Lagina Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association (TCLA), has been elected to serve as the American President for the international Can-Am Police-Fire Games Federation Board, becoming the first-ever female president of this international committee.
The Can-Am (Canadian-American) Police-Fire Games is an Olympic-style sporting event featuring nearly 50 different individual and team-based competitive categories including CrossFit, golf, swimming, track and field, trap shooting, archery, cycling, fishing, shooting, sporting clays, swimming, “Toughest Competitor Alive” and many more. The Can-Am Games started in 1977 to promote physical fitness and camaraderie among law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical services (EMS), protective services personnel and related agencies. The Games take place every other year and are hosted by different communities in the United States or Canada.
Fitzpatrick first became involved with the Can-Am Games through her role of coordinating sports tourism marketing for the Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association and the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau. Fitzpatrick spearheaded the Lake of the Ozarks Can-Am Games Planning Committee, which was responsible for presenting the Lake of the Ozarks, which has been voted the “Best Recreational Lake in Nation” and “Best Lake for Water Sports in the Nation” by readers of USA Today, as an ideal host for the semi-annual Can-Am Games.
As a result of Fitzpatrick’s and the Planning Committee’s efforts, the Lake of the Ozarks was named the host of the 2018 and 2020 Can-Am Games — the first time in the Can-Am Games history that a destination was awarded back-to-back Games. In January 2023, Fitzpatrick became the first-ever Can-Am board member from the tourism industry and only the second-ever woman to serve on Can-Am’s board of directors.
Fitzpatrick has the distinct honor of not only becoming the first-ever tourism industry professional to serve on the Can-Am Board of Directors last year, but now also has the honor of being the first female president in the organization’s 45-plus-year history.
“I am thrilled to be appointed as the first tourism industry professional in the role of U.S. President for the Can-Am Police-Fire Games Federation Board,” says Fitzpatrick.
“When I was first nominated by my peers, it did not dawn on me that I would be breaking a barrier. To be the first female to serve in this role for an organization that has been around for more than 45 years is a tremendous honor and one I do not take lightly,” Fitzpatrick says. “I look forward to working with my fellow board members to take the Can-Am Games to the next level.”
According to the Can-Am Federation CEO William Merrylees, as Can-Am U.S. President, Fitzpatrick will bring a fresh and valuable perspective to the Federation Board.
“When I worked with Lagina during the 2018 Can-Am Police-Fire Games at Central Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, I was very impressed with her work ethic and how she connected the event to the community,” Merrylees says. “As the first female U.S. President on our Board of Directors, I know that she will bring that same skill set to connect our future host cities with our competitors. As the CEO, I will lean on her experience and the lens on how she sees things. Her opinion will be greatly valued. Simply put, she is a good person, a team player and has a tremendous amount of integrity. Welcome to the team, Lagina!” Merrylee concludes.
Outgoing Can-Am U.S. President, Lynn Hillman has this to say about Fitzpatrick after stepping down from the Board of Directors following 35 years of service: “Lagina’s commitment to the mission of the Can-Am Police-Fire Games, and her role as the primary leader in hosting the 2018 Games at the Lake of the Ozarks, made Lagina the perfect choice for the Can-Am U.S. President.”
Fitzpatrick has more than 37 years of experience working in the Lake of the Ozarks tourism and hospitality industry and has been routinely recognized by her peers for her dedication, passion and professionalism.
Fitzpatrick’s term as Can-Am U.S. President for the board of directors began January 1, 2024.
For more information on the Can-Am Police-Fire Games, visit www.CanAmPoliceFireGames.org.
Additional details on the Lake of the Ozarks, including year-round events, activities, attractions, dining and lodging, can be found at www.FunLake.com.