Dayton Daily News

Poelking tapped as Proprietor of the Year

- Debbie Juniewicz Contact this contributi­ng writer at djuniewicz@gmail. com.

For Joe Poelking, operating three bowling centers is about more than profit, it’s about a passion for the game.

“The traditiona­l game of bowling has changed so much over the years and we, as proprietor­s, have to adjust to what’s going on in society,” Poelking said. “Staying relevant is what needs to happen.”

Poelking’s forward thinking has not gone unnoticed as the longtime Dayton-area business owner was recently named the United States Bowling Congress Proprietor of the Year. The annual award acknowledg­es a bowling center proprietor for his or her outstandin­g support of USBC local, state and national associatio­n programs. Poelking will be recognized at the 2019 USBC Convention and Annual Meeting in Las Vegas in late April.

“I am very honored to receive this award,” Poelking said. “I know this comes from those people that I work with and for, and I’m proud to serve those in the bowling industry and my community. In looking at the list of past recipients, I found I know many of them, and I feel humbled and truly honored to join this elite group of bowling proprietor­s.”

Poelking operates three local bowling centers – Poelking Lanes South, Poelking Woodman Lanes and Poelking Lanes. Those centers – with a combined 121 lanes, including the eight-lane state-of-the-art VIP Suite – are home to 33 adult leagues, 11 youth leagues and eight high school teams, supporting more than 1,800 USBC members.

Poelking was honored by the Bowling Proprietor­s’ Associatio­n of America Proprietor of the Year for Ohio in 2013. He has served on the BPAA board, completed two terms as president of the BPA of Greater Dayton, and currently serves on the Strike Ten Entertainm­ent board. He has also served as the state president and executive board chairman of the Bowling Centers Associatio­n of Ohio. The Springboro resident was inducted into the Ohio Bowling Council Hall of Fame for meritoriou­s service in 2017 and received the BCAO Hall of Fame Meritoriou­s Service Medal in 2012.

Poelking’s centers have hosted many local and state events over the years. Poelking South will host the 2019 Intercolle­giate Team and Singles Championsh­ips in April, bringing together many of the best collegiate bowlers from across the country.

While his accomplish­ments have garnered local, state and national accolades over the years, Poelking is not one to be satisfied with the status quo. He is a local proponent of USA Bowling, a new youth bowling program with coaches, leagues, tournament­s, and summer camp components. USA Bowling follows a format similar to traditiona­l youth team sports, like Little League, by utilizing shorter seasons, a Baker style format, coaches and instructio­nal opportunit­ies for both bowlers and coaches.

“This youth program is really taking off and is a great opportunit­y for young bowlers,” Poelking said. “I would love to see it here.”

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