Winners named in 2017 George Brown College 5 To Watch awards competition

Winners named in 2017 George Brown College 5 To Watch awards competition

Sports business marketing professionals to be honoured by top industry executives

TORONTO, ON – May 18, 2017 – George Brown College is pleased to announce the recipients of the sixth 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 business of sport.

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 awards are firmly established as one of Canada’s premier sports and marketing events,” said Mike Fenton, Executive Director, ACG Toronto and 5 To Watch event co-chair. “The awards shine a light on some of the industry’s up-and-comers and brightest minds while also helping to support a stronger and more vibrant sports business industry.”

Hosted by Kate Beirness of TSN, the 5 To Watch Awards are given annually to Canadian sports business professionals who demonstrate leadership in their industry sector. Winners are selected based on a variety of criteria including success metrics, workplace promotions and examples of entrepreneurship or creative problem solving. The 5 To Watch award recipients are as follows:

• Andrew Agro, Director, Corporate Sponsorship and Business Development, New York Jets
• Atila Ozkaplan, Senior Director, Technical Logistics, NBC Sports Group
• Catherine Gosselin-Després, Executive Director, Sport, Canadian Paralympic Committee
• Jordan Vader, Senior Director, Global Partnerships, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
• Lisa Ferkul, Director, Hockey Sponsorship, Scotiabank

The 5 To Watch winners will be honoured at an awards ceremony taking place June 22, 2017 at George Brown’s Waterfront Campus. The awards are voted on by a panel of sports business executives from across the country, including representatives from BMO Financial Group, the Canadian Football League, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, SDI Marketing, TSN and Canadian Tire. The awards are presented by George Brown’s Centre for Business and a committee of Centre for Business sport and event marketing alumni in partnership with The Globe and Mail.

The 5 to Watch awards 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 over $200,000 and has awarded 32 student bursaries.

“We are proud to be part of an event that not only celebrates rising sports business leaders, but also provides inspiration for those following in their footsteps,” said Maureen Loweth, Dean, Centre for Business, George Brown College.

In 2014 the Alumni Achievement Award was established to recognize outstanding achievement by a George Brown Sport & Event Marketing program graduate. The winner of the 2017 award is Dan MacKenzie, Vice President and Managing Director of NBA Canada.

For tickets and further information, visit or follow @5towatch for twitter updates.

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, and provides housing at its student residence, The George, which opened in Sept. 2016. George Brown offers 152 full-time programs and 243 continuing education certificates/designations across a wide variety of professions to a student body of nearly 29,000 (full-time enrolment) students, including 15 per cent international students; and over 66,000 continuing education registrants. Students can earn certificates, diplomas, postgraduate certificates, apprenticeships and degrees.

For more information, please contact:
Joyann Callender
Manager, Media Relations
George Brown College
416-415-5000 x3159