Calgary – Western Hockey League Commissioner Ron Robison, on behalf of the WHL Board of Governors, announced today that one of the longest serving members of the Swift Current Broncos Board of Directors Ben Wiebe, has been selected as the recipient of the 2011-12 WHL Governors Award. The WHL Governors Award is presented annually to an individual who, through his outstanding services as a builder of the League has made a contribution to the growth and development of the WHL.
Wiebe was instrumental in bringing the WHL back to the City of Swift Current in 1986 as a member of a local committee that re-acquired the Broncos franchise. Once the team was secured in Swift Current, the work really began for Wiebe serving as a Director on the Swift Current Broncos Board for the next eight seasons (1986-1994) before being elected as Chairman and Governor of the Swift Current Broncos in 1994. Wiebe Chaired the Broncos Board of Directors for the next eight seasons (1994-2002), but maintained the role of Governor of the franchise for 17 straight years before stepping down in 2011. Due in large part to his leadership, the Swift Current Broncos are regarded across the country as a model community owned franchise.
His commitment to the Western Hockey League extended well beyond his duties with the Broncos organization as Wiebe was elected as a member of the WHL Executive Committee for three seasons (2003-06), continually working to set strategic plans and new standards for the betterment of the players, the officials and fans. The grass roots game of hockey was never lost on Wiebe as he for many years volunteered his time with numerous coaching assignments within the Swift Current Minor Hockey Association. A lifetime dedicated to sport in Southwest Saskatchewan hasn't gone unnoticed for Wiebe, receiving numerous Awards over the course of his career including the ICAS Distinguished Community Service Award, Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal.
In his professional career as a Chartered Accountant Wiebe currently is Chairman of the Board of Directors and Managing Partner of Stark & Marsh Chartered Accountants in Swift Current. Earlier this season he stepped back from his role as WHL Governor but continues to play an active role with the Swift Current Broncos Board of Directors.
"Thanks to Ben's leadership and long standing commitment to the franchise and the community the Swift Current Broncos have long been recognized as one of the most stable community owned organizations not only in the WHL but across the Canadian Hockey League as well," commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. "The WHL Board of Governors have nothing but the highest regard for Ben's contributions at both the Club and League level and the many volunteers who have served on the Broncos Board over the past 25 years."
The WHL and Commissioner Ron Robison will honour Wiebe at the Swift Current Broncos game on Monday, February 20.
The WHL Governors Award, first awarded by the WHL in 2004 – 05, is the highest honour bestowed on an individual by the WHL Board of Governors. Previous recipients were: Terry Simpson (2010-11); Ken Hodge (2009-10); Bob Brown (2008 – 09); Bill Hunter, Scotty Munro and Jim Piggott (2007 – 08); Bob Cornell (2006 – 07); Jack McLeod (2005 – 06); Pat Ginnell, Ernie McLean, Bill Hicke and Del Wilson (2004 – 05).
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)