By Kevin Eickman
On July 9, DE Turf took its next step in what has been an ever-increasing agenda, by introducing Angie Eliason as its new Executive Director. Eliason has a long history in athletics as well as athletics management. “Angie was quite a get for us,” said Bill Strickland, who worked in concert with other members of DE Turf to secure Eliason’s services. “As soon as we spoke with her, we knew that she was the right person for the job.”
The task at hand is to grow DE Turf to an even bigger destination than it already is. Eliason believes that she is a person well suited for the job. “Taking a look at the complex and seeing the potential I was immediately intrigued,” she said. “After speaking with Bonnie (Ingram Grubb) and Bill, I really could see the potential and drive that they have to make this a premiere destination for athletic events and tournaments on the East Coast.”
Eliason, who resides primarily in Nevada, has a long and varied history in athletics which makes her more than qualified for the position. Born in North Dakota, Eliason has worn many hats along the way to becoming a Principal Owner with Prime Professional Events. A company which has only been operational for over 2.5 years. Eliason, who earned her Master’s Degree in Athletic Administration from the University of Nebraska, went right to work in the field, taking a job with the University of Minnesota at Duluth women’s ice hockey team. She has also been the Executive Director of Nevada Youth Soccer, as well as the Director of Operations and Events for U.S. Soccer, the largest such organization in the world.
With qualifications such as that, the question that had to be asked was rather simple, why Delaware? “It was pretty simple, seeing the facilities and meeting the people, it was obvious that there was a great amount of potential here,” Eliason said. “The location has a great deal to offer geographically and the economic potential is tremendous. We believe that there is a tremendous amount of untapped potential here and we are going to take advantage of that.”
As Strickland introduced Eliason, it was obvious he was pleased with not only getting her on board, but with all the local community’s work and commitment. “It takes a great deal of effort to make something like this work. “To begin with, we have to thank our sponsors such as Highmark Delaware Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and M&T Bank. But just as important, our board members are really who drive the bus,” Strickland said.
However, the most pointed comments from Strickland regarding DE Turf, were when he discussed the future of the venue “I have never been more bullish about DE Turf. We are in the midst of a Pandemic and our future has never looked brighter. About a year ago we began to take a look at our revenue, which we were generating. We conducted a study and realized that we were simply not maximizing the revenue we could be generating. On top of that, we lost all of the tournaments we had scheduled after March.” Strickland added
“In comes Angie and she books every day from this past Monday, until the end of August with tournaments. In such a short time to have so many events scheduled, was a tremendous accomplishment. It is part of what DE Turf is all about, generating revenue for the local economy and thereby creating jobs for Delaware.”