Certified Arena Operator Program

USIndoor's Certified Arena Operator Program is a must for anyone serious about running an indoor sports facility or in having a career in recreational sports management. With emphasis on day-to-day management, the CAO Program is the industry's only professional credential. Led by respected industry leaders and academicians in their areas of expertise, this intensive two-day program includes lectures, panel discussions, audience participation, written materials, and an exam. Besides a new title, attendees leave the program with measurable skills and knowledge essential for the general manager position. For facility owners, the Program also offers a means to improve the quality of existing staff, keep up with industry trends, and make better hiring decisions.

The CAO course takes place every even-numbered year in conjunction with USIndoor's annual Facility Operators' Conference and Trade Show. Annual recertification is subject to additional requirements consisting of an annual certification fee and by attending the Conference or by participating in an article of GO Indoor, either by writing articles or being interviewed. For a complete set of rules, visit CAO Rules and Regulations.

CAO

Code of Conduct

Those who earn the CAO credential pledge to:

  • Maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct.
  • Actively model and encourage the integration of ethics into all aspects of hir or her professional engagements.
  • Discharge his or her duties in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, and encourage others to do the same.
  • Strive to advance his or her knowledge and achieve higher levels of excellence in leadership and facility management.
  • Communicate all relevant knowledge I may gain to his or her superiors in his or her employment.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of all privileged information, except when so doing becomes an ethical or legal breach of conduct.
  • Serve all customers and suppliers fairly, holding foremost the interests of his or her employer and its industry.
  • Never use his or her position for undue personal gain.
  • Promptly and completely disclose to appropriate parties all potential and actual conflicts of interest.
  • Encourage colleagues and staff to participate in leadership activities of his or her employer and its industry.
  • Actively advance, support, and promote USIndoor membership and involvement in the profession of facility management through word and deed.

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CAO Instructor Bios

  • Jim Cline
  • Mark Grossman
  • Michael Holtzman
  • John Miller
  • Mike Wies
  • Jan Eric Nordmo
  • Peter Spanos
  • John Wolohan
  • Arnold Zirkes
  • Janet Benassi

Jim Cline

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Program Director, Jim Cline, CAO

A former general manager with several indoor soccer companies, Jim consults full-time for facilities all across America. Founder and principal of The Goals Group, an indoor soccer and sports consulting firm based in Columbus, Ohio, Jim has been involved with soccer teams, soccer stores, and indoor facilities for more than twenty years. He is on the boards of several youth soccer associations in two states and has operated more than 75 youth soccer tournaments. His career has included more than thirty years in real estate development, commercial design and construction for several national firms. Jim was recognized recently by Major League Soccer as one of the top 100 soccer leaders in Ohio. His practice is limited to indoor soccer and sports facilities and their related operations. He is a member of the United States Indoor Soccer Association's team of professional consultants and has been the featured indoor soccer speaker at the USIndoor Operators' Conference and the Athletic Business Conference. In addition to current projects in Illinois, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, California, Georgia, Texas, Massachusetts, California,Washington, Rhode Island,Washington, Maryland, and Virginia, he is an indoor soccer consultant to indoor equipment manufacturers and vendors as well as development groups, non-profit organizations, and municipal parks and recreation departments. Jim is also active in indoor sports projects in China.

Mark Grossman

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Mark Grossman, President, The Monument Sports Group, Richmond, VA

A native of Richmond, VA, Mark lettered in 5 sports and earned High School All-American status in soccer. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an interdisciplinary major of Sports Public Relations/Marketing and Speech Communication. After UNC, Mark spent the next two years in the front office of the Washington Diplomats, a team in the North American Soccer League (NASL). Returning to Chapel Hill, he owned and operated "Heels OnWheels," an outdoor/indoor roller skating business. Mark entered the insurance business in 1981. He purchased the independent agency where he was employed in 1987 and in 2000 founded The Monument Sports Group to service the insurance, financial services, and marketing needs of both professional and amateur sports owners, operators, and players. Monument Sports is proud to be the exclusive insurance agency for the United States Indoor Soccer Association. Mark is a member of USIndoor's Advisory Board of Directors.

Michael Holtzman

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Michael Holtzman, President, Profitable Food Facilities, Poway, CA

Michael Holtzman received his BS in Restaurant Management from California Polytechnic University in Pomona, California, and now has over 25 years of restaurant industry experience. . He is now President of Profitable Food Facilities, a company specializing in captive market restaurant locations including indoor soccer parks, outdoor sports facilities, sportplexes, water parks, golf courses, ski resorts, health clubs, and day spas. In particular, he has worked with more than 310 "captive market" facilities in 42 states, Canada, England and the Middle East to enhance restaurant design and customer service, while building sales and profits. Over the past few years, he has been asked to speak at many different conferences including the Indoor Soccer Association, the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association, the Athletic Business Conference World Waterpark Association, the National Recreation and Parks Association, the PGA of America, the Club Managers Association, the National Ski Areas Association, the National Golf Course Owners Association, the, and the International Health Racquet & Sports Association. This past summer, he was one of two Americans that were invited to speak in England at the Bodylife conference for Leisure World Industries. His partial list of clients includes Pinnacle Sports in Ohio, Vetta Sports in St Louis, Tennis Corporation of America (TCA), The City of Bolinbrook in Illinois, the Metro Park Authority in Detroit Michigan, The City of Golden in Colorado, the City of Roseville in California, the Winward Lake Club in Georgia, and TBG Development in Missouri. He has also designed the kitchen operations for over 110 other "captive market" facilities including the Boston Celtics Training Center

John Miller

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John Miller, Associate Professor, Texas Tech University

John is presently an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences, Texas Tech University. He is a Fellow in the Research Consortium Fellow and has been given the Distinguished Scholar Award from the School and Community Safety Society of America. He has been the president of the national Safety and Risk Management Council as well as a member the Board of Directors of the Sport and Recreation Law Association. He has more than 65 presentations at national and international conferences, 25 published articles and 3 book chapters primarily dealing with legal issues and risk management in sport and athletics. John also works as a consultant associated with Southwest Sport Management located in Albuquerque, NM.

Mike Wies

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Mike Wies, CAO

Mike Weis is the owner, developer, and manager of the Epic Center, a 90,000 sq. ft. multi-sport recreational facility indoor/outdoor sports facility, located in Williamsville, New York. Built in 1996, the Epic Center's activities include basketball, field hockey, football, in-line hockey, lacrosse volleyball, tae kwon do, outdoor soccer and, of course, indoor soccer. Formerly with M&T Bank, Mike has started and sold businesses in equipment leasing, real estate, computer systems and custom software distribution. He was the director of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Programs and workshops at the Center for Entrepreneurship at Canisius College. In connection therewith, he aided Western New York entrepreneurs in the development and implementation of their business plans.

Jan Eric Nordmo

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Jan Eric Nordmo, CAO

Jan founded Off theWall Soccer in 1991 and began operations in 1993 in the heart of the Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, California. Jan Eric also branded two other Off theWall Soccer facilities: one in Chico, California, and one which recently sold in the Portland, Oregon area. Mr. Nordmo's operations were among the first in the country to utilize player membership cards and the internet for informational and practical applications. He has consulted with other arena developers utilizing his past development and geotechnical engineering background. In addition to his entrepreneurial expertise in arena soccer, Jan Eric is very active in the world of player development and coaching. He holds a current USSF "A" license and is currently coaching several club and high school teams as well as a State Olympic Development coach for Cal North and ODP Region IV coach, in addition to being a coaching instructor for the CYSA Coaching School. He is also the co-founder and partner in the Premier Arena Soccer League and serves as the Pacific Division Director of Operations and is the founder of Soccer Scouts USA, a player scouting and reporting company.

Peter Spanos

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Peter Spanos, CAO

Peter Spanos is principal owner of Vetta Sports Clubs, which has five indoor sports facilities, all in the St. Louis, MO, area. A former collegiate soccer player and Xerox employee with a masters of business administration, Pete was running the family dental lab when, driven by passions for teaching and for making a greater impact on the community, he drastically altered his career. Soccerdome, where Pete had regularly played, was his first location in 1988. Expansion plans later included ground-up construction, and in 1996 his family joined the team of long-term staff. Combined, Vetta (named after Pete's paternal grandmother) has over 200 employees and 1.5 million visitors per year. Pete has served on USIndoor's Advisory Board of Directors since 2003.

John Wolohan

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John Wolohan, Esq., Professor, Syracuse University

Attorney John Wolohan (jwolohan@syr.edu) is a professor of Sports Law in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics at Syracuse University. In addition to making numerous national and international presentations in the area of sports law, Professor Wolohan is one of the lead editors of the book "Law for Recreation and Sport Managers" by Cotten and Wolohan, as well as being a contributing author of the "Sports Law Report" a monthly article that appears in Athletic Business. Professor Wolohan has also published numerous articles and book chapters in the areas of: drug testing in sports and Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs); athlete's rights: and intellectual property in such Journals as the Marquette Sports Law Journal, Seton Hall Journal of Sports Law, Villanova Sports & Entertainment Law Journal, University of Missouri- Kansas City Law Review, Educational Law Reporter, International Sports Law Journal, Journal of the Legal Aspects of Sport and the Journal of Sport Management.

Arnold Zirkes

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Arnold Zirkes, Principal, Net Re$ult$

Through Net Re$ult$, Arnold represents numerous indoor and outdoor sports complexes, sports clubs, leagues and state associations, principally with marketing. Over the past 3 years he has also helped open a number of indoor soccer and sports facilities. He formerly served as Director of Marketing for The Soccer Spot complexes, located in Grand Rapids and Holland, Michigan, where he generated marketing revenue over $300,000. As Executive Director to Heartland Soccer Association in Kansas (member of US Youth Soccer Association), he generated over $150,000 in sponsorships and advertising. There he managed an 18-field outdoor soccer complex and a league of 11,000 kids during the fall and spring. Arnold created and ran the Ohio South Youth Soccer Association's Coaches Lecture Series, with 24 dates in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus, Ohio, for over 20 years. He owned or managed a soccer-specific retail store for more than ten years. His expertise includes organizing and running youth and adult tournaments, including 3v3 events, advertising and grass marketing. Arnold was recognized in 2000 by Major League Soccer as one of the top 100 soccer leaders in Ohio.

Janet Benassi

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Janet Benassi, CAO

Janet is responsible for the daily business operations and oversees all facilities business operations and books for Off the Wall Soccer, Santa Clara, CA, where she has been instrumental since its establishment. She is a former owner of four (4) diverse businesses, all of which are still going strong! They consist of one of the largest property management companies in northern California, a landscape company with over 65 employees, and two car washes. She also helped start an interior design company.

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