Mr. DiCristina began his first ventures in 1955 when he built and operated "Cristina's Italian Foods" located in Chicago. Frank was a professional drummer who played with renowned bands for weddings and parties on the weekends while his wife Ruby managed the store. In 1975 Frank found a new love, the love of Hockey, which was sparked by his son Frank Jr. On January 1st, 1975 Frank purchased "Southwest Ice Arena". Frank Sr. promoted amateur hockey players by creating the "American Hockey Professional Camp". Franks goal was to recruit local talented players and place them in the spot light of NHL scouts. The Chicago Selects and Chicago Cardinals are two organizations that Frank Sr. has been President. In 2008 Frank became inducted into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame.
There have been many changes since Frank DiCristina became involved in amateur hockey in 1975. Hockey clubs, ice rinks, coaches and players have come and gone, yet, over the test of time, Frank DiCristina and Southwest Ice Arena have persevered. Frank Sr. has exhibited his dedication and unending love for the game of hockey of which his record speaks.
Frank was a young (11 year old) hockey player when his father purchased Southwest Ice Arena in 1975. In 1983 Frank retired from hockey and joined his father in the ice rink business. His passion for hockey, as well as his parents guidance, inspired him to become a successful ice rink operator. In 2008 Frank Sr. retired and Frank used the experience, and coaching from his father, to continue the excellence that Southwest Ice Arena represents. Today Southwest Ice Arena offers the opportunity for boys and girls to experience the opportunity to ice skate, either as a figure skater or a hockey player.
Rick has been employed at Southwest Ice Arena since 1982, in 1997 he was promoted to General Manager. Rick has been involved in the hockey world long before being employed at SIA. He started playing hockey at age 10 with the St Jude Knights Hockey Club then with DeLaSalle High School. Rick and his wife Chrissy have 2 sons Ricky and Tony. His sons have carried on the hockey tradition for their family.
Paula (Hase) Bowsman has been teaching figure skating for 25 years, of which 22 years have been at Southwest Ice Arena. At age 7 she enrolled at SIA's Learn to Skate program, and has been skating ever since! She went on to enjoy a successful competitive skating career. Some of her accomplishments include:
Paula is a USFS, PSA and ISI member, and currently resides in Frankfort, IL with her husband and two children.
Brandon came up playing hockey at the Homewood-Flossmoor hockey organization. He went on to play hockey at Bradley University where he had the opportunity to practice with the Peoria Riverman. In 1993 Brandon began coaching at the house and travel levels. In 1997, shortly after being employed by SIA, he was an assistant coach for the Marist JV team that won the State Championship. Brandon has worked for the Chicago Fury as well as the St. Jude Knights Hockey Club as a Power Skating instructor. Currently Brandon is developing young hockey players for SIA as well as providing private instruction.
Sue has been with Southwest Ice Arena as Office Manager since 2009. She has also been a member of the St. Jude Knights Hockey Club Board of Directors since 2000.
Lynn has been in the Hospitality Industry for the past 30 years. Originally from South Carolina she moved to Chicago in 1999. Lynn specializes in coordinating events such as birthday ice skating parties, corporate events, weddings and showers. Lynn can customize any event to meet our guests wishes.
Glen graduated from Oak Forest High School in 1986. After high school he joined the army and was stationed in Fort Benning Georgia. Glen is an outdoors-men who likes hunting, fishing, canoeing and camping. He has been a manager here at SIA since 2003.
Osadolo (Ozzi) Irowa