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Experience the strength of new ice rink manager

Jason Starr

BRECKENRIDGE – Jenise Jensen learned to ski in Breckenridge as a child. She returns Monday to begin managing the town’s ice rink.

Breckenridge hired Jensen in July to replace Mike Swirka, who left the position in May. Jensen comes from Minnesota and from a long history in ice arena and parks and recreation management. She also has a background in hockey and figure skating.

Jensen will oversee the entire operation of the Stephen C. West Ice Arena, including the public skate programs, hockey leagues, figure skating and special events.

“They’re looking for some leadership and growth in the programs they’re currently offering,” she said from her Minnesota home, before making the drive to Colorado. “I’ll be helping the staff grow and develop some more diverse programming.”

She’ll work closely with assistant manager Kevin Zygulski, who runs the hockey leagues, and skating director Larisa Gendernalik, head of the figure skating programs.

“There’s a good staff in place, so I think it’s a great situation,” Jensen said. “I’m just really looking forward to it. It’s a beautiful facility and there’s a lot of potential there. Hopefully we’ll have a good team and move into the future.”

Most recently, Jensen worked for the city of Chaska, Minn., as assistant director of parks, recreation and art. Before that, she was the recreation coordinator for a multi-purpose rec center in St. Peters, Mo., that included two ice rinks. She also worked at the Salt Lake City Olympics as an assistant supervisor for the ice center’s media department.

Career highlights include being chosen the 1999 Ice Skating Institute Woman of the Year and the 2002 Ice Skating Institute National Merit Award winner. She is certified in USA Hockey as an associate level coach.

Throughout her career, Jensen kept one eye on Breckenridge, where she has returned for vacations over the years. When she heard about the arena manager opening at the Steve, she wasted little time applying.

“I’ve always kept my eye open in the area, because I love Colorado in general and Breckenridge in particular,” she said.

Jason Starr can be reached at (970) 668-3998 Ext. 231 or at jstarr@summitdaily.com.


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