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REF NO.: 268

SUBJECT: Memorial University approves appointments to the board of directors for Corner Brook’s Pepsi Centre

DATE: April 27

Memorial University’s Board of Regents has approved its appointments to the board of directors of the Western Sports and Entertainment Inc. (the “Pepsi Centre”), the facility in Corner Brook which will be managed as a Separately Incorporated Entity (SIE) of Memorial University of Newfoundland. The appointments were made on April 25, 2006.
Memorial University of Newfoundland and the City of Corner Brook signed an agreement for the lease of the Pepsi Centre on March 23, 2006. The agreement was the culmination of eight months of negotiations between city and university officials. Memorial University will assume official responsibility for operating the facility on May 1, 2006; the five-year lease will be up for renewal on April 30, 2011.
The total property, which includes the Pepsi Centre, Pepsi Studio Annex and adjacent parking areas, will be operated with a 12-member board that includes representatives from Memorial University, including Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, and community and business leaders from Corner Brook.
The board of directors of the Pepsi Centre includes:
Six directors from Memorial University of Newfoundland, including five directors from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College (recommended by the SIE committee of the Board of Regents):
·      Brian Colbourne, director, Financial and Administrative Services (St. John’s campus)
·      Dr. Rob Gallant, faculty member
·      ·        Janice Galliot, wellness co-ordinator
·       Dr. Holly Pike, vice-principal
·        Mary Sparkes, co-ordinator, Student Affairs
·        Dennis Waterman, director, Finance and Administration
Other directors include:
·         Jamie Schwartz, general manager of the Deer Lake Airport and community recreation volunteer (chair of the Pepsi Centre board and recommended by the City of Corner Brook and SWGC)
·        Kent Brothers, lawyer and community recreation volunteer (recommended by City of Corner Brook and the SIE Committee)
·        Richard Dennis, owner and general manager of Dennis GM (public nominee –       recommended by SWGC)
·        Wayne Ryan, director, Operational Services, City of Corner Brook (recommended by City of Corner Brook)
·        Vic Simmonds, regional manager, Aliant Communications, and community volunteer (recommended by the Corner Brook Civic Centre Association)
·        Allan Skanes, educator and community leader (public nominee – recommended by SWGC)
            Appointments to the board of directors of the Western Sports and Entertainment Inc. are for two- and three-year periods. Directors may be reappointed. The chair of the board has been appointed for three years.
“I am very pleased that the Pepsi Centre has a strong board of directors,” said Dr. Georgina Hedges, acting chair of the university’s Board of Regents. “In addition to extensive business experience, this broad selection of community, educational and business leaders has the skills and knowledge related to the recreation area and they are also particularly aware of the needs of both Corner Brook and Sir Wilfred Grenfell College and the province’s western Newfoundland region. Having such a strong team in place to guide the Pepsi Centre’s future will undoubtedly ensure the success of the initiative.           
Biographies of the five board members drawn from the City of Corner Brook and the public-at-large follow below:
Jamie Schwartz – Mr. Schwartz’s background is in recreation planning and as a consultant with the provincial government, a position which he vacated in order to undertake the GM role for the organization of the Canada Winter Games in 1999. The 1999 Winter Games were deemed most successful, both from an operating and a financial perspective. After the 1999 Games, Mr. Schwartz was appointed to the general manager position for the Deer Lake Airport Authority and has been a driving force behind the success and expansion of this facility. Additionally, Mr. Schwartz undertook to volunteer as chair of the university negotiating team for the transfer of operations from the city to the university for the Pepsi Centre.
Wayne Ryan – Mr. Ryan is currently the director of Operational Services with the City of Corner Brook and is a professional engineer. He has been actively involved in sports and sporting organizations in the city over the years particularly with the Corner Brook Baseball Association. In his position with the city, he has intimate knowledge of the Pepsi Centre infrastructure.
Kent Brothers – Mr. Brothers is a partner in the law firm of Brothers and Burden and has been very active in sports and sports organizing groups within the City of Corner Brook, ranging from early days in minor hockey and minor baseball and to having played a leading role in the Senior Royals Hockey Club and Corner Brook Barons Baseball club over the years.
Victor Simmonds – Mr. Simmonds is active in the volunteer sector of the City of Corner Brook having been involved in service clubs, the Corner Brook Board of Trade, Corner Brook Winter Games and the Civic Centre Association. He has been involved in the sporting community through the organizing of speed skating and minor hockey. In his professional career, Mr. Simmonds is regional manager for Western Newfoundland for Aliant Communications.
            Richard Dennis – Mr. Dennis is currently general manager/owner of Dennis GM, a successful car dealership in Western Newfoundland. He has been active with many of the dealer associations within the automobile industry and also has been involved in many of the local community organizations such as the Association for Independent Living, Corner Brook Board of Trade and many other charities                
Allan Skanes – Mr. Skanes is an educator by profession and has worked with the Western School District in various capacities ranging from teacher, vice-principal,
principal, program specialist and senior education officer with the school board, a position he currently holds. He has been involved with several provincial groups within the education field and also has been a very active volunteer in the area of sports and recreation from local up to the national level. Additionally, Mr. Skanes served as vice-president of the Canada Winter Games in 1999 and was responsible for both the Athletes Village and a member of the Planning and Priorities Committee.

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For further information, please call Ivan Muzychka, manager, communications, Division of Marketing and Communications, Memorial University, 737-8665, 687-9433 or


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