Expo: sensory overload

by Bob Johnson 0

One could excuse a first-time International Bowl Expo attendee for developing a severe case of sensory overload.

The 2010 Expo kicked off Monday at the Las Vegas Hilton, and among the sights and sounds were:

* An Elvis impersonator singing songs while two Vegas showgirls paraded around the stage.

* A film clip of Carrie Underwood bowling on “Good Morning America” with host Robin Roberts.

* A parade of a dozen past presidents of the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (see list below).

* Emotional award acceptance speeches by PBA Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia and former USBC Chief Executive Officer Roger Dalkin.

* The first extended look most attendees had gotten at new BPAA Executive Director Steve Johnson.

* A clip of football hall of famer Lynn Swann appearing on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning” program.

* Jeff Bojé, one of the architects of the bowling industry’s unification efforts, giving what sounded like a farewell speech (as he enters his final month as President of USBC).

* Vintage clips from a bowling-themed episode of “The Andy Griffith Show.”

And that’s just a sampling.

There also was an election of officers, as delegates voted in Cathy DeSocio of Wichita, Kan., as the new Vice President (and President-elect); Nancy Schenk of Fayetteville, N.C., as Secretary; Tom Martino of Hopelawn, N.J., as Treasurer; and Past President Michael Ducat of Winter Haven, Fla.; Kathleen Perry of Woodbine, Md.; and Jim Stubler of Peru, Ill., as Directors-at-Large).

The election of DeSocio could be historic, as she now is in line to become the first-ever female president of the BPAA following incoming President John Snyder’s two-year term.

BPAA past presidents in attendance included Joe Schumacker, who served from 2006-08, Bojé (2004-06), Jack Moran (2002-04), Ducat (2000-02), Rex Haney (1998-2000), John LaSpina (1992-94), Wally Hall (1990-92), Don Hillman (1988-90), Sonny Frantz (1986-88), Jamie Brooks (1984-86), Dick Richards (1978-80), and Rex Golobic (1972-74).

Other headlines and notes...

* Delegates passed legislation that will add two USBC Board members to the BPAA Board. BPAA already has representation on the USBC Board.

* International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame Chairman Pat Ciniello announced that the family of the late Junior Powell had donated $100,000 to the IBM/HF. He also noted that Brunswick had increased its contribution level from $50,000 to $100,000.

* BPAA E.D. Steve Johnson told attendees that “to say the last six months has been business as usual is like saying the space shuttle is an airplane.” Added Johnson: “It has been an exciting and action-packed year, to say the least.”

* Cathy DeSocio unveiled plans to put major fundraising activities for the various charities under The Bowling Foundation umbrella on a schedule. Moving forward, November will be BVL Month, February will be Bowl for the Cure Month, March will be IBM/HF Month, and October will be devoted to fundraising for various youth initiatives.

* There now are more than 1,100 bowling centers worldwide — including in Australia and Europe — utilizing the Bowlopolis program.

* BPAA membership has reached a 25-year high of 3,900 centers, thanks in large part to the addition of groups of centers in Canada and Australia. (Might it be time for BPAA to change its name to BPAI?)

* Incoming President John Snyder described himself as a “fiscal conservative who likes to spend money — as long as we have it, and as long as the programs we come up with are of high quality.” He also said his term will not be a new beginning, but rather “a continuance. I learned a long time ago that you don’t take history and throw it away; you use it like a rented mule.” Snyder also promised transparency during his term. “Without it, we have doubt,” he said. “With it, we have buy-in.”

Bowlers Journal International will have full coverage of Bowl Expo in the August issue.

Much of Tuesday’s Expo schedule is devoted to educational seminars. On Wednesday morning, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will give the keynote address as a prelude to the opening of a two-day trade show next door at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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