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National Association of Sports Commissions wraps up 24th Annual Symposium in Grand Rapids

 April 7 2016
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GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (April 7, 2015) – The National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC), the governing body of the $9.45 billion sport tourism industry, celebrated the industry and its leadership at its 24th annual symposium held here this week. 

More than 900 members and events rights holders attended this week’s NASC Symposium to elect new NASC leadership, honor members with national awards and participate in dozens of continuing education programs led by industry leadership.

“As the only non-profit industry association offering an annual meeting for serious-minded sport tourism professionals, we enjoyed a week of educational programs to share best practices in the industry as well as honoring those doing great work in our member communities,” said Don Schumacher, CSEE, executive director of the NASC. “In future years, our members will have the opportunity to visit three terrific American cities in Sacramento, Minneapolis and San Diego as we host our annual Symposium in each city.”

Future Host Cities for 2017, 2018 and 2019 NASC Symposium 
Future host cities and dates for the NASC Symposium include: The 25th annual NASC Symposium will be March 27-30, 2017 in Sacramento. Additionally, the 26th annual NASC Symposium will be held April 23-26, 2018 in Minneapolis and the 27th annual NASC Symposium will be April 15-18, 2019 in San Diego.

NEW NASC Leadership Elected
New NASC board leadership was also announced, including Ralph Morton, CSEE, Executive Director, Seattle Sports Commission as the new chair of NASC. 

Additional Officers included: Vice Chair/Chair-Elect, Mike Anderson, CSEE, Executive Director of Sports Tourism, Myrtle Beach Regional Sports Alliance; Treasurer, Kindra Fry, CSEE, SMP, Executive Director, Bryan College Station Sports + Events; Secretary, Janis Schmees Burke, CSEE, Chief Executive Officer, Harris County/ Houston Sports Authority; and Immediate Past Chair, Greg Ayers, CSEE, President & CEO, Discover Kalamazoo.

Directors with a Board Term Expiring 2017 were announced and include: Brian Hickey, CSEE, CDME, Director of Sports, Tallahassee Sports Council; Janis Ross, Executive Director, Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports; Benjamin Wilder, CSEE, Director, Savannah Sports Council; and Marc Zimmerman, CSEE, Sales & Events Manager, Central Florida's Polk County Sports Marketing.

Directors with a Board Term Expiring 2018 include: Janna Clark, CSEE, Sports and Sales Director, Elizabethtown Sports Park; Kris Smith, CSEE, Sales Manager, Event Development, Detroit Sports; Roy Edmondson, CSEE, Vice President of Sports Business Development, Visit Anaheim; and Pete Harvey, CSEE, Director of Sports Development, Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission.

Directors with a Board Term Expiring 2019 are: Matt Dunn, CSEE, Vice President, Tourism Development, Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches; William Knox, CSEE, Director, Hamilton County Sports Authority; Kathy Nelson, President/CEO, Kansas City Sports Commission; and Michael Price, CSEE, Executive Director, Greater Lansing Sports Authority.

Allied Representatives with a Board Term Expiring 2017 include: Steve Schell, Sports Strategic Sales Executive, Experient Sports, and Board Term Expiring 2018 is Jason Gewirtz, Editor, SportsTravel Magazine.

Rights Holder Representatives with a Board Term Expiring 2017 is Glen Schorr, Executive Director, Orienteering USA, and with a Board Term Expiring 2018 is John David, CSEE, Chief Operating Officer, USA BMX.

NASC Members Raise Thousands for the Mary Free Bed Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports
Also, during the meeting the NASC Sports Legacy Fund raised $27,000 to benefit Mary Free Bed Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports which fits the NASC’s criteria of donating to non-profits that provide individuals – particularly at-risk youth, veterans, or physically or intellectually disabled individuals – opportunities to participate in sport and encourage healthy lifestyles. Started 40 years ago with a tennis program, the Mary Free Bed Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports program serves 400 children and 300 adults through a variety of organized team sports, clinics and camps every year.  

NASC Members Honored 
The top sports commissions and organizations were honored at this year’s NASC Symposium. The national awards honor those organizations and professionals, who are doing outstanding work in their communities, growing the sport and making their market a sport destination.

The award winners include: 
Erie Sports Commission/PA Sports: Marketing Campaign of the Year, population under 250,000 as well as Ron Sertz as Sport Tourism Executive of the Year, and Sports Commission of the Year, population under 250,000
San Antonio Sports: Marketing Campaign of the Year, population 250,000 and above
St. Louis Sports Commission: Locally Created Event of the Year, population 250,000 and above for the Musial Awards
Wicomico County Convention and Visitors Bureau/TEAM Maryland: Locally Created Event of the Year, population under 250,000, for The Governor’s Challenge Basketball Tournament
Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau: Sport Tourism Organization of the Year, population under 250,000
Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau: Sport Tourism Organization of the Year, population 250,000 and above
Richmond Sports Backers: Sports Commission of the Year, population 250,000 and above
Chris Massey of Harris County-Houston Sports Authority: Game Changer Award
Aaron Soroka of GWN Dragon Boat: Sports Event Professional Award


Certified Sports Event Executives Graduates Honored
The NASC this week also recognized its latest class of graduates in its Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) continuing education program. The CSEE graduates include: Daniel Bell, DeKalb Convention and Visitors Bureau; Matt Billingsley, Visit Bakersfield; Alan Bradley, Round Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; Jenni Campbell, San Angelo Convention & Visitors Bureau; Auvis Cole, Rock Hill/York County Convention and Visitors Bureau; Ashley Harper Cottrell, Maryland Sports/TEAM Maryland; Todd Dibs, Visit Tri-Valley; Don Dukemineer, Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau; Shelli Fine, Reno Tahoe USA; Kris Jensen, Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau; Jim Marlin, Cedar Valley Sports Commission; Eric Marvin, Columbus Indiana Visitors Center; Cheryl McCullough, Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau; Heather McElhiney, Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau; Tim Pasisz, Visit Stockton; Matthew Payne, Denver Sports; Dominique Powell, Bryan College Station Sports + Events; Allen Stebelton, Greene County Convention and Visitors Bureau; Matt Ten Haken, Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau; Katy Tigchelaar, West Michigan Sports Commission; Marissa Werner, VISIT Milwaukee; and Kelvin Yarrell, Rocky Mount Sports Complex.

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