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VOL 24.12



Do You Remember When?

Power In Numbers Could crowdfunding be your perfect score?

By Scott Frager

By Sean Krainert


PUBLISHER & EDITOR Scott Frager Skype: scottfrager




8 SHORTS • Sandy Finkelstein of Jupiter Lanes passes. • Brunswick reworks worldwide sales team. • Helix Leisure taps Mirry Glavan for managing director at LAI Games. • Is Duckpin becoming ‘in’?


32 CELEBRATION A Century of Great Times Iconic Saratoga Lanes in St. Louis celebrates its centennial. By Mark Miller

38 TOURNAMENTS Champions in The Pearl of the Sea The 52nd QubicaAMF World Cup was a success on every level.


By David Garber

Guests pow-wow at Wamesit Lanes for bowling, food and fun. By Evan Henerson

46 REMEMBER WHEN 1994 Meet Santa Claus


By Patty Heath

Enjoying Every Day A life in the bowling business has made Bill Supper a contented man.

37 Showcase 41 Classifieds

By Jim Goodwin




December 2016



ART DIRECTION & PRODUCTION Designworks (818) 735-9424

FOUNDER Allen Crown (1933-2002)

By Patty Heath

A Gathering Place

David Garber Jim Goodwin Patty Heath Evan Henerson Sean Krainert Mark Miller

12655 Ventura Boulevard Studio City, CA 91604 (818) 789-2695(BOWL) Fax (818) 789-2812

HOTLINE: 818-789-2695 SUBSCRIPTION RATES: One copy of International Bowling Industry is sent free to every bowling center, independently owned pro shop and collegiate bowling center in the U.S., and every military bowling center and pro shop worldwide. Publisher reserves the right to provide free subscriptions to those individuals who meet publication qualifications. Additional subscriptions may be purchased for delivery in the U.S. for $50 per year. Subscriptions for Canada and Mexico are $65 per year, all other foreign subscriptions are $80 per year. All foreign subscriptions should be paid in U.S. funds using International Money Orders. POSTMASTER: Please send new as well as old address to International Bowling Industry, 12655 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604 USA. If possible, please furnish address mailing label. Printed in U.S.A. Copyright 2015, B2B Media, Inc. No part of this magazine may be reprinted without the publisher’s permission.



Do You Remember When? One of my favorite things to read in IBI is our Remember When page. It’s always located in the back of the magazine, usually facing our inside back cover. In addition to being a huge fan of Patty Heath’s creative and colorful style of writing, I happen to be a “lefty,” and have an odd quirk of reading magazines from back to front. I absolutely fall in love with each crafted story behind the advertisement or featured bowling item from days gone by. Patty has covered just about everything from cigarette ads (glad those are a thing of the past), beer ads (wish I could taste all the brands that are no longer around), to lingerie (almost too racy back in the day). Nostalgia is in great abundance for those of us in the bowling business. Virtually everywhere we turn, we are graced

Ellie, for Dads Weekend at the University of Kansas. Being an alumnus, my trip back to campus with my daughter brought back so many wonderful memories of college life, including the good times spent at the defunct 12-lane Jaybowl. The on-campus Jaybowl was closed after 62 years of serving students and the community. Turns out, I discovered feeling nostalgic can also make one feel sad. Having caught the nostalgia bug, my next stop was up to the attic of my parent’s home to search for the boxes that contained the long-lost treasures of my youth. What I uncovered blew me away. Of all the items that I saved in those boxes, from college and high school diplomas, to Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout Award and old merit badge books, to photos from when I was lean, had a full head of hair and not a care in the world, the items that brought back the most powerful memories were three bowling trophies earned in my pre-teen years. A mini wooden bowling pin from 1977 with a score of 177 and a two statue-type traditional trophies, all provided by the BPAA, and all earned at King Louie’s Ward Parkway Lanes in Kansas City, Missouri. Even though I labeled each box with “Scott’s Trash” in bold, indelible ink, I must have instinctively known that some day I’d look back and cherish these items. As we close out the year 2016, it is my wish that 2017 brings great health, happiness and wonderfully warm nostalgia to everyone in the bowling industry.




Ironically, what used to be the lobby of Jaybowl at the University of Kansas, is a new, somewhat-hidden social area devoted to places that exist in memory only.

to see our sport and entertainment used as a main theme or backdrop. A few weeks ago, I went to visit my daughter,


4Pinboy Challenge Another pinboy steps up! Ken Mischel, owner of Mischel & Company in Imperial Beach, CA, is no stranger to the bowling industry. He has been a proprietor, center broker with Sandy Hansell, and does appraisals and consulting. Here is his remembrance: “My father purchased an 8-lane bowling alley in North Dakota in 1950. My first job was helping at the snack bar, but when I grew a little, I was a pinboy as well. Ten cents a game, working two lanes, two league shifts per night, six bucks! It was important to raise your legs when the ball hit the pins, so that a flying pin wouldn’t hit higher on your body or your head. “Another part-time job, before foul lights were installed, was the foul judge. At the lane #8 approach, directly Ken Mischel across from the foul line, was an elevated chair, where the foul judge would sit and watch for league bowlers to cross the line. We had a whistle, a pointer, and a chart with the lane numbers on it. Bowlers disputed the call about half the time.” Thanks, Ken! 6


December 2016



The Helpful Honda People, known for their helpful exploits in Honda’s advertising campaign, joined in with a bowling fundraiser, Smiles 4 Seniors, at the ninth annual Bowl-A-Thon at Empire Bowl in Redlands, CA. Chipper’s Lanes Horsetooth in Fort Collins, CO, had its sixth annual Bowling for Beautiful Music. The event is a fundraiser for Foundation Music School, a non-profit, community school of arts for students of all ages. Big Al’s in Vancouver, WA, and Dru’s Chapter of Friends of Doernbecher hosted the third annual Bowling with Heart Bowl-a-Thon to benefit OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Centers everywhere stepped up with events. Here are a few: Sunway Mega Lanes, in far off Selango, Malaysia, gathered bowlers, breast cancer survivors, volunteers, and the public, to join forces for the Pink Power Charity Bowling Extravaganza 2016. The event successfully raised RM50,000 ($11,903.49 U.S equivalent) for public awareness and support of mobile clinics traveling the rural areas of Malaysia. Bowling to Beat Breast Cancer, which has raised $126,000 over the last ten years, was held at Country Lanes in Duluth, MN, and Bridge City Bowl in Ottumwa, IA, donated its lanes for the annual Bowl for the Cure. Crystal Lanes in Corning, NY, had its sixth Bowl for the Cure. Professional athletic teams choose bowling to help them and their stars pursue charitable goals. The Green Bay Packers running back, Eddie Lacy, hosted a private VIP bowling event at The Gutter in Green Bay, WI, to benefit Freedom House, a family shelter in Green Bay. Another football team, the Indiana Colts, and its linebacker Robert Mathis, with the help of teammate D’Qwell Jackson and radio host Amp Harris, hosted a bowling event at Woodland Bowl in Carmel, IN, to raise money to give toys to a thousand children this holiday season. The 4th annual Strikeout Hunger Bowling Tournament was held at AMF Sierra Lanes, Fresno, CA. The goal was to raise funds for a Thanksgiving dinner for less-fortunate families in the area. Valencia Lanes in Valencia, CA, was the venue for the 5th annual Bowling for Kids, a charity with all proceeds going to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. What is your center doing? Email Patty Heath at



December 2016

ß BITS & PIECES ß ß ß Flash!

The Los Angeles Conservancy has reported that the midcentury bowling center, Covina Bowl, located in Covina, CA, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. IBI Covina Bowl 1957. Credit: Courtesy of Charles acknowledged this center, Phoenix Collection. constructed a la Googie-style architecture, in its cover story, ‘Back to the Future,’ in the July 2014 issue. Congratulations.

ßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß Jesse James Lanes is 40

Jesse James Lanes in Northfield, MN, is celebrating 40 years under the helm of Julie and Terry Heilman. To note the occasion, the center now offers QubicaAMF’s BES X scoring system. “We just try to keep updating and modernizing,” Terry said to Nick Gerhardt of Northfield News. Julie and Terry Heilman.

ßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß 19 Years and Counting

Founded by Jeff Schilling in 1997, Creative Works has celebrated its 19th year of building themed attractions and creating memorable experiences for the family entertainment industry. Starting as a laser tag arena building, the company has grown and now employs over 30 staff members and provides products and services, including mini-golf courses, arcade attractions, architectural design, and educational conferences.

ßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß Live Oak Bank partners with BPAA

Like Oak Bank announced its partnership with the BPAA, as part of the ‘Smart Buy’ program. BPAA member centers will have access to financing options specifically addressing the needs of the bowling and entertainment industries.


PEOPLEWATCHING Per a Brunswick press release, to support customer demand across the capital equipment division, Brunswick officials have announced multiple changes to the worldwide sales team. Effective immediately, John Roush has been named vice president of North American Capital Equipment Sales; Dan Borgie will lead the U.S. and Canada New John Roush Center Development Sales team as director; Michael Postema will assume the role of director of Modernization Sales for the U.S. Dan Borgie and Canada; and Gary Smith has been appointed vice president of International Sales. “Over the last few years, we have experienced unprecedented growth in new center development and expect that trend Michael Postema to continue as more investors look to bowling to satisfy consumer demand for active, social entertainment,” said Brent Perrier, Brunswick Gary Smith Bowling Products CEO.

IN MEMORIAM Sandy Finkelstein, 74, lost his battle with cancer in Jupiter, FL, where he managed Jupiter Lanes. Originally from Cortland, NY, Finkelstein wore many hats over the course of his life. He was a proprietor, manager, coach, mentor and all-around ambassador for the sport of bowling. Tom Blasco, former touring pro and longtime coach, remembered Finkelstein. “He was definitely one of the innovators and inspirations … he put a lot of effort into getting high school bowling started here [Florida],” he said. Finkelstein qualified for the PBA Tour during the ‘70s glory years, bowling against the likes of Earl Anthony, Mark Roth, Carmen Salvino and Dave Davis.

Helix Leisure Group announced that Mirry Glavan has been appointed to take up the newly-created position of managing director of LAI Games, based out of Helix Leisure’s office in Perth, Australia. Glavan is already transitioning out of her current role as managing director for Helix Leisure Middle East, which is based in Mirry Glavan Dubai. Her transition into the new role and return to Australia will take place over the next four months. Luke McKimmie, Helix COO, said “Mirry has been a fantastic asset in developing our Europe, Middle East and Africa business and the timing is right for her to take on this new challenge.”

BOWLING GOES HIGHBROW Thanks to Michael Barrett, Barrett Electronics, the bowling world has discovered the long, lost relationship between bowling, aka skittles, and classical music. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the rock stars of his time, a prolific composer to be sure. In 1786, he wrote the Kegelstatt Trio, K. 498 for piano, clarinet and viola, in E-flat major. Now, here is where it gets interesting. The German word, Kegelstatt, means a place where skittles are being played, a game much like duckpin bowling. Mozart wrote that he composed K. 487, for French horns, while playing skittles. He noted on the first page of the autographed manuscript of K. 487, “Wien, den 27ten Jullius 1786 untern Kegelscheiben” (Vienna, 27 July 1786 while playing skittles). This was about a week before he dated the K. 498 trio. While no evidence that he had titled the latter as “Kegelstatt,” 19th century publishers assumed that this piece was also a skittle accomplishment and the Kegelstatt Trio became the forever title. In the U.S., it has been anglicized to Skittle Alley. It goes without saying that high mental acuity, musical creativity and bowling have a very strong link. Now it is confirmed. IBI

December 2016







October in IBI, Thirsty Duck, offering duckpin bowling, in Wauwatosa, WI, was spotlighted. This month Columbus, OH, is touting a new, trendy entertainment center also offering duckpin bowling. For over 100 years, duckpin has pretty much been relegated to the northeastern seaboard and much smaller in numbers than its cousin, tenpin. Do you get the feeling that with these two new venues the “duck” might be migrating west? IBI in 2006 focused on the world of duckpin and in 2014 touched on this phenomenon again in another cover story, both written by Fred Groh. During 2014, White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group of Kansas City, MO, was opening a new FEC in Vietnam [way west] and planning another venue near Seattle. Each of these sites were incorporating duckpin bowling. Duckpin was beginning a new phase. Now, here we are and another place to play duckpin has opened. Pins Mechanical Co. is the latest and greatest, a multi-faceted, old-school venue directed to millennials but definitely not exclusive to them. Owner Troy Allen and his creative director, Jared Langston, have taken a vacant tire and battery store and repurposed it for fun. Upon entering the building, you are first greeted with a sign on the floor: When Life gives you balls, play with them. One gets the vibe right away. Industrial in its presentation, one of the highlights is a huge skylight with a pyramid of translucent glass which is a showstopper. As described by JD Malone, The Columbus Dispatch, Pins offers 16,000 square feet of duckpin bowling, a pinball arcade, two large main rooms, each with their own bar, and a 2,000-square-foot outdoor patio. Allen invested more than $2 million in the project, including white subway tile everywhere, barn wood accents, and industrial finishes. Allen and Langston spent two years crafting the Pins concept and it shows in the detail. Pins features food by Por’ketta, a local food truck, which operates from a kitchen made from a converted shipping container that sits outdoors and is open for both lunch and dinner.

OLD PLACE, NEW VIBE Andy Kelly, a former tech consultant, who traveled overseas here and there for work, wanted to reduce those miles. He did and now finds himself in a bowling center. 10 Pin Pub, formerly Walworth Lanes, is officially open. The site has a long history, being one of the oldest Andy Kelly stands behind his in Wisconsin and having its first bowling-themed beer steins. tournament in 1942. But old is not Credit: Sammi Wendling, Regional News. what this pub is about. When Kelly first bought the center, it was dark, and the eight lanes and bar area were compartmentalized. The first order of business was to take out two walls to bring in natural light. Kelly didn’t start out with a center in mind. In fact, he was remodeling his house when his contractor, Dale Grampo, began talking about bowling. Kelly shared to Sammi Wendling of the Regional News, “They [Grampo and his assistant, Jimmy] were working on my house for nine months, and we became good friends. They are bowling people, and I saw this (building) and thought, ‘Hey, I can pull this off if these guys help me.’” Grampo is a scratch bowler and Jimmy is an ex-professional bowler. They all agreed to give it a go. Grampo is also good in the kitchen and will be the chef. There are lots of good plans for 10 Pin Pub, which include families, league bowlers, teens, young adults and people who just want to stop by for good food. December 2016

ALSO HAPPENING A new, high-end, 14-lane boutique bowling center, Bowl & Barrel, has opened in Houston, TX, in the City Centre. The 10,000-square-foot venue was modeled after an old warehouse in Brooklyn, NY, with exposed brick and reclaimed wood, combining rustic and sophisticated touches. Besides bowling, there is a full-service restaurant. Tavern+Bowl, a San Diego bowling and sports bar restaurant and entertainment concept is opening a

new location in Glendale, AZ. Owner Dan Hurd said he was excited for his first venture outside California. The 18,243-square-foot space will offer 12 bowling lanes, a full restaurant, pool tables, shuffleboard and indoor and outdoor bar areas. Opening is scheduled for March 2017.


A Gathering Place Guests at Wamesit Lanes pow-wow for bowling, food and fun. By Evan Henerson


ithin the lobby of Wamesit Lanes, amidst the arcade, the lounge, the 36 lanes of traditional tenpin and candlepin bowling, “grows” something that one does not usually find in a family entertainment center: a 22foot oak tree. The fabricated tree – which visitors say resembles something you might find at a Disney theme park – is a replica of the famed Pow-Wow Oak under which Wamesit tribe members would traditionally gather to meet and work out their conflicts. There are no war councils under this tree and any conflicts were resolved well in advance of the center’s November 2015 opening. Donald MacLaren and his son Don Jr. included the tree as a nod to the tribe’s historical importance around the community of Tewksbury, MA. When they dreamed up Wamesit Lanes, the MacLarens incorporated



December 2016

Proprietors Don Jr. and Don MacLaren Sr.

Native American elements throughout the design, from the casino-like exterior to the steely blue eyes of the wolf peering down from the mural masking the pin setters, to the naming of their restaurant, the Firewater Tavern, and, yes, even to that unique faux oak which has a plaque that provides a bit of history on the Wamesit tribe who had a presence in the Lowell community. The original Wamesit Pow-Wow Oak was cut down in 2013. “Our whole concept, the whole look of the building, everything is a little bit of history,” Don Sr. said. “We take a lot of pride in having built it that way, and we have built a very unique place.” Oak or no oak, as it reaches its first anniversary, the MacLarens’ 45,000-square-foot family entertainment

FEATURE center has become a popular destination for residents and visitors to the Greater Lowell area to pow-wow and play. With 24 traditional lanes and 12 candlepin lanes, including 8 boutique lanes, Wamesit Lanes is one of the rare luxury FECs to combine the two styles of bowling. The arcade offers 60 games while the Full Swing golf simulator incorporates Don Sr.’s other recreational passion: golf. Outdoor patio seating and bocce are available for the warmer months and, under the direction of chef Kevin McGuire, the Firewater Tavern is establishing itself as a destination dining site in and of itself. The facility has 87 television screens with more to come. As Don Jr. notes, New Englanders love their sports. Absent from Wamesit Lanes is a familiar family entertainment center staple, laser tag, and that’s also by design. “We had a guy in town that had laser tag,” Don Jr. said. “My dad was born and raised in Tewksbury, and there are people we could have hurt severely if we had done that. We didn’t want to do that. There’s enough money to go around.” A bowler since childhood, Don Sr. has bowled in nationals across the country but entering the bowling industry was still something of a leap of faith. Working with officials from Brunswick, father and son conducted fact-finding trips to centers in Florida and Texas.

“We were able to develop relationships and talk with some of the smarter people in the industry,” said Don Jr. “We went down to Shenaniganz in Texas and were able to shadow them for a few days, and we got to see what it was like to run a center.” All that research and observation proved important. Don Sr. runs the successful family business, Tewksbury Welding, with Don Jr. Their respective passion for the new venture notwithstanding, neither of the MacLarens had experience in FEC operations. That is when they turned to Beth Standlee, founder and CEO of TrainerTainment, to create their best practices for guest services,


December 2016


FEATURE hiring and staff training. "Our journey with Wamesit continues,” says Standlee. “It's been so much fun to work with this team. Don Sr., Don Jr. and the rest of the crew are so eager to do the next best thing. Their ability to implement and innovate makes it a joy to work with them on a weekly basis. Keep your eyes on these guys. They will continue to win in a big way!" “They knew nothing about bowling other than Don Sr. being a league bowler at one point in his life,” said Michael Postema, new business director of Brunswick Bowling



December 2016

Products. “They are just salt of the earth, wonderful people, as good a client as we have had. We spent a lot of time having conversations with people, trying to help them get their financing, get their business plan down pat, and get investors they were trying to bring aboard as excited as they were.” As Don Sr. explains it, his excitement for entering the industry was driven by a few different quests that ran parallel to each other. Don Sr. wanted to create a legacy for his family, a business he could operate with his son. The facility he envisioned would be a place where visitors of all ages could find something fun to do. “In this industry, people come in with happy faces, and they leave the building even happier,” Don Sr. said. “There are not many businesses where you can do that and still make money.” In his travels, Don Sr. noted the closing of several mom-and pop bowling centers that he felt might have stayed alive had their owners reinvested with a new vision. Post recession, bowling seemed to be enjoying a resurgence, he said, in large measure because it was an activity that was not too costly and that appealed to all ages and demographics. While chatting with center operators in Keene and Manchester, NH, Don Sr. learned that these operators may not have been making millions, but they were able to send their kids to college, pay their mortgages and enjoy themselves so much in the process that — if they had to choose again — they wouldn’t change a thing. “I thought we could do it better,” Don Sr. said. “I came home from a tournament in Keene, and I called Donny and said, ‘I want to talk to you about


something.’ He met me at my garage, and we talked until midnight. He called me back at 3 a.m. and said, ‘Let’s go,’ and we haven’t stopped working.” In scouting out a location, the MacLarens settled on a property located on Route 38 that had its own notoriety within in the community. Wamesit Lanes sits at the former site of the Motel Caswell, a family owned motel that beat the federal government’s attempt to seize the property under drug forfeiture laws. The motel had been a regular site of drug arrests. In its place now sits a center that incorporates all the elements of Don Sr.’s vision. Candlepin, at one time a fixture in New England centers, needed to be a component of the center, but it needed to be integrated with traditional bowling in a way that would not make Wamesit Lanes come across as quaint or dated. Using the Brunswick Pro Lane, the two activities sit side by side and use the same ball return. “I don’t know that there has been a new candlepin operation built

in who knows how long. They’re closing them faster than they’re opening them,” Postema said. “The fact that they put in 12 lanes, with Brunswick Pro Lane and all the equipment, is a testament to their being able to diversify and go after certain segments of the market that were particular to them.” Another element that you won’t find at many bowling centers, Postema notes, is the golf simulator room with five machines, a feature that Postema considered financially risky. “It could be a home run,” he said. “But if for some reason it does not achieve what they want, it’s positioned in the building in such a way that it could easily be converted to something more profitable.” Tewksbury Welding is located less than four miles from Wamesit Lanes and, even with his son overseeing 170 employees, Don Sr. says he visits the center

practically on a daily basis, often checking to make sure that everything from the parking lot to the restrooms are immaculate. Where Wamesit Lanes’ appearance and cleanliness is concerned, Don Sr. cheerfully confesses to being “beyond anal.” “Most of the compliments I hear are over how clean we keep the place, how people like the hardwood floors and all the beautiful tiles,” Don Sr. said. “I wanted to build something that people compare against.” ❖ Evan Henerson is a features and lifestyle journalist who lives in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in TV Guide, American Theatre, Orange Coast and the Los Angeles Daily News where he was a staff writer and critic for nine years.



December 2016




f bowling ever has its own version of television’s successful reality series Survivor, Bill Supper might be the sure winner. “Luis Tiant said ‘Baseball is my life,’ said Supper. “With me, I can truly say that bowling is my life. I love every part of it.” He has been involved in the industry for four decades in many different roles. Companies and organizations he has worked for and represented include Ebonite, Storm, Columbia, AMF 300, 900 Global and Global Industries, the Bowling Proprietors Association of America, The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America, and the International Bowling Pro Shops and Instructors Association. Add it all up and he has touched thousands of bowlers and industry partners and made thousands more friends along the way. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1965, just before the Vietnam build up. He spent two of his three year stints in Japan, and he even got to travel around the Pacific Rim representing the Army on the All Pacific Team. After the service, he worked for Goldman Sachs for a couple of years. He married his wife JoAnn in 1969. They are still together today, 47 years later. Bill Supper began his bowling industry career in earnest in 1980. With the recommendation of East Coast friends Chuck Pezzano and Frank Esposito, he landed a job as East Coast sales rep for Ebonite International. Up until then, the Bronx-born bowler was knocking heads on the lanes in leagues and tournaments with guys like Mark Roth, Johnny Patraglia, Dave Davis, and many others who went on to Hall of Fame careers. Even though Bill loved and excelled at competitive bowling, it became apparent that sales were his strength. In 1984, he moved his family to Ebonite’s headquarters in 18

IBI December 2016

. upper Ann S o J d Bill an

A life in the bowling business has made Bill Supper a contented man.

Hopkinsville, KY, and became vice president of marketing and USA sales. He also represented Ebonite on the PBA tour and got to know all of the top stars of that era. He worked directly with greats like Earl Anthony, Walter Ray Williams Jr. Wayne Webb, Carolyn Dorin Ballard and Leanne Barrette Hulsenberg. “Earl Anthony was a very close friend,” said Supper. “God rest his soul, whenever he had trouble with equipment, which was not very often, he would call the office and ask them to send me out to work with him. I loved him like a brother, and he was the greatest I ever saw.” In 1996, it looked like AMF would be buying Ebonite, and Supper saw a chance to get on board with Storm Bowling Products as sales and marketing director. Two years later, he became president of Storm and held that position for four years. “At that time, Storm reminded me of what Ebonite had been like in 1980,” said Supper. “It sort of looked like I would be getting in on the ground floor with a company that was really growing.” In 1999, Supper fell ill during Bowl Expo in Orlando, FL. He was taken to the hospital there, and after numerous tests, doctors found a tumor the size of a grapefruit growing between his upper and lower intestines. They recommended immediate surgery. “They told us that there was a risk the tumor could burst on the flight home, but we decided we did not want to be stuck in Orlando with me in the hospital and JoAnn in a hotel for weeks, so we went home and had the surgery in Ogden, UT,” said Supper. The operation went well, and the tumor was found to be completely encapsulated, so not only did Supper survive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but he did not even have to undergo radiation or chemo. “I was very, very lucky,” he said. That was the first major health scare. The second would come a few years later. But, surviving cancer made Bill and JoAnn look at life a bit differently, and when Mike Albrittan of Columbia asked Bill if he

PROFILE would be interested in moving to Texas to run Columbia’s AMF 300 division, Supper reluctantly told Bill Chrisman he was moving to Texas to be near his daughter and grandchildren. “We loved Utah and Storm, but we wanted to be a part of our grandchildren’s lives, so I took the job,” he said. Supper’s next career move became a case of the job leaving him: in 2006, Columbia 300 was sold to Ebonite and the whole operation was moved to Kentucky. Supper was assured that it would have little effect on his position, but he did not want to leave his family in Texas and move back to Kentucky. About that time, BPAA executive director John Berglund had agreed to take over management services for IBPSIA. He needed someone with pro shop and coaching experience to run it, and his friend Frank DeSocio recommended Supper. Berglund made the hire, and Supper was also given the responsibility to manage several state associations for BPAA. It was an exciting time because they were building the new International Bowling Campus in Arlington, TX. Roughly a year later, a deal similar to the IBPSIA deal was made with BBIA, and that responsibility was added to Supper’s duties. Not long after that, he was promoted to BPAA deputy executive director. "Bill Supper was one of the most professional, personable people that I had the pleasure of working with. I thought we made a great duo with differing but complimentary areas of expertise,” said Berglund. “Bill excelled and assisted me greatly in working with staff details and issues which allowed me to concentrate on broader association activities with the board and officers. Bill also had tremendous industry experience and history which I relied on in maneuvering through the maze of the current issues. Thanks to Bill, and all the staff at BPAA, it was a good time and a good team." In 2009 BPAA’s new dynamic duo was disrupted when Berglund decided to retire. However, the International Bowling Campus was also seeking an executive director for the new International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame that would move from St. Louis to Arlington. Supper was one of several applicants for the job, and he was hired in mid-2009. “The museum job was originally very exciting,” said Supper. “We spent several months working with IBMHF chairman Pat Ciniello, assistant Keith Hamilton, the people at the Museum Arts Company in Dallas, and the folks in St. Louis. It was a very hectic time trying to get the museum open on schedule, but we did it. We finished at 5 a.m. on the morning of January 26, 2010, the day of the IBC grand opening.” Less than a year into the job, the IBMHF board of directors decided to go in another direction, and Supper was back in the job market. He did, however, remain as executive director for both BBIA and IBPSIA, and he still holds those positions today. In April of 2014, Bill and Barbara Chrisman purchased the assets of 900 Global in San Antonio, and with Supper living only 90 miles away in Austin, he was asked to join the company as vice president of sales and marketing. He accepted the job, and began a routine of commuting to San Antonio, spending three or four days a week at the office inside the manufacturing facility that was once the home of Columbia 300, which meant he was back in the office where he had worked for Columbia’s AMF 300 division, and back with the company Storm that he had served for four years as president in Utah. Only a year into his new job, another health crisis changed his priorities. Supper had a heart murmur as a kid — it was never a problem that kept him from bowling or playing other sports. But in April 2016, his doctor told him that they 20


December 2016

From left to right: Bill Chrisman, Carl Fietek and Bill Supper.

discovered a hole the size of a cocktail straw in his aortic valve. Heart by-pass surgery was the solution, and Supper went into a medical study where his original valve is replaced with a new device called a Cal Valve. The operation was supposed to take two or three hours, but took more than five because they had to use a special tool to chip the calcification away from his old valve to take it out. “Once again, I dodged a bullet,” said Supper. My surgeon at the Austin Heart Hospital told me there was no way I should have been walking around with a hole in my heart.” Recently, Supper had his one-year check-up, and got good news that everything is A-OK. And once again, Supper considered finally retiring to spend more time with his grandkids. He no longer wanted to make the long commute to San Antonio. But Bill Chrisman found a way to keep him with the company by allowing him to change places with Storm’s European sales director Wes Pye. Pye is now living in San Antonio, and this month, the Suppers are off to Europe for a little R & R and to attend a distributors meeting. “The switch worked out perfectly,” said Supper. “I had relationships in Europe with people like Hans Kroll and Peter Somoff that dated back all the way to my days with Ebonite; and now I get to work from my home office, make a few trips a year and I get to work with great people like Bettina Lund, Peter, Hans, and Timmy Mack. I have so much respect for Bill and Barbara [Chrisman], so it just couldn’t be any better.” It sounds like a happy ending for a great career in bowling, but Bill Supper is not quite ready to ride off into the sunset. He simply continues to thrive and enjoys every single day in the bowling business. ❖

Jim Goodwin is the founder and president of the Bowling News Network and a former president and life member of the International Bowling Media Association.



IBI December 2016

COVER STORY By Sean Krainert arching forward in cadence with technology has become an essential part of every business plan across every sector. As FECs have been challenged to keep up with the evolution of sports and entertainment, the most successful have answered that call, and, in response, have soared in unprecedented ways, physically and financially. All businesses, FECs included, are rooted in and upheld by their ability to secure funds for building, developing, renovating, upgrading, and maintaining their businesses. It isn’t hard to understand why business owners are sticking to traditional, familiar, and conservative financial avenues such as using local banks that they already do regular banking with or connecting with specialized SBA loan banks. Another familiar option is angel investing, involving family or friends that help the FEC propel forward or provide ongoing supplements of money to support the business. These traditional routes for securing funds have proven to work well, and, no doubt, will continue to do so for businesses. But now businesses can supplement these avenues with one of the most innovative ways for sourcing funds. Crowdfunding is changing the world of investing and funding and is on its way to influencing the world of finance, mimicking the same unprecedented effect that technological advances have had on the world. The big question is, why switch? Why fix something that isn’t broken? The answer to that is simple: to secure the future of the business. The idea is similar to how one would want to diversify personal financial portfolio with a variety of investments across a spectrum of risk levels. By diversifying a business’ funding stream, they are adding a level of stability to the infrastructure. And, unlike any other source of money, crowdfunding comes complete with the bonus of generating awareness for the business, creating new customers, and forging relationships with the community that supports the center.


What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a business or project by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. It allows businesses to increase their funds outside of the traditional circle of friends, family, banks and big venture capitalists, while offering investors the option of interest or rewards, in return. The two main types of crowdfunding are donation-based and investment-based. Investment crowdfunding allows businesses to seek a number of small investments from a large group of backers through both debt and equity options. In return, backers receive equity shares of the company commensurate with the amount invested, similar to how common stock is bought and sold on the stock market. Lenders receive an interest rate on the loan higher than other debt instruments due to the risk associated. This type of crowdfunding benefits new FECs looking to raise funds quickly, bypassing the hassle and time involved with applying for a business loan.

Donation-based crowdfunding is becoming a goto for businesses needing a financial boost, a common practice for individuals wanting to be a part of something bigger. It allows FECs to source funds for a business-associated project by asking a large number of contributors to donate a small amount to it. Funders do not obtain any ownership or rights to the project, nor do they become creditors to the project. Instead, backers may receive token rewards that increase in prestige as the size of the donation increases. For FECs, donations are typically matched in dollar value with a redeemable certificate for services from the center such as food, bowling or drink credits.

Crowdfunding in Action

The solely digital platform of crowdfunding is gaining popularity from masses of investors. According to Crowdfunding Industry Statistics, the total global crowdfunding industry fundraising volume in 2015 was $34 billion. $5.5 billion of which was directly raised from donation and reward crowdfunding, half of which was generated in North America. Crowdfunding is no longer linked to being a trend. The power in the soaring number of investors getting involved is making crowdfunding a mainstream avenue. Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that conducts public opinion polling, content analysis and other data-driven social science research in order to inform the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. When they recently reached out to America about their connection with donation-based crowdfunding, they found that roughly one in five Americans (22%) report that they have contributed to an online fundraising project on a website like Kickstarter, a platform that Mission Bowling Club in San Francisco was able to successfully tap into to support their venture.


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In May 2012, IBI connected with the owners of Mission Bowling Club as they were on the brink of opening their new 10,000-square-foot FEC. Once they found their ideal location in the Mission District, one of the city’s busiest and most diverse neighborhoods with just the right balance between grit and glamour, they realized that by diversifying their funding strategies, they could overcome building



December 2016

roadblocks, while forging relationships with their new community at the same time. Instead of turning to their current network of investors for additional support, owners Sommer Peterson and Molly Bradshaw decided to connect directly with their new neighbors and potential customers. Their first stop was to, where they built a webpage to set a foundation of credibility for their campaign. The platform gave them the ability to introduce themselves and tell the neighborhood they were excited about the new business while also being an outlet for friends and family to directly partake in the building of the venue. “It felt good because we were building a relationship. Essentially, we were coming into a neighborhood as a new business, and we really wanted to engage the community and be open and transparent,” said Sommer, as she looked back on how crowdfunding helped them get the business open, while making lasting relationships in the community. One of the projects that they used donation and reward crowdfunding

COVER STORY for was their patio area, initially a small parking lot. A driving force to start the journey was for the business to be as green as possible. They wanted to encourage people to walk or bike to visit their establishment. In order to convey their intentions, rather than just say them, they decided to convert the parking stalls into a patio space including an area for bike parking. “We wanted to make sure we were transparent about the money we asked for, what it was for, and what they get in return.” When they asked for donations for the project, directly tying the new business to the community, they offered rewards including food and drink tokens that matched the value of their donations. They not only raised funds, but they interactively involved the

neighborhood and invited them in with open arms to enjoy the establishment when the business opened. Backers not only received the token rewards from Mission Bowling Club, but they gained a mutual sense of pride in helping build a patio and bike parking area that was for their use and enjoyment. “We tried to match what the donation dollar amount was so that could match with the value of what they got back in return. We really felt like this was the way people were going to get something back, and it was a cool way for them to be part of us,” Sommer said.

How to Get Involved with Crowdfunding While Kickstarter was one of the first donation-based crowdfunding platforms, today there are hundreds to choose from. The first step is to find a platform that specializes in the type of project you are funding. With a little bit of research, you will be able to see which categories seem to do the best on each site and which resource tools you can use to make your campaign go smoothly. Making sure to understand the fees of each site will also help to choose the right one for the project. Crowdfunding is a mainstream way for FECs to diversify their funding strategies for building new centers, making renovations, upgrading features, and gaining ongoing support. Whether you are opening a business or adding value to a current one, crowdfunding can be a functional and profitable part of financial planning. And, the added bonus of relationship building with new partners, customers, and supporters is something that traditional banking can’t match. ❖

Sean Krainert is a freelance copywriter living in the San Francisco Bay Area specializing in real estate, hospitality and mental health writing. He is also an alumni of the Wichita State Shocker bowling program.



December 2016



nes a L a g o t a r Iconic Sa tes a r b e l e c s i in St. Lou al. i its centenn By Mark Miller


ust south of a stretch of historic Route 66, in the heart of the St. Louis suburb of Maplewood, is a solidly built, red brick building at 2725-A Sutton Boulevard. On the ground floor is a survey and engineering firm. Up 26 concrete stairs, where you can hear bowling ball bags clunking along as their owners make their way to the second floor, is an iconic part of the sport’s history. This is Saratoga Lanes, the oldest bowling facility west of the Mississippi River and the oldest active eight-lane establishment in the country. Special festivities in July and October celebrated its 100th birthday and, thanks to changes made by its owners in recent years, there’s no reason to think it can’t be around in 2116. “The city celebrated us with a parade and a festival and we celebrated our birthday with a party,” said coowner Jim Barton. He and co-owner Tom Buck are Saratoga’s third owners. 32

IBI December 2016

The city of Maplewood’s parade included the commissioning of large, decorated bowling pins displayed in area businesses, plus signs placed on light posts that read “A Century of Great Times.” John Stein, the 85-year-old son and nephew of previous owners Otto The parade honoring Saratoga Lanes’ and Clarence Stein, was the grand centennial. marshal. “The parade was all about Saratoga,” said Barton, who owns the entire building and parking lot and owned four buildings on the block before selling two of them. “The city said, ‘Jimmy what do you want to do?’ I said, ‘What did everybody want to do 100 years ago? They had a parade!’ So the city put on the parade.” The recent party for Saratoga was held in the parking lot and included several bands, food, drink, classic cars and other motor vehicles. At 7 p.m. the bowling lanes were turned on and an after-party broke out. Barton and Buck bought Saratoga Lanes from the Stein family, which owned it from 1931 to 1986 after purchasing it from the retiring first owner, Continued on page 36...


...Continued from page 32

Arthur Blood. It was one of eight original charter members of the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America and the only one still in existence. Blood also owned Maplewood Planing Mill and Stair Company which was headquartered downstairs. All that is left from that time are the original wooden gutters. “We’ve spent a lot of money on the place but every time we do it, we try to make it resemble 1958 because that’s the year the Steins did a remodel,” said Barton, a long-time bowler and property developer who also owns Moolah Lanes near St. Louis University and Blackhawk Bowl and Martini Lounge in Davenport, Iowa. Saratoga featured wood lanes until about seven years ago when a thin layer of Guardian and Lane Shield overlay was put down on them. With no kitchen or snack bar, the only food on-site must be bought from a vending machine or catered in. Scoring, however, still must be done by hand on paper. “We’ve thought about automatic scoring but it would take away from the charm, so there’s no reason to do it,” Barton said. Howard Neels, a retired post office worker who serves as Saratoga’s daytime bartender and counter person, helps young people not familiar The décor at Saratoga Lanes hasn’t changed much over the years, and everyone likes it that way.

The lanes retain a retro vibe.

with bowling’s scoring system. “I tell them the details are on the bottom of the scoresheets,” Neels said. “I tell them to take them home and study them.” Unlike many older bowling centers, bowling isn’t the only attraction at Saratoga. There also are five pool tables, seven big screen televisions and a small, square bar in the middle. An outdoor balcony was added several years ago to accommodate smokers and create a place for people to congregate during the many private parties Saratoga annually hosts. “When I came in, league play was predominant but was starting to go down. The Stein family wanted to keep leagues going, and we still have leagues Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. When I saw how it was set up with the bar and the pool tables and the bowling lanes, I knew this was a destination, a location. It would be great for corporate events,” Barton said. “I went to every company in town and told them when they needed a team-building place to consider us.” Barton’s idea has blossomed into more than 475 such events last year including three each day during December. It is these events he said that have kept the place going strong despite the more than three decade downturn in league bowling. Barton also introduced per-hour pricing, something few others did back then but most do now. “It wouldn’t be the success that it is if we had stuck with just the standard 35 weeks of league,” Barton said. “We had to do something else and it’s worked out quite well.” ❖ Mark Miller is a freelance writer, editor, and public relations specialist from Flower Mound, TX. He's the author of Bowling: America's Greatest Indoor Pastime available at or directly from him at



December 2016


ZOT offers ColorSplash VersaLamp, a unique and versatile LED lighting system, replacing fluorescent fixtures and tubes. The RGB color feature mode provides an unlimited number of programmable light shows: Glow mode, UV, for recreational bowlers; and League mode, VersaLamp, featuring an independent white LED. For more info, go to; call Steve Szabina at (405) 5031710; or email:


Sync, Brunswick’s, cloud-based scoring and management system, enhances the bowler experience, drives traffic, increases sales, and encourages repeat visits. Brunswick took open play, birthday parties, group events, and leagues and developed Sync to optimize a center’s interaction with each of them. At its core, Sync automates marketing and provides comprehensive center management. Visit


IBI December 2016


QubicaAMF’s The Suite Spot™ is an industry-first solution that brings all the benefits of QubicaAMF’s expertise in bowling innovation. Combining next-gen features of Highway66 mini bowling, powered by BES X, plus Harmony Infinity, the first reconfigurable furniture line, The Suite Spot will send party business soaring. Visit for more information.


Pin Strikes has opened its third BEC in Macon, GA, with 28 lanes of bowling with an arcade center, bumper cards and LASERTON’s newest LED, multi-level, illuminated laser tag arena, LT-12 PRO Game system. This laser tag attraction holds up to 30 players at one time. To learn how this addition can improve business, visit them any time or sign up for the next Entertainment Center Conference, scheduled for January 31 – February 1, 2017. For more information go to



ina, Shanghai, Ch in d te a c lo l, r the ao’s Bow redible site fo c in n a e b to proved F World Cup M A a ic b u Q l in an 52nd annua ls took place a n fi e h T t. er to n tourname set up in ord re e w s e n la where two ccommodate arena setting cessful tournament and a y Wegner suc . Jenn spotlight the hed the finals en’s division tc a w t a th d w e wom the large cro on top in th t men’s u o e m a c quered the n o c a in of Sweden h C ongbo from AMF and and Wang H ngratulations to Qubica ntries division. Co ted their cou n se re p re t a rs th all the bowle so well. ❖ . of Mr. Hero Noda Photos courtesy

Wang Hongbo from China, Kuai Wenqi and Jenny Wegner of Sweden.

Working all together from around the world are, from left, Cliff Adair, Carmen Leung, Roger Creamer, Shunwei Zhu, Juan Cabezas, Kuai Wenqi, Anne-Marie Board and Gian Anestis Avraam.


IBI December 2016

The finals took place in an arena, on specially built lanes in order to accommodate the TV equipment and the large viewing audience.


Hao’s Bowl proprietor and host Mr. Shunwei Zhu and QubicaAMF’s Juan Cabezas smile for the camera.

Pagentry opens the 52nd Annual QubicaAMF World Cup.

Jenny Wegner proudly and successfully represented Sweden.

The top four men and women finalists for the QubicaAMF World Cup.

Rosie Katz, Stephanie Darby and Lisa Ciniello.

Wang Hongbo in action. IBI

December 2016


CLASSIFIEDS MANAGEMENT OPENINGS Seven Ten, 40,000-square-foot entertainment complex in Hagerstown, MD, is seeking an OPERATIONS MANAGER. The facility houses 22 tenpin lanes, arcade, event room, restaurant, bar & lounge. Applicants must have a minimum three (3) years’ experience in restaurant management. Compensation includes: Salary + insurance + housing. Please email CENTER MANAGEMENT OPPORTUNITY: Are you an assistant manager or manager looking for an opportunity to grow professionally, as well as financially? Do you have the motivation, drive and energy needed to grow our center’s business? If so, you will want to contact us today. We are a Kansas City, MO, area bowling center seeking a candidate who is eager to help our business grow. We offer salary plus vacation. To apply, please email your resume and salary history to


(818) 789-2695

EQUIPMENT FOR SALE NEW & USED Pro Shop Equipment. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. (800) 255-6436 or REMOVING 26 LANES for remodeling— Everything Works: Brunswick Scoring; (79) Scanners & Scanner Tester; AS 80 Color Overheads; 25’ Zenith Overheads; Back ‘n White Lowers; 901 Software; Purrfect Desk; Brother Laser Print w/ Thermal Receipt printer; Zot ET 2001 Electronic Triggering; DTS Register Program Loader. Total package or parts available. Contact Rob (908) 763-1192. FOR SALE: Steltronic automatic scoring, WINS system, 36 lanes, bumper compatible; can separate, like new. 16-lane HPL foul line forward. 2-lane Anvil synthetics, foul line forward. Hood&Rack conversions w/ power lift. Media mask. A2s & parts. Installations & complete installs.

LOCKER KEYS FAST! All Keys done by code # Locks and Master Keys E-mail: TOLL FREE



December 2016



EQUIPMENT WANTED LANE MACHINES WANTED. We will purchase your KEGEL-built machine, any age or condition. Call (608) 764-1464.

SERVICES AVAILABLE is YOUR FREE bowling buy and sell site. Sponsored by Redline Foul Lights. Tel: 1 (888) 569-7845. Drill Bit Sharpening and Measuring Ball Repair. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. (800) 255-6436 or AMF 5850 & 6525 CHASSIS. Exchange your tired or damaged chassis for an upgraded, rewired, cleaned, painted and ready-to-run chassis. Fast turnaround. Lifetime guarantee. References available. [Lazy mechanics & clueless owners, please call someone else.] CHASSIS DOCTOR (330) 314-8951.

EDUCATION & TRAINING PRO SHOP TRAINING. Classes always forming. Jayhawk Bowling Supply (800) 255-6436 or




December 2016




Danny & Daryl Tucker Tucker Bowling Equipment Co. 609 N.E. 3rd St. Tulia, Texas 79088 Call (806) 995-4018 Fax (806) 995-4767

Bowling Parts, Inc. P.O. Box 801 Tulia, Texas 79088 Call (806) 995-3635 Email -

MINIATURE GOLF COURSES Indoor/Outdoor. Portable/Pre-Fab. Black Light/Traditional/Pro Putter. 202 Bridge Street Jessup, PA 18434 570-489-8623



FAST! (818) 789-2695


December 2016


CLASSIFIEDS CENTERS FOR SALE NORTHERN LOWER MICHIGAN: Clean, modern, 14,000 s/f, 12-lane center with Brunswick Pro Anvil lanes & approaches; brand new Touch 3 auto scoring w/ 42” monitors. Great league base & lucrative annual tournaments. Includes: large, active poker room; lounge & snack bar; small pro shop, plus karaoke, games, pool & air hockey tables. Lots of parking! Call (989) 739-4515 for more information. SW WISCONSIN: 12-lane center with Brunswick pinsetters & AMF synthetic lanes; 13 solid leagues; newly remodeled fullservice restaurant and bar; newly remodeled banquet hall w/ full-service kitchen and bar; excellent community support, prime location! Call (563) 451-4759

SELL YOUR CENTER (818) 789-2695

Felix Erickson Co., Inc. Strike Zone © Family of Lane Products Strike Zone© Next Generation LC 5 gal case $105 Envi-Cide II Disinfectant Shoe sparay 12/15 oz $87.95 Solve-It © Orange Foam Cleaner 12/18 oz $69.95 FESI Solve-IT © Ball Wheel Liner 22’ $90 NEW RM 107 Rubber/Cork Wheel Liner $29.95/Roll 000-024-604 Gray Ball Lift Belt $195 ea. Exclusive Phenolic Kickback Plates Front F128D 16” x 33” $88 ea. Rear F129 19” x 23 3/4” $88 ea. F132T 15" x 50" $130 ea. All plates include screws and instructions 800-445-1090 (F) 609-267-4669 Resurfacing - Repairs - Supplies - Synthetics




December 2016

CLASSIFIEDS CENTERS FOR SALE NORTHERN GULF COAST: 24-lane, split 16/8, FEC. Built in 2006. 2.5 acres and 28,000 s/f building. Brunswick GSX, well maintained. New Brunswick scoring system and Aloha cash register systems in 2014. Fully enclosed bar/restaurant, full kitchen, walk-in freezer/cooler and pizza oven. Kegel lane machine and new ball drilling equipment. Call Pete, (228) 348-6921 or email: CENTRAL IDAHO: 8-lane Brunswick center with Anvil lanes, 50-seat restaurant with Drive-Thru Window. All new appliances. Only bowling center within 60 miles. Call (775) 720-2726.

PROPRIETORS WITH AMF 82-70 S.S. & M.P. MACHINES Save $$ on Chassis & P.C. Board Exchange & Repair! A reasonable alternative for Chassis and P.C. Board Exchanges MIKE BARRETT Call for Price List

Tel: (714) 871-7843 • Fax: (714) 522-0576



to place your Classified Ad in International Bowling Industry Magazine

Call (818) 789-2695

Fax (818) 789-2812


your ad to: IBI

December 2016




e do believe we’ve found the quintessential Santa Claus. Does he look familiar? He should. This jolly old elf was the Santa in the book, The Night Before Christmas, illustrated by artist Tom Browning. Browning then gave him a starring role in a book of poems, Santa’s Time Off, by Bill Maynard. This Santa time-off activity with his small cohorts was on a Christmas card collected by the late Chuck Pezzano, bowling’s writer/historian extraordinaire. Pezzano shared many of his saved treasures with IBI and, over the years, we’ve shared them with you.

We wish you all a Happy Holiday and a Merry Christmas. May you spend your time off on the lanes too!



December 2016

IBI December 2016  
IBI December 2016