Vancouver Whitecaps FC are proud to announce that chief operating officer Rachel Lewis has been recognized as one of ‘5 To Watch’ at the first ever ‘Celebration of Leadership in Canadian Sport Business Awards’. Lewis was named as a pacesetter in the Canadian sports industry landscape for her continued work in helping the club achieve their goal of becoming one of the best small market sports franchises in the world, to make the organization a significant community asset, and to grow the game of soccer in British Columbia and Canada.
After joining Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2003 as the director of stadium development and event management, Lewis would assume the role of chief operating officer in 2007. Since that time the Vancouver native has overseen the financial and administrative operations of the club alongside the rest of Whitecaps FC’s senior management team, president Bob Lenarduzzi and recent club joining, executive chair John Furlong. Her numerous accomplishments with the club include playing a pivotal role in facilitating Whitecaps FC’s successful bid for acceptance into Major League Soccer (MLS), the top tier of professional soccer in Canada and the United States. Vancouver Whitecaps FC are now currently in the midst of their second season in MLS.
Lewis’ career in sports management began in 1999 when she was appointed sponsorship coordinator for the PGA Tour's Air Canada Championship (ACC). A year later, she became the ACC's tournament manager before becoming the tournament director in 2002. In 2003, she took on a new role as sponsorship manager for the BMO Financial Group LPGA Women's Open. Lewis has also volunteered her time to several organizations in the past few years. Currently she sits on the Gastown Business Improvement Association, is a member of the International Women’s Forum and the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs.
Before embarking on her professional career, Lewis earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Victoria in 1996 and a Master's of Business Administration degree in Strategic Management from the University of British Columbia in 1999. Her family includes husband Jeff Lewis and their two sons, Noah and Max.
The inaugural ‘Celebration of Leadership in Canadian Sport Business Awards’ took place at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on May 3rd and was presented by George Brown College in partnership with The Globe & Mail. Each of the five recipients of ‘5 To Watch’ were voted on by a panel of leading sports marketers and influencers, including the Globe & Mail, BMO Financial Group, the Canadian Football League, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, SDI Marketing, and TSN. The four other recipients of the ‘5 To Watch’ award include Adam Ashton, President of the Canadian Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium; Shawn Redmond, VP of Programming and Marketing with TSN; Alyson Walker, Executive Director Marketing Partnerships of the Canadian Olympic Committee and Jeff DeLine, Senior Director Corporate Partnerships Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.