Governance

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:

 

Jayna Hefford

Interim Commissioner, Head of Hockey Operations and Player Development

Jayna Hefford is renowned as one of the longest standing members of the Canadian women’s hockey team (1997-2014), and currently is a keynote speaker focusing on the areas of Change & Adaptability, Culture and Resilience. Jayna competed in five Olympic games and twelve World championships, winning an impressive four Olympic gold medals and seven World Championships. She is one of Canada’s most decorated athletes. Jayna played over 200 international games and is also one of three NWT players to score more than 100 international goals. Jayna competed with the Brampton Thunder (Canadian Women’s Hockey League) from 1998 until 2013 and was a member of the Thunder when they won the first CWHL championship. Despite being retired, Jayna remains as one of the top all-time scorers in CWHL history.

Jayna is the sixth woman to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (2018). Some of her other accolades include: awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee award in 2013, and Kingston female athlete of the half-century (2000). Jayna hosted her own charity event for six years, in memory of her father, which raised over $80,000 for the Kingston University Hospitals Foundation. She is also an active board member of the Ladies First Hockey Foundation.

Jayna graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Physical & Health education, she has also completed a certificate program in Business Management from University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. Jayna was an assistant coach with the women’s hockey team at the University of Toronto and has also completed the ‘high performance 1’ coaching certification program.

Laurel Walzak

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.

Allyson Fox

Director

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.

Art Mannarn

Director

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.

Vicky Sunohara

Director

A long-time player, Vicky 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, Vicky is currently head coach of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues women's 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 Zukow

Director

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.

Arlene Dickinson

Governor

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 RichesShe 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 Roustan

Governor

Graeme has been involved with the CWHL since 2008 when as Chairman of Bauer, he delivered the first corporate sponsor of the CWHL which is still in existence. As the most senior Member of the CWHL leadership (other than the Commissioner), he has supported the CWHL since near its inception.

As the Governor Representative to the Board of Directors, he attends all meetings of the Board and ensures that the Ontario non-profit corporation is operating with best practices in corporate governance at all times. He has obtained the highest recognized credentials in corporate governance in the U.S.A. as a Board Leadership Fellow at the National Association of Corporate Directors and in Canada at the Institute of Corporate Directors at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto where he obtained his ICD.D and was class valedictorian.

Graeme became the owner of The Hockey News (thn.com) in January 2018 which has been in print now going into its 72nd year of continuous printing. His first order of business was to add pages to each issue going forward to cover women's hockey and support women's organizations.

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.

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.