NEW ULM — This time last year, Rachel Ludewig hosted a New Ulm Steel hockey player.
This then morphed into her doing social media for Steel’s website in early February.
A year later, Ludewig is the Tier III hockey team’s first full-time business manager. She was hired on July 1 by new owner Kelly Kasik.
“I didn’t expect this when I was a foster family [host family] I would do that but I love it. I love every minute of it,” she said.
When she first joined the Steel, Steel coach/general manager Zach Stepan helped her adjust to her growing role.
“He took his time to show me the operations and everything I needed to do to be successful in this job”, she said. “He trusted me to use my discretion on what I thought was best for the process of getting things done for this season.”
And it was a learning process from the start, as she discovered the inner workings of an NA3HL organization.
“There has been a lot of learning about how to deal with foster families – parents, children, players – and how to make things run smoothly. We had to start the players for the season. I also learn the financial end of things – everything for the backend of the league – that the coach doesn’t have to deal with.
She said she also heard about the NA3HL as a whole.
“I didn’t know much about the league before I started but I’m learning more and more every day” she said. “It’s always something new, it’s a challenge but I’m ready to take it on.
“I love being at the Civic Center every day and being with all the players and the coaches. Kelly is really great.
Ludewig said the Steel emphasizes community involvement for its players.
“And we want to have a plan laid out for every home game every day. I really want to highlight the organization and the community involvement. Community involvement is very important. We want to retain and grow the fan base we have – we want more people to be excited to come to our games. We want our players to know the community and our community to know our players.
Ludewig said this season they want to bring in food trucks before certain games and get as many sponsor nights as possible.
“We will have new light shows and new music – all new. We don’t just want to play hockey, but provide entertainment for the whole community. »