John Furlong has been involved with athletics all his life. A former Canadian squash champion, Furlong has competed at the international level in squash, basketball, and European handball.
A long-time member of the Canadian Olympic Committee, he has led many high profile sport organizations in Canada. Furlong joined Vancouver Whitecaps FC in April 2012 as executive chair – the most senior position of the club’s executive team.
This comes after his term as chief executive officer of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). From the very beginning, Furlong envisioned that the Games could be a true nation builder that would help improve the fabric of Canadian society.
In an interview with the Canadian Press, IOC President Jacques Rogge remarked at how Vancouver had taken on the Games in a way that was “unheard of in the Olympic movement.” The Games had become a catalyst for national unity, he said, and Furlong was a big part of that.
Prior to his appointment as the organizing committee’s CEO, Furlong was the president and chief operating officer for the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation. He became the bid’s international face and key spokesperson, tirelessly clocking more than 1.2 million miles in his travels to promote the bid.
Over the years, Furlong, an Officer of the Order of Canada and Member of the Order of British Columbia, has received many honours for his service to sport.
To name a few, he was recognized by The Globe and Mail as Canada’s Nation Builder of 2010, as one of the top 25 most transformational living Canadians, and was named Canadian of the Year by The Canadian Club. That same year, he was dubbed Marketer of the Year and Sports Media Canada’s Sports Executive of the Year.
In 2009, both The Globe and Mail and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation named Furlong Canada’s Most Influential Sport Figure. Around the Rings Magazine listed Furlong as one of the world’s top five most influential Olympic officials in both 2009 and 2010, and he’s also Sport BC’s Sportsman of the Decade.
For his service to sport in Canada over a lifetime, Furlong was acclaimed as the 2004 Canadian Sport Awards’ Sport Leadership winner. He has also won Vancouver’s most prestigious tourism award for the promotion of Vancouver around the world.
Outside of sports, Furlong has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees in law (2) and technology (1) from the University of British Columbia, The Justice Institute of BC, and BCIT, and an honorary doctorate in tourism and hospitality from Niagara University, New York, USA.
Born in Tipperary, Ireland, Furlong has five children and 11 grandchildren. His book Patriot Hearts – Inside the Olympics that changed a country, became an instant national bestseller when it was released on February 12, 2011 — the one-year anniversary of the Games.
Excelling as a player, coach, general manager, director of soccer operations, and now president, Bob Lenarduzzi has been involved with Whitecaps FC for nearly four decades.
Playing with his hometown Whitecaps FC (1974 to 1984), Lenarduzzi was the North American Soccer League's all-time leader in games played with 312. A key member of Vancouver’s championship-winning team in 1979, Lenarduzzi was the only Canadian to win the North American Soccer League’s Player of the Year award.
Internationally, he represented Canada 47 times as a player, helping them qualify for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. For his efforts, Lenarduzzi was named among CONCACAF’s top 30 players of the past century.
As a player/coach, he won four straight Canadian Soccer League (CSL) championships and was twice named CSL Coach of the Year. He went on to coach Canada's men’s national team from 1992 to 1997.
Lenarduzzi served as the general manager and director of soccer operations of Vancouver 86ers and Whitecaps FC from 1988 to 1993, and 1998 to 2007. In 2000, he received the United Soccer Leagues (USL) First Division Executive of the Year award, while he was also a member of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 Steering Committee.
A father of two, Lenarduzzi has been inducted into the North American Soccer Hall of Fame, the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame, the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame, and the United Soccer Leagues Hall of Fame. In 2005, he received the Order of British Columbia — the highest form of recognition that the province can extend to its citizens — for his contribution to the sport of soccer.
Chief Operating Officer
Rachel Lewis has been in the field of sport and event management for well over a decade, joining Whitecaps FC in 2003 as director of event management and stadium development. In 2007, she assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer.
Prior to joining Whitecaps FC, Lewis spent three years with Vancouver's PGA Tour stop - the Air Canada Championship. As tournament director, she was responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operations.
Lewis also represented BMO Financial Group as project manager for their sponsorship of the BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Open. She holds a BA (honours) from the University of Victoria and an MBA from the University of British Columbia.
Lewis has a strong passion for sport and community. She currently sits on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Gastown Business Improvement Society, and is a member of the International Women’s Forum and Forum for Women Entrepreneurs.
A former director of KidSport Canada, Sport BC, and trustee with the BC Sports Hall of Fame, Lewis volunteered as a member of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 Steering Committee. In 2008, she was recognized as a recipient of the Business in Vancouver’s 40 Under 40 awards, while in 2011, she was named one of "BC's 100 Women of Influence" by the Vancouver Sun. In May 2012, Lewis was recognized as one of ‘5 To Watch’ at the first ever ‘Celebration of Leadership in Canadian Sport Business Awards’. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and two young sons, Noah and Max.
Vice-President Finance & Administration
Don Ford joined Whitecaps FC as vice-president of finance and administration in January 2011 after four years with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).
At Whitecaps FC, Ford is responsible for the financial management of the club, including financial planning, reporting, and accounting. He also manages the financial relationships with Major League Soccer (MLS) and the external financial community.
Prior to joining Whitecaps FC, Ford was the director of revenue finance for VANOC, where he oversaw the implementation of all aspects of the organizing committee’s revenue streams. Ford has also worked as a senior manager in the audit and assurance practice for the Vancouver office of PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP, serving the forestry, technology, and retail sectors.
Born in Alberta and raised in Ontario, Ford is an active recreational hockey player and golfer. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (honours) from Queen’s University and is a Chartered Accountant and Certified Public Accountant (Illinois).
Director, Professional Teams
Greg Anderson joined Whitecaps FC in 2004. As director of the club’s professional teams, he is primarily responsible for the management of the men’s first team.
Anderson completed an MBA at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in 2003, during which time, he was invited to join the United Nations Graduate Study Program.
Anderson also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Ontario. Anderson and his wife have a four year old daughter, Ella, and infant son, Jacob.
Director, Communications & Broadcast
With more than 15 years of communications and marketing experience in both public and private sectors, Carly Jokic joined Whitecaps FC as director of communications and broadcast in March 2011 where she is responsible for leadership of the media relations, broadcast, community relations, and editorial functions for the club.
Prior to joining Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Jokic was with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).
A key part of the communications senior management team, Jokic acted as the communications liaison for all 65 corporate sponsors for day-to-day and long-term issues management and strategic communications planning. A primary link to the CEO’s office, she also managed a broad variety of crucial programs — such as the launch of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic medals, the Red Mittens campaign, and the launch of the Canadian team uniform.
Prior to VANOC, Carly managed communications for the Vancouver Convention Centre in preparation for major facility expansion, and also held a wide range of roles at leading high technology corporations, including Sophos Inc., Xantrex Technology Inc., Absolute Software, and Dynapro Systems Inc.
Jokic majored in English at Simon Fraser University and holds a Management Certificate in Marketing Communications (honours) from BCIT. She is a member of CPRS and IABC, a frequent guest speaker at BCIT marketing and PR classes, and a long-time volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society's Camp Goodtimes. Her twins, Nicolas “Nico” and Alexandra “Lexi,” are two and a half years old.
Colby Fackler joined Whitecaps FC in February 2012 as director, corporate partnerships bringing a wide range of sponsorship and sports industry experience to the club. In August 2012, Colby moved over to lead the sale teams as director, sales.
Prior to joining Whitecaps FC, he worked as the senior director of corporate sales with Comcast Spectacor’s FrontRow Marketing, providing commercial rights management for Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League (AHL), and the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre.
Additional experience includes roles at Sport BC, Vancouver Canucks (National Hockey League), and Inventa Promotions, as well as a teaching role in the Entertainment Business Program at Vancouver Film School. Fackler is also a member of the executive committee and board of trustees for the BC Sports Hall of Fame. He became a new father in March 2012 to son Quinn.
Director, Corporate Partnerships
Phil Adams has been actively involved in Canada's major sports and events industry for well over twelve years. Prior to joining Vancouver Whitecaps FC as director, corporate partnerships, he spent over eight years with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League first as Director of Sponsorship for the 2005 Grey Cup and most recently as director, corporate partnerships.
Prior to the Grey Cup, Phil worked as Olympic Project Manager for RBC Financial Group, Canada's largest financial institution, where he was responsible for managing RBC's sponsorship of Vancouver's bid to host the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games as well as the company's innovative RBC Olympians program, designed to provide valuable work experience for some of Canada's top Olympic athletes. Initially a regional pilot program of five athletes, Phil was tasked with expanding the RBC Olympians program nationally immediately following Vancouver's successful bid. Today, over 30 Olympic athletes are part of the program.
Prior to his role with RBC, Phil was Manager of Business Development at the Air Canada Championship, Greater Vancouver's stop on the PGA Tour. His role with the ACC included overseeing sponsorship and corporate hospitality as well as supporting the Steering Committee regarding PGA Tour player recruitment and player agent relations, working to convince the world's best golfers to play in Greater Vancouver.
Phil takes an active role in the community, working on a number of charitable and community initiatives. He is a previous member of the Board of Trustees for the BC Sports Hall of Fame, a past member of the Board of Directors for Kids Up Front Vancouver, and has most recently volunteered his time as a coach for Richmond Youth Soccer.
A life-long resident of Greater Vancouver and graduate of the University of British Columbia, Phil, his wife D'Arcy and his son Connor live in Richmond, BC.
Director, Partnership Marketing
Janet joined Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the fall of 2010, in lead-up to the team’s launch into Major League Soccer. In her role as Director, Partnerships Marketing, Janet is responsible for providing strategic direction in the servicing, marketing, and relationship management of club partners.
Prior to joining the club, Janet was Manager of Olympic Hospitality for Bell, where she played an integral role in the development of Bell’s Olympic hospitality programs in both Beijing and Vancouver. Additionally, she managed corporate branding in regards to the Olympic and Paralympic Games across multiple categories including venues, collateral, outfitting, and premiums.
Janet has also worked with two other professional sports leagues, the NHL (Vancouver Canucks) and the NBA (Vancouver and Memphis Grizzlies). She spent four years with the Memphis franchise working as part of the group responsible for the relocation of the Grizzlies franchise from Vancouver to Memphis in a single off-season.
Janet is passionate about sport, and over the years has served on committees for the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championships, the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and the Tour de Gastown.
In her spare time, Janet supports the local music scene. She and her son Trevor live in Vancouver.
After a highly successful marketing career in his native Denmark, Mikkel Strojer (spelled Strøjer in Danish) joined Vancouver Whitecaps FC in June 2012 as the club’s director of marketing.
Strojer, a center midfielder who has played over 300 matches in the top soccer league in Copenhagen, brings a wealth of experience to Whitecaps FC. Most recently, he spent nearly three years as the head of marketing with the Copenhagen Metro, which serves approximately 58 million passengers annually.
In this position, Strojer improved the brand’s awareness from 78 to 91 per cent without an increase in budget, and developed the organization’s mobile app, which eventually reached the top spot in Denmark’s Apple App Store.
Before joining the Metro, Strojer was a creative strategist and copywriter for BOCCA Advertising & Digital, where he served clients such as Mitsubishi and Apple.
A graduate of Roskilde University’s communications and business master’s program, Strojer broke into the industry in 2003 as a marketing intern with the Danish Broadcast Corporation — Denmark’s leading media institution.
The following year, he became a marketing project manager and PR advisor for the award-winning institution. In this position, Strojer led the marketing campaigns and public relations efforts for the Danish Music Awards (Denmark’s version of the Grammys), the P3 Gold Awards, the Public Service Electronic Music Festival and the Danish Classical Music Awards, and other major events.
The tech-savvy marketing professional also served as the brand manager for digital media and new platforms, and for P3 and P4 — the nation’s two most listened to radio stations.
Strojer, who has a passion for architecture and design, moved to Vancouver in 2011. He and his Vancouver-born wife are the proud parents of a son, named Leo.
Director, Soccer Development
Dan Lenarduzzi has been involved in the game, both as a player and executive, throughout much of his life.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Lenarduzzi followed his two older brothers, Bob and Sam, into professional soccer with Whitecaps FC at the age of 18. This made the Lenarduzzis the first three brothers in North America to play on the same professional sports team.
Before joining the team, Lenarduzzi made his way up through the British Columbia youth soccer system with Vancouver's Grandview Legion and the BC provincial team program. In 1979, he led the Canadian U-20 national team to qualification for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, having been named a tournament all-star at the qualifying tournament in Honduras. Other accomplishments include his role as captain of the Canadian side at the U-20 World Cup in Japan, and being a professional player with Whitecaps FC from 1978 to 1982.
In his current role with Whitecaps FC, Lenarduzzi, who has a business degree in marketing and communications from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and has 10 years of marketing industry experience, oversees the club’s Residency and women’s teams, in addition to other player development programs, and community camps and clinics.
Jamie Levchuk joined Whitecaps FC as director of events in June 2012, possessing over 15 years of event management experience. He oversees the operational and production requirements of MLS and PDL matches, MLS scheduling, and leads on all Club special events.
Prior to joining Whitecaps FC, Jamie worked as the managing director of the Rick Hansen Relay, leading the team that planned and delivered the nine-month cross-Canada event in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Rick’s ‘Man in Motion’ World Tour. He oversaw events, marketing, communications, and operations staff while serving as a lead spokesperson for the event across the country.
Jamie has also worked for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Vancouver Canucks and Grizzlies, and Rugby Canada in various event management and production roles.
Jamie holds a BSc from Simon Fraser University, and spent 12 years of his youth playing soccer in Burnaby as a goalkeeper for Cliff Avenue United. He currently resides in Vancouver.