Erin Stankewich poised to lead SSHF into the future as the new Executive Director

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) is pleased and excited to announce that Erin Stankewich is the new Executive Director of the Hall of Fame.

Stankewich began her tenure with the SSHF on July 17 and brings with her a wealth of experience in progressive leadership roles. She has a strong set of skills related to strategic planning, brand development, funding negotiation, creative direction, graphic design, and building collaborative partnerships.

With her rich skillset and passion for collaboration and development, the Board of Directors of the SSHF feels she is the ideal person to lead the SSHF forward into the future.

“Erin brings with her a unique set of experience and passion, which is perfect for the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame,” said Trent Blezy, Chair of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. “She carries with her an incredible desire for sport and community. Under Erin’s leadership, we are confident she can grow our organization into the next stage of the Hall’s storied history.”

In her most recent job, Stankewich served as the Director, Business Development for the Regina Hotel Association. One of her key responsibilities was to work with community partners in a collaborative manner to identify and bid on national and international sport and business events. In her time in the role, Regina successfully won the right to host the 2024 Brier, the recent 15U Girls Volleyball Canada Nationals, and the upcoming 2023 Little League Baseball Nationals and Baseball Canada Cup along with many other events. Stankewich has proven experience in marketing Regina and Saskatchewan, as a premier sport and tourism destination on the national and international stage. Previous to assuming that role with the Hotel Association, she worked in sponsorship investment for the same organization which will benefit the SSHF.

Born in Moose Jaw, Stankewich received a Diploma in Communications Arts from Lethbridge College and later completed a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Medicine Hat College. Upon graduation, she began her career in Regina advertising agencies first as a graphic designer, then transitioning into client-facing account management roles.

Stankewich is passionate about building healthy and inclusive communities and volunteers her time towards these values. She is currently the Vice Chair on the Board of Directors for the Queen City Marathon and previously served on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics Saskatchewan for three years.

Stankewich was hired after an extensive search and hiring process led by Leadership Source of Regina and the SSHF Hiring Committee.

She takes over from Sheila Kelly who served as the Hall of Fame’s Executive Director for 34 years with great distinction before taking a medical leave in March of 2023 which concluded her tenure with the SSHF.

Sheila Kelly ends her remarkable career with the Hall of Fame

The mission of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) is to recognize sport excellence, preserve sport history, and educate the public about the role of sport in Saskatchewan’s cultural fabric.

Now it is time to recognize the contributions of one of our own and their work preserving, honouring and sharing the rich sporting history of Saskatchewan.

Sheila Kelly is leaving her post as Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame after 34 years leading the organization.

Sheila started at the Hall of Fame in 1989 and through the decades she has guided the SSHF through a great period of growth and stability. At the same she has become an industry leader in the sport heritage field in Canada and indeed across North America.

She received the W.R. “Bill” Schroeder Distinguished Service Award from the International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) in 2017. The Schroeder Award is the highest honour presented by ISHA and bestowed to individuals for meritorious service of lasting nature in the sports heritage industry. The Schroeder Award is not bestowed annually, rather it is awarded only when someone has been deemed worthy of receiving it.

“Sheila’s dedication and commitment to sport heritage transcends her remarkable career at the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. She is a former president of the Canadian Association for Sport Heritage (CASH) and a Schroeder Award winner, which is the International Sports Heritage Association’s highest honor,” said Shane Mailman, ISHA Executive Administrator and former President of CASH.

“Sheila has built lifetime friendships in our industry and has earned great respect from everyone that has met her. Sheila‘s career is the benchmark all of us aspire to.”

During her tenure as Executive Director, Sheila helped nurture the development of multiple satellite halls in the province. The SSHF’s Sport History Project grant is unique to Saskatchewan and since the late 1980s has allowed organizations to complete more than 40 projects that capture the sport history of our province through a variety of means. Sheila also oversaw a successful 50th-anniversary celebration that included the launch of the SSHF’s 53-foot mobile exhibit trailer. The project is unique amongst halls of fame in Canada and allowed the SSHF to fulfill its mandate of preserving and sharing Saskatchewan’s sport history with the entire province.

In the past three years, the SSHF has won the CASH Award of Excellence twice, an ISHY Award from ISHA and a Museum Associations of Saskatchewan Award of Merit. These honours exemplify the vision Sheila and her staff showed as the Hall of Fame diversified its programming and remained an industry leader through the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, the SSHF received nine significant local, provincial, national, or international awards while Sheila was Executive Director.

This spring the final phase of our Hall of Fame Gallery redevelopment was completed under Sheila’s leadership.

Succession planning had begun with an eye toward Sheila’s eventual retirement, however, that process was accelerated when she took a medical leave of absence earlier this spring.

With that in mind, the SSHF Board of Directors has contracted Leadership Source from Regina to help lead the search for a new full-time Executive Director for the SSHF.

SSHF Curator Bryann Seib has taken on the role as the Acting Executive Director for the past two months and has guided the Hall of Fame through our fiscal year-end, our annual audit, and the rest of the day-to-day business of the Hall of Fame.

We wish Sheila all the best in the future and congratulate her on a remarkable career here at the Hall of Fame.

For The Record: November/December 2013

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With the holiday season now upon us and things getting as busy as ever for all of us, we wanted to do something to keep you all in the loop as to what is happening at the Hall of Fame. The last couple of months have been amazing, not to mention busy for us, so there is a lot to cover.

In this issue of For The Record you will find a message from both our President, Trent Fraser, as well as Executive Director, Sheila Kelly. In addition you will find updated information on some of our inductees, along with a full recap of Grey Cup fever in Regina and the world premiere of our latest video project.

Thanks to everyone for your support of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 2013 and we look forward to seeing all of you in the New Year!

For The Record November/December 2013