The Business of Hockey Institute (BHI) announced today that Mark Chipman, Executive Chairman and Governor of True North Sports + Entertainment and the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club, will be recognized for his outstanding contributions to the business of hockey through the awarding of the honorary Certified Hockey Professional (CHP) designation.
Upon receiving notice that he will be the next recipient of honorary CHP designation, Mr. Chipman said, “I’m deeply honoured and humbled to receive this designation. To be in the company of such distinguished past winners, John McDonough and Peter Luukko, both of whom I hold in the highest regard and who are considered to be the finest team leaders in the NHL .”
For over two decades, Chipman has been integral in establishing and maintaining professional hockey in his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Some of the more notable achievements in his career include:
- Leading True North’s successful relocation of the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg in 2011, naming the team, once again, the Winnipeg Jets.
- Working alongside NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, and nine other NHL Governors as part the of league’s NHL Board Executive. A role Chipman accepted last year.
- Bringing the AHL and Manitoba Moose back Winnipeg in 2015 as the Winnipeg Jets’ AHL affiliate. The move has created many benefits for both clubs, most specifically an effective and efficient player development strategy with players from both teams in one market.
- Developing a hockey development hub with the opening of Bell MTS Iceplex in 2010. The facility has four NHL regulation size rinks, 177,000 square feet of year-round multipurpose facilities, and 12,000 hours of daytime ice annually for the community. Iceplex is also the official practice facility of the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose.
- Facilitating the initiative to bring six IHL teams into the AHL in 2001, working closely with AHL President, David Andrews.
- Establishing True North Sports + Entertainment in 1999 and opening Bell MTS Place in 2004. The 15,000 seat arena is now home of the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose, and is consistently lauded as one of North America’s premier arenas for sports and entertainment events.
- Bringing professional hockey back to Winnipeg in 1996 with the Manitoba Moose in the IHL. The Moose set up operations the same year the Winnipeg Jets “1.0” relocated to Arizona, paving the way for a journey that ultimately led to the return of the NHL and the Winnipeg Jets “2.0”.
“Mark Chipman is the person mainly responsible for the return of professional hockey to Winnipeg, and the growing success of the Winnipeg Jets. Mr. Chipman was responsible for establishing the AHL team in Winnipeg, followed by the Jets,” says Herb Pinder, Chair of the Business of Hockey Institute. “He has patiently supported the organization he put in place, resulting in a franchise that is on the cusp of long term success. For all of this he has earned the gratitude of hockey fans in Canada and is a wonderful role model for Business of Hockey students and future CHP recipients.”
Additionally, as a tireless champion of the community, Chipman is the Chairman of the True North Youth Foundation www.tnyf.ca, which has grown into an impactful program-based foundation that assists youth within Manitoba to achieve their full physical, social, emotional and intellectual potential. Chipman was also a founding member of the Board of the Hockey Canada Foundation Board, a position he held for ten years. More recently, he established Gonzaga Middle School, which offers a holistic curriculum to grade 6-8 students in Winnipeg’s inner-city. www.gonzagamiddleschool.ca.
The honorary CHP is awarded to an individual who epitomizes the qualities, capabilities, and accomplishments desired by existing and future CHPs. An honorary CHP also recognizes individuals who have made impressive off-ice contributions to their organizations that have earned them the respect of their peers in other hockey-related organizations. As a graduate of both Economics and Law from the University of North Dakota, Chipman’s track record exemplifies how high-level, post-secondary education can assist hockey’s future leaders in making valuable contributions to the industry.
Mark Chipman will receive the honorary CHP at the BHI Awards Night occurring in conjunction with the 2018 PrimeTime Sports & Entertainment Conference in Toronto. The conference takes place in November each year immediately following the Hockey Hall of Fame weekend. (Further details can be found at http://www.primetimesport.ca).