Friday, 03 February 2012 11:46

Broncos hosts community meeting to start rebuilding

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By Matthew Liebenberg
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Extra chairs had to be carried in to accommodate all the people who wanted to find out more about the Swift Current Broncos turnaround plan last night.
Over 200 people attended the hockey club's first ever community interaction meeting in the Credit Union iplex on Feb. 2, which included a presentation on the team's new strategic framework. Over 50 people also watched a live webcast of the event.

After formal presentations by Board Chair Liam Choo-Foo, General Manager/Head Coach Mark Lamb and Assistant General Manager Business Operations Jordan Wall there was an opportunity for fans to ask questions and submit suggestions during an answer and question session. Some questions that were submitted online were also presented by master of ceremonies Shawn Mullin.
During his presentation about the strategic management framework for the organization, Choo-Foo said no hockey team will be successful if it does not have a strong organization behind it.
Their vision is to be a premiere franchise in the WHL that is recognized for an exceptional development program and their commitment to players, people and the communities they serve.
“We don't want to be first round in the play-offs,” he said. “We want to be premiere, top notch. ... We need to put the things in place that will get that recognition for us. It's an on-ice product, but it's also how you handle people, how you deal with your business partners.”
He emphasized the importance of community support to make the team a success.
“We recognized that Swift Current Broncos are only as great as the communities that support them,” he said.
The club's vision is to ensure the long term franchise viability and the well being of their people, while maintaining strong relationships with their partners.
“We're going to be here forever,” he said. “I know there's concern and I know people started to pay attention when they looked at the financials at the last AGM. But we've invested in this team and it's going to be here long term because of that and we're going to ensure it. That's our role as a board.”
General Manager/Head Coach Mark Lamb spoke about how they are positioning the franchise for the future. He said the aims of the hockey operation are to build on the assets gained from strategic drafts and trades, to reshape the identity of the team to be bigger, stronger and with more intensity, to do strategic scouting of talent and to improve their developmental program.
“The hockey team is fine,” he said. “I really, really like the way our hockey team plays, how exciting they are this year. ... This team puts it out on the ice every night and I'm really proud of them.”
Assistant General Manager Business Operations Jordan Wall provided detail about the advancement teams that will provide a way for hockey fans to become involved with the team's rebuilding efforts. He emphasized that they want people's ideas on how to improve on the overall Broncos experience.
“This is where we're trying to get people to help us out,” he said. “There's always ideas out there but we sometimes find that we're unable to capture those ideas and put them into a strategy that really helps us build towards what we want and what you want.”
That process already started at the meeting with comments from fans during the question and answer session. There were various suggestions from the floor and through online submissions, including improvement of the sound system, addressing the slippery conditions in the northern parking lot, ways to get the players involved in the community and making the venue more accessible for people with disabilities.
Wall said fans who want to get involve in the work of the profit and position team can contact the Broncos office or talk to staff during a game.

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