IPF Cat I Referee
Member, IPF Tech.Comm.
2005 IPF Men's World Powerlifting Championships
I realize that this message may be a little overdue; however, after directing the 35th IPF Men's World Powerlifting Championships in Miami, Florida, I felt compelled to take some time off these past few weeks, to reflect on the experience of directing this competition. Needless to say, it was a wonderful experience that I shall treasure for the rest of my life.
In light of the following, I shall begin my stating that it was truly an honor to host this championship for USA Powerlifting [USAPL], as well as the International Powerlifting Federation [IPF]. My sincere thanks also go out to Dr. Maile and the USA Powerlifting EC for entrusting me with an event of this magnitude. Moreover, it was a pleasure to welcome and receive all of the athletes, coaches, family members, their guest, fans and friends from nearly fifty  countries. With this even not being held in the USA held in the USA for more than 21 years, made it extra special for a great deal of people.
As I now close my 31st year in the sport of powerlifting, I shall look back at this championship as being one of my fondest memories and experiences in the sport. As a young boy of 12, I dreamed of hosting and/or lifting in this particular competition, especially after attending the 1974 IPF World Championships, in York, Pennsylvania [only 1.5 hours from where I was raised]. At this championship, I witnessed the lifting of Larry Pacifico, John Kuc, and Don Reinhoudt, with the contest being directed by Mr. Bob Hoffman. Overall this experience turned out to be of great inspiration to me as a lifter, coach, official, championship director and now administrator.
I would like to point out that there have only been three  other gentlemen in America presented with the honor to direct this championship. They are; Larry Pacifico, the late John Pettit, and the founding father of the IPF, the legendary Bob Hoffman himself. Moreover, I feel privileged to have been able to direct this championship for USA Powerlifting, the International Powerlifting Federation, and member federations, who voted and entrusted me to oversee this event.
Overall, I must comment that I was very pleased to see and hear that everyone enjoyed their visit to Miami, even despite the [recovery and relief efforts] that were well underway due to hurricane Wilma, which struck Miami within ten  days of the championship. Even despite the devastation, the staff of volunteers from USA Powerlifting that was assembled to direct this championship was determined to see it through to the end - no matter what the outcome. In doing so, I would ask that you honor the following people for their achievement and accomplishment, which ensured the complete success of this championship.
I would like to begin by thanking Mike Licciardi, Mike Sophia, Don Nardini, Robert Murray, Phil Laws, Kate James, and Heather Wasek for their assistance in directing this event. There knowledge and advice is greatly appreciated. I would like to thank Karen Licciardi, Eliot Feldman, Deb Hariston, Lanette Lopez, and Bennie Barnes for assisting with the accreditation of the athletes and manning the information table as well as processing the documents and forms for all of the delegations. Their work was professional, timely and most helpful to ensure that all of the lifters received their championship documents during the pre and post event gatherings. Great Job!
I would like to begin by thanking Mr. John Stephenson, Johnny Wiklund, Jack Marcus and George Bartotti who served as the technical committee for this championship and were absolutely flawless with their work. My compliments also go out to George Bartotti, Jack Marcus and Robert Wilks for their expert and professional handling of the doping control samples for the event. The Cologne Lab in Germany was used for the testing of all of the samples and is one, if not thee best testing laboratory in the world.
No championship is this successful without a creative, artistic, and inventive team to produce the webpage and logos, which produced the backdrop for the stage, t-shirts, medals, contest programs, etc. On this note, I would like to recognize both Ms Lea Foreman and Rick Fowler for their exceptional and truly creative work -- Lea in creating the webpage and Rick the logos. Lea -- I shall state for the record that you published and produced the finest and most detailed website ever created and published for any weightlifting or powerlifting World Championship to date. The same kudos goes out to Rick Fowler who produced some of the finest, if not thee best logos for a world championship, I have ever seen -- The anniversary logo especially.
I would to conclude this section by thanking Curt St. Romain for volunteering to assist with the IPF webcast, under the direction of Norbert Wallauch, which was beamed across the globe. Curt was thrilled to death to finally put his collegiate skills as a sports journalist to work. I am not exactly sure of the number of viewers, but at one juncture, I walked over to the Austrian film crew, and they related to me that as many as 10,000+ viewers were tuned in at one time to watch the lifting. More than they thought would dial in to the see the championship. So, a market is present, we just need to tap into it a little bit better than we have been doing as of late. On a final note, I would like to thank Gabriel Sorenson and his film crew for coming all of the way from California to perform interviews with all of the athletes for a movie that is being filmed, similar to that of Pumping Iron, but will star a lot of the powerlifting personalities across all spectrums of the sport. The release will take place sometime next fall and will have a substantial amount of footage and interviews from this championship.
The staff assembled was one of the best ever seen at any one championship held in the USA. Special thanks go out to Gaston Parage and Bill Slish for their very professional announcing of this event. This championship brought Bill Slish out of retirement. He is one of thee best announcers the sport has, and it was a pleasure to see him back with us once more. He announced at several major competitions that I have directed in the past, to include two  Men's Senior National Championships during the mid 90s. The announcers were ably assisted by Sandra Perron. As an automotive engineer by trade, Sandra is very precise and accurate with everything she handles and did a great job ensuring the score cards were in order at all times.
Not withstanding, I would also like to recognize Cathy Marksteiner and Eliot Feldman for their work as the platform marshals for this championship. I must point out that their professional, efficient and tireless efforts in this position were met with [many] compliments from the officials and members of the IPF that were in attendance at the championship -- Well done!
Alexander Kopayev and Joe Marksteiner handled the scoring manager responsibilities. Joe's program was used for the Pan-American Women's Championship and Alexander's for the Men's World Championship. They collaboratively worked together to produce timely and accurate results for the championship. Both programs are exceptional. Great Job! On a special note, I would like to thank Angela Simons for showing up and assisting wherever needed. She is another one of our star volunteers that is willing to assist whenever called upon. Overall, the championship staff team clicked quite well together and provided accurate and timely accounting to ensure that the proper results were tabulated.
The spotting and loading crew was absolutely phenomenal - This team consisted of the following volunteers: Don Wilson, Dan Ratchford, Jim Dundon, Julian Ulvang, James Chantler, Gary Grahn, and Jim Nicolosi. They were assisted by young stalwarts Dennis Snitches and Dwight Johnson. Canadian president Jeff Butt even jumped in for a session of squats - How about that for international cooperation. At all times, the spotting/loading team was lead by Dennis "Niko" Hulslander, who as a crew chief is the best in the world. Overall, their work produced not one spotter/loader error, and ensured the maximum safety for all of the lifters. When I acknowledged this group at the farewell banquet on Sunday evening, the team received a five  minute standing ovation from the member federations - A tribute of their brilliant work. Interestingly enough, this spotter/loader team has been invited to serve as the crew for next year's world championship in Stavanger, Norway. Several other federations have invited them to attend their regional and international championships as well -- A true sign of the appreciation of those member federations that attended this championship. Congratulations gentlemen!
I would like to thank Dr. Bernie Miller, Dr. Thomas Hyde, Dr. Scott Gillman, Dr. Chris Calvano, Dr. Mike Hartle and Cathy Marksteiner for their exceptional work as the best medical staff ever assembled for an IPF World Championship. Those athletes sustaining any injury were professionally cared for, in a timely and proficient manner by this team - They were awesome to say the least and were right there when needed. Cathy in her position as platform marshal and EMT background, served as out first responder for any mishaps that may have taken place on the platform, backed up my several chiropractors and one medical doctor.
A championship of this magnitude would absolutely not be successful if it were not for the kind and generous support of sponsors like the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, Titan Support Systems, Ivanko Barbell, ER Equipment, and Ultimate Nutrition. I would also like to recognize the generous and kind support of Inzer Advance Designs, House of Pain, Strong Arm Sports, Dr. Bernie Miller, The Fitness Station, APT Pro Wrist Straps, Purepowerlifting.com, Brown's Gym - Scranton, Pennsylvania, Garage Ink, World Gym of East Ft. Lauderdale, USA Bodybuilding.com, Ironville Sportswear, Ritter Printing, Fast Signs - Miami, Barload, and Quest Nutrition. Notably, I would like to thank Sherman Ledford of Quest Nutrition for supplying the flags to showcase the lifting stage, which gave it a true international flair.
Special thanks go out to former IPF World Champions Kirk Karwoski, James Henderson, and Ed Coan for attending this event, and supporting and spurring on the USA Team, and greeting the lifters and participants from around the world.
On a final note, I must again credit the success of this championship to the many committed, dedicated, and devoted volunteers and sponsors that took time to travel to Miami, on their own time and expense to ensure this championship was the success that it was. As such, USA Powerlifting will be forever grateful for your time and service to the organization.
To close, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a joyous holiday season. I look forward to seeing and working with everyone in 2006! Maybe we can all do it again in Philadelphia during 2009[?]
Sincere and kind regards,
35th IPF Men's World Powerlifting Championships
IPF Category I Referee
Member, IPF Technical Committee
Member, IPF Doping Commission
Interim Technical Chair - USA Powerlifting