Ivey works as director at Buffalo Springs Lake

Mike IveyMike Ivey knows a thing or two about coordinating.

Ivey, a 2001 Frenship High School graduate, was released from the Army in January and became the marketing and promotions director for Buffalo Springs Lake in March.

“I would say what helps me out the most is me being an NCO (non-commissioned officer) in the military and having to coordinate training exercises and events like that helped me out with doing a lot of this,” said Ivey. “When you’re in charge of about six soldiers, you have to plan out all their training for a week, so that’s kind of helped me out a little bit.”

He came in contact with Greg Thornton, general manager for the lake, through an interest in disc golf.

“I started playing disc golf a lot while I was in the service,” he said. “I built a disc golf course out at Buffalo Springs Lake, and then after that the marketing director that was here left and Greg offered me the job.”

Ivey started building the course in February and finished in April.

After graduating from Frenship, he moved to Austin and enlisted in the Army in 2003.  From there he went to Germany and was deployed to Iraq, where he spent 15 months in Samarra.

Mike Ivey

Age: 25
High School: graduated from Frenship High School, 2001
Favorite restaurant: Krusty Crab Marina
Occupation: Marketing Director, Buffalo Springs Lake

“After that, I came back stateside to Fort Knox where I was made rank of sergeant,” he said. “Then I went out to Fort Louis in Washington, spent a year and a half there, was released from the military and came back home.”

At Fort Knox, Ivey developed managing skills by training lieutenants to become tank commanders. He had a job offer in Washington with Boeing, but decided to return to West Texas.

“My family is from here,” he said. “I was going to stay in Washington, but when I got out, my mom talked me into coming back home.”

The first event he directed was the Buffalo Wing Cook-Off.  The next event on Ivey’s schedule is the “Thunder in the Canyon” Father’s Day Drag Boat Race.

“It’s going to be biggest drag boat race to start out the season,” he said. “The one at Waco got rained out, so if everything coordinates well and the weather’s right, we’ll have the first (fully-operated) race of the season.”

With 10,000 people in attendance last year, Ivey said he hopes to double the attendance.

“We’re accommodating for 20,000,” he said. “We had 70 teams last year. This year we’re looking to bring in about 130.”

So far, Ivey said the most difficult task he has faced is the race, but is always ready for a challenge. This is the second year for the races and the first time for Ivey to direct the event.

“Last year I wasn’t around. It’s been a bit of a challenge, but I like having a challenge,” said Ivey. “I work late hours, but it’s all worth it in the end.”

Ivey said he enjoys his job because of the people he meets and the preparation he does.

“You get to meet a lot of new people,” he said. “You get to be behind the scenes at all the events and everything that goes on. You get to see that, and it’s just fun to do.”

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