Ontario Sports Hall of Fame
Mark Gravett, President
Raised in Hanover, Ontario by parents dedicated to the education and benefits of sport for youth, Gravett was fortunate to experience many summer and winter sports. Introduced to competitive sports at a young age, this instilled strong values and a framework and life-long passion to provide guidance to others. Gravett held the positon as athletic program director at a high performance co-ed sports camp for 9 years.
A graduate of Université de Tours, France, Mark’s initial professional venture was in the travel industry. After extensive travelling worldwide, another door opened and Mark was recruited by THF, a global hotelier and a career in hotel management in Toronto and abroad. Committed to delivering exceptional service and hospitality experiences, guests included Prime Ministers, Presidents, External Affairs, professional and amateur athletes, actors and leaders in the cultural world. Unexpected opportunities and changing dynamics of hotel services, Gravett was introduced to the world of technology and digital evolution.
A new career in telecommunications began almost 25 years ago, launching a successful tenure in operations and high performance sales with such firms as TTS Meridian, Williams, TELUS and Black Box Network Services. Gravett managed enterprise and global fortune 500 accounts helping align clients’ new media to create positive business outcomes.
As President of the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, Gravett’s responsibilities include, managing the day to day activities of the organization, team lead for the board of directors, ongoing business development and executive producer for the annual induction ceremony and awards gala.
Mark resides in Toronto and has a daughter and son, both accomplished high performance athletes.
Dale Neilly, Vice President
Dale, a VP with the Board, brings a wealth of diverse experiences and skills in sales and marketing to the OSHF. He has spent most of his career in the telecom/IT and technology fields working in both large and small companies such as Oracle, Black Box Network Services, Radiant Communications, Nortel and Telus. His roles have ranged from sales to sales management to executive positions delivering value to direct customers worldwide as well as through distribution partners. He is now semi retired but through his own Company (RDN and Associates) is keeping his hand in Business Development and Sales providing his experience and skills to a couple of different companies, one in the Energy Innovation and the other in Staff Augmentation.
Born and raised in Ontario, and a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Dale has always enjoyed watching and attending sports events of all kinds. He has coached baseball for a number of years and is still an avid player.
Dale has been a Board Member since 2010 and served in several capacities including a three-year stint as Event Chair. He is strong believer and supporter that greatness in all aspects of Sport in Ontario needs to be recognized not only for its own merits, but also for how and what it teaches all of us about history, achievement, teamwork and life itself.
Dan Giantsopoulos LL.M., Vice President
Dan attended his undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto receiving his Bachelor of Arts in 1992. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Ottawa in 1995. After being called to the bar in 1997 he obtained his Master of Laws in Tax from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2001.
Dan has a thriving corporate law practice at the law firm of Blaney McMurtry LLP where he advises corporations of all sizes. Dan is the editor-in-chief of the Guide to Doing Business in Canada and has helped many US corporations to set up and flourish in Canada.
Dan is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Bar Association and the Canadian Bar Association, as well as the Golf Historical Society of Canada. Dan is an active member of his local community, sitting on the Board of Directors for each of the York Simcoe Baseball Association, Fundraising Advisory Committee for the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation and the President’s Parents Council for Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA).
Dan is a VP on the Board and has been a Board member for 15 years.
Kristy began skating at the age of 3. She was a member of both the Junior and Senior National figure skating teams and competed internationally for Canada. She remains active in the sport as a Judge and a national level Technical Specialist. She sits on the Board of Directors of Skate Canada and is the Chair of its External Relations Committee.
Kristy is also a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee.
Kristy practices tax law at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP. She recently returned to Toronto from practicing law in New York with another large, international firm.
Kristy strongly believes in the life lessons taught by sport and is an active participant in the area of safe sport. Kristy understands the passion and dedication required of an athlete of all levels of sport and is thrilled to be on the board of the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, celebrating contributions by extraordinary people to sport in our province.
Pete started his hockey career in the Toronto Hockey League, became Chicago Blackhawks property at the age of 16. He played for 3 years with their OHA Jr. A farm team in Galt before turning professional with Chicago at age 20. A 13 year hockey career followed with stops with the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and several AHL teams. His professional career was interrupted in 1959 when he joined the Belleville McFarlands and helped win the World Championship in Prague. After retiring from professional hocey in 1966 he joined the N.H.L. Oldtimers Hockey club and for the next 13 years played charity hockey games across Canada.
A past president of Ontario Special Olympics and a board member of the Charlie Conacher Throat Cancer Research Fund, Pete received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal from Senator Frank Mahovlich in recognition of his athletics and community services in Canada.
Peter and his wife Ann have been summer residents of the Township of the Archipelago since the 1950's and his contributions to community building in Sans Souci and Copperhead Associations as well as many local charities have been legendary.
Jeff is a sports enthusiast. Born in Toronto and raised in Aurora, he grew up playing every sport he possibly could. His passion to combine academic and athletic excellence took Jeff to St. Andrew’s College in Aurora where he would go on to Captain the Varsity Football, Hockey, Baseball and Lacrosse teams, earning Athlete of the year honors in his graduating year.
Jeff was awarded an academic and athletic scholarship to attend Queen’s University in Kingston ON, where he captained the men’s hockey team and graduate with a degree in Economics.
After graduation Jeff began his working career in Toronto at the investment firm Canaccord Genuity in their wealth management division. He spent 6 years there, building his book of business, managing wealth for high net worth individuals, families and professionals with his senior partner before moving to National Bank Wealth Management in the spring of 2016.
Jeff currently sits on the Association of Corporate Growth (ACG) Young Professional board in Toronto and in his free time he can be found playing men’s league hockey, on the golf course, in the gym or spending time in Collingwood.
He currently resides in Toronto.
Scott Morrison is a 40-year veteran hockey journalist and recipient of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s 2006 Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award. He was Executive Producer, Hockey with Sportsnet and was an analyst and commentator on the network’s Hockeycentral and news shows. He also was a features reporter for Sportsnet hockey and Hockey Night in Canada.
A highly respected hockey journalist, the Toronto native began his career at the Toronto Sun in 1979. After spending more than 11 years as a hockey writer and columnist at the paper, he became Sports Editor in 1991 and led the section to being named one of North America’s top-ten sports sections in 1999 – the first sports section in Canada to receive the AP Sports Editors North American Award. In 2001, he joined Rogers Sportsnet as Managing Editor, Hockey, later becoming Executive Producer News and Hockey.
Scott worked as a commentator at Hockey Night in Canada for six years before returning to Sportsnet.
Scott has authored several best-selling hockey books and served two terms as President of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.
Scott has chaired the Conn Smythe Sports Celebrities Dinner and Auction in support of Easter Seals since 1995 and also is on the board of the Dr. Jay Charitable Foundation/Children’s Grief Program. He resides in Don Mills with his son, Mark.
Kamleh is a partner with the IP/Tech group at the law firm Baker & McKenzie LLP in its Toronto Office where she focuses on intellectual property disputes, especially patent disputes, and health regulatory matters. She is an active member of the Firm's North American Healthcare Steering Committee, as well as the North American Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Kamleh has also served on the Executive Committee of the National IP Section of the Canadian Bar Association and acted as its Chair from 2016-17.
Kamleh attended law school at the University of Windsor. She previously received a Bachelor of Science (Biology) from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Growing up in Prince Edward Island, Kamleh developed a passion for sport at a young age. She became a competitive synchronized swimmer and competed at a regional and national level. Continuing with the aquatic theme, Kamleh's summers were spent on the water cruising and racing in sailboats. During her years at Dalhousie University, Kamleh rowed for the university team, as well as the City of Halifax team, in both women's eight and women's four events. After moving to Toronto to practice law, Kamleh soon discovered yet another water-based sport as she competed with an all-women's dragon boat team for many years.
Kamleh is now a proud mother of a son who has found much success on the ice as a hockey goalie and on the diamond as a baseball player. She continues to be an avid fan of many sports, most especially the Olympics, and closely follows the Maple Leafs and Blue Jays.
Theodore (Ted) Papadatos has over eighteen years of experience in the financial services sector, including postings in Retail Banking, Small Business Banking, and Commercial Banking Real Estate (Construction Financing) and most recently he is a senior leader in the Capital Markets Space.
Born and raised in Toronto, Ted holds an undergraduate Degree from the city’s York University in sociology. Ted currently resides in Richmond Hill, Ontario, where he was the Director of Finance for the Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra. Ted previously served for six years as a Director for the Canadian National Exhibition and is currently on the CNEA finance committee.
Ted is currently a Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of Canada’s European Union Chamber of Commerce, an organization intending to become a key facilitator for European businesses within Canada and seeking to enter the Canadian market. Ted is also a director of Business Development for the Hellenic Canadian Board of Trade, a business organization connecting members across the Greater Toronto Area and abroad.
Additionally, Ted was on the ticket sales committee for Mackenzie Health Foundation (formerly known as the York Central Hospital Foundation). As Canada’s largest fundraising drive steered by a community hospital, the Mackenzie Health Foundation aims to enhance care and resources at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital and Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital.
Ted also serves as an executive of the Toronto Police CPLC.
Suzanne Primeau loves sports…all sports. Born in Etobicoke, Ontario, As her grandfather is “Gentleman Joe Primeau” of the Toronto Maple Leafs, two-time Stanley Cup Champion and Hockey Hall of Fame honouree, sports have always been prominent in Suzanne's life. This led to her love of ice hockey. She was a forerunner in the 1970’s, playing women’s ice hockey for the Mississauga Indians. She travelled both locally and internationally, winning several competitions.
Suzanne attended high school in the Port Credit area. She was an athlete on the volleyball, basketball, and track and field teams. She was president of the Girls Athletic Association, chosen student representative for the Ontario Athletic Leadership Camp, and Athlete of the Year upon her high school graduation.
Suzanne graduated from McMaster University with her Bachelor of Honours Physical Education Degree. During her four years at McMaster University, she was a member of two McMaster University Varsity Athletic Teams: Ontario University Champions synchronized swimming team, and squash. After completing her degree at McMaster, she attended the University of Toronto for her Bachelor of Education Degree. Suzanne has taught for the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board and the Peel District Board in the areas of Physical and Health Education, Science, Department Head for Dramatic Arts, Cooperative Education and the Peel District Board OYAP Resource Co-ordinator.
Suzanne currently is on the Board of Directors and a committee member for Maddie’s Everlasting Wish Foundation that assisted in building the Baraka Health Clinic in Kenya in association with ME to WE. Their fundraising efforts continue to provide supplies and financial assistance for qualified health care individuals in an effort to ensure newborns are born HIV free.
She has recently been involved with the Original Six NHL Alumni Meetings and represents the Primeau family at these monthly luncheons.
Suzanne resides in Dundas, Ontario, with her husband. They have two children, Luke and Alexa. Suzanne’s enduring belief is Live Life with Gratitude!
Nick Rossi, J.D., B.Com.
Nick is currently in-house legal counsel at Peninsula Employment Services, an HR consultancy for small and medium-sized business, where he specializes in employment law. Nick holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Juris Doctor from U of T.
Nick is interested in all things law, business, and sports. During his last year of law school at U of T, Nick founded the Hockey Arbitration Competition of Canada, a moot competition that simulates the salary arbitration procedures used in the National Hockey League. In its five years of existence, the competition has enjoyed tremendous success, attracting high-profile sports lawyers and hockey executives and drawing 32 teams from law schools across North America.
After growing up in South Florida and playing competitive baseball for twelve years, Nick is a baseball aficionado. The game was and still is a very important part of his life.
Nick resides in Toronto.
Dimitri is a senior manager in the US & Cross-Border Tax Services group of KPMG LLP. He is a Canadian trained CPA, CA, and also holds his US CPA designation. Dimitri holds a Master of Taxation degree from the University of Waterloo, and an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree with a minor in Economics from McMaster University.
Dimitri has extensive experience assisting both corporate and personal clients with US & Canadian cross-border tax matters and services clients located all over Canada and the United States. Dimitri works with clients to structure US business expansions, manage tax costs, determine tax filing obligations and assist with compliance on both sides of the border. As a sports enthusiast, Dimitri is proud to include several professional athletes within his clientele.
Born in Toronto and raised in Mississauga, Dimitri is an avid sports fan of all of the major North American sports including hockey, basketball, baseball, football and soccer. Growing up, Dimitri played soccer competitively throughout his youth and into early adulthood. Today, Dimitri continues to stay active by playing in various recreational sports leagues.
Stephanie Vaccari is a soccer and basketball enthusiast, and proud of her eldest daughter’s budding soccer career.
Stephanie has been practicing law for over 18 years and is a partner at the global law firm, Baker McKenzie, where she assists clients in protecting their global brands. She has extensive trade mark-related experience, has experience in transactional Intellectual Property and has also participated in a variety of complex lawsuits dealing with, among others, trade mark and copyright infringement, patent infringement and validity, Internet and domain name issues, licensing, unfair competition and passing off.
Stephanie is a proponent of diversity and inclusion and co-founded Baker & McKenzie’s Women’s Networking Group. She also serves as co-chair of Baker McKenzie's Toronto Consumer Goods and Retail Group.
She is thrilled to have recently joined the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors and support the outstanding achievements of the Ontario sports scene and its athletes.
Born in Manchester, England my family moved to Toronto when I was very young. I grew up in Toronto playing every sport available to me: hockey, soccer, softball and baseball. I also rooted for every Toronto-based team.
I attended St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, Ontario. It was an ideal place for high school for someone who loved sports. I went on to study at McMaster University, Ryerson University and Centennial College.
For the past twenty years, I have worked in Toronto’s media industry, predominately in sports media, as a producer, researcher, writer, and web producer. I have worked on productions such as the Olympics, NHL, CFL, NBA, MLB and Special Olympics at TSN, CBC Sports, Sportsnet, and Leafs TV.
Aside from work done behind the camera; I have over 25 on-camera credits as a non-union actor. I have appeared in TV and online commercials television series and print ad campaigns.
I have a passion for people, sports, the history of sports, the history of music and the history of my home city Toronto.
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The Canadian ice dancing dynamic duo of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir made 2018 a year to remember for their fans and admirers.
Partners for two decades, Virtue, from London, Ont., and Moir, from Ilderton, Ont., had been melting hearts since they claimed gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games. They both decided to step away from the sport for two seasons after their silver in Sochi. They returned with a single-minded focus on gold in South Korea.
The duo were among the Pyeongchang Olympics Games’ most popular athletes. Fans swooned to their chemistry and lapped up their connection on and off the ice.
A world record total score led to a third gold medal, making the Canadian ice dance darlings the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history. Virtue and Moir perfectly executed a golden plan they’d announced to mixed reviews when they’d returned to the sport 18 months earlier.
Virtue and Moir held a slim lead over Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France after the short dance despite the fact Papadakis skated most of the program with the clasp of her dress broken.
On the second night, when Papadakis and Cizeron recorded a world record in the free dance, Virtue and Moir were waiting in the wings with fingers in ears. They purposely didn’t look at any television monitors.
Then Virtue, in a gauzy backless red dress, and Moir, channelling his inner Ewan McGregor, brought the crowd to its feet with their breathtaking performance to music from “Moulin Rouge,” a movie they’d loved ever since they saw it together as kids.
The Western Ontario Athletic Association boasts longevity and a rich history of community service.
The W.O.A.A., a non-profit corporation, currently coordinates programs for 390 minor hockey teams, 5l women's hockey teams, 14 Senior hockey teams and 8 softball teams for a total of 463 teams. They are the governing body of minor and senior sports in a region encompassing Grey County, Bruce County, Perth County, Huron County, northern Middlesex County, and northern Wellington County. The WOAA Senior Hockey League has been around since 1948.
The organization itself has been in existence since 1942, when W.T. "Doc" Cruickshank saw his dream become a reality by forming a governing sports body for local hometown communities in southwestern Ontario.
Today, the W.O.A.A. are affiliated members of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association, the Ontario Women's Hockey Association, and Softball Ontario. They also have a close working relationship with the Ontario Amateur Softball Association.
In 2017, the W.O.A.A. celebrated their 75th Anniversary in conjunction with their 15th Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament.
At the event, the W.O.A.A. recognized 23 local sport community builders who had volunteered numerous hours over the years for the betterment of their home centres, the youth and future sports programs. The W.O.A.A. were also pleased to welcome back "home" several local sports alumni to celebrate this milestone.
Dr. Frank Hayden, a sport scientist at the University of Toronto, is the official pioneer of the Special Olympics campaign.
In the early 1960s, a group of students at Toronto’s Beverley School became the test group for Dr. Frank Hayden. Dr. Hayden was studying the effects of regular exercise on the fitness levels of children with an intellectual disability.
Dr. Hayden’s research was recognized as nothing short of groundbreaking. His findings challenged the prevailing mindset of the day – one that claimed that it was the disability itself that prevented children from fully participating in play and recreation. Through rigorous scientific method, Dr. Hayden proved that it was simply a lack of opportunity to participate. Given that opportunity, people with an intellectual disability could acquire the necessary skills to participate in sport and become physically fit.
In summary, Dr. Hayden determined sport could have a transformative effect on the lives of those with an intellectual disability.
Hayden was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 2000 and a member of the Order of Ontario in 2012. A plaque in his honour was unveiled outside his former laboratory in Thames Hall at Western University in 2012.
He has also received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School in Burlington, Ontario was named in his honour in 2013. In 2016, he was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.
We are very pleased to recognize Dr. Hayden as the 2019 recipient of the Bruce Prentice Legacy Award.
For many in the province of Ontario, the sound of Jerry Howarth’s voice means Toronto Blue Jays baseball and a warm summer day.
The York, Pa. native was raised in San Francisco. Howarth began his broadcast career in 1974 with the Tacoma Twins of the Pacific Coast League. The Blue Jays stalwart joined the club in 1981. He broadcasted an estimated 7,500 professional baseball games in his career.
Howarth called Toronto's back-to-back World Series victories in 1992 and 1993 with the late Tom Cheek.
Howarth used a steady, warm, conversational style throughout his long career. Perhaps he is best known for his “There She Goes!” home run call.
Starting at spring training each year, Howarth kept notes in a thick spiral notebook that he kept close at hand throughout the season. His preparation was meticulous. Howarth scored each game using a shorthand all his own.
A man of routine, he would provide consistent refrains while on the air. Howarth weaved stories from his decades in the sport through the broadcast. He often used trademark lines like “He scorrrrres” or “The Blue Jays are in flight” as he called the action.
In 2012, Howarth was awarded the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame's Jack Graney Award.
Howarth coached high school basketball for 20 years at Etobicoke Collegiate Institute. He is also known for his active support and fundraising efforts on behalf of the Special Olympics.
Howarth, who became a Canadian citizen in 1994, lives in Toronto with his wife Mary. They have two sons, Joe and Ben.