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A Miami Moment with ... Ronda Strunk

01/31/2013

Ronda Strunk
Ronda Strunk
From her office window, Ronda Strunk overlooks the main lobby of the Goggin Ice Center. Banners picturing former RedHawk hockey players hang from the walls. She points to one, Alec Martinez, and grins wide. “I watched as it went up and immediately e-mailed his mom.”

Q: Did you know Alec?

A: His Miami class of 2009 was definitely one of the highlights of my 23 years with Miami. For several years, I subbed as the hockey ticket manager during tournaments. I traveled to Worcester, Mass., Colorado, Detroit. It was amazing and heartbreaking at the same time. With my role with the Blue Line Club booster group I really got to know the players’ parents as well. When they would lose, it was hard to see; you become part of the hockey family. But then they move on, and Alec’s LA Kings won the national hockey title last year. I just had to e-mail a picture to his mom when the banner went up. She told me how proud she was to be in the stands and actually witness her son fulfilling his lifelong dream of winning the Stanley Cup. To see the culmination of a little boy’s dreams fulfilled is what we (Miami) are all about.

Q: What are some of your other highlights working at Miami?

A: I’ve worked in wonderful positions throughout my years. I started as support staff within what is now kinesiology and health, then athletics and now have found a home at the Goggin Ice Center as assistant director of administrative services. I actually never really ‘sought out’ other positions; they just presented themselves and when the doors opened, I jumped through. My memories all relate to my strength in customer service. I really like to help people. I always try to follow through to make sure things are completed. I hate to just forward a caller on to someone else. There is so much we do here at the Goggin; I enjoy it all.

Q: What are some of your favorite events?

A: I really enjoy the spring ice show. This year’s show is April 26 and 27. It showcases our local talent from the tots in our group lesson program to our varsity synchronized skating and hockey teams. I love helping out on photo night. It makes me feel like I am part of the program, even though I can’t skate that great. I hold my own, or actually the rail, but I get to be part of the excitement.

Q: What events are on the books for this semester?

A: I don't think some people realize how much goes on here at the ice center. Daily schedules not only include practice times for our teams; we also have numerous academic classes, club sports, intramurals and public ice skating times. We often run from 6 a.m. until 1 a.m. Each Friday at noon is a 50-minute open skate for employees. It's only $3.25 with free skate rental, and it’s a great time. There’s also an adult learn-to-skate class offered on Fridays before the noon skate. So, you can learn and then practice. The class is also offered on Saturdays.

Q: I understand there will be hundreds of skaters visiting the center this year as Goggin hosts major competitions. Are they open to the public?

A: We have three major events: The Ice Skating Institute Winter Classic (Feb. 8-10) with more than 800 skaters from the young to adult; MYHL Tournament (Feb. 22-24) with 45 youth hockey teams; and the U.S. Broomball Nationals (March 22-24). It’s the first ever hosted here in Oxford and registration is still open if anyone is interested. Information can be found online or call the Goggin at 513-529-9800. Of course, during the year, we are also the home for Talawanda High School’s hockey team, Jr. RedHawks, hockey and broomball intramurals and many more community programs. We have a full-service pro shop that not only provides the latest hockey and skating apparel and equipment but also full-service maintenance.

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