Mark Voight Elected to BPAA Hall of Fame

by Bob Johnson 0

The Bowling Proprietors' Association of America has announced the recipients of its 2015 Bowling Industry Service Awards.

Mark Voight of Community Bowling Centers in Livonia, Mich., has been selected as the 2015 BPAA Hall of Fame Inductee and recipient of the Victor Lerner Memorial Medal. The Lerner Medal is the highest honor awarded by the BPAA and recognizes an individual for a lifetime of service to the bowling industry.

Voight is being cited for his many years of bowling center management, service to the BPAA and BPAA programs, events and tournaments, as well as the bowling industry on local, state and national levels. His industry contributions include many years of service to the Multi Unit Bowling Information Group and the BPAA Audit Committee.

Cathy DeSocio of JOMA Bowling Company in Wichita, Kan., will be recognized with the President’s Medal for her many contributions and years of service to the BPAA, and for her guidance of the association through a challenging time when she served as interim executive director. The President's Medal is given to an individual (proprietor/manager) judged to have given exceptional support and/or made significant contributions to the association in the eyes of the current BPAA president and the Awards Committee.

Bill Chrisman of Storm Products in Brigham City, Utah, will receive the coveted V.A. Wapensky Award, named after BPAA's long-time executive director, “Chief” Wapensky. Chrisman is being recognized for his leadership in developing tournaments and his enthusiasm for the sport of bowling, as well as his support and service to the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame.

Kelly Kulick on Union, N.J., is being recognized with the Dick Weber Bowling Ambassador Award, named after the legendary bowling icon, recognizing her many contributions to the game and sport of bowling, both on and off the lanes.

Debra Boje of Tampa, Fla., will be recognized with the Ruben A. Dankoff Award for Public Policy and Legislative Service for her countless hours of direction and interpretation on new laws and gambling legislation in the state of Florida. The award is presented to an individual or organization who provides outstanding voluntary service on the federal, state or local government level in the development of legislation, public policy initiatives or other political efforts which benefit BPAA members or the industry as a whole. Boje has been an invaluable resource for proprietors in the Southeast region.

The Kids Bowl Free program will receive the 2015 Media Award for its successful efforts in furthering the sport and business of bowling through the promotion and execution of its national program.

The Metro Detroit USBC Association will be recognized at the USBC Convention and at Bowl Expo with the BPAA USBC Association Award, which is presented to a local USBC association that has demonstrated a high degree of cooperation with its local BPAA proprietor group. The relationship between BPAA and local USBC associations is critical since local associations represent the “consumer” and BPAA member centers are the “playing fields” for bowling.

Tom Martino, BPAA President and Awards Committee Chairman, said, “These award recipients are models of excellent leadership, humble service and honorable dedication, and we congratulate and thank them for their contributions to the BPAA and the bowling industry.”

The Bowling Industry Service Awards will be presented at the BPAA Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, June 24, during International Bowl Expo 2015 at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The Lerner Memorial Medal presentation will take place during the general session on Thursday morning.

The National Bowling Association also will be recognized at the luncheon on the occasion of its 75th anniversary. TNBA is a “promoter of sportsmanship, fellowship and friendship,” and serves as a recruiting agency and point-of-entry for young bowlers who otherwise would not receive the encouragement, tutelage and guidance needed to learn the game and develop the skills essential for successful competition.

In addition, Proprietors of the Year will be introduced at the luncheon. State bowling proprietors nominated by their state associations will be recognized for their contributions, accomplishments and excellent entrepreneurial efforts:

James Wangeman, Harvest Park Bowl, Northern California

Ron Plander, Harley's Camarillo Bowl, Southern California

Bob Wentworth, Oviedo Bowling Center, Florida

B.J. Trickey, Westdale Bowling Center, Iowa

Jeff Johnson, 4 Seasons Bowling Center, Illinois

Scott Devers, Mike Aulby's Arrowhead Bowl, Indiana

Jim Mayberry, Walnut Bowl, Kansas

Susan Collier, Lord Calvert Bowl, Maryland

Terry Signaigo, Imperial Bowl, Missouri

Scott Koecheler, Midway Pro Bowl, Minnesota

Dale Klaumann, Blue Valley Bowl, Nebraska

Dominic Rebman, Rebman Rec, Ohio (posthumous)

Terry Price and Ken Paton, Super Play, Oregon

Mary Harrar, Thunderbird Lanes Warminster, Pennsylvania

Dick Atkinson, Hallmark Lanes, Texas

Reggie & Nancy Frederick, Chalet Bowl & 26th Street Café, Washington

Diane Mallow, Watertown Bowl, Wisconsin

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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