Tuesday, 17 April 2012 11:47

Broncos make history with new asst. GM

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The Swift Current Broncos broke the glass ceiling this week when they appointed Dianne Sletten as the club’s new assistant general manager-business operations.




A long-time Swift Current resident and Bronco fan with more than 20 years experience working in both the public and private sector, Sletten’s appointment was announced during a press conference at the Credit Union i-plex on April 17.

The team believes it is making history by having the first female assistant general manager in the WHL and possibly even in the CHL, but General Manager/Head Coach Mark Lamb said that was not the reason they picked her.

“Whoever was best qualified for the job, that’s who we were going to take,” he emphasized.

“As we started getting it drop down to the final candidates she started sticking out more and more like she was going to be the one.”

She was the Broncos’ choice after a selection process that started with applications from close to 50 candidates. Board of Directors’ Vice-Chair Trent McCleary felt she will definitely bring some new dynamics to the organization.

“At the board level, we’ve talked about diversification,” he said. “She was absolutely the best candidate, but it adds to the diversification to have a female in that position. It’s good for the league and I think it’s good for the Broncos.”

Sletten, who is excited about the prospect of moving from being a season ticket holder to playing a key role in the strategic direction of the Broncos, said she did not even think about being a groundbreaker.

“I was actually quite surprised really when they said that could be the case because women are in sports in all kinds of areas,” she mentioned. “I’m glad as far as with Mark Lamb that gender didn’t really enter his mind. It didn’t enter mine when I applied at all but if it’s the start of something new that’s great.”

She is from Prince Albert, but considers Swift Current to be home. During the 1980s she covered the Broncos while working as a sports and news broadcaster for CKSW radio and she also had the opportunity to interview Don Cherry.

After several years in Edmonton, where she worked in sales and management, she moved back to Swift Current in 1991. She worked in different positions in the public sector, including in project management and economic development.

Before joining the Broncos she was the regional project lead with the Southwest Enterprise Region. She was with this organization since its inception in 2009 and in charge of their strategic partnership initiative.

She believes her familiarity with the southwest will be a distinct advantage in her new position.

“I can step in a little easier than somebody from outside the region just because of the people and the relationships that I’ve got already,” she said.

As an avid hockey and sports fan, she has been thinking for a long time about working in the industry. That opportunity presented itself in February when Jordan Wall announced his move from the Broncos to work for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

This happened only a few days after she attended the Broncos’ first community interaction meeting, where she was impressed with the team’s new vision and strategic framework.

“I knew right away I was going to apply for this position,” she said. “I just really felt it was a natural fit for me and then to be able to utilize my skills sets in a hockey environment was a dream comes true.”

One of her first priorities is to implement a key focus area from the community interaction meeting, which is to get the external team in place that will allow Bronco fans to share their ideas with the club on making improvements to the organization. Another priority will be to work with the board on an operational plan for the next year.

“I think it’s going to be a great year for Bronco hockey in the southwest and we really want everybody to come check us out,” she said.

“There’ll be some definite changes this year in the game day experience and what’s on the ice.”

Read 1527 times Last modified on Monday, 30 April 2012 09:04
Matthew Liebenberg


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