Editor’s Note: Beyond the cancellation of the annual week-long celebration of the sport in Las Vegas–a.k.a. Team Dart–the induction ceremonies for the pair in this year’s ‘Class of 2020’ NDA Hall of Fame (HOF) were also scrubbed. While this special occasion will be marked at a future time and place, today’s profile focuses on the newest members of the NDA HOF…
NDA Past President Maggie Jones of Blackhawk Amusements, Sterling, IL, and long-time manufacturer supporter Stan Borup of High Country Promotions, Fort Collins, CO, are the 29th and 30th members of the organization’s prestigious Hall of Fame. Scheduled to be inducted on Tuesday, April 7, during Team Dart, the ceremonies, like the tournament itself, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Since its inception in 2006, NDA’s Hall of Fame Committee has voted in two persons each year.
Maggie joined Blackhawk—and entered the coin-op business—in fall 1996 as a route collector. About five years later, when the company’s dart league coordinator left the company, she was tapped to fill the position and she has been at it ever since. Maggie gives credit to her brother Dave, manager of Blackhawk at the time, who taught her the industry for over 23 years.
It wasn’t long into her tenure that Maggie was recruited to assist in running the Illinois state dart and pool tournaments and soon after, when NDA was seeking potential board members, one of her company’s owners told Maggie that her name was being placed into nomination.
“Since being elected to the board, it’s like I joined this family of professional and personal friends,” Maggie said. Like her mentors—NDA Past Presidents Dawn Orloff-Niesen and Chris Warren and former Executive Director Leslie Murphy—all NDA Hall of Fame members—Maggie became a fixture as a volunteer at Team Dart and increasingly active in the association’s leadership.
In 2011, she was elected the 22nd President of AMOA-National Dart Association (NDA). During her term that year, she represented the association at the European Dart Federation championships in Spain and Team Dart started its seven-year run at Bally’s Las Vegas.
Raised and still residing in the Sauk Valley area, Maggie has a daughter, son in law and two grandsons.
Despite ongoing industry challenges, Maggie is confident about the future of dart leagues and NDA. And in the aftermath of her election to the organization’s prestigious Hall of Fame, she feels “very humbled and blessed to be a recipient of such an honor.”
The second inductee into the NDA “Class of 2020” Hall of Fame is Stan Borup of High Country Promotions, Fort Collins, CO. Unlike most other HOF recipients, he is a “behind the scenes” guy, responsible for delivering, setting up, maintaining, tearing down and returning Team Dart boards furnished by Loewen Entertainment.
For as long as anyone can remember, Stan has been a fixture at Team Dart, going about his business without much fuss or fanfare. If anyone ever fit the definition of “Ironman” in the dart world, it would be him. At 75, he doesn’t move as fast or as much as he did in the past, but his strength, stamina and work ethic are legendary in the dart tournament community.
The son of an engineer who worked for the Bureau of Reclamation in the U.S. Navy, Stan moved all over as a kid, with stopovers in places like Cuba, Alaska, Hawaii and New Jersey. When he started his career, he worked in construction until the late Gary Benson of High Country Amusements asked Stan if he would be interested in driving a truck and delivering 20 pool tables for an event. As the company’s dart business expanded, Stan became a familiar face at state dart tournaments around the country, in addition to NDA’s Team Dart.
Stan credits NDA with having “the best help” at its tournaments, citing Tournament Chair Dawn Orloff-Niesen and husband Tim, as well as John Bunn and Whitey Tolliver as long-time supporters at Team Dart.
In typical modest fashion, Stan says he was “astonished” to learn that he had been elected into the NDA Hall of Fame. “It’s the highest honor I’ve received,” he said.
While the induction ceremony is yet one more special occasion that has been disrupted–and placed on hold–by the pandemic, it doesn’t detract from the swell of excitement and pride NDA feels about welcoming Maggie and Stan into its Hall of Fame.
“Both of this year’s inductees have made contributions to our organization, events and sport that epitomize the very best of who we are and what we do. They have impressed and inspired many along the way, and NDA is delighted to honor them for their outstanding, long-time efforts,” said Jack Kelleher, executive director of the AMOA-NDA.
Published April 24, 2020
Congratulations, Maggie and Stan!