During the 2023 League Operator Convention held in late April, the American Poolplayers Association (APA) honored its top franchisees with League Operator of the Year awards. This prestigious recognition was bestowed upon five exceptional League Operators who were chosen from a pool of nearly 300 candidates across North America. Each market size category had one League Operator selected as the winner.
In the Level 1 Market category, Jim Rowe of the Bluewater APA in Florida emerged as the League Operator of the Year. Aaron & Lindsay Hernandez of the West Suburban Chicago APA were honored as the top League Operators in the Level 2 Market. Scott Bates and Stephanie Bates of the APA Pool Leagues South Carolina received well-deserved recognition in the Level 3 Market category. In the Level 4 Market, Bobby & Nika Harvison of the Memphis APA was selected as the standout League Operators. Finally, Bruce & Ann Barthelette of the Connecticut APA were awarded the League Operator of the Year title in the Level 5 Market category.
The APA acknowledges the accomplishments of numerous League Operators each year for their outstanding work in running their respective League areas. Those who are chosen as League Operator of the Year receive a $1,000 prize and a trophy, recognizing their exceptional contributions to the organization.
In addition to honoring the League Operators of the Year, the APA also presented the Rookie and Journeyman of the Year awards. High & Kym Spurgin of the Lake & Osceola APA in Florida were named the recipients of the Rookie of the Year Award, which acknowledges League Operators who have demonstrated remarkable achievements in their first year. Thomas Mackel of the Greater Seattle APA was selected for the Journeyman of the Year Award, which recognizes the top League Operator who is no longer a rookie but has not yet reached eligibility for the League Operator of the Year award.
During the convention, APA Co-Founder Terry Bell took the opportunity to present the APA Lifetime Achievement Award to Marc Lancaster, a longtime League Operator, and APA Consultant. The Lifetime Achievement Award is given annually to individuals who have showcased outstanding career achievements spanning over 20 years or more. Additionally, the Achievement Through Adversity Award was presented to “The Black Widow” Jeanette Lee, in recognition of her remarkable accomplishments despite facing significant challenges.
The three-day annual conference, hosted at the Westgate Vegas, came to a grand conclusion with a formal reception where the winners of the League Operator of the Year awards and other accolades were announced. This event not only celebrated the exceptional achievements of the honorees but also served as a platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and fostering camaraderie among the APA community.
The League Operator Convention is a testament to the APA’s commitment to recognizing and appreciating the efforts of their franchisees who play a crucial role in promoting the sport of pool and creating a vibrant and engaging environment for players. By highlighting the outstanding League Operators and their contributions, the APA inspires excellence and continuous improvement within its network, ultimately enhancing the overall pool-playing experience for enthusiasts across North America.
Through its annual convention and awards ceremony, the APA reinforces its position as a leading organization in the world of pool, promoting sportsmanship, skill development, and community engagement. The League Operators of the Year, along with the Rookie and Journeyman awardees, exemplify the dedication, passion, and professionalism that drive the success of the APA and its mission to elevate the sport of pool to new heights.
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