The Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) and Canadian Association for the Advancement of Amateur Women’s Hockey (C.A.A.A.W.H.) is governed by an independent Board of Directors and Governors elected each year at our Annual General Meeting. The Governance Structure is structured to best reflect the integrated strategic planning process and is made up of Directors (who serve as voting members, from business, sport, government and the communities we serve) and are led by an Executive body (appointed from within the Board).
The CWHL Commissioner is the League’s most Senior Position serving as Advisor to the Board and Governors and does not hold voting privileges. The Board of Directors helps guide the CWHL through strategic and financial planning. The Board of Directors meets on a regular Governance Cycle highlighted with the Annual General Meeting held following the close of each season.
A complete listing of our current Governance Model’s Board of Directors and Governors is as follows:
Chair of the Board
Laurel is a senior strategic and innovative professional with close to 20 years of experience serving the sports, health & fitness, and consumer goods industries. Laurel’s experience included roles at Ryerson University, Fitneff Inc., the National Hockey League, Molson Coors Canada and the National Football League.
Laurel serves on George Brown College’s, Fitneff Inc.’s, The Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) and the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre Board of Directors. Laurel is a graduate of Western University, has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Sport and Event Marketing from George Brown College, a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s Smith School of Business and holds a Certification of Achievement in the Chinese Global Business Economy from Chinese European International Business School (CEIBS), Shanghai, China.
Laurel is a proud SheEO Activator.
An alumna of the Brampton Thunder and the York University Lions, Allyson is currently an associate at Rubenstein Siegel in North York/Toronto, specializing in Civil and Commercial Litigation, and has been practising law since 2002. During her playing days. She was part of the CWHL's co-founding group and has also served as a CWHL Board Secretary and Player Director on the Board. Her sports background also includes time as a soccer player and experience playing for multiple national championships on the ice and on the pitch.
Allyson was inducted into the York University Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
A former member of the US Women’s National Team and the CWHL’s Brampton Thunder, Kathleen is an Olympic bronze medalist and a World Championship gold and silver medalist. She is currently the Director of Partnerships at the Advanced Energy Centre, MARS, after spending over four years in business development at Blackstone Energy, a Toronto solar power developer and aggregator.
Kathleen was part of the players' co-founding group of the CWHL, and has served on the coaching staff of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. She is a graduate of Boston University School of Medicine (MPH), and Brown University. She has also recently passed all three levels of the CFA program and will be eligible for the CFA charter upon completion of the required work experience.
Art was nominated to the Board of Directors after serving as a strategic advisor to the CWHL. A recent retiree from CIBC, he spent many years with the company serving in numerous roles, including Executive Vice President & CAO, Retail and Business Banking; Executive Vice President Global Operations & INTRIA; President and Chief Operating Officer of Investor Services; Senior Vice President Corporate Services & Chief Procurement Officer; and Deputy Head Wood Gundy/Managing Director World Markets.
The founder of Minor Hockey Fights Cancer, Art is also a Past President/Director of the Ronald McDonald House in Toronto.
A long-time player, Vicki has suited up at the highest levels of the game. Over the course of her Team Canada career, she earned three Winter Olympic medals (two gold, one silver) and eight medals on World Championship stage (seven gold, one silver).
An alumna of the Brampton Thunder, Vicki is currently head coach of the University of Toronto Women’s Lady Blues hockey team. She also recently completed a six-year term as a member of the Board of Directors with the Canadian Sport Institute (Ontario).
Peter is the Office Managing Partner for Conroy Ross Partners Toronto, one of Canada’s most respected retained search and business advisory firms. Previously, Peter was the President of The Lock Search Group, one Canada’s largest independent recruiting firms. Peter brings over 20 years of executive search experience and a reputation for recruiting and developing the very best talent in a wide range of fields including consumer goods, life sciences, retail and industrial manufacturing.
A passionate volunteer, Peter has worked with associations and non-profits including Presidents of Enterprising Organizations, Kinark Child and Family Services, and Big Brothers. A graduate of Western University, Peter is father to two young, accomplished and athletic daughters, one of whom is an Elite Bantam AA-aged goalie.
Mike Bartlett is the Senior Director of Corporate Responsibility for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and the Executive Director for the MLSE Foundation. He oversees the community and sport development, as well as the philanthropic efforts for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and Toronto Marlies.
Brian Burke joined the Calgary Flames Hockey Club on Sept. 5, 2013 in the newly created role, president of hockey operations. He is responsible for overseeing all hockey operations for the Flames organization. The 58-year-old Burke brings over 20 years of National Hockey League experience in various roles to the franchise. In 1,145 games as a general manager in Hartford (84 games: 1992-93), Vancouver (492 games: 1998-99 to 2003-04), Anaheim (263 games: 2005-06 to 2008-09) and Toronto (306 games: 2008-09 to 2012-13), Burke has accumulated a record of 521-449-74-101. Additionally, he worked in the NHL office for five years as executive vice-president and director of hockey operations, under commissioner Gary Bettman.
Away from the rink, Burke is well-known for his work within the community and being a family man. He is a vocal activist against homophobia in sports, a strong supporter of first response personnel and military service members, an environmentalist and a humanitarian. In honour of his late son Brendan, Burke has been a spokesperson for the You Can Play Project since it was co-founded by his son Patrick in 2011.
Cassie was the first woman to do colour commentating on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada on Oct. 14, 2006, during a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs anad the Calgary Flames. She works as a TV analyst for TSN’s women’s hockey coverage and formerly for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
She was also a TV analyst for CTV’s 2010 Olympic women’s hockey coverage in Vancouver, B.C. Cassie has worked as a colour commentator for TSN, The Score and was the first female to work on the NHL Network.
Cassie won 21 medals with Canada’s National Women’s teams, including 17 gold medals and four silver medals. Cassie has two Olympic gold medals (2002 in Salt Lake City and 2006 in Turin, Italy), and one Olympic silver medal (1998 inNagano, Japan). She is also a six-time world champion gold medallist (1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004), and won silver at the 2005 worlds once. Cassie is the only captain, male or female, to lead Canada to two Olympic gold medals, and is the longest serving captain in Canadian hockey history.
Cassie is a proud ambassador of Ronald McDonalds Children’s Charities and runs an annual street hockey tournament in Calgary, Alta., to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Cassie is a spokesperson and host for Hockey Canada’s Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey program. Cassie is a Special Advisor to Scotiabank for its hockey programs and proud supporter of CARE, an organization that places special focus on working alongside women and girls living in poverty because, equipped with the proper resources, women and girls have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty.
Cassie lives in Calgary with her husband, Brad, who is assistant GM of the Calgary Flames, and her daughter, Brooke.
Arlene Dickinson is one of Canada’s most renowned independent marketing communications entrepreneurs. As CEO of Venture Communications, her creative and strategic approach has turned the company into a powerhouse with a blue chip client list. She is also the CEO of YouInc.com, a company she founded in 2012 that is dedicated to serving and investing in entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
Dickinson is best known to Canadians as one of the venture capitalists on the award-winning CBC series Dragons’ Den, The Big Decision and marketing expert on Recipe to Riches. She is the author of two books, the number one bestselling book Persuasion and her most recent best-selling release, All In.
Her success and leadership has been recognized with multiple honours and awards including: Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award Winner, as well as PROFIT and Chatelaine’s TOP 100 Women Business Owners.
A generous philanthropist, supporter of many important causes and mother of four and grandmother of five, Dickinson is proud to be the national spokesperson for The Breakfast Clubs of Canada since 2010.
Dickinson is an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy and is the recipient of honorary degrees from Mount Saint Vincent University, Saint Mary’s University and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. She sits on the Leadership Council of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and is the proud recipient of The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Graeme has been involved with women’s hockey dating back to 1976, when he volunteered to be an assistant coach for his high school’s women’s hockey team. More recently, as one of the original ambassadors of the CWHL, he was instrumental in delivering Bauer as one of the leagues earliest sponsors.
Graeme, through his private equity firm Roustan Capital, is well known for pursuing high profile global brands and iconic acquisitions including leading a group to acquire Bauer from Nike for $200-million.
As chairman, Graeme led Bauer’s Board in the acquisition of Mission-Itech Hockey, Cascade, the leading manufacturer of lacrosse helmets, Maverik Lacrosse, Combat Baseball and Inaria. In 2011, Graeme led the board as Bauer completed its IPO on the Toronto Stock Exchange with a value approaching $400-million and its worldwide market share of over 50 per cent of hockey equipment sales.
Graeme has been giving back to the game that has given so much to him. In 1994, Graeme and his brother Wayne formed Hockey for the Homeless, a not-for-profit U.S. entity in response to Hurricane Andrew, which hosted celebrity hockey tournaments in Miami and Los Angeles, raising money for Habitat for Humanity.
Over the past two decades, Graeme has worked with Hockey Canada and numerous municipalities and organizations to build community ice rinks and arenas in select countries all over the world. He has been an avid supporter of the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation and the Ottawa Senators Foundation, by subsidizing the building of outdoor rinks.
Born in Sherbrooke, Que., Graeme grew up in Montreal where he played hockey from the age of three and continues playing today. Graeme is an FAA licensed pilot and is currently enrolled in the Institute of Corporate Directors, Directors Education Program at the University of Toronto.
Sandi Treliving is a passionate and tenured member of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation's Board of Directors. She has twice co-chaired CAMH's signature event, UnMasked, and is a Breakthrough Campaign Advisor for CAMH's multi-million dollar fundraising campaign. Sandi is actively involved as a Trans Canada Trail Champion, a Talent Fund Advisory Committee member, and Governor General Awards Committee member.