Speakers

38th McMaster World Congress Speakers

 

unnamedTwitterlinkedin_logo_initialsMeghan Chayka

Director of Research, Stathletes

Meghan Chayka is a Co-Founder of Stathletes—a sports data and analytics company. Having grown at a rapid rate since 2010, Meghan has won many awards for Stathletes including: Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Cardinal Challenge Winner, and Innovation Factory Business Plan Competition.

Prior to Stathletes, Meghan was an Analyst at John Deere and a Financial Analyst at the Ministry of Transportation.  Meghan is a graduate of McMaster University and co-founded Stathletes while in school.

She was named ESPN top 12 under 40 in hockey and Yahoo Canada Sports unsung heroes of 2015. Meghan also won an award in Rogers: Next Big Idea in Sport competition. Stathletes has appeared in many media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, ESPN, BNN and the Globe & Mail.

 

 

Twitterlinkedin_logo_initialsJason deVos

Director of Development, Canadian Soccer Association

Jason deVos is Canada Soccer’s Director of Development. The former Men’s National Team and professional player is responsible for the overall management, direction and development of coaching and grassroots development programs across Canada.

An honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame, deVos is a product of Canada’s development system and a decorated Canadian international and professional player. With nearly 20 years of experience as a player including stints as captain with the Men’s National Team, Dundee United, Wigan Athletic and Ipswich Town FC, he also spent time with the Montreal Impact. Notably, deVos was a member of the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup winning squad and was named to the Canada Soccer All-Time Canada XI in 2012.

Previously, deVos was involved in a change management grassroots development role at Canada’s largest soccer club – Oakville Soccer – and has been a member of various Technical Committees at the Ontario Soccer Association since 2011. The holder of a UEFA Pro License and USSF A License, Canadians have relied on his expert analysis on air since his retirement in 2008, most recently as part of TSN’s soccer coverage.

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Gihan Fonseka 

Founder, Athelink

Gihan Fonseka is a McMaster Alumni who completed his studies with an Honours Bachelor of Economics. He then continued his education at the DeGroote School of Business completing an MBA in Strategic Marketing.

He was able to turn his hobby of Web Design into an entrepreneurial venture. After leaving DeGroote, he worked as an Intrapreneur at First Canadian Title and moved on to running his company called Athelink – a Social Network for Sports – connecting parents and players to their Sport’s Leagues in real-time.

Nicole W. Forrester, Ph.D.

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Professor, Niagara College & Former Canadian Olympian 

Nicole is a recent Ph.D. graduate in sport psychology from Michigan State University, a mental performance consultant, and a professor at Niagara College in Sport Management.  She specializes in the achievement of high performance, including understanding the psychosocial factors separating good performers from great performers.  

Recently retired, Nicole is also an Olympian, and an 8-Time Canadian Champion who has represented Canada on 20 national teams.  She is a Commonwealth Games gold and bronze medalist, a Pan American Games and Francophone Games silver and bronze medalist, as well as a World University Games silver medalist.  

She is passionate about improving the culture of sport in Canada and to this end is an athlete ambassador for various organizations.  Additionally, she was the Vice-Chair of the Pan/Para Pan American Games Athlete’s Advisory Council, and currently serves on the Canadian Olympic Committee, Athletes’ Commission and on the Board of Directors for the Commonwealth Games Canada.

 

 

Twitterlinkedin_logo_initialsDr. Ron Foxcroft 

CEO Fluke Transport Ltd., Founder and CEO Fox 40 International Inc.

Named Entrepreneur of the Decade by Profit Magazine, Ron continues today as a logistics entrepreneur. Starting in 1982, he built Fluke Transportation which rapidly grew from 3 trucks to 176 trucks and 475 trailers. He is also Chair of the Hamilton John C. Munro Airport, the largest packaging freight airport in Canada. He also serves on many boards throughout the world. He has been named Burlington, Ontario Citizen of the Year, as well as Hamilton, Ontario Distinguished Citizen of the Year.

Ron is the inventor of the Fox 40 Pealess Whistle, which is now sold in 140 countries and is sanctioned by almost all major sports worldwide. Fox 40, a Canadian company, proudly dominates the world-wide sport and safety whistle industry.

Ron received an Honorary Doctorate from McMaster University, named Burlington Entrepreneur of the year and inducted to the Burlington Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, the Burlington sports Hall of Fame, and several other business and sports Hall of Fame. Ron officiated the 1976 Olympic Gold Medal Basketball Game and enjoyed a distinguished career in NCAA Division 1 highlighted by officiating Michael Jordan’s first college game and the Sweet 16. He was named by Referee Magazine as one of the 52 most influential persons in North American Officiating history. After spending 14 seasons with the NBA, Ron received the prestigious NASO Gold Whistle Award, the highest distinction bestowed on a referee in the world.

 

 

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Twitterlinkedin_logo_initialsGlen Grunwald

Director, Athletics & Recreation at McMaster University

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Glen Grunwald was a high school All-American basketball player, who went on to play at Indiana University under legendary coach Bobby Knight.  He was the team captain on the Hoosiers’ 1981 NCAA championship team.  Drafted by the Boston Celtics of the NBA, he did not pursue professional basketball and instead completed a law degree at Northwestern University and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Indiana.

Working as a corporate attorney, Grunwald returned to his basketball roots in 1989 as VP and General Counsel of the NBA Denver Nuggets.  He joined the Toronto Raptors’ organization in 1994 and assumed the role of General Manager from 1997 to 2004.  

Upon leaving the Raptors, Grunwald became the President and CEO of the Toronto Board of Trade, the largest local business organization in Canada.  He maintained involvement with numerous civic organizations and was a board member at George Brown College and Canada Basketball. In 1999, Grunwald became a Canadian citizen.  He is also co-founded HoopDome, Canada’s first multi-court basketball-only facility located in Toronto’s Downsview Park in 2005 and currently serves as its Chair. 

Grunwald returned to the NBA in 2006 with the New York Knicks and became the team’s General Manager in 2011. Moving on from the Knicks in 2014, he returned to university athletics, which has been a life-long passion of his, when he was hired to assume the position of Director of Athletics and Recreation at McMaster in August of 2014.  Grunwald also serves as the Chair of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2016 and 2017 Vanier Cup played at Tim Horton’s Field in Canada.

 

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Dylan Kiteley

Twitterlinkedin_logo_initialsFounder of Oracle Nutrition

Dylan Kiteley founded Oracle Nutrition, an online sports supplement store while attending McMaster for Honours Commerce. Upon graduation he opened a retail location on Main St. West with his brother Carter Kiteley, which services the Hamilton region directly. Dylan continues to provide private consulting for investment firms, start-ups and private equity funds based out of Toronto; this transition came after his participation as an executive member and portfolio manager for the McMaster Investment Club. He currently works full time as a Quality Manager & Process Specialist for ADB Safegate, doing financial analysis, database management, software programming and ISO 9001. ADB Safegate is the largest international corporation in Airfield Solutions, involved in the engineering, manufacture and distribution of control, power and lighting systems globally. Dylan financed his ventures through personal capital accumulated while working an average of 30 hours a week between private consulting and Apple throughout his undergraduate studies.

 

 

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Bill ManningTwitterlinkedin_logo_initials

President, Toronto FC

Manning, 50, joins Toronto FC after spending the previous eight seasons as president of both Real Salt Lake (RSL) and Rio Tinto Stadium. During his time with RSL, Manning transformed the club into a winner, leading the organization to a 2009 MLS Cup championship, as well as a model franchise off the pitch where both season tickets and sponsorships more than tripled. The club also won the Eastern Conference title (2009), Western Conference title (2013) and were MLS Cup runners-up (2013) and CONCACAF Champions League runners-up (2011). Manning was the recipient of the Major League Soccer Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year award in both 2012 and 2014. In addition, he helped establish, open and sold naming rights to Rio Tinto Stadium, home to Real Salt Lake.

 

 

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Scott Mitchell

CEO, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Scott Mitchell is the Chief Executive Officer of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.  The Hamilton Ti-Cats is a professional Canadian football team that was founded in 1950 with the merger of the Hamilton Tigers and the Hamilton Wildcats.  They are currently members of the East Division of the CFL and play their home games at Tim Hortons Field.  The owner of the team is Hamiltonian businessman Bob Young.  Scott currently assists in the management of several of Bob Young’s businesses.

 

 

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 Dr. Kevin P. Mongeon 

Assistant Professor of Sport Management, Brock University

Dr. Mongeon is an Assistant Professor of Sports Management at Brock University and a sports analytics consultant. Kevin regularly publishes and presents his Sports Analytics and Economics research, and is invited on panels to discuss his statistical modeling techniques. He has published on league design, fan preferences, salary and ethnicity discrimination in the National Hockey League, and has also provided expert testimony related to Canadian Hockey League players. Kevin has a Ph.D. in Economics from Washington State University, an MBA from the University of Windsor, and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Lakehead University

 

 

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image1Devin Pleuler

Manager of Analytics, Toronto FC 

Devin Pleuler is the Manager of Analytics at Toronto FC – a member of Major League Soccer (MLS) – which he joined at the beginning of the 2015 season. Before that, he was a Data Scientist for Opta, a word-leading sports data provider. At Opta, he worked with various clients in the world of soccer providing bespoke pieces of analysis regarding on-field performance.

Before and while working at Opta, Devin created a soccer analytics blog named “Central Winger” that eventually grew into a weekly featured column on MLSsoccer.com. This leveraged performance data to highlight previously hidden trends and patterns across the league.

Devin attended the Wentworth Institute of Technology and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. While completing his studies, he played for the school’s NCAA men’s soccer program as a goalkeeper. He also briefly served as an assistant coach at MIT in 2012 and holds several coaching licenses.

 

 

TwitterChris Shewfelt linkedin_logo_initials

Sr Director, Business Operations Toronto FC, Global Partnerships, MLSE

Chris is a passionate sports executive who goes to work every day dreaming about bringing championships to the city of Toronto. Chris was born and raised just outside the city of Hamilton in Copetown, a small community with a big heart where sports was at the center of activity and conversation.  Fastpitch softball was the sport of choice as Chris went on to play at the highest level of competition capturing 5 National Championships, a Canada Games gold medal, and a Pan Am bronze medal representing Canada in 2006. 

Sports continued as a trend for Chris as he graduated from Brock University with a degree in Sports Management, and in 2001 he was hired by MLSE starting his career in sport. Over his 16 seasons at MLSE, Chris has worked in virtually all disciplines within the sales and marketing groups having leadership responsibility across partnerships, ticketing, marketing, community sport partnerships and service.  To date, Chris sites the launch of Toronto FC in 2007 as his most memorable and fulfilling career highlight; for the first time seeing the stands full and come alive for a soccer match at BMO Field is a moment he will never forget.

Putting it all into perspective, Chris believes sports has the ability to make true impact on people and community, and it often times has the ability to transcend everything else that happens across the globe in everyday life. Working every day in this industry is a privilege that Chris holds close to his heart.

 

 

Rick Zamperin Twitterlinkedin_logo_initials

Assistant Program/News/Senior Sports Director, AM900 CHML Radio

Rick Zamperin was born in Toronto, and like most young sports-minded kids in the big city he fell in love with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  But when he realized that he was never going to play in the NHL, Rick’s dream took him behind the microphone in the broadcast booth calling the games.

His dream led him to Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, where he graduated from the school’s heralded broadcast journalism program.  After working in numerous cities across Canada, from Fort McMurray, Alberta, to Chatham, Ontario, Rick has called Hamilton home since 2000.

His dream of becoming a play-by-play announcer was realized in 2007 when he was named the voice of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on AM900 CHML.  Rick called nearly 200 games over eight years with the Ticats, including the 101st Grey Cup in Regina in 2013.  Besides Rick’s radio family, he’s married and has two children

 

 

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