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:
CWHL Chair of the Board
Following a CWHL Strategic Advisor’s role, Brad proudly became the CWHL’s Board Chairman in October 2012. A strong advocate of women’s hockey, Brad also serves as a Director to The Ladies First Hockey Foundation Board, supporting the Canadian national-level and Olympic hockey players and program. He also works in partnership with Hockey Canada for world championship and Olympic support to help build Canadian women’s hockey.
Brad is also a coach with the MarkhamStouffville Stars Girls Hockey Association, following his own history in Junior hockey, and a family history with his father Eric’s time in the Detroit Red Wings hockey system. Brad previously served as the Board Chairman for the Automotive Industries Association of Canada (one of Canada’s largest trade associations with member revenue in excess of $19-billion). Brad was proudly the youngest chairman in the then 75-year history of this Canadian association.
Brad is also an Executive Director of the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation, following many years serving as an active volunteer for the foundation. Recently, Brad was also named to the 2015 Pan Am/ParaPan Am International Games Host Committee in Markham, Ont. Brad also ensures the donation of his time serving in volunteer capacities to companies, communities and associations, and with that was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, awarded through the Governor General’s Office of Canada.
Brad is currently the General Manager of Grote Industries Canada and member of the International Executive Team (Grote is a leading worldwide innovator and distributor of lighting, electrical and safety systems for all forms of vehicle and transportation markets). Brad is proudly married with two young daughters.
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.
Julie is President of BMO InvestorLine and Head of direct investing. She is also Chair of the Diversity Council for BMO’s Private Client Group, executive sponsor for the Bank’s Women & Wealth initiative, and Director and Treasurer of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. She is a long-standing and strong supporter of women in business, sport and the community. Throughout her 18-year career with BMO Bank of Montreal, Julie has earned the reputation of being a leader who executes with pace, courage and excellence, inspiring multi-disciplinary teams to come together towards a common vision. She is never afraid to take on new challenges (especially the ones that scare her!) and thrives in ambiguity and change, always seeking out new opportunities to grow and learn. Julie received her undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa and completed her MBA at Dalhousie University. She is fluently bilingual in English and French, and is proud mother of two young girls. When she is not running her business (or running after her girls!), Julie enjoys running marathons.
Robert is currently the Executive Director of the Toronto Blue Jays Care Foundation. Robert has over 25 years of multi-disciplinary business experience in international business development, sales, marketing and operations in Canada, the US, Latin America and Europe. After extensive experience with technology and financial services companies, including Dow Jones, Reuters and E*TRADE, Robert entered the not-for-profit sector where he worked with SickKids Foundation for four years prior to joining Right To Play in December 2008, where he was the National Director, Canada, and a member of the Right To Play Global Leadership Team. In 2013, he won a scholarship to participate in the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program at the Harvard Business School. Robert is also a director of a number of non-profit boards and recently served on the Government of Ontario’s Healthy Kids Panel to help reduce childhood obesity. Robert is married and has one child.
Caitlin Cahow was born and raised in Connecticut. Caitlin was a member of the USA Hockey Women’s National Team and member of the CWHL’s Boston Blades, which she captained to the 2013 Clarkson Cup, the league championship title. She graduated from Harvard University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in social/biological anthropology and is a 3L at Boston College Law School, graduating in spring 2013. Caitlin played four years for the Harvard Crimson Women’s Ice Hockey in the ECAC Hockey, leading all ECACH defencemen in points. She won a bronze medal at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, and was a silver medallist at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, in Vancouver, B.C. Prior to the Olympics, she was a four-time member of the U.S. Women’s National Team for the International Ice Hockey Federation World Women’s Championship (gold in 2008, 2009, 2011 and silver in 2007). A four-time member of the U.S. Women’s Select Team for the 4 Nations Cup (1st in 2008, 2nd from 2005-07). Caitlin also captained the United States Under-22 Select Team in 2006. At the college level, Caitlin was named top-10 finalist for the 2008 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award; 2008 ECAC Tournament Most Valuable Player. She was also a First Team All-Ivy League, 2007–08, Defenceman, and Harvard (Senior) recipient of the 2008 USA Hockey Women’s Player of the Year Award (also known as the Bob Allen Women’s Player of the Year Award) and selected to the Media All-Star team at the 2011 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
Cheryl works as one of TSN’s women’s hockey specialists as an in-studio analyst and colour commentary broadcaster, most recently at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Burlington, Vt., and at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship in British Columbia. Cheryl is the proud mother of two young daughters. She was born in Montreal into a family of hockey enthusiasts: a grandfather who was GM of the Montreal Junior Canadiens, and her hockey-playing older brothers. The rink in the family’s backyard also helped to set her on the path to excel at Canada’s national sport. Upon moving to Mississauga, Ont., she achieved the status of athlete of the year at both her high school and Wilfrid Laurier University, where she earned an honours degree in Kinesiology. She played on Canada’s 1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005 (when she was selected an All-Star Defenceman) and 2007 world championship hockey teams. Cheryl was voted the top defenceman at the 2002, 2004, 2007 and MVP at the 2005 Canadian Women’s Hockey National Championship. In September of 2012, Cheryl was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame with her entire 2006 gold medal-winning team from the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy. Cheryl is also a Board Member for the Ladies First Hockey Foundation. Without a doubt, Pounder’s greatest career accomplishments are represented by her two Olympic gold Medals in Salt Lake City and Torino.
Trina has spent her life around the game and is a strong advocate for the overall growth of hockey and the game of women’s hockey. She worked at the Halifax Herald for 14 years, retiring in 1999 to be home with her children. Trina sits on the board of directors for the Sidney Crosby Foundation that was established in 2009, an organization that improves the lives of children who are sick or struggling. She is mother to Sidney, captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Taylor, of the Shattuck St. Mary’s girls’ under-19 prep team. Trina resides in Cole Harbour, N.S., with her husband Troy.
Brenda Andress, is a co-founder and commissioner of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. For the past eight years, Brenda has shaped and led the CWHL’s vision to create the world’s most exceptional women’s professional hockey league – a place where women will ultimately earn a living playing the sport at which they excel.
Brenda’s career in community recreation saw her rise to upper management at just 28 years old. For two decades, her leadership and vision helped communities stay healthy and fit. As director of parks and recreation for the Town of Newmarket, Brenda was instrumental in the planning, development and opening of the Magna Centre and other facilities in one of the fastest growing communities in Canada. Her work in Newmarket saw her become the recipient of a Province of Ontario award for innovation.
In 2013, Brenda was recognized with a Woman of Distinction Award by the YWCA, for her work in championing accessibility and diversity in sport. That same year, The Hockey News named Brenda as one of The Powers of the Future, in their annual Power and Influence issue. Always athletic, Brenda discovered hockey at the tender age of 16, and became the first woman to ever play for a men’s college varsity team, suiting up for Centennial College in 1978. In 2014, Brenda was named as Women’s Executive Network’s (WXN) 100 Most Powerful Women: The Top 100 Awards recognize Canada’s strong, fearless female leaders who have become agents of change in reshaping national organizations at the highest levels.
Brenda’s love of hockey took her into refereeing the game, ultimately achieving one of the highest rankings, Level 6. Brenda is the author of two books, mother of two wonderful children and grandmother to three inspiring grandchildren.
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.
Michael (Mike) Robert Bartlett
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.
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.