA Media Award in 2018. 

Hamilton earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. in Business Administration from Western Illinois University. He and his wife Kathleen reside in Park Ridge, Ill, and have one son, Ryan.

Hawaii’s Pali Lanes Gets Reprieve from Wrecking Ball

The Hawaii Historic Places Review Board has voted to put Pali Lanes in Kailua on the state’s Register of Historic Places, the Honolulu Civil Beat reported.

As a result, Alexander & Baldwin, which owns the land, will face stringent review by the state Historic Preservation Division if the company decides to modify the bowling center.

A&B had initially planned to redevelop the 1.7-acre site in the heart of Kailua into a green space for the Kailua Farmers’ Market, food trucks and as a place to stage community concerts and events.

But the company had faced community opposition ever since it announced its plans in December 2017 to end the lease of Pali Lanes at the end of January 2019.

Earlier this year, the bowling center dodged another bullet when a bill to invoke “eminent domain” died in the Hawaii House. The bill would have preserved the building but allowed its contents to be auctioned off.

The center operators can’t afford needed interior and capital equipment upgrades, and observers suggest they are now are left with three options:

1. Register as a non-profit.

2. Work with an outside non-profit.

3. Work with Alexander & Baldwin.

Read more about these developments here: https://www.civilbeat.org/2019/02/future-of-pali-lanes-remains-uncertain/.

California University to Add 8 Bowling Lanes

The expansion of the Santos Manuel Student Center at Cal State San Bernardino will include eight bowling lanes.

The $90 million project will encompass three stories and 120,000 square feet, and also include a pub, ballroom, bookstore and more.

CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales said the expansion “serves a vital purpose: to enhance the total college experience for our students by providing a vibrant campus life.”

More than 200 students, faculty, staff members and alumni gathered with visitors on Tuesday for a groundbreaking ceremony. The expansion is expected to open up to students in September 2021.

Business Briefs…

* Bowling got some great exposure on the daytime “Live With Kelly and Ryan” program on Wednesday. Joe LaSpina and his team from Maple Family Centers set up a lane in the program’s New York studio, and 2018 Junior Gold Championships U12 winner Katelyn Abigania of San Diego, Calif., showed the hosts how to knock down the pins. We’ll have more on the appearance in the July issues of BJI and BCM.

* The Alaska community of Juneau was about to lose its bowling center with the closing of Taku Lanes. But Robert Petersen, a bowler since the 1980s, stepped in to lease the building and bowling equipment, and keep it open under a new name: PINZ. “I want to keep it clean and keep it open so people can bowl,” Petersen told the Juneau Empire. “The bowling alley is my therapy.” Read more here: https://www.juneauempire.com/news/juneaus-bowling-alley-sees-bowl-d-new-changes/.

* Smitty’s Cinema in Sanford, Maine, has announced plans to fill an adjacent 14,000-sq.-ft. space with 10 bowling lanes, an arcade, and a lounge serving family-friendly comfort food. Director of Operations Al Wyatt said the decision to expand was based in part on the results of a survey revealing that customers wanted additional entertainment experiences. “We’re going to make it fun — not just on weekends, but every night,” Wyatt told the Bangor Daily News.

* Shaffer Distributing Company will be closed on Friday in recognition of the company’s 90th anniversary. What began as an Ohio pharmacist’s fascination with a countertop pinball machine has become one of the world’s most successful suppliers of amusement equipment. Over the past nine decades, Shaffer’s universe has expanded to include supplying and servicing arcade games, redemption equipment, digital jukeboxes and vending machines. But it doesn’t end there. The family-owned company provides consultation, arcade design, theming and layout, equipment installation, logistics, on-premises training and post-sales support and maintenance. To learn more about the company, read Dennis Bergendorf’s feature story in the April issue of Bowling Entertainment Center magazine. Shaffer will resume regular business hours on Monday.

* Limited seats remain available for the International Bowl Expo “Super Session” on “Promoting Profitable Food Operations,” to be presented by Mike Holtzman. A detailed preview may be found in the May issue of BCM. To sign up for the session, Bowl Expo attendees with full registrations should click here: http://bpaa.com/bowlexpo/general-info/super-session.

Other News You Can Use…

* Kris Prather made critical shot after critical shot in defeating Bill O’Neill, 226-215 and 216-185, to win the inaugural PBA Playoffs and its $100,000 first prize Sunday at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine. Report: https://www.pba.com/articles/Kris-Prather-Wins-Inaugural-PBA-Playoffs-Championship-24100000-First-Prize.

* Prather goes by the nickname “Shark” these days, but the PBA Playoffs champion says he felt more like a sheep when he first came out on tour and realized how much he had to learn. He clearly has learned plenty since then, having just banked the first six-figure top prize in PBA competition since the 2011 Tournament of Champions. It is safe to say his transition from sheep to shark is complete after that feat live on FOX this past Sunday, which concluded a nearly invincible run through the playoffs during which Prather lost just one game. He spoke with BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione about why he likes the kind of head-to-head battle the PBA Playoffs format required, the raucous atmosphere at Bayside Bowl, what he and his wife Ashley plan to do with the windfall of money he earned for that performance, and much more. You can listen to the conversation here: https://soundcloud.com/user-658733792/podcast-pba-playoffs-champion-kris-prather

* Shayna Ng spent each round of the 2019 PWBA Sonoma County Open trying to catch tournament leader Missy Parkin… without success. Ng had one last chance as she faced Parkin in last Saturday’s title match at Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, Calif., and took full advantage of the opportunity by striking on her first seven shots in a 259-237 victory to claim her second PWBA title. Report: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/shayna-ng-catches-missy-parkin-to-win-pwba-sonoma-county-open/.

* Ty Dawson outlasted a field of nearly 200 of the top USBX members age 60 and older to win the 2019 Super Senior Classic at Sam’s Town Bowling Center in Las Vegas. Report: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/californias-ty-dawson-wins-2019-super-senior-classic/.

* USBC and PBA Hall of Famer Doug Kent took over the top spot after two rounds of qualifying at the 2019 USBC Senior Masters on Wednesday at Sam’s Town. The 52-year-old right-hander leads the 300-player field with a 10-game score of 2337. Gary Faulkner is second with 2320, and 2012 champion Mike Edwards is third with 2314. Ricky Schissler (2312) and Blaine Weninger (2310) round out the top five. Following today’s action, the field will be cut to 64 players for double-elimination match play, which will determine the five players for Sunday’s stepladder finals, which will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern and be streamed on BowlTV.com. Report: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/hall-of-famer-doug-kent-leads-senior-masters/.

* Applications for the 2019 PBA Billy Welu Scholarship Award, recognizing exemplary qualities in male or female college students who excel in academics as well as in the sport of bowling, are being accepted through June 21. The winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship. To be eligible, candidates must be amateur bowlers who are currently in college (preceding the application date) and maintaining at least a 2.5/4.0 GPA or equivalent. The two-part application can be retrieved by downloading the files from this link: http://www.pba.com/Corporate/Scholarships.

* The 10th annual Rhino Page Lace Up to Strike Out Crohn’s and Colitis fundraiser is set for Saturday, June 15, at South Levittown Lanes in Levittown, N.Y. Since its inception in cooperation with the Tyler Cacioppo family, the event has raised more than $300,000 to fight the debilitating gastrointestinal diseases. For more information about the event, visit: www.strikeoutcrohns.com.

* Apple has released a new augmented reality bowling game called Swift Strike. Read more about it here: https://www.cnet.com/news/what-apples-new-ar-bowling-game-taught-us-about-the-future/.

* NFL teams conduct a series of off-season training sessions that are known as OTAs (organized team activities). Philadelphia Eagles Coach Doug Pedersen canceled his team’s final on-field OTA and instead took the team bowling. Details: https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/sports/csn/eagles/Doug_Pederson_cancels_Eagles_practice__takes_the_whole_team_bowling_PHI-510914252.html.

* Members of the Green Bay Packers also hit the lanes this week in a fundraiser for the Wisconsin Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association. Green Bay’s Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley once again hosted the event. Read more here: https://www.wbay.com/content/news/Packers-hit-bowling-lanes-for-kids-in-courts-510897371.html. Perhaps Aaron Rodgers picked up a few ideas for his Bowl Expo keynote speech later this month.

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

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