Star City Six – Eric Steele
USA Roller Sports is the national governing body recognized by the United States Olympic Committee to represent the sports of Inline Speed, Artistic Figure, Roller Derby, Inline/Rink Hockey, Freestyle and Fitness. Lincoln is home to the National Museum of Rollerskating, located at 4730 South Street, as well as the organization’s national office headquarters. Eric Steele is the executive director of USA Roller Sports (USARollerSports.org).
How did you get started in the business?
I was looking for a new opportunity and had a long history of non-profit professional management experience. After reviewing the position description, it looked like my experience lined up nicely and I applied, interviewed and was offered the position. I have no previous experience in the world of sports or skating. Previously, the majority of my career was spent with the Boy Scouts of America.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Assuring that the protection of youth occurs in the areas of sexual abuse, bullying and harassment by being able to educate adults on how to identify abuse and properly report it. Over my 20-year career, I’m consistently amazed at how disconnected individuals can be from reality on this subject.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Overseeing, from the ground up, two multimillion-dollar camping and outdoor adventure facilities for the Boy Scouts of America in Washington, DC and Galveston, TX.
Tell us a little about your family.
My fiancé Candi and I are currently planning for our nuptials in Las Vegas on August 20th. The rest of my family is back home in Pennsylvania.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
I spent the summer of 2017 overseeing a camp for kids with severe developmental disabilities, with 150 staff members and an average of 258 campers a day across two properties. The turning point is relative to the patience I utilized that I never knew I had inside of me. It was a challenging and rewarding experience like none I’d ever had before. Those campers will forever have a special place in my heart.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Great food, beers and Penn State football are always the top priority in the fall.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I’m actually really great at picking the winner of the Kentucky Derby for some odd reason. I’ve only been wrong about three times over the past 20 years.
What are you the most proud of?
I love being from the world-famous Groundhog Day town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
John Cougar Mellencamp’s Small Town.
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? – College football announcer.
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
The Boy Scouts of America. I’ve been a member, volunteer and former professional staff member for over 35 years.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?
The 8 Men Out from the Chicago Black Sox World Series Scandal of 1919.
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?