USBC Welcomes Classes of 2021 and 2022
By Emil Williams Jr.
LAS VEGAS - The United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame added two classes of inductees Wednesday night when it held its second induction ceremony of the 2022 USBC Convention and Annual Meeting at The Orleans Hotel & Casino.
The 2021 class kicked off the night, as Sandra Jo Shiery of Coldwater, Michigan, and Mark Williams of Beaumont, Texas, were inducted in the Superior Performance category, while Barbara and Bill Chrisman of Pleasant View, Utah, were inducted for Meritorious Service.
The Chrismans were the seventh husband and wife overall to be inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame, but the first to be enshrined in the same year.
The 2022 class featured Tammy Turner of West Palm Beach, Florida, for Superior Performance, while Bo Goergen of Midland, Michigan, was inducted in the Outstanding USBC Performance category. Bill Allen of Orlando, Florida, and Roger Zeller of San Antonio were inducted posthumously in the Veterans and Meritorious Service categories, respectively.
The 2021 induction ceremony was pushed back to 2022, as the 2021 USBC Convention was held virtually. The 2020 USBC Hall of Fame class was inducted Tuesday night after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 Convention, along with all supporting activities and events.
Shiery, 57, is a nine-time Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour champion, which includes one major victory at the 1997 USBC Queens. She also had a runner-up finish at the Queens (1989) and three top-five performances at the U.S. Women's Open.
One additional win for Shiery in the PWBA spotlight came in 1989, when she won the South Bend Classic as a non-member.
At USBC's premier event for female members, the USBC Women's Championships, the Coldwater USBC and Michigan State USBC Hall of Famer collected eight top-10 finishes, including back-to-back third-place efforts in the team event in 1995 and 1996.
Prior to embarking on her successful professional career, Shiery spent a year on Team USA.
In 1987, she had the opportunity to represent the United States at the International Bowling Federation Super World Championships, where she earned gold medals in team and all-events and a bronze medal in trios. A Team USA woman would not win the all-events crown again until 2013.
"The three people I really wish could be here are my dad, my mom and my sister," said Shiery, while fighting back tears. "They were my biggest supporters. It all started when my dad bought a bowling alley when I was 4 years old. He was always one who told you to practice until you got it right. I can thank him now, because he made me the bowler I was and have the determination to be the best I could be."
Shiery's stint on Team USA also included a trip to the Lee Evans Tournament of the Americas, which resulted in a five-medal performance - three gold (mixed team, all-events, national all-events) and two bronze (singles, doubles).
After her pro career ended, Shiery found success leading the next generation of stars as the coach of the Coldwater High School girls bowling team, which she helped to three consecutive state championships from 2005-2007.
Shiery's son, Alec Keplinger, helped the Wichita State men's team win the 2021 Intercollegiate Team Championships, is the 2019 Junior Gold Championships winner in the U20 division and a current member of Junior Team USA.
Williams, 64, is a Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer (1999), owns seven PBA Tour titles, including three majors - the PBA Tournament of Champions (1985 and 1988) and the PBA Touring Players Championship (1986). He also has logged a runner-up finish at the USBC Masters and two top-10 finishes at the U.S. Open.
His presence in the PBA spans more than four decades, and his success also includes three PBA50 Tour titles, with the most recent being the 2010 Senior U.S. Open.
In 2018, Williams celebrated turning 60 with a second-place finish at the Super Senior Classic. A year later, he picked up his first PBA60 title. He also owns nearly two dozen wins in PBA/PBA50 regional competition.
"I spent about three or four years on tour really not doing good at all," Williams said. "It finally dawned on me one day, 'you need some help, you need a coach.' And, I've had two of the greatest coaches in the history of bowling help me along the way ... Fred Borden and Bill Spigner. Thank you for all you've done."
Over more than three decades, Bill Chrisman, 72, and Barbara Chrisman, 70, have used their positions and success as co-founders of Storm Products, Inc., one of bowling's premier manufacturers, to have an immeasurable impact in the sport beyond just the production of balls, bags, shoes and accessories for Storm, Roto Grip and now 900 Global.
Together, the two have supported bowling, particularly women's bowling, through sponsorships of countless bowlers and bowling tournaments across the globe, including the USBC Senior Queens, National Golden Ladies Classic and PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles.
Storm Bowling also has sponsored numerous youth and other events, but supporting the tournaments for women has been a major part of Barbara's mission, as she always has been supportive of women's bowling as a competitor and a fan. She was the keynote speaker at the 2016 Singapore Women's International Coaching Symposium.
As a member of the USBC Board of Directors from 2005-2011, Barbara Chrisman served on the Financial Committee and Legal and Legislative Committee. She also helped establish the Diversity Committee.
"As someone who has bowled recreationally and in organized competitions since I was 11, it is indeed a privilege to be inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame," Barbara Chrisman said. "This is crazy. I can't believe I'm standing up here, where I watched so many of our great leaders and superior bowlers go before me. What a great group I'm included in."
Before the Storm brand came to be in 1991, along with the company's first bowling balls, Bill Chrisman's High Score Products was in its sixth year as a one-product company, producing U Clean/U Score Urethane Bowling Ball Cleaner.
Under his leadership, Storm has been a leading innovator, introducing such things as bowling balls with distinctive fragrances.
Individually, Bill Chrisman also has served the sport at the association level, spending time as a director on the Ogden (Utah) Bowling Association Board from 1981-1989. He was inducted into the association's hall of fame for superior performance in 1994 and was inducted into the Utah State USBC Hall of Fame in 2005 for meritorious service.
His efforts and determination earned him special recognition from USBC in 2014 - the Joyce Deitch Unity Award - given to individuals who have made important contributions to bowling as motivators, visionaries, leaders and innovators.
"If you work with Storm, you're committed to trying to make the sport of bowling a better sport, and the act of bowling more fun," Bill Chrisman said. "We make bowling balls so people can have more fun, enjoy the sport more and try to recruit more bowlers as much as we can. That's what everybody at Storm is about, and that's what we try to instill into everybody. And, if you don't feel that way at Storm, you're not there for very long."
But, as much as bowling has benefitted from their individual dedication, the Chrismans likely will be remembered for their collective contributions and the role their company has played in the future of the sport.
As a team, the Chrismans have received numerous honors from the bowling industry, including the 2016 International Bowling Media Association Alberta E. Crowe Meritorious Service Award, 2014 Billiard and Bowling Institute of America's Industry Service Award in recognition of their contribution to the promotion of the sport, 2003 William Landgraf Memorial Award for Distinguished Service and the 2013 John Davis Memorial Award.
They also have made numerous charitable contributions, including donating to Susan G. Komen Bowl for the Cure, BPAA Hall of Fame Xtravaganza, International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame and Weber State University.
Turner, 51, excelled collegiately with West Texas A&M, internationally with Team USA and then on the PWBA Tour during the 1990s, before back surgery late in the decade derailed her professional career.
She was the 1994 PWBA Rookie of the Year and went on to earn four PWBA Tour titles in her first three seasons, including a pair of victories in 1996.
Though she left the tour for good in 2002, she remained in the national spotlight as a regular participant at the USBC Women's Championships, where she collected more than a dozen top-10 finishes and two Classic Team titles through 2013.
With the PWBA Tour on hiatus from 2003-2014, competitive opportunities for women were limited, but Turner capitalized on one in 2009, when she burst back onto the sport's top tier with a win at the 2009 U.S. Women's Open for her first major title.
She was the runner-up at the U.S. Women's Open in 1998 and finished second at the USBC Queens in 1996.
"I was born with a congenital heart defect that restricted me from playing some organized sports in middle school and high school," said Turner, when describing her start in the sport. "I've heard many people say I have natural talent, but there wasn't anything natural about how I started in bowling. Due to this congenital heart defect, my heart problem was a liability, but one of the sports I could play was bowling. I was determined at that point to prove them all wrong. I could be a good athlete, and I was determined to be the best I could be and be a great bowler."
Goergen, a 61-year-old right-hander and current USBC Board member, is a two-time champion at the USBC Open Championships.
He won the 2009 Regular Singles title with a record score of 862, which included games of 299, 299 and 264 and still is the highest series ever rolled in Open Championships competition.
Goergen returned to the tournament lanes in 2010 as a defending champion, and though he was not able to repeat in singles, he posted a 2,031 all-events total and helped Northern Lanes Pro Shop of Sanford, Michigan, to the Team All-Events title with a 10,284 total.
In 42 years on the tournament lanes, Goergen has maintained a 205 average and collected five additional top-10 finishes. He also earned a pair of titles at the 2015 Bowlers Journal Championships.
"I've had a great career with 42 years at the Open Championships," Goergen said. "I want my son to experience the same thing. This month, when we come back to Las Vegas, I'm bowling with my son, my brother, my nephew and my first cousin, because we're going to bowl as a family from now on. Bowling is a family. I appreciate all of you who have supported me in this journey. I didn't think I really deserved this award, but every one of you who congratulated me told me I do belong here. Now, I'm going to be a part of the USBC Hall of Fame family."
Allen was a 13-time PBA Tour champion, with all of those wins coming between 1963 and 1968. During the same time frame, he collected three top-10 finishes at the U.S. Open.
He was a regular on the USBC and Bowlers Journal All-America teams in the 1960s and claimed seven top-10 finishes at the Open Championships between 1966 and 1976.
Allen was inducted into the Florida State USBC Hall of Fame in 1970, the Orlando USBC Hall of Fame in 1982, the PBA Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Central Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.
Allen's brother, Paul, accepted the award posthumously on behalf of Bill, who died in 1992.
"We moved to Orlando, Florida, and Bill got bit by a bowling ball," Paul Allen said. "He was so excited about bowling, and he got very, very good. I don't really know how you get on the PBA, but he got on the PBA. He struggled for a while, but when life gets tough, the tough get going. He got to the end of his rope, but he tied a great, big knot and hung on. Bill is now in forever, and I thank you very much."
Zeller helped leave his mark on the sport as the owner, president and chief executive officer of Columbia Industries, which he purchased in 1960. He initially focused on the creation and distribution of plastic and polyester bowling balls.
After selling the company in 1964, the decorated military veteran bought it back in 1967, serving as the majority owner for approximately 30 years.
As the sport hit its highest participation points in the 1970s and 1980s, Columbia 300 produced more than 5,000 bowling balls a day, and the company sold more than 1 million bowling balls for the first time in 1976. Through the 1990s, Columbia was the largest manufacturer of bowling balls and even produced balls for AMF and Track.
Connie Smoot, Zeller's long-time friend and colleague, was there to accept the award for him. Zeller died in 1997.
"He would be very, very proud to be inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame," Smoot said. "Mr. Zeller was the kind of employer who knew the name of every man in the factory and every woman in the factory. He would give all the credit to his employees and not want to take any for himself. He was always in the background and never in front. I think his experiences made him a powerful, dynamic, fearless leader, and that's what he brought to Columbia 300."
Columbia 300 served as the title sponsor for many professional events on both the men's and women's tours over the years, and Zeller was elected to the PBA Hall of Fame for meritorious service in 1995.
Zeller also spent time as a proprietor, served as a National Bowling Council board member and as trustee for the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame.
He was inducted into the San Antonio Bowling Council Hall of Fame in 1977 and received the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America Industry Service Award in 1988.
Zeller established the John Jowdy Scholarship Fund and created the Roger L. and Laura D. Zeller Charitable Foundation, which funded a wing of the Cancer Therapy & Research Center in San Antonio.
Including the 2021 and 2022 classes, there are 446 members of the USBC Hall of Fame - 228 in Superior Performance, 125 in Meritorious Service, 53 in Veterans, 22 in Pioneer and 18 in Outstanding USBC Performance.
The USBC Hall of Fame was created in 2005 by merging the former American Bowling Congress and Women's International Bowling Congress Halls of Fame.
Visit BOWL.com/HallofFame for more information on the USBC Hall of Fame.