The 2017 Association Leader Excellence Conference hosted representatives of over 40 associations on May 5-6 in St. Louis Park, Minn. The conference provided attendees with best practices on a variety of subjects and offered opportunities for networking with youth leaders from the national, state and local levels.
The conference started the evening of Friday, May 5 with a series of roundtable discussions. Four members of Minnesota Hockey led the participants through key issues associated with the topics of concussions in youth hockey, hosting tournaments, Minnesota Hockey rules and player development.
On Saturday, association leaders had the option to attend presentations, panel and small group discussions on 20 topics over the course of five sessions. The subject areas included fundraising, membership development, finances, local discipline, association structure, player development and much more. For a full list of topics, click here.
“The Association Leader Excellence Conference was excellent again this year,” said Kirk Reierson, president of the Delano Area Youth Hockey Association. “The topics and tracks were relevant and insightful and greatly assist in maturing and improving on the mission of our local hockey association.”
“In addition, there are some creative and innovative ideas within the hockey associations of Minnesota. I enjoyed hearing the great ideas and stories behind ‘Hotdog Hockey’, ‘SuperMite Draft Parties’ or ‘Little Lady Lumberjacks’.”
With participants coming from as far away as Roseau, Warroad, Ely and Worthington, one of the highlights of the conference was the opportunity to interact with board members from associations that vary in size and background.
“The opportunity to collaborate with other associations throughout the state has been invaluable to Greenway Amateur Hockey,” said Greenway president Jason Mallum. “I get recharged and excited about the information we are able to bring back to the rest of our association to make us better.”
For the 25 participants who also attended the conference in 2016, they’ve seen how the value of interacting with youth hockey leaders across Minnesota goes far beyond simply sharing ideas. Building those relationships provides a network of knowledge and experience that can be utilized throughout the season when unique situations or challenges arise.
“At the end of the day, we all have similar missions,” said Reierson. “Give kids an opportunity [to play], develop hockey skills, develop life skills and have some fun. The association leader conference proved to be a great asset in driving that mission.”
“I can’t wait for the next leadership conference, and this year’s [event] has only been in the books for a short time,” concluded Mallum.
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