Greg Stremlaw, Curling Canada’s Chief Executive Officer, is departing the organization to pursue other executive opportunities in sport, he announced today.
Stremlaw, who joined Curling Canada in 2007, will assist in a smooth transition to his replacement, assuring a seamless changeover with a work plan and transfer of knowledge of the organization.
He leaves Curling Canada in the best condition in its history, with this country ranked first in the world in men’s, women’s and wheelchair curling for the second straight season, along with a healthy financial picture.
“This is simply the right time to move on,” said Stremlaw. “We have accomplished everything that we set out to do at Curling Canada. The organization is now in a maintenance phase of the operation rather than rebuilding, so it’s a very good time to see a new operational leader best suited for that role.”
“Today’s news is a big loss for Curling Canada,” noted Canadian Olympic Committee president Marcel Aubut. “Greg has enabled the outstanding results this organization has achieved. He is pure and simple, a major difference-maker with best-in-class in his fibre. Not only is he a leader in curling, but he was also a leader in sport at large. He brought the culture of business and athletic excellence to the leadership positions he held, notably as co-chair of the Winter Sport Caucus. He is one of my go-to-people for leadership and I intend to ensure the Canadian Olympic Committee continues to be partnered with him going forward in one way or another as he is a significant asset to what we do in many different ways.”
Stremlaw’s eight years with Curling Canada produced some unprecedented achievements for the organization. Among them:
• Turning the organization around financially from a seven-figure deficit in 2007 to its current multimillion-dollar surplus and long-term financial reserve.
• Leading negotiations to secure the sports long-term television stability with both TSN as well as RDS, producing more than 300 hours of live television annually through to 2020.
• Responsible for the oversight of a currently sold-out sponsorship portfolio for Curling Canada’s Season of Champions events, including long-term partnerships with Tim Hortons, Ford, Kruger Products, Bell, World Financial Group, Home Hardware, New Holland, DuPont Pioneer and Travelers Insurance.
• Oversaw an historic performance at the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi that saw Canadian teams sweep the men’s, women’s and wheelchair gold medals — a feat never before accomplished, resulting in Canada finishing the 2013-14 season ranked first internationally in all three disciplines; our country maintained those rankings this past season.
• Developed a comprehensive business plan and organizational strategy that led to the creation of the sport’s first national philanthropic program, For The Love Of Curling, and also led to the organization’s first major rebrand and systematic brand architecture launched this past March.
• Posting best-in-class scores in Canada’s National Sport Organization (NSO) audit conducted by Deloitte (an independent third party) as part of the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Enhancement Initiative for national sport organizations. Curling Canada scored the highest possible score in 26 of the 31 process areas — the highest reported overall score among the country’s NSOs.
“Greg is one of the best sport leaders in Canada,” said Anne Merklinger, Chief Executive Officer of Own The Podium. “His achievements at Curling Canada are nothing short of remarkable. His vision, hard work and success are evident to every sport organization in the country. On behalf of Own the Podium, I wish Greg the greatest success in his next senior executive role in sport.”
“Curling Canada has been so fortunate to have had Greg help guide us for the past eight years,” added Marilyn Neily, Chair of Curling Canada’s Board of Governors. “He has done a remarkable job for us, being recognized for best practices in sport and business, as well as being seen as a best-in-class organization. Curling Canada has a huge gap to fill. We wish him great success in everything he does as he will be unbelievably missed.”
The process to determine Stremlaw’s successor, including the naming of a search committee or third-party firm, has yet to be determined and will be announced as soon as possible.
“It has been an absolute privilege to work so closely with Greg over the past eight years,” said TSN president Stewart Johnston. “TSN and Curling Canada are exceptional partners, due in large part to his significant personal involvement, open communication and his passion to drive progress for curling on TV. Greg’s dedication and efforts have clearly elevated Curling Canada’s marquee events. TSN’s recent record ratings and innovative multi-sheet coverage are a testament to Greg’s leadership within the sport. I can’t wait to learn of his pending opportunities and look forward to continuing our strong relationship.”
“It has been an absolute honour to be involved in one of the most iconic and significant sports in Canada,” said Stremlaw. “In 2007, I was hired to help turn the organization around, make it fiscally responsible, sustainable and the class of national sports organizations by running it like a business. I believe we have been able to achieve those very lofty goals with the efforts of our amazing staff, Board of Governors and the support of curling fans across the country, and I could not be more proud of the collective efforts to get Curling Canada to the stage it is at today.”