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Ice rink gets new manager

September 18, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

A new general manager who took over at Hagerstown's ice rink on Thursday will be more visible in the community than his predecessors, the rink's board chairman said.

Mike Olson will get out in the community more, giving talks about the rink at schools, churches and service organizations, said Gary Wright, chairman of the nonprofit Washington County Sports Foundation, which oversees the rink.

The Hagerstown rink has tremendous potential, Olson said.

"I just think it's a matter of time before people realize what the building has and the programs we have to offer," he said.

The former manager, Amy Simmons, is joining the U.S. Army to pursue a career as a veterinary technician, officials said.

Simmons did an excellent job of taking over the Hagerstown Ice & Sports Complex in March and getting accounting, scheduling and computers running smoothly, Wright said. She will stay on until mid-October.

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"It's been a great place. It's been challenging," Simmons said.

Olson has been at the rink since last week.

Olson and Simmons are employees of JRV Management Inc., an Ann Arbor, Mich., company that runs the ice rink at the Hagerstown Fairgrounds under contract with the foundation.

Olson's last assignment for JRV was as interim general manager for the Monroe Multi-Sports Complex in Michigan, where he had worked since January.

The foundation is looking for a part-time marketing person to handle advertising, Wright said.

It's been a lean summer, but things are expected to pick up as the skating season begins in October, Wright said.

Rink officials want to sign up 150 youths for the ice hockey league so it will be financially successful, Wright said. More than 75 signed up last weekend and sign-ups wrap up this Sunday at the rink, he said.

The rink has hockey leagues for children ages 4 to 16, and everyone that signs up gets to play, Olson said.

There will be a late sign-up for youngsters who want to take novice hockey classes this fall and then play on a team, Wright said.

Instead of having mini-seasons, which the rink held last year, this year the hockey season will run from October through March, he said.

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