2019 Candidate Bios (Oakville Rangers Hockey Club)

Print2019 Candidate Bios
Oakville Rangers

All Members are invited to attend:

WEDNESDAY MAY 22nd, 2019

Oakville Rangers

This page provides information about the individuals who are running for the Vice President and Board of Directors positions that will be elected during the 2019 Annual General Meeting. The Candidates’ information has been provided for your convenience. If you have a question about the information provided here or you require additional information you may contact the Candidate directly. Voting is taking place at the AGM on Wednesday May 22nd, 2019 - polls open at 6:30 pm. The AGM is being held in the Trafalgar Park Community Centre (aka Oakville Arena). Proxy Voting and Advanced Polls will also be available. For more information please visit the AGM Information Page.

2019 Election Candidate Biographies
If you would like to download a copy of these biographies, please click here

President John Verdon (416) 417-7373 [email protected]
Board of Directors Sebastien Comella (416) 735-2809 [email protected]
Shawna Gorman (905) 467-0392 [email protected]
Tony Howard (647) 203-3705 [email protected]
Chuck MacGregor (905) 484-2671 [email protected]
Will Mansour (416) 737-3746 [email protected]
Marshall Snowball (905) 339-6931 [email protected]
Geoff Thomson (905) 827-6451 [email protected]
Vice President, Finance Tom Wills (647) 808-0656 [email protected]
VP, Marketing & Sponsorship Richard Hill (416) 727-5494 [email protected]
Vice President, House League George Kish (289) 218-6501 [email protected]
John Stanley (289) 300-1009 [email protected]
Jaime Volk [email protected]
VP, Rep AAA & Player Development Jaan Luik (647) 201-1556 [email protected]
Vice President, Rep AA-AE and MD Jay Prentice (416) 716-1122 [email protected]

John Verdon – President
Email: [email protected]       Phone: (416) 417-7373

When you elected me President 3 years ago, it ushered in a new philosophy - ‘you are the customer’ and we appreciate that you have chosen to entrust your child, spend your money, time and emotion with our organization. This replaced a long-standing philosophy that you were (lucky) members of our club and as such had obligations to live by our rules, take what was offered, not complain/make suggestions and if you didn’t like it, you could leave. Well, in a nutshell – that is what happened – families/players left Oakville in droves. Since our team has been in charge, the opposite is happening at almost every age group – families/players are returning, and most, are never leaving.

Why is this happening? It is really very simple – we are listening to you, making changes where possible and we have an amazing new group of volunteers running the club. We have also recruited great hockey people and that leads to great decisions for our hockey club. Here are some of the major examples of what this team has delivered:

  • The rebranding of the club from the Minor Oaks Hockey Association (MOHA) to the Oakville Rangers Hockey Club (Rangers) allowing all 3,376 of us to be Rangers (vs. just 800 rep players) and encouraging us all to wear the crest with pride on the ice, at school and around town.
  • The launch of an almost sold-out BarDown 3 on 3 league that we run with the Town of Oakville.
  • The upcoming redesign of our House League program based on customer surveys, feedback from coaches/convenors, benchmarking and Hockey Canada direction.
  • The launch of a sold-out Hockey Academy that focuses on fundamental individual skills development in a fun, supportive environment.
  • The launch of Rangers Day in Oakville – an annual celebration that marks the return of hockey on the 1st weekend of the House League season. Year 1 attendance 10,000 – Year 2 was 8,000.
  • The addition of 17 new teams for Oakville kids who want a rep/rep-like experience: 9 new Rep teams, 5 new Select teams and 3 new MD teams (57 teams now vs. 40 teams 3 years ago).
  • The launch of weekly Skills Development programs for Novice to Peewee AA, A and AE teams.
  • Our most successful Rep year in the past 7 based on OMHA and Tri-County playoff success.
  • Created a goalie evaluation resource to help coaches with this difficult yet essential position.
  • AAA Centre of Excellence program designed to retain and attract the best coaches and players in the western GTA and get them to the next level of hockey while maintaining fun and integrity.
  • Set practice schedules and consistent game nights for rep teams.
  • The launch of the sold out Shrink the Rink tournament for 5, 6 and 7 year olds – already the largest cross ice tournament in the OMHA in just Year 2.
And that is just the fun hockey stuff. Here is just SOME of the less exciting but very important stuff we have accomplished:
  • Established the External Dispute Resolution Committee (EDRC) to investigate and rule on serious issues and any complaints that involve a Board or Executive member. This best-in-class process (according to the OMHA and OHF) utilizes an external retired police officer/private investigator and a lifetime mediator/arbitrator to investigate and resolve serious concerns.
  • Established the Governance and Strategic Planning Committee comprised of experienced community members who oversee our by-laws, meetings, benchmark us against other comparable organizations and focus on the long-term health of the club.
  • Brought in Deloitte (for free!) to help us establish a rolling long-term plan.
  • Cut operating costs by reducing office size, renegotiating contracts and lowering honourariums.
  • Launched Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a new website to celebrate the club’s activities.
  • Began digital marketing campaigns that include advertising in Mandarin, Cantonese and Hindi.
So, that is some of what we have done over the last 3 years. Now, just a little about me – because it is not about me – it is about this team and this philosophy that is putting our customers first and trying to build the best minor sports association in Canada. I am just a facilitator who helps smart, passionate, dedicated volunteers get things done and I am uniquely qualified for this role. Here are some of the reasons why:
  • Involved with the club for over 10 years as a Dad, a House League coach, a Trainer, an Assistant Coach, a Rep Head Coach, a Board Member and President.
  • Have had 2 boys involved in the Rangers and the GTHL and had a daughter with the Hornets.
  • 1 of only 2 coaches in Oakville history to lead a team to an OHF Championship. As Head Coach we have also won an OMHA Championship, a Tri-County Championship, 2 House League Championships and over 20 tournaments. In addition, I have been a part of coaching staffs that have won an additional 2 OMHA Championships as well as an International Silver Stick.
  • Played House League, Rep and Men’s League hockey continuously for over 45 years.
  • Have been working as a brand and business unit turnaround specialist for the past 15 years in my business life (https://www.linkedin.com/in/verdonbrandbuilder/)
  • I do this job for free and each year turn back $6,000 Honorarium that comes with the job.
  • I have personally dealt with every phone call, email and meeting request that I have received in the last 3 years. You may not have always liked the answer but I heard you out or got the facts or tried to help or got you an answer.
Enough about me. This is about kids, coaches, volunteers, development, fun, memories, friends, life lessons and for some – being drafted, getting scholarships; but for all – a lifelong love of hockey. I would welcome the opportunity to continue to lead and amplify the ideas of this amazing group of volunteers. I am asking you to vote John Verdon for President of the Oakville Rangers Hockey Club.


Sebastien Comella – Board of Directors
Email: [email protected]       Phone: (416) 735-2809

My wife and I are proud parents of two wonderful children, Ava (10) and Max (7). We’re incredibly fortunate to live in a wonderful community like Oakville, and one of those things that sets Oakville apart is the Rangers Hockey Club.

Over the past three years, we have had the pleasure of being a part of the Rangers community and it has been an integral part of our lives. During the 2018/2019 season, the highlight of my week was serving as the Volunteer Convener with the ORHC Tykes House League group. I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing our children develop some serious skills, a love and passion for the game as well as new relationships along the way. It would be my honor to further serve the ORHC community as a Member of the Board.

Professionally, I am a Sales Director with the Campbell Soup Company, leading a large National Sales Team. I have spent 20 years in the Canadian Consumer Packaged Goods

Shawna Gorman – Board of Directors
Email: [email protected]       Phone: (905) 467-0392

I have been a House League and REP team manager for 12 years in the association.

My background is in individual sports like gymnastics which is where my dedication to sports began. My love of sports was broadened when my husband introduced me to team sports. My involvement in team sports has made me a better person. Most importantly, I have enjoyed watching my two boys becoming great human beings and much of that has to do with their dedication to team sports. They have learned many life lessons, made lifelong friends and understand what it means and requires to be a part of a team. My husband has also been both a REP and House League coach for many years so I have the benefit of his perspective as well.

Now that my youngest son is finishing his career with the Rangers, I am eager to stay involved with the Club to help ensure that today’s Oakville Rangers players and families have as rewarding and memorable as we had.

Tony Howard – Board of Directors
Email: [email protected]       Phone: (647) 203-3705

Being a proud father of 2 boys that have grown up playing hockey in the Ranger organization - now at the Minor Bantam AE and Minor Peewee HL level, our family is very grateful for all of the lasting friendships, fun and memories we have built. As such it would be a privilege to serve the organization by giving back. Leveraging my professional accounting (CPA, CMA) and financial expertise and the hockey knowledge I have gained over the years as Rostered Bench Staff (Assistant Coach HL - 5 years, Team Manager HL - 5 years) and as a consulting member of the ORHC Finance Committee and Governance and Strategic Planning Committee, I feel that I am well positioned to provide a meaningful contribution to the Club as a Board Member. As a parent that continues to experience both the House League and Rep side of the organization, I have also gained an understanding of the unique needs that the organization must continue to cater to even though we are all still Rangers.

My pledge to you as Members is to implement best in class governance, improved financial stability and development of a long term strategic plan. I vow to be a conduit to address your concerns in an effort to continue to create a fun and inclusive atmosphere for our children and to move the organization forward. By listening to our Members, subject matter experts, working with my fellow Board Members, Executive and our invaluable volunteers and staff, I will apply my sound financial acumen and common sense approach to ensure we will not only be able to better deal with our current challenges but be better positioned to be future focused to anticipate and lead change.

Thank you for your consideration and trust.

Chuck MacGregor – Board of Directors
Email: [email protected]       Phone: (905) 484-2671

I have been a MOHA and ORHC Board Member since 2002. Referee in Chief since 2001. I am a former MOHA and ORHC Head Coach and Trainer. Currently an active member of the Dispute Resolution Committee. Registered OMHA Official since 1989 and have officiated hockey since 1978. An active Member of the Canadian Pest Management Association since 1991. Also Vice President and Board Member for Trafalgar Cooperative Housing Association.

Will Mansour – Board of Directors
Email: [email protected]       Phone: (416) 737-3746

Over the past 10 years I have been a proud supporter of community-based hockey and have had the privilege of working with hundreds of young hockey players while learning from some of the best volunteers in the Oakville Rangers Hockey Club.

I enjoyed a professional playing career in Europe from 1994-1998 before hanging up the skates to settle down and start a family. In 2011, I was ready to pass on the positives I had derived from hockey and so began my coaching career with my son in the initiation hockey program. Since that time, I have become a Hockey Canada Development 1 Certified coach and have had the honor of being the head coach of the 07 AAA Rangers team for the past 3 seasons. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a hockey coach but am ready to move on to a new challenge.

I recognize the importance of volunteer driven hockey associations and their dependency on volunteers to come forward in order to provide the best programming for our children and community. I feel that my background in business management combined with my advocacy and ambassador roles for Type 1 Diabetes in our community will enable me to be a positive contributor to the ORHC’s programming and operations.

I am proud of the work that is currently being done in the Club and would welcome the opportunity to contribute to the ORHC at a higher level as a member of the Board.

Marshall Snowball – Board of Directors
Email: [email protected]       Phone: (905) 339-6931

I was born in Oakville, played baseball and minor hockey. My two boys also played minor hockey here.

I’ve been a member of OMHA since 1970. During this time, I have been President, Vice President of House League, discipline chairman league convener, a referee, head coach of house league and REP at all levels. I am also a certified trainer with an open card. I’ve been equipment manager for the league for the last 17 years.

Currently I am a director and have been for the past 50 plus years. With my passion for the game, my experience and knowledge I would like to continue being a director for the organization.

Geoff Thomson – Board of Directors
Email: [email protected]       Phone: (905) 827-6451

I have been a MOHA volunteer for 14 years working with my eldest son and then with my youngest boy for 6 years now. I have worked with so many good Vice Presidents, Senior Conveners, Conveners and coaches that I’ve learned so much. I would like to take all the experience I’ve inquired over these 14 years and share that with everyone else.

I have also volunteered as a coach, convener, assistant Manager, assistant coach and Manager.

Tom Wills – Vice President, Finance
Email: [email protected]       Phone: (647) 808-0656

After growing Up in Don Mills, my career took me abroad for 22 years (to Geneva, London and New York) and I finally managed to move back with my family 3 years ago. We chose Oakville after hearing many recommendations about the best place to raise a family in the GTA and have been thrilled with our decision. My wife Katerina and I have two girls, ages 9 and 7 also have two boys ages 6 and 2. The kids have participated in a number of local activities but by far their best experiences have been with Hornets and Rangers and I have really enjoyed coaching their teams.

My own background is very well suited to the position of VP Finance, both in terms of education and experience. I have my B-Comm (UofT) and MBA (Oxford) along with being qualified as both a CA and CFA. Professionally, I started out in audit with Ernst & Young in Toronto and moved onto the investment side with Citibank (5 years), Aviva (11 years) and now Morgan Stanley (8 years) where I lead our investment team managing convertible bond portfolios.

On the hockey side, I have been heavily involved in all facets of the game for over 40 years, from playing junior hockey against the Oakville Blades many years ago, to teaching.

Richard Hill – Vice President, Marketing & Sponsorship
Email: [email protected]       Phone: (416) 727-5494

My family have been playing hockey with the Oakville Rangers since IP. I have been involved as a hockey trainer for many years as well. In addition to that I became the VP of marketing for the Oakville Rangers almost 2 years ago. In the past 2 years I managed and created a marketing presence for the Club that did not exist before. This includes the renaming of the Club from Minor Oaks Hockey Association to the Oakville Rangers Hockey Club. We developed a new logo and a new look and feel for the Club.

We created the first (and second) Rangers Day in Oakville to celebrate the start of the HL season and help drive home the position that EVERYONE is a Ranger – regardless of which team or division they play in. I also created our Facebook page and grew it from zero to tens of thousands of interactions with our parents, players and supporters. I also successfully created an Instagram presence for the Club to enhance our communications with the younger age groups. We utilize our social media presence to celebrate wins and all the good news stories our teams are responsible for in our community. Plus I moved much of our media and advertising budget into digital and social media which has drastically reduced our overall advertising spending – saving parents and players money each year.

Another significant program we launched is aimed at new Canadians and new hockey families. To grow the game we love we need to communicate to new Oakville residents from other countries. We created multiople language communications to reach out to these communities with great success. We have also partnered with local groups to grow the game with sponsorship integration and talk to families with younger children just starting out in sports.

In just two short years, we have championed causes and charities, celebrated our teams and families, launched a new brand, a 3-on-3 league, hosted Hockey Day in Oakville, Rangers Day and importantly – created a two way dialogue with parents and players through our social media efforts.

I bring real world, senior level marketing experience to the position and blend it with my passion for the Club and all it has given my family over the years.

George Kish – Vice President, House League
Email: [email protected]       Phone: (289) 218-6501

As a former player, current coach and parent the Oakville Rangers Hockey Club has been an integral part of my amateur hockey experience for decades. I originally became involved in coaching 20 plus years ago, shortly after finishing playing amateur hockey.

My goal was to give back to the community that enriched my experience as an amateur hockey player. I have certainly enjoyed my time volunteering as a minor hockey coach; by helping players improve their overall hockey skills and ensuring that they enjoy their playing experience. More importantly though I have always emphasized and promoted the importance of teamwork, dedication and other life skills. If elected Vice President of House League, I will endeavor to support the goals and needs of our volunteers and members.

In addition to coaching I am still very active in the Oakville hockey community. I play in a men’s recreational league and have been an OMHA certified referee for nearly 10 years.

John Stanley – Vice President, House League
Email: [email protected]       Phone: (289) 300-1009

I am interested in becoming the next Oakville Rangers House League VP. For those of that may not know me – I have been involved in Minor Hockey for many, many years. I have a son that has graduated from the Oakville Rangers system and a daughter in the Oakville Hornets system. Most recently I have been a Convener for both Rangers and Hornets for the past 6 years, as well as a trainer and team Manager. Also a volunteer on a number of Club initiatives. I am a Non-Parent Volunteer with the ORHC now but have continued to volunteer with the Club.

I am a hockey fan, I enjoy watching hockey. I love being involved and watching my kids and the kids around the ORHC grow up in hockey and have some of the best times of their lives. I have seen it all over the years. I have seen the things the Club does well and I have seen the areas where we can improve. From the bad to the good, the big and the small, the typical day in the life of a hockey kid and a hockey parent to the big picture of running a House League Hockey Club, I have the knowledge and the experience it will take to be a great House League Vice President. I am very familiar with the rules and regulations that govern House League Hockey, both our internal policies and those handed down by Hockey Canada and the OMHA, and I am well equipped to take on any of the challenges that can arise, both on and off the ice.

I want to be a House League VP because I want to give more back in to the Club. I want to be involved and I want that involvement to grow. I believe that with my knowledge and experience I have a lot to offer. My goals in this role are really quite simple – continue the growth and development of our Club and its players. To expand on the things we do well and to address the things we don’t. I want our House League to offer a complete, fulfilling experience for our kids, creating memories to last them a lifetime.

Jaime Volk – Vice President, House League
Email: [email protected]       Phone:

I have been with the ORHC for four seasons now, two as VP House League, Convenor of multiple divisions, and a trainer. My dedication, enthusiasm, and out of the box thinking and ideas have had a positive impact that has been felt league wide. I spend many hours in the rinks and behind the scenes to ensure a positive and fun season for the kids and the coaches. My goal this coming term is to work hard and ensure balanced and well organized divisions, maintain excellent customer service, and fun for all involved.

Jaan Luik – Vice President, Rep AAA & Player Development
Email: [email protected]       Phone: (647) 201-1556

After 10 years being away from the game of hockey as a player, which took me through minor hockey in Whitby and Toronto, NCAA D1 college hockey at Miami University, being drafted by the St. Louis Blues of the NHL and then some time as a professional, the birth of our first son, Jaden and his participation as an Oakville Timbit led me back into the game that I was so passionate about growing up.

Not unlike so many of our tremendous volunteer coaches who first start out I had no idea where to begin as the head instructor of the “Cheetah’s” Timbit team, despite having a background playing the game and unknown to me at the time, it was the beginning of what was an incredible opportunity to positively impact children through the game of hockey as a coach.

Learning to be a coach has been a 14 year journey (so far). In many respects I had to re-learn the game of hockey from the ground up as I taught this group of 6 year olds who were decades away from my most recent playing experience. As I dove into this journey and tried to put myself in the position of these players and figure out how to best reach them it became clear that coaching was much more than X’s and O’s, skills and drills; it was about building relationships, earning their trust, being a positive role model, helping them believe they could be better than they thought they could be and through that process learning how to be great team mates, a great team, and great people.

This was the start of me forming a player-oriented coaching style that I carry with me today, as I’ve travelled through the various levels of REP coaching, become a certified High Performance 1 Coach, mentored several of our newer coaches, while continuing to work hard to become a better coach every year. More recently I have volunteered as a member of the AAA committee, trying to help guide our AAA program towards is full potential.

As a VP, AAA & Development I would try and use the experience and knowledge that I have gained through coaching, mentoring and being a part of the AAA committee to help support our talented group of AAA coaches provide the best programs possible for their athletes, while trying to impart on them on the sae player-oriented focus that I value. We have an exceptional amount of talent, knowledge, and passion within the organization and I would also work to establish a structure that facilitates better sharing of this knowledge base and experience, both within the AAA program and between the various levels of REP hockey (AA, A, AE).

My belief is that the ORHC has all of the components (players, coaches, resources, facilities) to become the benchmark minor hockey organization in Ontario and by better leveraging these valuable resources it can be possible.

Jay Prentice – Vice President, Rep AA-AE and MD
Email: [email protected]       Phone: (416) 716-1122

I grew up in Scarborough, Ontario and moved to Oakville 12 years ago. I am currently employed by Brain Armor Inc, as a sales consultant to Professional and NCAA sports teams in the Nutritional Supplement Industry, with a primary focus on brain health. My past work experience include 2 years in sales at Xerox, followed by 17 years of owning my own business.

I have been playing hockey for over 40 years, I played 8 years of AAA hockey in the MTHL (GTHL) with the Toronto Marlies and Wexford Raiders, I then played 2 years Metro Junior A with Wexford Raiders winning back to back Championships. I played 4 years of NCAA Division 1 hockey at Union College in Upper State New York. I played 2 years minor pro in the ECHL and WPHL. I have played for many experienced coaches in my career that have coached at levels of Olympics, World Juniors, NHL Minor Pro, OHL and NCAA like Stan Butler, Dave “the hammer” Schulz, Andy Murray, Barry Smith, Kevin Sneddon and many more.

I have 9 years of coaching experience mostly at the REP level as well as working and running hockey clinics and camps for 8 years prior to coaching.

The reason I would like the role of VP REP AA-MD is to help use my knowledge, experience and hockey connections to help young athletes get the most out of their Minor Hockey experience.

I am running for VP REP for AA-MD with the following in mind:

  1. Create great season plans to help coaches teach to the age and level as well as maximize and utilize resources
  2. Support players, parents and coaches to help facilitate a fair selection process
  3. Be fiscally responsible-the parents and players are the customers
  4. Bring in qualified, experienced and inspiring coaches to teach strong fundamentals
  5. Do all of the above by making the process as transparent as possible


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Printed from oakvillerangers.ca on Monday, May 20, 2019 at 10:23 AM