Vancouver Canucks Taps TurnkeyZRG to Find Chief Legal Officer

October 25, 2023 – TurnkeyZRG has been retained by the Vancouver Canucks to lead its search for a chief legal officer. This executive will be an integral member of the organization’s executive management team, a role that will allow the successful candidate to make valuable contributions to shaping the organizations’ strategic goals and its ultimate success.

They will is responsible for overseeing the strategic, proactive, efficient and effective delivery of a comprehensive range of legal services to the Aquilini Group’s Toptable Group of Restaurants and CSE’s various sports and entertainment properties including the Vancouver Canucks, Abbotsford Canucks, Vancouver Warriors (NLL Lacrosse Club), Vancouver Titans and Seattle Surge (eSports Teams), Rogers Arena and Abbotsford Center.

TurnkeyZRG notes that ideals candidates will have a minimum 10 to 15 years of extensive experience negotiating, drafting and administering a wide range of commercial contracts and providing legal advice in a range of areas. They should have proven experience in various areas of law including contract law, employment law, advertising & marketing law, corporate governance, real estate development and intellectual property licensing.

Candidates must also have a firm understanding of the judicial system and procedures as well as the wide range of applicable laws and regulations that have an impact on all facets of business policy and operations. TurnkeyZRG says that those applying for this position should have a keen ability to analyze and interpret issues and to prepare strong legal arguments and opinions. Special consideration will be given to those candidates with legal experience in the sports and entertainment and hospitality industries or in intellectual property and licensing.  

The Vancouver Canucks are one of the most storied franchises in the National Hockey League, having advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals three times, winning the Presidents’ Trophy in back-to-back seasons and three division titles as a member of the Smythe Division from 1974 to 1993, and seven titles as a member of the Northwest Division from 1998 to 2013. 

Proven Sports, Media and Entertainment Consultants

Founded in 1996, TurnkeyZRG is a specialized talent recruitment/executive search firm filling C-level, senior-level and mid-management-level positions throughout sports, media and entertainment. Over the past 25 years, the firm has filled more than 1,400 positions. TurnkeyZRG helps teams, leagues, stadiums, arenas, theaters, college athletic departments, events, sponsors, agencies, media companies, private equity companies and other clients identify, recruit, and hire the best management talent.

Related: TurnkeyZRG Recruits New Leader for the Fiesta Bowl

Collectively, the members of TurnkeyZRG have placed coaches and athletics directors at many PAC-12 universities, including Arizona, Cal, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, and Washington State. Late last year, TurnkeyZRG helped the ACC hire its next commissioner, James J. Phillips, the Combe Family vice president for athletics and recreation at Northwestern University. TurnkeyZRG spoke with stakeholders across the ACC in developing the job description, and assembled a diverse array of candidates across sports, education, business, and government.

TurnkeyZRG Assists Big Ten Conference in Recruiting Seventh Commissioner
Following an extensive national search, TurnkeyZRG has assisted in the recruitment of Tony Petitti as the seventh commissioner of the Big Ten Conference. He will begin his tenure on May 15. He replaces Kevin Warren, who is becoming president and CEO of the Chicago Bears. TurnkeyZRG conducted a comprehensive and inclusive recruitment process that delivered a diverse slate of potential candidates from within collegiate athletics, professional sports, media, government, and more. “Tony Petitti is a great fit with the Big Ten,” said Len Perna, chairman and CEO of TurnkeyZRG. “On top of that, another way to look at Tony’s hire is holistically across college athletics, meaning that Tony is a key puzzle piece on the macro team: Charlie Baker, Greg Sankey, etc. That macro team has to figure out a bunch of big, vexing, complex issues in college athletics. Tony’s experience is complimentary and additive to the other key players on THAT macro team. That’s not by accident,” he said.

Mr. Perna is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Turnkey. He has 30-plus years’ experience in the sports and entertainment industry, with senior-level management experience in sales, event marketing and management, sponsorships, venue feasibility and development, facility operations, licensing, and legal affairs. Since founding Turnkey, Mr. Perna has managed over 1,400 executive searches.

Recent Assignment

Following an extensive search, TurnkeyZRG has recruited Keith Tyburski as the men’s golf coach at Yale University in Connecticut. Colin Sheehan, who coached the team since 2008, stepped down from the role this spring to pursue other golf endeavors. “We conducted a national search to find a coach that will continue the strong legacy of Yale men’s golf while giving our student-athletes a best-in-class experience,” said Victoria Chun, the university’s director of athletics. “One of Keith’s greatest strengths lies in his unwavering commitment to building a culture where student-athletes can thrive both academically and athletically. I am excited for Keith and his fiancée, Kate, to meet the alumni and the wonderful community at Yale and New Haven.”

“Yale made an outstanding hire with Keith Tyburski,” said Shaun Richard, executive associate athletic director at The Ohio State University. “Keith is an excellent coach, a dynamic leader, and a true mentor to young people. During my time with Keith at Colgate, I saw first-hand how he can elevate a program. Yale student-athletes, alumni, and faculty are going to love getting to know him and his infectious personality. I’m excited to watch this program quickly grow under his leadership.”

Related: TurnkeyZRG Recruits Commissioner for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; and Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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