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Struggling ice rink has new arena manager

November 01, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - David P. Brandenburg has been named the new arena manager at the Hagerstown Sports & Ice Complex.

The Hagerstown native is at least the seventh person to take the position since the rink opened in 1997, said the chairwoman of the Washington County Sports Foundation, the group that runs the complex.

City Director of Administrative Services John Budesky said Brandenburg took over as rink manager in mid-September. Budesky said Brandenburg's salary, which he did not have available Sunday, would be based partly on bonuses stemming from rink profits.

"It's an incentive for him to work harder there," Budesky said.

Arena management duties were being performed by Carl Langford, who was employed in an acting manager role, Budesky said. Langford still is employed at the rink, working in operations and maintenance.

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Foundation Board of Directors chairwoman Kristy Pottol said Langford was given the acting manager position after Dave Bayles stopped working at the facility less than two years ago.

"They (the board) chose not to fill the program manager position and allowed Carl to step up and take on more responsibility," Pottol said. "It was a move by the board to hold expenses flat while the board determined the best way forward for the ice arena."

Pottol said the board believed Brandenburg, who has management experience with the Funkstown Moose Lodge 2435 and had been employed by the Washington County Board of Education, could use his local ties to increase revenue at the rink. Pottol added, "you can only cut expenses so far."

"Our objective was primarily to bring in someone with leadership experience," Pottol said. "We did a three-state search but we were hoping to find someone locally. They understand the needs of the city."

Pottol lauded Brandenburg for his success at developing family programs at the Funkstown lodge.

She said she hoped the hiring of someone with local ties will lead to less management turnover at the rink. Pottol said she believes there have been seven managers there since its opening in 1997.

Brandenburg said he and a new assistant manager, Toni Koenigsberg, are trying to plan new events and expand on existing events to increase revenue. He said the rink is negotiating with several area businesses to place advertisements in the complex's rafters and along the boards.

"We're looking at everything right now," Brandenburg said.

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