Current & Past Winners

Congratulations to our 2021 5 to Watch Award Winners!

The awards are presented to five business professionals who achieved remarkable success in the sports business industry prior to their 40th birthday! Join us virtually on Thursday, November 18, 2021, for the awards ceremony. Go to our Events page for more information.

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Peter Widdis, recipient of 2021 Special Recognition Award

2021 Special Recognition Award

Peter Widdis

Peter Widdis is a full-time Professor and Academic Coordinator of the Sport & Event Marketing postgraduate program in the Centre for Business.

Originally a 'Student/Athlete' and member of the varsity basketball team at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York - he started his career at Grey Advertising.

After moving to the sports business sector with Lang Partnerships Network, Peter was one of the early graduates in the Sport & Event Marketing program in 1997.

A dual professional in every sense of the term, Peter went on to hold executive roles in Fortune 500 CPG companies, an SME and Multinational Agency, acquiring foundational skills in Brand Management, Strategic Planning and Product Innovation along the way.

Peter returned 'home' to George Brown in 2009 - where his passion for lifelong learning and applied creativity has been integral to the Sport & Event Marketing program thriving as one of North America's foremost postgraduate business programs.

Peter's drive to turning learning into opportunity is evident in his unique teaching practices which energize teamwork from the classroom to the boardroom. Peter has been a coach for hundreds of graduates — guiding them on their career start and advising on the critical skills required to succeed.

As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 5 To Watch Awards - Peter has been one of the key architects in the growth of this media event. A champion of the nomination process, he engages sports business leaders and organizations across Canada, while encouraging diverse participation from all sectors to help the industry rise together.

And perhaps most importantly, aside from his faculty role, Peter is a Co-Chair on the Organizing Committee, which has raised more than $350,000 for the GBC Foundation in support of student bursaries.

Enthusiastic, inspiring and a genuine leader, 5 to Watch and George Brown College are pleased to recognize Peter Widdis as the recipient of our 2021 Special Recognition Award.

THE 2021 5 TO WATCH WINNERS & SPORT AND EVENT ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER

Aalum Jaffer, 5 to Watch finalist, 2021

Aalum Jaffer

Vice President, Brand Strategy
Victory Creative Group

Catherine Raiche, 5 to Watch finalist, 2021

Catherine Raiche

Vice President, Football Operations
Philadelphia Eagles

Deidra Dionne-Currie, 5 to Watch finalist, 2021

Deidra Dionne

Senior Director, Talent, Strategy & Business Relations
Rogers Sports & Media

Jennifer DelVecchio, 5 to Watch finalist, 2021

Jennifer DelVecchio

Global Senior Director, Strategic Alliances
McDonalds

Mike Armstrong, 5 to Watch finalist, 2021

Mike Armstrong

Chief Marketing Officer
Juventus Football Club

Ian Malcolm, member of 5 to Watch Selection Committee

Ian Malcolm - Sport and Event Alumni Achievement Award Winner

President & CEO
Lumency

The 2020 5 to Watch Winners & Sport and Event Alumni Achievement Award Winner

Jana Masiewich

VP Sponsorship and Events
Publicis

Judd Moldaver

Senior VP
Wasserman

Jamie Saull

Head of Brand Partnerships
TSN (Bell Media)

Darryl Boynton

Associate VP
Canadian Tire

Matthew Klar

VP of Strategy
MKTG Canada

Shannon Hosford - Sport and Event Alumni Achievement Award Winner

Chief Marketing Officer
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE)

The 2019 5 to Watch Winners & Sport and Event Alumni Achievement Award Winner

Meghan Chayka

Co-Founder
Stathletes

Galen Davies

Senior Director, Strategy & Partnership Development, Global Partnerships
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE)

Nicole Lee

Senior Director, Integrated Marketing
NHL

Sarah-Eve Pelletier

Deputy General Counsel & Director of Business Affairs
Canadian Olympic Committee

Owen Welsh

Senior Director, Corporate Partnerships
Canadian Football League

Brian McLean - Sport and Event Alumni Achievement Award Winner

Founder and President
Achilles Canada

The 2018 5 to Watch Winners & Sport and Event Alumni Achievement Award Winner

Leah MacNab

Senior Director, Marketing Partnerships
NBA Canada

John Mathers

Senior Vice President, Brand and Business Development
Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group

Matt McGlynn

Vice President, Brand Marketing
RBC

Tanya Mruck

Executive Director
MLSE Foundation and MLSE LaunchPad

Marnie Starkman

Vice President, Marketing and Events
Toronto Blue Jays

Kim Smither - Sport and Event Alumni Achievement Award Winner

Vice President
ProSpeakers.com

The 2017 5 to Watch Winners & Sport and Event Alumni Achievement Award Winner

Andrew Argo

Director, Corporate Sponsorship & Business Development
New York Jets

Atila Ozkaplan

Senior Director, Technical Logistics
NBC Sports Group

Catherine Gosselin-Després

Executive Director, Sports
Canadian Paralympic Committee

Jordan Vader

Senior Director, Global Partnerships
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

Lisa Ferkul

Director, Hockey Sponsorship
Scotiabank

Dan Mackenzie - Sport and Event Alumni Achievement Award Winner

Vice President and Managing Director
NBA Canada

The 2016 5 to Watch Winners & Sport and Event Alumni Achievement Award Winner

Andrew Greenlaw

Senior Director, Sponsorship Marketing & Strategy
CIBC

Sophie Kotsopoulos

Director, Integrated Marketing
National Hockey League

Matthew Logue

Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
S&E Sponsorship Group

Dan Near

Head of adidas Hockey
adidas Group

Brent Rossi

Executive Vice President, Marketing & Brand Strategy
Pegula Sports & Entertainment

Jacquie Ryan - Sport and Event Alumni Achievement Award Winner

VP, Sponsorship Marketing
Scotiabank

The 2015 5 to Watch Winners & Sport and Event Alumni Achievement Award Winner

Andrew Baker

Director, Games
Canadian Olympic Committee

Tyler Mazereeuw

Senior Director, Business Development
CFL

Michael Rossi

President
adidas Group Canada

Joanna Rotenberg

Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Strategy
BMO Financial Group

Chris Shewfelt

Senior Director, Global Partnerships
MLSE

Nathalie Cooke - Sport and Event Alumni Achievement Award Winner

Vice-President of Sales and Brand Partnerships
TSN

The 2014 5 to Watch Winners & Sport and Event Alumni Achievement Award Winner

Matt Afinec

Senior Vice President & Chief Sales Officer
Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club

Danielle Bedasse

Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation
Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club

Alison Gardiner

VP, Brand Development
Canucks Sports & Entertainment

Jim Kozak

Director of Sales, Olympics & Sports Partnerships
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

Adrian Sciarra

VP, Partnerships & Merchandise Sales
Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Group

Roy Roedger, 2014 Sport and Event Alumni Achievement Award Winner

Roy Roedger

President/CEO
SDI Marketing

The 2013 5 to Watch Winners

Mark Silver

Head of Digital
TSN

Chris Armstrong

Senior Vice President
Wasserman Media Group

Kyle McMann

Vice President, Integrated Marketing
NHL Enterprises

Norm O'Reilly

Professor & Chair, Department of Sports Administration
College of Business at Ohio University

Matt Shearer

VP/GM, Europe, Middle East, Asia
Under Armour

The 2012 5 to Watch Winners

Adam Ashton, member of 5 to Watch Selection Committee

Adam Ashton

Senior Vice President, Business Operations
Bell Media

Rachel Lewis, member of 5 to Watch Selection Committee

Rachel Lewis

Chief Operating Officer
Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Shawn Redmond, 2012 5 to Watch winner

Shawn Redmond

VP of Programming and Marketing
TSN

Alyson Walker, co-chair of 5 to Watch Selection Committee

Alyson Walker

Executive Director, Marketing Partnerships
Canadian Olympic Committee

Jeff DeLine, 2012 5 to Watch winner

Jeff DeLine

Senior Director Corporate Partnerships
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment

*Winners’ titles listed are as of the date they received their award and may not be current.