The Northern Lights Arena - Community has wrapped up its search for a new arena manager, maintenance supervisor and events manager.
On Friday it was announced that Meaghan Richey was hired to oversee day-to-day operations at the Northern Lights Arena. Her supporting staff will include former arena manager Jeremy Winterstein, who will be maintenance supervisor, and Lisa Schultz, who was hired to be events manager.
Richey moved to Alpena from Traverse City in April and has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management. She said she has worked for non-profit groups in the past and believes it is a way of giving back to the community. Richey said she has a passion for sports and wants to use her expertise to solidify the management at the arena and utilize the arena to its fullest.
"The focus really needs to be on making the arena multi-purpose," Richey said. "We will have ice events, but we really need to have a large focus on non-ice events. We want to make this facility a destination for people, and by doing so it will not only help the area, but also the businesses and the public. It would be a win-win for everyone."
Richey said there are already events scheduled for when the arena opens. Currently there is work being done by Ameresco that will provide extensive energy efficiency upgrades. She said everyone is ready to hit the ground running, and ice should be in place around Sept. 1. Richey said she is still getting adjusted to Alpena and expects it may take some time to settle into her new job. She said having Winterstein and Schultz's experience will help her.
"I'll have a little learning curve, but I know I'll be able to count on Jeremy and Lisa for help," Richey said. "This needs to be a collaborative effort moving forward and everyone needs to work together. That includes all of the volunteers and the board. There is a lot of potential for growth and we need to have a strong team to have growth. I think we have that."
Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jackie Krawczak was the chair on the committee formed to handle the interview and hiring process for the NLA-C. She said she is pleased with the amount of interest there was for the job postings and believes the right people for the jobs were found.
"They will make up a phenomenal team," Krawczak said. "Her leadership and management skills teamed with the experience and work ethic of the other two made us think this would be an amazing staff. We were happy with the response we had received and there were a lot of strong candidates. We're very happy at the quality of the people we were able to find."
Richey said the arena has a new website that is up and running. She said it only contains about 80 percent of what it will feature, but wants to encourage people to visit it for information about the arena and upcoming events. The address is northernlightsarena.com.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com.