John Harmata – Ask Mr. Edge
John Harmata, aka Mr. Edge, was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. After attending a technical trade school for medical technology, John worked in microbiology while attending college, where he eventually received a degree and certification in X-ray technology.
While serving his internship in radiology, someone in the skating industry that knew John’s background and medical training encouraged him to consider entering the business. This individual would eventually train him in the basics of running a small business in fitting boots, mountings, and blade sharpening. After that, it would be up to John to determine his own future in the industry.
Using His Experience for the Future
As an X-ray technologist working in the emergency room, surgery department, and in individual units using a portable machine, John learned easier, more effective ways of doing things. Applying his medical training to his business practices, John discovered that indeed there truly was an easier, more accurate way to fit boots, mount blades, and sharpen them.
By applying knowledge learned from his skeletal anatomy courses, John quickly made the connection in understanding the importance of properly preparing the boots for mounting, and as a result, he saw a decline in the need for remounting blades. John also detected a decline in many other problems apparently related to bad mountings and fittings. In order to prove his findings were indeed correct, John quickly applied Newton’s Third Law of Motion—for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
By using this principle John was quickly able to observe the effects of force from the interaction of 2 objects—the boot and the foot. After several months of trial and error, John had finally developed an accurate system for fitting figure skates, blade mountings, and sharpening. These new techniques John had developed for himself resulted in an overall improvement for the skater and a reduction in skating injuries.
Taking the Next Step
While attending numerous skating competitions and trade shows, including World’s in 1987, it became apparent to John that something could and should be done to reduce the amount of injuries figure skaters are prone to. In the years that followed, John had perfected his fitting technique and began submitting suggestions to boot manufacturers on ways to improve the overall fit and comfort of their boots.
In the fall of 2000, John had approached the PSA (Professional Skaters Association) about establishing a training and certification program for skate technicians. In fall of 2001, a member of USFS heard about his work and asked John if he would be interested in contributing some articles to Skating magazine, and as they say, “the rest is history” for since that time John has been writing the “Ask Mr. Edge” column.
Learn more about preventing figure skating injuries by contacting me at:
Phone: (630) 852-2101
Mark Quitter – FigureMeOut
Mark has been actively involved in the ice skating industry for over 35 years. He began playing hockey at the age of 7 joining the Huskies Hockey organization in Downers Grove Illinois. In high school Mark played for the Downers Grove North Trojans, winning the Illinois High School Hockey League Championship in 1988. Mark played Division 3 hockey while attending College of DuPage.
Mark’s pro shop experience began at the age of 16 when he began working for Tom’s Sport located in Downers Grove Illinois. Tom’s Sport specialized in ice skating equipment both for Ice hockey and figure skating. By age 18 Mark was a full time employee and assistant manager. After 10 years of working at Tom’s Sports, Mark decided to make a move to the newly opened Darien Sportsplex Ice Arena located in Darien Illinois, where he was hired as the assistant pro-shop manager. It was while working at Darien where Mark first met up with Mr. Edge; who was there servicing figure skaters. Often times Mr. Edge would ask Mark to assist him. It was at this time that Mark became interested in servicing figure skaters and regularly worked with Mr. Edge, learning about fitting and sharpening figure skates. After leaving Darien, Mark moved over to Arctic Ice Arena located in Orland Park Illinois, where again he began working with Mr. Edge servicing skaters there.
A downturn in the skating industry caused Mark to take a job at Mancari’s Chrysler/Jeep in Oak Lawn, IL for the next 3 ½ years. While at Mancari’s Mark was put through intensive sales training and learned firsthand about sales and customer service.
Following another downturn in the economy Mark returned to the ice skating industry by joining Geppetto’s Skate Shop as a full time employee, fitting anywhere from beginner skaters to high competitive skaters. Geppetto’s Skate Shop located in Downers Grove Illinois has been servicing figure skaters for over 35 years. What better way to spread my knowledge of ice skating than through an experienced store.
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