With a career in St. Paul Parks and Recreation that spans more than three decades, Mike Hahm is no stranger to the value of service. Hahm retired in February 2022 from his position as the St. Paul Parks and Recreation director, but his passion for serving Minnesota communities will continue to influence the state in his newly appointed position as the Chair to the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission (MASC). Prior to being appointed Chair by Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, Hahm chaired the Mighty Ducks Grant Committee and served as a general member of the commission for 12 years.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Hahm and chat about what he’s looking forward to as he steps into his new role.
As director of one of the best public park systems in the country, Hahm worked on various projects involving community input and governmental partnerships, such as the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory and the construction of CHS field, home to the minor league St. Paul Saints baseball team. “There was a long community process and vision for what we could do to support [the development of CHS Field], but also what we could do to bring people to downtown St. Paul,” Hahm added.
Hahm noted that the shift from his previous role to his current position feels natural: “Local service delivery and local government- we’re in the business of providing direct services. If we don’t do it, there’s nobody else we can pass the buck to…If you transition that to what attracts me to working with the MASC and the National Sports Center, that’s our mission too. It’s like, what can we do to provide the best service and the best value we can to the residents and visitors to the state of Minnesota, how can we do it in the best possible way and the best possible value, and with that type of focus and leadership, I found it really rewarding and easy to lead.”
As a life-long sports fan, Hahm is a familiar face at the National Sports Center. From cheering on teams at Target USA CUP to regularly volunteering at state high school ultimate frisbee tournaments, amateur sports have made a large impact on him and his family. “To be associated with [the National Sports Center], I mean it’s great fun, and something that’s attractive to me… It’s a great opportunity to contribute to the region and the state of Minnesota and do something that is literally at the best of class for the entire industry.”
Hahm has seen success outside of the recreation industry as well, with a TikTok tutorial on how to cook a pizza on a grill earning more than 530,800 views. “I will say, I personally am very proud that I can say I have a TikTok video that has a half a million views,” he said, chuckling.
Best of luck in the new role, Mike! We’re excited to work on the world of Minnesota amateur sports with you.
About the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission:
The Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission supports amateur sports associations in the state and promotes amateur sporting events. The commission’s work includes governing the National Sports Center, creating amateur sporting events, and fostering partnerships between public, private, state, and local organizations.