BBIA Honors John LaSpina – Association’s 67th Industry Service Award Winner
John M. LaSpina is president of Maple Family Centers, a Long Island-based, family-owned chain of five bowling centers stretching from Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties to Clearwater, Florida.
LaSpina, along with his brother Peter, took over operations in 1971, working alongside their father, Peter. Early in his career, LaSpina served as president of the New York City Bowling Proprietors’ Association from 1977-1980; the board of directors of the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America, from 1977-2002; and from 2003 to present, he has served on various committees. He has also held leadership roles with the Tri State Bowling Promotions committee, Young American Bowling Alliance, East Coast Bowling Centers’ Convention Committee, International Bowl Expo and many others. Perhaps his highest profile role came when he was president of the BPAA, 1992-94.
LaSpina has served on the board of directors of Saint Mary’s Children’s Hospital Foundation Board, and currently sits on the board of directors for Fight for Sight and BVL. A recognized leader in the industry, as well as in his community, LaSpina’s many awards include an outstanding Alumni Award from Long Island University’s Southampton campus; induction to the New York City Bowling Proprietors’ Association Hall of Fame in 1982; a Metropolitan Bowling Writer’s Association Meritorious Award; named the International Bowling Industry Person of the Year in 1994; and most recently received the prestigious Theresa Award from the Theresa Foundation.
With a lifetime dedication to Fight for Sight, a nonprofit organization that provides eye and vision research funds to promising scientists early in their careers, LaSpina created Strike for Sight, an annual bowling event held at Maple Family Center sites in Queens and on Long Island in collaboration with his family, employees, Fight for Sight staff and volunteers.
LaSpina graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Long Island University’s Southampton campus. He is married and the father of two children, Joseph and Teresa, who help run the business. LaSpina lives in Long Beach, New York. He is also the proud grandfather of five grandchildren.
Dear BBIA Members,
Dear BBIA Members,
I truly appreciate the opportunity to serve as President of the Billiard & Bowling Institute of America. It has been an honor to work with a great Board and an organization that has a storied history.
This organization has continued to offer an opportunity for members of the Billiard and Bowling industries to work together toward a common means for the good of their relative sports. Bowling’s Catalog continues to be a valued commodity from the BBIA for all entities in the bowling business (consumer, pro shop, distributor and manufacturer). The 2017 Convention saw the introduction of one on one meetings between the Manufacturers and Distributors. The feedback was ultimately positive and we look to continue with this format moving forward. Outside of the formal meetings during the convention, we have also had great opportunities to interact with our fellow members in a less formal atmosphere during the events. The BBIA has truly allowed many of us to develop stronger relationships with many of our customers as well as competitors in the industry.
The 2018 BBIA Convention promises to be another memorable event. Convention chair, Mike Judy, has selected a pristine location in Amelia Island, Florida. The resort is world-class and has every amenity that you could possible need. We look to continue our productive meeting schedules and informative panel discussions this upcoming year and honor John LaSpina with the Industry Service Award. We will share a more detailed schedule as we get closer to the convention.
In addition to the annual convention, BBIA continues to support the industry through the sponsorship of the IBMA Chuck Pezzano Scholarship. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance to college students who are interested in writing about the sport after college as a full or part time career.
In closing, I’d just like to thank those of you who I have had the opportunity to work with and get to know in my tenure with the BBIA.
Dear BBIA Members,
Dear BBIA Members,
The 2018 BBIA Convention is being held at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. The Resort is nestled on 1,350 acres at the tip of a barrier island just off the Northeast Florida coast with 3.5 miles of beachfront property and is loaded with amenities.
The conference center is the largest in the area and should easily accommodate our group’s needs especially for the one on one meeting format that we started last year in Santa Fe. This is an important part of our conference, and we look forward to continuing this format.
Each room features a patio or balcony with a fantastic view of the beach and Atlantic Ocean. There are nine dining options located on-site including Bob’s Steak & Chop House and The Falcon’s Nest Sports Bar. If you are looking to be pampered, there is a full service spa and salon in addition to a quaint shopping village, nature center and onsite fishing, kayaking and paddle boarding. The resort features three pools, two hot tubs, and several outdoor seating areas with fire-pits perfect for social gatherings.
I would highly encourage you to take part in this year’s golf scramble, even if you don’t consider yourself a golfer. There are two Championship 18-hole golf courses located on the property with several holes which play along the ocean. The scenic views on the course are absolutely unbelievable.
The Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort is located approximately 35 miles Northeast of Jacksonville International Airport. Uber does service the area and the trip from the airport to the resort should cost approximately $35.
I look forward to seeing everyone in Amelia Island this coming April 29th – May 1st. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call at 937-750-2450.