If you happened to see Mike Tatko around Harris Field at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston during the annual Avista NAIA World Series last month, there’s a chance he was doing more than just representing Avista.
While Avista has been the title sponsor of the baseball tournament for NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) schools for 20 consecutive years, Mike, who is a Regional Business Manager for Avista, has been involved in various aspects of the event since its inception. In fact, 2019 marked the 28th year overall that Lewis-Clark State College has hosted the tournament, and Mike has been a part of all of them.
When the tournament was first held in Lewiston in 1984, Mike was a sportswriter for the local newspaper. From the time the event returned to Lewiston in 2000, he has served as media coordinator, as an honorary coach and representative of Regence BlueShield of Idaho and as part of the KOZE Radio broadcast team (of which he’s been a part since 1999).
When Mike began working for Avista in 2011, he became the company’s representative at the tournament. He also serves as the Master of Ceremonies at the pre-tournament banquet.
“I’ve seen the tournament up close, from many angles, and two things continually stick out,” said Mike. “First, the Lewis-Clark Valley’s commitment to the event through volunteerism is simply amazing. Second, the economic impact of the tournament on the communities of Lewiston and Clarkston is beyond impressive!”
Tournament director Brooke Henze, who is also the director of athletics at Lewis-Clark State College, estimates the economic impact to be near $750,000 per year. Her formula includes dollars spent on hotel stays, restaurants, tour activities and concession and apparel sales at the tournament.
The Avista NAIA World Series returns to the Lewis-Clark Valley on May 23, 2020. Play Ball!