John Benko, who received his education in Rochester, N.Y., at the McQuaid Jesuit High School and the Rochester Institute of Technology, began in bowling in 1967 as an hourly employee at Olympic Bowl in Rochester. In 1972, the Brunswick Corporation acquired Olympic Bowl and John joined Brunswick as an assistant manager and he later managed three centers.Back to Hall of Fame
As a manager, John produced and emceed a weekly youth bowling television program in upstate New York. He developed many tournaments, and in 1975 his center developed a late-night promotion combining music, prizes and a disc jockey, which is considered by many to be the prototype for the popular "Rock 'n Bowl" promotion run in many centers today.
In 1977, John was appointed district manager of Brunswick's Northern New Jersey-New York Metro District. There he supervised nine centers and was active in the development of a joint media program with local proprietors.
In 1980, John left Brunswick and joined General Bowling Corporation, which operates nine centers including Alexandria and Annandale. As vice president, John has worked in other regions attempting to organize proprietors into the Bowling Proprietors Association of America. Locally, he has been active with the Metropolitan Washington Bowling Proprietors Association, most recently serving as chairman of the MWBPA Promotion Committee. Under his direction, the MWBPA has attempted to improve its promotion program by changing some of its tournaments and by sponsoring new events.
John has worked with the local associations and tournament directors, and through his openness and cooperation, he has shown tournament operators how to work with proprietors and thus improve service. Since 1982, his centers have hosted several state and national tournaments, including the prestigious Avco National Family Tournament this past August and private events such as the National Blind Bowlers Tournament. John's centers also have been successful in raising funds for the Bowlers Victory Legion (BVL), bowling's official charity, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
John Benko's dedication to service and his sincere concern for the bowler make him a most deserving inductee into the Nation's Capital Area Bowling Association Hall of Fame.