Owner's Overview: Bouncing Back
November 8, 2011
Jacks owner and CEO Josh Mervis discusses the team's recent surge and what's being done to make L.C. Walker Arena the place to be in West Michigan
Every month Voice of the Lumberjacks Matt Gajtka sits down with Lumberjacks Owner and CEO Josh Mervis to talk about the state of the team on and off the ice. This month we discuss how the Jacks plan to continue their recent good play, and what is being done to make L.C. Walker Arena the place to be in West Michigan.
Matt: The positive reviews have been pouring in for the new and improved fan experience at L.C. Walker Arena. How can the Lumberjacks build on this excitement?
Josh: By winning! Seriously, winning helps everything, but we have to continue to revamp our entire operation – from the arena, to the concessions, to the game presentation. We’re striving to make a Lumberjacks game THE EVENT for a night out. We have built the entire program into a top-notch facility for the players, for the fans, and for the entire community to be proud of. We just need to continue to work to improve ourselves every day.
Matt: Although the Jacks got off to a slow start (one win in first six), they are be turning it around as November starts. What about this group, coaches included, gives you the confidence that October will be a building block and not a stumbling block?
Josh: There is no quick fix in this game; you have to build. We didn’t expect to be the youngest team in the USHL again, but we do such a great job of developing players. We have the most NCAA commitments in the USHL, and we’re tied for the most players rated for this June’s NHL draft in Pittsburgh. With that development comes “losses” of players moving up from Muskegon faster than anywhere else. But that’s just the facts of life – and we need to get better and win. Part of that winning will come as our players develop and gain experience. We have a fantastic coaching staff here, and I have a lot of confidence in them to do their jobs. I think our best hockey is right in front of us.
Matt: From your experience in hockey, what type of attitude leads to bouncing back from disappointing results early in a season?
Josh: Perseverance. You have to know what you want, you have to believe in your goals, and believe in yourself. It starts with me, and extends on to every staff member and throughout the team. I believe in our group – staff and players – and I have all the confidence in them to do the work and make the commitment necessary to achieve success. My role is simply to lead by example, and create the best environment possible for people to succeed.
Matt: With Larry the Cable Guy coming to L.C. Walker Arena next month, what else can Muskegon-area residents expect when it comes to entertainment options in their backyard?
Josh: We are looking at every option. We have to be smart buyers and really focus on shows that will excite the public and draw people. That’s not easy, but we think we can find the right “mix.” I’m willing to do anything from monster trucks and rodeo to opera and X-Games.
Matt Gajtka is the Communications Director/Broadcaster for the Muskegon Lumberjacks, proud member of the United States Hockey League (USHL). Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.