Key Notes

Key Notes for the 2018 Sport for Life Canadian Summit

Alan Ashley

Alan Ashley was named chief of sport performance for the United States Olympic Committee on Sept. 1, 2010, after previously serving as managing director of sport performance since January 2010. Prior to that, Ashley served as a team leader in the sport performance division beginning in November 2006.

In his current role, Ashley oversees the USOC divisions tasked with providing targeted resources and support to the National Governing Bodies and top athletes competing internationally in pursuit of sustained competitive excellence.

Ashley joined the USOC after spending 16 years with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, where he was a key contributor to the rise of the U.S. ski and snowboard teams, having most recently served as the vice president of athletics.

 Prior to his work at the USSA, Ashley served as the director of skiing for four years at his alma mater, the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Ian Bird

From the moment Ian joined Community Foundations of Canada in 2011 he embraced its ‘all for community’ vision and immediately began exploring opportunities to mobilize its diverse network to achieve greater collective impact in communities across the country.

A two-time Olympian in field hockey, Ian was well known in the sport community for his ability to bring groups together to affect change. He quickly began doing the same at CFC. From expanding the organization’s circle of champions to include new voices and expertise, to building new partnerships based on common interests and outcomes, Ian has worked hard to find new ways for the movement to address complex community issues.

Under Ian’s leadership, CFC established a landmark Smart & Caring Communities initiative to help build a smart and caring Canada. This vision continues to shape CFC’s engagement with the 150Alliance and other partners towards a pluralistic and reconciled Canada in 2017 and beyond. CFC has also played an integral role in founding and incubating the Rideau Hall Foundation, with Ian at the helm as its first Executive Director.

Dedicated to his community, Ian founded and coaches the Chelsea Phoenix Field Hockey Club in Chelsea Quebec, where he lives with his family.

Amanda Visek

Amanda J. Visek, PhD, CMPC, CC-AASP is a sport scientist and Associate Professor at The George Washington University, Department of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences, Milken Institute School of Public Health in Washington, D.C. Her federally funded applied research includes the FUN MAPS – the latest sport science advancement capturing attention from local grassroots communities to national and international sport organizations.

The FUN MAPS are the scientific blueprints for the fun integration theory, the first-ever fully conceptual framework for optimizing youth’s positive sport experiences in childhood and through adolescence. Her work has been featured in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, CBS Radio, ABC News, NBC News, FOX News and others, and has also been featured in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Holland, Poland, and India.

She has authored over 25 peer-reviewed papers, 7 book chapters, and given more than 118 refereed and invited talks. The recipient of early career achievement awards from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and the American Psychological Association’s Division 47, she is committed to leveraging children’s physical literacy via the most fun sport experiences possible.

Lanny McDonald

Lanny McDonald, best known for his outstanding 16-year NHL career, was not only an exceptional athlete, but is also a dedicated family man, community leader, philanthropist, and successful businessman.

Drafted fourth overall in 1973, McDonald enjoyed 16 prolific seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Rockies, and the Calgary Flames. McDonald retired as a champion shortly following the Flames’ Stanley Cup victory 1989. Calgary remains his home today. McDonald has been recognized as a leader throughout his career. He was honoured as a Chief of the Blood Indian Tribe in 1983, was the inaugural recipient of the King Clancy Memorial award in 1988, was honoured as the NHL's Man of the Year in 1989, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. In 2015, he was named Chairman of the Board of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

During and following his hockey career, McDonald was proud of his involvement in many charities. The dearest to his heart will always be Special Olympics, of which he has been a part of since 1973. Lanny is also very involved with Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities which has recently announced their commitment to greater access to sport and play to Canadian children with disabilities.

Lanny’s approach to life and hockey can be summarized by the following: live, work, and play with integrity, honesty, and dedication; focus on the positive; search for and protect what is beautiful; be in tune with nature; rise to meet each challenge, and live each day to the fullest.

Bestowed with many accolades throughout his life, McDonald will tell you that his crowning glory is his family: his wife, children and grandchildren.