Ashit Patel

Co-Founder

An expert in finance and business strategy, Mr. Ashit Patel has completed two decades as a management & a soft Skill Consultant.

A man with many hats, he has worked in the Food & Beverage industry for almost 10 years . He launched two food brands in India – Garcia’s Famous Pizza & Mr. Chow’s . He was a Soft Skill Consultant to various corporates for almost 12 year.

His key areas of specialization are Business Development, Strategy Formulation and Implementation, Organizational Restructuring and Mergers and Acquisitions.

Born and raised in a Gujarati Family in Mumbai he played Cricket, Hockey, Football, Table Tennis and Chess at school and college. His father who was a very learned and as a legal eagle who made his own mark in Mumbai when he came in 1954. Seeing his father and playing games Ashit imbibed two very important lessons in those day -Team spirit and camaraderie.

An admirer of all faculties in Sports, he didn’t think twice before coming on board with GT20. A fan of chess wizards Garry Kasparov and Viswanathan Anand, he is happy to witness the steady growth of professional sport in India.

He firmly believes that many sporting disciplines are yet to get their act together.

 An excellent public speaker and his presence will ensure GT20 grows by leaps and bounds. His sense of looking at the future, suggesting what strategies to follow, vast experience and formulating growth plans will add a lot of help to the League.

CHRIS LANG

President, Lang Marketing Network

Chair, Global T20 Canada Board of Advisors

Chris Lang is an architect of change. Regarded as one of the originators of Sponsorships in the 60s, he has bought and sold over a billion dollars worth of deals.

His passion for his work and immense business acumen has benefitted both corporations and properties to realize their business objectives and meet the needs of the Canadian consumer. After working for Citibank in the early part of his career, Chris has spent 50 years in the business of Sponsorships. Since his early involvement with the Federal government’s “Task Force on Sport for Canadians”, Chris has been a leader and key advisor for many of the major developments including his involvement in every Olympic Games since 1968. He was one of the founders of Hockey Canada, Participaction, Coaching Association and lead sponsorship developer for Skate Canada and many other properties.

From major multi-national corporations such as Coca-Cola, Samsung, Kodak, Bank of America, IBM and Telstra to Canada’s leading companies including Bell Canada, Royal Bank, Canadian Pacific, Petro-Canada, Canada Post, Purolator, Weston Foods, Labatt, Rogers, CIBC etc. – the roster of organizations that has benefited from Chris’ unique insight and marketing expertise is a testament to his stature as one of the most respected experts in the corporate partnership marketplace.

Over the years, Chris has used his strategic foresight to adapt to the changing needs of the market place. His leadership has led to the evolution of Sponsorships to Partnerships – Multi-faceted programs that create mutual value to the consumer, corporation and the property. In 2019, Chris was inducted into the Sponsorship Marketing Council Canada’s Hall of Fame.

He challenges the conventional and is an adventurous risk taker. He balances that with his unique skill to analyze various points of view, create consensus and forge win-win partnerships.

Chris is a visionary leader who has this rare ability to recognize potential in innovative and pioneering projects using a combination of business intuition and heart. As an example, under Chris’ leadership and with His Holiness Pope Francis as inspiration, the historic Sport at the Service of Humanity: The First Global Conference on Faith and Sport was held at the Vatican in October 2016 successfully launching a global movement that leverages the power of Faith and Sport to change the world. In 2017, Chris founded the Sport at the Service of Humanity Foundation to continue to grow the movement that champions the concept of “values-driven sport” – a fitting legacy that captures Chris’ 50 years of contribution and involvement in sport.

Today, he leads Lang Marketing Network with the vision to create change and a mission to leave a lasting legacy in the Canadian, as well as, the global marketplace.

GARY COMERFORD

President and CEO, CMC Global

Over 40 years Gary Comerford has been actively involved in dealing with the enormous changes that have taken place in the financial services industry and has worked extensively in both the Individual and Group insurance market.

Gary first entered the financial services business in 1977 as a Branch Manager for Canada Permanent Trust Company (TD Canada Trust) and rose to become its Vice-President of Marketing. In 1986, he joined Sun Life of Canada as Vice President of Marketing, and worked in a number of roles including General Manager for India, retiring as Senior Vice-President, International. In 2009, he joined Reinsurance Group of America as Executive Vice President and was later appointed Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer. In 2014 Gary incorporated CMC Global, a consulting company specializing in International Expansion. Throughout his career Gary has written for a variety of industry publications, and has spoken extensively at industry seminars about the future of the financial services industry. In 2013 Gary became Chairman and CEO of the Pacific Insurance Conference Limited.

Gary is a Past Director of Aditya Birla Minacs, Birla Sun Life Insurance, Birla Sun Life Asset Management and Birla Sun Life Distribution in India’ and is past President and CEO of The Canada India Business Council. In 2008, Gary received the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC)’s President’s Award for his role in strengthening the trade relationship between Canada and India. In addition, he is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, and in 2001 received the Alumni Award of Distinction from King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario. In 2016 Gary was award the IIS Kenneth Black, Jr. Distinguished Service Award from the International Insurance Society.

Gary is also an active member of his community. He is a past President of the Catholic Children’s Aid Society Foundation of Toronto, and Past President of the Rotary Club of Oakville. He was also Co-Chair for The Learning Partnership’s 2007 and 2008 Tribute Dinner. In 2012, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for significant achievement and remarkable service. In 2013 he also was appointed as Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Insurance Conference. Gary is a Past Member of the Board of Directors of TV Ontario, Ontario’s public educational media organization, and is past Chair of The Shaw Festival Board. In 2014 Gary was appointed as a member of Brock University’s Board of Trustees and in 2017 was elected Chair of the Board of Trustees.

DALE HOOPER

President & CEO at Cannabis Compliance Inc

Dale Hooper is the co-founder of D2H Ontario Inc, a consulting and investment company founded in January 2018. Working in the tech, consumer products and sports industries they work with small to mid-size organizations on developing long term growth strategies.

For the previous three and a half years, he was the Chief Brand Officer of Rogers Communications leading the team responsible for Brand, Advertising and Sponsorship. He led brand strategy, consumer insight, and all advertising and creative for the Rogers, Fido, and Chatr brands, as well as all Rogers Media brands. Dale also oversaw the corporate events and conferences, product naming and visual identity for all brands. Dale played a leadership role in driving the digital transformation to improve the customer experience and marketing effectiveness. He pioneered platform partnerships with Facebook, Google, Twitter and Snapchat that enable Rogers to leverage the platforms for customer service, data analytics and advertising effectiveness.

Previously, Dale was Senior Vice President of Marketing & Consumer Insights for the media division at Rogers, responsible for building brand equity for their diverse portfolio of media assets. Dale also oversaw the company’s consumer insights, promotional inventory strategies, and consumer subscription revenue. He led the market launches of Shomi, the subscription video service launched in 2014, and Texture (Next Issue) the subscription magazine service launched in 2013.

One of Canada’s most influential marketers, Dale has more than 20 years of marketing experience in the media and consumer packaged goods industry.

Prior to joining Rogers, Dale spent 13 years at PepsiCo Canada. He held CMO roles at both PepsiCo Foods and PepsiCo Beverages where he drove two key business integrations. In 2007, he drove the integration of Quaker Tropicana Gatorade brands into the PepsiCo GTM system and then in 2010 integrated the Pepsi Bottling Group into one GTM system. As CMO, he set the innovation agenda, developed marketing programs and advertising campaigns for the organization. Many of those programs have been adapted in countries around the world. Dale also has extensive experience in Partnership Marketing, having worked with all the major sports organizations, record labels, and media companies.

Currently, Dale serves as a member of the advisory council for the Board of Directors of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Dale joined numerous boards including 82 Labs, a start up based in Los Angeles, and Unyte Health products of Toronto. He was also a mentor for the inaugural Techstars Canada cohort.

CARY KAPLAN

President, Cosmos Sports & Entertainment

Cary Kaplan has been a leading sports executive since 1995. As founder and president of Cosmos Sports in 2003, the company with the ambition to ‘Win the Business’, has rapidly established itself as an international industry leader in several areas including Strategic Training, Corporate Sponsorship, Ticket Sales, Marketing and Corporate Branding.

Cary has personally consulted for and trained over 400 teams and leagues including the National Hockey League (NHL), Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets (NBA), Canadian Football League (CFL), Major League Soccer (MLS), Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs (MLB), Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers & Ottawa Senators (NHL).

Other high profile clients have included the Grey Cup, Memorial Cup, Disney on Ice, USports, the City of Kitchener and the University of Toronto.. Cary also served for 5 years as commissioner of the Canadian Soccer League.

In 2013, Cosmos Sports assumed all management and operational responsibilities for the Brampton Beast Hockey Club of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).Cary personally serves as team President and General Manager. Major accomplishments with the Beast have included signing a multi-year affiliation with the Montreal Canadiens (NHL), and securing an unparalleled $1.5 Million partnership with the City of Brampton and have entertained over 600,000 fans to date.

For six years, and prior to founding Cosmos Sports, Cary was a proud employee of the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club, as President of their AHL franchise, the Hamilton Bulldogs where he won the Ken McKenzie Award as top league executive and club has record growth during the six year tenure

Cary has Honours BA from the University of Toronto, and an MBA in Marketing from Dalhousie University.

NICK MARRONE

Principal, Marrone & Associates Sports Marketing

Nick Marrone is Principal of Marrone & Associates Sports Marketing. The primary focus of the practice is to support corporate sponsors in maximizing the value of their investment in sport. Clients have included the Hudson’s Bay Company, Toronto Pearson Airport, CP Rail and the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Bid.

While Nick’s roots are in Toronto, his career has led him to develop a global perspective in sports marketing.

As Senior Director, Global Sports Marketing for McDonalds Corporation Worldwide, Nick led McDonald’s global sports portfolio, most notably McDonald’s sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup, the Olympic Games and the NBA.

Prior to joining McDonald’s, Nick was Executive Director of Marketing and Communications for the Canadian Olympic Committee. Nick re-established the marketing function within the COC and was responsible for new revenue generation, brand management and sponsor value creation.

Nick joined Bell Canada in 1979 after graduating with an M.A. from York University, progressing through senior positions in brand management, advertising and sponsorship. Nick led Bell’s sponsorship division for a number of years during which it successfully leveraged many cultural and sports properties, including its title sponsorship of the Bell Canadian Open. Bell continues to be engaged with major properties initiated during Nick’s leadership, including sponsorship of the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Toronto Film Festival.

Nick is a past Director of Golf Canada, Canada’s national governing sport body for golf. He currently sits on its distinguished Governors Council, and serves on the Nominating Committee.

Most recently Nick has been involved in supporting the work of Vatican-inspired Sport at the Service of Humanity Foundation, and also serves as a Director on its Board.

PETER SISAM

Vice President – Media, IMG Canada

As a veteran broadcasting rights negotiator, Peter Sisam’s professional experience spans decades in the sports and entertainment media industry. From 1960 to 1982, he worked for Canada’s largest broadcast sales and marketing company at the time, All-Canada Radio & Television, first managing the Montreal office and later serving as Vice President of Radio. In 1974, Peter was appointed General Manager of All- Canada and in 1977 moved to All-Canada’s parent company, Selkirk Communications, where he served as Vice President of U.S. and Canada operations.

In 1982, Peter took his expertise to CTV, where he served as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing. From 1982 to 1993, Peter was responsible for all network revenue at CTV. He organized CTV’s 1992 Olympic Games broadcast team in his final year at the company.

In 1993, Peter joined IMG Canada as the Vice President of Media, where he continues to manage sales of IMG properties to Canadian TV Networks. In addition to negotiating television rights for organizations such as the International Olympic Committee, Peter has negotiated television rights for various sports teams such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Toronto Raptors, Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens.

Peter has served on a number of industry boards such as BBM, TVB, RAB, and the Canadian Broadcast Representatives Association. As a passionate baseball fan, he is currently an active member of the Jays Care Foundation Board working with at-risk youth in communities across Canada.

PAUL WILLIAMS

Marketing, Sales & Programming in Canadian Broadcasting Executive

From 2001 to 2016, Paul was the Senior Vice President at Sirius XM Radio, He was a member of the team that secured Canadian broadcast license for XM Satellite radio in Canada. He ran the sales division for XM Radio in Canada from launch of network to merger with Sirius and acquired the NFL radio rights in Canada. While doing so, he established a national radio network branded KFC NFL Radio (Monday Night Football, NFL playoffs and Super Bowl).

As Executive Vice President & General Manager Headline Sports/The Score from 1996-2000, Paul oversaw diverse portfolio with 4,500 employees and $1.8B of revenue, He launched the first 24-hour sports highlights & sports news television network across Canada in 1997 and secured carriage on both Shaw and Rogers Cable – first television network to scroll ticker across base of screen during programming and commercials. While at Headline Sports he acquired the Canadian TV rights to Major League Baseball All-Star game, playoffs & World Series

Produced and distributed five sports, six music and four information networks, 10 multi- week radio specials and overnight music services as Vice President & General Managers of Telemedia Network Radio from 1990-1996. He expanded the Toronto Blue Jays radio network into the largest sports baseball radio network in North America from 1990-1996 (75 stations) -first in Canadian sports broadcasting to create sales “bundles” with multiple radio properties

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