Lawson Into Burlington Hall Of Fame

Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson will be inducted into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2021.

Lawson is being inducted as an athlete and builder due to his immense contributions to hockey, football and horse racing, alongside Sean Foley (builder, golf), Carol Angela Orchard (builder, gymnastics), Dr. John Kendall (athlete/builder, running), and Don Lovegrove (builder, media).

In addition to his current role as Chief Executive Officer for Woodbine Entertainment, Lawson has been heavily involved in sports his entire life as both an athlete and executive.

As a hockey player who grew up in Burlington, Ontario and graduated Aldershot High School, Lawson played ‘AAA’ midget hockey and was drafted by the Ottawa 67’s before receiving a scholarship offer to play at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Lawson was then drafted by the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens and played for the Nova Scotia Voyageurs of the American Hockey League.

Following his playing career, Lawson began practicing law and quickly started his calling as a builder in Canadian sports. This eventually led to his appointment in 2013 as the first independent Chair of the Canadian Football League’s Board of Governors, where he held the position for seven years and served as Interim Commissioner twice. In 2019, Lawson was awarded the CFL’s prestigious Commissioner’s Award which is presented to an individual who has demonstrated dedication and made a significant contribution to Canadian Football.

“Jim is a great example of someone who has become a better person and a great leader through the lessons he learned as a talented athlete,” said Bob Young, the long-time owner and caretaker of the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. “In turn he has been able to make remarkable contributions through Canadian Football, the Horse racing industry, and a myriad of other projects that have made Burlington, Ontario, and Canada a better place. Thank you Jim.”

In 2012, Lawson was appointed as Chair of Woodbine Entertainment’s Board of Directors, before being named CEO in 2015, a position he still holds today.

“If there is anybody who deserves this recognition, it’s Jim. He’s always been so gracious with his time, and an amazing contributor to both Canadian sport and the communities in which its played,” said John Fielding, who sat on Woodbine Entertainment’s Board of Directors for 17 years. “The contributions he’s made to the horse racing industry are unparalleled, he’s just done an amazing job leading Woodbine and the sport of horse racing in Ontario.”

The Burlington Sports Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will be celebrated with a reception on Tuesday, October 26th at the Burlington Golf & Country Club. Tickets are $60 per person. For more information, please contact Wayne Heslop at [email protected].

(Woodbine Entertainment)

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