Eric Engelbarts has been named the executive director of the Happy Valley Sports & Entertainment Alliance in State College, Pennsylvania, and will start his new role on April 29 after a decade-plus as the executive director of the Michigan Sports Alliance, where he created and grew the State Games of Michigan.
“The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, search committee and the Centre County community at large have been very welcoming to me and my family throughout the hiring process,” Engelbarts said. “I look forward to leading the Happy Valley Sports & Entertainment Alliance in bringing visitors to the area to boost the local economy through sports and entertainment tourism.”
Engelbarts also has served in key roles at the Alabama Sports Festival, West Michigan Sports Commission and the National Congress of State Games.
“An excellent pool of talent expressed interest in the executive director position,” said HVSEA Board Chair William Oldsey, Penn State University trustee emeritus. “Eric emerged as the best of the best. We are very fortunate to have him leading the Happy Valley Sports & Entertainment Alliance team.”
The bureau will operate in State College as a parallel, 501(c)3 nonprofit with a separate board that will govern activity, with Happy Valley Adventure Bureau staff supporting the Alliance’s work.
“Eric’s hiring is an exciting development for the Alliance, and for all of those who embraced the vision of what creating the HVSEA could mean for Centre County and the area,” said HVAB President and Chief Executive Officer Fritz Smith. “We look forward to working with Eric and the HVSEA Board as they work to capitalize on the tremendous opportunity we see for Happy Valley to grow into a sought-after destination for marquee events and tournaments.”