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Hockey Manitoba Volunteer of the Year Awards

The purpose of the Hockey Manitoba Volunteer Awards are to recognize outstanding commitment and significant contributions to the game of hockey in Manitoba.  Each year, literally thousands of volunteers are the driving force behind our great game.  Hockey Manitoba identifies ten (10) recipients annually from each of its ten (10) regions as nominated by representatives from those regions.

Additionally, Hockey Manitoba presents the Frank McKinnon Outstanding Volunteer Award annually to a volunteer that has made exemplary contributions through a long term commitment and dedication to hockey in our province. The award is selected by Hockey Manitoba’s Board of Directors.

2020 – 2021 Recipient of the Frank McKinnon Outstanding Volunteer Award – Bill Whitehead

Bill Whitehead grew up in Roland, Manitoba and fell in love with hockey at a young age. Bill played three years of junior hockey for the MJHL’s Selkirk Steelers and won the Centennial Cup (National Junior A Champions) in 1973-74.  While playing for the Carman Beavers in the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League (SEMHL) in 1975-76, Bill was recruited to referee by several officials who knew him from his previous three years with the Steelers. Thus began a 30-year officiating career, which included refereeing roughly 100 games per year and serving as the Referee-in-Chief for Pembina Valley Minor Hockey for 15 years.

Bill become involved with Hockey Manitoba at the Branch level in 2004, serving as the Chair of Minor Hockey- Rural for three years. In 2007, he was elected Vice President of the Board of Directors and five years later, he was elected President, a position that he held until last season (2012- 2020).

The impact of Bill’s efforts on minor hockey in Manitoba are immeasurable. His positive influence on players, officials, coaches, and volunteers literally spans decades. He is a natural leader, who guided Hockey Manitoba’s Board of Directors with class and humility. Bill has been instrumental in the growth of female hockey across the province over the past two decades and he played a key role in reshaping the branch’s governance structure, which involved the creation of five regional councils (minor, development, female, junior, senior).

In addition to his lifelong involvement in hockey as a player, official, coach and volunteer, Bill was an accomplished baseball player who won several Provincial Junior Championships with the Carman Goldeyes. Bill was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011.

Like many volunteers, Bill has had a huge impact on his community. He has volunteered his time as an executive with the Roland Golf Club, Roland Arena, and Roland Curling Club and he currently serves as the Chair of the Roland United Church Board and Roland Cemetery Board.

Bill is happily married to his wife Brenda and they have three sons, Graig, Doug and Brian. Graig lives in Swift Current, while Doug and Brian both live in Roland and farm with their dad. When he isn’t farming, Bill enjoys golfing and curling in his spare time.

Perhaps even more remarkable than his volunteer time dedicated to the hockey is Bill’s character and integrity. He has earned the respect of his peers and colleagues and has always valued constructive discussion in an effort to move the game forward.

Hockey Manitoba would like to congratulate all Volunteer of the Year recipients and sincerely thank each and every volunteer for their dedication to hockey in Manitoba.

Past Frank McKinnon Outstanding Volunteer Award Winners

2019 – 20 Ken Gladden
2018 – 19 Peter Dueck
2017 – 18 George Ulyatt
2016 – 17 Dale Fossay
2015 – 16 Doug Orchard
2014 – 15 Brian Franklin


2019 – 20 Regional Volunteer Recognition Award Winners

Name Region
Kris Klemick Brandon
Mike Neill Central Plains
Tracy Ouellet Eastman
Dave Underwood Interlake
Ron Larocque Norman
Wendy McDonald Parkland
Shane Froebe Pembina Valley
Ryan Kyle Westman South
Bob Capstick Winnipeg
Dan Johnson Yellowhead


2018 – 19 Regional Volunteer Recognition Award Winners

Name Region
Jason Scott Brandon
Carol Stewart Central Plains
Neal Stoesz Eastman
Alvin Amos Interlake
June Shlachetka-Monias Norman
Tannis and Dave Pulock Parkland
Barb Orchard Pembina Valley
Michael Wiseman Westman South
Pam Campbell Winnipeg
Derek Tibbatts Yellowhead


2017 – 18 Regional Volunteer Recognition Award Winners

Name Region
Terry Popadynetz Brandon
Ferdi Nelissen Central Plains
Paul Magnan Eastman
Darren Bond Interlake
Jerome Conaty Norman
David Hopfner Parkland
Greg Ens Pembina Valley
Corey Anderson Westman South
Guy Jeanson Winnipeg
Bill Brown Yellowhead