We are proud to announce that The Jack Diamond Sports Personality of the Year has awarded our President & CEO – Graham Lee as the 2018 Jack Diamond Award Recipient. This award recognizes an individual who has consistently demonstrated a competitive and cooperative spirit as well as excellence in the field of sport, and who has made a positive contribution to our community. The JCC of Greater Vancouver honoured Graham with the award at the 25th anniversary of the JCC Sports Dinner, held on February 28th, 2018.
Below is the recognition profile published by the JCC:
Graham Lee, President and CEO of GSL Holdings, Ltd., developed a business sense and entrepreneurial drive at a young age, selling his Halloween candy at the age of five. After founding several businesses in his teens, Graham created a business plan while working on his UBC degree in the commerce undergraduate entrepreneurship program, which set the stage for RG Properties, a unique real estate development company that he founded in 1989 at the age of 25.
Driven by his involvement in all sports from a very young age, and particularly his love of hockey and its impact on Canadian culture, Graham has focused on Canada’s need to provide better facilities for all levels of hockey. With its Planet Ice facilities, RG Properties has become the largest privately owned company developing and operating ice rinks in Canada, and in the early 1990s, it was the first company to work in partnership with cities to provide much-needed ice time for communities. These facilities have provided a higher level experience for hockey players and fans so players are more prepared for professional hockey as well as providing a venue for well-known performers and events to reach more of their fan base. In the 2014 Olympic Gold Medal Men’s Hockey final between Canada and Sweden there were 3 players on Team Canada and 1 from Team Sweden who developed their skills in GSL rinks. RG Properties was nationally recognized for this pioneering work, winning the Canadian Infrastructure Award from the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships as well as Canada’s best facilities under 10,000 seats and Top 10 under 10,000 seats in North America by Pollstar.
Graham is now pioneering the development of planned communities with the future in mind. These communities will evolve around GSL’s expertise in sports, music promotion, education, and social engagement. One GSL development under construction consists of 2.5 million mixed use square feet and 10 residential towers on one 20 acre site.
Graham’s impressive business acumen has resulted in many awards, including Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award for Real Estate/Construction, the Globe and Mail’s Top 40 Under 40 in Canada, Equity Magazine’s Top Fifteen Leaders of the Next Millennium, and Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 Under 40. Graham commits his time and financial support to the community and UBC and was recently awarded the Great Trekker Award for his contribution to UBC. He has been appointed to the UBC Board of Governors and the UBC President’s Athletics Advisory Council. He is also a governor of the Western Hockey League, has served as a director of the Vancouver Aquarium, the Royal BC Museum and the 2010 Olympic Bid Committee, and works with the Boys and Girls Club of Vancouver providing hockey programs to under privileged kids.
We feel privileged to be honoring Graham with the coveted Jack Diamond Award on this very special occasion – the 25th anniversary of the JCC Sports Dinner.