PHPA Hosts Successful, Productive 2016 Annual Meeting of Player Representatives

Author: Darryl Dionne, PHPA Director of Communications and Business Development
Date: Jun 28, 2016

The Professional Hockey Players’ Association (PHPA) recently hosted it’s 49th Annual Meeting of Player Representatives at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort in Orlando, FL where over 100 attendees comprised of PHPA Player Representatives, Executive Committee Members, staff, Advisors, and other special guests took part in the opportunity to review the past year, plan for the upcoming season, and provide input and direction with respect to the Association’s strategic plan. 

During the meetings, one Player Representative from each American Hockey League (AHL) and ECHL team participate in open discussion on a variety of Collective Bargaining and other League and PHPA issues. 

PHPA Executive Director, Larry Landon kicked-off the meetings by presenting a ‘Year in Review’ which looked at the many different aspects of the Association’s operations from May 1, 2015 to April 30, 2016 including a comprehensive look at the professional hockey landscape.

During an interactive forum, PHPA Hockey Operations staff, including Matt Salewski, Baron Bedesky, Jim Wiley, and PHPA Legal Counsel Bob Riley examined select disputes and grievances that occurred throughout the year, including how each issue was resolved.

Darryl Dionne, PHPA Director of Marketing, Communications, and Business Development provided players with an in-depth look into the business operations of the PHPA including digital and social media marketing initiatives, internal and external communications, player licensed products, community relations, e-commerce, special projects, player programs including the Grow with the Pros! Mentor Program, and corporate partner programs, walking players through a sponsorship proposal presented earlier this year.

Senior Advisor to the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), Richard Berthelsen moderated a panel of PHPA Workers’ Compensation Attorneys including Jim Aven, Ben Boscolo, Gerry Herz, Dennis Thomas, and Bert Villarini, as well as NFLPA General Counsel Tom DePaso and NFLPA Associate Counsel Ned Ehrlich.  Panel members helped educate all players about the workers compensation process for professional athletes and the importance of reporting and documenting injuries when they occur. 

AHL President and CEO, Dave Andrews as well as ECHL Vice President of Hockey Operations Jeff Zavatsky provided a “State of the League Address” on behalf of their respective leagues, followed by a closed-door meeting with players.

Other guest speakers and presentations during the week included:

  • “US Immigration for the Professional Hockey Player and Their Family” - Joe Kirkwood from Leibl and Kirkwood
  • “Tax Planning for the Professional Athlete” - Mark Paluczak from BDO International
  • "CCM Hockey Featuring the Newest Lines of Skates” – JC Bergeron, Director of Sports Marketing, CCM
  • “Career Enhancement Program"Larry Downes, Program Coordinator
  • “Making Dollars and $ense of your USD Salary” – Dan Wright, National Corporate FX Analyst, Western Union Business Solutions
  • “Master of Education in Athletic Administration Program” – Anthony D’Onofrio and Mike Santos, Endicott College
  • “Ready to See Yourself on a New Playing Field” – Rob Popazzi, Jamie Roche, and Roger Kennedy from Sun Life Financial  

All attendees were invited to take part in the BFL CANADA Risk and Insurance Services, Inc. Golf Tournament at the beautiful Waldorf Astoria Golf Course.

The week was capped off with a closing banquet that featured the presentation of the 2016 PHPA Curt Leichner Distinguished Member Award to co-recipients Rick Gorman and Phil Mazzone, followed by an unforgettable performance from world renowned hypnotist Danny Zzzz!

The PHPA sincerely appreciates the contributions of presenting sponsors BFL CANADA Risk & Insurance Services Inc., Meritain Health, IOA, Ceridian, Programmed Insurance Brokers (PIB), Endicott College, Western Union Business Solutions, BDO International, and SunLife Financial for allowing the PHPA to host a professional and informative meeting for all players and their families.


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