TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 2, 2014) - George Brown College is pleased to announce the recipients of the third annual 5 To Watch - Canada's Sport Business Awards, in recognition of the five most influential and accomplished Canadians under the age of 40 in the sports business and marketing sectors.
Presented by George Brown College in partnership with The Globe and Mail, the awards recognize executives who have demonstrated significant success early in their career and are poised to become the next generation of industry leaders. The winners were selected based on a variety of factors, including extraordinary business accomplishments and "off the job" contributions such as mentorship, volunteer work and philanthropy.
"This year's event was a celebration of excellence, leadership and mentorship. It was also an opportunity to recognize those who have demonstrated extraordinary success in their respective careers while giving back to support the next generation," said Mike Fenton, Chair Program Advisory Committee, School of Marketing, George Brown College. "All the award winners have shown that they are among the best in their field, and we are proud to honour them as examples for others."
The 5 to Watch award recipients are as follows:
- Matt Afinec, Senior Vice President & Chief Sales Officer, Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club
- Danielle Bedasse, Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation, Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club
- Alison Gardiner, Vice-President, Brand Development, Canucks Sports & Entertainment
- Jim Kozak, Director of Sales, Olympics & Sports Partnerships, CBC Sport
- Adrian Sciarra, Vice President, Partnerships & Merchandise Sales, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group
"It's truly an honour to win this award. It is extremely special simply due to the fact that it was the Canadian business leaders of sport who determined that my career accomplishments were worthy of this recognition," said Jim Kozak, Director of Sales, Olympics & Sports Partnerships, CBC Sport. "I also feel especially fortunate to be a George Brown College graduate and hope that this type of achievement and recognition will inspire others to partake in the Sport and Event Marketing program in the years to come."
The 5 to Watch event also benefits students just starting to pursue studies in George Brown College's Centre for Business by raising funds for bursaries. To date, the event has raised $100,000 and has awarded 10 student bursaries.
"Connecting to communities through sport is key to our business at BMO. And sports marketing professionals are the people that bring our fantastic partnerships to life. We are proud to sponsor student bursaries, and we look forward to watching students make their mark as they begin new and exciting careers in sport and events marketing," said Justine Fedak, Co-Chair of the Selection Committee and SVP, Brand, Advertising and Sponsorships, BMO Financial Group.
Announced on May 1, 2014 at a ceremony at George Brown College's new Waterfront Campus, the awards were voted on by a panel of leading sports marketers and business influencers including representatives from founding partners: BMO Financial Group, Canadian Football League, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, SDI Marketing, TSN and presenting partner, The Globe and Mail.
About George Brown College
Toronto's George Brown College has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice. The college offers programs from its three campuses located across the downtown core, including its newest location at the Toronto waterfront, which opened in September 2012. George Brown offers 135 full-time programs and 189 continuing education certificates/designations across a wide variety of professions to a student body of over 24,500 (full-time equivalent) students, including over 3,200 international students; and over 61,000 continuing education registrants. Students can earn certificates, diplomas, postgraduate certificates, apprenticeships and degrees.